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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Trenton in Edgefield County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Bettis Academy

19th Century Education for African Americans

 
 
Bettis Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
1. Bettis Academy Marker
Inscription. Bettis Academy and Junior College, a private school for African Americans, was founded in 1881 by Rev. Alexander Bettis, a former slave who was taught to read by his owner's wife, but was never taught to write. A Baptist Minister, he established Bettis Academy based on religious principles and Christian character; and served as the school's president until his death on May 13, 1895.

Its beginning was a one-room frame structure with one teacher and a few students. In addition to its religious principles, the academy also emphasized teaching education and industrial training. The school was incorporated in 1889 and accredited as a junior college in 1933. When it closed in 1952, Bettis had 14 major buildings and some 350 acres of land.
 
Erected by South Carolina Heritage Corridor.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor marker series.
 
Location. 33° 39.467′ N, 81° 51.567′ W. Marker is in Trenton, South Carolina, in Edgefield County. Marker is on Nicholson Road. Click for map. Marker is located in the parking lot to the right of Biddle Hall. Marker is in this post office area: Trenton SC 29847, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker
Bettis Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
2. Bettis Academy Marker
, measured as the crow flies. 12 Stone Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Mt. Canaan Baptist Church (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Bettis Academy (approx. 1.3 miles away); Marie Cromer Seigler House (approx. 6 miles away); Benjamin R. Tillman House (approx. 6.2 miles away); Horn's Creek Church (approx. 6.2 miles away); Horns Creek Baptist Church / Revolutionary Skirmish at Horns Creek (approx. 6.2 miles away); Darby (approx. 6.6 miles away); Graniteville Train Derailment (approx. 7 miles away); Graniteville Mill (approx. 7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Trenton.
 
Also see . . .
1. Bettis Academy. Bettis Academy and Junior College, established in 1881 and closed in 1952, is significant for its role in the primary, secondary, and higher education of African Americans in what is now Edgefield, Aiken, Greenwood, and Saluda Counties from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. (Submitted on October 22, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. The Bettis Academy: Restoration, Preservation, Heritage Museum, and Tourist Project. Founded by Rev. Alexander Bettis, a former slave, the Bettis Academy was established as a school for African-Americans at a time when educational opportunities for blacks were practically nonexistent. (Submitted on October 22, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
Biddle Hall (1942) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
3. Biddle Hall (1942)
One of the few surviving buildings from the academy, Biddle Hall was a "state of the art" home economics facility. It has been restored and now houses an African American history museum.
 

3. Mount Canaan Association. (Submitted on October 22, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Brief Sketch of the Life and Labors of Rev. Alexander Bettis by Alfred W. Nicholson. (Submitted on October 22, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Thank you
I was looking into my family history from this area and did not know much till I found this site. My grand father was Alex Bettis Hammond and his mother and father lived there. I visited there from NYC as a kid to see them but just that one time. My family has been there a long long time and we still have land there. If any Mackey from there reads this, we are family. God bless all of you.
    — Submitted May 26, 2010, by Brian Keith Barksdale of Olanta SC, Folrence.

 
Categories. 20th CenturyAfrican AmericansEducationNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 879 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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