Richard Irvine Manning, III

62nd Governor of the State of South Carolina 1915 to 1919

Date Born: August 15, 1859

Date Died: September 11, 1931

Place Born: Sumter District, SC

Place Buried:
Trinity Episcopal
Cathedral Cemetery
in Columbia, SC

Residence: Sumter, SC, then Columbia, SC

Occupation: Banker, Planter, Businessman


University of Virginia: 1877-1879

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1892-1896

South Carolina Senate: 1899-1906

On November 3, 1914, Manning was elected governor without opposition, receiving 34,600 votes

On November 7, 1916, Governor Manning was re-elected, receiving 60,396 votes

Richard Irvine Manning III was the grandson of Richard Irvine Manning, governor of South Carolina from 1824-1826

Gilman Plantation was Manning's home


Richard Irvine Manning, III was born on August 15, 1859, the son of Richard Irving Manning, Jr. and Elizabeth Allen (Sinkler) Manning, on Holmesley Plantation in the Sumter District, SC. Manning was a student at Kenmore Preparatory School in Amherst, VA (c1875-1877), and he pursued a pre-law course at the University of Virginia (c.1877-1879) but left at the end of his sophomore year.

Manning returned to South Carolina and his family's Holmesley Plantation and began planting. Active in the Sumter County Farmer's Association, he served on the executive committee (c.1885) and as a delegate to the SC Farmer's Convention of 1886. He was also a successful banker and businessman. Manning served as Vice President (1889-1900), President (1900-1915), and Chairman of the Board ((1915) of the National Bank of Sumter. He was also on the legislative committee of the SC Bankers Association (1914-1916), President and Director of the Bank of Mayesville (c.1921), President of the Home Building and Loan Association (c.1921), and Chairman of the Board of the People's State Bank of South Carolina.

In the realm of business, Richard Irvine Manning, III was President of the Sumter Cotton Warehouse Company, American Products Export-Import Corporation, Sumter Compress Companyu, SC Land and Settlement Association, and the Sumter Chamber of Commerce. He was also Director of numerous businesses, among which were the Sumter Telephone Company, Sumter Telephone Manufacturing Company, Sumter Machinery Company, Magneto Manufacturing Company, Anderson Motor Company, Sumter & Wateree River Railroad (S&WR RR) Company, Union-Buffalo Mills, Palmetto Fire Insurance Company, and the New York Life Insurance Company.

During the course of his career, Manning moved twice - first to the town of Sumter in 1897, and then to Columbia in 1921.

On February 10, 1881, Richard Irvine Manning, III married Lelia Bernard Meredith in Richmond, VA, the daughter of John Alexander Meredith and Sarah Ann (Bernard) Meredith, and they had thirteen known children.

Manning began his public life as a delegate to the SC Democratic Convention in 1884 and was a delegate to each successive convention until his death. In 1892, he served as a delegate to the peace and harmony convention which sought to heal the schism within the Democratic Party, and in 1895 he was successful in temporarily reconciling the factions in Sumter County.

In 1892, Richard Irvine Manning, III was first elected as one of five men to represent Sumter County in the House of Representatives of the:
- 60th General Assembly that met from 1892-1893
- 61st General Assembly that met from 1894-1896

In 1898, Richard Irvine Manning, III was first elected to represent Sumter County in the SC Senate of the:
- 63rd General Assembly that met from 1899-1900
- 64th General Assembly that met from 1901-1902
- 65th General Assembly that met from 1903-1904
- 66th General Assembly that met from 1905-1906 - elected as President Pro Tempore of the Senate

From 1906 to 1914, Manning concentrated on his private affairs in Sumter, SC. In 1914, he defeated John Gardiner Richards in the Democratic primary, and on November 3, 1914, Manning was elected governor without opposition. He was inaugurated on January 19, 1915, and was later successful in his re-election bid against Coleman Livingston Blease in 1916.

During his administration, he was responsible for a number of accomplishments, including the creation of the SC Tax Commission, banishment of race track gambling, enforcement of law and order, re-instatement of the National Guard, the establishment of the SC Highway Commission, and improvements in education. He worked to create the state board of arbitration and conciliation, to shorten work hours, and raise the minimum age for child labor - these labor issues alienated many and failed to attract labor support.

Prior to the U.S. entering World War I, Gov. Manning appointed a Commission on Civic Preparedness and afterwards served as vice chairman of a war memorial commission. When the price of cotton dropped too low, he used his considerable influence with President Woodrow Wilson to persuade him not to fix cotton prices and also convinced other Southern states to hold their cotton until the price rose again.

Manning's reputation earned him a number of other offices and membership, too many to list herein.

Richard Irvine Manning, III died of pneumonia on September 11, 1931 and was buried at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Cemetery in Columbia, SC.


Richard Irvine Manning, III was born in the Sumter District, SC. He attended the University of Virginia from 1877 to 1879. A banker, businessman, and cotton farmer, he was President of the American Products Export and Import Corporation; the National Bank of Sumter; the Bank of Mayesville, SC; the Cotton Warehouse Company; and the South Carolina Land and Settlement Association. He also was director of the Sumter Telephone Company, the Telephone Manufacturing Company, the Magneto Manufacturing Company, and the Palmetto Fire Insurance Company, and he was Chairman of the Board of the People's State Bank of South Carolina. He was a trustee of both Clemson College and the University of South Carolina. Manning was a member of both the SC House of Representatives and the SC Senate, serving as President Pro Tempore of the Senate in 1905. During Manning's two terms as governor, the State Board of Charities and Corrections and the State Highway Department were created and educational funding was doubled. World War I broke out during his second term, and the state appointed a Commission on Civic Preparedness for War. After leaving office, Manning returned to his agricultural and business interests. He also was a member of the U.S. Peace Committee.

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