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

Furman University

Reedy River Falls Historic Park

 
 
Furman University Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 7, 2008
1. Furman University Marker
Inscription.
Established in 1826 in Edgefield as an academy and theological institution, Furman University was charted in 1850 and in 1851 established a campus on the bluff above this spot, where it remained for the next century. Named for Baptist minister Richard Furman, a Revolutionary War patriot, the university's first president was his son, James Clement Furman. Its first two-room frame building, "Old College" was replaced in 1854 by the Richard Furman Classroom Building, known fondly as "Old Main." An example of Italianate Revival architecture, the building's most distinctive feature was its bell tower. Quickly becoming the school's symbol, its bell announced Confederate victories during the Civil War and in later years celebrated "Purple Hurricane" football victories. In 1958, the university moved to a new campus in the shadows of Paris Mountain, five miles north of town. Its former tree shaded grounds and buildings were razed, and Bell Tower shopping center, now County square, took their place.
 
Location. 34° 50.6′ N, 82° 24.017′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on Furman College Way, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29605, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers
Former Site of Furman University, Now Home to the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 7, 2008
2. Former Site of Furman University, Now Home to the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts
are within walking distance of this marker. Mill Village (here, next to this marker); River Lodge (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Mill Ruins (within shouting distance of this marker); Vardry Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Reedy River Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cherokees (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Furman University (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Furman University (about 300 feet away); Liberty Bridge (about 400 feet away); Restoration and Development (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Furman University. Official website of Furman University. (Submitted on December 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Furman University. Furman University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian university in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. (Submitted on April 13, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. About James Clement Furman
Born in Charleston, James Furmanís legacy is the service and devotion he gave to his namesake university, which is actually named for his
Furman University (1854) image. Click for full size.
Special Collections, South Carolina Library, USC Columbia
3. Furman University (1854)
Furman Campus was designed by Edward C. Jones of Charleston. The Italian-style bell tower was rung each time there was a southern victory during the Civil War. The campus was demolished in 1961 but the bell tower was recreated on Furman's current campus. It now chimes each time there is a Furman athletic victory.
father, Dr. Richard Furman, a Baptist minister and denominational leader. The junior Furman began his tenure as a member of the Furman University faculty while it was still located north of Columbia in Fairfield. He would, working with members of the schoolís board of trustees, campaign over the next six years to persuade the state Baptist Convention to move the school to Greenville, where it eventually opened in 1851 in McBee Hall. He would go on to become chairman of the faculty and later president of the university.

Furman, an ardent statesí 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.)
    — Submitted April 13, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. 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
Furman University (1854) image. Click for full size.
Special Collections, Greenville County Library, Greenville, 1901
4. Furman University (1854)
The music building to the left of the bell tower and the right building make up the entire Furman campus. This engraving comes from a 1901 Greenville city directory.
to Fame
Furman is best known for his efforts to have Furman University moved from Fairfield, South Carolina, to Greenville in 1851, where it opened in McBee Hall on the corner of Main Street and McBee Avenue. He was chairman of the faculty before later becoming president.

Did You Know? Furman University closed during the Civil War, so Furman became president of the Greenville Womenís College instead. Initial efforts to reopen the school after the warís 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.)
    — Submitted April 13, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. EducationNotable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,089 times since then and 92 times this year. Last updated on . Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3, 4. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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