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Full text of "The Bethea family of Marion County, South Carolina"

ce^ 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



833 02263 6333 



Gc 929.2 B46495S 
Sellers , W . W . 1818-1 902 . 
The Bethea family of Marion 
County 7 South Carolina 



V. 



The BETHEA Family 

of 
Marion County, 

South Carolina 



A HISTORY 



OF 



MARION COUNTY, 



SOUTH CAROLINA, 



From Its Earliest Times to the Present, J 90 1. 



By W. W. SELLERS, Esq., 

of the Marton Bar. 



COLCMBtA. S. C. 

The R. L, Bryan Company. 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 395 



Bethea. — The Ikthea family will next be noticed. This 
very large and extensive family, both in name and in its vast 
network of connections, all sprang from one common stock, 
John Bethea, who emigrated from England to Virginia, at what 
precise time is not known, but supposed to be in the latter part 
of the seventeenth or early part of the eighteenth century. 
The name was originally spelled Berthier, and is supposed to 
be of French origin. The writer has been furnished, by Philip 
Y. Bethea, of Marion, with a family tree, and chart of the fam- 
ily from old "English John" up to date — at least, so far as 
Marion County is concerned, and I suppose generally, so far 
as can be ascertained. This chart only gives the names of 
males, no females — for the reason that they generally lost their 
identity by marriage: yet Che females transmit the blood just 
as much as the males do — whence the writer will hereinafter 
notice the females as well as the males, in everv instance where 



896 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

they are known. Old "English John" had two sons, John and 
Tristram. John settled in Nansemond County, Virginia, and 
Tristram settled on Cape Fear River, in North Carolina, as is 
supposed, in the early part of the eighteenth century. John, 
the second, had two sons, John, third, and William. John, 
third, emigrated to South Carolina, about the middle of the 
eighteenth century, or a little later, and settled on Buck Swamp, 
about two miles above the present town of Latta. His brother, 
William, about the same time, came to South Carolina (or they 
may have come together), and settled on Sweat Swamp, three 
or four miles above Harlleesville. These were the progenitors 
of all the Betheas and their numerous connections in Marion 
County, and, I suppose, throughout the Western States. Here- 
inafter these two families will be referred to as the "Buck 
Swamp family or set," and the "Sweat Swamp family or set." 
The wife of "Buck Swamp John" was Absala Parker, hence 
their youngest son was named "Parker." "Buck Swamp 
John" settled on the plantation now owned by one of his de- 
scendants, John C. Bethea, of Dillon ; he was a prosperous 
man — took up and owned at the time of his death, in 182 1, six 
or eight thousand acres of land around him and in near by 
parts, the most of which is now owned by some one or another 
of his descendants ; he farmed and raised stock, drove it to 
Charleston ; had and raised large orchards, raised fruit ; made 
cider and brandy, and sold it, in his day, without let or hin- 
drance; he accumulated a large estate for his day and time, 
which he gave almost entirely to his five sons, William, James, 
Philip, Elisha and Parker — giving nothing, comparatively, to 
his four daughters, Sallie, Pattie, Mollie and Absala (I think, 
was the name of the latter). Sallie married Levi Odom, of 
Revolutionary fame ; two of them, Absala and Mollie, married 
a Mr. Owens; and Pattie married another Mr. Owens. None 
of them except Pattie have descendants in this State — as Sallie 
and Absala died childless, and Mollie and her Mr. Owens emi- 
grated to Natchez, Miss. The five sons all settled, lived and 
died in Mafion County. William, the eldest, married, first, a 
Miss Crawford; had one child, a son, John C. Bethea; his 
second wife was Mary (Polly) Sheckelford ; the fruits of the 
marriage were five sons, Levi, Willam S., Frank, George J. 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 397 

and Evander S. Bethea; the daughters were Rebecca, Absala, 
Mary, Catharine and Sarah Ann. Levi married Miss Mary 
Ann Bethea, a daughter of John Bethea, of the "Sweat Swamp 
set," and had two sons, Henry L. (who died in youth), and 
George, and four daug"hters, Sophia, Hannah Jane, Louisa and 
Charlotte. Of these, Sophia married WiUiam H. Smith, on 
Buck Swamp, and had and raised sons, Samuel O. Smith, 
Wm. B., Henry E. K. and John B. Smith, and two daughters, 
the wife of B. S. Ellis (first cousins), and Hamilton Edwards' 
wife. Hannah Jane Bethea married John C. Bass, and died 
childless. Louisa Bethea married James F. Galloway, and has 
a family of two sons, Henry and James, and four daughters, 
Sallie, Rebecca, Mary and Rachel. Charlotte Bethea married 
John E. Henry, who lives on the old William Bethea home- 
stead, and has already been noticed in or among the Henry 
family. George Bethea, son of Levi, married a Miss Camp- 
bell, daughter of the late Edward Campbell, and has five sons, 
Edwin, Henry, Gary, Robert and Chalmers. Think Edwin 
lately married a Miss Smith, daughter of Marcus L. Smith. 
William S. Bethea, second son of William Bethea by his Sheck- 
elford wife, married Miss Sarah Ann DeBerry, of Marl- 
borough ; by her be had two children, a daughter, Missouri, 
and a son, William Henry. Missouri became the first wife of 
John H. Hamer ; she died, leaving one child, a son, Missouri 
Robert Hamer, who has already been noticed in or among the 
Hamer family. The son, William Henry Bethea, married, 
first, a Miss Wilson, of Wilmington, N. C, and by her he had 
two daughters, Adaline and Ella, both single, and two sons, 
Wilson and Henry (twins) ; Henry died in 1899; Wilson sur- 
vives, and is unmarried. William Henry's first wife died, and 
he married, a second time. Miss Ellie Sherwood ; she has one 
son, Evander S., a boy nearly grown. William Henry Bethea 
died in 1891 or 1892, a felo de se. Frank Bethea married, late 
in life. Miss Rebecca Manning, daughter of Woodward Man- 
ning; had one child, a son; father and son (an infant) both 
died the same year ; the widow, Rebecca, married twice after 
that, and has already been mentioned among the Manning fam- 
ily. George J. Bethea married Miss Irena Page, daughter of 
Captain William Page ; they had and raised two sons, William 



398 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

A. and John D., and several daughters, Amanda, Ellen, Mary, 
Kittle and Belle. William A. married a Miss Floyd and 
moved to North Carolina. John D. married Miss Sallie Man- 
ning, daughter of Woodward Manning. Of the daughters, 
Amanda married William B. Ellen ; Kittie married Joseph Wat- 
son, her first cousin ; don't know who the others married. 
William A. has a son, named Jasper, and John D. has a son, 
named Herbert. Evander S. Bethea, the youngest son of old 
Buck Swamp William, never married. The oldest son of Buck 
Swamp William, by his Crawford wife, was named John C, 
born in 1798, and died January, 1863; married, first, a Widow 
Irby, whose maiden name was Allison ; she had one child, a 
daughter, Elizabeth, when he married her, who grew up and 
married Henry Rogers, of Marlborough ; they raised a large 
family of sons and daughters, and among the daughters is Hen- 
rietta, who is now the widow of the late Governor W. H. El- 
lerbe ; by 'his marriage with the Widow Irby, he had and raised 
one son, Edwin Allison, when she died ; and he afterwards 
married Sarah Ann Davis, and by her had and raised one son, 
John C, now of Dillon. Edwin A. married Ann Eliza God- 
bold, youngest daughter of Asa Godbold, Sr. ; they live at 
Latta, and have a family of several sons and daughters; the 
sons are Asa, John C, Edwin and Reed Walker, and several 
daughters. One daughter married to W. C. McMillan, and is 
in Columbia, S. C. Asa has gone West; others all here. 
John C. Bethea, of Dillon, married Miss Hettie Bethea, daugh- 
ter of W. W. Bethea, of Mississippi, and of the "Sweat Swamp 
family ;" they have two sons. Horace and John C, and five 
daughters, all small. Of the sons of Buck Swamp William, 
there was one noticeable peculiarity — they all, except old John 
C, drank liquor excessively, and when intoxicated or drinking 
were perfectly quiet and harmless — much more so than when 
sober, except, p>erhaps, Evander S. ; they were all capital men, 
energetic and progressive citizens. Of the daughters of old 
William Bethea (Buck Swamp), Rebecca married Colin Mc- 
Lellan, who has already been noticed in or among the McLel- 
lans. Absala married Hugh Campbell, already mentioned in 
or among the Campbells. Mary married William W. Bethea, 
of the "Sweat Swamp set," who will be noticed further on. 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

Catharine married Averitt N. Nance, of North Carolina, and 
raised one son, Daniel, and several daughters. Sarah Ann 
married a Mr. Folk, of North Carolina, and raised a family of 
two sons and two daughters, names unknown. All the sons 
and daugthters of Buck Swamp William are dead ; he himself 
died 13th June, 1840. James Bethea, the second son of old 
"Buck Swamp John," married Miss Margaret Cockrane, a 
daughter of Thomas Cockrane, of Marlborough County, and 
settled in the fork of Big and Little Reedy Creeks ; they had 
and raised to be grown twelve children, five sons and seven 
daughters; the sons were Thomas C, Samuel J., John R., 
David and Claudius ; the daughters were Nancy, Deborah, 
Sallie, Rachel, Lucinda, Lucretia and Jane. Thomas C. mar- 
ried Miss Miranza Rogers, a daughter of old Timothy Rogers, 
and emigrated to Mississippi. Samuel J. married Miss Mary 
Rogers, another daughter of old Timothy Rogers ; he was a 
local Methodist preacher for more than forty years, a man of 
high character and a most excellent citizen; he died in 1877; 
he married, a second time. Miss Elizabeth Bass, daughter of 
old man Joseph R. Bass; by. his first marriage he had and 
raised to be grown eleven children — sons, James, Andrew J. 
and David N. ; daughters, Sarah, Margaret, Harriet, Flora J., 
Louisa, Lucinda, Charlotte and Cattie; and by his last wife, 
one son, Samuel J., Jr. Of the sons, James died unmarried, 
just on arriving at manhood. Andrew J. was a practicing 
physician, and married Anna Maria Allen, daughter of Rev. 
Joel Allen, settled in the "Free State" section, and died in 
1881, leaving his widow and five children — all now grown — 
three sons, Herbert, Percy and Andrew, and two daughters, 
Mrs. Rev. Pearce Kilgo, who has five children, and Mrs. Wil- 
liam T. Bethea, who has three children, sons, James Earle, 
William Thaddeus, Jr., and Philip Osborne. The next son of 
Rev. S. J. Bethea, David N., who died last week, married, first, 
Anna J. Sellers, daughter of the writer, and settled in the "Free 
State" section ; they had eight (Children, three of whom are 
dead, also the mother; of the eight, five were sons and three 
daughters; the sons were William T., Samuel Stoll, David A., 
Swinton Legare and Andrew Pearce ; the daughters were 
Cattie May, Lillian and Anna Laval. Of these, Samuel Stoll, 



400 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

David A. and Cattie May are dead — died before majority. 
William Thaddeus married his cousin, Georgia Bethea, as 
above stated and children as above stated ; he is railroad agent 
at Dillon and has been for more than ten years, and Mayor of 
the town for three years. By the second marriage of Rev. S. 
J. Bethea, he had one son, Samuel J., Jr., who is and has been 
for ten years or more a traveling Methodist preacher in the 
South Carolina Conference; he married Miss Nannie Bethea, 
of the '"Sweat Swamp" family, and have only one Child, a son, 
Samuel J., Jr. Of the daughters of Rev. S. J. Bethea, three, 
Lucinda, Cattie and Charlotte, all grown young ladies, died 
unmarried. Sarah married James Moore, of Marlborough 
County ; they had only one child, a son, James B. Moore, of 
Latta ; the father died when James B. was an infant ; the widow 
never married again, and died a few years ago. The son, 
James B. Moore, married Miss Mollie Godbold, daughter of 
Asa Godbold, Jr. ; they have three children living, two sons, 
Clancy and LaCoste, and a daughter, Lorena (small). Mar- 
garet, the next daughter of Rev. S. J. Bethea, married John 
W. Tart ; they had and raised three sons, James, John and An- 
drew ; the father and mother are both dead. James went to 
Savannah, married a Miss Fuller, of Waycross, Ga., and when 
last heard of was said to be doing well. John married a Miss 
Bethea, daughter of Elisha Bethea, Jr., of Latta; they have 
some family, how many and of what sex is not known. An- 
drew Tart married a Miss Hays, daughter of Hamilton R. 
Hays, and lives near Kirby's Cross Roads ; suppose they have 
some family, how many and of what sex is unknown. Of the 
daughters of John W. Tart and wife, two or three of them died 
unmarried, after maturity. One married Samuel O. Smith, of 
Buck Swamp ; they have a large family. Their oldest, a son, 
Stephen Lane Smith, lives at Latta, and lately married a Miss 
Edwards, a daughter of Austin Edwards. Another daughter 
married C. C. Gaillard, and has three children — a daughter, 
Maggie, and a son, Luther, and another name unknown ; they 
now live at Dillon; their children are grown. Another 
daughter married James Johnson, a nephew of Chancellor W. 
D. Johnson, called "Black Jim," to distinguish him from J. W. 
Johnson, Esq., another nephew and son-in-law of the Chancel- 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 401 

lor ; they live at Fair Bluff, N. C. ; they have some children, 
how many and of what sex is unknown. Another and young- 
est daughter of John W. Tart and his wife, Margaret, married 
Solon Lewis, of Latta ; she died some months ago, and left two 
children, a daughter and a son, I think. The next daughter 
of Rev. S. J. Bethea, Harriet, and the only survivor of his 
eleven first children, has never married, and is sixty-one or two 
years old. Flora, the next daughter, married the late Stephen 
D. Lane ; both are dead, and died childless. Louisa, the next 
daughter, married Newton Owens, of North Carolina; they 
moved to Texas several years ago ; she is dead, leaving several 
children, sons and daughters — perhaps, all grown. John R. 
Bethea, the third son of old James Bethea, married Miss Har- 
riet Bass, daughter of old Joseph R. Bass. I think this family 
has been already noticed in or among the Bass family. The 
fourth son of old James Bethea, David, died a young man, 
unmarried, in 1843. Claudius Bethea, the fifth and youngest 
son of old James Bethea, married, late in life. Miss Mary Ann 
Miles, daughter of Charles Miles, of the "Free State" section; 
he and his wife are both dead, childless. Of the daughters of 
old James Bethea, the eldest, Nancy, married Salathel Moody, 
an older brother of old Barfield Moody ; they had several chil- 
dren, sons and daughters, some grown, when they broke up 
and moved West. Deborah, the second daughter, married 
James Spears, a very successful man in Marlborough ; they had 
and raised a large family — ^two sons, Andrew J. and Edwin A., 
and six or seven daughters ; they have descendants, grand-sons, 
in Marion County now, in the persons of Dr. J. H. David and 
Frank B. David,* enterprising, progressive men, with their 
families. They have many descendants in Marlborough 
County. The two sons, Andrew J. and Edwin A., died child- 
less ; Edwin married. Lucinda, the fifth daugtiter of old James 
Bethea, married Colonel Wilie Bridges, of Marlborough, and 
emigrated West. Sallie, the third daughter, married Willis 
Crawford, from whom sprang several sons and two daughters; 
the sons were James, Hardy, Thomas C, Willis, William and 
Gibson G. Crawford, now of Latta ; the daughters were Rhoda 
and Margaret. Of the sons, James died when about grown, 
♦Frank B. David died recently. 



402 A HISTORY Of MARION COUNTY. 

unmarried. Hardy married a Miss Piatt, and went West. 
Thomas C. married twice, is well known in the county ; mar- 
ried, the last time, a Miss McPherson, in West Marion, and has 
resided there for more than thirty years ; his wife died a short 
time ago, childless ; he is a most excellent man and a good citi- 
zen.* Willis Crawford was a physician; married a lady in 
Charleston, and was soon after accidentally killed in a fox 
drive by his own gun — verifying the adage, "That more people 
are killed or hurt at play than at work." William died, a sin- 
gle man, after having gone through the war and came out un- 
hurt. G. G. Crawford married Miss Kate Bethea, daughter of 
Colonel James R. Bethea ; they had and raised two sons, James 
C. and Samuel B., and two daughters, Jessie and Mary; his 
wife is dead ; he has not remarried. James G. has lately mar- 
ried a Miss Evans, of Society Hill. Jessie married, two or 
three years ago, William Ellis Bethea ; no offspring. Samuel 
B. and Mary are yet single. The oldest daughter of Willis and 
Sallie Crawford, Rhoda, married Henry Easterling, and has 
already been noticed among the Easterlings. Margaret, the 
youngest daughter, never married, and is dead. Rachel, the 
fourth daughter of old James Bethea, married Enoch Meekins, 
of Marlborougli ; he, however, settled and lived many years 
near Harlleesville, and raised a considerable family of sons and 
daughters, and finally moved to North Carolina, where he and 
his wife both died; don't know enough about his children to 
trace them. He had one son, Philip B., who married a Miss 
Hays, daughter of John C. Hays ; they also moved to North 
Carolina, and are lost sight of. One daughter married John R. 
Carmichael ; he died, and left two sons, Alexander and McCoy, 
and one daughter, Johny; the mother still lives. Another 
daughter married James McGirt ; they went to North Carolina. 
Lucretia, the sixth daughter, first married Aaron Meekins, of 
Marlborough, brother of Enoch, w^o had married Rachel; 
Aaron Meekins lived but a short time, and died childless; the 
widow afterwards married Wesley Stackhouse, who has already 
been noticed among the Stackhouse family. Jant , the young- 
est daughter, married Tristram Easterling. who has already 
been noticed in or am ong the Easterling family. Philip Be- 
Thomas C. Crawford has recently died. 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 403 

thea, the third son of old "Buck Swamp John," married, in 
1801, Rachel Cochrane, daughter of old Thomas Cochrane, of 
Marlborough, and sister of his brother James' wife. (As to 
Thomas Cochrane — ^he was a Vermonter, ran away from his 
parents in Vermont when a mere lad, and married a Miss Coun- 
cil, and settled on Great Pee Dee, just above the mouth of 
Crooked Creek ; raised a family ; married three times ; the two 
Bethea's wives above mentioned were daughters of the first 
wife, together with another daughter, Polly, who became the 
wife of old John Hamer, and the progenitress of the large 
family of that name in Marlborough and Marion, and a son, 
named Robert ; he amassed a large property and lived to a 
great age.) Philip Bethea settled on Catfish, where he lived 
and died in 1865 ; they raised to be grown two sons, Elisha C. 
and James R., and three daughters, Clarissa, Margaret and 
Martha Ann. Of the sons, Elisha C. married Martha Ann 
Walters, daughter of Jeremiah Walters, of upper Marion ; 
Captain Elisha C. was a very successful man as a farmer and 
well to do in life ; they had eleven sons and four daug'hters ; the 
sons were Philip W., John J., Robert C, James A., Elisha, 
Picket, Morgan, George, William W., Clarence and Julius N. ; 
the daughters were Elizabeth Ann, Wilmina R., Augusta B. 
and Alice. Of the sons of Elisha C, Philip W. married Miss 
Anna Smith, a daughter of Rev. John L. Smith, of the "Fork" 
section, and settled where he now lives ; his family has been 
noted among the Lane family. The second son of Captain 
Elisha C. Bethea is Dr. John J. Bethea, at Mullins ; has been 
practicing medicine since 1852; he married, first, Miss Mary 
Bethea, a daughter of Tristram Bethea, of Floral College, one 
of the "Cape Fear set :" she had one child, a daughter, Emma, 
who grew up and married Dr. William Harrel, who moved to 
Georgia some years ago, and had when they left six daughters 
and no son. Dr. John J. Bethea married, a second time. Miss 
Jane Smith, a daughter of Rev. John L. Smith, and sister of his 
Brother Philip's wife. Owing to some trouble growing out of 
the war. Dr. John had to leave the county and State for fear of 
the Federal garrison stationed at Marion in 1865 to 1868; he 
went to Mississippi, and his family soon followed after him, 
and he stayed in that State some fifteen or twenty years, when 



404 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

he came back, and has been in this county ever since. His 
family have been noticed in tracing the Lane family. Robert C. 
Bethea, the third son of Captain Elisha C, married, some time 
before the war, a Miss Legette, daughter of John C. Legette, of 
West Marion ; before the war, he removed to Mississippi ; they 
had some little family before leaving this county — know noth- 
ing more of them ; he was also a physician, and in his adopted 
home he became a local Methodist preacher. James A. Bethea, 
the fourth son of Captain Elisha C, was a bright young man ; 
volunteered in the early part of the war, was a Lieutenant or 
rose to a Lieutenancy in Co. E, Twenty-third Regiment, S. C. 
v., and remained in the war to the end, a gallant soldier. After 
the war 'he went to Mississippi; and from there went to a law 
school at Lebanon, Tenn. ; returned to Mississippi, was admit- 
ted to the bar, but soon after took sick and died — a worthy and 
promising young man ; he never married. Elisha Bethea, Jr., 
the fifth son of Captain Elisha C, married, on the 9th March, 
1861 — the writer officiating at the nuptials — to Miss Sallie 
Ellis, daughter of the Widow Ginsy Ellis. He also volun- 
teered and went into the army, and remained in it till he was 
disabled for field service, when he came home, and for some 
time his friends supposed he would not survive the wounds, 
but he did and lias been going on crutches ever since — the 
wound being in his hip ; he yet lives, and is near Latta, an ener- 
getic and successful man, a farmer. He had by his first wife 
several sons and daughters. His oldest living son, William 
Ellis, is now merchandising at Latta, and has been twice mar- 
ried — first, a Georgia lady, who had three sons, Charles, Robert 
and Dallas, and one daughter, Florence, and died ; he married, 
a second time. Miss Jessie Crawford ; She has no children. Ar- 
thur, his second son, has lately married a Miss Hays, of Hills- 
boro Township, a daughter of William B. Hays ; he teaches 
school. Morgan, his third son, is a young man, unmarried ; he 
teaches school. Of his daughters by his first marriage, one, 
Mattie, married John J. George, who died childless. Another, 
Carrie, married John Tart; they have five children (small). 
Another, Augusta, is unmarried. Another, Nellie, married 
Tristram Hamilton ; she has two children, Bertha and Sallie 
(small). Elisha Bethea, Jr., had another son, Benjamin, and 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 405 

one named Elisha ; both died in youth. EHsha Bethea's first 
wife, Sallie, died; he married again, her sister, Mary Ann, 
who at the time of her marriage was the Widow Thomas ; by 
this second marriage he has one son, named Power, who is now 
in WofTord College, and a daughter, named Eva, and perhaps 
others (small). Pickett Bethea, the sixth son of Captain 
Elisha C, married Miss Carrie Honour, daughter of Rev. John 
H. Honour, of Charleston, about the first of the war ; by this 
marriage two sons were born. Walker and Pickett. Walker 
died when a child. Pickett K. grew up and became a doctor, 
and married a Miss Davis, of North Carolina, and has removed 
to Socastee, in Horry County, and is there practicing medicine, 
and is said to be doing well. His father, Pickett, volunteered 
early in the war, and was a Lieutenant in Captain McKerall's 
company, in 25th Regiment ; he was killed in one of the battles 
in Virginia, in 1863. His widow married again to J. W. Saint- 
clair, a school teacher ; they removed West ; she had several 
children for him, and died. Morgan, the seventh son of Cap- 
tain Elisha C, volunteered early in the war; he sickened and 
died at home while on a furlough ; he was unmarried. George, 
the eighth son, was killed, when about thirteen or fourteen 
years of age, by what was called a "flying mare" — another veri- 
fication of the adage "that more people are killed or hurt at play 
than at work." William W. Bethea, the ninth son of Captain 
Elisha C, now living in West Marion, married Miss Sallie 
Morrison, a daughter of Rev. Mr. Morrison, a Presbyterian 
minister, of Anson County, N. C, a very estimable and accom- 
plished lady ; the fruits of this marriage are four sons, Morri- 
son, Theodore, Oscar and James. Of these, Morrison is mar- 
ried to a lady of Clinton (name unknown), and has two sons, 
Curtis and Eugene ; there may be a daughter or two (all small). 
William W. Bethea may have daughters, the writer does not 
know. One of the sons, Theodore (I believe) is a graduate of 
the Citadel Academy of Charleston — said to have graduated 
with distinction. Clarence, the tenth son of Captain Elisha C, 
died when a small boy. Julius N., the eleventh son of Captain 
Elisha C, married, first. Miss Anna Shrewsberry, daughter of 
the late Edward C. Shrewsberry, of the "Free State" section. 
An incident of their marriage may be here related : They were 



406 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

married at a school house near by her father's, in the woods on 
a road not much frequented, by the Rev. Joel Allen, on Christ- 
mas day, in 1871 ; he gave them a certificate of their marriage 
Only one person was present at the nuptials besides themselves 
and the officiating clergyman ; and at their special instance and 
request, the marriage was to be kept secret until the 19th day 
of April following, it being Julius' birth-day and the day of his 
arrival at the age of twenty-one years. Julius carried his wife 
back to her home, half a mile away, and left her there ; he went 
to his father's, and said nothing until the apf)ointed time, 19th 
April, 1872, when he told his father and mother about it, and 
went to her father's, and their marriage was satisfactorily es- 
tablished to her parents, and he took her and carried her to his 
father's. A sufficient reason, satisfactory to them, may have 
existed for their marriage and subsequent secrecy, but it does 
not accord with the writer's views of propriety, nor with the 
conduct of 999 out of 1,000. His bride was a very intellectual 
and well cultivated lady — far more so than many in that re- 
gion ; the fruits of the marriage were three sons, Herbert, 
Ernest and Adger, and one or two daughters, one named Mat- 
tie May — suppose they are all grown. Anna, his first wife, 
died, and he married, a second time. Miss Carrie Sessions, 
daughter of John D. Sessions, of Marion ; they reside now at 
Mullins; children of the last marriage, if any, are small — 
names, number and sex unknown. Of the daughters of Cap- 
tain Elisha C. Bethea, the eldest, Elizabeth Ann, married John 
B. Bethea, of the "Sweat Swamp" family; her mother was a 
half Bethea of the same set ; he had previously gone to Missis- 
sippi, and came back to her home in Marion County and mar- 
ried ; the bridal trip was to be to Mississippi. She had some 
negroes, which her father had given h^r, and they with their 
little baggage were taken along for the trip. This was before 
the war, about 1856. When the bridal party arrived at Marion 
to take the train, the groom put the bride on board, and stepped 
back to see to getting on the negroes — a woman and some chil- 
dren, and whilst thus engaged the train pulled ofif and left him ; 
of course, he ran after it and tried to stop it, but failed in his 
almost frantic efforts. His bride went on to Florence (then a 
small village) and stopped over for the night; the groom spent 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 407 

the night in Marion and went over the next day and joined his 
wife. I will leave the reader to imagine whether there was 
intense disappointment or not, and whether there was any curs- 
ing done by the groom. The bridal party went to Mississippi 
and settled there — I think, in Smith County. John B. was a 
very energetic and persevering man, a farmer ; he went into the 
war, and in 1863, he died of disease, and left his wife and four 
sons, Augustus B., William, Sumter and John — the latter bom 
after his father's death, all then small. After John B.'s death, 
Captain Elisha C. went out to Mississippi and brought the 
widow and her children to this county. The widow settled on 
a place given her by her father, and went to work to raise and 
educate her sons ; in this she succeeded well. She was no ordi- 
nary woman ; well educated herself and of fine literary taste, 
and to this added her fine business qualifications and her suc- 
cess, placed 'her in the front rank among women. Much more 
might be said to her credit, but space will not permit a further 
extended notice. Her sons grew up and one by one they went 
to Birmingham, Ala., and she finally followed and, I think, yet 
lives. The second daughter of Captain Elisha C, Wilmina 
Rachel, has never married, and is now in the sixtieth year of 
her age. The third daughter, Augusta B., married A. E. Gil- 
christ, of Mullins, and has already been noticed herein among 
the Gilchrist family. Alice, the fourth and youngest daughter 
of Captain Elisha C, married D. Asbury Smith, who has 
already been noticed among the Lane family. She, too, has 
gone to Birmingham, Ala., where three of her four sons reside. 
According to the chart of the Bethea family in all its 
branches, including the Nansemond County, Va., Betheas, the 
Cape Fear, N. C, Betheas, the "Buck Swamp set," and the 
"Sweat Swamp set," Captain Elisha C. Bethea "takes the cake" 
for having and raising the greatest number of sons, eleven ; 
while Dr. J. F. Bethea stands next, with eight. Not much dan- 
ger of extinction. Colonel James R. Bethea, the second and 
youngest son of old man Philip Bethea, who has been men- 
tioned in several places herein before in connection with other 
matters, married, rather late in life (thirty-four or thirty-five 
years old), to Miss Mary McLeod, of Marlborough, one of the 
best and most devotedly pious women I ever met; and should 

27 



408 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

any of her children turn out badly in the future, it cannot be 
charged to any fault in the mother's training, either by precept 
or example; they had and raised (Jessie, the oldest, was near 
grown when he died) six sons and three daughters; the sons 
were Jessie, James D., Philip Y., Elisha, D. McLeod and 
Robert Lucien ; the daughters were Kate, Clara and M. Isa- 
bella. Of the sons, Jessie died when about grown. James D., 
the second son, married Miss Flora Fore, daughter of the late 
Stephen Fore ; she is dead. Of James D.'s family, mention has 
already been made in or among the Fore family. Philip Y., 
the third son, now in Marion, a first class business man ; has 
been County Auditor, and is now and has been for ten or more 
years cashier of the Bank of Marion ; married Miss Florence 
Johnson, of Charleston, a distant relative of his — his father and 
Florence's grand-mother, Sallie Strobel, were first cousins ; 
they have had six sons (one, Philip Y., dead), Eugene, Arthur, 
Johnson, Stewart, Philip Y. and Markley, and three daugh- 
ters, Eloise, Edith and Mary McLeod — none of whom are mar- 
ried. Eugene, the eldest, is in the Philippines or China, in the 
United States army, an officer, a promising young man, and 
may rise to greater distinction. The other children are all at 
home — Eloise and Arthur are grown. Philip Y. has a very 
interesting family ; his wife is a superior woman, and well fitted 
by education and early training to raise a family. Elisha, the 
fourth son of Colonel J. R. Bethea, was quite a promising 
young man, but the fates decreed that he should not live, and 
he died when twenty-five or six years of age, unmarried. D. 
McLeod Bethea, the fifth son of Colonel J. R. Bethea, a first 
class man, an excellent and successful farmer, married Miss 
Florence Fore, daughter of the late Stephen Fore, and who, 
with his family, have already been mentioned herein in or 
among the Fore family. Robert Lucien, the sixth son of 
Colonel Bethea, has married twice; first, a Miss Shaw, of 
Bishopville ; by her he had one child, a daughter, Leona, who 
is now nearly grown. The first wife died, and he married, a 
second time, to Miss Rosa Cames, of Bishopville,' and by her 
has some three or four children ; names and sex unknown ; they 
are yet children. Robert Lucien lives in Bishopville, and runs 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 409 

a hotel.* Of the daughters of Colonel J. R. Bethea, the eldest, 
Kate, married Gibson G. Crawford ; both of whom and their 
family have already been noticed herein among the Betheas 
above. The second daughter of Colonel Bethea, Clara, mar- 
ried Holland Manning, who lives on her patrimony, and are 
doing well — in fact, Clara is an extra smart and sensible 
woman ; they have two children, daughters, both children, Mary 
Belle and Hope. Holland Manning was a widower with five 
children, three of whom are married ; he has a place of his own 
in extreme upper Marion, which he rents. Colonel James R. 
Bethea died in 1878, at sixty-nine years of age, and his widow, 
Mary, some years afterward. The youngest daughter, Isa- 
bella, or Belle, has never married ; she has a good farm, which 
she rents ; she also teaches school, and when not thus engaged 
she stays with her sister, Clara Manning. 

Colonel James R. Bethea, when young, imbibed a military 
spirit, and manifested a strong ambition to attain to high hon- 
ors in the militia of the State. Starting as a private in his local 
beat company (Cross Roads), he soon obtained a Lieutenancy; 
and from that to the Captaincy of the company ; and from that 
to Major of the upper battalion ; and by seniority soon became 
Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment ; and from that by election 
to the Colonelcy of the Thirty-second Regiment, which position 
he held at the time of his marriage, in March, 1844, and con- 
tinued to hold that position for three or four years afterward — 
and in the meantime declined to be a candidate for Brigadier 
General, to which place he could have been elected, perhaps, 
without opposition. He was an efficient officer, and was popu- 
lar as such. It was very expensive, and as he had a growing 
family he wisely chose to abandon the further pursuit of mili- 
tary honors (empty as they were), and devote his means to the 
support and education of his fast-growing family. He re- 
signed his commission as Colonel, and Elly (iodbold or John J. 
George was elected in his place. They both were successive 
Colonels, but do not remember which of the two were first 
elected. Afterwards Colonel Bethea was elected as a Repre- 
sentative from the district in the State Legislature (1848 to 

1850)- 

*He is now at Dillon in the same business. 



410 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

Of the daughters of PhiHp Bethea, a son of old "Buck 
Swamp John," Clarissa, the eldest, never married, and died in 
1861, at the age of fifty-eigtit. The second daughter, Marga- 
ret, married Willis Finklea, called Arter Willis ; in a short while 
Finklea moved to Alabama ; there they had several children, 
five of whom were raised. Willis Finklea was a drinking man 
and treated his wife badly, so much so that she could not stand 
if, they separated, and her father, in 1841, went to Alabama, 
Monroe County, in a wagon, and brought her and her five chil- 
dren back to Marion County ; Finklea soon after died ; her chil- 
dren were raised mainly by her father; there were two sons, 
James C. and William ; the daughters were Lucinda, Sallie and 
Margaret Agnes. James C. Finklea is now one of our fellow- 
citizens, known as Captain Finklea, in Wahee Township, and, 
in fact, all over the county. Captain Finklea volunteered in 
Captain C. J. Fladger's Company E, 23d South Carolina Regi- 
ment, in the Confederate War ; went off as a Sergeant in that 
company. Captain Fladger in a few months resigned, and 
Harris Covington, First Lieutenant, became Captain, the other 
Lieutenants went up, and Captain Finklea was elected Third 
Lieutenant, made vacant. Some time after Covington re- 
signed, and the company was reorganized by orders from the 
proper authorities, and Captain Finklea was elected Captain of 
the company, and served gallantly until the latter part of 1864 
— having fought through all the campaigns from Virginia to 
Mississippi. At that time Captain Finklea was the senior Cap- 
tain in the regiment, when by the casualties of war the Major's 
office became vacant, and according to rules of promotion. Cap- 
tain Finklea was entitled to the place ; but a Junior Captain was 
promoted, by appointment, not by election, to the Majoralty 
over him ; when Captain Finklea resigned and came home, and 
did not return to the service. It was said he was a good and 
brave Captain ; that his men all loved and resptected him, but 
he was not popular with the higher officers, because he always 
associated with his men and not with them. Captain Finklea 
is known as a modest, retiring man ; not self-asserting. Had 
the vacancy for Major been left to his company, he would have 
gotten the vote of every man ; he sympathized with his men, 
fared as they fared, and assumed no superiority over them on 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 411 

account of his position. As an evidence of Captain Finklea's 
popularity, when he was first elected County Commissioner, a 
few years ago (he was twice elected), he received every vote at 
Berry's Cross Roads, something over 200. He is a man of 
good sense, a good and safe manager of his farm and home af- 
fairs, unostentatious and unassuming, rather avoids company — 
unfortunately, of late years, his habits are not good. After the 
war he went, first, to Alabama and then to Texas, where he 
married a Miss Kyle ; she had one child for him, a son, who 
died in infancy, and the mother died ; he then came back to 
South Carolina, and married the widow of Dr. William H. God- 
bold, a most excellent and cultured woman ; by her he had one 
son. named for his first wife, a very promising boy, but he died 
at the age of four or five years. William Finklea, the young- 
est brother, died when about grown. Lucinda, the oldest 
daughter, married John T. Kinney, of Marlborough, and emi- 
grated to Texas, where they raised a family ; both are dead, and 
nothing is known further of them. Sallie, the second daugh- 
ter, married Cyrus B. Haselden ; they had and raised five chil- 
dren, two sons, John and Frank, and three daughters, Lucy, 
Maggie and Fannie. Cyrus B. Haselden and wife, Sallie, and 
family, have already been noticed in or among the Haseldens. 
Margaret .A^gnes, the youngest daughter of Willis Finklea and 
wife, Margaret, never married, and died of cancer on the breast, 
at the age of forty, in March, 1882. A noble girl she was. 
Martha .Ann Bethea, the third and youngest daughter of old 
man Philip Bethea, married W. W. Sellers, the writer, loth 
January, 1847, and died 2d February, 1893; they had seven 
children, four sons, John C, William W., Benjamin Morgan 
and Philip B. ; of these, Benjamin Morgan died a little under 
two years of age; three daughters, Anna Jane, Rachel C. 
and Mary O. Of the sons, John C. is a graduate of the South 
Carolina College, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1870, 
was elected to the Legislature in 1870, practiced law only one 
vear, and retired on the farm where he now lives ; his first wife 
was Miss Maggie E. Mace, daughter of the late John Mace ; 
she had seven children, three sons, Benjamin B., John M. and 
Wallace Duncan; of these, John M. died under one year old; 
there were four daughters, Lucy B., Annie R., Maggie Leila 



412 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

and Maggie Ellen (called Pearl). Benjamin B. Sellers is a 
graduate of Wofford College; married Miss Norma Watson, 
youngest daughter of the late William Watson ; they have two 
children, Harry and Margaret Ellen ; he is fanning. Wallace 
Duncan's education is not completed. Of the daughters, Lucy 
B. is a graduate of the Columbia Female College ; she married 
D. Maxcy Watson ; they have no children. Annie R. went to 
the Female College for more than a year, but did not graduate ; 
is unmarried. • Maggie Leila is near grown, is going to school. 
Maggie E., called Pearl, was only three days old when her 
mother died ; her Aunt Rachel Norton took her and has so far 
raised her ; she is near thirteen years of age. W. W. Sellers, 
Jr., married Miss Harriet J. McPherson, daughter of C. Ervin 
McPherson, of West Marion; they have had seven or eight 
children, only three of whom are living — two daughters, Rachel 
Elise and Etta; the son is Marvin McSwain — none of them 
grown. W. W. Sellers, Jr., is one of the Chiefs in the present 
State Constabulary, and has been for several years ; he resides 
at Latta. Philip B. Sellers is a graduate of WoflFord College ; 
studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1884 (May) ; he 
married Miss M. Sue DuBois, daughter of J. T. DuBois, of 
Marion, in December, 1886; they have five children, three sons, 
John DuBois, Philip Bruce and William Maynard, and two 
daughters, Agnes Leona and Mildred Eugenia — all children, 
none grown ; he resides at Dillon, and is actiVtely engaged in the 
practice of his chosen profession, with apparent success. Of 
the daughters of the writer and his wife, Anna Jane, the eldest 
daughter married her cousin, D. N. Bethea; he and Anna Jane 
and their family have been already noticed in the same connec- 
tion, Betheas. The second daughter of W. W. Sellers and 
wife married Hon. James Norton, of MuUins; they had but 
two children, sons, Evan Lewis and William Fitzroy. Evan 
Lewis, the eldest, died when four or five years of age. Wil- 
liam Fitzroy grew up to manhood ; first went to WoflFord Col- 
lege, and after two years spent there, he went to the law depart- 
ment of the South Carolina College for two years, graduated 
in law, and ipso facto became a lawyer — he does not practice, 
however; he married Miss Florence Smith, daughter of B. 
Cause Smith, at Mullins ; they reside at Mullins, and have no 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 418 

children. Mary O. Sellers, youngest daughter of W. W. Sel- 
lers, married Thomas N. Godbold, a son of Dr. W. H. God- 
bold ; they have only three children living, Thomas Carroll, 
Anna and Bessie. Thomas N. Godbold is in the railroad ser- 
vice, on the "Plant System" between Charleston and Sav^annah. 
This family has already been noticed in or among the Goldbold 
family. Recurring back a few lines : John C. Sellers, after 
living about ten years a widower, married, a second time, to 
Miss Jaquiline Oliver, of North Carolina, 2d February, 1898 — 
a most excellent woman ; they have had two children, boys, who 
are both dead. Elisha Bethea, fourth sort of old "Buck Swamp 
John," known as old Colonel Elisha, never married. It is said 
of him that he was a very handsome man in his young days ; he 
was born in 1787, and was Captain of a company in the war of 
1812-14; he was better educated than any of his brothers — in 
fact, better than most men of his day. His father left him a fine 
property, his homestead and a large number of negroes ; few 
men of that time had such a prospect. He was very popular 
and had more natural politeness than any Bethea I ever saw. 
But, alas ! the demon of intemperance ruined him ; he died poor 
in 1854, at the age of sixty-seven years. After the war of 
1812, he became Colonel of the militia. He was true to his 
friends and true to his country. It seemed to be his delight to 
make others pleasant, happy and comfortable even at the ex- 
pense of his own (Convenience. This was the man after he 
became poor, which proved it to be natural with him. His 
bearing and appearance in poverty anu old age was that of a 
nobleman, of a cavalier. Parker Bethea, the youngest son of 
old "Buck Swamp John," was bom in 1790, and was given his 
mother's maiden name, Parker ; he settled opposite the head of 
Catfish, at the Cross Roads on the Marlborough line, twenty- 
two miles above Marion, and died there, St. John the Evangel- 
ist Day, 27th December, 1867; he married Elizabeth Harllee, 
daughter of old Thomas Harllee ; they raised two sons, Harllee 
and Benjamin Parker, and four or five daughters. Harllee 
had one son, Reddin, and Benj. P. had one named Charles. 
Harllee moved to Florida many years ago ; his wife was a Miss 
Roberts — Benj. P.'s wife was a Miss Woolvin ; he moved just 
after the war to Pender or Onslow County, N. C, thirty miles 



414 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

on the coast above Wilmington. These families have already 
been noticed in or among the Roberts family and the Harllee 
family. 

One more remark about these old Betheas, sons of "Buck 
Swamp John." They all loved liquor and, except old Philip, 
drank it to excess, till after middle life, when they tapered off, 
and by the time of old age became perfectly abstemious, and 
this was specially the case with William, James and Parker. 
They were all good men and excellent citizens, and did much in 
starting the development of the resources of the county. The 
first gin house built in the county was built by old "Buck 
Swamp John ;" it stood on what has ever since been called the 
"Gin House Branch," near the Cross Roads, at John C. Be- 
thea's plantation ; a good part of that gin house is still in use. 
After the death of old "Buck Swamp John," in 1821, the plan- 
tation fell to old Colonel Elisha, and he in his financial extremi- 
ties years afterwards sold the gin house to Cross Roads Henry 
Berry ; he pulled it down and hauled it to Berry's Cross Roads, 
and it stands there now, the property of James Berry, between 
his (James Berry's) dwelling and the storehouse. It has been 
there, to the writer's knowledge, more than sixty years. 

Of the grand-sons of old "English John," John settled on 
Buck Swamp, as already stated, and William settled on Sweat 
Swamp ; he married, and had four sons, John, Goodman, Philip 
and Jessie. Of these, John, the man who, after the Revolution, 
hung the Tory, Snowden, married, and he had and raised four 
sons, William, Tristram, John and Cade — the latter, no doubt, 
is remembered by many now living in upper Marion and else- 
where in the county. Goodman Bethea married and had two 
sons, Philip and Jessie. Philip, the brother of Goodman, never 
married, or if he did, he had no children. Jessie, the fourth 
S9n of old "Sweat Swamp William," had Hugh Goodman, Wil- 
liam, Henry and Tristram. According to the Bethea chart 
none of these latter five had any posterity. Supposed they 
emigrated to parts unknown or died in youth. William, the 
grand-son of "Sweat Swamp William," had seven sons, John, 
Tristram, Philip, Jessie, William, Thomas C. and Cade. Of 
these latter, John, William, Thomas C. and Cade had no off- 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 415 

spring. Cade is in upper Marion now an old man.* Of the 
other three, Tristram had one son, named William ; Philip had 
four sons, Jessie, William, Tristram and Philip — these last four 
seem to have had no offspring. Jessie, the great-grand-son of 
old "Sweat Swamp William," had five sons, John, William, 
Charles, Farquehard and Holden ; their mother was a Miss 
Bethune; she had some daughters, one the wife (now dead) of 
Patrick Finagan. By the Bethea chart now lying before me, 
none of these five latter Betheas have any offspring, but the 
writer knows to the contrary. John has twelve or thirteen 
children, boys and girls. Holden married Miss Alice Rogers, 
daughter of Jessie Rogers, and has some children. The Be- 
thune wife of Jessie Bethea had a daughter other than Mrs. 
Finagan, who was the wife of the late Edward C. Shrewsberry. 
Tristram, the grand-son of old "Sweat Swamp William," mar- 
ried and had one son, Philip, who was a lawyer, but did not 
practice much here, and soon went to Alabama, and his father 
soon after moved himself there ; father and son have been lost 
sight of — suppose both are long since deaid. John, another 
grand-son of "Sweat Swamp William," married Miss Hannah 
Walker; by the marriage four sons, William W., Alfred W., 
David W. and John B., were had and raised, and five daugh- 
ters, Sophia, Mary Ann, Chariotte, Sallie and Hannah. Of 
the sons, William W. married, first, Mary Bethea, a grand- 
daug*hter of "Buck Swamp John ;" they had three sons, John 
F., Dallas and William ; don't know of any daughters by Wil- 
liam W.'s first marriage ; he married, a second time. Miss Mary 
Piatt, a daughter of old Daniel Piatt; by his (Piatt's) second 
marriage with Polly Lane, a daughter of old James C. Lane, 
who was a son of old Osborne Lane, I know of but two chil- 
dren; by William W. Bethea's second marriage, two daugh- 
ters— Hettie, the wife of John C. Bethea, of Dillon, who has 
already been mentioned ; the other daughter married a Mr. 
Floyd, a son of Judge Floyd, of Alabama or Mississippi. J. 
F. Bethea (our Dr. Frank Bethea) married his first cousin, 
Hannah Jane, daughter and only child of Dr. Alfred W. Be- 
thea ; by this marriage eight sons, Alfred, Preston L., Tristram, 
William, Frank, Charles, Archie and Victor, and, I think, three 
•Died recently. 



416 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

daughters, Flora and two others whose names are not known, 
have been born. Alfred (I think) died about the time of his 
majority. Preston L. married a Miss Weatherby, daughter of 
Colon W. Weatherby, of Bennettsville, and resides at Dillon. 
Tristram married a Miss McRae, daughter of Hon. James 
McRae, of Albriton, in extreme upper Marion ; he resides at 
Dillon. Frank married a Miss Smith, of Alabama or Georgia, 
and is now a resident of one of those States. William recently 
married a Miss McLeod, of Robeson County, N. C. The other 
three sons are yet with their father. Dr. Frank, I suppose, not 
grown. Of the daughters of Dr. J. F. Bethea, the eldest, Flora, 
married Tristram Thompson; she was a most excellent lady, 
loved and respected by all who knew her. The Doctor's two 
other daughters are minors and still with him. Dr. J. F. Be- 
thea is a successful man every way ; as a farmer, he is a man of 
affairs, a turpentine and saw mill man, is merchandizing at Dil- 
lon, he and his sons (don't know how many or which), under 
the firm name of J. F. Bethea & Co. ; he has once represented 
the county in the State Legislature. Dallas Bethea, brother of 
Dr. J. F. Bethea, is in Mississippi ; he has three sons, William, 
Preston and Franklin. Alfred W., another great-grand-son of 
"Sweat Swamp William," married Flora Bethea, a daughter of 
Tristram Bethea, of Floral College, who was one of the "Cape 
Fear set," and by her had only one child, a daughter, Hannah 
Jane, who married Dr. J. F. Bethea, with the results above 
stated. Dr. Alfred W. Bethea was no ordinary man ; he was 
eminent as a physician, a good farmer, a well-informed man 
and of sound practical sense and judgment ; he was a member 
of the Secession Convention of i860; he was waylaid, shot and 
killed by the deserters in the last months of the war, much re- 
gretted by all who knew him ; he lived where Dr. J. F. Bethea 
now lives ; the widow, who survived him, is now dead. David 
W. Bethea, another g^eat-grand-son of "Sweat Swamp Wil- 
liam," married, first. Miss Sarah Jane Manning, daughter of 
Mealy Manning, of Marlborough ; by her he had two sons, Le- 
Roy and David W., they are both married. LeRoy has two 
sons, Henry and Leon — ^these have already been mentioned in 
or among the Mannings and Easterlings, to which reference is 
made. David W., Jr., has lately married, I think, a Miss 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 417 

Townsend, of North Carolina ; gives promise of becoming a 
useful man — is already so ; if like his mother he cannot be 
otherwise, as she was one of the best of women. D. W. Be- 
thea, Sr., represented the county one time in the Legislature, 
1 860- 1 862 ; he was a good citizen ; he married, a second time, a 
Miss Brunson, of Darlington, who yet survives; no offspring. 
John B. Bethea (the youngest), another great-grand-son of 
"Sweat Swamp William," married Elizabeth A. Bethea, a 
daughter of Captain Elisha C, of the "Buck Swamp set ;" they 
had four sons, as already mentioned among the "Buck Swamp 
set," to which reference is made. Of the daughters of John 
Bethea, the grand-son of "Sweat Swamp William," as given 
herein above, Sophia, the eldest, married Robert B. Piatt, and 
in a few weeks or months after her marriage she was acciden- 
tally burned to death, and, of course, died childless. Mary 
Ann, the second daughter, married Levi Bethea, of the "Buck 
Swamp set," and has already been herein noticed in the "Buck 
Swamp set," to which reference is made. Charlotte and Sallie, 
the third and fourth daughters, 'both married the same even- 
ing — Charlotte to Zack Fulmore and Sallie to Dr. John K. 
Alford, both of North Carolina, where they thereafter lived 
and died ; know but little of the family of either. Hannah, the 
fifth and youngest daughter, married Alexander Fulmore, of 
North Carolina; they moved to Alabama; know nothing of 
them. Cade Bethea, the youngest grand-son of old "William 
of Sweat Swamp," through his son, Jolhn, married Kittie Be- 
thea, a sister of "Floral College Tristram," and a great-grand- 
daughter of Tristram, the son of "English Jdhn," who settled 
on Cap>e Fear River, N. C. — her father being Jessee and her 
grand-father was Jessee, whose father was Tristram, the settler 
on Cape Fear, whose father was old "English John." This I 
get from the chart now lying before me. Cade Bethea and 
Kittie had and raised five sons and three daughters ; the sons 
were John W., Evander R., William C, Calvin and Henry ; the 
daughters were Caroline, Harriet and Mary Ann. Cade Be- 
thea settled on Sweat Swamp, north side, just opposite the 
mouth of Beaver Dam, on the south side, where he lived and 
died ; I think the place now belongs to Hon. D. W. McLaurin. 
There was but one Cade Bethea in regard to cha .-acter ; he was 



418 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

an incessant talker, and in his latter days was always on the go, 
around among his kinsfolk and friends ; was a great complainer 
and murmurer, and to hear him tell it, he was going to come to 
nothing — going to perish to death. An illustration of his diar- 
acter in this regard may be here related : On one occasion, his 
nephew. Creek Jessie Bethea, went to see his Uncle Cade, in the 
month of July or August ; the old gentleman was in his piazza 
— it was a very hot day ; the old man was complaining and mur- 
muring as usual, that his crop was a complete failure, that he 
was not going to make anything, and he and his family would 
all perish in a pile. After a while, Jessie, his nephew, proposed 
that they would go out and look around his crop ; the old man 
did not want to go ; said he did not want to see it — it made him 
sick to look at it : they, however, went, and after looking around 
and seeing it all, Jessie remarked to him, "Well, Uncle Cade, 
your crop is ruined — you won't make anything. I thought my 
crop was hurt pretty badly, but not near as bad as yours ; I de- 
clare you will not make bread and you will have to go to the 
poor house." The old man Cade replied, "You are :^ liar, sir; 
my crop is as good as yours, and I am not going to the poor 
house either." This is not all that was said, but is the pith of 
it, and shows pretty clearly what the old man was in this re- 
sf>ect. Jessie knew him. and said what tie did just to bring the 
old man out, arfd to hush up his complaints. John W. Bethea, 
the eldest son of old man Cade, married a Miss McLaurin ; they 
had and raised four sons, Jessie, Laurin, Festus and Alonzo, 
and one daughter, at least, who became the second wife of 
Robert A. Brunson ; they moved to North Carolina. Jessee, 
the oldest son of John W., married an Alabama lady ; he died 
four or five years ago, at Dillon, and left his widow, two sons, 
Jessie and John, and two small daughters, Bessie and Lucile. 
John W. Bethea and wife are both dead. Evander R. Bethea, 
the second son of old Cade, married Mary Ann Stackhouse, 
and had one son, Jasper, and three daughters, Josephine, Carrie 
and Nannie, all of whom have already been noticed in or among 
the Stackhouse family. Laurin Bethea, the second son of John 
W. Bethea, married a Miss McLaurin, as I think; he is a 
farmer, and lives on Buck Swamp; know nothing of his family. 
"Fet" Bethea, the third son, married a Miss Stackhouse, daugh- 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 419 

ter of the late Mastin C. Stackhouse; he died, leaving his 
widow with some children — the youngest of whom, a little girl, 
was taken by Rev. S. J. Bethea and wife, and fhey are raising 
it. Alonzo Bethea, the youngest son of John W. Bethea, is 
lost sight of ; don't know whether he is living or dead, or 
whether he married or not — think, however, that he has emi- 
grated to other parts, or is dead. Wm. C. Bethea, the third son 
of old man Cade Bethea, married Miss Virzilla Mace, a daugh- 
ter of Moses and Drusilla Mace ; they had two sons, Henry and 
John D., I think ; they and their children have already been 
mentioned in or among the Mace family, to which reference is 
made. Calvin C. Bethea, the fourth son of old man Cade, mar- 
ried Miss Caroline Bethea, a daughter of "Creek Jessie;" they 
had one child, a son, named Jessie; the father, Calvin, was sub- 
ject to epileptic fits, and on one occasion, while crossing a 
branch on Sweat Swamp, as supposed, an epileptic fit struck 
him and he fell in the water and was drowned ; some years after 
his death, his widow, with her son, went to Texas ; the son is 
grown, and the report is that they are doing well in tihat far off 
State. Henry, the fifth and youngest son of old man Cade 
Bethea, never married ; he was killed or died in the war. Of 
the daughters of old Cade Bethea, the eldest, Caroline, a highly 
accomplished lady, as it was said, married James DuPre, of 
Marlborough County ; she died childless, in about a year after 
her marriage. Harriet, the second daughter, married James 
McLaurin, of North Carolina ; a few years back, they bought 
land on Buck Swamp and moved to it ; think they are both 
dead — know nothing of their family. Mary Ann, the young- 
est daughter, married T. F. Stackhouse, and is dead, leaving 
him surviving; they have already been noticed in or among the 
Stackhouse family, to which reference is made. Not one of 
old man Cade Bethea's immediate family now survives. 

Of the "Cape Fear set," Tristram, a son of old "English 
John," settled on Cape Fear River, N. C. ; he had sons, James, 
Jessee, Elisha and William. Of these, Jessee, had Jessee, Sim- 
eon, David and Jessee (it seems two sons were named Jessee) ; 
Simeon had Reddick, Jessee, William and Philip; and Jessee, 
the elder, had Thomas, Tristram and John — ^this Tristram was 
the "Floral College" Tristram ; and Jessee, the younger, had 



420 A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 

John, Tristram, David and Jessee ; and this latter Tristram had 
Jessee and Noah. William, the son of old Tristram, the "Cape 
Fear" settler, had John and William. Of these latter, John 
had William, John L., Jessee, David and Alexander ; and Wil- 
liam had David, John and Philip. The "Floral College" Tris- 
tram had Jessee, Daniel, Tristram, John and Thomas. Of these 
latter, all of them died without offspring. The eldest of these, 
Jessee, was well known in Marion ; he was a graduate of the 
South Carolina College ; studied law, settled in Marion to prac- 
tice his profession, was a partner of the writer, as Sellers & 
Bethea, for several years ; left Marion, abandoned the practice, 
never married, and died ; he was a good lawyer, but too modest 
and diffident to enter into the "rough and tumble" of the Court 
House — he was a good office lawyer; after leaving Marion, he 
went to Marlborough and died there. This disposes of the 
"Cape Fear set" of Betheas — at least, as far as known. 

Referring, again, to the "Sweat Swamp" set — old William 
had four sons, John, Goodman, Philip and Jessee — I think, all 
these have been noticed except, perhaps, Goodman. Goodman 
had two sons, Philip and Jessee, and the latter, Philip, had 
Goodman, William and Philip. Of the grand-daughters of 
"Swt^;. Swamp" William, Elizabeth married Jeremiah Walters, 
and raised a large family. Sarah married Timothy Rogers, a 
nephew of "Buck Swamp" John, and raised a large family. 
Pattie married John Braddy, and was the mother of the 
Braddys and their descendants, as have been and are now 
known in the county. 

The writer may have inadvertently omitted some of this 
numerous and extensive family as laid down on the chart kindly 
furnished him, but do not think I have. From the original 
stock, "Old English John," it runs down to and includes the 
seventh and in one instance the eighth generation among the 
males bearing the name, and it is not improbaible that among 
the females (if they had been given and traced), it would ex- 
tend to and include the ninth and tenth generations, as it is a 
well known fact, that females generally marry younger than 
males, and consequently propagate faster than through the 
male line. If every family had a chart or tree like this, it 
would be an acquisition to the history of our people. It is a 



A HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY. 421 

fact, that many of our peopk are shamefully ignorant as to 
their ancestry. It is a fact, that the writer has found in his 
inquiries on the subject among the people of Marion County, a 
few instances where the party inquired of did not know, and 
could not tell, who his grand-father was, and to his great sur- 
prise he has found it of men otherwise intelligent, and well 
posted in other matters. A chart, like that of the Betheas, in 
every family would forever dissipate such ignorance, and 
would enable every man to tell, at a word, whether he descended 
by natural and generic processes from his own species, or 
evoluted from a tadpole or a monkey. The Bethea chart is so 
constructed as to be indefinitely extended ad infinitum to the 
rernotest generations.