We’ve added another South Carolina paper to our archives! The Herald is published in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and includes news from York, Chester, and Lancaster counties. If you are interested in South Carolina history or have ancestors from Rock Hill, you will love searching through the pages in this archive.
Rock Hill was named when the Charlotte/Columbia/Augusta Railroad was constructed through the area in 1852. Crews encountered a small, flinty knoll and named the spot Rock Hill. The town was a transfer point for Confederate troops and supplies during the Civil War. Following the war, a local Confederate soldier named James Morrow Ivy returned to Rock Hill and started the town’s first newspaper. He called it the Lantern, and it began publication in 1872. In 1874, the paper’s name was changed to The Herald and would be known as The Evening Herald until 1986, when a Sunday edition was added.
Ivy had a flair for businesses and is credited with championing the growth of Rock Hill. Our archives for The Herald date back to 1880, when the town’s population was 809. With the establishment of cotton mills, including the first steam-powered cotton factory in South Carolina, Rock Hill’s population increased three-fold in just ten years. When Ivy died in 1885, all the prominent businesses in town closed shop. Residents draped the buildings along Main Street in mourning fabric as a tribute to Ivy.
The Herald has chronicled important history in the region, including the civil rights movement. In February 1961, nine Black students from the now-closed Friendship College in Rock Hill were jailed following a sit-in at the segregated McCrory’s lunch counter. The men became known as the Friendship Nine, and their case garnered national attention. They were eventually released, and in 2015, a Circuit Court judge vacated their convictions saying, “We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history.”
If you have ancestors from Rock Hill, explore society columns like Local and Personal or In Society to read news about residents. You can also search for your ancestor’s birth announcements, wedding announcements, and obituaries.