Reverend William Lewis

Born:  1798

Died:  April 21, 1869


In the town of Sumter, there lived William Lewis, a local preacher, who for many was the Ordinary (Judge of Probate) of the Sumter district, which included the county of Clarendon.  Lewis Chapel was named in honor of him due to his faithful service and keen interest shown during the early days of its organization. 

In Reverend Lewis’s electioneering trips, he frequently preached at Oak Grove Church in Clarendon County.  Rev. Lewis was deeply concerned in the temperance movement of the day and strongly aided by addresses and otherwise in the campaign led by Judge O’Neal against “King Alcohol”.

The temperance meetings held in Oak Grove Church were addressed by Rev. Lewis, John S. Richardson, Dr. Joseph Gallvehat, and William T. B. Haynesworth, then a young man just beginning the practice of law.

William Lewis was born around 1798.  He had 7 children by his first wife Louisa C., who died in 1849. 

 Lewis married Sarah Panthea Mellette on Sept. 5, 1850 of Sumterville by the Reverend E.L. King.  Of this union one son was born in 1851, William Mellette Lewis.  Sarah died at her residence in Sumterville on the 13th of February 1852.

Reverend Lewis married for the third time to Ms. Elizabeth T. Wilson on February 21, 1853 in Sumter, S.C.    She was from Georgetown, S.C.

Rev. William Lewis died in 1869 at the age of 72 years old.

Excerpt from An Imaginary Tour of the City of Sumterville in 1855 it states:

“It is just about two hundred yards back to the bridge and those rails so nicely adjusted on the top of the fence, mark the place where Judge William Lewis, County Ordinary, gets over the fence. He frequently sits for hours and talks with people who pass along the road. That black man coming round the path from his house is named Shady. He can make music on a tin horn as long as a rail, that'll bring all the raccoons in the creek out to dance.
 This is the avenue leading to Judge Lewis' house. You see his house, two stories, four large columns, the roof painted red, the wide flower garden, well kept.  One can see that he is in easy circumstances”.