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.)
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 Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Central SC 29630, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bertha Evans Morgan Rose Garden (approx. 0.2 miles 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); John C. Calhoun Memorial Highway (approx. 2.7 miles away); Keowee / John Ewing Colhoun (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Piazza (approx. 3.5 miles away); Ashtabula (approx. 3.6 miles away); Calhoun - Clemson School (approx. 3.8 miles away); Blue Key National Honor Fraternity Gateway (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Central.
Also see . . .
1. Central, South Carolina. Central is a town in Pickens County, South Carolina, United States. (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 (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 re-organization of the Atlanta and Richmond Air Line Railway. (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 the major population centers of Atlanta and Charlotte, 133 miles from each, this little town found itself the focus of a railroad boom in 1873. The Atlanta and Richmond Air Line Company set up shop and even gave the town its name. The flood of newcomers brought prosperity, and Main Street exploded. New shops, hotels and other businesses cropped up to meet the social and commercial needs of the burgeoning community. Much of the town's character today is directly tied to the
— 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 masonry block two stories in height designed in a classical revival motif with a monumental portico dominating the facade. An addition constructed of matching materials was added to the rear of the building ca. 1925. This addition increased the number of classrooms from six to ten. The entire building is brick and rests on a brick foundation. The roof is a complex hip form sheathed in standing seam metal and surmounted by a cupola with lunnete vents. The main facade faces
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 windows with mullions dividing the lights into triangles are placed over the central doorway.
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
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 altering the second floor classrooms to accommodate this use. Additional windows were also closed with wood infill.
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
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.
Central established a high school in 1893 that was the pride of the community. students paid fees ranging from $1.00 to $2.25 per month, depending on the class in which they were enrolled. They were also charged $.25 per session to defray costs for heat and incidentals. This school served the town until the Pickens County Board of Education ordered an election, held on 7 October 1907, to determine if a State High School should be established in District 9. The proposal carried; Central became
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 of Education, in giving aid, 'shall give preference to districts which have combined and consolidated two or more school buildings.'" In 1905, the State Superintendent of Education wrote in his annual report that consolidation was advantageous to school districts both in terms of better educational opportunities and in making more effective use of funds. The Consolidation Act provided incentive for districts to reduce the number of small schools within the district by offering
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 by Sayre or by the firm of Sayre & Baldwin, with which he was associated from 1908-1914. Sayre is also credited with designing at least seven schools in Georgia.
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
— 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 Queen Anne style and subsequently altered circa 1917 with Classical Revival design elements. It was built by Jeptha Norton Morgan, a prominent local merchant and banker, in anticipation of his marriage to Minnie Eugenia Morgan. The Morgan House was purchased in 1995 by the Central Heritage Society and is currently used as the Central History Museum.
The Morgan House is located on 2.775 acres on Church Street two blocks from the business district of Central. The immediate
The Morgan House contains approximately 2,900 square feet on a single level over a crawl space. The foundation is brick and the exterior is lapped wood siding. The asymmetrical design has three bays on the front elevation with a main hipped roof complemented with porch and roof gables. Built originally in a Queen Anne gabled-ell design, the original elaborately detailed porch was altered prior to 1917 with Classical Revival detailing including Doric columns and the addition of porch gables with glass, classical motifs.
The interior is characterized by a large living room that opens into a central hall. The original floor plan was typical of a Queen Anne gabled-ell design. Adjacent to the living room is the parlor with an octagonal bay featuring large two over two paned windows. There is a distinctive fireplace mantel with a beveled glass mirror. As with all rooms in the house, there is 12" floor molding. The parlor has picture molding and bead-board walls that are presently covered with wallpaper of indeterminable age. The dining room, kitchen and one bedroom opens to the 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 of a room at the rear of the house. The front porch was originally an elaborately detailed porch in a Queen Anne design. The original front porch columns and railings were removed circa 1917 and replaced with Doric columns. The porch was further altered with the addition of gables above the porch featuring glass classical motifs within the gables. Other alterations include a dropped ceiling with acoustical ceiling tile in the kitchen and contemporary wall paneling on the rear walls of the
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 Museum and is an excellent example of late nineteenth century Classical Revival residential architecture. The Morgan House also is significant for its association with Jeptha Norton Morgan and his family, prominent in the growth of Central's economy. Jeptha Morgan and his family contributed greatly to the social and civic life of Central during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The architecture of the Morgan House is significant because of its evolution from its
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 district of Central. Robert Finley Morgan had six sons and three daughters. Two of the sons, Francis Burt (F.B.) and Jeptha Norton (J.N.), settled in Central to pursue business endeavors. In 1882, Francis and Jeptha Morgan established
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
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 Bank of Central. Chartered on January 1, 1904 with deposits of $22,500, Jeptha Morgan was the first president of the bank and was later succeeded as president by his brother. The Bank of Central played an integral role with the development of Central's economy during the first three decades of the twentieth century. The Bank of Central did not survive the depression of the early 1930's. The bank had numerous loans on agricultural crops that it failed to collect during this time.
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
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, Jessie Norton Morgan who was born May 27, 1898, and Jennie Eugenia Morgan who was born on July 10, 1901. Jessie died on November 16, 1999, and Jennie died on May 7, 1985. Both daughters were prominent citizens of Central and became leaders of Central's first Girl Scout troop that was organized in 1942. Both daughters resided in their parents' house for most of their lives. The residence at 416 Church Street became known as the Morgan House and was acquired in 1995 by the Central Heritage Society.
— 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 of Company F, of the Second Regiment of the S.C. Junior Troops (he was only 16 years old). After the war G.M. Norris was a planter in Vance, S.C. D.K. Norris also had another brother, J.F. Norris, of Charleston, S.C.
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
— Submitted April 16, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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