Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Vardry McBee

Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of South Main St and East Court St, Greenville, SC
County: Greenville
Coordinates: N 34° 50.923    W 082° 23.982
  34.84871666    -82.3997


Vardry McBee
Erected 1957


—“Father of Greenville” —

“A man should be prudent and careful, without seeming to be so, in character, information, propriety, friends, and money, and in everything, never neglecting his friends.” Vardry McBee, 1852.

Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Industrialist.

In 1815, Vardry McBee purchased extensive properties in Greenville from Lemuel Alston. McBee accelerated industrial growth by establishing an iron works, a saddlery, tan yard, brick yard and a stone quarry, in addition to building two grist mills and a sawmill on the Reedy River. McBee’s gifts to Greenville included lands for its first churches and the establishment of Male and Female Academies. He was instrumental in moving Furman University of Greenville and in securing the area’s first railroad.

McBee’s Tithe.

McBee’s philanthropy included land grants to help propagate the town’s earliest religious roots. It was on McBee property that Greenville’s first churches were constructed. In addition to the gift of land for the churches, McBee delivered $500 worth of lumber to each site from his saw mill on the Reedy River. This contribution became known as “McBee’s Title.”

Greenville County Historical Society, 2002