South Carolina Education - Clarendon County

Year County Established

County Webpage Herein

County Seat Webpage Herein

1785-1800 (Abolished);
1855 (Re-established)

Clarendon County

On December 21, 1798, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incoporate the Clarendon Orphan Society. This organization was authorized to build and manage a public school in Clarendon County.
On December 23, 1864, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorportion of Manning Academy in the Clarendon District, named five (5) associates, and chartered the academy for fourteen (14) years (Section II).
On December 24, 1887, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to authorize the Town Council of Foreston, in Clarendon County, to borrow up to $5,000 for the purpose exclusively of purchasing a site and building an academy and necessary buildings in said town.
On December 23, 1889, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incorporate the Manning Collegiate Institute in the town of Manning, in Clarendon County, named seven (7) trustees, and authorized assets up to $50,000.


The Manning Collegiate Institute, the town’s first public school opened here in early 1890. The two-story frame school with a bell tower, built in 1889-1890, was called “one of the most handsome and imposing” buildings in Manning. By 1899, however, the school was in debt and the building and property were endangered. The family of Moses Levi (1826-1899), farmer, merchant, and civic leader, bought it, cleared the debt, and donated it to the town.

The school, renamed the Moses Levi Memorial Institute, operated here 1899-1910. In 1910 a new two-story brick school was built here as Manning Graded School and the old school was moved to West Boyce St. to house the Manning Training School. The new school, designed by Edwards, Walter, & Parnham of Atlanta, was later Manning High School for many years. Manning High moved to a new building in 1982. The old school here burned in 1983.

On December 24, 1891, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in Clarendon County, to be known as the Salem School District, and authorized voters to decided upon an additional special school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property. The Act also authorized the school district to issue bonds up to $5,000 for the purpose of erecting and furnishing suitable school buildings in said School District. On December 20, 1892, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to repeal the Act of 12/24/1891. On December 22, 1892 (two days later) the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to repeal (again) the Act of 12/24/1891 and provides instructions on how to re-apportion school funds.

The Hannah Levi Memorial Library, built in 1909-1910, grew out of a library fund begun in 1905 by the children of Moses and Hannah Levi, along with proceeds from the sale of Moses Levi Memorial Institute. A matching grant from the city of Manning and a public fund raising effort helped complete this Classical revival building. It was possibly designed by Shand & Lafaye, architects for the county courthouse.

Managed by the Manning Civic League, this building served as the Manning Library and as a social hall 1910-1976. deeded to the county in 1976, it was the Clarendon County Public Library until 1984. The library was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The Clarendon County Archives & History Center, established to collect, preserve, and display documents and artifacts, opened here in 1996.

Black institute built soon after school district purchased the land in 1933. School closed in 1953 with 5 teachers/ 159 students. Now a community center.


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