South Carolina Education - Kershaw County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1798

Kershaw County

Camden
 
On March 5, 1778, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Catholic Society. This organization was authorized to build and manage a public school in the Camden District, eastward of the Wateree River. The location would be in the town of Camden, which later became the county seat for Kershaw County.
On February 27, 1788, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Camden Orphan Society. This organization was authorized to build and manage a "public school in the town of Camden, for the education and instruction of youth."
On December 19, 1805, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Camden Library Society.
On December 21, 1822, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to vest all escheated property within the Kershaw District in the Camden Orphan Society, up to $21,000 in value.
On December 19, 1843, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the DeKalb Lyceum in Camden for a period of fourteen (14) years.

On December 21, 1858, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the The Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina in the Kershaw District, named seven (7) trustees, authorized assets up to $100,000, and chartered the Seminary for twenty-one (21) years (Section V).

The Seminary was located in Camden, SC where Bishop Thomas Davis resided. It opened on January 18, 1859, with three students and four faculty members. In October of 1859, William Porcher DuBose entered this seminary. It closed on June 30, 1862, because of the American Civil War. The Seminary re-opened in October of 1866 in Spartanburg, on the campus of what had been St. John's College. It suspended operation in October of 1868. The Seminary trained about twelve men for the ordained ministry.

On December 23, 1878, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to increase the limits of escheated property to be vested in the Camden Orphan Society, among others, from $50,000 to $100,000.
On February 20, 1880, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the voters of Kershaw County to decide upon an additional special school tax up to one and one-half (1-1/2) mills on real and personal property in School District No. 1. On December 19, 1887, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 2/20/1880 and increased the special school tax to three (3) mills on real and personal property.

Mather Academy was founded in 1887 by the New England Southern Conference of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church. It succeeded a freedmen's school opened during Reconstruction by Sarah Babcock, who returned to Massachusetts, married Rev. James Mather, and became the corresponding secretary of the Southern Conference when it organized in 1883. The Methodists opened a "Model Home and Industrial School" on this site in 1887.

Mather Academy educated girls, and later boys, in grades 1-11 until grade 12 was added in 1928. The Southern Assn. of Secondary Schools and Colleges gave it an "A" rating in 1937. A new main building, library, chapel, dormitories, and gym were all built between 1900 and 1964. In 1959 Mather merged with the Boylan-Haven School of Jacksonville, Fla., to become Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy. It closed here in 1983; the last building was demolished in 1995.

On December 24, 1887, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the Kershaw County Board of Examiners to select one - and only one - set of books already approved by the State Board of Examiners, to be effective November 1, 1888.
On December 24, 1889, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a special school district in the town of Kershaw, in Lancaster County, with two (2) trustees to be appointed from Lancaster County and one (1) trustee to be appointed from Kershaw County, and authorized voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property.
On December 24, 1890, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in the city of Camden, in Kershaw County, and authorized voters to decide upon an additional school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property. The school district is also authorized to issue bonds up to $10,000, and to increase the additional school tax if necessary to pay the interest on said bonds.
On December 24, 1892, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize Kershaw County School District No. 1 to issue bonds up to $10,000, and to levy an additional special school tax sufficient to pay the interest on said bonds. The bonds were for the purpose of erecting and furnishing suitable school buildings in said School District.
 
 
 
 
 

Midway School, established on this site in 1923 with grades 1-11, served Cassatt and other rural areas in Kershaw County near U.S. Hwy. 1 from Little Lynches River to the Shepard community. The high school later added grade 12, then closed in 1966, after forty-three years of service to the area.

Midway Elementary School continues to operate at this site. The original Midway School building, constructed in 1923, was demolished in 1976 to make way for a new building at Midway Elementary; only its cornerstone survives. A separate gymnasium, built after World War II, still stands.

 
 
 
 
 


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