SE Hendrick

S.E. "Tubby" Hendrick

S.E. Hendrick, better known as “Tubby”, served as chief of the Conway Fire Department for decades with great distinction. In fact, he was inducted into the S.C. Firemen Hall of Fame in 1981.

In a 1995 edition of the Independent Republic Quarterly, Chief Hendrick shared some of his memories of growing up in Conway in the 1920s and 1930s.

His family moved to Conway in 1926 and lived in a home near First Methodist Church. All the streets in Conway were dirt and a train track ran down the middle of Main Street.

At age 12, Hendrick worked parttime with his father at the Conway Lumber General Store. He earned $1 a week, which provided his “spending money.”

About that time he got his driver’s license.

“All that was required was to ask a policeman to give you a test and he would ride with you and if he thought you could drive good enough, he would then issue you a driver’s license,” recalled Hendrick.

He said a lot of his friends sold freshly boiled peanuts during the summer for five cents a bag. Other young boys with bicycles delivered medicines and sodas from the drug stores.

Conway businesses closed on Wednesday afternoon.

“On many occasions the delivery boys who had bicycles would then get together and organize a bicycle race to Myrtle Beach,” said Hendrick. “During the thirties it was approximately 20 miles from Conway to Myrtle Beach because you had to go through Socastee over what it now S.C. 544.”

In the summer, tobacco farmers came to Conway. He recalled that the farmers would bring their crop in mule-drawn wagons and spend the night in the warehouse until their tobacco sold.

Hendrick said he and his good friend Stick Chestnut loved the Waccamaw River and spent many nights camping on Mossy Ridge.

Hendrick attended the Burroughs School (now the Horry County Museum). After graduation, he went to work in the family business fulltime. Hendrick’s Market was located on Third Avenue.

“We expanded our services to include selling the first dressed chickens in Conway,” he recalled. “Prior to that time, all of the stores sold only live chickens. Usually, the chicken pen was behind the store where the customers would pick out the chicken. We would then catch the chicken, put it into a paper bag with a hole cut for the head, and tie a band around its feet, ready for the customers to carry the chicken home.”

In the late thirties, like many families in Conway, Hendrick’s father bought a lot in Myrtle Beach and built a home.

“In comparison to today’s values, he bought the lot for $300 and built a four-bedroom, two-bath house with a porch across the front and one side for $2,100. We would spend the night in Myrtle Beach and drive back to work like many other families in Conway did,” said Hendrick.

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