Picture taken on the square of the Abbeville Fire Department staff and trucks from probably the late '30s or maybe early '40s. My father "Big Marshall" is on the extreme left.
The building to the rear of the trucks housed the Abbeville city offices. In the rear was the Opera House. The building on the left is the Court House. The rear part had a basement. The Abbeville Health Department was once located there. My father worked there. When I was in early grammar school, our class marched from Greenville St. School to the Health Department and each of us stood in front of a flouroscope where our lungs were checked for TB. Back in those days, flouroscopes were common. Even shoe stores had them so that one could check for proper shoe fit. I never remember one of them in Abbeville, but I remember standing under one in Greenville. At the Health Department, they had a real human skeleton that hung on a stand. When I was 14 years old, I passed my driver's license exam in a room in the basement of the Court House. I also first registered to vote there.
In the lower right hand corner of the picture is embossed "Hays, Abbeville, S.C." Mr. Hays was a long time photographer in Abbeville who was very eccentric. His studios were on the second floor in the area over the old Bank of Abbeville on the square. When I was in college, I went there once to have a picture made. The place looked like it had not been changed for 30 to 40 years. He showed me his dusty and disarranged storage rooms which were filled with boxes containing pictures that he had made. I often wonder what happened to that collection of pictures after he died. His son Tally Hays now lives in the family house on Lemon St.
A picture of the fire department taken in front of the department. "Big Marshall" is in the center with the dark pants and white shirt. Notice the siren on top of the building and the lady looking out of the window. The lady is Marian Hagen's Aunt Neva Hagen Minor. She was married to Sam Minor, Chief of the Fire Department. She was the long time chief operator at the Abbeville telephone company before it was converted to dial in 1956. Sam is on the far left in the picture. He and Neva lived in the apartment above the fire station until he died. Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Flemming and his wife Virginia lived in the other apartment above the fire station.
The storefront window on the right says "Abbeville Water and Electric Plant." It was operated by the city. I remember going there to pay our water and light bill in the mid to latter '50s. My mother would be upset if our bill went over $12. Our monthly telephone bill was $4.24.
The sign on the store to the left of the fire department says "The Cloth Shoppe." I remember Blake's Cloth Shop on the square next to the Belk-Simpson Store, so I wonder if this one was owned by Mr. Blake. When I was a kid, I took piano lessons from Mrs. McGill, whose studio was located in this store. I hated it so much that my mother let me stop taking lessons, something I have regreted many times since. The storefront to the left of Mrs. McGill's studio was occupied by a dairy. It was the Sherard Dairy, owned by Mr. Sam Sherard of the Sharon Community. My father worked for the state health department, and I can remember going there with him when he would inspect it. I was fascinated to see the milk being pasteurized. The bottle caps pictured are from the Abbeville Pasteurizing Plant (phone 444). I believe the Sherards sold milk under this name. By the '50s, they had moved their dairy to Whitehall St. near the old railroad trestle off of the Greenwood Highway (Highway 72). They had a nice ice cream shop there where many people went for ice cream on Sunday afternoons. I don't know who lived in the house on the far right in the picture, but I remember it being pretty run down. Notice the tin roof on the porch. By the '60s, it was torn down and Bill Cameron's State Farm Insurance office was built on the lot.
Another picture of the fire department taken in front of the department. The lady in the window has disappeared. Sam Flemming is sitting in the driver's seat of the truck on the left. My father is standing in front of the front tire of the truck on the right.
A recent picture of the former fire department building. Note the absence of the siren, an added chimney, a new roof, and some change in the trim on the front of the building. This picture was taken 60 to 70 years later than the two pictures linked above. The business located where they fire trucks were housed is Abbeville Tax Service. The business located where Mrs. McGill taught piano is The Little Shops - This and That.
This picture was made in 1915 in front of the old Abbeville Post Office. It was built in 1912. Since 1966, it has been the public library. The house on the corner to the left is the one mentioned above where Bill Cameron's State Farm Insurance office was built in the '60s. There is a house to the left of that which had been replaced with the building that housed the fire department and the city water and electric office when I was growing up in Abbeville. I remember the inside of the post office as being cool in the summers. The floors were polished granite and the ceiling was very high. Although the picture gives the impression that the building had two floors, it had only one. The postman who I remember delivering our mail on Greenville Street was Mr. Bright Jones. He and his wife Stella lived on Parker Street, not far from our house. He used to arrive at our house promptly at 10:00 a.m. In those days, the postman walked his route and carried the mail in a large leather shoulder bag. Another postman I remember was Mr. Canfield.
This picture of the Abbeville Police Department staff was made around 1940. On the front row are Chief Bob McKenzie and Mayor Fred West. Mayor West was also the Editor and Publsiher of the Press and Banner. He lived across the street from me on Greenville St. and died sometime in the '50s. The first person on the back row is Adger Martin. The third and fourth persons on the back row are Henry Buford and Sein Finley. Can someone identify the others?
Police Chief Fletcher Johnson. He is the only chief I can remember in Abbeville. The picture was probably made in the early 1960s.
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