Milan Nicholson was
born February 29, 1864, while Abraham Lincoln
was President. His father was John Nicholson
and his mother was Mary Glazener, daughter of
Isaac Glazener and sister of Giles Glazener and
Jim Glazener. My mother was born in the old
Flem Glazener house near Rosman and my
grandfather owned land around there including
what is now the Town of Rosman.
I was born in a log
cabin in the field just above Keystone Camp.
Later on my father built a house where Denny
Nicholson now lives and we moved there. This
house was burned some years
My sisters and brothers were: Jane, who married
Ed Ballard; Lou, who married Perry King and
moved to what was then Indian Territory, now
the State of Oklahoma; Dovie, who married
Edward Hamlin and moved to Missouri (Ed Hamlin
is still living and is around 96 years old);
Meredith, my oldest brother; and Denny, who
lives in Brevard.
I can remember when Bob Hume had a store in
front of the Franklin Hotel, Flem Whitmire had
a store on Main Street and I think sold it to
Tom Hampton, a fellow named Billy James came
from South Carolina and opened a little store
where George Nicholson’s cleaning business now
is, and Tom Gash, Bob’s daddy, opened up a
store after I can remember. B. C. Lankford had
a little store on the corner near where the
Methodist Church now is.
Catheys Creek was the first Baptist Church
built in this county. Bethel Church, located
just this side of Dave Wards’, was the first
church I ever attended. We rode there in a ox
wagon. It was a one room log house. Mr. Mace of
Bowman’s Bluff was the pastor and we had
preaching once a month.
Jimmy Hamlin was the first postmaster in the
county and the post office was at Lake Sega.
The mail came once a week. People from all over
the county went there for their mail. There
were no newspapers, just letters.
Tom B. Lankford says that he remembers
when the cornerstone of the present court house
was laid – doesn’t know the exact date, but
thinks it was about 1879. A great many things
were put into the cornerstone. Among them a
Bible, some whiskey and some money. His father
came to this county about 1845 and operated a
store down opposite Oak Grove
Church. It was called the
Valley Store and was owned by Alfred
Tollison, a Spartanburg man. Later he went
back to Polk County and got him a wife,
whose name was Isabella Amanda Morris.
Sometime after that the people got together
and formed a Methodist Association and had
their camp ground down there. They got the
land from Samuel Wilson and kept it until
1868, when they deeded it back to Gaston
Siniard. At the time Transylvania County was
cut off, B. C. Lankford’s house, where the
first court was held, was located at the
Valley Store. The present Deer Park Home is
the original house.
W. P. Poor’s store was located on the corner of
what is now Main and Gaston Streets, below
where the Methodist Church stands, and was the only store
in what is now the Town of Brevard. The next
store built in Brevard was the Bob Hume
Store on the corner of North Alley and Main
The people tanned their leather in vats, first
putting it in lime for a certain period of
time. After it was taken out of that it was run
through rollers and the hair taken off. Then
the hides were put into vats and covered with
liquor from tanbark. The bark was run through
rollers something like a cane mill and ground
Andy Hamilton had a tanyard between Duckworth
Motor Co. and the Smathers Manufacturing Co.
There were people in the community who made
shoes (Fuller Morton was one). Patterns were
cut from the hides and they were tanned and the
parts that were sewed together were sewed with
Whang leather and rawhide. Some was made from
groundhog skin and some from deer hide. They
would put the shoes on a wooden last and put
the soles on with pegs. The pegs were made from
wood. The insole was sewed on to the upper with
whangs and the wooden pegs were made out of
seasoned maple, which would swell and hold
until the shoes were worn out.
Most of the trading in this section was done in
South Carolina – Columbia and Augusta, Georgia,
and later Greenville.
Joshua and Perry Orr were carpenters and built
the first houses in Brevard. They had to hew
the framing. They made boards out of poplar
planks with a whipsaw. A few people had an up
and down sawmill with a saw that went up and
down, run by water.
Some of the first houses built in Brevard which
are still standing are:
One built by Joshua Orr for B. C. Lankford near
the Franklin Hotel, now owned by Mrs.
Built before the War:
The George Neill house, now owned by Yancey
The Lambert Neill house, now owned by Mrs.
The James Glazener house, where Flem
Glazener now lives.
The old Morris house.
The Jerry Lanning house (above Fay
The Ursula Shuford house.
The houses were originally built out of logs
and [unclear] weatherboarded.
- Transcribed by Linda O. Anders, 10