The Beardens
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This is a new branch for me that I have started researching. My great great grandmother Fuller was a Bearden before marriage. I believe she is originally from the Laurens area. She was born circa 1829  and died in 1873. I think her brother was George W Bearden, b 1830. George was a grocer and cotton buyer in Columbia and had a store a few blocks down from Perry Fuller's Hat Shop. This would explain the connection to some degree.  A bill found recently at The Old Barn in Lexington, opened up this clue to me. There were some receipts written out to Levi Stuck for the sale of cotton to Copeland & Bearden. This got me interested anew in this branch since I haven't found much information on them up to this point. Hopefully this will begin to shed more light on my great great grandmother. I have yet to find a grave for her.

Sometimes in the census records the name was spelled Bearden, Beardon, Beard, and Beardo.

In 1860, according to the census, George W was living in Clinton South Carolina and working as a clerk in a store there. This, I assume, is where he got his training to become a merchant and eventual business owner and cotton buyer in Columbia. It could also prove to be a connection to other Bearden's in the Laurens County area as well as possible the Spartanburg Bearden's.

George operated several businesses...Bearden Brothers & Senn and Copeland & Bearden (with George Copeland).

George lived at 25 West Elmwood Avenue and his store was on the corner of Main (then Richardson) Street and Elmwood Avenue according to the Columbia City Directories.

George's first wife was named Ellen A Steel  according to George S.'s death certificate;  and his second wife named Elizabeth C.. George had three sons: Ellwood who died as an infant, George S. who became a minister, and Pinckney Boyd who followed his father in the retail business.

After George W's death, Pinckney Boyd worked in Abner D Haltiwanger's store as a clerk. This was his father's business that was sold after his father's death. Paul Haltiwanger also lived in the house with the Bearden's.

After the turn of the century, P H Bearden was partners in F. & M. M. & Manufacturing Co. located at 922 Gervais Street.  This was also a grocery store and cotton broker business.

In 1880 Paul H Haltiwanger, A. G. Haltiwanger, and E. A. Ruff were all boarders in the Bearden household. Paul is listed as a merchant and A. G. and E. A. are listed as 'clerks in store'. Exactly what the Haltiwanger connection to the Bearden's is not clear at this point, however, there were definite Haltiwanger/Amick connections in the Broad River area as they were neighbors. Remember that George Ann Elizabeth Amick married Willie Gamuel Fuller, grandson of Perry W Fuller and Mary Jane Bearden Fuller.

George S Bearden was a minister. He committed suicide on December 5th 1928, shooting himself in the heart with a revolver. Now I am curious even more so about this branch. I am determined to find out what drove him to end his life at the age of 60.


All the Bearden's are buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Columbia. The main Bearden Plot is right by the front entrance and is enclosed in a wrought iron fence.


Elizabeth C. Bearden died August 3rd 1896 while walking. She was on her way to see her sister Mrs. W. J. Bouknight. She was walking down Elmwood, past Talley Tarrar's store, spoke to him, took another step and fell dead. Her husband George W had a stroke at the very same spot from which he never regained consciousness. Her Funeral was held at St Paul's Lutheran Church. Her estate was sold at auction on September 12th 1896.

P Boyd Bearden, A D Haltiwanger, and P H Haltiwanger were all elected to positions in the church at St Paul's Lutheran. Abner D Haltiwanger an elder and the younger Haltiwanger and Bearden as Deacons in 1893. Pinckney was married to Elizabeth Huffman, daughter of Eli and Susan Nunamaker Huffman.

George S Bearden graduated from Newberry College in 1892 and then went to the Lutheran Seminary. Upon his ordination in 1895, George was called as pastor to St Luke Lutheran Church in Prosperity, SC. In 1900 he resigned due to health reasons and then in 1905 accepted a pastorship at Augsberg Lutheran Church in Winston Salem, North Carolina.