Monday, August 13, 2007

Mountville - Laurens County SC - musings

There is a new book in the Arcadia Publishing Company's Postcard History Series entitled LAURENS COUNTY, (2007), compiled by the Laurens County Museum Association.

On page 112 is a picture of the Universalist Church that was in "downtown" Mountville.
They used the postcard that is at the South Carolinia Library in Columbia.

Three things come to me as I look at the photo - the minor one is the ethics of scanning and sharing it - It's from an out of copyright postcard -fair game now? or should I wait till the book is out of print? I wonder this, because I'd love to share this picture.

The Church and Church building no longer exist.

For a small rural church, the church is wonderfully built. it's not the plain style favored by Woodington (NC), Philadlphia (Miss), Feasterville (SC), or Saluda-Chappels (SC) congregations. Considering the size of the congregation - it is fancy. Yes, it's a small family church - The cemetery - correctly called the Universalist Cemetery in the last burial (about 15 years back); is generally known to genealogist and cemetery surveys as the Simmons Cometary. The Church is actually one of the last of the Teague family Universalist Churches. The Teagues were active in southern Universalist history from at least the 1830s to 1930s. From what I recall the name of the Church was "Church of the Eternal Hope".
It says here that the Church was built in 1910 using materials donated from churches in Saluda and Chappels. I dont think that is right, as a building was there 10 years previous - but it could have been remodeled. Since there was only One Universalist Church inbetween Saluda and Chappels - I suspect there is some confusion there.
Without looking it up, I'd think the church lasted from the 1890s to the 1940s. -
In the 30s-50s, demographics begain to change and rural towns begain to shrink as folks left the farms (and farming communities). As far as I know - no Universalist preacher regularly preached in SC since the early 1930s.


Boy in the Bands (Scott Wells) said...

Here's a burial reference from 2002.

SC Universalist said...

Hmm, that's what happens when I write off the cuff - it was five years instead of 15!

(obit snipped)

"Sara Coates Simmons, age 85, widow of John M. Simmons Sr., died Sunday, March 31, at her home."

"Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Mountville Baptist Church, with interment at Universalist Cemetery in Mountville. "

Her husband, buried beside her, attended the Southern Industrial Institute in Camp Hill, Alabama - where his father was on the board - when it was a semi-Universalist school.

Teagues (his mother) and Coates were old Quaker families in SC, prior to the exit of Quakers in the early 19th century to northern climes.