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Edgefield in Edgefield County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Old Law Building

 
 
Old Law Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
1. Old Law Building Marker
Inscription.
Site of law offices of
Eldred Simkins
Congressman, Lt.-Governor
George McDuffie
Congressman, Governor,
U.S. Senator
Francis W. Pickens
Congressman, Governor,
Minister to Russia
Francis H. Wardlaw
Author of
Ordinance of Secession
John C. Sheppard
Lt.-Governor, Governor
James O. Sheppard
Lieutenant-Governor,
National Head "40 & 8."

 
Erected 1949 by Edgefield County Historical Society and Miss Anne L. Colightly. (Marker Number 19-1.)
 
Location. 33° 47.383′ N, 81° 55.383′ W. Marker is in Edgefield, South Carolina, in Edgefield County. Marker is on Simpkins Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the former law office, near the northeast end of Simkins Street. Marker is in this post office area: Edgefield SC 29824, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Andrew Pickens (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); J. Strom Thurmond Birthplace (about 800 feet away); Oakley Park Museum (approx. 0.2 miles away); Piedmont Technical College, Edgefield Center
Old Law Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
2. Old Law Building Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Town of Edgefield Parking Lot (approx. 0.2 miles away); George McDuffie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Edgefield (approx. ¼ mile away); First Baptist Church / Village Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away); Pierce Mason Butler (approx. 0.3 miles away); Edgefield United Methodist Church / The Reverend Joseph Moore (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Edgefield.
 
Also see . . .
1. Barristers of Edgefield Coffeeshop. Barristers, in the town's "Old Law Building" offers a living room setting with stone fireplace and comfortable furniture to read the paper or just to relax. (Submitted on January 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Eldred Simkins. Eldred Simkins (August 30, 1779 - November 17, 1831) was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina. (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. George McDuffie. George McDuffie (August 10, 1790 – March 11, 1851) was a Governor of South Carolina and a member of the United States Senate.
Old Law Building and Marker<br>Home of Barristers of Edgefield Coffeeshop image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
3. Old Law Building and Marker
Home of Barristers of Edgefield Coffeeshop
(Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. South Carolina Governor George McDuffie. George McDuffie was born in Columbia County, Georgia. (Submitted on December 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Cherry Hill / Noble Cemetery Marker. Marker located in Willington, SC dedicated to Cherry Hill, McDuffie's plantation, and the Noble Family Cemetery, previous owners of Cherry Hill. (Submitted on December 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Francis W. Pickens. Francis Wilkinson Pickens (April 7, 1805 – January 25, 1869) was an American lawyer and politician who served as Governor of South Carolina when the state seceded from the United States during the American Civil War. (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. South Carolina Governor Francis Wilkinson Pickens. Francis Wilkinson Pickens was born in St. Paul's Parish, Pendleton District, South Carolina. (Submitted on December 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

8. Francis H. Wardlaw Biography. Member of the Secession Convention and one of the signers of the Ordinance of Secession. (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

9. South Carolina Ordinance of Secession. An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America." (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
Eldred Simkins<br>(1779-1831) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
4. Eldred Simkins
(1779-1831)
Lieutenant Governor of S.C. 1812-1814
U.S. House of Representatives from S.C.
1817-1821
S.C. Senate 1821-1826
S.C. House of Representatives 1828-1829
 

10. John C. Sheppard. John Calhoun Sheppard (July 5, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was Democratic Governor of South Carolina from July 10, 1886 to November 30, 1886. (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

11. South Carolina Governor John Calhoun Sheppard. John Calhoun Sheppard was born in Edgefield County, South Carolina. (Submitted on December 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

12. "40 & 8" Out. Time Magazine article dated Monday, Dec. 14, 1959. The jolly veterans who comprise the American Legion's fun-loving 40 & 8 Society have been wrangling for ten years over the Legion's insistence that they drop their ban against admitting nonwhite members (American Indians are allowed). (Submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. About the Old Law Building
This building is located on the site of the law office of Eldred Simkins, Esquire (1779-1831). The son of Arthur Simkins (1742-1826) who is often described as the founder of Edgefield, Eldred Simkins was a lawyer, United States Congressman and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina. His home was right next door on the site of the house at the corner of Simkins and Lynch Streets. Simkins’ law office, which was originally built as early as 1804, was subsequently occupied
George McDuffie<br>(1790–1851) image. Click for full size.
Brady-Handy Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).
5. George McDuffie
(1790–1851)
S.C. General Assembly 1818-1821
U.S. House of Representatives from S.C.1821-1834
Governor of South Carolina 1834-1836
U.S. Senator from S.C. 1842-1846
by George McDuffie (1790-1846), Francis W. Pickens (1804-1869) and others. The original building was burned in the fire of 1881, and this current building was completed in 1882 for the offices of the Sheppard Brothers, Governor John C. Sheppard (1850-1932) and Orlando Sheppard (1844-1929), by Mr. Anton Markert (1831-1895), the Austrian-born architect and builder. Lieutenant Governor James O. Sheppard (1890-1973), son of Governor John C. Sheppard, also practiced here. Later this building was the office of Dr. A. R. Nicholson. In 1949 it was acquired by the Edgefield County Historical Society and was owned by that organization for many years. (Source: Barristers of Edgefield Coffeeshop.)
    — Submitted January 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. About Eldred Simkins
Eldred Simkins, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Edgefield, S.C., August 30, 1779; attended a private academy at Willington, Abbeville District, S.C., and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia; attended Litchfield (Conn.) Law School for three years; was admitted to the bar in 1805 and commenced practice in Edgefield, S.C., in 1806; member of the State house of representatives; served in the State senate 1810-1812; Lieutenant Governor
Francis W. Pickens<br>(1805–1869) image. Click for full size.
By Harper's Weekly, circa 1860
6. Francis W. Pickens
(1805–1869)
S.C. House of Representatives 1832–1834
U.S. House of Representatives from S.C. 1834–1843
S.C. Senate 1844-1846
U.S. Minister to Russia 1858–1860
Governor of South Carolina 1860-1862
of the State 1812-1814; elected as a Republican to the Fifteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John C. Calhoun; reelected to the Sixteenth Congress and served from January 24, 1818, to March 3, 1821; chairman, Committee on Public Expenditures (Sixteenth Congress); declined to be a candidate for renomination; again a member of the State house of representatives, 1828-1829; resumed the practice of his profession and also engaged in planting; died in Edgefield, Edgefield County, S.C., November 17, 1831; interment in Cedar Fields, the family burial ground, near Edgefield, S.C. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
    — Submitted December 26, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. About George McDuffie
George McDuffie, (father-in-law of Wade Hampton [1818-1902]), a Representative and a Senator from South Carolina; born in Columbia County, Ga., August 10, 1790; attended an old-field school and a private academy; graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1813; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1814 and commenced practice in Pendleton, Anderson County, S.C.; member, State house of representatives 1818-1819; elected to the Seventeenth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served
Francis H. Wardlaw<br>(1800-1861) image. Click for full size.
South Carolinian Library
7. Francis H. Wardlaw
(1800-1861)
S.C. House of Representatives 1834-1838
Chancellor 1850-1861
Court of Appeals Judge 1859-1861
from March 4, 1821, until his resignation in 1834; chairman, Committee on Ways and Means (Nineteenth through Twenty-second Congresses); one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1830 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against James H. Peck; Governor of South Carolina 1834-1836; president of the board of trustees of South Carolina College; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William C. Preston; reelected, and served from December 23, 1842, until August 17, 1846, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations (Twenty-ninth Congress); died at ‘Cherry Hill,’ Sumter District (now Sumter County), S.C., March 11, 1851; interment in Cherry Hill Cemetery, Sumter District, S.C. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
    — Submitted December 26, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

4. About Francis Wilkinson Pickens
Francis Wilkinson Pickens, (grandson of Andrew Pickens), a Representative from South Carolina; born on a plantation on the Toogoodoo River, St. Paul’s Parish, Colleton District, S.C., April 7, 1805; completed preparatory studies; attended Franklin College, Athens, Ga., and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina)
John Calhoun Sheppard<br>(1850–1931) image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 1860
8. John Calhoun Sheppard
(1850–1931)
S.C. House of Representatives 1876-1882
Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina 1892-1886
Governor of South Carolina 1886–1886
S.C. Senate 1898-1904, 1919-1920
at Columbia; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Edgefield District in 1829; engaged in planting; member of the state house of representatives 1832-1833; elected as a Nullifier to the Twenty-third Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of George McDuffie; reelected as a Nullifier to the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Congresses and elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses and served from December 8, 1834, to March 3, 1843; chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs (Twenty-sixth Congress); member of the state senate 1844-1846; member of the Nashville southern convention in 1850; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1856; unsuccessful candidate for the United States Senate in 1857 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Andrew P. Butler; Minister to Russia 1858-1860; governor of South Carolina 1860-1862; died in Edgefield, Edgefield County, S.C., January 25, 1869; interment in Edgefield Cemetery. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
    — Submitted December 26, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

5. About Francis H. Wardlaw
Francis H. Wardlaw, son of James Wardlaw and Hannah Clarke Wardlaw, was born at Abbeville Court House, S. C., December 16th, 1800; was baptized by Rev. Robert P. Wilson, of the Presbyterian Church; went to the common English schools of Abbeville, taught by Francis Walker, William Sadler, Flinn, Clary, Hooper, James Curry, and Thomas Fulton. In 1812 he went to Willington, in Abbeville District, and there attended for two years Dr. Waddell's famous Classical Academy. He spent the year 1815 at home at Abbeville Court House, in studying arithmetic, algebra, trigonometry, and surveying, under Captain William Robertson, and in writing in the Clerk's office under his father, then Clerk of the Court for Abbeville District. He entered the South Carolina College April 13th, 1816, and graduated with first honor of his class in December, 1818. Read law in the office of A. Bowie, Esq., at Abbeville Court House, and was admitted to practice law at Charleston, January, 1822, and equity at Columbia, May, 1822. He settled at Edgefield near the end of February, 1822, and practiced law there in partnership with Whitfield Brooks until the fall of 1825; with William Garrett from 1826 to 1828; with D. L. Wardlaw from 1831 to 1841, and with William C. Morange from 1841 to 1846; was editor of a newspaper at Edgefield from March, 1829, to the spring of 1832; elected to the State Convention from Edgefield in 1832, and to the House of representatives of South Carolina Legislature in 1834 and 1838; was partner of R. H. Spann's in 1850; was elected Chancellor December 3rd, 1850, and Judge in the Court of Appeals December 21st, 1859; delegate from Edgefield in the conventions of 1852 and 1860, being one of only four or five persons who were members of all three conventions above mentioned; 1832, 1852, and

He was married at "Airville" near Hamburg, in Edgefield District. Wednesday evening, April 22nd, 1835, to Ann Gresham Lamar, daughter of Thomas Gresham Lamar and Martha Leland Cary, by Rev. Henry Reid, Presbyterian minister from Augusta. By this union he had seven children, three of whom died young. One son, Lieutenant T. Lamar Wardlaw, was killed at Fort Moultrie, July 17th, 1862, another son, Francis H. Wardlaw, died December 5th, 1887, at Edgefield where he was practicing law. One son and one daughter only are now living, Mrs. J. W. Hill, of Edgefield, and J. Lewis Wardlaw, of Fairfield County. Chancellor Wardlaw died at Columbia in the house of Major Theodore Stark, May 29th, 1861, and was buried at Edgefield Court House, South Carolina.

As a lawyer and judge of law I have heard this related of him: A decision of his was once quoted in a court at Westminister, the opposing counsel ridiculed the idea of resorting to South Carolina law as a precedent for England or English courts, whereupon the presiding Judge remarked that the decision in question was worthy of the highest respect and would do honor to the courts of any country. (Source: History of Edgefield County: From the Earliest Settlements to 1897 by John Abney Chapman (1897), pg 244-245.)
    — Submitted December 26, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Notable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,197 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   2. submitted on December 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on December 26, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5, 6. submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7. submitted on December 26, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   8. submitted on October 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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