University of South Carolina, A.B: 1910; Honorary LL.D: 1960
Clemson University, Honorary LL.D.: 1964, awarded posthumously
South Carolina Senate: 1927-1958
President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate: 1941-1942
On March 2, 1942, as President Pro Tempore of the SC Senate,
Jefferies succeeded to the office of governor following the death
of Gov. Joseph Emile Harley and served ten months
Manning Jefferies was born on February 27, 1889 at Star Farm
in Union (what later became Cherokee) County, SC, the son of
John Randolph Jefferies and Mary Henrietta (Allen) Jefferies.
Initially educated in the Gaffney schools, he attended the University
of South Carolina and graduated in 1910.
After college, Jefferies moved to Jasper County and settled
down as a teacher in Ridgeland, SC. He was also the editor of
the Jasper Herald (c1910-1912) and Superintendent of Education
for Jasper County (1911-1913).
On July 26, 1911, Richard Manning Jefferies married Annie
Keith Savage, daughter of C.A. Savage and India D. (Dunwoody)
Savage of Walterboro, SC. They had two children.
He also studied law under James Eldred Peurifoy in Walterboro,
was admitted to the South Carolina bar on December 6, 1912, and
he subsequently moved to Walterboro and established the law partnership,
Jefferies and Lemacks. Jefferies was the editor of The Walterboro
Press and Standard from 1913 to 1914.
Public office began with Jefferies' service as Master in Equity
(1913-1919) and Probate Judge for Colleton County (1919-1926).
In 1926, Richard Manning Jefferies was first elected to represent
Colleton County in the SC Senate of the:
General Assembly that met from 1927-1928
General Assembly that met from 1929-1930
General Assembly that met from 1931-1932
General Assembly that met from 1933-1934
General Assembly that met from 1935-1936
General Assembly that met from 1937-1938
General Assembly that met from 1939-1940
General Assembly that met from 1941-1942 - elected President
Pro Tempore of the Senate
General Assembly that met from 1943-1944
General Assembly that met from 1945-1946
General Assembly that met from 1947-1948
General Assembly that met from 1949-1950
General Assembly that met from 1951-1952
General Assembly that met from 1953-1954
General Assembly that met from 1955-1956
General Assembly that met from 1957-1958
On March 2, 1942, Richard Manning Jefferies, as President
Pro Tempore of the SC Senate, succeeded to the office of Governor
of South Carolina upon the death of Gov. Joseph Emile Harley.
As governor, Jefferies guided South Carolina in economic and
military matters in the middle of World War II. Declining to
seek election to the governorship in 1942, instead, he sought
re-election to the SC Senate and returned to that body after
leaving the governor's office on January 19, 1943. He retired
from the SC Senate after being defeated for renomination in the
1958 Democratic Primary.
Richard Manning Jefferies also held the following offices
- Democratic Executive Committee member (1918-1922)
- Alternate Delegate (1924) and Delegate (1928, 1932, 1940, 1944,
1956, 1960) to Democratic Convention
- Grand Chancellor (1927-1928) and Supreme Representive of the
Grand Lodge of the Knights of Pythias
- Ex Officio Trustee of the University of South Carolina
- Ex Officio Trustee of Winthrop College (1933-1940)
- Delegate for Colleton County to the SC Democratic Convention
Jefferies was a member of the Woodmen of the World, Masons, Shriners,
Lions Club, and the Junior Order United American Mechanics. He
received honorary doctor of law degrees from the University of
South Carolina (1960) and Clemson University (1964, posthumously).
Suffering from complications resulting from chronic lung infection,
Richard Manning Jefferies died on April 20, 1964 in Charleston.
He was buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Walterboro, SC.
Manning Jefferies was born in Union County, SC. He received an
A.B. degree from the University of South Carolina in 1910, studied
law, and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1912. While
a student, he taught school himself. In addition to going on
to the practice of law, he was a newspaper editor for several
years, Jasper County Superintendent (1912), a member of the SC
Democratic Executive Committee (1912), and Master in Equity and
Probate Judge in Colleton County (1913-1927). He was a member
of the SC Senate for 32 years--two of them as President Pro Tempore.
In accordance with the SC Constitution, upon the death of Joseph
E. Harley -- who as Lieutenant Governor had succeeded to the
governorship pursuant to the resignation of Gov. Burnet Rhett
Maybank -- Jeffries as Senate President Pro Tempore assumed the
governorship himself. During Jeffries' brief tenure as governor,
South Carolina was on a war footing, and twice in 1942 German
submarines placed mines in Charleston harbor. When Gov. Olin
Dewitt Talmadge Johnston was inaugurated, Jeffries returned to
the state legislature. He chaired the SC War Fund from 1943 to
1946 and was director of the Fund in 1944 and 1945. He was a
member of the Democratic National Platform Committee in 1956
and 1960 and a member of the SC Tax Study Commission. From 1944
until his death in 1964, he served as General Manager of the
South Carolina Public Service Authority, on which he had begun
serving as General Counsel in 1934.