“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)

Beatrice Dennis Plyler Fountain

Beatrice Dennis Plyler Fountain Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, April 25, 2009
1. Beatrice Dennis Plyler Fountain Marker
This fountain is dedicated to
Beatrice Dennis Plyler
First Lady of Furman University
1939 to 1964

Erected 2008 by Furman University Board of Trustees.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationMan-Made FeaturesWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1939.
Location. 34° 55.417′ N, 82° 26.25′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on the west side of the fountain, in the center of Milford Mall, on the campus of Furman University. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29617, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Milford Mall (within shouting distance of this marker); Elizabeth Lyles Blackwell Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles H. Townes Center for Science (within shouting distance of this marker); Richard W. Riley Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marshall E. and Vera Lea Rinker Hall (about 300 feet away); Minor Herndon Mickel Square
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(about 300 feet away); The Charles Erza Daniel Memorial Chapel (about 400 feet away); Furman Class of '05 September 11 Memorial (about 400 feet away); James Buchanan Duke Library (about 400 feet away); James C. Furman Classroom Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .  Furman University. Official website of Furman University. (Submitted on May 12, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Beatrice Dennis Plyler
Beatrice Dennis Plyler (known as Bea) was the wife of Furman's seventh president, John Lanley Plyler. It was under his leadership that Furman University moved to its current location on Poinsett Highway.
    — Submitted May 12, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Beatrice Elizabeth Dennis Plyler Obituary
The Greenville News
June 12, 2011

Beatrice Elizabeth Dennis Plyler, widow of John Laney Plyler,
Beatrice Dennis Plyler Fountain image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott
2. Beatrice Dennis Plyler Fountain
died Saturday, June 11, 2011, at her home. Her memorial service will be conducted by Dr. Vaughn CroweTipton and Rev. Baxter Wynn on Tuesday, June 14, at 3:00 pm in the Daniel Memorial Chapel of Furman University. A private burial will precede the memorial service. Following the service, the family will receive friends in the Bryan Garden Room of Daniel Chapel.

Bea Plyler, the daughter of Edward James and Ella Mae Coney Dennis, was born in Macbeth, SC in 1911. She graduated from Berkeley High School and Asbury College. Bea and John Plyler married in 1932, and she has resided in Greenville since that time. Predeceasing her were her four brothers: E.J., Rembert, Markley, and "Billy" Dennis; two sisters; "Dick" Lacey and Maxine Jones; and grandson James Williams Plyler II.

She is survived by her sons: John Plyler. Jr. (Caroline) of Davidson, NC; Jim (Chartee) of Greensboro, NC; and Keith (Boots) of Greenville, SC: grandchildren, Sharon Besley (Bill) of Columbia, SC; John Plyler III of Clover, SC; Dennis Plyler (Debbie) of Concord, NC; Charlotte Oleynik of Greensboro, NC; Will Plyler (Kelly) of Los Angeles, CA; Erin Furr (Blake) of Easley, SC and Sarah Plyler of Charleston, SC: great- grandchildren; William and Caroline Besley of Columbia; Sam and Laney Plyler of Concord. Her sisters-in-law, Mrs. Rembert Dennis (Natalie) of Moncks Corner and Mrs. Edward J Dennis III
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(Phyllis) of Columbia, and many cousins, nieces and nephews are a treasured part of her extended family.

Furman University presented Bea with the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award in 1977, and in 1996, the fountain on Milford Mall opposite Daniel Chapel was named in her honor. Furman awarded her an honorary Doctor of Humanities in 2004 with the tribute reading in part: "She and her husband had the special ability to dream big dreams, and once the decision was made to move Furman from downtown Greenville to its current location, she played a significant part in ensuring that everything about the new campus would make it a place of beauty. Inspired by the lakes and fountains of Europe, she suggested including similar elements in the campus design. Her influence is evident throughout the campus landscape and in the decor and furnishings. For decades as wife of Furman's president and afterward, she has cultivated countless friends for Furman. By her very nature she has taught generations of students the arts of graciousness and hospitality."

She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Greenville for seventy-nine years and served in many capacities in the church. Bea Plyler loved and was devoted to her Lord and church, her family, and Furman University.

The family wishes that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Beatrice Dennis Plyler Scholarship at Furman University, to First Baptist Church Greenville or to a charity of one's choosing.

Arrangements by The Mackey Mortuary Funerals and Cremations, 311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC 29607, 864-232-6707.
    — Submitted November 26, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,337 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

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Sep. 21, 2023