Central in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The town of Central, chartered in 1875, grew up along what is now Gaines Street. The post office was called Five Mile from 1851 to 1871. In the 1870s the Atlanta & Richmond Airline Railway built its depot, hotel, offices, and railroad shops at Central. The railroad, later the Atlanta & Charlotte, was acquired by the Southern Railway in 1894. Also called “Centre” and “Central Station,” the town was halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, 133 miles each way.
Issaqueena Cotton Mill, founded by D.K. Norris in 1903, was later operated by Central Mills, Cannon Mills, and Central Textiles. Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute was founded in 1906 as an elementary and Bible school. It became a junior college in 1928, Central Wesleyan College in 1959, and Southern Wesleyan University in 1994. S.C. Hwy. 93 was once U.S. Hwy. 123, a main route from Atlanta to Charlotte.
Erected 2009 by Central Heritage Society and the Town of Central. (Marker Number 39-14.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1875.
Location. 34° 43.433′ N, 82° 46.967′ W. Marker is in Central, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street (State Highway 93) and Bank Street, on the right when traveling west on West Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Central SC 29630, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Central, South Carolina (a few steps from this marker); The Werner Family (within shouting distance of this marker); A Community Born of the Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Billy Weems (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Central Railroad Hotel (about 700 feet away); Central Railroad Depot & Red Caboose (about 800 feet away); Bertha Evans Morgan Rose Garden (approx. ¼ mile away); The Central History Museum (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named The Central History Museum (approx. ¼ mile away); Freedom's Hill Church (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Central.
Also see . . .
1. Central, South Carolina. Central is a town (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Town of Central. Located in the northwest corner of the state, Central is midway between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Central Heritage Society. The Central Heritage Society was formed in November 1993. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Central High School. The Central High School is a good example of a small town, educational building rendered in the Classical Revival style. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
5. Morgan House. The Morgan House, constructed in 1893, is one of Central’s most important architectural and historical landmarks. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
6. Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway. Organized in 1870, the Atlanta and Richmond Air–Line Railway combined the Georgia Air Line Railroad and the Air Line Railroad in South Carolina under president Algernon S. Buford. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
7. Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railway. The Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railway emerged from the 1877 (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
8. Southern Railway. The Southern Railway (reporting mark SOU) is a former United States railroad. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
9. Southern Wesleyan University. Offical website of Southern Wesleyan University. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
10. Southern Wesleyan University. Southern Wesleyan University is a four-year and graduate Christian college, with its main campus in the town of Central, South Carolina. (Submitted on April 17, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
11. South Carolina Highway 93. South Carolina Highway 93 (abbreviated S.C. Highway 93 or SC 93) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of South Carolina. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
12. U.S. Route 123. U.S. Route 123 is a spur of U.S. Route 23. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Central - Rich in History
Railroad buffs will have a field day (or several days) exploring Central. As the midpoint between
— Submitted June 15, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. Central High School - National Register Nomination Form (1994)
The Central High School is located on a three-fourths acre site at 304 Church Street in the Town of Central, Pickens County, South Carolina. The original portion of the building built in 1908 was a rectangular
Additional Descriptive Information
The facade of the school building faces east and presents a three-bay facade (A-B-A). Window fenestration is three single, double-hung, six-over-one, wood sash windows symmetrically spaced at the first and second story on the wings. The second story windows have transoms with multiple lights. Flanking wings bracket the monumental portico, which features four massive masonry columns with Scamozzi capitals supporting the entablature and pediment. The tympanum and frieze have been covered in synthetic siding.
The entry is recessed behind a brick arch and features double entry doors, sidelights and transom which match the window transoms. Small square decorative
The brick is laid in running bond with a recessed header row every fifth course, which gives the building a strong horizontal appearance contrasting with the decided vertical thrust of the portico. A wood cornice projects from the facade's surface beneath the parapet. The bond pattern and cornice wrap the north and south elevations of the original block. The 1920s addition repeats aspects of the decorative elements to reflect the earlier design. For example, the bond pattern and corbeling at the corners recall the original design, but use large expanses of flat surfaces to reduce expense and construction time. The later addition takes advantage of the sloping site to incorporate a full basement below the water table.
Six classrooms, an auditorium, basement, indoor restrooms, and stairwells were contained in the original section. A two-story addition (ca. 1925) was built at the rear of the main building adding four classrooms, two stairwells and a full basement. Two of the classrooms at the front of the 1908 portion of the building remain intact. Library space was created out of the two rear classrooms in 1969 by removing an interior wall. Wood infill was used in the windows to create shelf space.
Two community theaters were installed in 1977 which required
The Central High School, located at 304 Church Street in Central, South Carolina, is comprised of a 1908 building and a ca. 1925 rear addition. It is a good example of a small town, educational building rendered in the Classic Revival style quite popular during that period. It is also the work of a prominent architect, Christopher Gadsden Sayre, who designed many school buildings in South and North Carolina. This school is also significant for its role in the educational development of Pickens County. An important landmark in Central, the school is located near the town's center and is one of the larger edifices in the community.
Like many other South Carolina counties, Pickens County did not have a public school program until the latter part of the nineteenth century. Although a Joint stock Company was organized in 1886 to establish schools, no records document a schoolhouse being established until 1893. On 18 February of that same year, the Pickens County Board of Examiners met to consider petitions requesting that school districts be established in the county. The request was approved and the county partitioned into districts containing nine square miles. The Town of Central was in District 9.
Pickens County was very much in line with what was happening in other parts of the state regarding school consolidation and construction. On 12 February 1901, the South Carolina Senate passed a child labor bill prohibiting the mill employment of children under twelve years old and encouraging their education. Although it did not become law until several years later, it no doubt heightened awareness of the need, especially in textile centers, for a compulsory school attendance law. Since the textile industry was the primary employer in the town of Central it was inevitable that new schools would soon follow. When the General Assembly passed the school Consolidation Act in 1905 the economic incentive local districts needed to embark on a building campaign came into being.
This new law provided "that County Boards
The architect of the Central High School was Christopher Gadsden Sayre (1876 - ca. 1935). Sayre was a native South Carolinian, born in Mt. Pleasant and educated at the South Carolina College, where in 1897 he took a degree in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Sayre was a prominent designer of school buildings in North and South Carolina. To date, twenty schools in South Carolina and thirty-six in North Carolina have been identified as designed
The Central High School building was his sixth, and last, commission for a school before he became associated with James J. Baldwin in 1908. They opened their first office in Anderson, however, by 1914 their business had expanded sufficiently to open a second office in Raleigh, North Carolina. By 1915, Baldwin left the firm, and most of Sayre's work after 1918 was concentrated in North Carolina where he opened branch offices in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. In addition to schools, he also designed a number of county courthouses in the Carolinas, and Georgia. His more prominent courthouse designs include the Bleckley County Courthouse in Baldwin, Georgia (1913); the Moore county Courthouse in Carthedge, North Carolina (1922); and the Saluda County Courthouse in Saluda, South Carolina (1917).
— Submitted April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
3. Morgan House - National Register Nomination Form (2001)
The Morgan House is a single-story, frame residence constructed in 1893 at what is presently 416 Church Street in Central, South Carolina. The house was originally constructed in
The Morgan House is located on 2.775 acres on Church Street two blocks from the business district of Central. The immediate area is comprised of other historic single-family residences, historic Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, and non-historic apartment and governmental buildings. The immediate area is still largely residential in character. Main Street and the Norfolk Southern Railroad line are two blocks north of the Morgan House. The now demolished "Railroad Hotel" and railroad depot also were nearby and were the focal points of Central at the turn of the twentieth century. Jeptha Norton Morgan and his brother F.A. Morgan owned Morgan's Store, which became one of the region's leading retail establishments serving travelers and nearby residents. Morgan's Store and the other important structures in Central were within easy walking distance of the Morgan House. The site has relatively level topography and the house has an eastern orientation, facing Church Street.
The Morgan House contains approximately 2,900
Except for the aforementioned Classical Revival modifications and the addition of a room at the rear of the house, the house remains largely unaltered. The exterior consists of wood siding with a prominent front porch partially wrapping both sides and adjoining a screened porch on the northern elevation. There also is a rear porch that was reconfigured with the rear addition of the house. The front and side porches feature Doric columns that are paired to flank the concrete steps at the front and side entrances. There are protruding bays on all elevations of the house. The windows are either two over two panes or one over one pane. Historic photographs reveal shutters were originally used on the front windows but subsequently removed at an undetermined date. There are two chimneys with distinctive masonry detailing.
The interior is characterized by a large living room that opens into a central
The Morgan House has limited alterations with the most noticeable modifications being the front porch alterations and the partial enclosure of the rear porch that coincided with the addition
A small lateral-gable frame shed with a metal roof, probably constructed early in the twentieth century, also contributes to the significance of the nominated property.
The Morgan House is one of Central's most important architectural and historical landmarks and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria Band C. The former single-family residence is presently the home of the Central History
The architecture of the Morgan House is significant because of its evolution from its original Queen Anne style to an early twentieth century Classical Revival architectural style. The Morgan House was constructed in 1893 in the Queen Anne style and subsequently altered circa 1917 with classical design elements. This transformation is representative of a wave of popularity that occurred during the first two decades of the twentieth century with renewed emphasis on classical architectural themes. This coincided with the decreasing popularity of the Queen Anne architectural style during this time. The architectural transformation of the Morgan House is an excellent example of the later alterations becoming significant in their own right.
Jeptha Morgan was the son of Robert Finley Morgan, a prominent property owner in Pickens and Oconee County. Robert Finley Morgan owned considerable property along the Keowee River and much of the land that later became the central business
F.B. and J.N. Morgan's Store, a mercantile retail establishment on property located on Main Street in Central. The property was purchased by their father in 1882 from J.C. Philpot. Morgan's Store provided groceries, clothing, and general supplies to the growing community of Central. By the early 1880's, Central had become a thriving railroad village benefiting from the completion in 1873 of the rail line through Central by the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Company that connected Charlotte and Atlanta. Central is halfway between the two cities and the railroad company established a terminal station where engines and train crews were changed and light repairs were made. Central, which derived its name from its location halfway (133 miles each way) between Atlanta and Charlotte, was incorporated on March 17, 1875. The economy of Central flourished with the arrival of the railroad, and stores were built near the depot offering supplies and food to travelers and rail employees.
In addition to the founding of Morgan's Store, Jeptha Morgan with his brother and three other businessmen, J.R. Falls, C.B. Smith, and T.M. Norris, founded the
Morgan's Store did survive the Great Depression and continued to be a focal point of Central's economy as it rebounded. Located on Main Street, it was a retail destination where people purchased retail goods ranging from groceries to clothing to coffins. An early advertisement referred to Morgan's Store as "headquarters for dry goods, groceries, hats, shoes, hardware, clothing, wagons, buggies, furniture, coffins, tinware, crockery, school books, testaments, and Bibles." Morgan's Store also provided employment for many of the young men and women of Central, and according to long-time resident Mrs. Mattie May Morgan Allen, it "seems like everybody in the community worked there at one time or another." The store's partnership of Jeptha and Francis Morgan ended with Francis's death in 1914 and Jeptha operated the store as sole proprietor until his death in 1923. His family continued to own the store
In addition to Jeptha Morgan's positions as owner of Morgan's Store and founding president and director of the Bank of Central, he also was an officer in Central's first Masonic organization, Central Masonic Lodge. Chartered on December 10,1890, this Masonic organization was founded with fourteen members and met for a period of time upstairs in Morgan's Store. A new Masonic Hall was built on Gaines Street in Central in 1964.
Jeptha Morgan's role as a banker in Central led to his selection as a founding member of the board of the Bank of Commerce in Greenville. The Bank of Commerce was founded in March 1906 and was active in Greenville until 1926. Upon Jeptha Morgan's death in 1923, the Bank of Commerce board passed a resolution recognizing the value of his services and the loss "to the community of a kind, honest and generous hearted citizen." Jeptha Morgan was buried in the cemetery of Mt. Zion Methodist Church. He was active in the church and was involved in the fundraising to build the new sanctuary and auditorium in 1922, shortly before his death.
Following his death on September 30, 1923, Jeptha Morgan's widow, Minnie Eugenia Morgan, continued to own Morgan's Store and play an active role in Central. Minnie and Jeptha had two daughters,
— Submitted April 17, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
4. Daniel Keating Norris
Born Nov. 1, 1846 in Lower St. Matthews, Orangeburg Co., S.C. Father was George Norris, a farmer and planter. His mother was Amelia Avinger Norris, (1/24/1812 - 3/29/1883). His mother is buried in his family plot in Pendleton. His father is not buried there. His grandfather was Patrick Nash who came to Fairfield County, S.C. from Ireland and served in the Revolutionary War.
D.K. Norris served in Company F, Second Regiment, S.C. Heavy Artillery, rank of Private, and was badly wounded at the Battle of Bentonville, N.C.
His brother, George Manly Norris, born 1848, served as a Confederate Soldier for six months as a second Lieutenant
D.K. Norris died at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore Maryland on Jan. 23, 1905. He had been ill for some time and went to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment. He is buried in the family plot at the First Baptist Church in Pendleton, S.C. There is a large gravestone but there is no indication that D.K. Norris was a Confederate Veteran. He was given a military funeral.
— Submitted April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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