Mayo Story
by Evelyn Snider

A 1928 Coker graduate Miss Evelyn Snider holds a masters degree in English from and studied playmaking under Sam Selden and the late Fred Koch at the University of North Carolina. She taught at Campbell College until 1941 when she returned home to teach in Conway High School. Her original Bible Class plays have annually toured churches in and beyond Horry. During Mayor Carl Busbee's term, she co-directed a series of Farmers' Day Programs and more recently wrote and directed THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD, assisted by Joe Earl Lee and Tom Bourne, for the Centennial Celebration of the First Baptist Church, Conway.

Mayo Story

The name of the Mayo family has been non-existent in Horry County since 1902 when the youngest daughter was married, but the influence of the Mayo family beginning in Martin County, North Carolina, reaches now unto the uttermost parts of the earth and even into space.

John Asa Mayo, an only son, was born near Williamston, North Carolina on April 11, 1837. He enlisted in the Confederate Army May 1, 1861 at Williamston and was mustered into service at Hateras Inlet, July 26, 1861. His name appears on the record of prisoners of war at Fort Warren, Mass, which shows him captured at Hatrass, N. C. on August 29, 1861 and released February 3, 1862 to be exchanged.

About March 10, 1862 this regiment disbanded, and he re-enlisted March 21, 1862 at Williarnston. (The record states that he was 5'10 1/2" in height.) He was appointed a corporal September 1, 1863.

On January 8, 1867 John Mayo and Lucy Elizabeth Burroughs were married at Williarnston. The bride, a daughter of Anthony and Ethelinda Cobb Burroughs, was born in Martin County March 17, 1841 and died October 11, 1900.

Learning of business opportunities in Horry County, John Mayo came to Conwayboro as early as 1867. His brother- in-law, Franklin G. Burroughs, later brought Lucy Burroughs and six weeks old daughter Carrie (by mule and buggy) who was small enough to be put in a "medium sized coffee pot."

Their first home was on Seventh Avenue between Elm and Laurel Streets. Later two other pieces of property were considered for a new home: one - the Curry place on what is now Race Path on which were six oak trees, and one on Kingston Lake on which was one oak tree. The one oak tree with it majestic spread of ancient branches won the heart of the Mayo family and in April, 1869 he bought this property from Alexander Elliott and here lived until his death on February 22, 1896. (This is now the home of a Mayo granddaughter, Evelyn Snider.)

Here were born a large family, only five daughters surviving infancy: Carrie Leslie (9/25/67 - 11/19/28); Mary Augusta (8/3/70 - 11/7/43); Lucy Ella (11/5/73 - 4/15/47); Anna Laura (3/3/76 - 5/7/51) and Maud Ethelinda (8/13/76 - 7/30/48).

John A. Mayo also invested in real estate down town, and his mercantile store on the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street, directly in front of the Court House ' (now the City Hall) was a prominent business enterprise. "The World", a Charleston newspaper, described it thus on July 9, 1891:
"J. A. Mayo, general merchant, is one of the landmarks of Conway - a living milestone in the progress of the town. He has been engaged in trade here over a quarter of a century, and "Mayo's Store" has become a household word in all quarters of the county. He carries a large and well assorted stock of general merchandise, which must be up to a standard of excellence to find a place on his shelves. "Mayo's Store" is situated immediately in front of the courthouse, one of the best business stands in town, and his sales reap the benefit of it. Mr. Mayo is a public spirited citizen, and has several times served an admiring constituency in public official capacity. He is also identified with all movements for the public good."

This store was used for purposes other than business. For example, one of the early pastors of the Baptist Church directed the churches of Horry County to leave their minutes for the Association at "the store of J. A. Mayo, Conwayboro, S. C." Mr. Mayo was also on the board that organized the Bank of Conway in 1893.

A leader in business, a leader in his church -this was J. A. Mayo. A charter member of the Conway Baptist Church, he figured prominently in the early church history: he was named delegate to the Cape Fear and Welsh Neck Associations from 1866 through 1877, and was the first to be appointed by the Waccamaw Association to be delegate to the State Convention. And when funds were needed to erect the first church building, he headed a committee which printed the following in 'the HORRY NEWS each week from February 24, 1877 through March 24, 1877:


To our fellow citizens of Horry County: The undersigned represent the Baptist Church organized in the village of Conwayboro, take this method to ask the aid of the citizens of Horry County in the erection of a church building. The work has -been commenced, and the frame raised, but on account of our weakness in members and a consequent scarcity of means, we find it difficult to continue the work. Even the Worldly and Thoughtless will admit that great benefits result from the existence of churches in a community, and all Christians hail with joy the multiplications of sanctuaries for the worship of God. We appeal to both classes to help us in our efforts to erect another edifice in Conwayboro.

This devotion to his church was the heritage of his daughters, who in turn became pillars of the church and bequeathed this devotion to their children and children's children. Carrie, Augusta, Lutie, Anna, and Maud served as teachers in the Sunday School, leaders in the Training Union, officers In the Missionary organizations, organists (Carrie) and pianist (Maud) and choir members.

These daughters chose as their husbands men of integrity. Carrie and Gussie (Augusta) married brothers from Port Harrelson, Richard Green Dusenbury and Joseph Sarvis Dusenbury. "Cap'n Dick" was a highly respected riverboat captain, navigating his boat "The Maggie" on the Waccamaw River, transporting cargoes of turpentine and cotton.

Carrie and Dick had five children:

Richard Mayo (7/20/92 - 12/12/67)
married (1) Gladys Skinner
son: William Richard Dusenbury
married (2) Carrie Lovelace Headley

Julian Delano (1/23/95 - 12/8/31)
married Swanee Daly
sons: Julian Delano II
Richard Green
Bernard Daly

Inez (6/14/97 - 5/6/05)

Maude (4/28/99) married William P. Gelzer
daughter: Ann Axson

Frances (9/26/05)
married (1) W. W. McCown
son: Charles Dusenbury
married (2) C. T. Johnson
son: Charles Thomas, Jr.

All her life "Miss Carrie" was small of stature, but her sixty-one years were spent in bringing happiness to others, and lovingly was she remembered for taking bowls of "Miss Carrie's rice" to the sick and underpriviledged.

Mary Augusta's -husband was affectionately known as "Doctor Joe" who was one of Horry County's most beloved practitioners. Driving his horse and buggy all over the county, he ministered to sick bodies and minds, never too busy to sit and drink a cup of coffee. "Miss Gussie" was well known for her flowers and plants which she cared for as her children. And so full was her yard she found herself planting one flower on top of another. Truly she beautified the whole town and county.

Lucy Ella (Lutie) married Joe W. Holliday of Gallivants Ferry, a most successful business man with large farms in Florence and Horry Counties. To this union were born eight children, one of whom died in infancy:

Mary Elizabeth Holliday (3/24/97 - 9/12/62)

John Mayo Holliday (11/20/98 - 3/l/40)
married Blance Taylor
sons: John Mayo
Walter Cobb
Harold Taylor
James Grissette

Joseph William (3/2/01 - 11/18/44) married Leona Jones
sons: Joseph William, III
Thomas McDonald

Norman Grissette (1/3/04 - 2/21/37)
married Mary Wall sons: Norman Grissette, Jr.

Paul Sereno (5/8/06 - 2/24/31)

James Henry (1/16/09)
married: Frances Smith
daughter: Carolyn

Robert Edward (12/23/12)
married: Elizabeth Benson
children: Robert Edward, Jr.
Richard Marvin
Franklin Leroy
Mary Elizabeth
Sarah Louise

Anna Laura ("Tan") married John C. Spivey, prominent in business, agriculture, and the church. They had two daughters:
Lucy Mayo Spivey (11/6/98 - 8/4/66)
married Rev. E. C. Kolb
daughters: Sarah

Ruth Augusta (3/23/00 - 5/ -/55) who married T. B. Ludlam
daughters: Ann

In addition to her church activities, "Miss Anna" was known as the "Dorcas" of the family, lovingly sewing not only for her own sisters and nieces but for others in need. And her hospitality was extended to friend and stranger who quickly became friend.

Maud Ethelinda married Charles H. Snider from Elloree who came to Conway as bookkeeper for the Gully Store and remained to become City Clerk for 25 years, Church Clerk, beautifier, and nurseryman. Evelyn Mayo Snider (8/23/07) was the only child to survive infancy, two boys (Ernest David and Roland Manley dying as babies.) "Miss Maud's" many abilities and charm endeared her to all. She taught Sunday School and public school and private school; she taught music, she played the piano, she led in all the youth organizations of her church both local and county wide. Wherever she found a need she filled it or found someone else who could.

The children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandehildren of John and Lucy Mayo rise up call them blessed for the rich heritage bequeathed them - a heritage of integrity, frugality, dedication to God in service to people. Among the descendants have been at least 20 teachers in kindergarten, elementary, high school and college, 3 mechanical engineers, a specialist in fuel for astronauts, three lawyers, a preacher, a missionary, and a Major in the U. S. Marines.

One distinctive characteristic of the Mayo family was the ability to take a little food and so divide it that everyone would have enough and to spare. "Of a little, take a little, leave a little" was the family secret of multiplying the "loaves and fishes."

Even as the family members have become the warp and woof of the community of Conway, so has the home place - the Mayo Place - been the setting for many activities that later became community wide in scope. It was here that the first swimming pool was built, made of cypress boards, 30' by 6' x 4' filled by the overflow of a 600' artesian well. In this pool many now prominent citizens learned to swim. It was here that the first chute de chute gave thrills to the daredevils. It consisted of a greased wooden track reaching from the top of the hill to the lake. On this track was filled a boat filled with adventurous children (young and those who should have known better) who screamed their joy as they zoomed down the fifty- foot plunge to the water.

It was here that a private school instructed dozens of youngsters for five years, preparing them to enter grammar school later.

It was here that the first scenic tour was laid out, beginning at the little bridge winding around the foot of the hill, past the flat cypress tree on which was written the miniscule history of Conway, and on by the lake to a lover's seat at the end.

Thus the name Mayo lives on in the lives of those who have inherited the legacy of character bequeathed by John Asa and Lucy Elizabeth Mayo.

The Independent Republic Quarterly
Vol. 4 October 1970 No. 4; Pgs 27-30

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