The collection has been arranged in two series, one of which have been further arranged in subseries. The arrangement scheme for the collection was imposed during processing in the absence of a useable original order.
Series 1, John R. Plyler Family
Series 2, John L. Plyler Family
Subseries 1, Biographical
Subseries 2, Correspondence
Subseries 3, Photographs
Subseries 4, Awards and Certificates
Subseries 5, Artifacts and framed pieces
Scope and Contents
The John L. Plyler Family Collection contains correspondence, photographs, artifacts, albums, awards and certificates relating to the professional activities and some of the personal life of John L. Plyler, Beatrice Plyler and Plyler’s extended family. The material spans the years 1903-2014 with the bulk from 1955-1966, and documents Plyler’s education, military service, career and family. Plyler’s retirement as Furman University president in 1964, and his death in 1966 are well documented. Plyler’s parents and siblings are represented in family photographs, framed portraits, and artifacts.
Notable correspondence includes a card from Mrs. John Kennedy acknowledging sympathy expressed on the death of President John Kennedy; a telegram from President Lyndon B. Johnson to Plyler on his retirement, June 9, 1964; a letter from Rev. Dr. Fred Townley-Lord regarding purchasing books for the library and Trustees Room; a letter from Gordon R. Herring, Board of Trustees Chair announcing dedication of Milford Mall fountain in Mrs. Plyler’s name, June 26, 1996; and a letter from David E. Shi to Mrs. Plyler concerning the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities, February 20, 2004. There are several letters from Alice Lord to Mrs. Plyler thanking her for being with her when her husband, Rev. Dr. Fred Townley-Lord, passed away at the Montague Village apartments February 9, 1962. The album, Memoirs of Alumni Day, May 30, 1964, documents the donation of $7,000 given by alumni to the Plyler’s, including photographs of the luncheon. The S.C. Resolution establishing the Dr. John Laney Plyler Interchange in Travelers Rest in 2014 is also included.