Posted By:Robert Webb
Subject:Thomas Jefferson Webb of Anderson, SC
Post Date:November 10, 2005 at 17:41:35
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Forum:Anderson County, SC Genealogy Forum
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Was One of the First of Anderson’s Citizens – 90 Years of Age

       Thomas Jefferson Webb, aged 90 years, died at his home on West Market street at 11 o’clock Saturday night. His death came quietly and peacefully, and marks the passing of Anderson’s oldest citizen and one of her founders and builders.
       Mr. Webb had been in declining health for the past several months and has been practically blind for the past thirteen years, and although his death does not come as a surprise, it is none the less a shock to hundreds of Andersonians.
       Mr. Webb is survived by one sister, Mrs. J. W. Daniels of this city: and four children, Mrs. Julia von Hasslen, Mrs. E. F. Geiger, Mr. Robert C. Webb, and Mr. William M. Webb, all of Anderson.
       The funeral was held this morning from the home on Market street and interment made at Silver Brook cemetery. The pallbearers were Messers Rufus Fant, Theo. Fant, Foster Fant, I. S. Acker, Harmon Geiger, and Webb von Hasseln.
A Biography
       A detailed biography of the life of Mr. Webb would furnish enough material for a large and interesting book and that book would present many facts and incidents concerning the early history of the county and the city of Anderson. His life was spent in Anderson and his interests were here.
       Thomas Jefferson Webb was born on April 4, 1829 at the plantation of his father, Dr. Edmund Webb the plantation known as the Green Pond plantation and situated in the section which now bears that name. He was the oldest of 11 children born to the union of Dr. Edmund Webb and Martha Anne Emerson of Anderson county. Mr. Webb’s grandfather, Mr. Charles Webb moved to Anderson from Virginia in 1800 and settled at the junction of Deep Creek and Seneca River. This was the settlement that was known as one of the first settlements in Anderson county.
His Early Childhood
       His early childhood was spent on his father’s land, and it was here that he received his early education. He attended the school of the vicinity and his father, a physician and an educated man, gave him the foundation of a good education. Later, his father moved to Anderson and operated a drug store in which he was assisted by his son, Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Webb’s father was an ardent admirer of the democratic qualities of the famous statesman and it was after the president that Mr. Webb was named.
Married Miss Williamson
       In 1857, Mr. Webb was married to Miss Elizabeth Francis Williamson. Five children were born, the four who survive him and another daughter, Annie, who died at the age of 14 years.
       He continued in the drug business for some time and after the death of his father entered the railway mail service and ran between Greenville and Columbia. He was in this service for five years, four of which were the years of the civil war. After the war he moved back to the Green Pond plantation and remained there for several years. He then moved again to Anderson and opened a general merchandise store in partnership with a Mr. Horton, a rela-tive of Mr. E. R. Horton of this city. The first was operated under the name of Webb & Horton for a number of years.
County Auditor 20 Years
       In 1870 Mr. Webb entered politics and was candidate for the office of county auditor to which office he was elected. For twenty years he held this office, for the most part, unopposed at elections and finally refused to run again stating that he desired to retire.
       It was then that Mr. Webb moved to his present home on West Market street to retire from active public life. Always deeply interested in farming, his immediate attention was turned to gardening and he devoted most of his time to his garden, which was always one of the best in the city. Even in the late years of his life Mr. Webb’s interest in gardening and the outdoor world did not die, and much of his time was spent out of doors.
A Builder
       Much of the building of Anderson was done by the Webb estate and some of the buildings are still standing. The Ben Hive store room, situated on the west side of the square was built by the Webb estate and the corner store room on the same block was built by Mr. Webb himself. He also owned and built the block from the corner of Whitner street and the public square to the Anderson Theatre. Many of his original buildings still stand.
A Citizen of “Everywhere.”
       Having been a man who read a great deal his approaching blindness was a source of great distress in Mr. Webb, but he bore his affliction with fortitude. He had the newspapers and other matter read to him daily, this being a daily custom in his home and one which seemed to afford him more enjoyment than anything else.       Through his papers he kept abreast of the times and did not allow himself to live wholly in the past. Big news, great events, lives of big men and their undertakings as well as news of the world and of Anderson especially were the things of which he loved best to hear. His interest in the world was remarkable. He had often expressed his one top desire was to live until the end of the war with an allied victory and towards the end of the war even though he at times he was quite ill his interest never abated. He was interested in humanity its tasks, trials and its undertakings no matter in what part of the world it might be.
A Remarkable Memory
       Mr. Webb was gifted with a remarkable memory, a characteristic which served him well during his service as auditor of the county. Errors on his part through forgetfulness were unknown while he was in office. An educated man, his reading enabled him to converse fluently on almost any subject and his wonderful memory was a source of never ending pleasure to those who wished to learn of the early history of the city and county.
Many Anecdotes and Incidents
       In his own peculiar and interesting manner Mr. Webb was wont to relate to his friends many amusing and interesting stories of the days gone by. His memory enabled him to give dates and facts relating to such occurrences which made them all the more interesting and realistic.
The above was transcribed from a copy of T. J. Webb’s obituary that appeared in the Anderson Daily Mail following his death on January 18, 1919. It was transcribed in October 2005 by Robert M. Webb of League City, TX, a great grandson of T. J. Webb’s. It was transcribed from a copy of the original obituary provided by Charles W. Williams of Pendleton, SC, who is a great great grandson of T. J. Webb’s uncle, Charles Baldwin Webb.