Faith Clayton Roomat Southern Wesleyan University


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Effective: 03-Mar-2019






Faith Clayton was born in Central, South Carolina, the daughter of Dr. Lawrence Garvin and Martha Irene Adelaide “Addie” Smith Clayton on 6 Jan 1898.


She attended the public school of Central for the first and second grades. She then enrolled as a third grader and continued through high school in the college preparatory department of Southern Wesleyan University. From 1914-1918 she attended and was graduated at Southern Wesleyan University. She taught social sciences in the public schools of North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi from 1918 to 1930.


She returned to her father’s home in 1930 to help care for him during his declining years. After his death in 1935 she moved to Columbia, studied business, worked with the Richland County, South Carolina Social Service Board, and attended the graduate school of the University of South Carolina. She accepted a job as Employment Interviewer in the State Employment Office in Liberty, S.C. and became manager in 1941, serving until 1950 when she was appointed by Governor Strom Thurmond to the State Industrial Commission. Only three women in the United States had ever served in a similar office. The other two were in New York and Massachusetts. This job requiring approving or rejecting common law releases or agreements on settlement of awards concerning industrial accidents. From 1956-1965 she served as Senior Adjudicator of Claims, or Claims Examiner, for South Carolina Unemployment Commission, Columbia, SC.


In 1965 she retired and moved back to Central. She has maintained a close connection with the college, wrote a History of Grimes Hall, served a successful term as Alumni Treasurer and furnished abundant information to this writer on the history of the college. She was awarded the Honoring Doctorate of Laws from her Alma Mater on May 9, 1982. Senator Strom Thurmond, in a telegram stated: “The Clayton Family has played an important role in the history of Central Wesleyan College [Southern Wesleyan], with her father as one of its founders, and Miss Faith as one of its most dedicated supporters.”


In 1984, through the efforts of Anne Sheriff and Julia Woodson, Miss Faith Clayton donated her papers to the library at Southern Wesleyan University. It collection included abstracts of court records, wills, deeds, Bible records, family history and original documents on many of the Upstate families.


Faith Clayton died 17 Dec 1993 and is buried at Sharon Methodist Church in Anderson County, SC.



Southern Wesleyan University

Faith Clayton Family Research Center

 907 Wesleyan Drive
Central, SC 29630-1020

S.W.U. Library Hours:  Visit


Ann Sheriff at is normally available on Wednesday mornings.


Appointment Setup:  Call 864-644-5088 and leave a message.