Sir Robert Shirley, born October 20, 1650 in East Sheensurry County, England, was made the first Earl in Ferrers in 1711. He was zealously attached to the Prostestant Sescession and a supporter of the high church principles.
Their decendants came to America and settled in Massachusetts. From there they migrated to Virginia and settled in the bend of the James River. John Shirley born in 1776 came to South Carolina and settled in the Abbeville District in 1801.
His son, Obediah was born in 1804, married Jane Armstrong in 1824. She was a daughter of John Armstrong and Isabella Bryson. They settled in Honea Path, in Anderson County. Jane's father had received a royal grant of land on March 2, 1764. The house Obediah built is still standing and is located one half mile west of Honea Path. One end is hewn logs and there are some wrought nails in the house. The hinges with which the doors were swung were hand wrought by an expert blacksmith. The chimneys were built by Mr. David Moore. they were cut from rock which came from the quarry near the house. Some of the dressed rock are four feet long, sixteen inches wide and eight inches thick.
Obediah Shirley and his wife, Jennie along with others from Barkers Creek, Broadmouth and Big Creek Baptist Churches organized the First Baptist Church of Honea Path during the year 1869 with 19 charter members. Obediah was one of the first deacons and was a large land owner, a farmer and was known to give liberally to the church and to the promotion of Christian education. Obediah had five sons and three daughters. One of his sons, John J. Shirley gave the land on which to build the First Baptist Church and also for the land for the school house, where Watkins School is now located. John J. was a farmer, merchant and also served as Honea Path's first railroad agent and first postmaster. He built the Shirley Hotel in 1859 ( which was later purchased by First Baptist Church and is where the bus shed now stands on Shirmadon Drive).
In 1908, Honea Path was awarded a Carnegie Library, it was the smallest town to receive a library. Visitors to Honea Path can discover its history by visiting the town's people, its buildings, and the surrounding rural farmlands.
The Town of Honea Path own two cemeteries. Eastview Cemetery is located between Eastview Street and Princeton Highway. City Cemetery is located on Church Street beside Honea Path Presbyterian Church.
Cemetery Committee members include:
William Hall, Barbara Hughes, Fredda Gilmer,
Joe White, Cindy Kibler,
Margaret Williams, Jim Pinson,
The Lyric Theater in Honea Path was diagonally across the street from Johnís Place. The Lyric is gone now, but if you want to see a picture of it get a copy of the 1957 class yearbook for Honea Path High School. The Lyric Theatre was enjoyed by everyone. It was located on South Main Street on the property of BB&T parking lot next to Honea Path Chronicle Building and beside Dr. Otis DeVore's Office at the corner of South Main and Greer Street.