Central in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The town of Central, chartered in 1875, grew up along what is now Gaines Street. The post office was called Five Mile from 1851 to 1871. In the 1870s the Atlanta & Richmond Airline Railway built its depot, hotel, offices, and railroad shops at Central. The railroad, later the Atlanta & Charlotte, was acquired by the Southern Railway in 1894. Also called “Centre” and “Central Station,” the town was halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, 133 miles each way.
Issaqueena Cotton Mill, founded by D.K. Norris in 1903, was later operated by Central Mills, Cannon Mills, and Central Textiles. Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute was founded in 1906 as an elementary and Bible school. It became a junior college in 1928, Central Wesleyan College in 1959, and Southern Wesleyan University in 1994. S.C. Hwy. 93 was once U.S. Hwy. 123, a main route from Atlanta to Charlotte.
Erected 2009 by Central Heritage Society and the Town of Central. (Marker Number 39-14.)
Location. 34° 43.433′ N, 82° 46.967′ W. Marker is in Central, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (State Highway 93) and Bank Street Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Central SC 29630, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bertha Evans Morgan Rose Garden (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Central History Museum (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named The Central History Museum (approx. ¼ mile away); Freedom's Hill Church (approx. 1.1 miles away); John C. Calhoun Memorial Highway (approx. 2.7 miles away); Keowee / John Ewing Colhoun (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Piazza (approx. 3.5 miles away); Ashtabula (approx. 3.6 miles away); Calhoun - Clemson School (approx. 3.8 miles away); Blue Key National Honor Fraternity Gateway (approx. 3.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Central.
Also see . . .
1. Central, South Carolina. Central is a town in Pickens County, South Carolina, United States.
2. Town of Central. Located in the northwest corner of the state, Central is midway between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.
3. Central Heritage Society. The Central Heritage Society was formed in November 1993.
4. Central High School. The Central High School is a good example of a small town, educational building rendered in the Classical Revival style.
5. Morgan House. The Morgan House, constructed in 1893, is one of Central’s most important architectural and historical landmarks.
6. Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway. Organized in 1870, the Atlanta and Richmond Air–Line Railway combined the Georgia Air Line Railroad and the Air Line Railroad in South Carolina under president Algernon S. Buford.
7. Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railway. The Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railway emerged from the 1877 re-organization of the Atlanta and Richmond Air Line Railway.
8. Southern Railway. The Southern Railway (reporting mark SOU) is a former United States railroad.
9. Southern Wesleyan University. Offical website of Southern Wesleyan University.
10. Southern Wesleyan University. Southern Wesleyan University is a four-year and graduate Christian college, with its main campus in the town of Central, South Carolina.
11. South Carolina Highway 93. South Carolina Highway 93 (abbreviated S.C. Highway 93 or SC 93) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of South Carolina.
12. U.S. Route 123. U.S. Route 123 is a spur of U.S. Route 23.
1. Central - Rich in History
Railroad buffs will have a field day (or several days) exploring Central. As the midpoint between the major population centers of Atlanta and Charlotte, 133 miles from each, this little town found itself the focus of a railroad boom in 1873. The Atlanta and Richmond Air Line Company set up shop and even gave the town its name. The flood of newcomers brought prosperity, and Main Street exploded. New shops, hotels and other businesses cropped up to meet the social and commercial needs of the burgeoning community. Much of the town's character today is directly tied to the railroad. It's obvious that the railroad tracks run through the middle of town (or should we say the trains run through; local residents could set their watches by the passenger and freight trains that still rumble through daily.) Beyond that, much of the town;s architecture is representative of the Victory era. Although the downtown area is thriving, care has been taken to preserve the original storefronts. (Source: Welcome to Central, South Carolina brochure.
2. Central High School - National Register Nomination Form (1994)
The Central High School is located on a three-fourths acre site at 304 Church Street in the Town of Central, Pickens County, South Carolina. The original portion of the building built in 1908 was a rectangular masonry block two stories in height designed in a classical revival motif with a monumental portico dominating the facade. An addition constructed of matching materials was added to the rear of the building ca. 1925. This addition increased the number of classrooms from six to ten. The entire building is brick and rests on a brick foundation. The roof is a complex hip form sheathed in standing seam metal and surmounted by a cupola with lunnete vents. The main facade faces east and measures approximately sixty-six feet; the original depth of the building was about sixty nine feet. The addition measures approximately one-hundred-and-eight feet by thirty-five feet.
Additional Descriptive Information
The facade of the school building faces east and presents a three-bay facade (A-B-A). Window fenestration is three single, double-hung, six-over-one, wood sash windows symmetrically spaced at the first and second story on the wings.
The entry is recessed behind a brick arch and features double entry doors, sidelights and transom which match the window transoms. Small square decorative windows with mullions dividing the lights into triangles are placed over the central doorway.
The brick is laid in running bond with a recessed header row every fifth course, which gives the building a strong horizontal appearance contrasting with the decided vertical thrust of the portico. A wood cornice projects from the facade's surface beneath the parapet. The bond pattern and cornice wrap the north and south elevations of the original block. The 1920s addition repeats aspects of the decorative elements to reflect the earlier design. For example, the bond pattern and corbeling at the corners recall the original design, but use large expanses of flat surfaces to reduce expense and construction time. The later addition takes advantage of the sloping site to incorporate a full basement below the water table.
Six classrooms, an auditorium, basement, indoor restrooms, and stairwells were contained in the original section. A
Two community theaters were installed in 1977 which required altering the second floor classrooms to accommodate this use. Additional windows were also closed with wood infill.
The Central High School, located at 304 Church Street in Central, South Carolina, is comprised of a 1908 building and a ca. 1925 rear addition. It is a good example of a small town, educational building rendered in the Classic Revival style quite popular during that period. It is also the work of a prominent architect, Christopher Gadsden Sayre, who designed many school buildings in South and North Carolina. This school is also significant for its role in the educational development of Pickens County. An important landmark in Central, the school is located near the town's center and is one of the larger edifices in the community.
Like many other South Carolina counties, Pickens County did not have a public school program until the latter part of the nineteenth century. Although a Joint stock
Central established a high school in 1893 that was the pride of the community. students paid fees ranging from $1.00 to $2.25 per month, depending on the class in which they were enrolled. They were also charged $.25 per session to defray costs for heat and incidentals. This school served the town until the Pickens County Board of Education ordered an election, held on 7 October 1907, to determine if a State High School should be established in District 9. The proposal carried; Central became eligible for state funds and work on the present building began shortly afterwards.
Pickens County was very much in line with what was happening in other parts of the state regarding school consolidation and construction. On 12 February 1901, the South Carolina Senate passed a child labor bill prohibiting the mill employment of children under twelve years old and encouraging their education. Although it did not become law until several years later, it no doubt heightened
This new law provided "that County Boards of Education, in giving aid, 'shall give preference to districts which have combined and consolidated two or more school buildings.'" In 1905, the State Superintendent of Education wrote in his annual report that consolidation was advantageous to school districts both in terms of better educational opportunities and in making more effective use of funds. The Consolidation Act provided incentive for districts to reduce the number of small schools within the district by offering state funds to match local appropriations for building schools. There were certain conditions the funding came with, however. Pertinent to the design of schools, as noted in the report, was that "all new school buildings which secure aid should be built according to an improved architectural design." This proved to be an excellent opportunity for the professional design community as this provided incentive to employ professionally trained designers.
The architect of
The Central High School building was his sixth, and last, commission for a school before he became associated with James J. Baldwin in 1908. They opened their first office in Anderson, however, by 1914 their business had expanded sufficiently to open a second office in Raleigh, North Carolina. By 1915, Baldwin left the firm, and most of Sayre's work after 1918 was concentrated in North Carolina where he opened branch offices in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. In addition to schools, he also designed a number of county courthouses in the Carolinas, and Georgia. His more prominent courthouse designs include the Bleckley County Courthouse in Baldwin, Georgia (1913); the Moore county Courthouse in Carthedge, North Carolina (1922); and the Saluda County Courthouse in Saluda,
3. Morgan House - National Register Nomination Form (2001)
The Morgan House is a single-story, frame residence constructed in 1893 at what is presently 416 Church Street in Central, South Carolina. The house was originally constructed in the Queen Anne style and subsequently altered circa 1917 with Classical Revival design elements. It was built by Jeptha Norton Morgan, a prominent local merchant and banker, in anticipation of his marriage to Minnie Eugenia Morgan. The Morgan House was purchased in 1995 by the Central Heritage Society and is currently used as the Central History Museum.
The Morgan House is located on 2.775 acres on Church Street two blocks from the business district of Central. The immediate area is comprised of other historic single-family residences, historic Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, and non-historic apartment and governmental buildings. The immediate area is still largely residential in character. Main Street and the Norfolk Southern Railroad line are two blocks north of the Morgan House. The now demolished "Railroad Hotel" and railroad depot also were nearby and were the focal points of Central at the turn of the twentieth century. Jeptha Norton Morgan and
The Morgan House contains approximately 2,900 square feet on a single level over a crawl space. The foundation is brick and the exterior is lapped wood siding. The asymmetrical design has three bays on the front elevation with a main hipped roof complemented with porch and roof gables. Built originally in a Queen Anne gabled-ell design, the original elaborately detailed porch was altered prior to 1917 with Classical Revival detailing including Doric columns and the addition of porch gables with glass, classical motifs.
Except for the aforementioned Classical Revival modifications and the addition of a room at the rear of the house, the house remains largely unaltered. The exterior consists of wood siding with a prominent front porch partially wrapping both sides and adjoining a screened porch on the northern elevation. There also is a rear porch that was reconfigured with the rear addition of the house. The front and side porches feature Doric columns that are paired to flank the concrete steps at
The interior is characterized by a large living room that opens into a central hall. The original floor plan was typical of a Queen Anne gabled-ell design. Adjacent to the living room is the parlor with an octagonal bay featuring large two over two paned windows. There is a distinctive fireplace mantel with a beveled glass mirror. As with all rooms in the house, there is 12" floor molding. The parlor has picture molding and bead-board walls that are presently covered with wallpaper of indeterminable age. The dining room, kitchen and one bedroom opens to the central hall. All rooms with the exception of the kitchen have thirteen-foot high ceilings. The kitchen has a dropped ceiling with ceiling tiles. The rooms have plaster walls except for the parlor and a rear bedroom with bead board paneling. Floors are hardwood although the living room, dining room and parlor have a newer layer of hardwood flooring covering the original floors. All doors and windows have Late Victorian trim with rosettes. Several interior doors have transoms including
The Morgan House has limited alterations with the most noticeable modifications being the front porch alterations and the partial enclosure of the rear porch that coincided with the addition of a room at the rear of the house. The front porch was originally an elaborately detailed porch in a Queen Anne design. The original front porch columns and railings were removed circa 1917 and replaced with Doric columns. The porch was further altered with the addition of gables above the porch featuring glass classical motifs within the gables. Other alterations include a dropped ceiling with acoustical ceiling tile in the kitchen and contemporary wall paneling on the rear walls of the central hall adjacent to the kitchen. Other minor alterations include a modem HVAC system, the addition of a small restroom, and fluorescent lighting in two former bedrooms that are currently used as display rooms. Contemporary ceiling tile also has been added to one of the display rooms although this room still has the original ceiling height. The alterations have not compromised the overall historic character of the house.
A small lateral-gable frame shed with a metal
The Morgan House is one of Central's most important architectural and historical landmarks and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria Band C. The former single-family residence is presently the home of the Central History Museum and is an excellent example of late nineteenth century Classical Revival residential architecture. The Morgan House also is significant for its association with Jeptha Norton Morgan and his family, prominent in the growth of Central's economy. Jeptha Morgan and his family contributed greatly to the social and civic life of Central during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The architecture of the Morgan House is significant because of its evolution from its original Queen Anne style to an early twentieth century Classical Revival architectural style. The Morgan House was constructed in 1893 in the Queen Anne style and subsequently altered circa 1917 with classical design elements. This transformation is representative of a wave of popularity that occurred during the first two decades of the twentieth century with renewed emphasis on classical architectural themes. This coincided with the decreasing popularity of the Queen Anne architectural
Jeptha Morgan was the son of Robert Finley Morgan, a prominent property owner in Pickens and Oconee County. Robert Finley Morgan owned considerable property along the Keowee River and much of the land that later became the central business district of Central. Robert Finley Morgan had six sons and three daughters. Two of the sons, Francis Burt (F.B.) and Jeptha Norton (J.N.), settled in Central to pursue business endeavors. In 1882, Francis and Jeptha Morgan established
F.B. and J.N. Morgan's Store, a mercantile retail establishment on property located on Main Street in Central. The property was purchased by their father in 1882 from J.C. Philpot. Morgan's Store provided groceries, clothing, and general supplies to the growing community of Central. By the early 1880's, Central had become a thriving railroad village benefiting from the completion in 1873 of the rail line through Central by the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Company that connected Charlotte and Atlanta. Central is halfway between the two cities and the railroad company established a terminal station where engines and train crews were changed and light repairs were made. Central, which derived its name from its location halfway (133
In addition to the founding of Morgan's Store, Jeptha Morgan with his brother and three other businessmen, J.R. Falls, C.B. Smith, and T.M. Norris, founded the Bank of Central. Chartered on January 1, 1904 with deposits of $22,500, Jeptha Morgan was the first president of the bank and was later succeeded as president by his brother. The Bank of Central played an integral role with the development of Central's economy during the first three decades of the twentieth century. The Bank of Central did not survive the depression of the early 1930's. The bank had numerous loans on agricultural crops that it failed to collect during this time.
Morgan's Store did survive the Great Depression and continued to be a focal point of Central's economy as it rebounded. Located on Main Street, it was a retail destination where people purchased retail goods ranging from groceries to clothing to coffins. An early advertisement referred to Morgan's Store as "headquarters for dry goods, groceries, hats, shoes, hardware, clothing, wagons, buggies, furniture, coffins, tinware, crockery, school books, testaments, and Bibles." Morgan's Store
In addition to Jeptha Morgan's positions as owner of Morgan's Store and founding president and director of the Bank of Central, he also was an officer in Central's first Masonic organization, Central Masonic Lodge. Chartered on December 10,1890, this Masonic organization was founded with fourteen members and met for a period of time upstairs in Morgan's Store. A new Masonic Hall was built on Gaines Street in Central in 1964.
Jeptha Morgan's role as a banker in Central led to his selection as a founding member of the board of the Bank of Commerce in Greenville. The Bank of Commerce was founded in March 1906 and was active in Greenville until 1926. Upon Jeptha Morgan's death in 1923, the Bank of Commerce board passed a resolution recognizing the value of his services and the loss "to the community of a kind, honest and generous hearted citizen."
Following his death on September 30, 1923, Jeptha Morgan's widow, Minnie Eugenia Morgan, continued to own Morgan's Store and play an active role in Central. Minnie and Jeptha had two daughters, Jessie Norton Morgan who was born May 27, 1898, and Jennie Eugenia Morgan who was born on July 10, 1901. Jessie died on November 16, 1999, and Jennie died on May 7, 1985. Both daughters were prominent citizens of Central and became leaders of Central's first Girl Scout troop that was organized in 1942. Both daughters resided in their parents' house for most of their lives. The residence at 416 Church Street became known as the Morgan House and was acquired in 1995 by the Central Heritage Society. It is currently the Central History Museum.
4. Daniel Keating Norris
Born Nov. 1, 1846 in Lower St. Matthews, Orangeburg Co., S.C. Father was George Norris, a farmer and planter. His mother was Amelia Avinger Norris, (1/24/1812 - 3/29/1883). His mother is buried in his family plot in Pendleton. His father is not buried there. His grandfather was Patrick Nash who came to Fairfield County, S.C. from Ireland and served in the Revolutionary War.
D.K. Norris served in Company F, Second Regiment, S.C. Heavy Artillery, rank of Private, and was badly wounded at the Battle of Bentonville, N.C.
His brother, George Manly Norris, born 1848, served as a Confederate Soldier for six months as a second Lieutenant of Company F, of the Second Regiment of the S.C. Junior Troops (he was only 16 years old). After the war G.M. Norris was a planter in Vance, S.C. D.K. Norris also had another brother, J.F. Norris, of Charleston, S.C.
D.K. Norris died at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore Maryland on Jan. 23, 1905. He had been ill for some time and went to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment. He is buried in the family plot at the First Baptist Church in Pendleton, S.C. There is a large gravestone but there is no indication that D.K. Norris was a Confederate Veteran. He was given a military funeral.
Categories. • Education • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,843 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 13, 14. submitted on January 22, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 15. submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 16, 17, 18. submitted on April 17, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 19, 20, 21. submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 22. submitted on April 17, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 28, 29, 30, 31. submitted on April 17, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.