W. W. (William W.) Sellers.

The Bethea family of Marion County, South Carolina online

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majority. Preston L. married a Miss Weatherby, daughter of
Colon W. Weatherby, of Bennettsville, and resides at Dillon.
Tristram married a Miss McRae, daughter of Hon. James
McRae, of Albriton, in extreme upper Marion ; he resides at
Dillon. Frank married a Miss Smith, of Alabama or Georgia,
and is now a resident of one of those States. William recently
married a Miss McLeod, of Robeson County, N. C. The other
three sons are yet with their father. Dr. Frank, I suppose, not
grown. Of the daughters of Dr. J. F. Bethea, the eldest, Flora,
married Tristram Thompson; she was a most excellent lady,
loved and respected by all who knew her. The Doctor's two
other daughters are minors and still with him. Dr. J. F. Be-
thea is a successful man every way ; as a farmer, he is a man of
affairs, a turpentine and saw mill man, is merchandizing at Dil-
lon, he and his sons (don't know how many or which), under
the firm name of J. F. Bethea & Co. ; he has once represented
the county in the State Legislature. Dallas Bethea, brother of
Dr. J. F. Bethea, is in Mississippi ; he has three sons, William,
Preston and Franklin. Alfred W., another great-grand-son of
"Sweat Swamp William," married Flora Bethea, a daughter of
Tristram Bethea, of Floral College, who was one of the "Cape
Fear set," and by her had only one child, a daughter, Hannah
Jane, who married Dr. J. F. Bethea, with the results above
stated. Dr. Alfred W. Bethea was no ordinary man ; he was
eminent as a physician, a good farmer, a well-informed man
and of sound practical sense and judgment ; he was a member
of the Secession Convention of i860; he was waylaid, shot and
killed by the deserters in the last months of the war, much re-
gretted by all who knew him ; he lived where Dr. J. F. Bethea
now lives ; the widow, who survived him, is now dead. David
W. Bethea, another g^eat-grand-son of "Sweat Swamp Wil-
liam," married, first. Miss Sarah Jane Manning, daughter of
Mealy Manning, of Marlborough ; by her he had two sons, Le-
Roy and David W., they are both married. LeRoy has two
sons, Henry and Leon — ^these have already been mentioned in
or among the Mannings and Easterlings, to which reference is
made. David W., Jr., has lately married, I think, a Miss


Townsend, of North Carolina ; gives promise of becoming a
useful man — is already so ; if like his mother he cannot be
otherwise, as she was one of the best of women. D. W. Be-
thea, Sr., represented the county one time in the Legislature,
1 860- 1 862 ; he was a good citizen ; he married, a second time, a
Miss Brunson, of Darlington, who yet survives; no offspring.
John B. Bethea (the youngest), another great-grand-son of
"Sweat Swamp William," married Elizabeth A. Bethea, a
daughter of Captain Elisha C, of the "Buck Swamp set ;" they
had four sons, as already mentioned among the "Buck Swamp
set," to which reference is made. Of the daughters of John
Bethea, the grand-son of "Sweat Swamp William," as given
herein above, Sophia, the eldest, married Robert B. Piatt, and
in a few weeks or months after her marriage she was acciden-
tally burned to death, and, of course, died childless. Mary
Ann, the second daughter, married Levi Bethea, of the "Buck
Swamp set," and has already been herein noticed in the "Buck
Swamp set," to which reference is made. Charlotte and Sallie,
the third and fourth daughters, 'both married the same even-
ing — Charlotte to Zack Fulmore and Sallie to Dr. John K.
Alford, both of North Carolina, where they thereafter lived
and died ; know but little of the family of either. Hannah, the
fifth and youngest daughter, married Alexander Fulmore, of
North Carolina; they moved to Alabama; know nothing of
them. Cade Bethea, the youngest grand-son of old "William
of Sweat Swamp," through his son, Jolhn, married Kittie Be-
thea, a sister of "Floral College Tristram," and a great-grand-
daughter of Tristram, the son of "English Jdhn," who settled
on Cap>e Fear River, N. C. — her father being Jessee and her
grand-father was Jessee, whose father was Tristram, the settler
on Cape Fear, whose father was old "English John." This I
get from the chart now lying before me. Cade Bethea and
Kittie had and raised five sons and three daughters ; the sons
were John W., Evander R., William C, Calvin and Henry ; the
daughters were Caroline, Harriet and Mary Ann. Cade Be-
thea settled on Sweat Swamp, north side, just opposite the
mouth of Beaver Dam, on the south side, where he lived and
died ; I think the place now belongs to Hon. D. W. McLaurin.
There was but one Cade Bethea in regard to cha .-acter ; he was


an incessant talker, and in his latter days was always on the go,
around among his kinsfolk and friends ; was a great complainer
and murmurer, and to hear him tell it, he was going to come to
nothing — going to perish to death. An illustration of his diar-
acter in this regard may be here related : On one occasion, his
nephew. Creek Jessie Bethea, went to see his Uncle Cade, in the
month of July or August ; the old gentleman was in his piazza
— it was a very hot day ; the old man was complaining and mur-
muring as usual, that his crop was a complete failure, that he
was not going to make anything, and he and his family would
all perish in a pile. After a while, Jessie, his nephew, proposed
that they would go out and look around his crop ; the old man
did not want to go ; said he did not want to see it — it made him
sick to look at it : they, however, went, and after looking around
and seeing it all, Jessie remarked to him, "Well, Uncle Cade,
your crop is ruined — you won't make anything. I thought my
crop was hurt pretty badly, but not near as bad as yours ; I de-
clare you will not make bread and you will have to go to the
poor house." The old man Cade replied, "You are :^ liar, sir;
my crop is as good as yours, and I am not going to the poor
house either." This is not all that was said, but is the pith of
it, and shows pretty clearly what the old man was in this re-
sf>ect. Jessie knew him. and said what tie did just to bring the
old man out, arfd to hush up his complaints. John W. Bethea,
the eldest son of old man Cade, married a Miss McLaurin ; they
had and raised four sons, Jessie, Laurin, Festus and Alonzo,
and one daughter, at least, who became the second wife of
Robert A. Brunson ; they moved to North Carolina. Jessee,
the oldest son of John W., married an Alabama lady ; he died
four or five years ago, at Dillon, and left his widow, two sons,
Jessie and John, and two small daughters, Bessie and Lucile.
John W. Bethea and wife are both dead. Evander R. Bethea,
the second son of old Cade, married Mary Ann Stackhouse,
and had one son, Jasper, and three daughters, Josephine, Carrie
and Nannie, all of whom have already been noticed in or among
the Stackhouse family. Laurin Bethea, the second son of John
W. Bethea, married a Miss McLaurin, as I think; he is a
farmer, and lives on Buck Swamp; know nothing of his family.
"Fet" Bethea, the third son, married a Miss Stackhouse, daugh-


ter of the late Mastin C. Stackhouse; he died, leaving his
widow with some children — the youngest of whom, a little girl,
was taken by Rev. S. J. Bethea and wife, and fhey are raising
it. Alonzo Bethea, the youngest son of John W. Bethea, is
lost sight of ; don't know whether he is living or dead, or
whether he married or not — think, however, that he has emi-
grated to other parts, or is dead. Wm. C. Bethea, the third son
of old man Cade Bethea, married Miss Virzilla Mace, a daugh-
ter of Moses and Drusilla Mace ; they had two sons, Henry and
John D., I think ; they and their children have already been
mentioned in or among the Mace family, to which reference is
made. Calvin C. Bethea, the fourth son of old man Cade, mar-
ried Miss Caroline Bethea, a daughter of "Creek Jessie;" they
had one child, a son, named Jessie; the father, Calvin, was sub-
ject to epileptic fits, and on one occasion, while crossing a
branch on Sweat Swamp, as supposed, an epileptic fit struck
him and he fell in the water and was drowned ; some years after
his death, his widow, with her son, went to Texas ; the son is
grown, and the report is that they are doing well in tihat far off
State. Henry, the fifth and youngest son of old man Cade
Bethea, never married ; he was killed or died in the war. Of
the daughters of old Cade Bethea, the eldest, Caroline, a highly
accomplished lady, as it was said, married James DuPre, of
Marlborough County ; she died childless, in about a year after
her marriage. Harriet, the second daughter, married James
McLaurin, of North Carolina ; a few years back, they bought
land on Buck Swamp and moved to it ; think they are both
dead — know nothing of their family. Mary Ann, the young-
est daughter, married T. F. Stackhouse, and is dead, leaving
him surviving; they have already been noticed in or among the
Stackhouse family, to which reference is made. Not one of
old man Cade Bethea's immediate family now survives.

Of the "Cape Fear set," Tristram, a son of old "English
John," settled on Cape Fear River, N. C. ; he had sons, James,
Jessee, Elisha and William. Of these, Jessee, had Jessee, Sim-
eon, David and Jessee (it seems two sons were named Jessee) ;
Simeon had Reddick, Jessee, William and Philip; and Jessee,
the elder, had Thomas, Tristram and John — ^this Tristram was
the "Floral College" Tristram ; and Jessee, the younger, had


John, Tristram, David and Jessee ; and this latter Tristram had
Jessee and Noah. William, the son of old Tristram, the "Cape
Fear" settler, had John and William. Of these latter, John
had William, John L., Jessee, David and Alexander ; and Wil-
liam had David, John and Philip. The "Floral College" Tris-
tram had Jessee, Daniel, Tristram, John and Thomas. Of these
latter, all of them died without offspring. The eldest of these,
Jessee, was well known in Marion ; he was a graduate of the
South Carolina College ; studied law, settled in Marion to prac-
tice his profession, was a partner of the writer, as Sellers &
Bethea, for several years ; left Marion, abandoned the practice,
never married, and died ; he was a good lawyer, but too modest
and diffident to enter into the "rough and tumble" of the Court
House — he was a good office lawyer; after leaving Marion, he
went to Marlborough and died there. This disposes of the
"Cape Fear set" of Betheas — at least, as far as known.

Referring, again, to the "Sweat Swamp" set — old William
had four sons, John, Goodman, Philip and Jessee — I think, all
these have been noticed except, perhaps, Goodman. Goodman
had two sons, Philip and Jessee, and the latter, Philip, had
Goodman, William and Philip. Of the grand-daughters of
"Swt^;. Swamp" William, Elizabeth married Jeremiah Walters,
and raised a large family. Sarah married Timothy Rogers, a
nephew of "Buck Swamp" John, and raised a large family.
Pattie married John Braddy, and was the mother of the
Braddys and their descendants, as have been and are now
known in the county.

The writer may have inadvertently omitted some of this
numerous and extensive family as laid down on the chart kindly
furnished him, but do not think I have. From the original
stock, "Old English John," it runs down to and includes the
seventh and in one instance the eighth generation among the
males bearing the name, and it is not improbaible that among
the females (if they had been given and traced), it would ex-
tend to and include the ninth and tenth generations, as it is a
well known fact, that females generally marry younger than
males, and consequently propagate faster than through the
male line. If every family had a chart or tree like this, it
would be an acquisition to the history of our people. It is a


fact, that many of our peopk are shamefully ignorant as to
their ancestry. It is a fact, that the writer has found in his
inquiries on the subject among the people of Marion County, a
few instances where the party inquired of did not know, and
could not tell, who his grand-father was, and to his great sur-
prise he has found it of men otherwise intelligent, and well
posted in other matters. A chart, like that of the Betheas, in
every family would forever dissipate such ignorance, and
would enable every man to tell, at a word, whether he descended
by natural and generic processes from his own species, or
evoluted from a tadpole or a monkey. The Bethea chart is so
constructed as to be indefinitely extended ad infinitum to the
rernotest generations.

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Online LibraryW. W. (William W.) SellersThe Bethea family of Marion County, South Carolina → online text (page 3 of 3)