South Carolina Education - Horry County

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Horry County

On December 21, 1857, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the incorporation of the Conwayboro Academy in the Horry District, and authorized assets up to $50,000 (Sections I & II).
On December 21, 1858, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act, which included the authorization of three (3) additional Commissioners of Free Schools for Kingston Parish in the Horry District, increasing the number from three (3) to six (6) commissioners. These six (6) commissioners were to be appointed within the limits of each of the six existing Beat Companie (Section II).

Whittemore School, one of the first African-American schools in Horry County, educated elementary and high school students on this site from 1936 to 1970. Founded in 1870, it was named for Benjamin F. Whittemore (1824-1894), former Union Army chaplain, Freedmen’s Bureau educator 1865-67, and later a state senator and U.S. Congressman. The first school was just E on Race Path Ave. After it burned, classes moved to the Conwayborough Academy on 5th Ave.

A new Whittemore Training School was built at Race Path Ave. and Thompson St. in 1911, with students in grades 1-9 until 1929, 1-10 until 1933, and 1-11 afterwards. A new school built here in 1936 burned in 1944 and occupied temporary buildings until separate new elementary and high schools were completed in 1954. Grade 12 was added in 1949. The schools closed when Horry County schools desegregated in 1970.

On December 19, 1887, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a special school district in Horry County, to be known as the Socastee School District, with Socastee Academy at its center, and authorized voters to decide upon an additional special school tax not to exceed five (5) mills on real and personal property. The Act also required four existing public schools to merge with Socastee Academy. On December 24, 1889, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to repeal the Act of 12/19/1887 - reason not provided.
On December 23, 1889, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to incoporate the Burroughs School, a seminary of learning, situated in Conway, Horry County, named five (5) trustees, and prohibited the sale of spirituous liquors within one mile of said school.

Loris Training School, which stood here from 1928 to 1955, was the first school for black students in Loris and other nearby communities. Built at a cost of $4,700, it was one of more than 5000 schools in the South funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation between 1917 and 1932. William P. Johnson, Sr. (1910-2007), the first principal once it became a public school, led Loris Training School 1931-1941.

The Loris Training School opened in 1928 with grades 1-7 and a six-month term, but William P. Johnson eventually won approval for a nine-month term and for adding grades 8-11. George C. Cooper (1915-1991) was principal here from 1941 until the school closed in 1955. Its students were transferred to the Finklea Consolidated High School, with Cooper as principal there until it closed with desegregation in 1970.

St. James Rosenwald School, which stood here from the late 1920s until the early 1970s, was one of several African-American schools in Horry County funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation. Rev. Smart Small, Sr. (1891-1961), assisted by Eugene Beaty (1889-1958), Dave Carr (1886-1992), Henry Small (1897-1999), and Richard Small, Sr. (1893-1950) led fundraising efforts.

The school, built in 1928 or 1929, was a five-room frame schoolhouse typical of the larger rural schools built by the Rosenwald Foundation between 1917 and 1932. It educated about 150 students a year in grades 1-10, with five or six teachers. St. James Rosenwald School had two principals: Eula G. Owens (d. 1971), succeeded by her husband, Boyd Williams Owens (d. 1981). It closed in 1970 after desegregation.

Conway High School was located here from 1929 to 1979. A two-story brick Classical Revival building, its cornerstone was laid in 1928 and the building was completed in 1929. Classes began that fall. Coastal Carolina Junior College (now Coastal Carolina University), founded in 1954, held evening classes in Conway High School from 1954 to 1963. The Conway High Class of 1979 was the last to graduate from the 1929 building, which was demolished in 1988.

Myrtle Beach Colored School stood here from the early 1930s to 2001. The first public school for African-American students in Myrtle Beach, it was a six-room frame building similar to the schools funded in part by the Julius Rosenwald Foundation 1917-1932. The school opened as early as 1932, with three teachers and 113 students in grades 1-7 for a four-month academic year from October to February.

During the 1930s and 1940s the school's academic year expanded to eight months, with as many as six teachers and 186 students in grades 1-7 before World War II. It added grades 8-12 after 1945 and reached a peak of eight teachers and 241 students in its last year. The school, replaced by Carver Training School in 1953, was torn down in 2001 but was reconstructed nearby at Dunbar St. and Mr. Joe White Ave. in 2006.

This school, built in 1953, was one of the many African-American schools built by the equalization program of Gov. James F. Byrnes, intended to preserve school segregation by building new schools for black children. Students in grades 1-7, who had previously attended the Allen, Cool Springs, Pleasant Hill, and Union Chapel schools, began the 1953-54 school year here. The last graduating class was the Class of 1969.

This school became the Aynor Elementary School Annex in 1974; it closed in 1997. It was named for Nellie Burke Levister (1884–1968), the first Jeanes teacher in Horry County, who held that post from 1922 until 1958. The Jeanes Fund, established in 1908, was also called the Negro Rural School Fund. Its supervising teachers were consultants for the rural teachers and schools in their counties.

Chestnut Consolidated Schools, which was located here 1954-1970, was built under the equalization program of Gov. James F. Byrnes, intended to preserve segregation by building new schools for blacks. Named to honor Horry County educator J.T. Chestnut (1885-1967), it educated African-American students in grades 1-12.

This school, consolidating schools in several northeastern Horry County communities, was a one-story brick building with two wings. After county schools desegregated in 1970, it became North Myrtle Beach High School and later North Myrtle Beach Middle School. The 1954 building was demolished in 1995.

Coastal Carolina University was founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College, holding evening classes in Conway High School 1954-1963. Its first enrollment numbered 53 students. Originally sponsored by the College of Charleston 1954-1958, the junior college became a branch of the University of S.C. in 1960.

Coastal Carolina Junior College moved here in 1963 on the completion of its first building, later named for Edward M. Singleton, chancellor 1963-1983. As Coastal Carolina College, it began offering four-year degrees in 1974. In 1993 Coastal Carolina University became an independent state university.


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