Mattie Bobo Poole was born Saturday 17 March 1900 to Thomas Pitts Poole and Jemmie Elizabeth Alexander. She was the eighth, and final, surviving child born to Thomas and Jemmie.1

The 14 April 1915 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported on the “successful individual contestants in several departments of the county fair Friday”. Listed in the School Work category was “Booklet- Mattie Bobo Poole Sandy Spring.”2

The 8 November 1916 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported that they were “sorry to learn that Miss Mattie Bobo Poole is sick with pneumonia”. She had recovered fully by summer, and when the 25 July 1917 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported the activities of a “Sabbath School Convention” to which the local churches sent delegates, Mattie and her eldest brother Martin were the two delegates from Langston Baptist church. In addition, at the close of the convention, Mattie was selected as the “superintendent of elementary work in the district” for the coming year.3

In 1917, Mattie enrolled at Anderson College in Anderson, South Carolina. The 10 October 1917 issue of the Laurens Advertiser reported that her sister Grace, her father and some friends “motored over to Anderson Monday” to visit her at school.4 In 20 March 1918 the Laurens Advertiser reported that Mattie returned home for the weekend, accompanied by three “college-mates”.5 However, by 1920 she was listed as a student in the Lander College catalog, and the 1921 catalog lists her in the Senior class.6 The 6 April 1921 Laurens Advertiser noted that Mattie “passed through the city Saturday on her return home from Lander college where she graduated Friday night”. 7

Mattie began work quickly upon her graduation. The 17 August 1921 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported that she “accepted a temporary position in Spartanburg and will remain there until the fall of the year when she will take up her work as teacher at Mount Pleasant school”. 8


Mattie’s career as a teacher at Mount Pleasant school was short. The 2 August 1922 edition of the Laurens Advertiser reported that

“…quite a surprise to their many friends throughout the county and state was the marriage of Miss Mattie Bobo Poole, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Poole of Laurens, and Mr. John Perry Harling, formerly of Edgefield, but now superintendent of the DeSaussure state farm near Hagood. The ceremony was performed in Columbia last Thursday, July 20, at two o’clock by the Rev. T. C. Skinner, pastor of the first Baptist Church of that city. The happy young couple went immediately to their new home at Hagood to begin housekeeping.

The bride is a graduate of Lander College and has taught in the county for a year, during which time she has by her charming personality endeared herself to many friends who will regret that her marriage will take her away from the county. ” 9

John Perry Harling

John Perry Harling was born in Edgefield county in July 1876 to Lemuel and Jane L Harling. 10

In 1900, 23 year old John P. Harling was working as a guard at the South Carolina Penitentiary. 11

By 1920, John had moved to Rafting Creek Township, Sumter county, South Carolina, where he was employed as the Superintendent of the South Carolina State Farm. 12

An Accident

The 21 April 1924 issue of The State newspaper (Columbia, SC) reported an accident on Garners Ferry road in Columbia:

Mrs. J. P. Harling of Boykin is in the Baptist Hospital painfully injured as the result of an automobile accident which occurred at the entrance to the Heath estate yesterday afternoon. Her little niece, Frances Alston, four years old, was slightly injured.

The car was driven by a Negro chauffeur, who said last night that as he approached the entrance to Heathwood on the Garners Ferry Road, a car just in front turned without warning. He said that this made it necessary for him to turn sharply and in doing so he crashed into one of the posts of the gateway. Mrs. Harling and the child were thrown out. The accident occurred shortly before 6 o’clock.

The chauffeur said the car making the turn went into Heathwood, which is visited by many sightseers at this time of the year, and so far as he knew did not stop.

It was said last night that Mrs. Harling had an ugly gash across the fore head, was bruised and suffering from shock. Her condition was not thought serious.

A number of cars were on the popular paved road at the time of the accident and a crowd soon gathered. J. R. Fouche, 3100 Park St., who came up soon after the accident, put Mrs. Harling and the little girl in his car and rush them to the Baptist Hospital, where prompt medical aid was given. The chauffeur was not hurt. The car was damaged but not to any great extent. 13

The report goes on to state that Mattie was returning from Laurens, where she had visited her mother who was ill.

In an article the following day, The State reported that Mattie was expected to return to her home “at an early date.”14

Final Days

Mattie returned home after a time, but by 14 June 1924 she was diagnosed with a heart condition and transferred to Columbia Hospital, where she died 1 July 1924. 15 Her newspaper obituary noted that she had been involved in the April accident, but her physicians did not believe that it was a contributing factor. 16

Mattie Bobo Poole Harling was buried at Langston Baptist church, Laurens county, South Carolina. Her gravestone reads:

In loving remembrance of
Mattie Poole
Wife of John P. Harling
March 17, 1900 July 1, 1924
At Rest


John Perry Harling died in Edgefield 27 June 1928. His obituary17 noted that he had returned to live in Edgefield “about three years ago”, which would have been about the time of Mattie’s death.

Bessie Poole Lamb, in her 1931 history of the family, reported that Mattie “was appointed postmistress of Boykin [SC], which position she held until her death”.18 I have not yet been able to verify this fact.

Mattie’s death would have been especially hard on her family, since her oldest sister Nina Pitts Poole had died from pneumonia 25 February 1914.  See Nina Pitts Poole Nina Pitts Poole A life cut short, 1887- 1914

Mattie Bobo Poole is my aunt. She is a 7th great granddaughter of Samuell Pettipoole (chr. 1606, d. 1667) of the Tower Hamlets, London, England.

  1. Date of birth taken from tombstone at Langston Baptist church cemetery. See Find A Grave Memorial # 9275713. For family composition, see Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Scuffletown, Laurens, South Carolina; Roll: 1534; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL microfilm: 1241534; family of Thomas P Pool; and Federal Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Scuffletown, Laurens, South Carolina; Roll: T624_1465; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 60; Image: 273; family of Thomas Poole. 
  2. Laurens Advertiser, Some of the Ribbon Winners; 1915-04-14; <>; 21 September 2015. 
  3. Laurens Advertiser, Ora Church Entertains Sabbath School Convention; 1917-07-25; <>; 18 September 2015 
  4. Laurens Advertiser, Tylersville News; 1917-10-10; <>; 7 September 2015 
  5. Laurens Advertiser, (page 1); 1918-03-20; <>; 21 September 2015 
  6. Lander University Library archives, Larry A. Jackson Library, Lander University, 320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649-2099 
  7. Laurens Advertiser, Local and Personal Mention; 1921-04-06; <>; 21 September 2015 
  8. Laurens Advertiser, Local and Personal Mention; 1921-08-17; <> 
  9. The Laurens advertiser. (Laurens, S.C.), 02 Aug. 1922. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>. Also see Richland county South Carolina marriage license 13009. 
  10. US Federal Census, Year: 1880; Census Place: Moss, Edgefield, South Carolina; Roll: 1228; Family History Film: 1255228; Page: 297B; Enumeration District: 057; family of Lem Harling. 
  11. US Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Columbia Ward 3, Richland, South Carolina; Roll: 1539; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0089; FHL microfilm: 1241539. 
  12. US Federal Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Rafting, Sumter, South Carolina; Roll: T625_1712; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 141; Image: 992. 
  13. The State newspaper, 21 April 1924, page 2. 
  14. The State newspaper, 22 April 1924, page 13. 
  15. Death Certificate SC 13489, Mrs. Mattie Harling; Columbia, Richland county, Columbia Hospital; local registrar 630; 1 July 1924 
  16. The State newspaper, 2 July 1924, page 7. 
  17. The State newspaper, 1 July 1928, page 29. 
  18. Bessie Poole Lamb, Mary-Mack Poole Ezell, A Genealogical History of the Poole, Langston, Mason Families and Kindred Lines of Upper South Carolina, 1931, p. 58.