Rufus Marcellus Pegues

b. 30 August 1844, d. 14 April 1909

Rufus Marcellus Pegues, 1844-1909
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues was born on 30 August 1844 in Marlboro District, South Carolina.
  • Wesley Leatherwood Pegues and Caroline Ann Keitt appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Marlboro District, South Carolina, and also overseer Jackson McIntosh.. Other members of the household included Rufus Marcellus Pegues, Caroline A. Pegues and John Keitt Pegues.
  • Wesley Leatherwood Pegues and Olivia Amanda Dickinson appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1860 in Lynchburgh, Sumter County, South Carolina. Other members of the household included Rufus Marcellus Pegues, Caroline A. Pegues, John Keitt Pegues, William Wesley Pegues and Jane O. Pegues.
  • He married Sara Olivia Pegues, daughter of Benjamin Franklin Pegues and Sarah Ann Wilds Gillespie, circa 1869, first cousins; their fathers were brothers.
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues and Sara Olivia Pegues appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1870 in Smithville Township, Marlboro County, South Carolina. Also in the household were two domestic servants and three farm laborers.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1870 census.
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues and Sara Olivia Pegues appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1880 in Smithville Township, Marlboro County, South Carolina. Other members of the household included Carrie Keitt Pegues, Frank Wilds Pegues, Olin Marcellus Pegues and Elbert Sanders Pegues.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1880 census.
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues became a widower at the 12 April 1889 death of his wife Sara Olivia Pegues.
  • He married Sue Sparks Pegues, daughter of Benjamin Franklin Pegues and Sarah Ann Wilds Gillespie, circa 1891, following the death of Rufus' first wife, who was Sue's sister.
  • On 12 November 1891, Rufus Marcellus Pegues wrote to his sons at Oak Ridge Military Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina:
                   Live Oak Nov 12/91
    Dear Wilds & Olin
         Have received letters from both of you since writing you, and will write to each of you later on. I am very proud to learn that both of my boys have been deemed worthy of such compliments as you have received and do hope that you will prove to be even more than was expected of you. Try allways to do your duty in a conscientious maner and all will be right. I enclose check for seventy five dollars which hope will meet your demands for the present. Be prudent and take care of your health, always have air and keep your feet dry. Wilds had better take quinine evry day for some time. Take in capsules and will not taste. It will be well for both of you to put a talloe plaster on the chest night and day, you will not like the idea, but will not object to it after trying it. Waddill has been here to day and has been saying all sorts of things, I think he has to talk wild to keep down his excitement. Went over the Pollocks to day, they are at fever heat. It is to be a grand afair in every respect. Sue and I will go the rounds of it all. They have a great many nice present.
         We may leave here on next Tuesday for Raleigh, but if we hear that you will not go the next week, we will not go until then.
         Hope you are both better of your colds. Aunt Sue sends love and says she would like so much to see you at Raleigh.
                   Love
                        Pa.
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues and Sue Sparks Pegues appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1900 in Smithville Township, Marlboro County, South Carolina, and one domestic servant.. Other members of the household included Carrie Keitt Pegues, Olin Marcellus Pegues, Sarius Olivia Pegues, Lucy Pegues and Rufus W. Pegues.
  • He was a farmer, according to the 1900 census.
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues became a widower at the 20 August 1902 death of his wife Sue Sparks Pegues.
  • Rufus Marcellus Pegues died on 14 April 1909 at age 64 in Marlboro County, South Carolina, at his residence.
  • He was buried at New Hope Methodist Church Cemetery in Wallace, Marlboro County, South Carolina.
  • The following appeared on 16 April 1909 in The State :(Cheraw, April 15) Maj. R. M. Pegues died at his home in Marlboro county last night at about 10 o'clock. He was sitting in his chair at the time of his death, caused from heart failure. Maj. Pegues returned from Atlanta last Thursday, having spent some time in a hospital there, and it was thought he was improved. He was 66 years of age. He had served, though very young, several years in the Confederate army and was prominent in public affairs and one of the most successful men and largest planters in the State. His death is greatly regretted here where he was universally esteemed.
         The funeral will be held at 11 o'clock tomorrow at the old family burying plot in Marlboro county.
  • The following appeared on 18 April 1909 in The State : (Cheraw, April 17) The remains of Maj. R. M. Pegues were laid to rest yesterday at the New Hope church cemetery in north Marlboro. There was a large concourse of people who gathered to pay this last tribute of respect to their leading citizen. Many went from Cheraw, Rockingham, Bennettsville and even from Darlington. The active pallbearers were G. W. Duvall, E. Walker Duvall, C. K. Waddill, Edwin Malloy, P. B. Huntley, Edward McIver, James McArthur and Wm. Godfrey.
         The honorary pallbearers were: Capt. T. F. Malloy, Messrs. J. A. Drake, II, P. Duvall, M. W. Duvall, H. D. Malloy, J. S. Huntley and Dr. T. E. Wannamaker.
          Maj. Pegues leaves surviving him four sons and two daughters. His estate is probably worth $150,000 to $200,000.
  • The following appeared on 23 April 1909 in The State: In the presence of a large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives and in the family cemetery adjoining Hopewell--the church he loved so well and served so faithfully--all that was mortal of Rufus M. Pegues was laid to rest on Friday last to await the resurrection morn "when there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."
         Born almost in sight of the home where he passed all of the days of his manhood and of the spot where his body lies buried, he so lived his three score years that he won and enjoyed the love and veneration of his family and the affection, respect and honor of his neighbors and acquaintances. Verily "none knew him but to love him, none named him but to praise."
         Rufus M. Pegues was born July 31, 1844 [sic], in north Marlboro, near, as before stated, the plantation where he lived and died. He was a worthy descendant of a long line of upright and honorable ancestors, who, for generations, have lived and cultivated the soil in the same immediate section of Marlboro and Chesterfield and who had honorably and faithfully served their country in peace and in war, several of the family rendering conspicuous service both in the army and councils of State during the Revolution. While deprived of a more liberal education by the exigency of the War Between the States, Maj. Pegues was well drilled in the elementary branches, and besides the advantages which he derived from a home and associations of more than ordinary refinement and culture, he stored his mind with the beautiful lessons and precepts to be obtained only by reading the classics. He had not reached his majority when "the rude alarum of war" sounded throughout the land and books of literature and peaceful implements of agriculture had to yield to the study of tactics and the ruder instruments of ward. He joined Colt's battery, which, under its distinguished commander, rendered valiant and faithful service until at Appomattox "that banner was forever furled." It is needless to say to those who knew him that whether, with empty haversack and sore feet upon the march, in the bivouac, with the bare earth for a bed, a stone for a pillow and only the blue vault of heaven for a covering, or in the battle, where the contest raged the hottest and the balls flew the thickest, Rufus M. Pegues was in the forefront, coming up to the full measure of a man.
         When the war ended and in his tattered garments he returned to what was once his happy and prosperous home, he found only blackened ruins, impoverished fields, disrupted social conditions and a disorganized labor system. He had, however, in good faith "beat his sword into a plowshare and his spear into a pruning hook," and notwithstanding the disheartening conditions of political affairs, he went to work with all the earnestness of his earnest nature to win an honest livelihood and retrieve, as far as possible, his fallen fortunes and almost destroyed property. When the corruption, debauchery and tyranny of the carpetbagger and the renegade became so flagrant and oppressive as to outrage a civilized world and the people of the "prostrate State" determined to throw off the incubus which sapped their energies, absorbed the fruits of their labor and made of government a farce, he at once became a leader in the movement and never failed to answer any call or demand made upon him. And it was ever in this manner that he conducted himself. Modest to a degree that made him underestimate his abilities and never to aspire to rewards to which his merits entitled him and which were claimed and obtained by others less meritorious but having more assurance, he was content with the self-consciousness of duty well done. As a citizen, Maj. Pegues was always public spirited, patriotic and progressive. He was one of the pioneers in the intensive system of farming and had no superior aong the noted planters and farmers of Marlboro. If, as has been said, "he who makes two blades of grass to grow where one grew before is a public benefactor" then our lamented friend can be ranked among that class. He was a devoted agriculturist and took pride in his occupation and anything that contributed to the advancement of agriculture and of those engaged in it met his enthusiastic support and approval. And in this, as in all matters requiring a broad and liberal mind, his knowledge and his means were ever at the service of the worthy and the needy. No claim for charity was ever unheeded by him, but he believed in and acted upon the admonition, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me." In any point affecting his honor, he was particular to the point of punctiliousness. Literally, "his word was his bond." An incident of his in connection with "the Cotton Growers' association" illustrates his sensitive appreciation of an obligation and his high sense of honor. As a member of the executive committee he earnestly opposed raising the minimum price of cotton to 13 cents per pound and by every means in his power endeavored to prevent the committee from adopting a resolution to that effect. It was done, however, and though he was satisfied that cotton would not go to that price, and though he had information that many of those who had advocated the resolution had violated it, he felt bound in honor to observe it. He had on hand at that time between 250 and 600 bales of cotton for which he was offered 13 1-2 cents per pound. He declined the offer, solely because he felt bound in honor to do so because of the resolution. He had that cotton on hand whenthe writer last talked with him. Such was the man, and that he was so regarded, respected and beloved, was made evident by the feeling displayed at his last obsequies.
  • Last Edited: 10 Aug 2015

Family 1: Sara Olivia Pegues b. 6 December 1848, d. 12 April 1889

Family 2: Sue Sparks Pegues b. 14 January 1857, d. 20 August 1902