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

“Big Bob”

 
 
"Big Bob" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 27, 2008
1. "Big Bob" Marker
Inscription.
This Alarm Bell Was Acquired
During The Term Of
Robert McGowan Hill
Mayor, 1892 - 1898
And Named For Him.

 
Erected by Harry Wilkins Chandler, Sr.
 
Location. 34° 10.65′ N, 82° 22.733′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, South Carolina, in Abbeville County. Marker is on Court Square (State Highway 28) south of Washington Street (State Highway 203), in the median. Touch for map. Marker is located in the northwest corner of the square. Marker is in this post office area: Abbeville SC 29620, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abbeville County Confederate Monument (here, next to this marker); Abbeville Square (here, next to this marker); The Law Offices of John C. Calhoun (a few steps from this marker); Old Bank Building (ca. 1865) (within shouting distance of this marker); Major Thomas Dry Howie (within shouting distance of this marker); Humane Society Alliance Fountain (1912) (within shouting distance of this marker); Abbeville Opera House (1908) (within shouting
"Big Bob" and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 27, 2008
2. "Big Bob" and Marker
distance of this marker); Lynching of Anthony Crawford / Racial Violence in South Carolina (within shouting distance of this marker); Abbeville County Courthouse (1908) (within shouting distance of this marker); Belmont Inn (1903) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abbeville.
 
Regarding "Big Bob". The bell is stamped with "C.S. Bell & Co, Hillsboro O" making it cast between 1882 and 1894 when the company was in a partnership.

The placement of the bell is largely due to the work of the late Harry Wilkins Chandler, Sr., who passed away January 13, 2008 at the age of 80. Chandler served Abbeville in many ways. He ran a funeral home for over 60 years and served on many boards and councils. It was during the 1990s that he led the revitalization program which resulted in Abbeville's award-winning downtown.
 
Also see . . .  The Bell Foundry. Charles S. Bell, native of Cumberland, Md., was apprenticed to the founderís trade in Pittsburgh, Pa. at the age of fifteen. (Submitted on November 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
"Big Bob" (Center)<br>During 2010 StreetScape Renovation image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, March 14, 2011
3. "Big Bob" (Center)
During 2010 StreetScape Renovation

1. Robert McGowan Hill
Robert McGowan Hill was the son of Samuel Lane Hill and Elizabeth Wells Clark. Hill was born August 24, 1856 and died November 13, 1929. He was married to Mary Chapin Moore (1858-1934) (daughter of William C. Moore, 1833-1900 and Elizabeth C. Shillito, 1833-1886) and father of six children.

In an 1884 index of Abbeville citizens, Hill's occupation was listed as "general merchandise." During his term as mayor, the office was held for two years. Hill served five terms as mayor (known at the time as intendent).

Hill and his wife are buried in Upper Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC. In the same plot are two daughters: Bessie (1883-1901) and Mary (1890-1963). Nearby are the graves of his in laws, the Moores. (Sources: Abbeville County Cemetery Index, Vol. 2, pg. 17, The Alstons and Allstons of North and South Carolina by Joseph Asbury Groves, pg 240, Old Abbeville: Scenes of the Past of a Town Where Old Times Are Not Forgotten by Lowry Ware 1992, pg 232.)
    — Submitted April 20, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. What is an Intendant?
Originally used as a title in France, intendants were common in South Carolina during much of the 1800 and early 1900s. Intendants
Abbeville Fire Department<br>In Front of the Abbeville Opera House image. Click for full size.
Abbeville County by the Abbeville County Historical Society, 1915
4. Abbeville Fire Department
In Front of the Abbeville Opera House
"Big Bob" can be seen at the top left of the opera house, directly above the head of the foreground horse.
were directly elected public officials that were responsible for the administrative duties of cities, towns, and villages. They were assisted in their duties by elected wardens. The modern titular equivalent to the two titles would be mayor and council member, respectively.
    — Submitted November 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Harry Wilkins Chandler, Sr. Obituary
The Greenville News
January 15, 2008

Harry Wilkins Chandler, Sr., 81, of 107 Woodland Way beloved husband of Lura Jean Williams Chandler, died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, at his home.

Born in Abbeville County, S.C., he was a son of the late Caleb Wilkins and Annie Greene Mabry Chandler. He is survived by his wife of the home; son, Harry Wilkins Chandler, Jr. (Kin) and his wife, Mandy Ashcraft Chandler of Due West; daughter, Anne Chandler of Abbeville; grandson, Caleb Wilkins Chandler; granddaughter, Halle Elizabeth Chandler, both of Due West and special friends, Beth Rabb Madden and family and Gaynelle and Richard Rabb of Greenville. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, William B. Chandler; and half brother, John T. Mabry.

Born in Abbeville, he was educated in the Abbeville Schools and Presbyterian College and he was a life long member of the Abbeville
"Big Bob" (left) and Confederate Monument (right) on the Abbeville Court Square image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 23, 2008
5. "Big Bob" (left) and Confederate Monument (right) on the Abbeville Court Square
Presbyterian Church, where he served several terms as Deacon. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Marine Corp. He was a mason and member of Clinton Lodge #3 AFM and also a Shriner and member of the Hejaz Shrine Temple of Greenville.

Harry had a deep and committed passion for his profession. He was a dedicated, compassionate, caring funeral director having served families of Abbeville County for over 60 years. For 34 years, he and his late brother co-owned a funeral home. Since 2001, he joined hands with Steve A. Jackson in forming the Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home and has been a licensed Funeral Director for over 60 years. He and his brother offered free ambulance service to the citizens of Abbeville for many years until EMS was established.

Harry was actively engaged in civic, charitable and beautification activities through the years and much of the citizens of Abbeville and tourist who come to Abbeville enjoy today what was brought about by Harry.

He was appointed to the first Historic Preservation Commission in Abbeville and also to the first Zoning and Planning Commission. Before a city Beautification Committee was formed by City Council, he bought, planted and tended flowers around the city. When City Council formed a City Beautification Committee, he was appointed Chairman and served for many years. Later when the Governor's Beautification
"Big Bob"<br>Looking North Along Court Square image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 27, 2008
6. "Big Bob"
Looking North Along Court Square
Community Improvement was formed for each county in the State, he became Abbeville's first Chairman. During these years, much was accomplished in the city and county in areas of beautification, conservation, education, recreation, community development, historical preservation and litter awareness. Abbeville County won the Governor's Trophy in 1993 - for Class II under his chairmanship.

He served on the City Election Committee for years. For over 40 years, he served as a Board Member of Long Cane Cemetery Association, serving as Vice-Chairman. He served many years on the Board of Advisers for the S.C. National Bank (now First Citizens). He has served since 1976 on the Abbeville County Museum Board serving as Treasurer. For almost 20 years, Harry served as City Representative on the Abbeville County Memorial Hospital Board, serving as Chairman and Secretary of the Board. Upon his retirement from the Board, he was presented a plaque and resolution in "grateful appreciation for his outstanding and dedicated service, years of commitment and his help in assuring its continued success".

The Union cannon, situated on the island in front of the Burt-Stark Mansion, was restored by authentic specifications he offered from Gettysburg. The monument there was surrounded by blooming flowers planted and maintained by Harry.

"Big Bob", the old Abbeville alarm bell, was
"Big Bob"<br>Looking North Along Court Square image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 23, 2008
7. "Big Bob"
Looking North Along Court Square
relocated to the plaza with flowers planted around it. The horse water trough was relocated to the plaza and activated into a fountain. The fountain was featured in the movie Sleeping with the Enemy.

Brick walkways and benches were added to the plaza and flowers always planted around the monument. He designed and hand made the fleur-de-lis flower baskets hanging around the square. He was able to help untold numbers of out-of-town residents find the burial site of their ancestors in Abbeville County cemeteries. In 2001, Harry was the recipient of the Abbeville County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame award.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, January 15, 2008, at 3 p.m. at the Abbeville Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2:30 P.M. in the Telford Parlor of the Church prior to services. Rev. Dr. Michael Bush, Dr. George Wilson and Dr. Randy Ruble will conduct the service. Burial will be in Long Cane Cemetery with Military Rites.

Pallbearers will be Wilson Ashcraft, Bill Ashcraft, Mike Wilson, Brad Jackson, Brooks Jackson and Mark Ashley. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Alan Kolb, Don Reese, Richard Rabb, Gene Copeland, Robert Hawthorne, Pete Williams, Jeff Beaver, John McPhail and George Langston.

Flowers are accepted or memorials may be made to the Abbeville Area Medical Center, P.O. Box 887, Abbeville,
"Big Bob" Foundry Marking<br>C.S. Bell & Co, Hillsboro O image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 27, 2008
8. "Big Bob" Foundry Marking
C.S. Bell & Co, Hillsboro O
SC 29620, Abbeville Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 733, Abbeville, SC or to the charity of your choice. The Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home, Abbeville SC is in charge of arrangements.
    — Submitted December 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Politics
 
Robert McGowan Hill Tombstone<br>Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, June 6, 2009
9. Robert McGowan Hill Tombstone
Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC
Son of
Samuel Lane and
Elizabeth Clark Hill
Aug, 24, 1856
Nov. 13, 1929
Mary Chapin Moore Tombstone<br>Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, June 6, 2009
10. Mary Chapin Moore Tombstone
Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC
Wife of
Robert McGowan Hill
October 10, 1858
January 25, 1934
Bessie Hill Tombstone<br>Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, June 6, 2009
11. Bessie Hill Tombstone
Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC
Daughter of
R.M. & M.C. Hill
1883-1901
"Thy Will be Done."
Mary Hill Tombstone<br>Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, June 6, 2009
12. Mary Hill Tombstone
Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC
Nov. 27, 1890
Mar. 5, 1963
Robert McGowan Hill Plot<br>Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, June 6, 2009
13. Robert McGowan Hill Plot
Long Cane Cemetery, Abbeville, SC
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 27, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 7,531 times since then and 184 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 27, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on April 4, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on November 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5. submitted on December 27, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on September 27, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7. submitted on November 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   8. submitted on December 12, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on June 16, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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