“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)

G.F. Tolly Building -- c. 1910

G.F. Tolly Building -- c. 1910 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 2, 2011
1. G.F. Tolly Building -- c. 1910 Marker
This building was erected as the home of G.F. Tolly Furniture Company, an outgrowth of Anderson's first cabinet shop established at this site by Ezekiel George. George F. Tolly entered business with Mr. George in 1856. Later married George's daughter and eventually inherited the business. The G.F. Tolly Company also operated as a funeral home. Was carried on for many years by Tolly descendants and became one of the largest furniture dealers in the state. The business moved elsewhere when this building burned in 1935, but the brick walls are the original walls of the store. Except for intermittent periods, descendants have continued in the furniture business under the name of G.F. Tolly.
1776 ABC - ARBA 1976

Erected 1976.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 34° 30.217′ N, 82° 38.917′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is at the intersection of East Whitner Street and North McDuffie Street, on the left
G.F. Tolly Building and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 2, 2011
2. G.F. Tolly Building and Marker
when traveling east on East Whitner Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 133 East Whitner Street, Anderson SC 29621, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Portman Shoals (a few steps from this marker); Portman Dam and Power Plant (a few steps from this marker); Masonic Temple -- 1889 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fant's Book Store -- 1851 (about 400 feet away); Blue Ridge Railroad Passenger Station -- c. 1913 (about 500 feet away); The Four Way Test (about 500 feet away); William Church Whitner (about 500 feet away); Anderson County Court House -- 1898 (about 500 feet away); Anderson: "The Electric City" (about 500 feet away); Bank of Anderson Building - ca. 1891 (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anderson.
More about this marker. The building currently houses the Anderson Community Theatre, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2011.
Additional comments.
1. George Frederick Tolly
With the death of George Frederick Tolly at Anderson, January 1, 1910, that city lost one of its oldest residents, and one who had played many useful roles in its upbuilding and progress. Mr. Tolly was a man of first rate ability, strong and resourceful in business affairs, upright and the soul of honesty in all that concerned his relations with the public, and he fully earned and merited every measure of respect and esteem paid him.

He was born in Prussia,
G.F. Tolly Building and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 2, 2011
3. G.F. Tolly Building and Marker
Germany, November 4, 1835, and in 1850, at the age of fifteen, came to America with his father, John Tolly. They located at Baltimore, where the son soon began an apprenticeship at the. cabinet maker's trade. Six years later he came to South Carolina, and after a brief sojourn in Greenville located at Anderson, where he made his home for more than half a century. In 1858 he opened a shop as a cabinet maker, and was busily engaged in the service represented in such a shop until the opening of the war. He at once volunteered, enlisting in April, 1861, in Company B, of the Fourth South Carolina Regiment. He served one year, the term of his enlistment, and then entered Company C, of the Palmetto Regiment of Sharpshooters. With that noted command he remained until taken prisoner in battle, and spent more than a year in the Federal prison at Rock Island, Illinois. He was wounded in the battle of Frazer's Farm, though not seriously injured.

With the same courage he had faced the hardships and dangers of a soldier's life he resumed his career after the war, meeting and overcoming many difficulties in a time of abject poverty for all the South. In addition to cabinet making he took up what was then considered the closely affiliated trade of undertaking, and also became a dealer in ready made furniture. In 1890 his son George M. Tolly was admitted to partnership, and since then
G.F. Tolly Building --<br>Looking West Along East Whitner Street image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 2, 2011
4. G.F. Tolly Building --
Looking West Along East Whitner Street
the title of this business house has been G.F. Tolly & Son. It is one of the oldest firms of its kind in South Carolina, and the title of the organization continued not only because the old name is an asset in itself, but as an appropriate memorial to the founder and upbuilder of the business. It is engaged both in a retail and wholesale furniture business, and its undertaking department has for years been one of the most perfect organizations of its kind. Its large volume of business was achieved through the original policy of the late Mr. Tolly in insisting upon quality as the supreme test of all the merchandise handled. George M. Tolly is now head of the concern, and is one of Anderson's most prominent and progressive business men.

The late George F. Tolly served three consecutive terms as intendant at Anderson, and after Anderson was incorporated as a city he served seventeen years as mayor. This public service was rendered not without much sacrifice on his part, both to his business and to the pleasures of his home life. In that as in every other relation of his life he was faithful, dignified and efficient. He was a stanch democrat, and for many years served as ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church at Anderson. He was also a Mason.

May 24, 1859, he married Miss Mary Jane George, daughter of Ezekiel George of Anderson County, and of an old and highly
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respected family in that section of the state. Mrs. Tolly, who was born in Anderson County December 30, 1838, has passed her eightieth birthday. She and her husband had the following children: Elizabeth, who is the wife of W.M. Wilcox, and lives at Elberton, Georgia; George M.; William F. and Clarence E., both associated with the G.F. Tolly & Son furniture and undertaking business. George M. Tolly, the responsible head of the business since his father's death, married Miss Jessie McGee June 15, 1886. Their only child is Mrs. W.J. Muldrow, of Anderson. (Source: History of South Carolina, Volume 3 by Yates Snowden (1920), p 117.
    — Submitted May 26, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 26, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,014 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 26, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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Jan. 24, 2021