Businessman Vardry McBee known as Father of Greenville

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HEIDI HEILBRUNN/Staff

Known as the Father of Greenville, Vardy McBee is credited with constructing more than 100 buildings in Greenville County.


Vardry McBee (1775-1864) was a businessman, philanthropist and industrialist who built a textile mill along the banks of the Reedy River.

Known as the Father of Greenville, McBee is credited with constructing more than 100 buildings in Greenville County.

McBee gave land to five downtown churches.

In April 2002, the Greenville County Historical Society dedicated a statue of McBee.

The life-size bronze is located at Poinsett Plaza on Main Street.

McBee family members from across the United States were among those who attended a reception at McBee's original 1840s Greenville home, now the home of Judy Cromwell at 327 Rice St.

The statue joined downtown statues of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Joel Poinsett.

Sculptor T.J. Dixon of San Diego was commissioned to create the statue.

During the dedication ceremony, Roy McBee Smith, a McBee descendant, thanked the historical society and the city for honoring his relative. Smith has written a book titled "Vardy McBee: Man of Reason in an Age of Extremes."

E. Richard Walton