William Felder Beckwith (1878 – 1967) and his wife Pearl Campbell Martin (1883 – 1947) lived at Martin’s Mill in Abbeville County, South Carolina. William was an entrepreneur and Martin’s Mill offered a number of money making opportunities. I’m not going to cover W. F. Beckwith’s life in this post, but focus on a little slice of life at Martin’s Mill in the 1920s, including his commercial activities, as seen through the local newspaper. The year 1922 is the last one that the Library of Congress’ online archives provides and it seems that things were just starting to get interesting.
In his 1917/18 draft registration, W. F. lists his occupation as farmer and miller. He writes “I use my own hands” as the name of his employer. At this point, he has at least four living children and has been at the mill property for a few years.
Death of Mr. Starke Martin
Donalds, S. C., Nov. 29
To the Press and Banner:
Though not unexpected the news that Mr. S. Starke Martin was dead cast a gloom of sorrow over his many friends. Mr. martin died after a protracted illness, having suffered a stroke of paralysis several month’s since. He was taken to the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. H. Shaw, and everything that skilled physicians and loving hands could do failed to ward off the Grim Reaper, and on the 22nd instant he breathed his last. So peaceful was the end that those in the room scarcely realized it until he was dead. His long illness was borne by the philosophic resignation and cheerfulness that was his strongest characteristic, and for which he was noted. During his life of 66 years no calamity or business reverses could becloud his sunny nature. Among his numerous acquaintances not an enemy could be found. His generosity was proverbial; he would divide his last morsel with the needy. He was devoted to his family, loyal to his friends and true to his country.
During the civil war Mr. Martin joined Co. G, 1st S. C. Cavalry, and remained with it until the surrender. After the war he married Mrs. Julia A. Cunningham.
Mr. Martin is survived by two daughters, Miss Louise Martin and Mrs. Jas. H. Shaw, one sister T. C. Gower, and three brothers L. L. and another brother of Texas, and J. C. Martin of Donalds.
Mr. Martin’s remains were interred in the cemetery at Broadmouth church amid a large concourse of friends, and many beautiful floral tributes from a distance attest the high esteem in which he was held by absent friends, and while his body sleeps beneath a mound of flowers, the great, generous and noble soul has plumed its flight to the great unknown. Friend.