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Jesse Stroup: Former Rock Hill Mayor Dies Jan. 1

He served his beloved city for over 36 years beginning in 1958 when elected alderman

Jesse Stroup 1994 file photo (click for larger version)
January 09, 2015
Former Rock Hill mayor, Jesse Stroup, who proudly served the city for over 36 years, died on Jan. 1, 2015. He was 89.

Known for his friendly, gregarious nature, Mr. Stroup was first elected alderman in 1958 representing his neighbors as Ward 1 alderman. From there he made a successful bid for mayor in 1971, a post he held until he retired in 1994.

A lifetime member of Rock Hill Baptist "The Rock" Church, Mr. Stroup said in a 1994 Webster-Kirkwood Times article that he originally sought public office at the encouragement of others who felt the board needed a Christian person. Serving as a public official would be a way of serving the Lord, Mr. Stroup said.

When he retired as mayor in 1994, Mr. Stroup said he felt more remorse upon leaving public office than when he retired from Jim Butler Chevrolet in 1990. He had worked as a sales representative there since 1982.

According to Mayor Edward Mahan, highlights from his tenure in office include: the construction of a new city hall in 1965, the establishment of the first sales tax in 1971, and the creation of five new parks (Oakhaven Park, Oak Nature Trail, Rock Hill Park, Greenwood Park and Stroup Field) using funds from a federal revenue sharing program.

In the 1994 article, Mr. Stroup said as mayor he only wanted to make the citizens proud and glad they voted for him.

"You can't please everyone but you can do the right and proper thing," he said.

"Even after his retirement, Mayor Stroup continued to give back to the city. He was appointed to the city's planning and zoning commission, even serving as the commission's chair until 2002," Mahan said.

"Most residents may remember him for his unique exercise regimen," Mahan added. "Every day he would walk from his home on Crawford Avenue to Dierbergs and back.

"The route along Manchester Road gave him the chance to check on his beloved Rock Hill community as he walked," Mahan said. "Mayor Stroup epitomized civic leadership. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by those who knew him."

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