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Inscription: "Shortly after the Civil War, Mather School was founded here by Rachel Crane Mather of Boston. In 1882, the Women's American Baptist Home Mission Society assumed support of the venture, operating it as a normal school for black girls. With some changes, the school continued until 1968, when it was closed and sold to the state for the educational benefit of all races."

Erected 1982 by Mather School Alumnae Association. (Marker Number 7-16.)

Location: Marker is in Beaufort, South Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker is on Ribaut Road (South Carolina Route 281) 0.05 miles south of Reynolds Street, on the right when traveling south. Marker is in this post office area: Beaufort SC 29902.

Other nearby markers: At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, as the crow flies. Thomas Heyward, Jr. (approx. 1.1 miles away); Beaufort County, South Carolina (approx. 1.1 miles away); a different marker also named Beaufort County, South Carolina (approx. 1.1 miles away); Beaufort County South Carolina (approx. 1.2 miles away); Maxcy - Rhett House / "Secession House" (approx. 1.2 miles away); St. Helena's Church (approx. 1.2 miles away); Verdier House (approx. 1.3 miles away); and First Fort (approx. 1.3 miles away).

By Mike Stroud, 2008

Mather School Newsletters

A Brief History of Mather School


Mrs. Rachel Crane Mather

The Mather School, named for its founder, Mrs. Rachel Crane Mather, was started in the year 1867. From Mrs. Mather's faith that God would provide for all His children, has grown an accredited high school and junior college. Through the years, faith has been justified many times and today we rejoice in the further expansion and beautification of the campus by the Dedication of three new buildings.

On August 23, 1959, a letter was received by the school from Carl K. Goodson, attorney-at-law, Washington, D. C. He wrote: "Certain charitably-minded clients, who wish to remain anonymous, have heard of the need of Mather for a Woman's Dormitory, and have authorized me to inquire, if a dormitory could be built for $200,000.00, would your organization match such a gift by furnishing the building and putting the necessary heating plant in it-the $200,000.00 to be used for construction only."

The letter was answered with high hopes and then forwarded to the American Baptist Home Mission Societies who sponsor the school. After much prayer, correspondence and consultation, it was agreed that a smaller dormitory could, be built and other much needed buildings added to the campus. A campaign was begun to raise the required furnishing fund and this year of our Lord, 1961, we see the completion of three new buildings and the renewal of a fourth.

The Residence Hall for college girls faces beautiful Beaufort Bay. It houses 20 students and 2 staff members. An attractive lounge, built-in kitchenette, tiled bathrooms and all modern conveniences make it a most desirable home. Several rooms have been furnished in memory of friends of Mather and plaques on the doors indicate these. It has been named to honor Eleanor Ida Anderson, the tenth administrator of The Mather School.

Old Owen Hall, named in honor of Mather's second principal, was removed to make room in the center of the campus for a modern Library, audio-visual room and Refreshment Center. The memorial plaque in the Library honors many in whose names gifts for the building were given. Miss Sarah Owen's name is included in this list. Study in the beautiful air-conditioned Library is a Pleasure and fun in the recreation room, is a MUST for the youth of today. Ample storage space is provided in the building. The Refreshment Center has a plaque honoring Miss Aleese Williams who has been an inspiration to Mather students for forty years. She has guided the activities of this student-center since its inception.

The Wildy Memorial Gymtorium is a building of exceptional beauty and usefulness. It is named in honor of Melvin T. Wildy, a highly respected citizen of Beaufort County, a member of Brick Baptist Church, and the Beaufort County School Board. He was chairman of The Mather School Board of Trustees from 1956 to 1960. He was killed as a result of hurricane "Gracie" in 1960.

Mr. Wildy was an athlete in his youth and possessed a voice of unusual depth and beauty. It is fitting that Dedication Week began with the Dungill Concert in this auditorium and that its large stage, regulation basketball court, shuffle board and volley ball courts, modern ceramic-tiled showers and locker rooms, bleachers and folding chairs make it an activity center. The building was first used for Commencement Exercises, May 28, 1961.

Alice B. Coleman Hall was built in 1928 and was named for Mrs. Coleman who was then President of the Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society, the sponsoring group. It was destroyed by fire in 1950 and rebuilt using the old walls, in 1952. In 1961, it was resurfaced. Coleman Hall has rooms for 51 girls and 9 staff members, a large modern kitchen, attractive dining room, two living rooms and other accommodations.

The total cost of all these improvements will be in the neighborhood of $275,000. Many gifts large and small and God's blessing upon us has made this possible.

Augustus Constantine of Charleston, South Carolina, the architect, designed the buildings for utility and beauty and has personally supervised the construction. The Kinghorn Building Supply Company of Beaufort, the contractors gave personal attention and extra service as did all the subcontractors. The Mather School wishes to publicly thank everyone who donated in any way to these additions.

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