Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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"Be it therefore enacted by the Honorable the Senate and
House of Representatives, now met and sitting in the
General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That
upon the several persons hereinafter mentioned, who have
purchased lots or squares in the town of Columbia, or their
legal representatives producing to the commissioners for
disposing of the public land in the town aforesaid, certifi-
cates from the Board of Trustees of the College aforesaid,
that they have executed to them full and sufficient convey-
ances, in fee simple, of the squares and lots, hereinafter
particularly described, the commissioners aforesaid are
hereby authorized and directed to cancel the following bonds,
to wit; the bond of George Wade, for the purchase of two
acres, making part of the square bounded by Richardson,
Divine, Sumter and Greene streets; also the bond of
William Cunnington, for the purchase of the square bounded
by Sumter, Greene, Marion and Medium streets; also the
bond of Thomas Rhett Smith, for the purchase of the square
bounded by Sumter, Blossom, Marion and Divine streets;
also the bond of Ezekiel Pickens, for the purchase of the
square bounded by Marion, Divine, Bull and Greene streets ;
also the bond of Bartlee Smyth, for the purchase of the
square bounded by Marion, Greene, Bull and Medium


"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,
That the commissioners aforesaid shall be, and they are
hereby, authorized and directed to convey to the Trustees
aforesaid, in fee simple, the square bounded by Sumter,
Divine, Marion and Greene streets, in the town aforesaid,
also the square bounded by Marion, Blossom, Bull and
Divine streets; and the half square, adjoining Wade's pur-
chase, bounded by Kichardson, Divine, Sumter and Greene
streets, as aforesaid.

"And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,
That the Trustees aforesaid, shall be, and they are hereby,
authorized and empowered to stop up or inclose all or any
part of Greene, Marion or Divine streets, which are included
within and bounded by Bull, Blossom, Sumter and Medium

Kutledge College was begun on the land obtained by this
act. On December 17, 1803, the two squares now within
the wall north of Medium street were granted by the legisla-
ture, and on this ground the second building, DeSaussure
College, was located. Section 18 of this act reads: "And
whereas sundry persons, proprietors of those two squares
of land situate upon and circumscribed by Medium and
Pendleton, Sumter and Bull streets, have signified their
assent to relinquish to the said Trustees their right and
interest in the said squares upon being compensated by an
exchange of other lands, or otherwise:

"Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That
the Commissioners of the town of Columbia shall convey
and assure to the said Trustees, the said squares of land,
or so much thereof as the purchasers shall voluntarily relin-
quish; and shall make such other compensation to the said
purchasers, by exchange or otherwise, as shall be agreed
upon by and between them and the said purchasers; and
that it shall be lawful for the said Trustees to enclose the
said two squares, with the squares lying next to the south-
ward thereof, in one enclosure, notwithstanding the inter-
vening streets."


The present wall that surrounds these four squares was
erected in 1835. The old picture in the library of the college
about 1820 shows a tight wooden fence inclosing the grounds.

Nearly all of the land belonging to the University lying
east and southeast of the wall was vested in the trustees by
an act of December 19, 1833, as follows: "Whereas, it is
deemed important to the health of the officers and students
of the South Carolina College, that certain squares and
lots of woodland in the town of Columbia, which belong
to the State, and lie between the College and the swamp of
Eocky Branch, should remain uncleared, and that the con-
trol of the same should be given to the Trustees of the said
College for that purpose.

"Be it therefore enacted by the honorable the Senate and
House of Representatives, now met and sitting in General
Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That the follow-
ing lots and squares of woodland, belonging to the State, in
the town of Columbia, to wit: lots numbered on the town
plat as 53 and 54 on Medium street, lots numbered 43 and 44
on Greene street, one square between Pickens, Bull, Greene
and Divine streets, and one square between Bull, Pickens,
Pendleton and Medium streets, be, and the same are hereby,
granted to, and vested in, the Board of Trustees of the South
Carolina College, for the purpose herein above mentioned."
The action of the legislature was the result of a request
from the trustees : Colonel William C. Preston had made an
investigation of the State's lands that could be granted.

Lots 41 and 42, 55 and 56, completing the square bounded
by Bull, Greene, Pickens and Medium streets, being the
western half of this square, were purchased in 1838 from
the estate of Malachi Howell, for which $400 was paid to
Colonel Chappell as attorney, that sum being reported in
the accounts of the college treasurer under the date of
February 21, 1838.

In 1837 the house of a Mr. Daniels was bought for the
use of the steward as the number of the students had so
increased that it became necessary to use the entire steward's
hall to accommodate the tables. This house is not mentioned


again, but it was perhaps sold after the house at the corner
of Green and Main streets was purchased in 1848. There is
also the probability that it was the house that stood about
where Professor Snowden's house now stands and is men-
tioned as rented in 1866 to the Federal authorities.

A house and lot was purchased, apparently about 1840,
for the marshal, which was sold in 1857 for $2,000.

The minutes of the trustees record under the date of
November 26, 1845, the purchase of a farm from B. F. Taylor
one mile from the town for the use of the bursar's cows.

When Harper College was erected in 1848 on the site of
the first steward's hall, the house of a Mr. Beard at the
corner of Green and Main streets was purchased, which
with some repairs and additions was found to answer
admirably the purposes of a commons hall. This is the old
"Mess Hall" that was pulled down a few years ago. What
amount of land was bought with the building is not stated.

Some time before November 30, 1849 (Minutes of
Trustees see also May 9, 1859), Hon. James H. Hammond
gave to the college the southeast quarter of the square
bounded by Sumter, Pendleton, Main and College streets.
The engine house on Main street between College and
Pendleton streets stands on a part of this acre. In 1893
it was occupied by the city of Columbia, having been used
since 1873 by a negro organization, the Enterprize Fire
Company. The remainder of the acre was sold in 1888 to
C. H. Manson; the proceeds were used to erect the old
infirmary on the south side of College street between Sumter
and Main streets.

The map of the city of Columbia made from the survey
of Arthur and Moore about 1850 gives to the South Carolina
College the following squares and lots indicated in this
diagram :




c. c





This map shows that the two squares between Divine and
Blossom streets on the north and south and Sumter and
Bull streets on the east and west, which had been given to
the college by the act of December 18, 1802, had been lost
to the college: the square bounded by Sumter, Divine,
Marion and Blossom streets had passed into the hands of
J. J. Kinsler; the other square is marked "No Name."
J. J. Kinsler, J. S. Guignard and B. Aiken had come into
possession of most of the square bounded by Richardson,
Green, Sumter and Divine streets. After the new chapel,
now the gymnasium, was begun, the college exchanged the
northwestern corner of this square for the lot of J. S. Guig-
nard (Minutes of Trustees, December 14, 1852). The lot
owned by B. Aiken is now a part of the University's

Permission was obtained from the town council (Minutes
of Trustees, November 24, 1852 ) to erect the proposed chapel
in the center of Sumter street.

The Minutes of the Trustees for May 9, 1859, record the
purchase of the acre, known as the Meek acre, directly in
front of the gate, then in the center of the wall on Sumter


street, so that the college then owned half of the square, the
other acre being that given by Governor Hammond. Appar-
ently in the early 70 's the Meek acre passed in some way
from the possession of the University of South Carolina.

After the South Carolina College was reorganized in 1882,
the trustees procured about 30 acres near the college for
an experiment farm, later adding 40 acres more across
Kocky Branch. Whether this land was purchased or rented
is not stated. When the experiment station was established
in 1888, one hundred acres of land were purchased from the
Taylor plantation near the Fair Grounds. These tracts
were lost to the University in 1890 when Clemson College
was created.

A few years ago, 1908, a strip of land 30 feet wide on
the eastern edge of the University's property from Pendleton
street to Green street was given by the trustees to the city
for the purpose of opening Pickens street.

In 1910 the supreme court of the State decided that the
lands granted to the college in 1833 were the property of
the institution. This decision was the result of a "friendly
suit" caused by the opposition of citizens of Columbia to
the University's building on the land east of the wall. It
was claimed that the lands in question had been previously
granted to the Columbia Male Academy and consequently
could not be given at a later date to the South Carolina




There have been three general periods of activity in the
erection of buildings : the first twelve years after the open-
ing; after the reorganization in 1835; and the last eight

Kutledge College was completed in time for the opening
in 1805; DeSaussure College was perhaps not entirely
finished till 1809. Where the students ate during the first
session is not anywhere stated; but as Timothy Eives was
elected steward, April 23, 1805, the few students at the
college may have been "dieted" at his tavern. The third
building on the campus was the steward's hall or commons
hall, which was erected in 1806. As the professors and
the president were required to live on the campus, it was
necessary to furnish them quarters. The president was
supplied with a house the year after the steward's hall was
built. Booms in South Building (Rutledge) and perhaps
in North Building (DeSaussure) were at first the homes
of the professors. In 1810 the first professors' house was
erected on the south side of the campus; three years later
a second house for two professors was put up opposite the
first house.

Sundry repairs to buildings were necessary two years
after the opening of the college, and the Legislature of 1807
granted f 10,000 for that purpose. A few months after this
grant Philipps and Yates were paid $200 for putting the
college wells in order. These were two in number, one in
front of DeSaussure College, the other in front of Harper
and Elliott Colleges. They were arched over in 1898 at the
beginning of Dr. Woodward's administration, because it was
feared that they might be the cause of typhoid fever among
the students.


From the minutes of the board of trustees for November,
1810, we learn that, "the arrangement by which the pro-
fessors are distributed into the wings of the different edifices
has since their last meeting been carried more fully into
effect and has been attended with the most salutary conse-
quences." The treasurer's report at this time shows that
of the $60,000 which had been granted for the first two
buildings and their repairing and completion all but $496
had been expended.

An earthquake in December, 1811, is said to have cracked
some of the walls so badly that iron bands had to be used
to pull them together.

The dilapidated and filthy condition of the buildings in
1813 drew down the wrath of the trustees on the president
and the professors, who were required to exert themselves
to stop this and to make weekly reports to the standing
committee. President Maxcy was especially criticised. The
whole south range was repaired this year, and all buildings
that needed it were reshingled. In October, 1814, the
buildings were insured for $60,000; but the insurance was
not kept up. An act was passed by the legislature in 1819
that they should be insured, although the minutes of the
board of trustees say nothing about insurance. When the
flames destroyed West DeSaussure in 1851 and Kutledge in
1855, there was no insurance. During the years 1815 and
1816 two brick cisterns were constructed to contain enough
water to extinguish any fire that might break out. These
must have been closed after water was introduced on the
campus, as there is now no trace of them.

The library and science building was erected in 1817 on
the site of Legare College.

A superintendent of buildings was elected in 1823 at a
salary of $500. In 1827 the secretary of the board of
trustees was required to take charge of the buildings. Five
years later Messrs. Elmore and Preston were appointed a
"Standing Committee on Buildings" to supervise repairs
and improvements made by the secretary under the direction


of the board. The first marshal, J. Selfe, was elected after
the reorganization in 1835.

The cornices of the roofs of the college buildings had been
made so heavy that they caused the upper parts of the walls
to bulge out. It was necessary in 1831 to rebuild them,
which was done at a cost of f 3,000.

The committee on repairs reported December 15, 1835,
that the back doors and entry windows of several tenements
had been bricked up, and that the wooden steps to the tene-
ments, which were often torn down and burned, had been
replaced by stone steps.

The wall around the campus was completed in the early
part of 1836. A third double house for professors was put
up in the same year. In 1837 and 1838 the two tenements
now known as Pinckney and Elliott Colleges were erected.
The present library building was completed in 1840. Eight
years later Harper and Legare Colleges were built to accom-
modate the increase in the number of the students. The old
steward's hall at the corner of Green and Main streets was
purchased to take the place of the first one on the site of
Harper College.

The editor of The Telegraph (Columbia), commenting in
the issue of January 17, 1848, on the catalogue of the South
Carolina College which had just appeared that the method
of designating the apartments of the students as "East Wing
of Old North College," or "Center of Old South College,"
was awkward, suggested that the buildings be named
"Legare College, Preston College, Harper, McDuflfie, etc.,"
for eminent alumni of the college. His suggestion was at
once taken up, and the present names of the colleges
appeared in the next issue of the catalogue. Tradition is
not an easy thing to set aside. The first use of one of the
new names in the minutes of the board is in a report of
President Thornwell May 5, 1852, and the old names are
found as late as 1865.

Colonel A. H. Gladden, who was bursar in 1849, was
intrusted with the supervision of the introduction of water
into the colleges, the president's, the professors', and the

10 H. U.


steward's houses. He reported the total cost as $2,097.89.

The building now used as a gymnasium was begun in
1852 and completed in 1855. It was designed for a chapel.

A fire, started by children playing in Professor Brumby's
yard shortly after the burning of Rutledge College in 1855,
threatened the entire college. His carriage house, stables,
and wood-house were burned. This was on Sunday morning
at the hour of service in the chapel, so that all the students
were on hand and saved the college by their "valiant work."

Professors Lieber and Brumby had lightning rods put up
on their houses without asking the authority of the trustees.
When they had to be paid for, the trustees allowed the pro-
fessors to pay.

In November, 1857, the sum of $1,620 was paid to Mr.
Edward S. Malone for introducing gas into the college build-
ings. The cost of fuel, wood, which was supplied to students
by the college, was so high, being about $25 per student for
the session, that it was proposed to have grates built into the
fireplaces, in order that coal might be used, as it had been
found by experiment that the cost of coal was about half
that of wood. President McCay was forced to resign, and
nothing further was done about the grates. The old wood-
yard was in the corner southeast of Rutledge. When a
student wanted wood, he secured it from the marshal.

After the 25th of June, 1862, the buildings were taken
over by the Confederate government for use as a general
hospital. The college escaped when Sherman burned
Columbia. On the 25th of May, 1865, the Federal authori-
ties took possession of the college buildings.

W. H. Orchard, marshal and bursar, reported to the
trustees at their May (1866) meeting, that in January he
had found the University buildings almost entirely occupied
by the United States military, refugee citizens, and vaga-
bond negroes. The rooms were found to be in a dilapidated
and filthy condition, "plastering and woodwork much
broken, glass gone." There were many bad leaks in the
roofs. The campus was in a bad condition, neglected and
abused, and would require time and labor to restore it; the


trees had been trimmed during the winter, which had
furnished a large supply of wood. One of the wells had
been cleaned out and repaired. He had, said the report,
fixed up at his own expense the neglected and dilapidated
Steward's Hall.

At the same time Honorable R. W. Barnwell, chairman
of the faculty, reported that Colonel Green still had offices
inside the walls and also occupied the upper part of Kut-
ledge College and the chapel outside. It was necessary in
his opinion to have legal ejectment of the refugees, since the
presence of servants of both sexes was a serious annoyance,
and contagious diseases were likely to spread. Most of the
refugee families had departed from the campus before the
November meeting of the trustees; only a few remained,
too destitute to turn into the streets. These were in posses-
sion of rooms in the upper part of the campus, which the
students did not use.

In addition to the money spent by Mr. Orchard in putting
the buildings in readiness for the opening in 1866, the Legis-
lature gave $2,000 that year and the same sum the following
year. Major J. P. Thomas directed the repairing in 1866.
Further repairs were necessary in 1868. These to the amount
of $2,500 were made by Hon. James M. Allen, who had
agreed to make them and wait for his pay till the Legisla-
ture met.

In the early part of 1868 General Canby obtained from
the United States treasury for the University $2,000 in bills
receivable, on which there was a discount of twenty per cent.
Chairman Barnwell reported in November of this year that
the buildings and lands occupied by the United States
authorities would soon be given up. The University was in
possession of all the buildings by June of the next year ; but
part of the grounds south of the walls was used for many
years by the Federal garrison. Wooden barracks were
erected here, and here was the parade ground.

In 1873 the University was opened to students irrespective
of color. The institution passed into the hands of the
negroes until after three years South Carolina was redeemed


from radical rule. Tenants were allowed to occupy many of
the buildings. During the month of August, 1880, notice was
given to all persons occupying buildings or rooms on the
campus to vacate at once.

The earthquake which was so destructive to Charleston in
1886 shook the city of Columbia most severely on the 31st
of August. Several of the buildings on the campus suffered,
the house occupied by Professor Colcock and Dr. Joynes
most of all. The west wall was so inclined from the perpen-
dicular as to be separated from the rest of the building, the
coping on the front was ready to fall, the top of a chimney
was broken off and fell, and much plastering was knocked
down. DeSaussure College also suffered much: chimneys
were injured, the north wall was sprung where the earth-
quake in 1811 had cracked it, and parts of the gables on the
front fell. The house occupied by Dr. Patton was also
injured. Mr. Clark Waring repaired the damages at small

The old infirmary on College street was built in 1887.
Fourteen years later the steward's hall had become so dilap-
idated that a new hall was necessary. The present building
was opened in January, 1902. In 1903 and again in 1904
the sum of $7,500 was obtained from the Legislature to
install the present sewerage system. Professors' houses
were also furnished with proper sewerage at the same time.
Mr. C. C. Wilson supervised the work.

The third period in the building activity of the University
began in 1907 with the erection of three new houses for
professors and the gift from Mrs. Ann Jeter of a new
infirmary. It was also marked by the selection of Mr. C. C.
Wilson as the architect of the University and the adoption
of a definite plan in accordance with which the buildings of
the University are to be erected as its increased usefulness
calls for new structures and modern equipment. In the
spring of 1909 a new building devoted to classrooms, Davis
College, was completed, and the foundations were laid a few
months later for a new science hall, LeConte College, which
was finished in 1910. A central heating plant was begun.


Two new dormitories, Thornwell and Woodrow, were erected
in 1912 and 1913.

To this general sketch is now added the history of each
of the buildings.


This was the first building of the South Carolina College
that was completed. It was used for the opening of the
college in 1805, although not entirely ready for occupation.
"South" or "South Building," after the erection of Pinckney
and Elliott Colleges, "Old South," or "Old South Building,"
finally "Rutledge College," have been the names by which it
has been known. In Kutledge College were the chapel, hall
of the Clariosophic Society, the library, the old laboratory
of chemistry and physics, and lecture rooms. The room for
chemical apparatus was fitted out in 1812 at a cost of $1,500.
The chapel is remembered as having a stage six feet high, on
which was a tall and narrow pulpit. When the preacher had
climbed into the pulpit, he was on a level with the galleries.
In 1813 the whole building underwent repairs. The old
library, old laboratory and lecture room of physics and
chemistry were converted into lodging rooms for at least ten
students after the two-story building west of the professors'
house in the south range had been erected in 1817.

Some time before the 15th of February, 1855, "at 11%
in the evening," according to President Thorn well 's report,
a fire broke out from a spark, it seemed, that had caught in
the blinds of the cupola. The wind was high, and in four
hours the chapel and East Rutledge were in ruins, and West
Rutldege was so damaged that it required rebuilding. The
students were promptly on the ground and worked with the
energy and enthusiasm of youth, but to no purpose. The
building was doomed. President Thornwell called the
trustees together on the 15th, who resolved that for the
good of the institution the building should be immediately
replaced without waiting for the Legislature to meet in
December. Governor Adams, President Thornwell, Pro-,
fessor McCay, Mr. DeSaussure, and Colonel Chestnut, or


any three, were appointed as a committee to contract for
the rebuilding of the burned wing, the chapel, and also the
damaged west wing, if such contract could be made on
reasonable terms, referring the contractors to the future
action of the Legislature for compensation. There was no

When the board met in May, Dr. Thornwell was able to

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 12 of 38)