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  Sumter High School, Early Years (Class of 1891)

Dave Pettigrew, SHS class of 1971, has developed an outstanding website in which yearbooks are being scanned onto his free website ( on a yearbook image) with many class photos, lists of graduates, and an outstanding graphics and text page of the school's history (HERE).

My college, The Citadel, does not yet have online yearbooks. However, they do have a page with on-line catalogues scanned. A least the 1908 catalogue, Section III, lists Citadel graduates by class & home town from 1846-1908 from this page, HERE [school was closed 1865-1885 & no graduates until 1886].

Other Sumter city schools:

  • St. Joseph's Academy on East Liberty Street was an esteemed school for girls that offered a challenging set of courses. It was founded during the War Between the States by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy when they took refuge in Sumter from the federal bombardment of Charleston. In 1862-63 they erected a two-story building on East Liberty Street, and later they added wings and another story. An article published in The Sumter Daily Item in 1923 noted that, "St. Joseph's Academy filled a big place in the needs of the young women of South Carolina. From all over South Carolina and from other Southern states, hundreds of young women came and were educated and trained at St. Joseph's. Catholics, Protestants and Jews recognized the value of this institution and sent girls to the Sisters of Mercy to be educated and trained for their life's work." Finally closed in June of 1929.
  • A. J. Moses School (Sumter's first public school).
  • Sumter Military, Gymnastic, and Classical School opened 1827.
  • Young Ladies Seminary.
  • The Sumterville Female Academy opened in 1832.
  • The Sumterville Academy 1837-39 & closed 1867.

On this page you are now viewing, the memorial #s are memorials on the free Find a Grave (separate but owned by the subscription genealogy website,

I want to directly link to some old, online newspaper sources (Sumter's The Watchman & Southron via Library of Congress' Chronicling America, which detail some history and the senior class graduates.

  • S. C. petition of Legislature, May 1888, HERE.
  • Commisioner J. T. Green's 1890 letter about the schools, HERE.
  • Sumter public school system opens 2 Sept 1889, young John B. Duffie, superintendent.
  • First year (9 months) ends (students: 310 whites & 294 blacks), HERE (Watchman & Southron issue of 4 June 1890, vol. IX #43, page [image] 3, 2nd column from viewer's left near page top).

Links to classes 1889-1912, HERE. W & S of 1910 has 1891-1910 lists HERE and W & S of 1912 lists 1891-1911 HERE.

***(1889-1913, only 10 grades; 1914-1944, only 11 grades)***

***(Student names: before maybe 1915, names by which people were baptized were frequently & without legal process, changed before, say, age 12. Grade school nicknames often changed as the person became older (HERE). In cases of those with 1 or 2 middle names, either or both of those might be deleted as they became older or married. Old printed source material was printed by a more tedious process than today & typos were not uncommon. Females are especially hard to track down from names on graduate lists; so, the birth year range of a graduation group becomes helpful.)***

Sumter HS Class of 1891 (W & S, p. 2, column 2 "The People's College", HERE):
(the name they apparently "went by" in italics)

Boys (3):

  • Hugh Charles Haynsworth, (born 1875), FaG mem. # 127523861, HERE
  • "Harry" Henry Judah Mikell, (born 1873), Fag mem. # 185622067, became a notable Sumterite, HERE and HERE.
  • "Sol J." Solomon Jacob Ryttenberg, (born 1875), FaG mem # 33924490 HERE.

Girls (5):

  • Margaret Brunson, first honor graduate, (born 1875), FaG mem. # 93013072, HERE.
  • "Kate" Katherine Moses, 2nd honor graduate & daughter of Hon. Altamont Moses, (born 1875),
    FaG mem. # 33924458 HERE.
  • "Emmie" Saunders, (born), FaG mem. # (nothing found yet).
  • Eva Pauline Smith, (born 1871), FaG mem. # 54744663.
  • "Mamie" Mary Warren, (born 1870), FaG mem. # 130589162 HERE.

Lincoln HS Class of 1891:
(none yet found)

Boys (?):

Girl (?):

Years 1892-1912, LINKS:



1893 (no graduates, W&S 7 June 1893, p5, col. #3, HERE)






























1920 through at least 1972
(then click on any yearbook image)

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(posted 2 Dec 2017)