Goggan's Store

Annals of Newberry, Part Two by John A. Chapman, page 529-531


"James Goggans, the first occupant of Goggans' Old Store, and from whom it took its name, was, I believe, related to all the Gogganses in Newberry County. He was a brother of old Mrs. Mangum, who was the mother of the late Rev. Daniel Mangum, who did more to build up the Baptist Church in the upper part of Newberry county than any other man has ever done. The old store was on the road leading from Newberry to Laurens by way of Belfast and Milton, about three or four hundred yards above where the late Washington Floyd used to live. The writer has now in his possession the deed of conveyance given by James Goggans and Ezekiah Eastland to Stephen Herndon on the 22nd day of March, 1809, and signed by their wives, Cassandra Goggans and Elizabeth Eastland, relinquishing their right of dower, on the 4th of April, 1809; also a deed from James Goggans to Stephen Herndon, 21st of March, 1809, with relinquishment of dower by his wife, Cassandra Goggans, on 4th of April following. One or the other of these deeds, I suppose, conveyed the site of the old store.

"The writer has the impression that James Goggans then lived for a time in Georgia; from there he went to Perry County, Ala., and finally settled in Coosa County, where his two sons, William and Dr. James P. Goggans, and several of his daughters still reside.

"Abram Belton merchandised for a time at the old store after the removal of Goggans, after which, I think, it was unoccupied for several years; then Cary Pitts came into possession and carried on the mercantile business for several years. But it finally passed into the hands of Washington Floyd, and is now the property of his grandson Lou W. Floyd.

"When the writer can first remember, the muster ground of the Western Battalion of the 38th Regiment, the post office called Belmont, and the election precinct for what is now called Floyd's, or No. 6 township, was at or near the old store and remained there for along time. But as the place fell into disuse as a place of business, ll these passed to McConnell's, two miles nearer to Newberry Court House, where A. J. Longshore now resides and still carries on the mercantile business. Since the war the post office at Belmont has been discontinued and mustering has placed out, so there remains only the election precinct.

"At one time the neighborhood around Goggans' Old Store was very populous. There were the Clelands, Butlers, Floyds, Andersons, Gogganses, Wallaces, Manns, Jarrases, Sterlings and more Pittses than a man could count in half an hour. And besides these there was quite a number of families whose names I have now forgotten. But now all is different, and white families are few and far between.

"Capt. John Floyd, who lived near the old store, was the ancestor of all the Floyds. He had been a soldier in the Revolution and was at the battle to Stono, where he commanded as lieutenant, and he used to boast that he alone ran a large number of the British, and when urged to tell how he managed to accomplish such a feat he said that he ran and they ran after him. On one occasion his son Washington was very sick and making a good deal of complaint, sometimes calling out, 'Lord, help me!' At length the old man said to him: 'Come, Washington, my son, if you have to die, die like a man; and if you want help, call on some of the people you are acquainted with; don't call on strangers.'

"I have said before that James Goggans was related to all the Gogganses, and I think he was in some way also related to the Eastlands; for I have heard it said of him that he used to tell one of his sons, who was inclined to play a great many mischievous pranks, that he was at a loss to tell which he took after most, 'Honest Bill' Goggans or Joseph Eastland.

"Bailey Goggans, son of 'Honest Bill,' lived and died in the same neighborhood; and we can say with truth that no man was ever more universally respected by his neighbors. A family of his grandchildren are still living in the neighborhood of the old homestead, and I have no hesitation in saying that they are the peer of any family in the country.

"When Goggans' Old Store was in its prime it was, I suppose, one of the most public places in the county;l but a stranger, to see the place now, could scarcely realize that it once had so much life and activity; for of all the people who once used to rendezvous at the old store for the purpose of fun and frolic, there is not one left to tell the tale."

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