History of Parker District

In 1922, Parker District was created by a special act of the South Carolina legislature which bound a group of fourteen communities together for mutual education and civic advancement.  Parker District was named after Parker School District which received its name from Thomas F. Parker, a local businessman and co-founder of the Monaghan Mill.  The fourteen communities that comprised Parker District were Woodside Mill, Mills Mill, Monaghan Mill, Sans Souci, Poe Mill, West Greenville, Brandon Mill, Judson Mill, Dunean Mill, Duncan’s Chapel, Union Bleachery, American Spinning Company, City View, and Park Place.  When first formed, Parker District was made up of more than twenty-five thousand people and contained twelve square miles.  It had an enrollment larger than any school district in the state outside of Charleston, and the property within the district was the more valuable than that of any other school district in the state.  The majority of the communities comprising Parker District were built around the mills. 

  • Woodside Mill was named for the Woodside brothers who started it. 
  • Mills Mill was named for Captain Otis Mills who organized the company. 
  • Monaghan Mill was named after a county in Ireland.  Thomas Parker’s grandfather, Thomas Fleming, who helped erect the mill, was from there. 
  • Poe Mill got its name from F. W. Poe, the president and treasurer of the mill. 
  • Brandon Mill was also named for a county in Ireland at the suggestion of Captain Smythe. 
  • Judson Mill was named after Dr. Charles Judson, a teacher at Furman University.
  • Dunean Mill got its name from a small village in Ireland that Captain Smythe’s ancestors came from.

The non-textile communities also have some interesting names. 

  • Sans Souci was the home of former governor Ben F. Perry.  Its name is French for “free from care” and was adopted by the community. 
  • City View was one of the highest points in the county and the business skyline could be seen from there. 
  • Duncan’s Chapel got its name from a small Methodist Church, named after the Duncan family that lived in the area and were known for their hospitality. 
  • Park Place was named by the developers of the subdivision.
  • West Greenville’s name came from its direction from the city.

In 1934, the South Carolina legislature created Parker Water and Sewer Sub-District for the purpose of installing and maintaining water and sewer lines.  Within a few years, Parker had purchased much of its infrastructure from the local mills and accompanying mill villages which had installed their own water and sewer lines at the time of their construction in the 1920s.  Fire services soon began in 1942.  In 1961, the South Carolina General Assembly authorized the sale of the water distribution system to the Waterworks System of the City of Greenville.  In 1972, Parker Water and Sewer Subdistrict officially changed its name to Parker Sewer and Fire Subdistrict.