Catlett Connor of Edgefield County, South Carolina

Catlett Connor, a very celebrated character in that day, and who was elected to the State Senate over Eldred Simkins, afterwards member of Congress and one of the most eminent men in the State, lived near Ninety-Six in the house, the residence in 1891, of Hon. Calvin W. Kinard.

This Mr. Connor was a blacksmith, a man of intelligence and of great force of character. Being considerably ambitious and jealous of the influence of the Butler and Simkins families in the county, and thinking that they were getting rather more offices than they were fairly entitled to, wrote and published a pamphlet against them. He was ably seconded by Mr. Matthew Jones of Ridge Spring, father of General James Jones, Captain Lewis Jones of Edgefield, and Major Edward Jones of Trenton; and the father-in-law of General Paul Quattlebaum of Lexington; Major Tillman Watson of Ridge Spring, and the Honorable William Gregg, the founder of Graniteville.

Party feeling ran very high, so high, indeed, that Mr. Matthew Jones and Colonel Smith Brooks had a fight about the election at Mount Willing in which, it is said, that Colonel Brooks got the worst of it. Connor’s gin house, said to be the first one built in Edgefield County, was still standing in the winter of 1890-91, and may be standing yet.

Colonel Ryden Grigsby of Edgefield County, South Carolina

Colonel Ryden Grigsby, a brave soldier, died in 1825. He had represented the District in the Legislature. His daughter became the wife of Captain Jonathan Wever, a man of great wealth, who lived three or four miles north of where the town of Johnston now is. The only son of the marriage was the somewhat celebrated John R. Wever. He became brigadier-general of militia and a member of the Legislature. He was a man of free and easy manners and lavish in the use of his money. He was wealthy and lived as though he was seized, and possessed of the River Pactolus, the waters of which flowed full of gold, and the sands at the bottom were not common sands but diamonds and gold dust and silver.

His property slipped through his hands; the stream of Pactolus ran dry; and from being a man of great wealth, he descended to very humble circumstances in life and died poor.

Source: Chapman, John Abney; History of Edgefield County from the earliest settlement to 1897; Newberry, S.C.: E. H. Aull, 1897.

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