Bordeaux in McCormick County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
John De La Howe School
Still Caring...Still Dreaming
The establishment of John de la Howe School, the second oldest institution in the Carolinas, is one of the first examples of individual philanthropy that is found in the history of child-caring institution in the United States. The purpose of Dr. de la Howe's gift was to help dependent and neglected children, Founded in 1797 at the passing of the Dr. John de la Howe, an emigre from either "the north of France, or Holland, or perhaps Flanders," the John de la Howe School still stands as a place where children from throughout the state of South Carolina come to learn basic life skills and behaviors.
Origins of the School
Dr. de la Howe's concept came from an article in the April 1787 Columbia Magazine. In his will, Dr. de la Howe bequeaths his real and personal estate to the President and Agriculture Society of South Carolina in trust for the purpose of having the school established as proposed in this article. The benefactors of the school would be twelve boys and twelve girls whose parents or who themselves have resided in Abbeville County (now McCormick County).
The Establishment of the Industrial School
In 1918, the General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Board of Trustees, converted Lethe into a new state agency accountable to the legislature. Shortly thereafter the school's
John de la Howe's Life
De la Howe's dream began, many years prior to his death. He immigrated to Charleston in the spring of 1764. In 1768 he received a grant of 400 acres near the Long Cane Settlement, and in the late summer of 1774, he established residence at Lethe Farm in Long Cane. Between 1774 and 1785 he continued to acquire land in the same area. In the late summer of 1785, Dr. de la Howe returned to Lethe Farm. De. de la Howe died in 1797 and is buried according to specific directions in his will. His tomb is near the original site of the school.
Erected by South Carolina Heritage Corridor.
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor marker series.
Location. 33° 57.3′ N, 82° 25.433′ W. Marker is in Bordeaux, South Carolina, in McCormick County. Marker can be reached from Gettys Road (South Carolina Route 81). Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 192 Gettys Road, Mc Cormick SC 29835, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. John De La Howe School Enterprise Market Program at "The Barn" (within shouting distance of this marker); John De La Howe / John De La Howe School (approx. 0.2 miles away); De La Howe Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); Guillebeau Home and Family Cemetery (approx. one mile away); Andre Guillebeau (approx. 1.2 miles away); John De La Howe School Lethe Farm Trail (approx. 2.1 miles away); John De La Howe Forest (approx. 2.1 miles away); New Bordeaux (1764) (approx. 2.4 miles away); New Bordeaux Worship Site (approx. 2.7 miles away); Cherry Hill / Noble Cemetery (approx. 2.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bordeaux.
Also see . . . John de la Howe School. Originally founded in 1797 as a farm school for local poor and orphaned children, John de la Howe School has evolved into a first-rate, child caring agency committed to meeting the behavioral, educational, and social needs of the children in its care.
1. John de la Howe School Interpretive Trail
The John de la Howe School has been serving children for more than 200 years, but the school is also serving the larger community
What to Look for: The 1.5-mile trail crosses dry upland hardwood forest, mixed pine/hardwood forest, and some floodplain forest. It overlooks both a two-acre beaver pond and part of the headwaters of Lake Thurmond. Rock outcrops encrusted with lichens are common and add to the beauty of the walk. This is a great place to look for turtles, lizards, toads and other reptiles and amphibians. Birders will appreciate the presence of eastern wood pewees, red-eyed vireos, wood thrushes, and hooded, yellow, and black-and-white warblers. Near the water, look for great blue herons, egrets, wood ducks and Canada geese. Eagles sometimes pass overhead, as do red-tailed hawks. Listen for quail and turkeys, and the occasional startled deer bounding out of your path. Wildflower enthusiasts should plan a spring trip to see faded trilliums in bloom.
When to Go: The trail is always open, but if you visit on Saturday, you can also visit "The Barn" where volunteers sell student-made crafts and community consignment items. Restrooms and drinking water are only available in The Barn.
How to Get There: From McCormick, go north on SC 28 and follow it for approximately 8 miles. Just after the road crosses the Long Cane Bridge, bear left on SC 81. Watch for the Barn about
Extras: Call the school at (864) 391-2131 for more information. (Source: South Carolina Nature Viewing Guide: Distributed for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resource by Patricia L. Jerman (2000) pg 35.)
2. The De La Howe Gift
Dr. John De La Howe, of Abbeville District, on the 7th day of September, 1796, made his last will and testament and thereby gave all of his estate, consisting of both personal and real, to the Agricultural Society of South Carolina, in trust, for the purpose of establishing on the plantation where he resided an agricultural farm and school, out of the yearly income, to feed, clothe and educate twelve poor boys and twelve poor girls, giving orphan children the preference. The testator requested Peter Gibert. Esq., to act as executor of the will until the Agricultural Society should name some of its members to perform that duty. By a codicil, without date, he appointed William Hutton a joint executor with Mr. Gibert. Dr. De La Howe died on the 2d day of January, 1797, and his will was
In 1805 the Agricultural Society surrendered their trust to the Legislature, who accepted it, and by Act passed on the I4th of December, same year, appointed Col. Joseph Calhoun, Peter Gibert, Andrew Norris, Rev. Moses Waddel, Ezekiel Calhoun, trustees, to carry into effect the terms of the will, conferring on them the power to fill their own vacancies, and directed them to account annually to the Ordinary of Abbeville District.
On the 3Oth of December, 1806, the trustees sold the residue of the personal property. This sale amounted to $6,556.14. On the 2?th of June they returned a statement of the personal estate, at that time amounting to $10,639.69.
The real estate consisted of quite a number of tracts of land situated in the Districts of Abbeville, Edgefield, and on the Edisto River. A certain part of the land was sold about this time, which produced a sum—added to the amount realized from sale of personal property—aggregating some $32,237.
The institution has had a changing experience since the above date. Today the institution is in possession of 2,700 acres of land, valued at $54,000, besides having $14,000 invested
In view of the above facts, it is strange to state that the trustees find great difficulty in procuring as many children as the school can accommodate. Notwithstanding the fact, the trustees are now begging for children from adjoining counties, offering to pay their transportation from and to the institution, educate, feed, clothe and pay their medical expenses. I must admit I am unable to explain this state of circumstances.
Dr. De La Howe was buried on the hill opposite to the dwelling on the plantation named by him "Lethe Farm." He requested a substantial brick wall should be built around his grave—not less than ten feet square, eight feet above the ground, with an iron door and lock, and that the following inscription, in large iron capitals, shall ever be kept encased: "Joes De La Howe, fundator, hipes Seminarie Agriculturalis," with date of his decease. (Source: Handbook of South Carolina by the South Carolina Dept. of Agriculture, pg 215.)
3. An Act to Establish the Dr. John De La Howe Industrial School
An Act to Establish the Dr. John De La Howe Industrial School, and Provide for Its Government and Maintenance.
Section 1. Dr. John De La Howe Industrial School Established.—Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, That there shall be, and is hereby, established under the provisions of this Act an institution to be known as the "Dr. John De La Howe Industrial School."
§ 2. Body Corporate—Powers.—That the Dr. John De La Howe Industrial School is hereby declared to be a body corporate and, as such, may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, in its corporate name; may have and use a proper seal, which it may alter at its pleasure; and shall have the right to acquire by purchase, deed, devise, lease for a term of years, bequest, or otherwise, such property, real and personal, in fee simple without limitations, as may be necessary or proper for carrying out the purposes of its organization as herein declared.
§ 3. Appointment of Trustees—Term of Office.—That the business, property and affairs of the said Industrial School shall be under the control of a Board of Trustees, consisting of five members, who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by
The members of the said Board may at any time be removed by the Governor for good cause. The failure of any member of the said Board to attend at least one meeting thereof in any year, unless excused by formal vote of the Board, may be construed by the Governor as the resignation of such non-attending member. The said Board shall meet quarterly and oftener as may be required, at least one meeting each year being held at the said Industrial School. The said Board shall appoint an Advisory Committee of three women, for such terms as the said Board may determine, who shall visit the said Industrial School at least quarterly, and shall advise with the said Board as to its management and any other pertinent matters. All members of said Board and of the Advisory Committee of women shall serve without compensation, but their necessary
§ 4. Election and Powers of Superintendent.—That the said Board shall elect a Superintendent for said Industrial School, at such salary and for such term as they may fix. Thereafter, the Superintendent shall employ and discharge all employees of the said Industrial School, subject to the approval of the said Board.
§ 5. Oath of Trustees and Superintendent.—That all the members of the said Board and the Superintendent of the said Industrial School, shall, before entering upon the discharge of their duties, take an oath faithfully to perform any and all duties imposed upon them under this Act and amendments hereto. The Superintendent shall execute a bond payable to the State in such sum as shall be required by the said Board, with sufficient security, which bond shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
§ 6. Purpose of School.—That in establishing the Dr. John De La Howe Industrial School, it is hereby declared to be the purpose and policy of the State to take over the property, now in McCormick, but formerly in Abbeville county, left by Dr. John De La Howe, and to maintain and develop same in accordance with the purposes of the will of the said Dr. John De La Howe as interpreted by the Supreme Court of South Carolina, Mars v. Gibert, 93 South Carolina, pages 455-467, namely: "First,
ville county" at the time this will of Dr. John De La Howe was dated, namely, January 2, 1797.
§ 7. Trustees to Make Rules—Admission of Pupils.—That in accordance with the purposes of the said Industrial School as herein defined, the said Board of Trustees shall make such rules and regulations for their own government and for the management of the said Industrial School as they may deem necessary, consistent with the laws of this State and with the terms of the will of Dr. John De La Howe: Provided, That all applications for admission as boarding pupils shall be submitted by the said Board of Trustees to the State Board of Charities and Corrections before being granted. Thereupon, the State Board of Charities and Corrections shall investigate the applications and report their findings with their recommendations to the said Board of Trustees, who shall then, in accordance with such rules as they may make, determine which of these applications for admission shall be granted and in what order: Provided, further, That it is hereby declared to be the policy of the State that pupils at the said Industrial School, whose estates are sufficient, or the relatives of said pupils liable in law for their support, whose estates are sufficient, shall be required to pay for the maintenance of such pupils in said Industrial School in whole or in part; the manner and method of determining such financial ability and the collecting of the amounts required to be paid shall be similar to that now in force with regard to the students in the State colleges.
§ 8. Appropriation for Building—Certain Funds to Be Delivered to Trustees.—That for the purpose of erecting an adequate building for the use of said Industrial School and for further carrying out the provisions of this Act, the sum of thirty thousand ($30,000.00) dollars is hereby appropriated out of the funds of the State not otherwise appropriated, fifteen thousand ($15,000.00) dollars to be paid during the year 1918 and fifteen thousand ($15,000.00) dollars during the year 1919, to be expended from the public treasury on order of the Treasurer of said Industrial School, approved by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees: Provided, That all of the money now or hereafter in the hands of the Trustees of the estate of Dr. John De La Howe shall by them be delivered to the Board of Trustees created by this Act when so requested to do by the said Board of Trustees; and that thereafter all amounts received from said estate and its operation shall be appropriated for the support and development of said Industrial School, in the discretion of the said Board of Trustees.
§ 9. Act Effective on Approval—Inconsistent Acts Repealed.—That this Act shall take effect immediately upon its approval by the Governor; and all Acts or parts of Acts in conflict with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.
Approved the 19th day of February, A.D. 1918. (Source: Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina (1917), pgs 803-807.)
Categories. • Education • Notable Persons •
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