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

Historic Wilhite House


Historic Wilhite House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
1. Historic Wilhite House Marker
Home Of
Dr. P.A. Wilhite
Discoverer Of Ether

Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Science & Medicine.
Location. 34° 30.002′ N, 82° 38.869′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on South McDuffie Street south of East River Street (U.S. 76/178), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 604 S McDuffie Street, Anderson SC 29624, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. John's Methodist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Grace Episcopal Church (within shouting distance of this marker); G. Ross Anderson Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Living Tribute (approx. 0.2 miles away); After Dark: Seeking Harmony in Music and Culture (approx. 0.2 miles away); More Than Food: Savoring the Flavor of Dignity (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Commemoration of Black Pioneers (approx.
Historic Wilhite House -<br>East (Front) Facade image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
2. Historic Wilhite House -
East (Front) Facade
Click or scan to see
this page online
0.2 miles away); William Bullein Johnson (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Church Street Heritage Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); Beyond Commerce: Building a Legacy of Hard Work (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anderson.
Regarding Historic Wilhite House. The house is also known as the Wilhite-Brown House.
Also see . . .  Ether. Ether is a class of organic compounds that contain an ether group — an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups — of general formula R–O–R. (Submitted on September 21, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional commentary.
1. The Wilhite House and Early Owners
Dr. Wilhite was a native of Georgia but graduated from the medical college in Charleston in 1852 and the next year located in Anderson. Several years earlier he had married Miss Cora Hillis. They lived for a few years in the old Towers House on Whitner Street before building their beautiful mansion on McDuffie Street.

Dr. Wilhite became a popular physician in Anderson and also owned
Historic Wilhite House -<br>Southeast Elevation image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
3. Historic Wilhite House -
Southeast Elevation
a drug store with a succession of partners and then his sons, Frank T. and J.O Wilhite. Dr. Philip Wilhite was a member of the U.S. Medical Association and at one meeting of that body he was acknowledged to be the discoverer of the anesthesia ether and it was determined that his services ought to be recognized by the government, but this was never done. He participated, along with Dr. Crawford Long, in the first surgery ever performed using ether as anesthesia. When he died in 1892 he was the last member of the original Board of Health in South Carolina.

The original family occupied the splendid mansion for about eighty years. A granddaughter of Philip & Cora, Miss Mary Wilhite was the last Wilhite to occupy the home. It has recently come to our attention that Mary Wilhite never married because her father, Frank Wilhite, forbid her to marry or risk being disinherited. In those days, it would have been quite a disgrace to be a spinster, especially a wealthy one. There is often unexplained “activity” following a wedding at The Wilhite House; simple, harmless things like switches being turned off, flowers coming out of vases, female laughter, items disappearing then reappearing the next day. It is my belief that Miss Mary is enjoying the weddings of other brides, because she never had the privilege of being of being a bride herself…which is very sad indeed.

Dr. Philip A. Wilhite Tombstone<br>Old Silver Brook Cemetery, Anderson, SC image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, July 15, 2012
4. Dr. Philip A. Wilhite Tombstone
Old Silver Brook Cemetery, Anderson, SC
1939, John Donald Brown purchased the house where he and his wife, Frances Harper of Greenwood, lived until the late 1980s. The Browns are descendants of George and Rachel Felton Brown who migrated to the Pendleton District from North Carolina in 1805, influenced by their friend, Arthur Gentry. They purchased a 408 acre tract of land for $1.75 per acre from an original land grant made to Peter Keys by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney when he was governor of the state eight years earlier. John Donald Brown's forefathers were farmers until shortly before the Dexter Grocery Company was established in 1903. The Chamber of Commerce brochure of 1909 stated that the company was owned and operated by Dexter Brown, a wholesale dealer in groceries and supplies of all kinds.
    — Submitted November 2, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 3,051 times since then and 101 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 25, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on November 2, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 1, 2022