Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Established in 1825 by the S.C. Baptist Convention, the Furman Academy and Theological Institution opened in Edgefield, 1826, moved to Sumter District, 1829-34, and to Fairfield 1837-1850. Chartered in 1830 as Furman University, it opened in Greenville, 1851, and for over a century, 1852-1958, occupied this site purchased from Vardry McBee. In the summer of 1958, Furman moved to a new campus six miles north of town.
Erected 1975 by Furman University. (Marker Number 23-14.)
Location. 34° 50.408′ N, 82° 24.202′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is at the intersection of University Ridge and Thurston Street on University Ridge. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Greenville County Veterans Memorial / Greenville County Medal of Honor (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Reedy River Falls Historic Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Shoeless Joe" Jackson House (approx. ¼ mile away); Clay Buchholz (approx. ¼ mile away); Jim Rice (approx. Tommy Lasorda (approx. ¼ mile away); Lou Brissie (approx. ¼ mile away); Al Rosen (approx. ¼ mile away); Joe Anders (approx. ¼ mile away); Chino Smith (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
More about this marker. The site is the current home of the Greenville County offices.
Regarding Furman University. Furman University is the oldest private higher education facility in South Carolina. It offers majors and courses in 42 subjects and is one of a few colleges that qualifies for a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Also see . . .
1. About Furman University. From the Furman University Website.
2. Furman University. Furman University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian university in Greenville, South Carolina, United States.
3. Furman University. Official website of Furman University.
4. "Look at Furman" (1950s Promotional Video). 1950s-era promotional video for Furman University.
5. Cherrydale History. Cherrydale may have become the Furman Alumni House in 1999, but the columned, Greek-Revival home has an integral place in the university's history.
6. Village Academy / Furman Academy and Theological Institute Marker. Marker located in Edgefield, SC dedicated to the site occupied by Furman.
7. Original Site of Furman Academy. Marker located in Edgefield, SC dedicated to Furman's original site.
1. Post-antebellum Furman
At Furman, the faculty, rather than the trustees or the state Baptist Convention, took the initiative to reopen the institution in February 1866 with 140 students. The number declined, and the college closed in 1868. Nevertheless, President James C. Furman refused to give up. He told the Reedy River Baptist Association: "I have been urged to abandon the university and seek a field of labor more certain.
2. About James Clement Furman
Born in Charleston, James Furman’s legacy is the service and devotion he gave to his namesake university, which is actually named for his father, Dr. Richard Furman, a Baptist minister and denominational
Furman, an ardent states’ rights supporter, was heavily involved in politics, as well. In 1860, he secured an appointment as one of the Greenville delegates to attend the Secession Convention, a meeting that would eventually lead South Carolina to become the first Southern state to secede from the Union. On December 20, 1860, Furman was one of the signers of the Ordinance of Secession. (Source: G: The Magazine of Greenville, Jan/Feb 09 pg 70.)
3. James Clement Furman: History in Brief
At a Glance James Furman became an influential political figure in the community and a leader at Furman University, a school that his father, Dr. Richard Furman, worked to found.
Claim to Fame Furman is best known for his efforts to have Furman University
Did You Know? Furman University closed during the Civil War, so Furman became president of the Greenville Women’s College instead. Initial efforts to reopen the school after the war’s conclusion were unsuccessful, but Furman was quoted as saying, “I have resolved, if the university should go down, to sink with it.”
An Impressive Eulogy At an 1870 commemoration of the death of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Furman was a featured speaker. (Source: G: The Magazine of Greenville, Jan/Feb 09, pg 70.)
4. About Vardry McBee
Vardry McBee was perhaps the most pivotal figure in the history of our city and Greenville County as a whole, thanks to his business acumen and impressive foresight for how the community could grow and prosper.
A product of the Carolina frontier, McBee was born in 1775 on the eve of the American Revolution, a conflict that would prove formative in his early years. Both his father and older brother fought with the Patriots, at King’s Mountain
McBee opened the first textile mill on the Reedy River, but he saw value in a diversified economy. In his private business life, that meant he owned two flour mills, a cotton factory, and wool and paper mills. Publicly, even as he approached his 80s, it led him to champion the construction of a railroad line that connected Columbia and Greenville. In 1853, this line became the first rail to serve the community, and it would become a turning point in the economy of the town. (Source: G: The Magazine of Greenville, Jan/Feb 09, pg 66.)
5. Vardry McBee: History in Brief
At a glance An industrialist and philanthropist, McBee worked to diversify the Southern economy while also promoting education and religion. He donated land for the city’s first four churches (four different denominations), as well as the male and female academies. Those efforts influenced Furman University’s move to Greenville (from just north of Columbia) and the development of Greenville Women’s College.
Did You know? McBee was living in Lincolnton, North Carolina, when he purchased Greenville. Although he wouldn’t move to Greenville until 1836, McBee promoted Greenville as a summer resort and industrial center.
He said it “A man should be prudent and careful, (not a) bully of virtue, nor a bigot.” (Source: G: The Magazine of Greenville, Jan/Feb 09, pg 66.)
Categories. • Education • Notable Persons • Notable Places •
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