Love and Marriage in Union County, SC


On the afternoon of Wednesday, January 20, 1886, Mr. Graham received a visitor bearing one of those messages that every father of a teenage daughter hopes never to hear- your daughter just left town “… in a buggy behind a fast horse…” with a man 14 years older than her, “…route not known”. The Laurens Advertiser issue of January 27, 1886 reprinted an article from the Union Times summarizing the events:

The serenity of our little town [Union, SC] was greatly disturbed last Wednesday afternoon by the sudden and suspicious disappearance of W. H. Pool, a merchant, and Miss Fannie Graham, a very pretty young lady, only daughter of Mr. W. T. Graham, a prosperous merchant of this town. The first intimation received by the parents of the young lady that their daughter had eloped with Pool was from Rev. W. M. Foster, who had been called to marry them a short distance from town, but refused, and immediately went to Mr. Graham and informed him of what was going on. But it was too late. The fleeing couple were in a buggy behind a fast horse and their route not known. About four o’clock in the afternoon news came that they were seen on the road to Cross Keys, their horse in a foam. That evening, we learn, they were married at Cross Anchor. Miss Graham was but little more than fourteen years old, and her unaccountable conduct has left her parents in great distress.  The Laurens Advertiser, January 27, 1886

In the buggy that winter afternoon were my grand-uncle, William Harvey Poole (1858- 1938) and Frances Cornelia Graham (1871-1936). They settled in Union, SC after their exciting marriage day and had six children, five of whom reached adulthood.1 William H. Pool’s obituary described him as “a prominent businessman of this city”.2


1.  Family details derived primarily from US Census records 1900- 1930.

2.  Spartanburg Herald Journal, January 11, 1938.