South Carolina Education - Orangeburg County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1791 or 1800

Orangeburg County

Orangeburg
 
On December 21, 1798, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included authorization for trustees to build and manage one or more public schools in the Orangeburg District. The Act also authorized all escheated property in the Orangeburg district to be given to this/these schools. 
On December 13, 1817, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Orangeburg Academical Society, naming five (5) trustees, and authorized assets up to $50,000.
On December 21, 1822, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to vest all escheated property within Orange Parish to the Orangeburg Academical Society to help endow and support the academy in Orange Parish, up to a total of $5,000 in value.
On December 19, 1833, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Totness Academical Society in the Orangeburg District, and authorized assets up to $10,000 (Section II, III, and IV).
On December 21, 1839, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the extension of the charter of the Orangeburg Academical Society for another fourteen (14) years (Section XXI).
On December 21, 1858, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the authorization of four (4) additional Commissioners of Free Schools for St. Matthew's Parish in the Orangeburg District, increasing the number from three (3) to seven (7) commissioners (Section I).
On December 18, 1869, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Claflin University in the town of Orangeburg Court House in Orangeburg County, named eight (8) trustees, and authorized assets up to $50,000. The Act also authorized the trustees to hold and control the buildings formerly known as the Orangeburg Female College with all lands and appurtenances which may be transferred to said corporation, for the purpose of aiding and sustaining said institution in promoting the interests of education.

Claflin College, founded in 1869 as Claflin University, is the oldest historically black college in S.C. and was established to "advance the cause of education, and maintain a first-class institution ... open to all without distinction of race or color." It was named for two generations of the Claflin family of Mass., Lee Claflin (1791-1871), a prominent Methodist layman, and his son Gov. William Claflin (1818-1903), who supported and helped fund the new institution.

The S.C. Agricultural and Mechanical Institute opened at Clafin in 1872 and was the predecessor of S.C. State University, founded in 1896. Claflin, associated with and supported by the Methodist Church, featured in its early years industrial, manual, and agricultural training; primary and secondary education; and college-prep and college courses, including architecture, law, teacher education, and theology. It was renamed Claflin College in 1979.

On March 12, 1872, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the South Carolina Agricultural College and Mechanics' Institute in connection with Claflin University in or near the town of Orangeburg Court House in Orangeburg County, and required the trustees to assemble within thirty (30) days after the passage of this Act to bring this new institute into existence fairly quickly.
On March 22, 1878, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to divide the University of South Carolina into two branches - the South Carolina College to exist in the city of Columbia, and Claflin College to exist in or near the town of Orangeburg. Each college to allow one student from each county to attend free of charge.
On December 22, 1882, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in the town of Orangeburg in Orangeburg 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 16, 1891, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 12/22/1882, by revising sections 3 and 4, and adding sections 5,6, 7, and 8.
On December 23, 1889, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Greenleaf Presbyterian Industrial Institute and Female College in the town of Orangeburg Court House, in Orangeburg County, named nineteen (19) incorporators, and authorized assets up to $100,000.
On December 23, 1890, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to reorganize the University of South Carolina into three branches: the South Carolina College in Columbia and Claflin College in Orangeburg - both under one Board of Trustees, and the South Carolina Military Academy (the Citadel) in Charleston under a Board of Visitors. The Experimental Station and the Mechanical Department connected with the University of South Carolina are to be transferred to the Clemson Agricultural College as of July 1, 1891.
On December 24, 1890, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to divide certain Federal Funds provided for the Endowment and Support of colleges for the benefit of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts equally between Claflin Agricultural College (colored) and Clemson Agricultural College (white).
On December 22, 1891, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in portions of Aiken County and Orangeburg County, to be known as the Salley Graded School District, 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. On December 22, 1892, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the 12/22/1891 Act, by redefining the boundaries of the Salley Graded School district to be in Aiken County only. On December 20, 1893, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Acts of 12/22/1891 and 12/22/1892, by redefining the boundaries of the Salley Graded School District again, and re-iterating that this school district was only in Aiken County, and no longer in Orangeburg County. On February 11, 1898, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 12/22/1892, by once again deleting all reference to Orangeburg County.

On July 25, 1892, the Orangeburg County Clerk of Court chartered the incorporation of the St. Matthew's Educational and Improvement Association in the town of St. Matthews in Orangeburg County and identified $5,000 in capital stock. The association was incorporated for the purpose of erecting buildings and managing educational institutes.

[Note - in 1892, the town of St. Matthews was in Orangeburg County. In 1908, St. Matthews became the county seat of Calhoun County.]

On December 18, 1893, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the city of Orangeburg School District (No. 26), in Orangeburg County, to issue bonds up to $15,000 for the purpose of purchasing grounds and erecting, building, furnishing and equipping a public school building thereon, to be located in said school district. An additional tax was authorized to be collected to pay for the interest on said bonds.
On January 4, 1894, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in the town of Elloree in Orangeburg County, to be known as the Elloree Graded School District, named seven (7) trustees, and authorized voters to decided upon an additional special school tax not to exceed five (5) mills on real and personal property. On December 24, 1894, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 1/4/1894, by redefining the boundaries of the Elloree Graded School District. The Hickory Grove School is mentioned in this Act.
On March 3, 1896, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to sever Claflin College from the Claflin University and to establish the Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina within the University of South Carolina but with its own Board of Trustees. The Act also appropriate $5,000 annually for the next five (5) years for the purpose of erecting the necessary buildings and preparing buildings therefor. The Act also authorized the State Penintentiary to provide up to forty (40) convicts to help construct the buildings.

S.C. State University was founded in 1896 as the Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural & Mechanical College of S.C. with its origins in the Morrill Land Grants Acts of 1862 and 1890 providing for land-grant colleges. Intended "for the best education of the hand, head, and heart of South Carolina's young manhood and womanhood of the Negro race," it became S.C. State College in 1954 and S.C. State University in 1992.

South Carolina State has been called "at least symbolically, the most important educational institution in black Carolina since its founding." Students were also active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s, taking part in sit-ins, the Orangeburg Movement of 1963-64 seeking desegregation of downtown businesses, and the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968.

On March 9, 1896, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to amend the Act of 12/18/1869 (see above) by authorizing the Board of Trustees of Claflin University in Orangeburg to sell any or all assets it deems necessary.
Also on March 9, 1896, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a Joint Resolution for the State Penitentiary to provide forty (40) convicts to construct buildings for the Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechancial College of South Carolina in Orangeburg, SC.
 
 
 
 
 

The Great Branch School, which stood here from 1918 to the early 1960s, was one of the first Rosenwald schools in S.C. A two-room frame school built in 1917-18, it was typical of the rural black schools funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation between 1917 and 1932.

A three-room addition and three-room teacherage were built in 1922-23; Principal W.M. Jennings lived here until 1933. The school closed about 1954 and was later burned by arsonists. The teacherage, one of only eight Rosenwald teacherages in S.C., was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

This antebellum structure once stood on Orangeburg's Public Square. In 1865 it was occupied by Federal troops. From 1924 to 1955 it housed the first public library in Orangeburg County, organized by the Dixie Club, (1896). Given to the Orangeburg County Historical Society, it was moved in 1955 to its present site-the Pioneer Graveyard (1749).

Bowman Rosenwald School, which stood here from 1927 to 1952, was one of several African-American schools in Orangeburg County funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation. The school, built in 1926-27 at a cost of $6,000, was a five-room frame building typical of the larger rural schools built by the Rosenwald Foundation between 1917 and 1932. The school burned in 1952.

Bowman Rosenwald School educated about 250 students a year for most of its history, at first in grades 1-8 with five teachers and a five-month session, but by 1948-49 in grades 1-12 with nine teachers and an eight-month session. Its enrollment grew dramatically after World War II, reaching a peak of 576 students in 1951-52, its last full school year.

From 1941 to 1945, 5924 American & French pilots were trained here, totaling almost 330,00 flight hours. Site is 1 mi. NW.

 
 
 
 
 


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