Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Kilgo-Clinkscales house (also called The Dean's Home)

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Institution Name: Wofford College
Original/Historic Place Name: Faculty Home
Location on Campus: College Dr. (429 N. Church St. Spartanburg, SC 29303-3663)
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1892original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: brick painted white
Roof: none specified
1892-present (2007)private residence (faculty or administrator house)

Significance: education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterWofford College Historic District (1974)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

This house matches in size and in architectural style the four original faculty homes located to its east on the campus drive. The house was built as a residence for faculty and administrators. It continues to serve this function and has been a very comfortable and attractive home for a series of deans of the college and deans of students. Although the original cost was only $3000, it was well built with good materials, and it remains in excellent condition. Several of the windows have their original glass.

The late John C. Kilgo and John G. Clinkscales are former residents of this home who played important roles in Southern higher education and politics around 1900. Kilgo, a Wofford alumnus, was hired by trustees as a "financial agent," or fund-raiser, when they became dissatisfied with this aspect of President James H. Carlisle's performance. As part of his compensation package, they agreed to provide a new campus home for him at a cost of $3,000. It was an unhappy arrangement that ended in 1894 as Kilgo moved on to become president of Trinity College in Durham, NC. There he was able to interest the Duke family in building a great university incorporating this small Methodist college. He is also known as a vigorous opponent of state-supported higher education in North Carolina. He later became a Methodist bishop.

Clinkscales was a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Wofford, but he was much better known for his speeches in countless South Carolina Methodist churches as he traveled about recruiting students. He also ran for governor of South Carolina in 1912, advocating such progressive causes as compulsory education. He lived in the house from 1899 until his retirement in 1940.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Brabham, William H. Wofford College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1974.

Durden, Robert Franklin. The Launching of Duke University, 1924-1949. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993.

Wallace, David Duncan. The History of Wofford College, 1854-1949. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 1951.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices

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