The Renwick Family

On December 27, 1810, Elizabeth Abrams (1782 - 1863) daughter of James and Mary Abrams who lived in the Gilder's Creek, South Carolina community became the wife of William Renwick (1779 - 1816).  They had two sons, James "Jimmie"  Abrams Washington born Sept. 11, 1811 (died March 13, 1865)  and William John Simpson born May 18, 1813 (died March 17, 1889).  William died at age 37, leaving Mary with the two young boys.

Jimmie Renwick became a doctor after studies at S. C. Medical College and Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He came home to practice medicine in the communities of Beth Eden, Long Lane, and as far away as Laurens and Maybinton.  Having to travel on horseback, it was necessary for convenience for the doctor to maintain several homes in the area.  These houses were occupied by tenants and so staffed as to be able to serve him meals whenever his practices brought him near.  


The story goes that both brothers were in love with the same girl. When Mary Toland chose John, Jimmie became resigned to his fate and continued his full life as a bachelor.




After being married on March 30, 1837, John S. and Mary Toland Renwick went to live in a little cabin on the hill.  In a few years, they built another house within a stones throw of the cabin.  Commanding a beautiful view on all sides, this abode was built with two large rooms on the first floor and two the same size above.  Since there was no school in the district, the family had their private school in the yard for their children and neighborhood children that wished to attend.


About 1853, John and Mary built another home in the Beth Eden community.  The new house had three large rooms on each side of a tremendous hall and two commodious rooms in the half story.  The wallpaper in the front two rooms was linen backed and remained  beautiful for 100 years.




A veritable village in itself was this plantation for many blacks lived on the lands who were capable blacksmiths, carpenters, cobblers, spinners, weavers, seamstresses, cooks, nurses and maids, as well as good farmers.  Many of them were most dependable and highly regarded by the family.  Since County Antrim, Ireland, produced flax, the art of making linens, laces, etc, had been handed down to this generation.  Mary Toland was well versed in fashioning clothing and even men's suits. Shoes for the family and others were made at the plantation. Marcellus Renwick never had a pair of "store bought" shoes until he entered Erskine College. Before Eli Whitney's cotton gin was available to them, each child was required to separate enough cotton seed from the lint to fill his own shoe before going to bed.  Soon this job became a game!




The children of 
Col. William John Simpson Renwick
and Mary Elizabeth Toland Renwick




James Washington Renwick was born Nov 26, 1838 in Newberry, SC and died Oct 20, 1858 in Newberry, SC

Mary Elizabeth Renwick was born Sept 7, 1841 and died Aug 25, 1844 in, Newberry, SC

Hugh Toland Renwick was born Nov 19, 1843 in Newberry, SC and died April 27, 1862 in Richmond, VA.


Melissa Jane Renwick was born April 30, 1846 in Newberry, SC and died Jan 24, 1849 in, Newberry, SC.  She and Marcellous were twins.

Marcellus Adolphus Renwick was born April 30, 1846 in Newberry, SC and died July 6, 1918 in Newberry, SC. He married Mary Eliza Erwin on Oct 18, 1870 in Newberry. She was born Aug 2, 1848 in Hendersonville, NC and died Nov 15, 1892 in Newberry. His second marriage was to Kittie Jones on April 25, 1894 in Newberry. She was born July 1870 and died April 22, 1942 in Newberry.

Rosannah Angelina Renwick was born Dec 20, 1848 and died April 24, 1916 in Newberry. She married Cauldwell William McMorries on Oct 10, 1867 in Newberry. He was born June 6, 1847 and died Sept 18, 1869 in, Newberry. Her second marriage was to  Milton Anderson Carlisle on May 26, 1874 in Newberry. He was a son of Thomas Anderson Carlisle and Catherine Fidella Peacock (Kittie) Teagle. He was born Sept 27, 1841 in the Goshen Hill section, Union, South Carolina, and died March 11, 1920 in Newberry.

Emma Elizabeth Renwick was born May 15, 1851 and died Aug 6, 1930 in Newberry. She graduated from Erskin College. She married Richard Coleman Carlisle on Sept 16, 1869 in Newberry. He was a son of Thomas Anderson Carlisle and Catherine Fidella Peacock (Kittie) Teagle. He was born Dec 5, 1835 in the Goshen Hill section, Union, South Carolina, and died Aug 21, 1906 in Newberry.

Mary Satilla Renwick was born Sept 17, 1853 in Newberry and died Nov 12, 1872 in Charleston, SC. She graduated from Erskin College. She is buried in Kings Creek Cemetery.



Dr. Jimmie's Fortune
A Family Story


As the years passed, Dr. Jimmie Renwick offered his fortune to the eldest son of John and Mary, if he would study medicine and become a doctor. This was James Washington Renwick. He turned down the fortune and decided to become a minister.  Soon afterwards, he was stricken with typhoid fever and died, not quite twenty years of age.

Hugh Toland Renwick, the second son of John and Mary, was eighteen years old when he entered the Confederate Army.  He contracted measles while in the army and when sent back to the lines had a relapse and died in the Chimborozo Hospital.  His parents knew nothing of his death until a wagon drew up before the door of their home with his body.
(Dr. Coleman Carlisle was one of many assistant surgeons at Chimborazo Hospital at this time. He would marry Hugh's sister 7 years later.)

This left only one son, Marcellus.  He attended Erskine College, leaving to enlist with the sixteen year old boys in the Confederate Army.  A colored servant accompanied him in the service - foraging food for him and taking care of his trunk of personal belongings.
This colored man was known as "Daddy Dick".  He lived a long time after the war and would come to visit Marcellus and family. Marcellus was stationed along the SC coast and at the end of the war was in Virginia, not too far from Appomattox.   At the war's end, Marcellus came home riding a poor white horse.  As he came through Maybinton where his father had a large farm, many of the colored people followed him all the way to the Renwick home, so glad to see him back!

Marcellus went to Charleston Medical College in South Carolina and then on to Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia. From there he went to Paris, France for specialized training in eyes, ears, nose and throat.  In 1870 he returned back to the States.  He planned to practice medicine in New York City, but his parents wanted him home.  He was the only son left with three sisters.  He practiced for many years in Newberry County.

Dr. Jimmie died in 1865, at the end of the Civil War.  Marcellus went to medical school after the War.  I wonder if he received Jimmie's fortune?




In the News
Excerpts from the Newberry County newspapers.

-Col. Renwick hosted a concert at his house with members of the Johnson Female Academy giving a concert in vocal and instrumental music.  The Rising Sun 10/17/1860

-DEATH- We are pained to learn that our esteemed friend, Col. John S. Renwick, has lost his daughter, Satilla.  She recently graduated with honors at Due West. Feeling unwell, she had sought the enlivening scenes of the State Fair, and went to Charleston for a brief stay, when the swift and sad message came to the devoted father that his young and pure and gentle Satilla had passed away from his presence and protection here. She died on the 12th; her remains were brought home last Wednesday.  The Newberry Herald  11/20/1872

RENWICK'S DRUG STORE - telephone number is 34.  Newberry Observer 5/18/1899

-Dr. M.A. Renwick has sold all his stock and got out of the merchandising business in order to devote all his time to farming.  Newberry Observer 7/5/1900





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