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Primary Research


MacLeod/McLeod
MacLeod DNA Project
McLeod Reunion Tombstone Project
South Carolina Grave Index

Secondary Research
When not researching my McLeods and working on the FTDNA projects, these lines are researched.


Wilke of Germany/N.Y.
Jessup of England
Checker/Tskeris of Greece/N.Y.
Abnett of England
Hudson of South Carolina
Ives of South Carolina

Sideline Research
These lines have married into my family (primary and secondary lines of research seen above) and are included here to aid other researchers. I am not currently researching these names; however, the pages are updated as information becomes available.


Arrants of South Carolina
Barnes of South Carolina
Blyther of South Caroliina
Boykin of South Carolina
Cook Family of South Carolina
Coombs of Maine
Checker/Tskeris Greece
Davis of South Carolina
Dennis of South Carolina
Freeman of South Carolina
Holland of South Carolina
Huggins of South Carolina
Hurst of South Carolina
Jones of South Carolina
Josey/Jossey of South Carolina
Keretas of Greece
Medhurst of England
Meyers of South Carolina
Moseley of South Carolina
Rodgers of South Carolina
Ross of South Carolina
Yates/Yeates of South Carolina

 

Online Research Sites


Sumter South Carolina Genealogy
Kershaw South Carolina Genealogy
County Kent England Genealogy

 

 

 

Walking with Ghosts..........

a website for the descendants of Angus and Nancy McCutchen MacLeod~~

~~~~~~~



Cleveland School Fire -May 1923 - Kershaw County, South Carolina



On May 17 1923, 300 people, many our family members, attended a play at the Cleveland School in Sandy Mill, Kershaw County. Tragically, a lamp fell from the ceiling onto the stage of the second floor hall where the play was being held, causing the burning oil to ignite the straw and oilcloth used as set decorations.

Although an attempt was made to put out the fire, panic soon began as it was realized the spread of fire was too rapid to control. As people began to try to escape, some jumped from the second story windows before a flag pole was lain against the building allowing people to slide down to safety. Others were thrown from the windows onto car seat cushions laid below to break their fall. Many more people rushed to the stairs where the crush caused those in front to be trampled. It soon became impossible for any one to pass through and down the stairs. Those who had escaped tried to save those stuck in the staircase, the staircase eventually collapsed and at the end of the evening, 77 people were killed.

Miller McLeod, son of Ashmore Calhoun and Julia Barnes McLeod, escaped the fire but realized his wife was still inside. He returned to try to save her. After the fire, he was found dead with his arms around the body of his wife.

His uncle, Mannus Baum McLeod, also escaped the fire but returned to help rescue those who had been trapped and or were too frail to jump themselves. It is said that he threw many to safety before succumbing to the smoke and flames himself.

On Friday May 18th, a mass funeral was held at Buelah Church where 50 - 60 unidentified bodies were buried in a mass grave. 5000 people were estimated to have attended the memorial service. A granite marker has been placed at the site of school in memory of those who perished.

As a result of this terrible incident, several things occurred; South Carolina Gov. McLeod (no known relationship) requested nation wide for funds be sent to aid the families. Over $40,000 was received and the Red Cross sent in two workers to oversee the disbursement of the funds. This tragic event and the response was the first time the Red Cross is recorded to have provided money for disaster relief. The South Carolina Legislature met and required that schools be built with fire escapes. Information found in article The Cleveland School Fire, Reagy Cobb, article found at the Camden Archives by Trish Sanders Brown.

After the fire, John Oliver Moseley, the son of George Washington Moseley and the grandson of Catherine McLeod. wrote several articles regarding the victims of the fire. Included in those articles were ones regarding his cousins, Mannius Baum McLeod, son of John N and Kitsy Davis McLeod, and Bernel and Miller McLeod, sons of Ashmore Calhoun McLeod, Baum's brother. Two of those articles are shown below.

I first visited the site of the fire with my father and my husband in the summer of 2000. I was amazed at the number of our family who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy. I also learned of several cousins spared because their mother was ill with a headache and decided to keep all but one of her children home with her. The lone child who attended is listed below - Jesse Smith, the son of one of our Ross family members.

Having not brought a camera on this visit, I grabbed an envelop from the glove box and proceeded to copy onto it all the names seen below. It was indeed a sobering moment as I realized that whole families were killed together. In the table, I have grouped families together in the same color font in order to clearly show the extent of this event. Those related to me are shown in black font.

The following was prepared by the author and as such is copyright protected as intellectual property. Viewers may copy this table for their own files but must include the copyright information in those files:

GRACE ARRANTS AGE 7

IMA ARRANTS AGE 17

MRS. FLORIDE BROWN AGE 47

LOTTIE BROWN AGE 9

EUGENE A BROWN AGE 57

ELLIE BARNES AGE 17

FANNIE BOWERS AGE 16

MRS. LULA CROFT AGE 37

DOROTHY CROFT AGE 10

HAMILTON CROFT AGE 6

MRS. ESTELLE CAMPBELL AGE 20

EOLINE CAMPBELL AGE 14

ASE R. DAVIS AGE 37

MRS. ASE R. DAVIS AGE 42

LENA MAE DAVIS AGE 14

FRANNIE LEE DAVIS AGE 8

W.C. DAVIS AGE 3

C. LUCUS DIXON AGE 42

CLARA DIXON AGE 12

MRS. MANNIE DIXON AGE 50

LINWOOD DIXON AGE 12

MRS. THERESA DIXON AGE 32

S ARA DIXON AGE 9

MRS ADDIE DIXON AGE 22

MARGARET DIXON AGE 7

WILLENE DIXON AGE 1

MARY LYNE GODWIN AGE

BERTIE HENDRIX AGE 16

CHARLIE W. HENDRIX AGE 52

MAISIE HENDRIX AGE 15

ANNIE LEE HENDRIX AGE 13

WILBER HENDRIX AGE 10

ALVA HENDRIX AGE 6

WESLEY E HENDRIX AGE 60

BERTIE HENDRIX AGE 16

FRANK HINSON AGE 9

JC HINSON AGE 9

ARABELLE HINSON AGE 11

CHARLES N. HUMPHRIES- 64

MRS. CHARLES HUMPHRIES - 56

TOMMY B HUMPHRIES AGE 30

WILLIAM GETTER JOHNSON AGE 11

MRS. KATE MCASKILL AGE 40

ROY MCASKILL AGE 4

ADELINE MCASKILL AGE 20

COZEA MCASKILL AGE 2

GRACIE MCASKILL AGE 5

MILLER L. MCLEOD AGE 39

MRS. M. L. MCLEOD AGE 33

LINDSEY MCLEOD AGE 5

MILTON MCLEOD AGE 1

BERNELL G. MCLEOD AGE 29

MRS. B MCLEOD AGE 27

BRUCE MCLEOD AGE 2

MB MCLEOD AGE 63

JESSE E. PEARCE AGE 40

MRS. DORA PHILLIPS AGE 45

OLA PHILLIPS AGE 17

DOREEN PHILLIPS AGE 14

EVA PHILLIPS AGE 8

MRS. GRACE RHODEN AGE 32

JACK RUSH AGE 15

CLARA MAE SOWELL AGE 13

JESSIE SMITH AGE 13

DUNNIE TRUESDALE AGE 23

EMILY TRAPP AGE 10

VERA TRAPP AGE 9

SHELL J. WEST AGE 37

THELMA WEST AGE 15

REBEKAH WEST AGE 11

 

SADIE WADE (COLORED) AGE 17

 


Courtesy of Scarborough Page


Courtesy of Scarborough Page

Explanation of Family Connections:

IMA JULIA ARRANTS AGE 17 daughter of Henry Calvin Pryor Arrants and Ava Kitsy McLeod; granddaughter of John N. and Kitsy Davis McLeod - great granddaughter of Alexander and Sarah McIntosh McLeod, great great granddaughter of Angus and Nancy McCutchen MacLeod Ima was also the granddaughter of James William Arrants and Francis Judith Huggins and a neice of Eliza Ann Arrants and Angus McLeod.

MILLER L. MCLEOD AGE 39, son of Ashmore Calhoun McLeod and Julia Barnes; grandson of John N. and Kitsy Davis McLeod, great grandson of Alexander and Sarah McIntosh McLeod, great great grandson of Angus and Nancy McCutcen MacLeod Death Certificate #7847 Miller L. McLeod; pod, DeKalb, Kershaw County SC; married; dod, 5/17/1923; age 35; pob, SC; parents, A. C. McLeod & Julia Barnes, both born in SC; informant, A.G. McLeod, Camden; cod, Burned to Death in the Cleveland School Fire; burial, Beulah, 5/18/1923; undertaker, C.W. Evans. / South Carolina Death Index, 1915-1949 [database online]., Source Information: Ancestry.com. South Carolina Death Index, 1915-1949 [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2004. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina Death Index, 1915-1949. Columbia, S.C.: South Carolina Division of Vital Records, Office of Public Health Statistics and Information Services SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

MRS. M. L. MCLEOD AGE 33 - Mamie Barfield - daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Barfield - wife of Miller Death Certificate #7846, Mrs. Miller McLeod; pod, DeKalb, Kershaw County SC; married; dod, 5/17/1923; age 35; cod, Burned to death in Cleveland School Fire; pob, SC; parents, J.J. Barfield & Mrs. J.J. Barfield, both born in SC; informant, A.G. McLeod, Cassatt; burial Beulah, 5/18/1923 accessed by Lori McLeod Wilke

Their child - LINDSEY MCLEOD AGE 5 Death Certificate #7845 Lindsey McLeod; pod, DeKalb, Kershaw County; single; dod, 5/17/1923; age 5; pob, SC; parents, Miller L. McLeod & ........Barfield, both born in SC; informant, A.G. McLeod, Camden; cod, Burned to death in the Cleveland School Fire; burial, Beulah, 5/18/1923; undertaker, C.W. Evans.

Their child - MILTON MCLEOD AGE 1 Death Certificate #7844 Milton McLeod; pod, DeKalb, Kershaw County; dod, 5/17/1923; age 1; pob, SC; parents, Miller L. McLeod & ....... Barfield, both born in SC; informant, A.G. McLeod, Camden; cod, Burned to Death in the Cleveland School Fire; burial, Beulah Church, 5/18/1923; undertaker, C.W. Evans.

BERNELL G. MCLEOD AGE 29 son of Ashmore Calhoun McLeod and Julia Barnes; granddaughter of John N. and Kitsy Davis McLeod, grandson of John N. and Kitsy Davis McLeod, great grandson of Alexander and Sarah McIntosh McLeod, great great grandson of Angus and Nancy McCutcen MacLeod Death Certificate #7858 Burnell G. McLeod; pod, DeKalb, Kershaw County SC; married; dod, 5/17/1923; age 28; Farmer & Clerk; pob, SC; parents, A.C. McLeod & Julia Barnes, both born in SC; informant, A.G. McLeod, Camden; cod, Burned to death in Cleveland School Fire; burial, Beulah Church, 5/19/1923; undertaker, C.W. Evans.

MRS. B MCLEOD AGE 27 - Eva Bruce daughter of P.T. and Sarah Peach Bruce Death Certificate #7857 Mrs. Burnell G. McLeod; pod, DeKalb, Kershaw County SC; married; dod, 5/17/1923; age 26; pob, SC; parents, P.T. Bruce & Sarah Peach, both born in SC; informant, D. Carl A. West, Camden; cod, Burned to death in Cleveland School Fire; burial, Beulah Church, 5/19/1923; C.W. Evans.

Their child -BRUCE MCLEOD AGE 2

MB MCLEOD AGE 63 - Mannus/Mannius Baum McLeod, widower of Alice Cook; son of John N. and Kitsy Davis McLeod, grandson of Alexander and Sarah McIntosh McLeod, great grandson of Angus and Nancy McCutchen MacLeod. Death Certificate: # 7859 Kershaw County dated May 12 1923 - Death at age 71 - Witnessed by A. G. McLeod death certificate information provided to Lori McLeod Wilke by Genealogist Boyd Bedenbaugh; from a work originally done as a Christmas Gfit from Mike Bedenbaugh to Kirk Alan McLeod

JESSIE SMITH AGE 13 - son of Sarah Ann Ross OR Susan Emma Ross and Unknown Smith, grandson of Capt. James M. Ross and Mary P. Jones, great grandson of William Ross and Sarah Ann Ives - of the Ross Farm Road area in Sumter County. (William Ross and Sara Ann Ives were my 3 x's great grandparents.)

DUNNIE TRUESDALE AGE 23 - son of William J Truesdale and Lula Lavicey McLeod who was the daughter of Ashmore Calhoun McLeod and Julia Barnes; granddaughter of John N. and Kitsy Davis McLeod, great granddaughter of Alexander and Sarah McIntosh McLeod, great great granddaughter of Angus and Nancy McCutchen MacLeod.

WESLEY E HENDRIX AGE 60 and BERTIE HENDRIX AGE 16 - Husband and daughter of Johanna Irene Burgess - Joanna's sister Sarah J. married Thomas Salmond Ross and her sister Celia Burgess married William MCLEOD Gaylord, son of Sarah McLeod and Willis Gaylord - Johanna later married Dalton L. McLeod, son of Dalton Lawrence McLeod and Minnie Edna Ferrel - Dalton Lawrence McLeod was the son Angus Davis McLeod who was a brother of Mannius Baum McLeod who was also killed in the fire.


 

J. O. Moseley, The Terrible Cleveland Fire, Charleston, S.C.: Southern Printing and Publishing Co., 1923.
Copy of Articles provided by Trish Sanders Brown - descendant of Mannius Baum and Alice Cook McLeod - Used with permission! Italics mine

"M.B. McLeod"

"His father and our grandmother were brother and sister (John N. McLeod and Catherine McLeod Moseley) He was an uncle of M.I. and B.G. McLeod with whom he was spending time. As his wife (who was also our first cousin - note: Alice H. Cook - daughter of Elizabeth Alice DuPre Barnes who was the sister of John Oliver Moseley's mother, Laura Jane F. Barnes - daughters of Edwin Barnes and L. Gaylord) had recently died and he was spending the time among his children and friends.

For most of his life, he was an overseer of large plantations, and he had good success in the management of labor, and help always thought lots of him, for he was ever as kind as circumstances would permit.

He is survived by three children, Captain Alfred McLeod of Camden, who came within one vote of being elected major of South Carolina milita last year; Robbie who lives in Alabama, and is blind from being gassed in France during the World War, and Mrs. P. G. Cannon (Alice Dupre McLeod) of Camden SC. Mr. McLeod was also the father of Captain Eban McLeod who died in the World War.

These dear friends and relatives left behind have the sincere sympathy of every one in their great sorrow. Mr. McLeod was over 70 years old."


"Mr. and Mrs. B.G. McLeod."

"Bernell and Eva (Bruce) were known to us from childhood. Burnel was the baby boy at his father's (Ashmore Calhoun McLeod) house, but being the baby boy did not spoil him, for he was one of many children and they were all taught to dig for themselves and do anything that came to hand.

His father was one of the best nurses for the sick of the community while he was able to do such work. Many nights did he spend waiting on the sick of our father's family, and the children of each family seemed almost like brothers and sisters to each other, for we were not only near neighbors but double first cousins as well. Many afternoons on their way from school would the McLeod children stop and beg our parents to let us go and spend the night with them, and many times we were allowed the sweet privilege of having that kindness betowed upon us as only a McLeod could bestow it. They were as generous to friends as the Father is generous with the air we breathe, or the water we drink. Burnell seemed to cultivate the habits and good traits of his parents, and glory in his overflowing generosity. "

"When he won Eva (Bruce) for his bride, we knew he had a jewel, for she was schoolmate and chum of our eldest daughter, and we grieve almost as much for her as if she were our very own, for from early childhood we were with her Sunday after Sunday, year in, year out. At church and Sunday school the Bruce children could always be counted on to be present and with the best lessons and best behavior, whether mother or father were present or not.

Eva had a dear sister, Irene (Mrs. Truesdale) severely burned and another Ethel, severely bruised by jumping from the upstairs window, who may be injured for life. All three of these had good preparation for teaching, at which they were apt, and had busied themselves at this calling till Cupid came along and Eva and Irene fell into his trap, and only Ethel, a graduate of Winthrop College, was still teaching at the time of the tragedy.

Their father was a successful teacher for many years and auditor of Kershaw County for a number of years and was highly esteemed for his good works. Mrs. Bruce was as patient and kind as a mother could be. "

Eva left nine brothers and sisters (already orphaned by the death of Mr. and Mrs. P.T. Bruce), as follows; Alex (Bruce), who was among the last ones to leave the burning building, after doing all he could to extinquish the flames after the lamp exploded, and failing in this, began letting down women and children through the upstairs windows to the ground, holding them by the hand and lowering them as far as he could and then letting them fall. He came very near being carried head foremeost to the ground by a stout lady that he had lowered, and could not get loose from the hold she had on his arm.; Tom (Bruce), John (Bruce), Charlie (Bruce), Claburn (Bruce), Kate (Bruce) and Sarah (Bruce), besides those mentioned above, each of whom we would like to speak of more at length."

Genealogy Notes: Double first cousins: Bernell, the son of Ashmore Calhoun and John Oliver were actually McLeod second cousins:

Bernell John Oliver
Ashmore Calhoun McLeod George Washington Moseley
John N. McLeod Catherine McLeod Moseley

However, they were Barnes first cousins:

Bernell John Oliver
Julia Barnes McLeod Laura Barnes Moseley


The following links contains more information and photos of the school and the fire's aftermath -

More about the Cleveland School Fire / Kershaw Chamber of Commerce /The State Online /



http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~formyfamily/index.htm
!Source: Lori McLeod Wilke copyright © 2000-2011 All Rights Reserved