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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)
 

Working Benevolent Society Hospital

 
 
Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker </b>(front) image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, August 30, 2008
1. Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker (front)
Inscription.
[Marker Front]:
The Working Benevolent Society Hospital, first known as St. Luke Colored Hospital, was a two-story frame building standing here at the corner of Green Avenue and Jenkins Street. Founded in 1920, it served blacks in Greenville for twenty-eight years. The Working Benevolent Grand Lodge of S.C., at Broad and Fall Streets in Greenville, operated the hospital from 1928 until it closed in 1948.

[Marker Reverse]:
The hospital, described at its opening as “one of the most modern institutions in the South for colored people,” had three wards and twenty-two beds in semiprivate and private rooms. Mrs. M.H. Bright was the first superintendent. A registered nurse and a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute, she had been superintendent of the Institute hospital. Most of the superintendents after her were nurses as well.
 
Erected 2003 by Green Avenue Area Civic Association. (Marker Number 23-27.)
 
Location. 34° 50.233′ N, 82° 24.739′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is at the intersection of Green Avenue and Jenkins Street, on the left when traveling north on Green Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker - Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 3, 2008
2. Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker - Reverse
At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Allen Temple AME Church Bell (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sterling High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); "Shoeless Joe" Jackson House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Clay Buchholz (approx. 0.4 miles away); Jim Rice (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tommy Lasorda (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lou Brissie (approx. 0.4 miles away); Al Rosen (approx. 0.4 miles away); Joe Anders (approx. 0.4 miles away); Chino Smith (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
 
Regarding Working Benevolent Society Hospital. Founded in 1920 as St. Luke Colored Hospital, the Working Benevolent Society Hospital served the black community for 28 years. The name was changed to the Working Benevolent Society Hospital when the Society took over operations in 1928.

At the dedication of this marker, Mayor Pro-tem Lillian Brock Flemming recognized the good work of the hospital and its important role in the community, stating, “This dedication pays tribute to a significant point in the history of the Green Avenue neighborhood and the City of Greenville. The caring and good works of at the Working Benevolent Society Hospital are well worth remembering. As this community moves forward, we will build upon the values and good works that took place on this site many years ago.”
Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker </b>(front) image. Click for full size.
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, August 30, 2008
3. Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker (front)

 
Also see . . .
1. Marker Dedication Press Release. (Submitted on September 2, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Working Benevolent Temple and Professional Building. The Working Benevolent Temple and Professional Building is significant for its historic association with the development of Greenville’s black business district and professional activities for fifty years. (Submitted on December 5, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Working Benevolent Society Hospital, Greenville, S.C., by Miss Petra Pinn, R.N.
Working Benevolent Society Hospital was dedicated and opened October 10, 1927, in Greenville, S.C., and slowly but surely is growing.

This society has a membership of over seven thousand, and each member is required to pay five cents a month, which entitles said member to one free week in this hospital, and a reduction each week thereafter, according to the number of years he or she has been a member. If from one to five years, one-fourth of the week's rate is deducted, five to ten years, one-third is given, and ten to twenty years, one-half rate is allowed.

We do not confine our admission to our membership, we serve Greenville county, and any one of our group needing hospitalization is taken in.
Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 3, 2008
4. Working Benevolent Society Hospital Marker
The lot shown behind the marker was the location of the hospital.
Our capacity is twenty beds, and two bassinets.

Three graduate nurses, one technician, one janitor, and one cook are on the regular pay roll.

With the assistance of the Duke Endowment Fund, we have been able to maintain charity beds,and most especially do they advocate maternity work.

With the co-operation of the physicians, white and colored, we are in the midst of a worth while program of teaching our people that their babies have the right to be born under sanitary surroundings.

The surgical side comes in for its share of consideration. Not having any money does not bar an unfortunate person from getting the most delicate operation performed, as we have competent surgeons, ready to give their services for charity's sake.

Our hospital is ideally located, as Greenville is at the foot of the Paris Mountain, and we point with pride to Caesar's Head, to tourists from all sections of the country who journey here to enjoy our wonderful landscape scenery, and drink of our life-giving mineral water of Chick Springs.

We rate ourselves as growing; due to the fact that we are only two and one-half years old, and have admitted three hundred and eighty patients. Over one hundred major operations have been successfully performed, six of which were Caesarean sections. (Source: Journal of the National Medical Association 1930 Jul-Sep;
Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building (1922)<br>Broad & Falls Street, Greenville image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 10, 2010
5. Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building (1922)
Broad & Falls Street, Greenville
22(3): 147.)
    — Submitted December 6, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Working Benevolent Temple and Professional Building - National Register Nomination Form
Description
Situated at the corner of Broad and Fall Streets, the Working Benevolent Temple and Professional Building is a three-story, brick building with a steel super-structure. built in 1922, the building is one hundred feet long and seventy feet wide. The ground floor is comprised of storefronts with multilight transoms and each bay is divided by brick piers. The second floor contains rectangular windows with one-over-one lights. The third floor is separated from the second floor by a concrete belt course and had round-arched windows and is laid in Flemish bond with bunt headers. The first and second floors are of brick laid in common bond. The parapet has two decorative horizontal brick bands. The second floor contains offices which are arranged around a central hallway and open area. On the third floor is a large meeting hall. Both floors are presently vacant.

Significance
The Working Benevolent Temple and Professional Building is significant for its historical association with the development of Greenville's black business district and professional activities for
Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building (1922)<br>Broad & Falls Street, Greenville image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 10, 2010
6. Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building (1922)
Broad & Falls Street, Greenville
fifty years. It was designed, built, and financed by the Working Benevolent State Grand Large of South Carolina, a black health, welfare, and burial benefit society. The site was chosen to serve as the administrative offices and headquarters of the lodge, as well as to attract black professionals to Greenville. It provided offices for black doctors, lawyers, dentists, a newspaper, and insurance firms and housed the first black mortuary in Greenville. The temple was also the center for Greenville's Civil Rights activities during the 1960's. Although progress of desegregation has led to a decline in the building's function, it continues to serve as a focal point for the local black community.
    — Submitted December 5, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. African AmericansCharity & Public WorkScience & Medicine
 
Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building (1922)<br>Broad & Falls Street, Greenville image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 10, 2010
7. Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building (1922)
Broad & Falls Street, Greenville
Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building<br>Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 10, 2010
8. Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building
Cornerstone
Working Benevolent
State Grand Lodge
of South Carolina
W.D. Drummongs Founder
1900
J.R. Fant, G. Pres.
W.L. Whittenberg, V.G. Pres.
Jas. A. Tolbert, G. Sec.
Geo. W. Wilson, G. Treas.
M.R. Brockman, G. Char.
Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building<br>Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 10, 2010
9. Working Benevolent Temple & Professional Building
Cornerstone
Working Benevolent
Temple - 1922
J.R. Fant
W.L. Whitenburg
Jas. A. Tolbert
E.W. Wilson
E.W. Biggs
L.Z. Sims
Geo. W. Butler
Building Committee
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,148 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 30, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   2. submitted on September 3, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on August 30, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   4. submitted on September 3, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on December 5, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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