James H. Hope
South Carolina

James Haskell Hope was born September 22, 1874 in Hope Station (called Hope Station because of the local train station), Pomaria, South Carolina on a tract of land that his German ancestor had built and maintained.  He was the son of James C. and Martha Frederica (Miller) Hope, (who was the son of John Christian and Louisa Caroline Eichelberger Hope).  He died January 18, 1952 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Mr. Hope has been married twice. His first marriage occurred at Peak, on April 28, 1901, and  his second marriage at Savannah, Georgia, March 5, 1921 to Wilhelmina Grimsley, daughter of John R. and Lou Hulda Grimsley.

Hope was elected to be the South Carolina Superintendent of Education in 1922 and was the longest serving Superintendent of Education in the state of South Carolina till year 1945 - 10th South Carolina Superintendent of Education.  Hope was preceded by John E. Swearwingen and succeeded by Jesse T Anderson.

Friends called him "Bud". In 1925, Mr. Bud Hope paid for and donated two acres of land to the Rosenwald Fund (The Rosenwald Fund (also known as the Rosenwald Foundation, the Julius Rosenwald Fund, and the Julius Rosenwald Foundation) was established in 1917 by Julius Rosenwald and his family for "the well-being of mankind."). This became the Hope School (The Hope Rosenwald School is a former school at 1971 Hope Station Road near Pomaria, South Carolina. As a Rosenwald School, it served rural African-American children in the early 20th century). James Hope is known for his defending of the rights of African Americans before and during his term in office.

On April 20, 2005, the Hope school was registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State as a non-profit organization as "Hope School Community Center, Inc." The organization's mission is to supply the needs of the community by administering programs that will have a positive impact on the quality of life for community residents. (Wikipedia)

During his reign, African-Americans were awarded high school diplomas for the very first time. Also, a teacher retirement plan was created, an attendance law passed, and the 12th grade introduced in South Carolina. James Haskell Hope was a member of the Democratic Party.

Hope was enrolled in a two-year program at Clemson Agricultural College, graduating from Newberry College where he received his M.A. degree. He was a schoolteacher in rural South Carolina for six years, city superintendent for thirteen years, and county superintendent for five years.

Hope served as captain in the National Guard and held senior roles in a multitude of organizations and clubs such as South Carolina Lodges, Ancient Free Masons, Wardlaw Club, Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine, the Lions Club, and the Democratic Club of South Carolina.


Biography of Dr. James Haskell Hope
South Carolina Superintendent of Education, 1922-1946
Originally Published in the 1930s
contributed by Jay Hope

A native and lifelong resident of South Carolina, Mr. Hope is a member of a prominent family settled in the State since prior to the Revolutionary War. His entire career has been devoted to furthering the cause of education in his native State. He has bee n eminently successful in this work and since 1923 has filled with outstanding ability and much success the important and responsible position of State Superintendent of Education. Mr. Hope is widely known in educational circles not only in his own State, but throughout the South.

James Haskell Hope was born a Hope Station, September 22, 1874, a son of James C. and Martha Frederica (Miller) Hope. His father was a planter and a veteran of the War Between the States during which he served four years in the Confederate Army. Mr. Hope was reared on the parental farm in Newberry County, a farm which he still owns and which has been in the possession of his immediate family since before the Revolutionary period. Having received his early education in the common schools of South Carolina, Mr. Hope then attended Clemson Agricultural College for two years and after that Newberry College, from which later he graduated. Later, at various times, he spent four summer sessions taking normal courses. After having completed his own education, Mr. Hope taught rural school for six years and next served as city school superintendent for thirteen years. After that, he held the position of county superintendent of education for five years. In 1923 he became State Superintendent of Education. How effectively he has filled this position since then was indicated when on January 20, 1931, he was reelected for another four year term.

For a number of years, Mr. Hope has been active in the National Guard of South Carolina and he now holds the rank of captain. He is a member of the Junior Order, United American Mechanics; the Knights of Pythias, of which he is Past Chancellor Commander; one of the South Carolina Lodges, Ancient Free Masons, of which he is a Past Master; one of the South Carolina Temples, Ancient Arabic order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; the Blue Key National Honorary Fraternity; the Lions Club; and the Wardlaw Club, the last named an education organization. His religious affiliations like those of his family are with the Baptist Church.

Mr. Hope has been married twice, his first marriage having occurred at Peak, on April 28, 1901. He married (second), at Savannah, Georgia, March 5, 1921, Wilhelmina Grimsley, a daughter of John R. and Lou Hulda Grimsley. By his first marriage he has one son and by his second marriage one daughter and three sons: 1. James Donald born April 23, 1907. 2. Martha Louise, born January 24, 1922. 3. James Haskell, Jr., born December 1, 1923. 4. John Christian, born September 28, 1926. 5. Stuart Cromer, born May 14, 1930. The family residence is located at No. 129 Walker Street, Columbia, while Mr. Hope’s offices are in the State Office Building at Columbia.

James Haskell Hope would serve as the State Superintendent of Schools for South Carolina from 1922 to 1946.  A small two-room school bears his name (Hope School) on Hope Station Road.  This school was provided for black children on land donated by James Haskell Hope. He married twice.  First was to Violet Swygert and second to Wilhelmina Grimsley.

Information from a granddaughter of James Hope-first wife was an alcoholic-marriage ended in divorce. He had to go out of state for the second marriage as South Carolina law did not allow divorce.

From The State Newspaper, December 2, 1948
Woodwork Hobbyists Produce Fine Articles For Love of It; Are Neighborhood Handymen

Dr. Hope’s Workshop

Dr. Hope has one of the most modern workshops in the city. From the two building behind his home on 119 South Walker street, he turns out numerous objects to give his friends. Even a visiting reporter came away with several useful objects for the home made of fine wood from various parts of the world.

“It is a real joy for me to be able to spend my time in a workshop and turn out useful things which I can give my friends” said Dr. Hope.

Dr. Hope started early in life to take up this hobby. Born on a farm near Pomaria, he was the maintenance man for the farm and all the outbuildings. He began by teaching manual training at Union high school many years ago. Since that time he taught woodworking in other places until he became connected with administrative end of the schools. At that time he made himself a workshop where he has spent an average of about two hours each day.

Dr. Hope’s products, especially gavels, have reached many prominent places in the state. The chairman of the ways and means committee, Senate finance committee, and the speaker of the House all use gavels made in the workshop of Dr. Hope in his spare time. He said that his gavels have been given to 40 or 50 different organizations in the past several years.

Some of the items made by Dr. Hope are chairs, tables, lamps, plate racks, cup and saucer racks, small wagons for children, letter boxes, reading stands, jewel boxes, settees, tabourets and others.

“There is no finer training for any boy to learn than this trade. There is always something to be done around the house. It not only occupies your time, but it can save you a lot of money at times”, Dr. Hope said.

For the past several many years, Dr. Hope said he has given away each Christmas some 40 or 50 presents made in his shop.

Besides woodworking, Dr. Hope has other hobbies. They include reading, chickens and a garden in the spring.

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The above information has been complied from several resources, much of which was contributed (either directly or indirectly) by Jay Hope, grandson of James Haskell Hope. You can visit his site here.