Historic London Printing Company
109 Hampton Street
Architect: Nat Gaillard Walker
Built: circa 1907-09
J.R. London and the London family in general, had an interesting impact on the Rock Hill area for decades. Family members resided here for some 150 years and played a vital role in the development of the city.
Mr. London initially came to York, S.C., in 1865, and opened the first post-Civil War mercantile business there. But later moved to Rock Hill, as it continued to economically surpass older neighboring towns. He later served as Rock Hill intendant, or mayor, the president of two cotton factories, and the vice-president of both of the city’s banks. London investigated the soil in the “Blackjack” region between Rock Hill and Chester, called Mecklenburg-Iredell soil type. Using a sample of the soil from his own farm, he sent a sample of analysis and discovered that potash was lacking, and began importing vast amounts of potash and fertilizer that turned a sterile area into highly productive farmland.
But one of his lasting contributions to the area was the London Printery, located at this address and operated for decades as the leading souse of postcards, stationary, and business products. The second floor of the printing concern was also used as a mill for making horse and mule collars and later a Herald article in 1923, reports renovations to the YMCA there, whose quarters were located over the Herald Offices. The Post Office was also temporarily present on this lot in 1931.