The August 25th, 1909 edition of the Laurens Advertiser printed a rambling article called “Going to Mill” by R. O. H. It provides a brief glimpse of how the Scuffletown area of Laurens County looked at the dawn of the 20th century.
R. O. H. is describing a wagon ride from his home to Yarborough’s Mill, carrying wheat to be ground into flour. This reminds him of an anecdote from his childhood about “going to mill”, carrying farm grown grain by horseback to be ground into meal or flour. There was a mishap- his “turn” 1 of grain fell off the horse, and he had to be rescued by a reluctant miller.
He then turns to reminiscences about the rapidly disappearing stone mills and the distinctive flour they produce. He is appreciative that Yarborough’s is still “a grand old time water-mill”, producing flour “…not as white as the patent, store bought flour, but it makes mighty good, wholesome bread”.
Finally, he turns to a sketch of the farm properties he passed as he drove to to the mill on that long ago late summer day-
My little trip above related, also afforded the opportunity of “taking in” the crops of Messrs. J. P. and S. R. Sloan, my immediate neighbors, who have an excellent crop: J. S. Cunningham (tenanted by negroes): W. D. Byrd. who has the finest cotton I have seen: Charles Pully, fine peas and cotton; the farms of J. W. Donnan and G. Frank Little with promising crops thereon: Thos. P. Poole, the big cotton planter of Tylersville: one or two farms of J. W. Peterson, principally cotton: D. M. Sanders, excellent cotton and pindars: 2 next my old friend J. Warren Blakely, one of our substantial farmers who you never hear talking about moving to town – seems satisfied with his nice home, good cotton and corn prospects: thence to J. S. Craig’s or Old Tylersville. Mr. Craig is president of the National Bank of Clinton and resides in Clinton; however, he has good farming done on his plantation under the management of Eugene Cleveland. Next we come to to Byrd’s mill, the doors of which are closed as the dam was washed away last August and has not been rebuilt but hope the Messrs. Byrd will fix it up again. Good bridges have been replaced over the creek and Enoree and altogether the county is coming around all right.
“Thos. P. Poole, the big cotton planter of Tylersville” is my grandfather. In 1909, 48 year old Thomas P. was living in Tylersville with his wife Jemmie Alexander and, according to the 1910 census3, seven of their children were still at home. The eldest daughter Nina was a clerk at the office of the Probate Judge in Spartanburg, SC4.
The entire article from the August 25, 1909 edition of the Laurens Advertiser may be found at the Library of Congress website Chronicling America.
Source references for this article and more information about Thomas Pitts Pool and family can be found at the Thomas Pitts Pool page at The Pettypool Family in America website.
- “Turn” is a obsolete word meaning a large load. In my childhood, I can remember older persons occasionally reverting to old speech patterns and referring to “a turn of groceries”, for example. ↩
- “Pindars” is an obsolete name for peanuts. ↩
- Year: 1910; Census Place: Scuffletown, Laurens, South Carolina; Roll: T624_1465; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 60; Image: 273. ↩
- Spartanburg Herald Journal, February 27, 1914. ↩