Methodist Photographs

New Photo Collection

In addition to sharing some of Wofford's history or the history of Methodism in South Carolina on this blog, sometimes I highlight new collections, interesting documents, or old photographs.  Today, I'm hlghlighting a collection of photographs that my student assistants and I have been working on for several months.  Several years ago, I found an old photo album maintained by a Methodist minister from the late 19th century.  With a better scanner and better ways to present these images, my student assistants scanned all of the indivudal photos in the album.  Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to get them uploaded to Flickr and labeled in such a way that a researcher could find them.  

We've added about 35 photos to this point, and there are about 150 in the album in total.  So far, I've got the pictures of a group of bishops, of a few of the ministers, and of some individuals who must have been friends or family members of the Rev. William Wynn Mood, who maintained the album.  

Here's the set page for the William Wynn Mood Album, in Flickr

These photos will be useful to local church historians who are looking for photos of some of their earlier ministers, as the album covers years prior to the first conference biographical directory.  I'll continue to add items to this album until I have the entire set of photos added, with information about as many of the individuals as I can locate.  Then, I'll start adding the photos from the 1901 and 1914 biographical directoies.  

The two photos come from the album.  They are the Rev. Frederick Auld, above, who was a Methodist minister in South Carolina from 1858 to 1902, and Bishop William Wallace Duncan, left, who was a Wofford graduate in 1858, a Methodist minister in Virginia, a Wofford professor, and a Methodist bishop from 1886 to 1908.  
Documents Photographs Students

The Student Body, circa 1900

It might be difficult, if not impossible, to get Wofford's entire student body on the front steps of Main Building today.  Senior class photos most always happen there, but many of the early student body pictures were also taken in front of Old Main.  These photos of the student body come from 1897, 1898, and 1900 and are part of the archives collection. 
In the late 1890s, the student body usually numbered about 200, with about 10 professors.
Of course, old photographs fascinate us for many reasons, and students, alumni, and friends alike always pause as they quietly examine these old artifacts.  They are much more than just objects of antiquarian or sentimental interest, however,  There's much we can learn from these documents.  For example, when I pass one of these photos around a group of students, I ask them to look carefully and tell me if they spot something they aren't used to seeing.  Invariably, someone spots the women.  These photos document the presence of women in the student body well before the 1970s. 

More than that, photographs help us put a face on the past.  How many times a day do we who work and study here pass those front steps without truly thinking of how long that building has stood on that site, or remembering how many people have gone before us to build up this college.   

Top: The student body in 1897. 
Middle: The student body and faculty in 1898
Bottom: The student body and faculty in 1900

Buildings Faculty Photographs

Photos from the Snyder Papers

Below are a few photographs that I found as we began putting the final touches on the Snyder Papers.

We’ve completed the major weeding of some 20 file cabinet drawers of presidential records, and today, we looked through a few smaller boxes of materials, mostly donated in the 1950s by Mrs. Snyder, that were already on the shelf in the archives.  Most of the materials are what I classify as personal materials – articles by Snyder, some of his personal correspondence, biographical materials, and even his Phi Beta Kappa key from Vanderbilt University.  We’ll put the biographical materials, the articles, and some of his personal correspondence in order and wrap this project up shortly.  Hns002_3In the meantime, here are some of the photos of both Snyder, his house, and of him with other people.

The first photo is a small snapshot taken in 1916, when he would have been 51 years old.  The second simply reads “age 38, which would have put the photo around 1903.

Hns003The third image appears to have been taken in Andrews Fieldhouse, which means it had to have been taken after 1929.  Perhaps it’s at the college’s 75th anniversary celebration.

The fourth image comes from Commencement in 1939.  Hns004Snyder is in the left foreground.  Behind him is Wofford alumnus and United States Senator Ellison D. “Cotton Ed” Smith.  The photo shows that faculty members were wearing academic regalia by the 1930s.

The final two photographs are campus scenes.  One is of Dr. Snyder’s campus home, now called Snyder House.  The other is a winter scene, probably from the 1920s or 1930s.

Click on an image to bring up a larger version.  Hns006_2In the next week or so, we’ll post a new guide to the Snyder Papers, and perhaps copies of an address or two.

Buildings Photographs

Alumni Hall

I’m not sure any building on campus has had as many names as
the Hugh S. Black Building.

We still have a handful of nineteenth century buildings on
the campus – Main Building and the four homes that made up the original
campus. But I’m not sure that many
people on campus realize that the building that houses Admission and Financial
Aid offices is another structure dating from the nineteenth century.

Times seemed good in Spartanburg during the 1880s. With railroads and textiles, the city was
experiencing its first taste of prosperity since before the Civil War. Wofford had never officially provided housing
for students, preferring instead to let them board with families in the village
or with professors on campus. The
home-like atmosphere, trustees and professors felt, would be better for the
students. But by the 1880s, with
enrollment hovering in the upper 70s, and with students living in unused rooms
in Main Building, the trustees decided to build three cottages to be used as

When the alumni got wind of the plan, in a spell of
generosity, they asked to be allowed to raise the money for a single dormitory
for the students. They pledged to raise $10,000,
and they organized local alumni chapters throughout the state to raise the
funds. The trustees accepted the alumni
association’s offer, though it took some time for the alumni to actually raise
the funds.

And so, with Masonic rites and with much of Spartanburg’s
leadership looking on, the college laid the cornerstone of Alumni Hall on
Friday, October 19, 1888. Edgar L.
Archer, of the class of 1871, who had made substantial contributions to the
construction of the building, led the opening prayer, and the featured address
was a biographical sketch of Benjamin Wofford, presented by John Bomar
Cleveland of the class of 1869, another significant donor and later a trustee
of the college. President Carlisle also

When the building opened it was, as one observer described,
“commodious and well appointed, and furnished with all modern conveniences, and
is a pleasant home for many students.” The building, as originally built and as the photo shows, was four
stories tall.

In 1895, Alumni Hall became the home of the Wofford Fitting
School, which had been in operation since 1887 in the buildings of the old
Spartanburg Female College, in what became the Spartan Mill village. Alumni Hall remained part of the fitting
school complex until it was discontinued in 1924.

As is the case with buildings at so many colleges, fire
played a role in Alumni Hall’s history. On the night of January 18, 1901, a fire nearly destroyed the
building. It was, as The Journal
reported, a severe loss to the college.  In
the aftermath of the fire, the Journal reported, “the kindness of the people of
all parts of the city to the students of the Fitting School was very gratifying
to the college authorities. Blackhall1950sTelephone
messages came thick and fast to offer temporary homes to the young men, and
they were soon provided for.” President
Carlisle was reportedly unsure as to what action to take, but the trustees
quickly decided both to rebuild the hall and to build a larger facility for the
Fitting School’s classrooms. The new
building, constructed next door to the re-named Archer Hall, provided extra
recitation rooms for the students in the Fitting School. Archer Hall was rebuilt, but without its
third and fourth floors, and took its new name from the largest original donor
to the building.

With the closure of the Fitting School, Archer Hall reverted
to the college. The building was used as
a dormitory until the 1950s, though in the late 1940s, it was used as meeting
space for fraternities. In the early
1950s, the building was re-conditioned for use as a dormitory to meet
enrollment growth. With gifts from
Spartanburg’s Black family, the building received its third name: the Hugh S.
Black Dormitory. By 1959, it had become
the home of various campus offices, and at that point, it became the Hugh S.
Black Building.

In the early 1980s, the neighboring Snyder Hall was
demolished, and in 1986, the Black Building was connected to the
newly-constructed Neofytos Papadopoulos Building.

Pictures: Alumni Hall-the Hugh S. Black Building-at
different points in its long life.

Alumni Buildings Photographs

Carlisle Hall memories

Opened in 1912, the James H. Carlisle Memorial Hall was the college’s first large residence hall.  Before Carlisle Hall, most students had to find places to live off campus.  Fir the college’s first sixty years, students either lived in the village or they boarded with the professors who lived on campus (Imagine that – living with your professor!).  Some students lived in unused rooms in Main Building, and some lived in Alumni Hall – the building that now houses the Admission and Financial Aid offices.  Carlisle Hall was paid for by donations from Spartanburg citizens and cost about $55,000.

The following story from The Journal tells of the opening of the residence hall:

Every student in College is pleased with the new dormitory.  Only Freshmen and Sophomores are accommodated, but the boys from the two upper classes were anxious to get rooms in it.  Every convenience is furnished – electric lights, steam heat, bath rooms – everything is handy and comfortable.  One hundred and fifty-five boys room in the building and one hundred and eighty take meals in the dining hall.  There is no faculty restriction whatever over the boys.  Each student is placed on his honor as a man to act as such.  The dormitory students elected a president, Mr. G. H. Hodges, the only HodgesghSenior in the building.  He is assisted by an executive committee and nine monitors.
The duty of each monitor is to report to the president any misconduct that happens on the floor assigned to him.  The matter is then looked into by the president and the executive committee and turned over to the Faculty.  So far this system of student government has been carried out with much better success than the Faculty management could ever attain.  The boys are brought into closer touch with each other.  They know and are known, which is one of the finest things of a dormitory life.

Mr. D. L. Betts, a graduate of 1910 who has been teaching in the Carlisle Fitting School since he finished college, superintends everything in connection with the dormitory.  Mr. Betts is characterized by a business ability that will mean success in the affairs of the Carlisle Hall.

Carlisle Hall remained in use as a residence until the late 1960s.  After the last students moved out, it served as a home for various campus offices.  In its early years, the Wofford Theatre Workshop was housed there.

The college demolished Carlisle Hall in May 1981.  A newspaper account of the building’s demolition included reminiscences from several alumni, including ninety-two year old George H. Hodges ‘13, a retired Methodist minister living in Spartanburg, the senior in 1912 who had been the first president of the dormitory.Cornerstone

Photos (click on each for a larger image in a pop-up window) George H. Hodges ’13 as a senior; Carlisle Hall in the early 1950s; students with a banner on the roof of the residence hall’s portico, the cornerstone being removed in 1981.

Brushes with History Photographs

Gerald Ford visits Wofford

Every four years, South Carolina’s “first in the South” presidential primaries draw national attention to the Palmetto State.  Since 1988, the state has been particularly popular with Republican candidates, though the Democrats have competed in some years as well.  Many candidates have stopped in Spartanburg over the years, with almost obligatory stops at the Beacon.  Some have come to the Wofford campus and others have spoken nearby, and students have had the opportunity to see many of them up close.

College records indicate that three future or former presidents have spoken from the platform in Leonard Auditorium.  Woodrow Wilson came before he was president, George H. W. Bush came while he was running for vice president in 1980, and former president Gerald Ford spoke at Wofford in 1980 as well.

President Ford came to Wofford on April 14 and 15, 1980 as part of the college’s Mayfair Lecture series, a program established by Mayfair Mills President and US Secretary of Commerce Fred Dent.  Ford’s trip to Wofford was arranged through the American Enterprise Institute.  On Monday night, he addressed a private dinner in the Burwell Building, where he argued that President Jimmy Carter’s “catastrophic economic problems have caused the American people to lose confidence in him.”  Ford predicted that Republican candidate Ronald Reagan, or any Republican, “would have a good chance against Carter.”

On Tuesday, he spoke to two classes in Shipp Hall Lounge and addressed the student body at a campus convocation.  He also held a press conference in Leonard Auditorium.  At the campus convocation, Ford was greeted by a standing ovation.  In his address, he called for improvements in the economy, increasing the size of the military, and called for implementing an effective energy policy.  With the country experiencing economic
hard times, and with the Cold War still very much a part of American life, Ford called for increases to the M-1 missile program and the Trident nuclear submarine fleet.  His energy independence proposals called for increased oil drilling and coal mining, expanding conservation measures, greater use of nuclear energy and exploring alternative sources of energy.

The audience applauded Ford’s defense of his decision to pardon Richard Nixon, and when a student asked his views on legalizing marijuana, they applauded his opposition.

Ford’s visit resulted in five articles in the next Old Gold and Black, including one about the Secret Service presence on campus and another about the college’s efforts to make the campus attractive before Ford’s visit.

Photos – President Gerald Ford is escorted by Wofford President Joe Lesesne; Ford addressing the campus in Leonard Auditorium.  Documents include the two-day detailed schedule prepared for President Ford.