W.L. Bryan House (Built 1912-1913)

606 Main Street

Conway, SC 29526

Headquarters of the Horry County Historical Society 

 

The W.L. Bryan House is located on the site of the first Burroughs Graded School, 1879-1903.  It is said that Franklin G. Burroughs bought this particular piece of land as the location for the school because it was located near the Peggy Ludlam Spring which could provide good drinking water for the pupils.  By 1905 the old schoolhouse was outgrown and a new school building was built just down the street at the corner of Main Street and Ninth Avenue.  The old school building was left standing and was rented out as a residence.  It was during this time that the old schoolhouse burned.  After the old school building burned in the spring of 1912, Mr. William Lamar Bryan purchased the property.  He had this house built in the winter of 1912-1913 as a home for his wife, the former Miss Leethard Douglass Lewis of Ridgeway, in Fairfield County, SC.  Early records show the property bordered by Main Street and Seventh Avenue.  This part of Seventh Avenue was previously called the Sawdust Road.  About 1926 the name of this part of Seventh Avenue was changed to Lakeside Drive and eventually changed to Kingston Lake Drive in the 1990s.

 

William Lamar Bryan was born in Horry County, SC on November 20, 1871 and died on October 19, 1927.  His family was from the Little River area of Horry County where his roots ran deep.  Mr. Bryan served for many years as Clerk of Court for Horry County. 

 

Miss Leethard Douglass Lewis came to Conway in 1910 and taught in the Burroughs Graded School.  She was from Ridgeway, in  Fairfield County, SC.  On October 2, 1912 she married W.L. Bryan.  The Bryans had two children, Lamar who became a doctor, married and met an untimely death without issue, and Rebecca who lived in the family home until her death.

 

At the time of W.L. Bryan, Sr.’s death on October 13, 1927, he was Clerk of Court for Horry County and Mrs. Bryan filled out his unexpired term.  She returned to teaching in the Conway City Schools in 1929 and retired in 1954.  She died on December 15, 1956.  Their son, Lamar, Jr., was a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School and had died on December 10, 1941.  He was 27 and was employed by the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  Their daughter Rebecca Randall Bryan was employed by Conway National Bank for 30 years and was a charter member of the Horry County Historical Society.  Upon her death, on September 25, 1999, Rebecca left to the Horry County Historical Society her family home at 606 Main Street.

 

The Bryan House features a large one story wrap around porch and a second story sleeping porch.  The sleeping porch has been enclosed.  In the back yard is a structure that Miss Bryan called the “Tank House”.  It consists of a structure built around an apparently pre-existing water tower.  An old photograph shows a water tank on top of the tower but that tank has been removed.  Everything below the roofline seems to be intact.  There is a well below the structure from which water was pumped up into the tank and then gravity allowed water to flow through pipes into the house.

 

For many years, the Bryan House served as a home for many female schoolteachers who boarded there.

 

Ben Burroughs

October 3, 2003

 


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