148 Oakland Avenue
Rock Hill City Directories:1908- Dr. W.W. Fennell, Mary Fennell, [Physician], 1913- W.J. Roddey, Perry D. Roddy,[Manager of Equitable Assurance Society of the United States] J. Anderson Barber,[Farmer],1920 – W.J. Roddy,Perry D. Roddy, [W.J. Roddey Insurance Company], 1922 - W.J. Roddey, Perry D. Roddey, [ President of National Union Bank, First Trust and Savings Bank and Vice President of Victoria Cotton Mills], 1925 – W.J.Roddey, Perry D. Roddey,[President of W.J. Roddy and Company, and National Union Bank and First Trust and Realty Company and Victoria Cotton Mills], 1936 – W.J Roddey, Perry D. Roddey, [President of Victoria Cotton Mills], 1938 – W.J. Roddey, Perry D. Roddey, [Commander Veterans Legion and The Equitable Life Assurance Society], 1968 – Vacant, 1938 – 1963 Marion C. Farrow, [Manager, Belk Department Store]
Also see 140 Oakland Avenue for subdivided lot
History: Roddey home and property at 128 and 148 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC.
This house was built in 1896 for William Joseph Roddey (1861-1945) and his wife Perry Dunlap (1866-1967). Both the Roddey and Dunlap families were important in the early history of Rock Hill. The house was one of the early properties to be developed in the Oakland community, a major new development begun in 1891 which had a significant impact on the growth and development of Rock Hill. Roddey’s father, Capt. William Lyle Roddey, was a director and investor in the Rock Hill Land and Town Site Company, which developed Oakland. He was also a merchant and pioneer in many of the commercial, industrial and cultural developments of Rock Hill. William Jospeh Roddey also became a leader in the business life of Rock Hill. During his career, he served as President of the First National Bank, the National Union Bank, and the Victoria Cotton Mill. He was general agent and manager for the Rock Hill office of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and served on the national board of the Equitable. He served as President of the South Carolina Bankers Association, Director of the Charlotte branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, and served as a trustee of Winthrop University, Erskine College, and Davidson College.
The home was constructed at the corner or Oakland Avenue and Wilson Street, and was surrounded by homes of other members of the Roddey family and related families. When it was built in 1896, it was in the high Queen Anne Style, with a turret and rich ornamentation. Only ten years after the completion of the house, the Roddeys decided they wanted a newer, larger, and more modern house. They sold the adjacent lot on Oakland Avenue to Dr. and Mrs. W. W. Fennell, and the Fennells also purchased the Roddey house and moved it from the original location at 148 Oakland to its present location at 128 Oakland Avenue. The Herald of October 10, 1906 carried an article which stated: “Mr. W. J. Roddey is having his residence in Oakland rolled to an adjacent lot which is the property of Dr. W. W. Fennell and who has bought the Roddey residence. Mr. Roddey will erect a colonial mansion on his lot in the near future.” When the move occurred, the house was also modernized. In the ten years since it had been built, the prevalent house style had changed from Queen Anne to Classical Revival. The house lost most of the rich ornamentation and the porch columns became more classical in style, although it still retains the basic form of the Queen Anne house.
Dr. William Wallace Fennell (1868—–) graduated from the South Carolina Medical College in 1895 and also studied under Dr. Gill Wylie, a Chester County native who became nationally known. Fennell married Mary Lyle and settled in Rock Hill in 1897. By 1900, he was operating an infirmary on Clay Street (now Charlotte Avenue). In 1910, he established the Fennell Infirmary, which operated on Confederate Avenue until 1935. He was a noted surgeon, a charter member of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the Medical Board of South Carolina. The Fennells lived in the house from 1906 to 1909. They later built a large home on Confederate Avenue adjacent to the Fennell Infirmary. Dr. Fennell sold the Infirmary in 1935 to the Sisters of St. Francis, who operated St. Phillips Hospital in the building for a number of years.
The Roddey’s new home became one of Rock Hill’s finest and largest dwellings and sat directly across from the Pix Theater until it was demolished in the 1970′s.
The original Roddey home was designed by Architect, Hugh Edward White and attributed to contractor, A.D. Holler of Rock Hill, S.C.
The Herald reported on Oct. 16, 1897 grading on Oakland Ave., is being done to provide a gentle incline from the bridge over the railroad to the college. Stewart Brothers of Rock Hill has the contract. The project will grade about four feet in-front of the W.J. Roddey home. Oakland promises to be the prettiest highway in Rock Hill. Five years ago it was a new street and now it has eleven homes, Winthrop College and the High School.
Other links: Family Genealogy