Halfacre Plantation - Newberry County South Carolina SC

Halfacre Plantation – Newberry – Newberry County

Basic Information

  • Location – Cannons Creek, Newberry, Newberry County

    Along Highway 219, in the vicinity of Halfacre Road and Clayton Memorial Church Road

  • Origin of name – Named for the families that owned the plantation

  • Other names – Piester and Gray Plantation (1)

  • Current status – ?


  • 1752 – Earliest known date of existence

    George Piester [Gasper Peaster (De Peyster)] received a grant of 200 acres from the Court of King George III. George never saw his land as he died on the passage to American. The land was given to his young son Casper [Gasper Jr] (3 and 4)

    Piester's widow Eve Margaret married Cannons Creek neighbor George Gray [Gree] Sr (3 and 4).

    George Gray Sr's father had received a 300 acre land grant along Cannons Creek around 1752 that George inherited (5).

  • 1795 – Casper Priester purchased additional land along Cannons Creek from his half-brother Frederick Gray. This is where Priester's Mill was established (3).

  • 1800 – Casper Priester sold the land to his brother Adam Priester (3).

  • ? – Major David Halfacre purchased what was known as the Piester and Gray Plantation and continued production at Piester Mill (1).

  • Prior to 1860 – House built (1)

    Halfacre built a large house that would be known as the Major David and Christina Halfacre home (1).

  • 1867 – Major Halfacre established the Clayton Memorial Cemetery within view of the house when his young son fell ill. He deeded one acre of the plantation's property specifically for the creation of this cemetery. In 1905, the Clayton Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church, which Halfacre founded in the 1840s, built a church building on this acre (1).

  • 1877 – Major Halfacre died leaving the homestead to his daughter Lizzie Halfacre Ruff (1).

  • ? – Lizzie willed the Halfacre property to her daughter Christina Ruff (1).

  • ? – Christina left the property to her adopted son Doyle Lee Gallman and his wife Mary Nell Wilson Gallman (1).


  • Number of acres – 200 in 1752 (3)

  • Primary crop – Lumber


  • Chronological list – George Piester (1752); Casper Priester (1752-1800); Adam Priester (1800-?); Major David Halfacre (?-1877); Lizzie Halfacre Ruff (1877-?); Christina Ruff (?); Doyle Lee and Mary Nell Wilson Gallman (?)


  • Number of slaves – ?


  • Recently (2013), the remains of the house were torn down. The house had been severely damaged by fire (2).

  • In 1905, the Clayton Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church building was built on the cemetery's property using lumber from the sawmill owned by Benjamin Halfacre (1).

References & Resources

  1. Clayton Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church , Newberry, South Carolina, Church History - PDF

  2. Information contributed by Nancy L Bickford-Jordan

  3. George Piester Family

  4. Re: Nancy J. Piester, Newberry, SC 1814

  5. Gaspar Gray Family

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