"M' is for Mill Schools

Apr 3, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

“M” is for Mill Schools. Textile mill executives surrounded their mills with villages and most provided schools to educate the children of mill workers. The mill school was a reflection of the individual community and run with little interference or oversight by the state. Prior to South Carolina’s compulsory attendance law, children as young as nine went top work in the mills, depending on the family’s preference or financial circumstances. One of the most audacious examples of South Carolina’s Progressive movement was the creation of a high school in Greenville. In 1923 the legislature created the Parker School District—that included Parker High School-- in an industrial district outside the city. The 1950s saw the mill village passing from existence--and South Carolina’s mill schools by then absorbed into public school districts—also faded from the scene.