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Simpsonville History

Simpsonville had its beginnings in the 1820s as a stage stop operated by Thomas Goldsmith on the Old Stage Road twelve miles south of the Greenville Court House. Among the first businesses at the crossroads were Silas Gilbert, who in 1836 opened a large general merchandising operation at the crossroads, and then Peter Simpson, who two years later set up a blacksmith shop next to Gilbert. The same year Simpson arrived in 1838, the place was assigned a post office in the house of neighbor, Jarrett Cook, entitled Ô Plain.

 

Traffic on the Stage Road was fairly brisk until the 1850s when the burgeoning village fell into a virtual standstill throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction. Early in the Reconstruction period the black population, who were leaving their respective church of mixed congregations, gravitated to a more central location for worship and Cedar Grove Baptist Church became, in 1870, the first church organized within the present city limits.

 

In 1885, the Simpsonville High School was established and North Carolina native, Sidney J. Wilson, had streets and lots surveyed for the making of a town that would straddle the grade for the new railroad track. These streets and lots today remain laid out in what are largely their original beds. Although the place had been alternately know as Plain and Simpsonville for quite some time, the post office was officially changed to Simpsonville in 1885.

 

In 1908 the Woodside brothers constructed the Woodside Cotton Mill and village that remained the city's largest employer until after WWII. In 1953 a major water line from Greenville was laid and triggered the growth of industry and residential development for the next 25 years. In the meantime Highway 276 was widened in 1956, eventually becoming the middle portion of I-385 and access to Simpsonville's industry and housing exploded.

Key Dates (cont.)

 

1908 -- Woodside Cotton Mill and village constructed

 

1953 -- A major waterline from Greenville was laid

 

1956 -- Highway 276 was widened

 

1994 -- Simpsonville was the fastest growing city with a population under 25,000 in the nation

 

2005 -- Construction of Heritage Park completed

 

2010 -- Simpsonville named one of the 10 Best Towns for Families by Family Circle Magazine

Key Dates

 

1820s -- Thomas Goldsmith operated a stage stop on Old Stage Road

 

1836 -- Silas Gilbert opened a large general merchandising operation

 

1838 -- Peter Simpson set up a blacksmith shop

 

1838 -- Post office entitled Ô Plain was opened

 

1870 -- Cedar Grove Baptist Church became the first church organized in City limits

 

1885 -- Simpsonville High School established

 

1885 -- Sidney J. Wilson had streets and lots surveyed for making of the town

 

1885 -- Post office officially change to Simpsonville