Prosperity SC


From the USC College of Arts and Sciences

 Institute for Southern Studies

Winter, 1964 Book 1 Volume 11

There is a tradition that this community was given
the name of Frog Level long before there was a set-
tlement of any kind there. Near the spot where in
later years stood the depot of the Columbia, New-
berry and Greenville Railroad there was a pond
around which the ground was remarkably level. In-
numerable frogs lived in the pond.
According to the legend, an intoxicated old traveler
lay down near the pond to indulge in blissful repose.
Suddenly during the night the loud croaking of the
frog multitude rudely awakened him. In his drunk-
enly dazed condition he fancied that the frogs were
singing "Frog Level! Frog Level!" This amusing in-
cident gave the pond its name. When settlers came
there the name was retained until 1873, when by
petition of the citizens the General Assembly of the
State of South Carolina changed the name to
Today this progressive community proves worthy
of the name.

Stony Battery
In this farming area near Prosperity, Lt. Colonel
William Washington defeated and dispersed an army
of Tories. The name of the section comes from the
stones which lie on the surface of the ground in large
quantities. These are common Hint rocks. Washing-
ton's battery is believed to have been built of these
A humorous story is associated with this commun-
ity. A physician there had a large and lucrative prac-
tice. But he decided that he could make himself
richer by distilling peaches into brandy. He planted
about twenty acres in peach trees but just about the
time the trees began to bear he was converted and
joined the Church. He cut down his peach orchard
and became a powerful preacher.
In this neighborhood there is now a flourishing in-
dustrial plant. Several large churches are in the
vicinity and many beautiful homes with a citizenry
devoted to progress.

Smokey Town
This settlement was located south of what was then
Frog Level. It may perhaps be more easily identified

as the general locality in which Mt. Olivet Lutheran
Church is now located.
In those very early days the region was noted for
its revelry, and lawlessness centered around a large
whiskey distillery. This unsavory reputation has long
since been lost.
Smokey Town lives now only in memory and that
very dim. Some of the finest citizens in the county
live there and contribute much to the economic, re-
ligious, and social welfare of the entire area. It is
interesting to note how over the years the character
of a locality can be so completely transformed.