The South Carolina in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'

Nimrod Kelly Sullivan was my great Gandfather. I am descended from his son William Woodward Sullivan. His daughter, Lucia, married my father Charles Smith Major Jr. I am Joe Major and live in Greenville SC although the family is from Anderson. There is a picture of Nimrod but I have only a xerox. If you like, send me an email and I will forward a copy. Also I would like any imformation you get. His brother in law was Charles Starke Mattison who was an officer also with Orr and a brother, John Pleasant Sullivan was with the Palmetto rifles at Appomattox.
1. NIMROD (CAPT.)KELLY6 SULLIVAN (KELLY5, PLEASANT4, OWEN (11)3, OWEN (1)2 O'SULLIVAN, JOHN THOMAS1) was born 29 Jul 1829 in Anderson, SC, and died Feb 1881 in Anderson, SC b. Silverbrook. He married EMILY KEZIAH MATTISON in Anderson, SC, daughter of JAMES MATTISON and MARY STARK. She was born 04 Dec 1834 in Anderson, SC, and died 29 Jan 1901 in Anderson, SC b. Silverbrook.

Nimrod Kelly was imprisoned on Johnson Island during the Civil War. After the war he established Sullivan Hardware Company. There's a wonderful story of how Nimrod and Emily arrived at Poppa's (William Woodward Sullivan) name. I have heard the story often but Mr. C.C. Featherstone of Greenwood whose mother was a Sullivan wrote this lovely letter to one of the Sullivan men. It was written in 1935--two years before Poppa died.

"Dear Cousin,

There is an incident in connection with the origin of Will's name that ought to be told. As I recall it, it as follows: Nimrod Sullivan, Will's father was captured in the early part of the Confederate War and confined in a Yankee Prison until the close of the War. William Woodward, then I think of Baltimore, had been a traveling salesman in the South, and knew Nimrod well, having sold him goods prior to the War. Woodward had moved to New York during the War. After that, while standing on the street, he saw coming towards him a ragged, bare-footed, long-haired man. Woodward kept looking at him and as he got closer exclaimed: 'My God, I believe that is my old friend, Nimrod Sullivan of Anderson, SC.'

His belief proved to be correct. Sullivan told him that he had just gotten out of the Yankee prison. Woodward took charge of him, carried him to a barber shop, where he got a hair cut, bath and shave. Then he was carried to a store where clothing was bought.

Woodward said to him: 'Nimrod, I want you to go back to Anderson and open up your mercantile business. A great day is ahead for business in the South.'

'But,' said Nimrod, 'I have no money; everything that I had has been swept away

'That's all right, ' said Woodward, 'I'll back you. I'll underwrite for you and get you all the credit you want.' And he did. Sullivan came back, went into business, which made money and flourished for many years in Anderson.

Will Sullivan was named William Woodward for his father's old friend, who established him in business.

That William Woodward was the ancestor of the Woodwards who founded one of the big banking institutions Of New York City.

This story is in the main correct. It may have been told in print before, but it will bear retelling."
Nimrod was a member of the First Baptist Church in Anderson. Before the War, he and his brother, John Pleasant, had a mercantile business in Anderson.

John Pleasant was with Lee at Appomattox and witnessed his surrender.
When Nimrod first signed up for the war he signed up in Oconee Co under Lawrence Orr. The Sullivan's originally lived right on the edge of Anderson Co. near Hart Co. GA. At one time they were near the Savannah River. Later Nimrod built what was called the old Thompson house during my youth on McDuffie street. It is directly one block over from W. W. Sullivan's old home at 1102 S. Main St. Grandfather Nimrod's old house is till standing and is at the present an antique shop. The interior has the original heart of pine panelling and low ceilings. .

I don't know how Nimrod got his education. I do know that he must have been bright to run the store and that John Pleasant had a beautiful handwriting. Nimrod's wife, Grandmother Emily, taught William, Pat and probably some of Aunt Luta's children to read before they were three.

There is a story that Nimrod's brother, Hudson, killed himself following the Civil War. He hung himself from a bedpost. Margaret Watt Sullivan, Nimrod and Hudson's mother, died when she was only about 45.. That would have been 1846 or 7.. Kelly, their father, remarried Nancy Alexander. He then had Alexander Burke . Kelly died not long after the Civil War was over.

I imagine Nimrod had a will and it is available. His obituary is in the Anderson Intelligencer.

Mrs. Vandiver: "...A few years later N.K. and J.P. Sullivan on the north end of Granite row." She goes on to describe where all the stores are in the eighteen seventies. "On sale days old Mrs. Gambrell used to be close at hand with a little covered wagon from which she sold ginger cake and cider. When the long summer days came, these merchants attended to business in the mornings and after their midday dinner, they gathered in front of one or another of the stores on their own row usually, and seated on upturned boxes or tilted back in split bottomed chairs they listened and shouted with boyish laughter to the inexhaustible yarns of Messrs. N.K. and J.P. Sullivan, Mr. Bleckley, Squire Whitfield and some of the other raconteurs of the time, for the town of the seventies was rich in good story-tellers, and the men had time to live, not merely exist."

"...The men of the seventies made the Anderson we know today. They picked up the threads broken by war and knitted them together again, and being what they were as a rule, high-toned, honorable, fair-minded and industrious, they laid well the foundations of the city which has grown from the village of their day."
Mrs. Vandiver on Sullivan Hardware Company in 1926 or 7:

"Probably the largest business concern that Anderson ever had is that of the Sullivan Hardware Company. In the last years of the nineteenth century, J. M, H.K. and N.B., sons of N. K. Sullivan, ran the Hardware on a modest business scale. Later Charles S. was taken into the firm and after a time the oldest of the brothers, Mr. J. M. Sullivan, withdrew. The venture prospered, the brothers proved themselves to be shrewd and versatile business men. They branched out and by degrees took in other members of the Sullivan family, which was a large one, until now there are innumerable brothers, nephews and cousins connected with the concern which has grown to enormous proportions and has numbers of branches. H.K. N.B. and C.S. Sullivan died some years ago and so well organized was the business that it continues a prosperous concern under the guidance of Mr. W.W. Sullivan." Poppa and Uncle Charlie bought out the other brothers and they were the ones that catapulted the company to success. Many of their brother's children continued to work for the company. Mrs. Vandiver isn't quite accurate, but she's close enough. Before Uncle William died he sold Sullivan Hardware to a franchise. My cousin, John Patrick continued to run it for the franchise company under the Sullivan name until the mid 1980's. Sullivan Hardware was a part of Anderson's business world for 100 years. For the last few years a highly successful restaurant has taken over the premises. It is called Sullivans. I think it located there about 1995
Probably what made the hardware company so successful so many years ago (family) was what defeated it in the end--too many family members and not enough new blood with new ideas and fresh thought to meet the changing times.
" Anderson was shocked on Monday morning by he sad announcement of the death of Captain Nimrod Sullivan, Prominent and respected citizen. He had been in Usual health and attended business --------torn Some two years ago he suffered a very severe and complicated illness......returned to active business being in a great measure recovered, and during the present season was engaged in a shipment of cotton and seemed to be as well as any time during his illness. On Tuesday he was to have gone to Belton on business and after daylight was noticed to have moved in bed. As he remained longer than was expected, Mrs Sullivan went to awake him and found that he was dead. Dr. M.L. Sharpe was immediately sent for and quickly arrived, but nothing could be done. Capt. Sullivan had died suddenly and without a struggle of heart-disease.

At the time of his death he was fifty two year of age, having lived all his life in this County, and having been engaged in business here for the past twenty-five years, with the exception of the period of war during which he was in the service of his country as a Captain in Orr's Regiment. He was an up-right and honorable citizen, a successful and popular merchant, and a genial friend. He was an enterprising and public spirited man, whose death will be a serious loss to our town. He was kind, affectionate, and devoted in his domestic relations and leaves a family who have the sympathy of a large circle of friends for this severe and sudden bereavement.

The remains of Capt Sullivan were interred on Wednesday morning in the family burying ground at Col. C.S. Mattisons seven miles south of Anderson after appropriate funeral services. As a mark of respect the business houses of Anderson were closed during the morning and a large number of friends and acquaintances of the deceased witnessed the burial..." His Sons had his body moved to Silverbrook Cemetery when it opened up and when Great Grandmother Emily died. They lie together beside Poppa and Mama.

Read the article in Time magazine about The Woodwards and read the Wall Street Journal's story of The restaurant now called Sullivan's in the old building. The article appeared in 2001.

Cause of Death: Heart attact
Comment 1: House is still standing on McDuffie St.
Comment 2: Imprisoned (Confederate Soldier)
Comment 3: Company C. of Orr's Rifles from Oconee
Comment 4: Founder of Sullivan Hardware Company.
Ethnicity/Relig.: Baptist (First Baptist Church)
Event 1: 1861, Company C, Oconee County Orr's Rifles
Event 2: 1863, Captured and imprisoned
Event 3: 1875, business
Medical Information: Heart disease
Occupation: Sullivan Hardware Company
Personality/Intrst: Storyteller
Residence: South McDuffie Street, Anderson,SC

"One of the leading citizens of Varennes township was Col Charles Starke Mattison who had long been Colonel in the old militia service of the Fourth Regiment, and when the state called for volunteers in 1861, he entered the army as Lt. Col of the Fourth which became famous. When that regiment expired, he was elected Col. of the Fourth Battalion in which the reorganization resulted. In the Battle of Seven Pines he was wounded in the chest and received an honorable discharge from the Confederate Army. No braver soldier went from Anderson, and after he was disabled for active service there was no call of the Confederacy, nor any way in which he could assist the South, to which he failed to respond. After the war, he was three times elected to the State Legislature and finally declined to run for the position again.

Col. Mattison was a man of fine practical judgment and in every way worthy of the confidence of his community. A man of large means for his time and locality, he was always generous, just and upright himself, he never entertained suspicion of others. His home was ever open to his friends and his hospitality was gladly accepted and eagerly sought by many (Vandiver,pages--).

My Great Grandmother, his sister was gallant too. It was her spirit that led Poppa into the burning desire to educate all his children and fired the passion of Uncle Charlie to establish a college in Anderson. A great many of Emily's grandchildren she taught to read and write before the age of four. Her life was filled with hardships: Her father died when she was four. Her only sister's husband was killed in the Civil War and she lived alone through the Civil War. She suffered the death of five little girls and one baby boy before the age of six, and she braved her husband's imprisonment. There was the death of her brilliant son, Sam Orr at the age of 18. Finally, her husband's death in his early fifties.. Mama (Anne) Sullivan reported that Great Grandmother Emily Kiziah drove a covered wagon during the Civil War with her ailing babies into Whiteside Cove, North Carolina in the hope of improving their health. It did not help and you can see those heartbreakingly small graves in the Sullivan Plot in Old Silverbrook.. Her home still stands in Anderson. It was built by Captain Nimrod but is called the old Thompson place. She lived to see her children and husband become successful. She would be very proud of most of her descendants today.
Emily Keziah Sullivan Watson was named for her. She belonged to Aunt Luta and Uncle Charlie Sullivan.
Emily Coy Sullivan Greenberger is named for her. She belonged to Charles Mattison Sullivan and Coy Meeks.

Ethnicity/Relig.: Baptist
Occupation: Housewife
Residence: Anderson, SC

2. i. WILLIAM WOODWARD7 SULLIVAN, b. 18 Feb 1874, Anderson, SC; d. 27 Mar 1937, Anderson, SC Silverbrook.
3. ii. JAMES MATTISON SULLIVAN, b. 08 Sep 1855, Anderson, SC; d. 1910, Anderson, SC.

iii. JOHN CHARLES SULLIVAN, b. Abt. 1860.
4. iv. HEWLETT KELLY SULLIVAN, b. 11 Mar 1861, Walhalla,SC; d. Anderson, SC.
5. v. NIMROD BELOTTE SULLIVAN, b. 16 Nov 1863, Anderson, SC; d. 1914, Anderson,SC.
6. vi. CHARLES STARKE SULLIVAN, b. 26 May 1866, Anderson, SC; d. Abt. 1915, Columbia, SC b. Silverbrook.

vii. ADDIE JANE SULLIVAN, b. Abt. 1867.

viii. ALICE S. SULLIVAN, b. Abt. 1868.

ix. SAMUEL ORR SULLIVAN, b. 1873, Anderson; d. Abt. 1891, Anderson.


Messages In This Thread

Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr's)
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'
Re: Lt. Nimrod Kelly Sullivan, 1st S.C. Inf. (Orr'