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The coming of the railroads changed America's landscape. Hamlets, towns and cities sprung up all along the lines; such was the case with Iva, South Carolina. Just after the Civil War, Dr. Augustus Gilmer Cook was finishing his M. D. degree at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa. Returning to S. C., he married Mary Alkanza Clinkscales and moved from the Generostee Section of South CArolina three miles west. He bought the farm of Mrs. Betsy Brown and built a lovely home. The Savannah alley Railroad came up the rivers edge and split Dr. Cook's farm just about into equal halves. He called the depot Cook's Station. And so it was for quite some time. A railroad conductor pointed out to Dr. Cook about another station with the same name in another part of the state kept causing a mix up of freight delivery. Dr. Cook decided to name this station in honor of his oldest daughter, Iva Alkanza Cook.
The town was laid out with streets 60 feet wide, except for Broad Street, where Dr. Cook's home expanded its sides to 80 feet across. His son, William Pringle, built a large mercantile, general store, undertaker service, and furniture store and did quite a business. He had a large wagon style hearse pulled by two big black horses. Later he bought a 1926 Dodge Hearse when his grandson, Alfred Augustus, finished mortician school. That hearse was bought by the McDougalds of Anderson, S. C. and is attractively displayed on the grounds of their beautiful funeral home complex.
"Miss Iva" married Robert David Bryson of Woodruff. They were members of the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, She taught Sunday School, wrote and compiled a book on women's work in the ARP church. She was an also an avid Greek scholar and was most active in church affairs. She was a lady of elegance--poised, well-dressed and refined. Upon her death, my father bought her home after returning from WW II. This historical sketch was written from her bedroom . The home will celebrate it's 100th birthday in 2004.
Submitted by John D. Evans
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Iva and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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