Rosa Belle Eaddy Woodberry Dickson
Rosa Belle Eaddy (1868-1953) was born in Johnsonville, a daughter of Henry Edison Eaddy and Eliza Louisa Huggins.
Belle Dickson was likely the first woman elected mayor in the state of South Carolina. The News and Courier noted on Oct 1, 1925 that she was elected as a compromise candidate as a tie was reached in the vote between her husband, R.B. Dickson and a Mr. Bishop: "There being no way to settle the tie, the two factions agreed to the nomination of Mrs. Dickson, wife of one of the candidates, and she was unanimously elected. . . the people of Johnsonville are satisfied that her administration will be a most progressive one."
Rosa Belle Eaddy was a role model for any independant woman of her time. Born in Johnsonville in 1868, Miss Belle was known as a person of exceptional ability. She was multi-talented woman, chosing a career as a school teacher and thus became another of the Eaddy family to make her contribution in development of the youth of her community.
At Old Johnsonville where many of her students remembered her, Rosa Belle Eaddy was a principal, teacher, pianist, music director, and reformer. The school was located between Hemingway and Johnsonville. She held radical views for her time and place. One former pupil remembers the hubbub created when she banished the common drinking dipper that passed from mouth to mouth, spreading epidemics of colds, diphtheria, measles, and worse. She had each child furnish his own drinking vessel. To the average parent this was inexplicable; at home most families shared a hollowed out gourd at the old wooden bucket. Time has proved her correct and added to the respect held for her by those who knew her.
Rosa Belle Eaddy first married Wattie Gamewell Woodberry Sr. Together they created 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. The two had no children together.
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, SC; Clarence Oswell Woodberry of Poston, SC; and Lieutenant Colonel David Lemuel
Woodberry, I. of St. Petersburg, VA. One brother, John Mallard Eaddy of Spartanburg, SC survived her passing.
Information gathered from The Promised Land : the James Eaddy family in South Carolina, Elaine Y. Eaddy and the Charleston News and Courier