South Carolina Education - Newberry County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1785

Newberry County

Newberry
 

Located about one mile northeast on land conveyed by Edward Finch, this school, the first Methodist educational venture in the state, was established by Bishop Francis Asbury and opened by him, 1795. A number of Mt. Bethel students became the first S.C. College graduates. The first Methodist conference in S.C. outside Charleston met here at Finch's house in 1793.

Mount Bethel Academy Among the leading citizens who attended this school, which opened 1795 and closed ca.1820, was William Harper, United States senator and judge. William Harper was the son of John Harper, who, in 1803, founded Washington Street United Methodist Church in Columbia and is buried in the cemetery near the Mount Bethel school site.

On December 19, 1807, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Newberry Library Society with assets authorized up to $2,000.
Also on December 19, 1807, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize trustees of the already existing Newberry Academy to raise $3,000 via a lottery. The academy was not incorporated until 1809, as shown below.
On December 17, 1808, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Mount Bethel Academy in the Newberry District, with assets up to $10,000 authorized.
On December 19, 1809, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the trustees of the Newberry Academy.
On December 13, 1817, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the trustees of Newberry Academy to raise $5,000 via a lottery, naming nine (9) trustees on that date.
On December 19, 1828, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to vest all escheated property in the Newberry District, up to $10,000 in value, in the Newberry Academy.

Here in 1830, in the house of Colonel John Eigleberger, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of South Carolina and Adjacent States opened a seminary which grew into the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary now located in Columbia, S.C.

On December 20, 1832, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Carolina, and authorized assets up to $10,000.

When founded in 1831, the Seminary was in the small town of Countsville along the Lexington and Newberry District boundary. Countsville was renamed to Pomaria in 1840. In 1834, the Seminary was moved to the county seat of Lexington Court House. In 1855, the Seminary was moved to the town of Newberry in the Newberry District, and in 1856 it was renamed to Newberry College.

The Lutheran Classical and Theological Seminary was located here from 1834 to 1855. The Synod of S.C. established a new seminary in 1831 in an effort to promote the education of Lutheran ministers in the Southeast. It opened in Pomaria, Newberry County, but plans were soon made to move to this site, then 1/2 mi. from the town of Lexington Court House.

The seminary opened here in 1834, with Dr. Ernest L. Hazelius (1777-1853), a native of Prussia who had come to America in 1800, as headmaster until 1851. The seminary, headmaster’s house (1833), and academic building (1838) are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The seminary moved to Newberry in 1855 and became Newberry College in 1856.

[Note - this marker is in Lexington, SC, where the school was first located. In 1855, the school was moved back to Newberry, SC.]

On December 16, 1851, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Pageville Academy in the Newberry District (Sections I & II).

On December 16, 1851, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included changing the name of The Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Carolina to The Classical and Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of South Carolina and Adjacent States (Section XII).

[Note, the Seminary was located in the Lexington District when this name change happened.]

On December 20, 1856, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate The Newberry College of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of South Carolina and Adjacent States, named eighteen (18) trustees, and chartered the college for twenty-one (21) years.

This fully accredited Lutheran-controlled college was chartered by the General Assembly of South Carolina on December 20, 1856. Dr. John Bachman, noted divine and naturalist, was the first president of the board of trustees. The college was used as a Confederate hospital and a U.S. garrison. It removed to Walhalla in 1868 but returned to Newberry in 1877.

On February 14, 1878, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to recharter Newberry College of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of South Carolina and Adjacent States for an indefinite period, until repealed by the legislature. The Act also named eighteen (18) new trustees.
On December 24, 1880, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to exempt teachers and students of Newberry College from road duty in the town of Newberry Court House as well as the rest of Newberry County.
On December 22, 1888, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish two new special school districts in Newberry County, one to be known as the Rutherford School District, named five (5) trustees, and authorized the voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property. The second new school district was to be known as the Broad River School District, named five (5) trustees, and authorized voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property. On December 16, 1891, the Soouth Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 12/22/1888, by redefining the boundaries of the Rutherford School District. On December 22, 1892, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 12/22/1888, by adding a new Section 13, which authorized the School Trustees to condemn a lot or lots for said schools if necessary.
One December 23, 1889, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a special school district in the town of Newberry Court House, in Newberry County, named seven (7) trustees, and authorized voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed two (2) mills on real and personal property. The school district was also authorized for voters to decide to issue bonds up to $10,000 for purchasing or erecting suitable school buildings, in repairing or improving school buildings, and in providing suitable furniture and apparatus for same. Another six-tenths (0.6) of a mill special school tax is also authorized to pay the interest on said bonds.
On December 23, 1890, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the Board of Trustees of the Newberry School District, in the town of Newberry Court House in Newberry County, to have the voters decide upon the issuance of additional bonds up to $5,000 and an additional special school tax up to four-tenths (0.4) of a mill on real and personal property to pay the interest on said bonds, for public school purposes.
On December 23, 1891, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the Newberry County Board of Examiners to redefine all school districts within Newberry County, which should be approximately four miles square as possible, and each new school district to have one white school and one colored school, no closer than one-half mile apart. New districts to be surveyed. Special districts not be changed (such as town of Newberry).
On December 24, 1891, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a Joint Resolution to require the Newberry County Treasurer to transfer certain funds therein mentioned to the ordinary county fund and the general school fund of the Fiscal Year commencing 1st November, 1891.
On December 24, 1892, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in Newberry County, in the town of Little Mountain, named three (3) trustees, and authorized the voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed two (2) mills on real and personal property. On January 4, 1894, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 12/24/1892, by defining the collection and payment of the special school tax.
Also on December 24, 1892, the South Carolina General Assembly passed another Act to establish a new special school district in Newberry County, to be known as the Wheeland Graded School District, named five (5) trustees, and authorized voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property.
 
 
 
 
 

This school, built in 1925-26 at a cost of $2,900, was one of more than 500 rural African-American schools in S.C. funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation between 1917 and 1932. The original two-acre lot for the school was donated by James H. Hope, Mary Hope Hipp, and John J. Hope. James H. Hope, then S.C. Superintendent of Education, was its longest-serving head, 1922-1947.

This two-room school, with grades 1-8 taught by two teachers, closed in 1954. In 1958 it was sold to the Jackson Community Center and Cemetery Association, comprised of nine members of the adjacant St. Paul A.M.E. Church. That group maintained the school for many years. It became the Hope Community Center in 2006 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

 
 
 
 
 


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