|Nicholas Velie Van Patten
Nicholas Velie Van Patten was born on October 7, 1804 in Schenectady, New
York and died on August 18, 1889 in Van Patten Shoals, Spartanburg County,
South Carolina. On June 20, 1840 he married Sarah Ann Newman who was
born on February 12, 1820 in South Carolina and died on September 18, 1857 in
Enoree, Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
From an article in a periodical called "Histories of Cedar Grove Baptist Church"
comes the following:
A deed to the property was secured February 23, 1833 and states: "Know all men
by these present that I, Nicholas V. Van Patten of Spartanburg District in
consideration of one dollar to me paid by the Deacons and Elders of the Baptist
Church known by the name of Cedar Grove Church, in the district of Laurens
near the Enoree and also for the good will I bear church; have bargained and
released and of by these present, bargain and release unto the Deacons and
Elders of said church and their successors in office a certain lott of land
containing two acres laid off, from the tract I lately bought of William Halbert
around the meeting house now called Cedar Grove so as to include the road in
front in part and the grave yard". The property was given "for the special use
and purpose of erecting a church for their society and to be at their special use,
direction and management, so long as the said premises are used for a church and
burial ground and for no other".
Perhaps the man most largely resposible for Cedar Grove's new building in 1835,
was a man, not even a member of the church at the time, Nicholas Velie Van
Patten. Nicholas Van Patten came to Laurens County from Schenectady, New
York and first served as superintendent of the Simpson Mill on Rabun Creek.
Later he bought one of the finest unimproved water-powers in the state, in
Spatanburg County, which included 280 acres of land and settled there.
Part 1: The Church