Cleveland School Fire


This page is in memory of all those that died in the "Cleveland School Fire" in Kershaw County of South Carolina. It was on May 17, 1923, when about 300 members of the community gathered in the Cleveland school auditorium to watch the school's commencement play. My Granddaddy "Dave" was there and helped in the rescue of others that were able to escape. Dave had many members of his family to die in the tragedy. Dave talked about it and after His death in 1976 due to natural causes, I wrote my first poem about his life. Dave had a great influence upon my life and the lives of many other folks around our community: However, he never gave up on life but trusted in Jesus to see him through. The poem will tell you about this a little more. 


One day on earth a man was born,

And like every man, his mind was unworn.

He worked toward a goal he hoped to reach

However; his love was always here to keep.

While on this earth he worked so hard,

But alive or dead, he will never be ignored.

While at work he did his part,

And his children were so dear to his heart.

Dave went through times we don't understand,

But there was never a time that he was unproven a man!

At one time he thought he lost all he had...

As he watched his family burn in a school so sad.

Year after year he would mourn that lost,

But to Dave there was hope, because

The Lord would see him off.

It wasn't until that fiftieth year,

As God was there to wipe his tear.

While Dave stood to the left of the grave,

God commended him for the accomplishment he had made.

But never by anyone must I say,

That Dave gave up till his dying day..

The proof of that is here to stay,

Because Dave stood on one leg his very last day.

However; one day after threescore and ten,

God reached out and took Dave in.