“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rock Hill in York County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

White Home

White Home Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Sean Nix, November 25, 2009
1. White Home Marker
About 1839, this former plantation house was built by George Pendleton White (1801-1849) and his wife, Ann Hutchison White (1805-1880). It has since sheltered five generations of a pioneer Rock Hill family. During the War of 1861-1865 needy Confederate soldiers were cared for here. The house contains a Prophet's Chamber, reserved for the exclusive use of visiting ministers. The east wing was erected about 1878.

Two renowned sons of this house were the Reverend James Spratt White (1841-1891) moderator of the Presbyterian Synod of S.C. and founder of the Rock Hill Public Library and of the Rock Hill public schools, and Andrew Hutchison White (1843-1903), intendant of Rock Hill, grand master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, and president of the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society.
Erected 1972 by Ann White Chapter - United Daughters of the Confederacy. (Marker Number 46-10.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture
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Churches & ReligionFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1839.
Location. 34° 55.542′ N, 81° 1.344′ W. Marker is in Rock Hill, South Carolina, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Elizabeth Lane and East White Street, on the left when traveling south on Elizabeth Lane. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rock Hill SC 29730, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The White Home (within shouting distance of this marker); East Town Neighborhood (within shouting distance of this marker); Water Trough (within shouting distance of this marker); Upper Land's Ford Road (within shouting distance of this marker); The "3C's" Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church / Dr. Arthur Small Rogers (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Episcopal Church of Our Saviour (about 700 feet
White Home Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Sean Nix, November 25, 2009
2. White Home Marker
Reverse side
away); First Presbyterian Church / Church Leaders (approx. 0.2 miles away); U.S. Post Office and Courthouse / Citizen's Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); 202 East Main Street (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rock Hill.
Also see . . .  South Carolina Department of Archives and History. (Submitted on November 26, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina.)
Additional commentary.
1. White House
The White House, at the southeast corner of White Street and Elizabeth Lane, is designed in the typical upcountry plantation style -- a big frame dwelling with two-story piazzas, small columns, and tall end chimneys. Formerly the White family plantation home, built between 1832-1842, the house now stands within the city limits, surrounded by paved streets and smaller houses.

Its builders were early Scotch-Irish Presbyterian settler George Pendleton Stuart White and his wife, Ann Hutchison White. While the plantation home was being built, the Whites lived in the first home at the site, the log cabin which stands today at the rear of the big house. The White House
White Home image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Sean Nix, November 25, 2009
3. White Home
kitchen, with its seven-foot wide fireplace, was originally located in the log cabin and was connected to the main house by a narrow brick walk. The cabin remains today as a tool shed.

The White House followed the usual pattern of upcountry plantation homes. It is a frame building. constructed with hand-hewn oak sill, heart of pine weatherboarding, and the wide board floors typical of antebellum houses. The original lattice work on the two front porches was done by hand. Some Victorian scroll work was added in the late 1890s. It was modernized in the early 1920s with electricity and central heating. Although some of the wide floor boarding was removed because it was worn rough, the original boards were saved and are in the attic.

It is apparent that the home has continually had good care. There are no signs of serious termite infection or leaking roof damage. At present, the building needs minor repairs and paint.

Occupied by five successive generations of the White family, the White house stands in modern, Rock Hill as a reminder of the sturdy Scotch-Irish who brought civilization to the upcountry wilderness. Testimony to the Presbyterian heritage which these settlers brought with them, and which later helped dis-establish the Church of England as South Carolina's state church, is a "Prophet's Chamber" in the house. (The first
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visiting minister to use the room was Edward Pierpont Bishop in 1838. The room has been described in such present day Presbyterian publications as "The Christian Observer")

The old house also witnesses to the prosperity which eventually came to South Carolina's rugged up country settlers, prosperity which replaced the original. pioneer log cabins with fine plantation homes. Although a number of these tall homes with their double piazzas and sturdy end chimneys still stand as South Carolina Piedmont landmarks, the White House is the only one remaining in the Rock Hill vicinity. It is the town's oldest house. Actually, the house preceded the town, which was not inc~orated until 1870 and whose growth came with the spread of the cotton mills in the upcountry.

Growing since as both an industrial and college town, home of the South Carolina College for Women, Winthrop, which has occupied an 80-acre campus within the city since 1895, Rock Hill eventually incorporated the White House lands and home within the town boundaries.

In 1852, Rock Hill was merely a depot on the new Charlotte Columbia Railroad. By 1861, the village was still nothing more than a sprawling country crossroads, a center for shipping local products, chiefly cotton, which came in wagon loads from plantations like White House. During the War Between the States, Rock Hill became a point of transfer for Confederate troop and military supplies. Although only a slight skirmish occurred within the village, when a detachment of Stoneman's cavalry came down from Charlotte, White House family legend recalls that the plantation home was spared destruction when Mrs. White showed her husband's Masonic ring to the Union lieutenant, also a Mason who was in charge of the troops which came to White House. Family stories also tell how the White House served as a haven for refugees fleeing the low country in advance of Sherman's forces. Mrs. Wade Hampton is said to have been an overnight visitor there. The old house also sheltered many weary Confederate soldiers returning to their homes after the war.

A memento which reflects the controversial tariff and nullification years and which tells of their importance in South Carolina is the "Nullification Quilt" still in the White family's possession. This quilt was made in the l830s, when the ladies of the area resolved to buy no more imported goods and to make all of their clothing on their own spinning wheels and hand looms. Bringing samples of this work to the White House, the ladies pieced together a quilt. This they called the "nullification quilt," and it may be seen at the old home today.

George White, builder of the old home, died in 1849, leaving his widow and four children: Andrew Hutchison, James Spratt, Mary, and Mrs. Addie Witherspoon. Mrs. White died in 1880, at the age of 75. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted January 31, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. The Last Cause's Last Rites
Present with General Robert E. Lee in Virginia at the war's conclusion was the Reverend James Spratt White, member of a prominent upper South Carolina family. By March 1865, White had heard about Columbia's [S.C] fate. He writes his sister that "I am glad that Sherman's army did not pass through York District." There was not much to rejoice about, however, after four tragic years of war. The Confederacy was in its death throes and the Presbyterian minister-soldier vented his anger at the deterioration in discipline among southern troops. White alleges that "Wheeler's Calvary" is terrorizing the war-weary civilian population. He laments, "We are not prepared for this promiscuous plundering of our homes at the hands of Confederate soldiers." Thus, the pastor prepares for the South's late rites. (Source: South Carolina in the Civil War: The Confederate Experience in Letters and Diaries by Ron Chepesiuk, Edward J. Lee (2004), pg 149.)
    — Submitted January 31, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Andrew Hutchinson White
Andrew Hutchinson White, the thirteenth President of this Society, departed this life on the 20th of January, 1903, after a very brief illness. In his death we have been deprived not only of a useful member, but of a most faithful official.

He was born at the old White Homestead in Rock Hill, February 17th, 1843. He was the fourth child of George Pendleton White and Ann White, and his home has always been in that city, being at the time of his death the oldest native born male citizen. He attended the village school when a boy, and from there he went to the Charlotte Military Institute under Gen. D.H. Hill, before the war. He also attended the Arsenal in Columbia and the Citadel Academy in Charleston, and as a cadet did military service in that city. After the war he was a student at the South Carolina University. Upon his return home he entered upon the vocation of a farmer. He had strong attachments for home and had no disposition for holding positions that would take him away from his family.

He was prominent in all good works, and took great pride in the growth and development of his native town. He was a 32d degree Mason, and has been Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State; was Thrice Illustrious Master of Campbell Council and High Priest of Bratton Chapter, R.A.M.

He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1895 and served several terms as Intendant of the town of Rock Hill. Taking a large interest in the fire department, he was for a number of years its president, and has for a long time been a member of the local Board of Health, and was recently made an honorary member of the Anthropological Society of London. An enthusiastic farmer, and believing in modern methods of Agriculture, he was elected President of the South Carolina Agricultural and Horticultural Society and never was an officer more attentive to his duties. In fact, he was methodical and punctual in all the affairs of life; so much so that this characteristic was a problem to the people of this Society.

He was elected President of this Society at its annual meeting in 1901 and served it most faithfully until his death. He had been for very many years one of its most active and useful members. Whenever called into active service he performed the duties imposed upon him with both faithfulness and efficiency. Few members have been more constant, loyal and useful.

He was seldom absent from his post of duty and whenever duty called he was found in its active discharge. (Source: History of the State Agricultural Society of South Carolina from 1839 to 1845 by State Agricultural and Mechanical Society, Columbia, S.C. (1916), pgs 264-265.)
    — Submitted January 31, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 26, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,448 times since then and 119 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 26, 2009, by Michael Sean Nix of Spartanburg, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 10, 2023