A life cut short, 1887- 1914

Nina, the second child born to Thomas Pitts Pool and Jemmie Alexander of the Scuffletown township of Laurens County, SC, arrived on Thursday 17 February 1887. The 1900 Federal census finds 13 year old Nina “at school”. 1

Nina exhibited skill with flower arranging. The 26 November 1902 issue of the Laurens Advertiser noted that they were “…indebted to Miss Nina Poole for a rarely beautiful bouquet of geraniums, ferns and other conservatory plants. One seldom sees such choice flowers”.2

By March 1905, Nina was a student at Lander College3 in Greenwood, SC. The 8 March 1905 Laurens Advertiser reported that “Mr. T. P. Poole went to Greenwood Saturday to visit his daughter, Miss Nina, who is attending school there.4

Nina was involved in church matters. She was appointed to the Committee on Resolutions at the Sunday School Convention held in Ora, SC on August 5 1907.5

Examining the Laurens Advertiser of the early 1900’s indicates that the Thomas P. Poole family had a quite active social life, and Nina participated in a big way on the evening of 20 August 1907:

On Tuesday evening … Miss Nina Poole charmingly entertained a number of her friends at a most delightful lawn party from 8 to 11 o’clock in honor of her guests, Misses Daisy Allen of Enoree, and Carrie Rogers of Woodruff, and Mr. Graham Poole of Union.

“Mr. Graham Poole of Union” was Nina’s first cousin, the son of William Harvey Pool and Frances Cornelia Graham.6 Also listed among the attendees was her second cousin “Mack Poole of Pea Ridge”, son of William Augustus Poole and Mary Duval.

And again in 1909, Nina’s entertainment was front page news in the Laurens Advertiser:

Miss Nina Poole was the charming hostess to a number of her friends Thursday evening in honor of her attractive guest Miss Pauline E. Riebling of Spartanburg. The guests were received by Miss Grace Poole, then ushered into the parlor where they were introduced to Miss Riebling by Miss Nina Poole. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, the young men drew the states and found their partners by the corresponding capitals. The couples then found cozy corners on the beautiful lighted lawn. During the evening tempting ices, fruits and cakes were served.7 8

By 1909, Nina was contemplating a career in nursing. The 24 November issue of the Laurens Advertiser reported that Nina “… leaves next week for Columbia where in the Columbia hospital she will take a course in trained nursing”.9

For some reason, the nursing career was abandoned, and Nina moved to Spartanburg, SC, where she began work as clerk in the Probate court. The 21 February 1912 Laurens Advertiser described

One of the most elaborate dinners of the season was given by Mrs. T. P. Poole on last Sunday in honor of her daughter, Miss Nin[a] Poole, of Spartanburg. The house was beautifully decorated in pot flowers. On account of inclemency of the weather only a few were present.10

The 18 February 1914 issue of the Laurens Advertiser reported that “Miss Nina Poole of Spartanburg and Miss Frances Sims, came down Sunday to visit her family and home folks”.11 No one knew that this was to be Nina’s last visit home.

Nina died just seven days later, Wednesday, 25 February 1914 in Spartanburg. Her obituary tells the story:


Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. P. Poole Dies in Spartanburg after Short Illness.

Miss Nina Poole, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. P. Poole, of this county, died of pneumonia last Wednesday afternoon in Spartanburg, after a short illness. The funeral services were held Friday at Langston church, near her old home in this county, being attended by a large number of sorrowing friends and relatives. Miss Poole was a young lady of many excellent qualities and her death was greatly deplored by all who knew her. The following account of her death was taken from the Spartanburg Herald:

Miss Nina Poole, aged 28, for several years a clerk in the office of John J. Burnett, probate judge for Spartanburg county, died yesterday afternoon at 3 o’clock at the residence of Mrs. Bridges, on North Converse street, from pneumonia, after a short illness. The body will be taken to Ora, in Laurens county, on the 6:50 o’clock train this morning. The funeral services will be held from Langston church, tomorrow at noon, the Rev. C. C. Herbert, pastor of Central Methodist church, this city, officiating. The interment will be in the church yard.

The late Miss Poole is survived by the following immediate relatives: her parents Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Poole; three sisters, Misses Grace Poole, Fannie Poole and Mattie Bobo Poole; four brothers, Martin Poole, Russel Poole, Furman Poole and Josh Craig Poole.

The late Miss Poole was born in Laurens county 28 years ago, coming to Spartanburg in 1909. While here, she was clerk in the office of of the probate judge and was noted for her extreme efficiency and industry. To her near friends she was a most lovable young woman, and the officials at the court house bespeak words of high praise for her sterling disposition and character.

She contacted a severe cold last week but would not leave her office, as Judge Burnett is absent from the city. Her sense of duty was such that she considered she should keep the office open, although the officials and attaches at the court house endeavored to persuade her to go home. She became extremely ill Friday afternoon and had to bow to the inevitable. Her cold changed into pneumonia, and she rapidly became worse, losing consciousness a short time before her death. Her father, mother and one sister were at her bedside when death came.12

The next edition of the Laurens Advertiser reprinted a tribute to Nina:

G. G. Goot, special agent for United States Guaranty and Trust company, who frequently visits the office of the probate judge on official business, while in the city yesterday paid a beautiful tribute to Miss Nina Poole, the late secretary in this office. Mr. Goot was shocked when he was told of Miss Poole’s death and he felt a great sympathy for Judge Burnett in the loss of his faithful and efficient assistant. Mr. Goot among other things said that the late Miss Poole was one of the most pleasant, accommodating and efficient clerks in her capacity that it was his pleasure to be associated with. Mr. Goot travels several states in the south. – Spartanburg Journal.13

Nina Pitts Poole is my aunt.