Feaster and Coleman Families of Fairfield County
South Carolina History by Ederington

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Page 31

News & Herald, May 21, 1901


David R. Coleman, the patriarch of the Coleman family in Fairfield, was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, May 19, 1765, and died March 25, 1855. His father Robert Coleman, married Elizabeth Roe. Robert removed to this country when David was a small boy. His wife gave him 14 children. David Roe, who lived and died on the land first settled by his father when he came here, is still in the possession of descendants of the same name.(Error?) John R. Coleman removed to Greene County, Alabama. Robert Roe Coleman lived and died where his son, Jonathan D. Coleman's widow now lives. Wiley R. Coleman married a Ragsdale, of Chester County, and raised a large family, of whom William Buck was the oldest, and H. J. F. W. Coleman is the youngest. Out of this family only one is now living, H. J. F. W. Coleman, and all except him went west and lived there. They are numbered among the best citizens.

Installment #2

Allen R. Coleman married a daughter of Charles Coleman, a cousin, and settled, lived and died on Rocky Creek in Chester County. Here I will mention something out of the general order: Allen R. Coleman's wife presented him with twin daughters, and one of his neighbors by the name of John Gladden had twin sons, and when these twins grew up, they married. John Gladden married Rebecca, and James Gladden married Betsy Coleman. They both raised large families from whom there are many of the name in both Chester and Fairfield counties. Griffin R. Coleman moved West and all sight of him has been lost.

So, of William R. (words missing here).Sarah and Elizabeth, first and second daughters of Robert Coleman, married and went West. Solomon R. Coleman's children all moved West. He married a distant relative, a daughter of Stephen Coleman; Francis went West; Zerebable died young; Henry Jonathan was the 13th child, next to Ancil, the baby of the family-14 in all.

David Roe Coleman married Edith Beam in 1787 or 1788. Robert F. (Tow-headed Bob) as he was called, married the eldest daughter of John Feaster and raised two sons and four daughters; the eldest married William Coleman, son of Solomon. The second married Atkins; he died and she then married Andrew Hancock. They moved to Randolph County, Georgia. The third daughter, the present Mrs. Mayfield, has been married four times; first to Martin Coleman and then to James Branon, by whom she had one child. Next she married John Q. Arnette. There were four children by this marriage. Dr. R. C. Arnette is the only surviving child.

Robert Coleman's fourth daughter married Dr. S. W. B. McLurkin, by whom she had three children, and died soon after the war. John J. and Andrew E. Coleman moved West and married there. Both are now dead. Wiley F. Coleman married a Miss Elam of Chester County (Nancy Elam) and died near Halselville. His widow moved to Chambers County Alabama, and died there several years ago, leaving one son, Colonel D. R. Coleman. He is an enterprising farmer of that county. David H. Coleman married a Miss Franklin and lived and died in Green County, Alabama, where he removed soon after his marriage. Wilson H. Coleman also moved to Alabama and married a Miss Johnston there, and died, leaving several children.

Isabelle, first daughter of D. R. Coleman, married Squire Jake Feaster; Elizabeth married Isaac Nolan and moved to Indian Springs, Georgia. After her marriage she rode from her father's to Indian Springs on horse-back, there being no railroads in those days, and very poor dirt roads. That would be the average woman of today, say, to taking a horse-back ride of 300 miles or less. She was the mother of ten children. She is now living in Smith County, Texas, at the advanced age of 80 years. Sarah, the youngest daughter of D. R. Coleman, died early. The Colemans and Feasters were long lived and splendid types of physical manhood, the average weight about 220, and most of the Colemans over six feet tall.

Among the early settlers on Beaver Creek and McClures were the Wideners, Beams and Dyes, all of whom moved upon the Chinquapin lands on the county line of Chester and Fairfield, where most of their descendants live today. The land they then gave up is now owned by Thomas M. Lyles, J. C. and T. D. Feaster, and D. P. Crosby, and is considered the best section of Fairfield County.

The Meadors lived on McClures Creek. They, the Hills and the "Cage" and Cullen branch of the Mobley family owned, with the exception of a few small tracts, all that whole country. Dr. W. M. Meador and his boys, Dr. Lem and John Meador, representatives of the last named families, own a portion of the land lying on Beaver Creek and between McClures Creek and the river and north to the Chester line. In this section lived the Nevitts, Jenkins, Sheltons, Newbles, Chapmans, and later Andrew McConnell, who bought the plantation (now owned by J.F.V. Legg) from Major William S. Lyles. McConnell was a poor boy but when he died he was the possessor of thousands of acres of land and more than 100 slaves. J.F.V. Legg married his widow (Malinda Dickerson McConnell), and now lives at the old homestead.

Farther north we had Meredith Poole Meador who owned the place occupied by Laurens Feaster. Allen (Alben?) Boulware owned a large tract of land on Broad River. Stephen Crosby lived near the line and owned land in both Chester and Fairfield counties. His oldest son, Thomas, married a Miss Parks, and their son, Charley Crosby, now owns nearly all the land that was his father's and grandfather's. The next son, Coleman Crosby married a Miss Walker of Chester County. He was the father of Mrs. Dr. Estes and W. W. Crosby. William Crosby married a Thomas and raised a large family of children. Davis Crosby was quite popular and represented the county in the Legislature. Stephen Crosby married Frances, the oldest daughter of Cornelius Nevitt.

He bought from the late Governor John H. Means the place now owned by his only child, Mrs. D P. Crosby. It is one of the prettiest places in the up-country.

One of old Stephen Crosby's daughters married Charles Douglass, who lived and died near Alston. Richard Crosby, "Uncle Dick" as he was called, married a Conway, and lived to a ripe old age. He and Jacob Stone, his nearest neighbor, were called by the wags of the neighborhood, the "Siamese Twins". They always went to Chester and Columbia together, and returned home with jugs full. They were thrifty and enterprising farmers. It was said by the wags that they did not know what Andy Feaster Colvin's boys would have done for wives if "Uncle Dick" had not raised so many pretty girls. All of the Colvin boys married Crosbys, except one or two.

David Henderson, a brother of old Thomas Henderson who lived on Broad River, was considered the ugliest man of his day, and was called "Pretty Dave". He always kept one eye closed and gave as a reason that he did not wish to wear them both out at the same time. There are many quaint sayings and laughable anecdotes told of him which will live here as long as the memory of the man liveth, for they are handed down from father to son. He was a man of considerable education for his day and time. Had it not been for whiskey, he would have been a useful member of society, but as it was, everybody liked "Pretty Dave". Once when he and his brother, Tom, were returning home from Columbia they met a stranger who looked at Tom in amusement ("Pretty Dave" was lying in the wagon, drunk) and said, "You are the ugliest man I ever saw".

Tom replied that he would "..bet him $5.00 that he could show him an uglier man than he was." The bet was good, and Tom called to his brother Dave to look out. The stranger gave him the money, saying that he "had honestly won it."

Old man Simeon Free lived at the head of McClures Creek years ago, but he and all of his children moved to the west. The children of Wiley and Hiram Coleman own all of the Henderson and Free land.

Uncle Tom Williams was a carpenter, millright, etc. He was considered the best man physically speaking, in the county. His wife was Dorcas Halsell, whose mother was a Wagener, (Wagner) for whom Fort Wagener was named, that was erected on Beaver Creek. We then had the Gwinns, Weirs, Yongues, Murdocks and Macons.

General Ed. Taylor of the "Dark Corner" has been honored by his fellow citizens to every office that he has asked for - first Captain, then Major, then Colonel, and lastly General of the State Militia. He is yet living, and his eyes are bright, and his step apparently as firm as ever.

John Feaster, son of Andrew Feaster, was the founder of Feasterville Academy, and donated 7 acres of land to Liberty Church, and 5 acres to the academy. Tradition says that John Feaster had the first glass windows in the township. Thomas Coleman lived and died on the premises now occupied by D. R. Feaster, and was the owner of the first Brick chimney north of Beaver Creek.

The Chapmans were a numerous and prominent family on McClures Creek. They have all left except Giles Chapman and the widow and children of John Chapman, who owned the old Halselville property, just beyond the line in Chester County.

Cornelius Nevitt, of whom mention has already been made, had three sons, two of whom are now living near the old homestead; Joseph K. is living near the old homestead; Jack was killed at Knoxville, Tennessee in December 1863; Frances, his eldest daughter, married Stephen Crosby. Precious Ann married Francis H. Ederington; and Brooks married Lamson Withers, then Oliver Waters .. (words missing ?).., then Rev. Mrs. Moore, of North Carolina. Mrs. L. R. (LeRoy) Fee is her daughter by her first marriage. Laura, the youngest, married William McWhorter, and lives in North Carolina. Charles Waters, her eldest son by her second marriage, married Miss Fannie D. Kerr, daughter of William Kerr, who resides near Shelton, S. C.

On the headwaters of McClures Creek, lived old Henry Tynes. Of the "Cage" (Micajah), Cullen, and Isham Mobley family, their name was legion. The Crowders were from North Carolina and were as numerous as the Mobleys. Notly Mobley was the "bully" of the precinct. Big John Cockrell was the "bully" of the White Oak section. He determined he would try manhood with Mobley, but Notly was of a slow and sluggish disposition and had to have coals of fire heaped upon his back before he would move. Cockerel told him he came there to whip him or be whipped. Uncle Isham Mobley could not stand it any longer, and said as much to Notly. When Cockrell turned to him and asked him if he took it up - - "Yes, by God, I do," was the immediate reply, and at it they went, and John Cockrell went home badly whipped, so he said, and not whipped by the "bully", but by a much smaller man. Such acts as these were not infrequent at that time, and each section had its "bully", and he was honored and respected as such. Robert Mobley, who lives near Woodward, C.C.&A. Railroad, is the only one of this branch of the Mobley family living in the country.

Old Bolin Wright came from Virginia and settled about a mile west of Liberty Church, where he died. He was a revolutionary soldier. The most notable of his children were William Wright, a Baptist preacher of the old school, and Uriah S. Wright, who was noted in his day and time as a "home doctor" and was called by nearly everyone, Dr. Wright. His practice was not confined to Fairfield, but Chester, Union and Newberry counties demanded and had his services. He was eccentric, erratic and generous. He was a great fox hunter and what he did not know about fox-hunting was left out of the spelling book.

Webmaster's note concerning the paragraph below: Major Thomas W. Woodward, senator from Fairfield, was the son of William T. Woodward, grandson of John Woodward (senior), and great grandson of Thomas "The Regulator" Woodward. Nancy B. Lyles (1812 - 1895) may have been the daughter of Mary Woodward, granddaughter of Reverend William "Preacher Billy" Woodward (referred to below as certainly close kin to Major Thomas W. Woodward), and great granddaughter of Thomas "The Regulator" Woodward. Nancy B. Lyles (a descendant of Arromanus Lyles) and her husband William E. Traylor lived and owned land which is still owned by their descendants in Feasterville, named one of her sons Thomas Woodward Traylor (reputedly once the largest land owner in Fairfield), and may have been Major Thomas W. Woodward's second cousin..

In 1860, Major T. W. Woodward was a candidate for the Legislature, and stopped with a relative who lived near the "Corner", and on inquiring for the names of those living around, he was told to call on old Wright by all means. "Old Uriah is a fox-hunter, and I am sure you (the Major was a fox-hunter, too) can talk enough about dogs to secure his vote." "Well, give me some points about the pack," said the Major. "Ring Smith is his best strike and Jolly Wright his coldest trailer, and Molly Clowney his swiftest runner," he was told. The Major, having obtained a description of these dogs, so there would be no difficulty in identifying them, made it convenient to call on old Uriah the next day about dinner time.

Old Uriah had just come in from ploughing as the Major rode up to the gate. "That is what Jonathan D. and the boys around here calls me."

"My name is Woodward, and I am a candidate for the Legislature, and being a young man on my first political legs, I am going to see and be seen, if not by everybody, certainly by the most prominent and influential citizens of each section."

"Git down, you a monstrous likely man, and I'll take you to see Pinkey (his wife), and we will see what she has to say about it."

The Major descended and was going into the house to see "Pinkey", the while discussing the crops with old Uriah, when he paused a moment and, turning in the direction of some hounds who were lying around in the shade, he said, "Dr. Wright, I am a very peculiar man. I love the ladies dearly, it is true, and yet, I hope, sir, you will pardon my weakness, - - a fine hound dog comes nearer perfection in my eye than any earthly object."

"And what do you know about dogs?" asked old Uriah, turning from the house and following the Major who had gone in the direction of the dogs and was already seated at the foot of a large white oak, with the whole pack around him. He had little difficulty in selecting the dogs of note from the description given him the night before, and after some general comments on dogs he said, "What is the name of this dog?... Ah, Ring Smith you say? An uncommonly fine dog he seems to be - if there any truth in signs, he ought to be a might strike."

"Good strike, did you say? If there were four thousand dogs here, I would bet a million dollars that Ring Smith would open three miles ahead of the best hunter in the bunch, and you might go before a magistrate and swear that it was a fox when he opened," was old Uriah's reply.

The Major was now intently examining a large pale black and tan dog which filled the description of Jolly Wright - the coldest dog - feeling his nose and walking around, he eyed him intently. "Dr. Wright," said he at last, "I think this is one of the most remarkable dogs I have ever seen, just look at that head and feel his nose; I honestly believe this is the coldest dog I have ever seen."

"Coldest, did you say? Why, he can smell 'em when they have been gone three and four weeks, and if the fur ain't good he won't open on 'em then."

Molly Clowney had been easily recognized and now came in for her turn.

"Here ought to be the very apple of your eye," said the Major, "for if I do not know anything about dogs, this is unquestionably the fleetest footed animal I have ever met. Tell me now, truthfully, can't she out-run anything in these parts?"

"Run, did you say? No, she can't run a bit; but there ain't a crow, nor a turkey-buzzard that ever crossed 'the corner' that can hold a light to her a-flyin. I have seen her treed against many of 'em. Dinner is about ready, and I want Pinkey to meet you."

The Major was taken into the house and introduced to Mrs. Wright. "Ain't he likely, Pinkey? Just look at him!" and the old man led him around the house like a fine horse at a fair. "And smart! Why, he has forgot more than all the other candidates ever knowed. I am sure he must close kin to old Preacher Billy Woodward, for I heard my daddy say he was the smartest man in the world, and he knowed what he was talking about."

After dinner, the Major having promised to introduce a bill for the benefit of tired dogs, providing that no fence should be over five rails high, was in the act of leaving when "Old Uriah" called Pinkey to bring his fiddle, saying, "Hold on 'til I play "The Devil's Dream" for you." When he finished his piece, "One good turn deserves another," said the Major, "I'll play a tune for you before I go," and taking up the fiddle, he rendered "Hell Broke Loose in Georgia" with such spirit and skill that "Old Uriah" jumped up, hugged Pinkey, and cut the pigeon wing all over the room.

It is needless to say that the Major got "Old Uriah's" vote.

Page 36

News & Herald, Friday May 24, 1901

Part 3

David Wright moved off to Jug Tavern, Georgia, where he died. William Wright married a daughter of "Cage" Mobley (Jemimah). His eldests daughter married Jonathan McLane.

Many of the Hills were known by nick-names, such as "Varmint Dick", "Stump Bill", He was a Mobley, "Londee Bill" Hill, "Ly-down", etc. These names were given from certain peculiarities of manner, character, or habits of the man. Where Moses Clowney now lives (and he, Moses, was not an old-timer, is now one of the staunchest citizens of that township) there lived years ago William Robinson, known as "Boiled Meat Billy". His house was a great resort for those who loved to dance and enjoy themselves. Four of his sons lived here after they were grown, Billy, Willis, Nat, and John. The eldest girl married "Guber" Dye; one married John Hancock, and the youngest, Rebecca married James Gaston, but did not live long. Mr. Gaston then married a daughter of Nathan Parrot.

There were then several families of Shirleys. Hatter John or "Lying John" as he was called when he would tell an unaccountable tale, and when doubts were expressed by anyone, he would defend himself by saying, "If it is a lie, Ned Means told it, for he told me." Ned Means was noted for his veracity, and Shirley thought no one would doubt for a moment what he said. "Sugar" John Shirley was just the opposite. He was a miller and shoemaker. His only son was killed in the war. Martin Beam, who is a grandson of his, is now overseer of Feasterville Grange. Marron Shirley was not bright, and he used to create some amusement by his sing-song way of telling things.

There was a large family of Meltons that lived on Beaver Creek on land now owned by James Turner. I should have mentioned while on the Meadow side of the township, Major William Seymore, he was a leading man, taught singing school when the old Southern Harmony was used. He was a major in the militia, and came very near being elected sheriff at the time Emmett Ellison was elected. The Major was second best, and they had one of the very strongest men in the country as a competitor, James Johnston, who was Ordinary just as long as he wished to be. Seymore moved to Randolph County, Alabama, and he is not dead. His wife was a sister to Andrew McConnell.

I omitted at the proper place that Wiley and Henry J. Coleman were both hatters. They made such everlasting hats that it was impossible to wear them out. They had to be thrown away if you wished to rid yourself of them.

Liberty Church was built by those of the Universalist faith, and it was intended as its names indicates, for the use of any and every denomination that was disposed to worship in it. There were others who also contributed to the building besides Universalists.

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