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Yearly Archives: 2009

Does anyone recall what store was located between McLeod’s drugstore and Sindler’s in the early 1950s? It has tires in one window and housewares in the other.



People have asked me what kind of photographs I’m looking for and I hesitate to give suggestions because when I have done that in the past folks thought I was limiting them to a particular subject matter.

That picture you have that you think “She’s not going to want this” … that’s the exact picture I want. Is it cracked, torn, spotted, or has a little water damage? IT’S OK!!! Here are the only requirements, from the publisher and myself:

1. The photograph must have been taken prior to 1960. But, THE OLDER, THE BETTER.

2. The photograph has not already been published in any Lee County books.

3. The photograph needs to be an original, or a reprint from an original negative. Some exceptions can be made, so if you have the perfect picture, let me know and I can talk with the publisher.

4. The subject matter should be clearly visible (not blurry).

Arcadia would prefer to work with the original photo, which will be promptly returned.  Please consider this, especially if you have multiple copies of your picture.   Alternatively, I can scan your photo or tell you how to scan it/have it scanned to Arcadia’s specifications.

And that is basically it. Some ideas to consider or to help get you thinking about what you might have and *important* THESE ARE NOT EXCLUSIVE, are:

Houses of worship, church picnics, Christmas programs, choirs, ministers, rabbis (yes, there were visiting rabbis and I would be thrilled to have a picture), Catholic church (I have nothing here), nor do I have any traditionally black churches.

School buildings, teachers, school sports events, cheerleaders, football teams, children on the playground, school plays, any school events, teenagers at the drive in, DENNIS HIGH SCHOOL, your great-grandmother’s class picture, pictures of the old Bishopville Graded School, (that’s not the grammar school on Ridge St. It was located near the current old high school bldg.).

Main Street, parades, individual businesses, restaurants, clothing, mercantile, drug stores, dry goods stores, insurance agencies, doctors, dentists, shopkeepers, grocery stores (especially the small family-owned ones), Stokes’s, Levenson’s, Ginsberg’s, Belk’s, BC Moore’s, Imperial House, Lee Hotel.  Inside photos of stores and restaurants are of particular interest.

LEE COUNTY FAIR (please, please), any or all of the swimming places, movie theaters, town sporting events (baseball games/teams), picnics, people riding bicycles, people driving cars,

family pictures, people on the front porch, people walking down the street, people leaving a store, people going to church, children playing on the courthouse lawn, LOOK FOR PICTURES FROM YOUR PARENTS’ AND GRANDPARENTS’ GENERATIONS AS CHILDREN, people’s houses, especially those with historical significance.

People who were, without argument, well-known in some form or another. The Cotton Museum has some of Doc Blanchard, but maybe you do, too. Drink Small. Lee County Senators and Representatives. Cotton Ed Smith. Gov. McLeod. County officers. School principals. Postmasters. Sheriffs, fire chiefs, judges. Do you have any pictures of anyone prior to 1900? Has anybody ever seen a likeness of Jacques Bishop?

Street scenes. Houses, hotels.

CHATAUQUA SHOWS. These were going strong in the 20s, so someone’s got to have a photo!! Leonard Levenson used to help set them up and he was born in 1916……

Ashwood. Boat races at Ashwood. Lynchburg, Elliot, any small communities. County churches and schools.


If you have considered contributing photographs to be published in Images of America: Bishopville and Lee County, now is the time.  I need to have all the materials by December 15 of this year in order to allow time for me to caption and organize everything.

I am still 100 pictures short of what I need for this book to go to press.  Please consider commemorating your family or something that is special or memorable to you about Bishopville by sharing a picture…or 5…or 15!

I will be in Bishopville, at the Cotton Museum or thereabouts, the early part of Thanksgiving week.  Let me know if I can drop by your home or if you would like to stop by the museum.  All pictures will be well cared for, labeled and promptly returned.  Scanning is also a possibility.

If you are not near Bishopville, SC or Atlanta, never fear.  I can work something out with you.  One of my best pictures to date came all the way from Philadelphia and I still haven’t met its owner in person.

Not only will this be a nostalgic book, but it will serve as a permanent visual record of Bishopville’s unique history.  Please contact me if you have any questions rachaelbradbury@gmail.com

Thank you in advance!   Get excited!!


P.S.  I will come to your house and root around in your attic or under beds.  I am dead serious.  Just let me know.  I love to root.  Ask my mother.

Singleton Will

To view the document, right click on the picture and select “view image.”

Here are a few items, with their appraised values, offered for sale as part of the Estate of Frances Singleton:

1 Shot Gun $1
1 Negro Man, Newry 500.00
1 Negro Woman, Dulcy 500
1 Do[ditto] Dinah 400
1 Negro Boy Fredrick 300
1 Sorrel Mare & Colt .70
1 Sorrel Horse .65
1 Rone [?] Mare .85
2 Sows & 15 pigs 11.50
77 Head of Meat Hogs 201.37 ½
1 Work Steer 15
26 Head Cattle 156
1 Lot of Sound Corn 137.75
1 30 rotten & short 25.00
1 Lot Seed Cotton 24
10 Fodder & shucks 54
19 Head of Sheep 23.75
9 Head of Geese 4.50
1 Riding Chair & Harness 60
1 Lot Wool 3
1 Lot of Plows & Geers 10
1 Lot of Tools 7
1 Steel Trap 1
1 Lot Hoes 3.25
2 Cogs & Nails 1.40
1 Cowhide 1
2 Saddles & Saddlebags & Blankets6.50
6 Baskets .75
11 Head of shotes [?] 9.96
2 Spinning Wheels 2.50
2 Casks of Wheet [sic] 13.50
Amount Cared [sic] Over 2693.83 ½

Amongst the multitude of typewritten pages comprising a general history of the section now known as Lee County and written by the late Joe F. Stuckey, I came across this bit on the Singleton family.  “In 1790, John Singleton and his wife, Frances, came to what is now Bishopville and purchased the 465 acre tract of land which now comprises the heart of the town.


Upon the death of Mrs. Singleton, the property was sold for division and was purchased by Dr. Jacques Bishop from whom Bishopville received its name.  Mrs. Singleton’s children were, viz:

  1. Asa
  2. Seth
  3. Hymbrick
  4. Mary
  5. Avey, who married Allen Barnes
  6. Nancy, who married Isaac Woodward

This family is represented here now by some of the Barnes.  The male Singletons moved to states West.”

Another historical note I have mentions the will of Frances Singleton, which is how many of these names were gathered.  I knew it had to be somewhere and I found it at the SC Department of Archives and History, Sumter County Wills, Bundle 90 Package No. 16.  (If you go searching, make a note of that information; the location of Mrs. Singleton’s will was the most time consuming portion of the trip!) Technically, it is not a will but is “Administrative Papers” (Isaac Woodard, administrator).  The document, from 1820, begins:

“South Carolina}
Sumter District}

By virtue of a writ of appraisement to us directed by Wm. Pots, Esq., ordinary of Said District, we the undersined [sic] have entered into the duties there [illegible] and have appraised all and singular the goods and Chattels of Frances Singleton, Deceased, shown to us by the administrators.”

Most, if not all, of her belongings were sold.  Every item is inventoried and appraised.  The name of each purchaser at the sale, what he purchased and the amount spent is also detailed.  “One lot of oats . . . $1”  “1 Dressing Glass . . . $1.25”

One of the purchasers was the good Reverend James Jenkins, who in his autobiography, penned some years later, wrote: “What is now called Bishopville was then called Cross Roads, owned by an old woman, whose name was Singleton. It was as dissipated a place as I ever saw; Sodom itself could not have been worse.”

Reverend Jenkins spent a total of $7.96 1/4 at the estate sale, rescuing the following goods from their depravity:

1 Plow, $2; 1 Doz. steel trap, price illegible; 5 baskets, 96 1/4 cts.; 12 of something I cannot read for $2.37 1/2; and 2 barrells [sic] at $1.25.

Allen Barnes, who as noted above married the Singletons’ daughter, Avey, spent a whopping $1,136.31.  Among his purchases were “1 Negro girl, Dulcy” for whom he paid $900 and  one featherbed for $31.16 1/4.

I hope to type the document up in its entirety as it gives an amazingly detailed insight as to what might have been found at a tavern liquidation sale as well as the names of numerous local men.

If you were a boy or girl scout in or around Bishopville before 1960, would you drop me a line and tell me the dates you were active and who your troop leader(s) was/were?  And if you have any pictures of boy scouting, I’d be delighted to have a copy.

And I’ll post something for real, soon….

Years ago I had the remarkable foresight to ask my great uncle, Joe Stuckey, Jr., (1916-2008) or Uncle Buck as we called him, to send me some remembrances of his childhood in Bishopville. I regret not asking him for more but am fortunate to be able to have the insight of someone who lived to see 90 years of dentistry evolution.

“Today, while having lunch, I was watching TV. A new dental program, Laser Tooth Fillings, was being shown. This suddenly brought to mind my first visit to the dentist’s office. When I was 10 or 12 years old I developed my first tooth cavity. Our dentist, a friend of the family and a nice man lacking in personality, was chosen for my relief. He was all business, did not have any assistant, and mixed his own filling materials. He used a grinder that probably came over on the Mayflower. In an adjacent office that he used for the negro trade, there was a grinder that he operated by pumping with his foot (no electricity). His office was upstairs, over a store on Main Street (see ad: J.B. Kelley’s store), with a steep stairway that added fright and put me out of breath by the top floor. Mother had some other errands to run so she left me alone with the dentist. He ground away, without deadening the tooth with novocaine. Then he left me to go into his lab where he was to mix the filling. I was so scared, and not knowing what he might do next, I said to myself ‘this is enough for me!’ and ran out of the office and went home, which was only a short distance away. (probably the Latimer house on Lee St.) When Mother arrived at home, she grabbed me and led me back to the office to meet Dr. Chappell. Without even a smile, he finished the job. My first experience with a real dentist, that used novocaine, was in the military. And now we have laser fillings. How lucky can the present little boys be?

Note:  While the ad says “located over J.B. Kelley’s store” it cannot mean, in 1909, the building pictured below as you can clearly see the date “1919” engraved in the stone.  So, in about 1927, when my uncle visited Dr. Chappell, he may or may not have been in this building.

Ad for R.B. Chappell from The Leader and Vindicator, 1909

Ad for R.B. Chappell from The Leader and Vindicator, 1909

Bank of Bishopville and J.B. Kelley's Dry Goods, 2009

Bank of Bishopville and J.B. Kelley's Dry Goods, 2009