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Token of the Month #10 -
The H.F. Dargan Token of Standard Hill

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Each month there is a special South Carolina token or medal that is highlighted as the Token or Medal of the Month. For this month, the honor goes to a token that has remained somewhat of a mystery ever since I obtained it.

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The 33mm aluminum token pictured above was issued by H.F. Dargan of Standard Hill, South Carolina in the early part of this century. I obtained this token from a fellow collector in Pennsylvania in 1997 and ever since then have been trying to piece together the history of the token, but have been unable to ascertain all the details. I have many maverick tokens that I suspect to be South Carolina tokens, but have not located their town of issuance. However, this is the first token with city and state as part of the inscription that I have been unable to pin down.

I have been able to ascertain who H.F. Dargan was, and have even spoken to one of his daughters, to his daughter-in-law, and to his nephew. This is what I have found out. Henry Flynn Dargan was born on 15 October, 1872 in Darlington County, and was the son of William Edwin Dargan and Mary Hart Dargan. The elder Dargan was primarily a farmer, but was also known to have been involved in the lumbering business. Circa 1895, the Dargan Lumber Company was formed in nearby Lynchburg. The president of the company was Benton DuBose Dargan, the brother of Henry Flynn Dargan. The company's first sawmill operated in Lynchburg (Lee County) for about 5 years, and was moved to Effingham (Florence County) around 1900. The mill was moved again, this time to Pamplico, about 1914. The company was known to have built their own logging railroads - one line from Lynchburg to the main connecting line, and also a line from Pamplico to the town of Poston. A commissary was operated in Effingham, and tokens are known to have been issued in the name of the Dargan Lumber Company, both with an Effingham address and without (mavericks). The sawmill and the railroad lines were sold in 1920 to the Dargan Waggoner Company.

Besides being a partner in the Dargan Lumber Company, Henry Flynn Dargan also dealt in real estate and timberland. Other business dealings included an involvement in the organization and construction of Ocean Drive Estates in Myrtle Beach in the 1920s, before it went bankrupt in the early 1930s. He was also was responsible for the naming of the town of Pamplico in a roundabout way. He had attempted to give the young town that grew up around the company's sawmill the same name as his favorite hunting spot in North Carolina - Pimlico. But he was misunderstood, and the spelling ended up as Pamplico instead.

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A photo of Henry Flynn Dargan, circa 1905.

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Despite being able to piece together the above business history of the Dargan Lumber Company and Henry Dargan, I have been unable to find out anything about the town of Standard Hill. It does not appear in any of my many business directories or on any of my maps, old or new. No mention of the town has been found in several shipper's guides nor the two excellent references on town names in South Carolina - Palmetto Place Names and Names in South Carolina. An inquiry to the South Carolina Department of Records turned up nothing. Many local historians were questioned and no one has ever heard of the town.

Which leaves us collectors somewhat in the dark. It is thought that Henry Dargan was involved to some degree in the commissary operated by the Dargan Lumber Company. Perhaps Standard Hill was the name of one of the temporary lumber camps set up by the company and Henry Dargan operated this store for the lumbermen at the camp. Or perhaps Standard Hill was the name first given to the town of Pamplico, before it received its formal name. Often a new town was given a name by the railroad so that the engineers would have a name for the town to go by. This "railroad" name would often be quite different from the name the town was later given by the post office. Another possibility is that Henry Dargan may have been involved in another business venture, perhaps another lumber company or a general store. Many possibilities exist and we may never know the exact nature of Dargan's business and where Standard Hill was located. On the other hand, maybe one day a visitor will stumble across this website and he or she will know exactly where Dargan's business was located.

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Copyright 2000 by Tony Chibbaro.

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Telephone interviews with family members - Mrs. Elizabeth D. Martin, Mrs. H.F. Dargan, Jr., and Mr. Ervin Dargan.

South Carolina Tokens by Tony Chibbaro, Token and Medal Society, 1990.

Names in South Carolina edited by Claude Henry Neuffer, Reprint Company, 1983.

Palmetto Place Names compiled by the Works Projects Administration, Reprint Company, 1975.

Logging Railroads of South Carolina by Thomas Fetters, Heimberger House Publishing Co., 1990.

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If you collect or have a casual interest in South Carolina tokens or tokens issued by cotton mills, lumber companies, or other types of businesses, you may want to purchase my book, South Carolina Tokens and its two supplements. To read a description of these standard references, please click on this link: Books.

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My Favorite Web sites

Token or Medal of the Month Main Page
A Short History of Token Use in South Carolina
South Carolina Trade Tokens for Sale - Page 1
South Carolina Trade Tokens for Sale - Page 2
Other South Carolina Exonumia for Sale
Trade Tokens from Other States for Sale
Trading List
eBay Auction Listings
South Carolina Stereoviews
The Charleston Exposition
Links to Other Sites