When Furman’s new president, Edwin Poteat, arrived in Greenville from Philadelphia in the fall of 1903, the university was on an upswing.
It was enrolling practically 200 college students, the most because the 1850s. John D. Rockefeller had just donated $100,000 to its endowment.
But the college needed a library. Just weeks just after he arrived, Poteat wrote to Pennsylvania philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The immensely wealthy Scots metal tycoon had started supporting city libraries in Scotland and the United States in 1898. By the convert of the century, dozens — hundreds — of towns and cities have been inquiring for his help.
Although the group experienced to supply a internet site and guarantee future guidance, Carnegie’s foundation supplied constructing funds. And Furman’s need was wonderful.
The college’s selection of 1,465 textbooks (400 others were labeled as “rubbish”) were being housed in a single large area in Richard Furman Hall, the principal setting up. The home was also used as a chapel. The library’s yearly funds was $50 for journals and $100 for a portion-time librarian.
Even though Carnegie was not then funding university libraries, Poteat was despatched the corporation’s regular civic questionnaire. In February 1904 he returned it, noting that Greenvillians could use Furman’s library and giving Greenville’s inhabitants as 11,860.
The pursuing thirty day period, Carnegie’s secretary responded. “Mr. Carnegie are not able to crack his rule that the library developing and website should be owned by the town.”
But “break his rule” he did. A 12 months later on, in March 1905, Poteat announced with great enjoyment that the Carnegie Basis would fund a Furman library with a reward of $15,000.
The foundation’s reversal came about, evidently, because Carnegie came to comprehend that colleges experienced to have libraries and that campus areas were being as secure as civic kinds.
He announced publicly in April 1905 that “he taken up tiny schools.” His initial donation for a school library was to Penn Condition in 1903, but the next yr 4 lesser college or university libraries were being introduced. (In South Carolina, Benedict, Converse and Winthrop also obtained items.)
The reward to Furman — $15,000, later elevated to $19,000 — arrived about simply because Charles Judson, the longest serving professor (he was 84 in 1904), and dean, experienced fully commited $15,000 of his very own funds for a library endowment. The College broke ground for its Carnegie Library in 1906.
Greenville also needed support. In January 1904, library trustee L.O. Patterson pleaded for money. The metropolis library, he wrote Carnegie, commenced in 1893 with “a shelf of books in a lady’s parlor,” and grew to many hundred volumes. In 1897, Violet Neblett turned fascinated in it, and deeded her dwelling and $25,000 to library trustees.
Nevertheless, her aunt, Susan Turnipseed, sued, stating that she and Neblett experienced agreed to make wills in favor of every single other, which she had done, and she was for that reason entitled to Neblett’s estate. The SC Supreme Courtroom located for Turnipseed, and the library was still left with the house and the publications, but no funds.
In lieu of income, a librarian lived in the home and applied a single room and two halls to retailer textbooks. Many thanks to donations, the Neblett owned about 2,600 publications, including hundreds forged off from the Pratt Library in Baltimore. Fines from overdue guides were being its only resource of profits. The library was open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.
James Bartram, Carnegie’s secretary, was not encouraging. “Mr. Carnegie has no fascination in a library application from a town except if the town is ready to assurance a certain revenue for its maintenance.” Then he went on to recommend that that they have the librarian reside elsewhere and use the total household as a library.
In February 1906, Patterson wrote again, saying that Greenville City Council experienced voted an annual appropriation of $1,500 for library maintenance, and he requested for $15,000 for a new library.
Bartram mentioned no once again. Use the building you have now, he claimed, just before developing a new a single. And “send me a image of the house and all the inside lodging.”
It took six months — until November — to get the Neblett’s image to Bartram. But it was convincing.
In January 1907, the Foundation authorised $15,000 for a Greenville library if the city provided the web page and formally agreed to the $1,500 yearly appropriation. Patterson sent the file of the council’s action.
And then, with the cash promised, Greenville’s Carnegie library died.
In the 184 internet pages of correspondence among Greenville and the Basis, there is absolutely nothing involving February 1907 and February 1913. Then mill owner John Geer wrote Bartram. He spelled out that in March 1907 Town Council customers discovered that they could not legally commit to 50 years at $1,500 a year, nor could they levy a tax for library functions.
And then, immediately after noting that inhabitants had swelled and a library was essential for civic delight, he questioned if Greenville could the moment much more “present their demands.” Two days afterwards he acquired the Carnegie questionnaire, this time asking for 1910 census facts, like quantities of whites and Blacks.
(These have been Jim Crow yrs Bartram required to know figures of users, and Black citizens, barred from library use, would not rely. Patterson confident him that the “colored population” was “only about 15 or 20 %.”
In the adhering to 3 many years, Bartram been given letters from younger attorney Rion McKissick, YMCA director John Holmes, and W.G. Robertson of the Chamber of Commerce, all inquiring how to utilize for Carnegie resources. They evidently did not connect with each and every other or with the Neblett trustees, nor did they know that the foundation demanded that metropolis officers apply for funds or that Carnegie funds had previously been dedicated to Greenville.
But a new county courthouse was becoming erected at Court Square on Key Road, and local leaders desired to substitute or demolish the opposite Document Setting up and erect an equally elaborate construction in its location. It was a subject of civic pleasure.
Then Patterson received included once more. He wrote in April 1916, detailing that the legislature experienced made a board of trustees for the Greenville library, experienced leased the History Creating to the city for 50 years, and that voters experienced authorized a referendum furnishing $4,000 a 12 months for the library. Offered the total committed in the referendum, he questioned for $40,000 for a Greenville library.
These had been the twilight years of Carnegie’s library items, but in April 1917, the foundation agreed to give $25,000 to Greenville.
Then Mayor Webb resolved that the authorization of home owners on Court docket Road was essential for creating there. A number of have been opposed. And the library committee decided that $25,000 was far too minor to build the type of library they wanted. They questioned for $40,000. Bartram said no.
When the Excellent War intervened, creating was unattainable. It was not until January 1919 that the committee commissioned architectural plans for the Document Building web-site. Then they quickly realized that the county, not the town, owned the site.
So they regarded other sites: the website of the Neblett Library, which had been donated to the city, or Most important Street, throughout from Springwood Cemetery. In July 1919, the committee reluctantly made the decision on the Neblett web site, which was totally free.
But there were being murmurings of discontent. Greenville wanted a $100,000 library, not a $25,000 one particular, declared a freshly formed Chamber Committee area legal professionals agreed. And the library should really be a memorial to those who died in the war.
(By this time Bartram, the Foundation secretary, was finding impatient. He wanted to know when Greenville would begin creating and if it still preferred Carnegie cash.)
By March 1920, the library committee declared that building would start off “soon.” But when they sent their options for Foundation acceptance, Bartram wrote back saying that the constructing looked like “a bowling alley” and the plans have been “extraordinary and unsatisfactory.”
Marshall Prevost, now the library committee chair, asked for a lot more directions. (They experienced misplaced the types despatched in 1917.) In June he wrote, apologizing for the city’s “dilatoriness,” and indicating that Greenvillians could raise $100,000 to increase to Foundation cash.
“Since you can raise $100,000, “Bartram replied, you really don’t want “outside support.”
In November he wrote all over again, inquiring what — if anything—Greenville was undertaking. Prevost responded that nothing experienced been done. On March 23, he requested all over again. If not, he extra, think about the offer lapsed.
On March 30, 1921, Mayor Harveley wrote the Basis, declaring that at “a conference several months ago” Council voted against accepting the funds and regarded as the make any difference closed.
On May well 2, Thomas Parker organized the Greenville Community Library Affiliation, elevated $5,000 from board users who integrated J. W. Norwood and F.W. Symmes, and rented two rooms in the basement of the Cauble Constructing on Coffee Street.
On May 21, 1921, Greenville’s (non-Carnegie) library officially opened.