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Clinton in Laurens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D.

1842-1917

 
 
William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 27, 2008
1. William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D. Marker
Inscription.
This stone, erected on the
fiftieth anniversary of
Thornwell Orphanage
by men and women whose
childhood was blessed by
the founder and first
president, is grateful testimonial
of
The Thornwell
Orphanage Alumni

1875 - 1925

 
Erected 1925.
 
Location. 34° 28.15′ N, 81° 52.85′ W. Marker is in Clinton, South Carolina, in Laurens County. Marker is on South Broad Street (State Highway 72), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clinton SC 29325, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Malcolm A. MacDonald (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Henry Clinton Young (approx. mile away); Clinton Veterans Monument (approx. mile away); Clinton Confederate Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Eugene Blakely Sloan (approx. 0.3 miles away); Presbyterian College Armed Forces Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mrs. Lillian G. Brown (approx. 0.3 miles away); American Flag Pole (approx. 0.3 miles away); Jacobs Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Reverend William Plumer Jacobs (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clinton.
 
Also see . . .
Reverse Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 19, 2011
2. Reverse Side of Marker
His Heart conceived, his endeavors founded, his love sustained this institution where his presence was a benediction and where his faith, his prayers and his Christian spirit still abide as a perpetual inspiration.
The contagion of his example and ideals created homes like this elsewhere.
His manifold services for education, religion and the church were crowned in his broad conception and substantial achievement for the orphaned child.

1. The Life of William Plumer Jacobs By Thornwell Jacobs. 1918 biography written by Thornwell Jacobs, Dr. Jacob's son. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Thornwell Home for Children. The Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, South Carolina, has been taking care of children and youth in need since its founding on October 1, 1875. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Thornwell. Thornwell Orphanage opened in Clinton, South Carolina on October 1, 1875, to ten children orphaned by the American Civil War. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Thornwell Jacobs. Thornwell Jacobs (1877–1956) was an educator, author, and a Presbyterian minister. He was also the successful son of William P. Jacobs. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District. The Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District comprises the historic cores of Presbyterian College and the Thornwell Home and School for Children, together with the adjacent residential streets. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. James Henley Thornwell. James Henley
William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, September 27, 2008
3. William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D. Marker
Thornwell (December 9, 1812 – August 1, 1862) was an American Presbyterian preacher and religious writer. Namesake of Thornwell. (Submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Thornwell / Presbyterian College Historic District
The Thornwell / Presbyterian College Historic District in Clinton, South Carolina, comprises the historic cores of Presbyterian College and the Thornwell Home and School for Children, together with the adjacent residential streets. There are a total of fifty-two buildings and structures within the district. Although the oldest building in the district dates from ca. 1850, the majority of the buildings were constructed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, with the emergence of the college and the orphanage. Presbyterian College is unified around the central mall, according to the campus plan drawn in 1912 by the New York City landscape engineer Charles W. Leavitt, Jr. This plan has governed the development of the college; the newer, non-historic buildings on campus are this rendered more compatible with the old. The Thornwell campus is unified by consistency of materials and by scale; stone construction is used throughout the informal campus. The
Overview image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 19, 2011
4. Overview
college and the children's home are historically connected through Dr. William. Jacobs, who was responsible for the founding of both institutions.

Significance
The Thornwell/Presbyterian College Historic District in Clinton, South Carolina, encompasses portions of the campuses of Thornwell Home and School for Children and Presbyterian College and that portion of South Broad Street which lies between. The district's development from farmlands and forests to dense residential and institutional use was the direct result of the efforts of Dr. William Plumer Jacobs who began purchasing land in the area for an orphanage in 1873. The district's significance is derived from Thornwell Home and School for Children and Presbyterian College in the areas of social humanitarianism and education and from its association with Dr. Jacobs, minister, teacher, and humanitarian.

Jacobs first came to Clinton at the age of twenty-two as minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Clinton. Under his guidance Clinton became the center of South Carolina Presbyterianism and as such was the natural choice for the orphanage which had long been Jacob's dream.

On 1 October 1875 the House of Peace opened with eight orphans. The fledgling institution was christened Thornwell Orphanage in tribute to Dr. James Henley Thornwell, the most influential figure in Jacob's earlier
William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D.<br>1842-1917 image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
5. William Plumer Jacobs, D.D., LL.D.
1842-1917
career at Columbia Theological Seminary. Thornwell Orphanage rejected the congregate theory of caring for orphans and instituted the cottage system whereby children lived in small houses in small groups with a matron. Jacobs also refused to farm out his children and set them tasks in the institution's concerns.

Five years after the founding of Thornwell Orphanage Jacobs founded Clinton College, later to be Presbyterian College, with the support of local Presbyterians. The college grew out of the Clinton High School Association organized in 1872 under Jacob's leadership partly in answer to the desire for the opportunity of a college education for the inmates of Thornwell. From the beginning, in accordance with one of Jacob's most ardent wishes, young women could enter any of the classes offered on an equal footing with the men and earn the A.M., Mistress of Arts degree. In 1890 the name was officially changed to Presbyterian College and control was extended to the South Carolina Synod.

Both institutions flourished under Dr. Jacob's careful eye. After his death in 1917 the college and the orphanage continued to prosper in the spirit in which they had been founded. Following a master plan adopted in 1912 Presbyterian has enlarged its physical plant to accommodate approximately one thousand students. Thornwell too has grown, housing over three hundred children on
Thornwell Home & School for Children Sign image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 19, 2011
6. Thornwell Home & School for Children Sign
Founded 1875
about 450 acres, which include forty buildings, an accredited high school, and a working dairy and farm.

The residential area on South Broad Street which lies between the two institutions contains the homes of several families whose support has been invaluable to Thornwell and Presbyterian. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted December 20, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkEducation
 
Mary Dillard Jacobs image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
7. Mary Dillard Jacobs
First Building on Thornwell Campus image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
8. First Building on Thornwell Campus
Nellie Scott Library image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 19, 2011
9. Nellie Scott Library
Directly behind the Marker on the grounds of the orphanage
Nellie Scott Library plaque image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, November 19, 2011
10. Nellie Scott Library plaque
The Nellie Scott Library May 28, 1891, Founded by a Virginia Gentleman. Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore, get wisdom.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,881 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   2. submitted on February 18, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.   3. submitted on September 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on February 18, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.   5. submitted on December 20, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on February 18, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.   7, 8. submitted on December 20, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   9, 10. submitted on February 18, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.
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