Historical marker installed at childhood home of former Furman president

By Vince Moore, Contributor:

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — The Travelers Rest birthplace and boyhood home of former Furman president Dr. John L. Plyler has been recognized with a South Carolina Historical Marker.

The house, currently occupied by Kramers Korner Shops, is located at 302 N. Main Street in Travelers Rest, and the marker is located across the street on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The ceremony for the historical marker took place July 18 in a ceremony at the Travelers Rest Sargent Branch Library.

Plyler, who served as Furman’s president from 1939 to 1964, was born in Travelers Rest on Jan. 12, 1894.  His family moved to Greenville in 1898.

Plyler graduated from Furman in 1913 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  He received a LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1921 and a LL.D. from Erskine College in 1939.  Before going to law school, he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I.  He was also awarded honorary Doctorate of Letters degrees from Wofford College and Furman.

Plyler taught in Furman’s new Law School beginning in 1922, eventually becoming Dean of the Law School until it closed in 1932.  He was also an instructor in economics at Furman, and served on the board of trustees.  He became Furman’s president in 1939 and oversaw the university’s move to its current campus.  He died in April of 1966 at the age of 72.

In 2014, Plyler was recognized with an interchange being named in his honor.

(Marker photo courtesy of Furman University.)