Thursday, May 2, 2019

Another May Party

While the wedding celebration of Sarah Taliaferro Broyles' sister Caroline may have been hosted at Ashtabula, there was one more happy occasion which involved the Broyles family, at about the time when they moved away from Pendleton in 1851.  The event, as noted in the Ashtabula book, recalls an earlier time in the life of the younger of the Broyles' two daughters.

While the eldest daughter of Ozey and Sarah Broyles—Margaret—had actually married in New York City, home of her husband-to-be, Sarah, the younger of the two daughters, likely saw her wedding ceremony in 1860 in the new home the Broyleses purchased after their move from Pendleton. After that point, she and her husband, merchant William Dickson Williams, moved away to Greeneville, an eastern Tennessee town then approaching a scant thousand residents.

After Sarah Broyles Williams' death in 1928, someone had written a letter reminiscing about various members of the Broyles family, which was shared in the Ashtabula book. The letter told about an event held, possibly in Anderson after the Broyles family had moved from Ashtabula:
In the early fifties there was a May party in the old Johnson seminary, that stood on the lot of the pastorium on the first Baptist Church.... It was a community affair and was largely attended; it was really a party for they had things to eat.... Dr. Broyles's youngest daughter was the May Queen and well she acted the part.

When the family moved from Ashtabula in 1851, they settled in nearby Anderson, where they purchased "a large, well-built dwelling with handsome entrance" where some members of the Broyles family remained well past Ozey Broyles' passing in 1875 and his wife's death in 1888. At that point, the property likely was inherited by their oldest son, Augustus, the attorney with the impeccable eye for detail in his clients' wills. After Augustus' passing in 1904, the property was sold to someone outside the family, and the original resting place of its owners was transferred from under the trees in the front yard to a proper cemetery in town.

Meanwhile, the Ashtabula place itself—the dear home built by the patriarch of the Gibbes family, and then cherished for fourteen years by the Broyles family—also changed hands. Immediately purchased in 1851 by Yale graduate James Theodore Latta, in 1862, a few years prior to his early passing due to continued poor health, he sold the property to Robert Adger. And thus, the beautiful home and the twelve hundred acres upon which it was situated changed hands once again to the extended Adger and Bowen family—and particularly one daughter, Clarissa, whose diary marks the body of the manuscript from which this brief house history of Ashtabula had been affixed. 


  1. It's really nice that the house still stands - and that the public can see it. After you visit, you will be better able to picture the parties, the working farm, the family in the rooms and on the porch.

    1. Oh, believe me, Lisa, I can hardly wait to actually see the place! In the meantime, it's nice to find photos of the place online, such as the Pendleton Historic Foundation's site.

    2. It is so beautiful. I would love to go some day - and I will, when I finally do a tour of that part of SC. The place looks so perfectly maintained.


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