Joshua Craig Poole

Joshua Craig Poole was born on 27 Jun 1898 in the Scuffletown township, Laurens county, South Carolina, the seventh surviving child of Thomas Pitts Poole (1861-1926) and Jemmie Elizabeth Alexander (1861-1937). 1

On 12 September 1918 Josh was required to register for the World War I draft. He reported his occupation as farmer, living at Rte 2, Laurens. The registrar reported him to be of medium build, with brown eyes and red hair.2

The 1920 Census enumerates Joshua as a farm laborer, living with his parents in Scuffletown, along with his elder brother Martin and younger sister Mattie Bobo.3 Continue reading “Joshua Craig Poole”

Nina Pitts Poole

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

Continue reading “Nina Pitts Poole”

Like Father, Like Son

In the summer of 1912, James Furman Poole, called Furman by his family, had a more complicated visit to North Carolina than he expected. As the 3 July 1912 edition of the Laurens Advertiser noted, his intention was to attend the wedding of James A. Poole:

Mr. Furman Poole left last Friday [June 28] for Benson, NC to attend the marriage of his cousin James A. Poole of Clinton [SC] and Miss Dora Hodges.

James Augustus Poole was the son of William Augustus Poole (1854-1928) and Mary Duval. He was Furman’s second cousin.

On Monday July first, Furman’s father Thomas Pitts Poole received a message: Continue reading “Like Father, Like Son”

…a past in which mules were central…

… many people do not know how different the South used to be. In the case of the South, there are things to be proudly held up for praise, and there are things that we wish could be hidden. Both are integral components of a past in which mules were central.Ellenburg, Mule South to Tractor South, p. 5.1

If you are tracing your family in the American South, you are almost certain to uncover some connection to the cotton economy. Regardless of how close or distant the ancestral connection may have been, the production of cotton fiber was so central to the economy and culture of the region that every family was touched in some way. And no other image is so closely related to cotton than that of the mule, with “its neck bobbing limber… lifeless ears and its half-closed eyes drowsing… apparently asleep with the monotony of its own motion.”2 Continue reading “…a past in which mules were central…”

…of cabbages and grandmothers…

The time has come,” the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes- and ships- and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages- and kings grandmothers1

Raises Fine Cabbage  Mr. T. P. Poole of Tylersville brought to The Advertiser office a few days ago a very fine 13 1-2 pound cabbage which was raised by Mrs. W. P. Poole from plants produced by Mrs. T.P. Poole.  The Laurens Advertiser, July 27, 1910 at the Library of Congress

Prize Winning Cabbage  The Advertiser force was presented yesterday with a champion all-cabbage-and-a-yard wide cabbage that is undoubtedly the biggest and heaviest that has been shown hereabouts for a long time: in fact ever shown before. It weighs 14¼ pounds and was raised by Mrs. T. P. Poole of Tylersville. She has had wonderful success in raising this particular variety and is selling the plants.  The Laurens Advertiser, June 12, 1912 at the Library of Congress

‘Mrs T. P. Poole’ is Jemmie Alexander Poole, my grandmother. ‘Mrs. W. P. Poole’, who raised the champion plant in 1910, is presumed to be Ella Malone, the second wife of William Perry Poole (1867- 1947). William Perry, the son of Berry P. Poole (1812- 1897)2  is my second cousin twice removed (up). Continue reading “…of cabbages and grandmothers…”

  1. With apologies to Lewis Caroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter.
  2. Berry P. Poole is not to be confused with his uncle, Berry Pool (1792- 1847)

“Thos. P. Poole, the big cotton planter of Tylersville”

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”. Continue reading ““Thos. P. Poole, the big cotton planter of Tylersville””

  1. “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.