“Constructed in part by A. D. Holler of Rock Hill, S.C. who also supplied a majority of the brick.”
City Directories and History: This is one of a number of pages on Roots and Recall dealing with both Winthrop College and Oakland’s important history. Newspaper articles have been used to help tell the story behind these interesting places. Adding these bits of history is an ongoing process courtesy of R&R’s volunteers.
In 1893, defying the Panic, leading Rock Hill citizens banded together to make a successful bid of $60,000,
34 and a quarter acres, and 375,000 brick for the permanent site of a state college, Winthrop Normal and Industrial College.
City Without Cobwebs
The Yorkville Enquirer of March 16, 1892 reported, “The board of trustees of the Industrial College for Women met in Columbia and decided to locate the institution in Anderson in consideration of an offer of $75,000. from a bond issue.”
The YV Enquirer of Jan. 25, 1893 – “The question of the location of Winthrop College is being agitated once again. Courts have determined that the bonds offered by Anderson were invalid. The trustees are open to locating Winthrop in other cities and those interested include: Columbia, Anderson, Spartanburg, and Yorkville. ”
On March 8, 1893 the YV Enquirer reported, “An election was held in Rock Hill yesterday on the question of subscribing $60,000., in thirty year bonds as a bid for the location of the Women’s Industrial School. The vote was 273 in favor and 24 opposed. “
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on March 15, 1893 “the location of the Industrial College for women will soon be decided upon. Proposals from various cities will be taken on March 29th, Rock Hill is in the running and will hold an election on March 27 for bonds of $60,000. to support the college.” (The Yorkville Enquirer also reported that Anderson held an election on issuance of bonds for support of the girls industrial school. The $50,000. issue was defeated by a vote of 146 – 26.)
The YV Enquirer reported on April 19, 1893 – “A committee of fifteen citizens of Rock Hill will meet with the Board of Trustees of the Industrial Normal College. The meeting will include festivities and a picnic at Oakland Park.”
The YV Enquirer reported on May 24, 1893 – “It is expected that the trustees of the Industrial College will meet in Rock Hill on May 31. Two sites in Rock Hill will be offered, one in the eastern part of the city known as the “Egypt Site” and the other in the western part known as the Oakland Site.”
The YV Enquirer reported on June 28, 1893 – “Supt. Neal of the State Penitentiary visited Rock Hill to make arrangements for construction of a stockade to be used by convicts during the construction of the Girls Industrial College, work on which is to begin soon.”
On July 3, 1893 the YV Enquirer reported, “On Saturday afternoon the CCA brought 36 convicts to Rock Hill to labor on the proposed Women’s Industrial School.”
On Jan. 10th 1894 the YC Enquirer reported, “The Industrial School builders are getting their sand from the creek bottoms from above Blacksburg, S.C.”
On Jan. 17, 1894 the YV Enquirer reported, “The board of the Industrial School will meet to choose a plan for the first dormitory. Construction on the main building continues. The stone for the main building is mainly from the quarry near Rock Hill. There is a small quantity of dressed stone from Columbia and eight car loads of dressed sandstone from Ohio.”
On Jan. 31, 1894 the YV Enquirer reported – “J.A. Byers and Dr. J. H. Saye have a contract to furnish the wood with which to burn the brick for the Rock Hill Industrial School (Winthrop College).”
The YV Enquirer reported on April 11, 1894 – “At the Industrial School, the brickwork is progressing and a corner of the tower is being left for the cornerstone ceremony next month.”
On April 23, 1894 the YV Enquirer reported, “The cornerstone of the Industrial School was laid on May 12th and since then 15-20 feet of solid stonework has risen above the cornerstone.”
The Fairfield News and Herald reported on May 9, 1894 – “The laying of the cornerstone at the Winthrop College will take place on May 12. They expect a crowd of 6,000 – 8,000 people. Ceremonies will include 390 girls from the Winthrop Training School of Columbia, a dress parade by 600 Clemson Cadets, music by several bands and the Winthrop Choir, Masonic Ceremonies, and speeches by Gov. Tillman and others.” Also on that date, the cornerstone will say “Winthrop Normal and Industrial College 1894: architects are Bruce and Morgan, builders: Thompson and Decker Construction Co., …”
The YV Enquirer reported on Nov. 7, 1894 – “Now that the cupula on the college building is completed and the scaffolding removed, we can see that it adds greatly to the building. The conical copper roof, terminated by a cap-piece, over which a copper globe several feet in diameter as it reflects the rays of the sun presents a sight rather dazzling to the eye and can be seen at a great distance from the college. In the tower, just below the place for the clock, workman are now putting in a 20,000 gallon steel tank, which is to supply all the water used in the college buildings.”
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Sept. 19, 1894 – “Work on the interior of the new building is proceeding. The woodwork is under the management of Mr. Sparling, who has moved with his family into the McMullen house. The brick machines are running at full capacity.”
The YV Enquirer reported on Sept. 26, 1894 – “The machinery at the pumping station of the normal college was put into place last week. Water is now being sent through the pipe to the Main Building, where it is being distributed.”
The Herald reported, Aug., 7, 1895 – “Two (train) car loads of iron bedsteads and bureaus, one car load of straight chair and one of rocking chairs, for the industrial school
(Winthrop College) dormitory, arrived Monday. Yesterday Mr. Stewart had a force of wagons and convicts hauling them to the buildings.”
August 21, 1895 – About 90 convicts are working on the Industrial School (Winthrop College) grounds. Fifty were brought from the state farm in Sumter County.
The Herald reported on Oct. 2, 1895 – “That opening day for Winthrop would be Oct. 15th. The building are ready for the opening. Three hundred and eight-two women have applied for admission to the dorm. However, many will have to board in town for $10. per month. Convicts in the building of the campus and only seventeen remain.”
The Herald reported on April 15, 1896 – “That the RH Hardware Co., has been awared the contract for the fencing at Winthrop College. The fence will be all steel pickets of an ornamental design with very handsome gates. There will be over 4,000 ft., of the fence enclosing the entire thirty acres of the college property. The price to be paid is $1,000. as appropriated by the legislature.”
On April 25, 1896 the Herald stated, “Prof. Berckman, the noted landscape man of Augusta spent Thursday at the Winthrop College looking over the grounds. Upon his return home he will submit to Pres. Johnston a report advising him on how best to proceed toward laying off flower beds, grass plots., etc. Professor Berckman was very much struck with the nature of the soil and the position of the grounds around the college.”
The Herald stated on April 29, 1896 – “Last Sunday morning a most interesting scene was the college girls, marching by two’s in their new spring uniforms to and fro from their church activities. ” (This is believed to be the first Blue Line at WU.)
The Herald reported on July 11, 1896 – “It is expected that work on the Winthrop College Infirmary will start soon.” The convict detail that will do the work is now awaiting at the penitentiary. On Sept. 5, 1896 – “Work has begun on the infirmary – it is 93-42 feet, will contain wards, a doctors office, a nurse office and a medication room. The basement will have servants quarters, a kitchen and storage.
The Herald reported on Aug. 5, 1896 – “Last Friday while the force of convicts at the Winthrop College stockade were engaged in working the streets, surrounding the college grounds, one of the force ran off from his work and although fired upon six times, he was successful in escaping and is still at large.” Aug., 8th the paper reported, “The college convict force has been at work for several days on the street Southeast of the college grounds and have graded, elevated and put it in good condition.” On Aug. 12, 1896 – “The escaped convict has been captured in Forrest City, N.C.”
The Herald also reported on Aug. 5, 1896 – “Examinations were held in Yorkville for four free scholarships to Winthrop College for the next session. There were twenty-five applications from York County. The examiners were: County School Supt., J.A. Shurley, Prof. J.W. Thomson of Rock Hill, and Mr. J. A. Barron. Scholarships were awarded to: Jennie M. Miller of Tirzah, Eva M. Moore of Guthriesville, and Laura Kee and Mary A. Roach of Rock Hill.”
The Herald also reported on Aug. 8, 1896 – “Mr. W. A. Reckling of Columbia has made a life size portrait of Dr. E. S. Joynes, one of the trustees of Winthrop College, which will be sent to Rock Hill to be hung in the college.”
Oct. 21, 1896 “In Oakland on Saturday afternoon Mr. F. D. Black’s colt was frightened by the clanging of the shackles of a gang of convicts and dashed off smashing the vehicle and running into the fruit wagon of Sam Milling, which was standing in its accustomed place in front of the college.”
The Herald reported on March 15, 1899 – “The Winthrop Propagating House was established about two months ago by Prof. H.B. Buist and well supplied with plants and flowers. Young Winthrop Ladies visit the house in large numbers.”
The RH Herald reported on March 14, 1900 – “The Kings Daughters will meet on Thursday afternoon at the Carolina Hotel. The object of this meeting is to complete arrangements for establishing a kindergarten under the direction and guidance of Ms. MacFeat.”
The Presidents reports to the Board – June 6, 1900 – “We have contracted with A.D. Holler for 700,000 brick. We are getting line from Alabama and orderings cement and sand. We need a better grade brick for he facings than Mr. Holler can provide.”
The Presidents report to the Board – June 6, 1900 – “The northern part of the campus has been graded, new walks laid out and trees set out. The iron fence has been painted and the President’s House re-shingled and painted.”
The Presidents report to the Board – Dec. 7, 1900 – “The land on which the stockade is located has been sold by the RH Land and Town Site Company and that building will need to be moved to the farm.” (This building housed convicts that routinely worked on the campus.)
The Rock Hill Herald reported on March 29, 1902 – “Mr. W.G. Davis, who has been putting in the sewage at Winthrop College, returned to his home in Charlottesville, Va., his work having been almost completed.”
The Rock Hill Herald on April 15, 1903 reported, “Ms. Mable Montgomery is in Rock Hill for the purpose of making class pictures at Winthrop College. Since being a student there, she has been pursuing this line of work and is among the leading photographic artists.”
The Presidents report to the Board – Nov. 25, 1905 – “H.B. Buist, reported the dairy herd has been enlarged in order to supply the needs of a growing student body.”
The Presidents report to the Board – June 5, 1907 – “G.A. Parker, of Hartford Conn., was asked to conduct new landscape designs for the campus. He was willing to conduct the work for the cost of travel.” (Mr. Parker had previously made a map of the entire campus showing the buildings, drives, walks, fences, flower beds and trees.)
The Presidents report to the Board – June 6, 1906 – “Mr. Buist is seeking authority to purchase the property NE of the campus bounded by Oakland Ave., Lancaster Ave., Park Ave., and Cherry Ave., for a price of $5,750., including Mr. W. J. Cherry’s house.”
The President reported to the Board – June 5, 1907 – “The college now owns 9 acres north of the present campus fence out to Oakland Ave., and Lancaster Ave., The whole campus is now 47.5 acres. We need to buy other lots across Lancaster Ave., upon which to place the Greene and Cherry houses. W.J. Roddey has a lot on Lancaster which he will sell.”
The RH Record reported Feb. 3, 1908 – “Ms. Clara B. Strait, daughter of T. J. Strait, now living in Washington, is an artist of the first order and is now engaged in painting a portrait of Senator B.R. Tillman. The portrait is nearly completed and will go to Winthrop College to take the place of the one now of the Senator, which is very poor.”
The RH Record reported on June 3, 1909 – “J.J. Keller and Co., was awarded the contract for the new kitchen and dining room at Winthrop College. The heating contract was awarded to Geumarion and Co., of Columbia.”
The Herald reported on July 22, 1919 – “That the film Winthrop Day by Day, has been completed and will be shown on Saturday. It shows campus life.”
The Herald reported on Feb. 20, 1915 – “Work will begin soon on the Winthrop College gym. The legislature has appropriated $30,000. and President Johnson is seeking an additional $30,000., from other sources. Architects, Hook and Rogers have almost completed the plans. The gym will be erected on the athletic field at the rear of the main building and will have a standard size swimming pool.”
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