Manuscript Collection



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Accession 1237

Inclusive Dates

1300s-2000s, nd


Open under the rules and regulations of the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

Collection Size

64,000 pieces, 32.50 linear feet



Historical Note

Louise Pettus was born on February 1, 1926 in Indian Land, Lancaster County, S.C and passed away on August 15, 2021. Her parents were Calvin Hall Pettus, Sr. and Bessie Kathryn Rodgers Pettus. She attended high school at Indian Land High School until her graduation in 1942. She then received a B.A. in History from Winthrop College in 1946. She furthered her studies at the University of Georgia, University of Arizona, and Georgetown University and she obtained a Masters in History form the University of South Carolina. In addition to her education, Louise Pettus has an impressive work history as well. Early in her life, Louise managed her family’s cotton gin for five years. She then taught in high schools for eleven years in both Arizona and South Carolina and she also taught in several junior colleges such as Spartanburg and Orlando Junior colleges. Finally, she taught at Winthrop University for 23 years until her retirement in 1989. Louise Pettus has spent much of her time writing works of history. She is the author of nine books including “Pictorial History of South Carolina,” “The Springs Story – Our First Hundred Years,” “The Palmetto State,” “The White Homestead,” “The Waxhaws,” “A Roddey Family,” “The Nation Ford Road,” “Leasing Away a Nation,” and “Belair United Methodist Church – The First One Hundred Years.” In addition to authoring nine books, Louise Pettus has also written extensively for local newspapers and publications. She served as an editor for “The Quarterly” which is a publication of the York County Genealogical Society from 1989-2005, she wrote weekly for the “South Carolina Story” which was a weekly publication released by Winthrop College from 1980-1989, and she wrote a weekly column on local history for The York Observer from 1986-2006 just to name a few of her writing accomplishments. Louise Pettus has also been an active member of the community serving on the Historical Review Board of the City of Rock Hill, Fort Mill Museum Planning Board, York County Genealogical and Historical Society, and the Friends of Dacus Library. She worked as a consultant for many groups as well. For example, she served as a consultant for the Museum of York County, White Homestead, Museum of the New South, Design Division Inc., and historical projects for Anne Springs Close. For her efforts, Louise Pettus has received many awards and honors. These include the American Association College Teachers Education Grant, “Summer Professor” for the U.S. Job Corps Center in Marion, Virginia, “Outstanding Periodical Publication” from the Confederation of South Carolina, “Local History Societies” from The Quarterly, “Keeper of Culture” award from the York County Cultural Heritage Commission, “History Award Medal” from the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, and the “Historic Rock Hill Preservation Award” from the City of Rock Hill just to name a few.

Scope and Content Note

The Louise Pettus Papers consist of materials that pertain to the life and writings of Mildred Louise Pettus (1926-2021). The contents of this collection include a large collection of articles Louise Pettus wrote for local newspapers, genealogical information concerning local families that Louise was using for her research, information concerning cities, towns, and counties in South Carolina such as Rock Hill, York, Lancaster, Chester, Van Wyck, Bel Air, Kershaw and Indian Land, biographical material concerning Louise Pettus and her brother Lindsay Pettus, information concerning the Catawba Indians, information concerning the Katawba Valley Land Trust, information concerning Winthrop University, local cemetery and church information, political memorabilia owned by Louise Pettus, general historical materials concerning South Carolina, general historical materials pertaining to history outside of South Carolina, books pertaining to local families and genealogy, photographs concerning Louise Pettus, her life, and her activities, photographs pertinent to local history, publications written by Louise Pettus such as Lancaster County: A Pictorial History, maps of land plots and places located in the Catawba Region, copies of Mecklenburg Genealogical Society Mecklenburg Messengers, and a collection of obituaries primarily focused on people who lived and died in the Catawba Region.


The papers of Louise Pettus, educator, historian, and author, were received as a gift to the Louise Pettus Archives over a period of several years from 2013 to 2018.


For information concerning copyright please contact the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University.

Louise Pettus Papers - Accession 1237

LC Subject Headings

Pettus, Louise, 1926-2021--Archives; Pettus, D. Lindsay; Winthrop College, the South Carolina College for Women--Alumni and alumnae; Winthrop College, the South Carolina College for Women--Faculty; Winthrop College--Faculty; Katawba Valley Land Trust; Winthrop University--History; History teachers--South Carolina--Rock Hill; College teachers--South Carolina--Rock Hill; Historians--South Carolina--Rock Hill; Catawba Indians--History; Church buildings--South Carolina--History; York County (S.C.)--History; Chester County (S.C.)--History; Lancaster County (S.C.)--History; South Carolina--History; South Carolina--Genealogy