Rosa Belle Eaddy Woodberry Dickson

Rosa Belle Eaddy Woodberry Dickson

Belle Dickson (1868-1953)

Rosa Belle Eaddy Woodberry Dickson

Rosa Belle Eaddy was a role model of the independent female who lived in the area of Johnsonville, South Carolina area between 1868 and 1953. She was a truly a person of exceptional ability and especially so for the time in which she lived. This multi-talented woman chose to be a school teacher and thus became another of the Eaddy family to make her most valuable contribution in development of the youth of her community.

Rosa Belle Eaddy was a principal, teacher, pianist, music director, and reformer at Old Johnsonville. The school was located between Hemingway and Johnsonville, South Carolina. She held radical views for her time and place and once created an uproar over the use of the community water dipper commonly used in the schools of that era. This was a practice
followed by families at home and difficult to oppose publicly. She had each child to furnish his own drinking vessel to counteract the spread of water borne diseases. Time has proved her correct and added to the respect held for her by those who knew her.

Rosa Belle Eaddy was a strong and forceful woman who was profoundly respected in her community and church. She was reported to be a dramatic teacher who could leave a lasting impression on here students in the public school as well as the Sunday school classes. Among her practical skills were those of carpentry used to build her own house and she shoed her own horses. She was elected as Mayor of Johnsonville and thus became the first woman mayor in South Carolina. In this office, she readily exercised her authority to arrest persons found violating the law.

Rosa Belle Eaddy first married Wattie Gamewell Woodberry, I. with whom, she bore a family of four sons and one daughter. Two of of her sons became graduates of the U. S. Military Academy, and both were inventors of and holders of numerous patents. After the death of her first
husband, she married R.B.W. "Willie" Dickson. No children were born to this marriage.

At the age of 85 years, she died in Lynchburg, South Carolina and was survived by three of her sons: Brigadier General John Henry Woodberry of Greenville, South Carolina; Clarence Oswell Woodberry of Poston, near Johnsonville, South Carolina; and Lieutenant Colonel David Lemuel
Woodberry, I. of St. Petersburg, Virginia. One brother, John Mallard Eaddy of Spartanburg, South Carolina survived her passing.

Information gathered from The Promised Land : the James Eaddy family in South Carolina, Elaine Y. Eaddy