Prosperity, Newberry County, South Carolina

Prosperity is a town in Newberry County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,047 at the 2000 census.


Location of Prosperity, South Carolina

Prosperity is located at 34°12?38?N, 81°32?4?W (34.210657, -81.534347)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.5 km˛ (2.1 mi˛), all land.


Prosperity was chartered in 1851 under the name Frog Level. The name was changed to Prosperity by popular demand (upon petition of its citizens) in 1873.


As of the census GR2 of 2000, there were 1,047 people, 415 households, and 293 families residing in the town. The population density was 191.6/km˛ (495.9/mi˛). There were 456 housing units at an average density of 83.4/km˛ (216.0/mi˛). The racial makeup of the town was 53.20% White, 44.79% African American, 0.67% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.39% of the population.

There were 415 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 78.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $30,875, and the median income for a family was $39,261. Males had a median income of $31,406 versus $19,226 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,323. About 14.6% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over


The Herald and News, Dec. 3, 1915
Semi-Centenial Edition
Prosperity, SC

Live and Progressive Business Community Center of Poultry Trad, Grain and Cotton
A Brief Sketch of the Growth and Development of one of the Brightest Towns in Central Carolina. Newberry's Younger Sister. Market Town for a Large Country Round About

Prosperity? We can not tell you way, or whether it has been the name that made the town, or some underlying spirit of the people that both made the town and suggested the name, at all events it is Prosperity, and it looks its name. This is a new town, even as towns go in the interior of South Carolina are counted. 'The present elder generation remember when Prosperity was not a town, and the site of the present town was a hopeless prospect, as far as one could see, with no natural advantages to bring forth a town, but good, live town builders ask only enough soil to take root in and they build a town as one would build a house, by putting the material together that goes to make a town.

The beginnings of business in this community were centered in the poultry and egg business, and they evidently had somewhere in the country round about the goose that laid the golden egg, and they have not killed it, as is told in the fable, because it continues to lay the golden eggs for the people of the town and for their Prosperity.

For years this section, close to the Dutch Fork country, where people did not know any other way of living than raising what they needed and selling the surplus was the center of rood production, and at a time when all the rest of the state was busy raising cotton for their creditors the people of Prosperity section were raising chickens and eggs and grain and hogs and their own horses and mules, their cane syrup and putting up their fruits and vegetables for winter use, and they were the creditors of the rest of the county, and they believed in elementary schools and in churches and they were a moral, sober, industrious people. Maybe the goose that laid the golden eggs is not so hard to find after all.

Moseley Bros, represent one of the old original firms, which was Brown & Moseley back in the time when only the fathers of the present boys and girls can remember. The names of Birge, and Wise, and Hunter, and Bobb are still names to conjure with, that were well known in the older times when business was just opening. There are new names in the town, too, that the town people and the people round about through the country have learned to know and respect and call their own, because they have done much for the town and they are strong and lusty builders of Prosperity in two senses of the word.

Prosperity had a fire not long ago. It wiped out a good portion of the business section, but getting knocked down in always part of the game and these people have gotten together and they are building up a better section than they had before, nice, modern brick buildings in place of the frame buildings that formerly stood there. Among them is to be a handsome Masonic building which will have a lodge above and a modern store beneath and that building is now going up as well as others, and one nice brick store has already been completed and is being occupied by one of the live young merchants.

Prosperity has one of the most comfortable and attractive school houses in the county, and one of the best schools.   Prof. J. S. Wheeler is the Superintendent, he resigned from the position of county superintendent of education to take the school, and be has been very successful with it. The building is commodious and handsome, large class rooms and auditorium, a department for manual training and fur domestic science, as well as for all the branches of "book learning." and this school has made exhibits of its work in these special branches that has attracted most favorable attention. The people of Prosperity are mighty proud of this school and of the teachers, and they ought to be. The fatuity is made up of Prof. Wheeler, Mr. Norman Wessinger. Miss Susie Langford. Mrs. France Morris, Miss Clara Brown, Miss Quenie Langford and Miss Bessie Lee Gibson.

There are two good banks in Prosperity, a large oil mill and ginnery, owned by local capital; two cotton gins, several active cotton buyers, a dealers, several large stores that would sales stables, dealers and breeders of live stock. Two produce commission dealers several large stores that would do credit to any city, a number of stores for all lines of supplies, dry goods, hardware, farm implements, drugs, furniture and everything that the people of a town or rural community might want.

In the matter of points of interest Prosperity presents an ancient burial ground, now used as public cemetery, where the old time people aid their loved ones to rest, the graves therein dating back to the colonial and revolutionary period. The story of this burial ground is an interesting one, but it will come another time, it is the city of the live and progressive that we are telling now.

The Lutherans of this section have in Prosperity one of the most attractive churches to be found in the state, a gem of architectural beauty. The building cost something over $15,000, but that by no means represents its real money value, even, as a building. It is prettily situated and the grounds and lawn around it are being constantly improved.   There are, besides this church, houses of worship, neat land attractive, for the Baptists, the Methodists and the Presbyterians of the A. R. P. persuasion, and the Episcopalians hold more or less regular services in the community.

In lodges there are the Masons, now erecting a $5,000 hall, the Knights of Prythias, the Red Med and the Woodmen of the World. These lodges are strong and active in the community, doing good work among the business ma n and the farmers living round about.

Prosperity has good water and lights for a small town, and the people are moving for a better system of water, a fire department and for electric light and power. They have good streets and the town is in good condition, with a mayor who is doing faithful work for them and in whom they have abundant confidence.

The Bank of Prosperity was established to meet the growing needs of the community for increased banking facilities, and it has had a very successful career. It was organized by Mr. A. G. Wise, one of the greatest of Prosperity's boosters, who laid the foundations of its success and managed it well until compelled by failing health to resign, when Dr. George Y. Hunter, one of the most public spirited and progressive men in the county, was chosen to direct it. A recent statement of the bank shows its condition to have been, in the midst of the most stressful period of the war depression: Loans and discounts, $139,062.46; total assets, $169,232.20; its capital stock is $25,000; surplus and undivided profits, $9,167.81; deposits, $127,023.08. Dr. Hunter, the president of the bank, has been a leader in agricultural development in the country, he has done his full share in encouraging the work of teaching farmers how to make the most of the opportunities, he has been for years at the head of the Stock Breeders association of the state and has taken a live and active interest in the schools of the county and of his own town. He is a South Carolina college man and graduated in medicine at Tulane university, New Orleans, and was a successful practitioner and friend of his patients.   He has shown by his own effects at building a school what can be done in building up a community through a really good school. He has taken an active interest in the development of the cotton manufacturing business of the community, and holds stock in several mills and is one of the directors of the Mollohon mills.

Mr. J. F. Brown, the cashier, is an active public spirited man, he began his business life as telegraph operator in Prosperity. He is now interested in all the enterprises that go to the building up of the community and is popular and highly esteemed through the entire section.

The directors of the bank are S. S. Birge. N. L. Black, J. F. Browne Dr. Hunter. P. B. Warner, Dr. J. S. Wheeler, the vice president, and J. E. Hunter. Mr. J. A. Counts, a popular young man. raised in Prosperity, is the assistant cashier.

Mr. J. D. Quattlebaum is one of the busy men of Prosperity. He is the owner of the Idle Hour Mill, which has been kept very busy this fall and is generally busy at all times. The Idle Hour Mill grinds corn, making the best meal and grist that is offered in the market. A large part of the product of the mill is sold in the larger markets of the state and goes to supply the city demand for food stuff. Mr. Quattlebaum also has a sales stable, and keep good stock on hand for town and country trade. His business also embraces the buying and selling of poultry and eggs, in which line he is one of the few dealers in the state who pay cash for country produce. Mr. Quattlebaum has served Prosperity well as alderman, and he has done a great deal in many ways for the good of the community and the development of its trade. He is a wide awake and progressive citizen, and his mill and his produce business are valuable as sets to the commerce of Prosperity.

One of the most attractive stores in the county is that of the Black Dry Goods Company. Mr. N. L. Black and son have been in business in Prosperity for about ten years and are thoroughly identified with all of the local interests of the people. Mr. Black came from Saluda county and engaged in business here, quickly winning the confidence of the people of the community, and bringing with him a considerable volume of trade from the section in which he was raised, for he was highly regarded in Saluda county before he came to Prosperity. His store is well stocked with a carefully elected line of up to date dress goods. He carries the very best lines of ladies' ready to wear, dress goods and trimmings, notions and fancy goods. He is a live merchant, carefully studying the interests of his customers, buying the best that can be offered for the dollar and promising no more than be can justify, and then justifying all that he has promised. He believes in advertising for expansion of business and health growth, and through judicious use of printer's ink he has largely built up his trade in this section. He is popular in town and county, and takes a live interest in all public affairs. The Black Dry Goods Company, which succeeded N. L. Black & Son, handles the Stetson hats, Bostonian shoes and all such standard lines of goods, and a full stock of the very best millinery, with an experienced artist to serve the ladies of the community in this line.

Mr. T. A. Dominick has a first class general merchandise store on the public square, liberally patronized by the people of Prosperity and those who come into the town to trade.  He keeps a full line of dry goods, shoes and notions, with a fine line of staple and fancy groceries.   Mr. Dominick was raised in St. Luke's section and has brought a large line of trade from that section into Prosperity to swell the general trade of the town. He was educated at Newberry college, and has made use of his education in doing all that he could for the uplift of the community around him. He has given liberally of his time and means to public service, especially in the matter of the development of the schools of the county. He takes an active interest also in all church work and in general public service. He has been a number of years in business in Prosperity and by his fair dealing and unfailing courtesy to the trade he has built his business up to be one of the largest in the community. He has a very attractive store, well stocked with a large line of standard goods, carefully selected, and a polite and efficient corns of salesmen and saleswomen. Mr. Dominick is one of the influential men in the community and is always alive to things that will make the development of the section from which he draws his trade.

Moseley Brothers represent the oldest business firm in the community, one that existed even before there was a town of Prosperity.  The old firm of Brown & Moseley, and later Wheeler & Moseley, used to do the banking business for the people of this section before state banks became general.   The firm now is composed of Mr. W. A. Moseley.  They have a large brick building on one of the corners of the public square, two great stores and a second story full of merchandise. Their stores are divided into one for dry goods and one for groceries and hardware.   On the upper floor furniture is kept.   In the dry goods department one may find the very latest and most attractive stock off everything that can be had in any large city store, ladies' and men's ready to wear goods of the heighst class, as well as the cheaper grades for rough use.   And an up to date millinery department where all of the fashions are kept up with and the ladies of this section can feel assured that no more stylish or better looking hats, dresses or trimmings can be offered them. In the grocery department there is everything that the best markets of the world can offer, staple and fancy good's, neathly and attractively displayed, and kept fresh.   A large general line of hardware and supplies in that line for home, and farm are offered the public.   This firm has always enjoyed a large and gratifying trade through the three counties of Newberry, Lexington and Saluda. They have the confidence of the people and through their courteous treatment of their trade they have continued to build it year after year.

The Prosperity Drug Company is an up to date pharmacy, carrying a full line of drugs and medicines, supplying the trade in this section with all that can be called for in a first class drug store. Dr. J. I. Bedenbaugh is the manager of the store. He is a progressive, live business man and keeps pace with the progress of his business and profession. The prescription counter is in charge of Dr. C. K. Wheeler, a registered pharmacist and druggist of experience. He was raised in Prosperity and has the confidence of the people of the community in his work His prescription counter is equipped with all that the physicians call for in their practice in this vicinity and he is prompt in filling orders for his patrons.

In addition to the drugs and medicines the Prosperity Drug Company keeps a full line of druggists' sundries and notions, writing paper and school supplies, toilet articles for ladies and gentlemen. The store is equipped with a first class soda fount and ice cream parlor  is a popular  resort  for the young folk and for all who find a good concoction with carbonic gas refreshing during the day's work.  The Prosperity Drug Company has a popular store and one where people are pleased to trade, town folk and country patrons alike   are   courteously treated and promptly served by the polite and efficient force of salesmen.

Dr. Bedendaugh has won his business success largely through his own hard work.   He educated himself at Newberry college and the Medical Department of the University of Georgia. He has been successful as a practitioner, and especially so in winning the confidence and esteem of the people of his section.

Dr. C. T. Wyche has the old reliable drug store of Prosperity. He has been in business here for a number of years, and has always enjoyed the fullest confidence of the people. This has been shown by the number of times, even in changing political epochs, that Dr. Wyche has been chosen to represent the people of Newberry in the legislature. He has been family physician for most of the people in this neighborhood for years and has worked faithfully and well with them in their joys and in their bereavements. He belongs to them, and they are fond of him. Dr. Wyche has been for several terms one of the most influential and hardest working members of the legislature prominent especially in educational work. He was speaker pro tern of the house for a long time, and & prominent candidate for election as speaker when he was stricken with partial paralysis while presiding over that body. Dr. Wyche has as his pharmacist the well known Dr. J. A. Simpson, one of the most popular men in this section, for forty years a druggist. Dr. Simpson manages the drug store and keeps the stock well up with the demands of the day and the progress of medical science. He keeps a full line of all drugs and medicine, druggists' novelties and notions, stationery and school supplies and everything that one might expect in a first class, up to date drug store.

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