104 Johnston Street
Rock Hill City Directories and History: 1908 – 1913 Mrs. Sallie Frew, 1920-1922 – R.B. and Margaret F. Hamilton [embalmer W.G. Reid and Son], 1925- Mrs. Sallie Frew, 1936 – Mrs. Sallie Frew, Mrs. Margaret F. Hamilton, 1938 – Mrs. Sallie Frew. In 1881 Mrs. Russell erected a two-story brick building and leased it to Charles W. and William M. Frew. They conducted a dry goods store and a grocery business in this building. This building was originally on part of Lot#1 South. The earliest newspaper printed in Rock Hill, The Indian Land Chronicle, printed the following advertisement on January 21, 1859: FREW HOUSE “The Subscriber respectfully informs the citizens of York District, and the Traveling Public, that he has located himself at Rock Hill, where he offers BOARDING, By the month, week or day, to all who may favor him with a call. His Table will always be furnished with the best the markets and seasons afford – while his Stables will be kept well supplied with good Provender, and attentive ‘Ostlers. Attention will be strictly paid to persons arriving or departing on the night trains. As every effort will be made to please, a share of the public patronage is solicited.]
The Frew House was first located on the south side of Main Street on a lot whose early owner(s) are unknown. In the 1870’s the lot had become the property of Makemie Wilson Russell, a North Carolinian, who was depot agent at Rock Hill for the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad. The Frews were evidently renting a house and lot here. The previous occupant of the house was one E. Baugus, who had moved in 1858 to the lot at the southeastern corner of Main and Depot streets, where he operated a hotel in what was then called “the Neely building”. In 1863 this latter property was sold to John Ratterree for residential and commercial purposes and thereafter was known as the Ratterree Corner.
To identify the lot occupied by the Frew House, we may add that the lot was for many years the location of Efird’s department Store – as late as the 1950’s.
For reasons unknown to us today, the Frews moved to Mecklenburg County, N. C., during the Civil War. Mr. Frew’s health may have become poor, for we know that he died in Charlotte, N. C., in June, 1863. A personal memoir written by one of the Frew children reveals that the widow and her eight fatherless children returned to Rock Hill in the second half of 1865. The writer mentioned that the family crossed the Catawba River on their way to Rock Hill, using a pontoon bridge put into service following the burning of the railroad bridge by a detachment of General Stoneman’s Federal cavalry in the spring of 1865.
On this second coming to Rock Hill, the family occupied the former residence of Henry F. Broach, a large frame house facing White Street and standing about one hundred fifty feet east of the southeast corner of White and Depot streets. Henry F. Broach was one of Rock Hill’s first merchants and he was the little town’s first postmaster. The family moved to the neighborhood of Meridian, Mississippi, in the late 1850’s. Broach’s store building stood on the corner lot (Broach’s property), and his residence, the house in question, faced White Street. Broach bought his store lot and his residence lot from Mrs. Ann Hutchison White.
Here Sarah Keesler Frew operated “The Rock Hill House”, room and board. Newspaper advertisements show that she was in business as late as 1867 and 1868. At this time the property belonged to D. Albertus Gordon. It later belonged to Col. Robert Moorman Sims, Maj. Richard Austin Springs, Bessie Springs Childs (Major Springs’ daughter), and then to the mercantile firm of A. Friedheim & Bro. Older readers may recall that Friedheim’s Hall stood on this lot just after the turn of the century. The well-known structure was a combination livery stable and concert hall (the concert hall was on the second floor).
In 1871 Mrs. Frew invested $1,000 of her savings in an attractive frame cottage recently built by J. C. Hoke at the northwestern corner of Church (now Black) and Hampton streets. She lived there until her death in 1886. Two of her sons bought this property from their mother several years before her death.
Issue of William Michael Frew and his wife, Sarah Ann Keesler:
A. Mary Ann Frew. Born in Cabarrus County, N. C., on Apr. 17, 1846. Died at Rock Hill, S. C., on Mar. 18, 1922. Married on Jan. 13, 1870, to Charles E. Cobb. Mrs. Cobb was familiarly know as “Maley”. Issue:
1. Charles Lonergan Cobb. President of the People’s National Bank and the People’s Trust Company, Rock Hill, S. C. Married (1) Janie Ratterree, daughter of Hyder and Minnie (Hope) Ratterree. No issue. Married (2) (Mrs.) Ruth (Beachy) Camp. Son: Charles L. Cobb, Jr. Married Ann Meeks.
2. Morris Frew Cobb. Married Josephine (Josie) Fewell, dau. of Wm. A. Fewell. Daughter: Mary Cobb. Married John Ritter.
B. Laura Frew. Born in Cabarrus Co., N. C., on Dec. 19, 1847. Died on Aug. 22, 1885. Married R. Thomas May. Born Oct. 26, 1846. Died on Nov. 27, 1881. Issue:
1. Mary May. Married J. C. H. Duff. Issue:
a. Mary Duff.
2. Annie Belle May. Married James E. Parker. Issue:
a. Tom May Parker. Married briefly to Margaret Robinson. No issue.
b. Annie Belle Parker (called “Polly”). Married (1) Charles E. Holroyd. Married (2) Hiram Hutchison White.
c. James E. Parker, Jr. Married Jessie Vaughn.
3. Charles S. May.
C. Sarah (“Sallie”) A. Frew. Born in Cabarrus Co., N. C., on July 12, 1849. Died on Aug. 18, 1879. Married William Whetmore.
D. Charles Wakefield Frew. Born in Cabarrus Co., N. C., on Nov. 6, 1852. Died on May 18, 1917. Married on Jan. 21, 1891, to Ella T. Tollinger. Issue:
1. Charles Wakefield Frew, Jr. Certified Public Accountant at Rock Hill, S. C., and drum major of the popular Rock Hill Drum and Bugle Corps. Married Dorothy Manning.
2. Lucille Frew. Married James B. Marshall.
3. Katherine Frew. Married E. E. Poag, Jr.
E. William M. Frew. Born in Cabarrus Co., N. C., on August 17, 1855. Died suddenly on Feb. 7, 1893. Married on Sept. 1, 1886, to Sallie Sturgis. Issue:
1. Inez Frew. Married Harry E. Ruff.
2. Margaret Frew. Married Robert Briggs Hamilton.
F. Emma Dora Frew. Born on July 30, 1858. Married on Dec. 18, 1878, to Fred Hill London. Issue:
1. John Rutherford London II. Vice President of the People’s National Bank, Rock Hill, S. C. Married (1) Annie Leitner Shurley. Married (2) Agnes Fewell, daughter of Alexander Bishop and Sallie (Steele) Fewell.
2. Rufus Marsden London. Proprietor of the London Printery, Rock Hill, S. C. Married Johnny T. Moore.
3. Sallie London. Married John Wood.
4. Emma Dora London. Unmarried. Teacher in private schools. Born 1891. Died Jan. 14, 1969.
G. Robert Frew. Born July 5 (?), 1860. Died Oct. 10, 1889. Married Mary Ellen (“Lillie”) Sadler, daughter of Col. Lucien P. Sadler. Born Oct. 29, 1859. Died Oct. 16, 1883.
H. Samuel T. Frew. Born posthumously, on Aug. 15, 1863. Married on Oct. 15, 1859, to Mattie McElwee. Issue:
1. Evelyn Frew. Married Norman Thayer, son of a prominent Baptist minister.
2. Mary Frew. Married Ernest Samusson.
3. Lewis Frew. Married (–). Died in Cedartown, Ga., in 1964, aged 65 years.
4. Robert Morris Frew. Married Rose Renfrow.
COMMENTS: Ruth McVicker Burris wrote in 2012 - “I lived in the house at 104 Johnson St. during the years of 1958 through 1969. I was living there when I started first grade. I loved that house and remember every inch of it. I also remember meeting one of the Hamilton ladies. Miss Emma London and her sister Sallie Wood lived next door to us.”
COMMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS: From Ruth Burris, “My mother, Clara Baker McVicker and my grandmother Belle Morris Baker lived at this home in the upstairs apartment. My aunt Geneva Baker Nunn and her husband Dick Nunn, and son Kenneth Nunn lived downstairs. One picture is me (Ruth Burris) in first grade on the steps at 104 Johnston Street and the other is of my cousin Lyn Baker Jackson and myself standing at the side of the home.”