Agnes K. Irving was hired in 1844 to introduce higher education to the ciriculum. It was at first fought by existing staff. These were orphans, inmates who were not like other citizens. They needed to be reminded of they low place in society. But Irving prevailed, and later would become principal of the orphanage, replacing matrons and stewards with superintendents.
“The children were educated thoroughly, the greatest care being taken for their complete understanding of the subjects studied until they reached the limit of studies prescribed by the institution,” wrote Suder. “Upon reaching that limit or upon someone being desirous of adopting them, the inmates were allowed to leave the institution.”
By 1870, William’s younger brother, John, appears to have been adopted - or as the Registry of Boys recorded it - was indentured to M. H. West, who took John to Columbia. William completed his education at sixteen and arranged a job in the city, but it didn’t last long. He couldn’t shake the need to find his brother to be sure he was doing well.
“Having made my decision, I threw all my inward feelings to the wind and kept my purpose concealed - to work my way up-country,” recalled Suder. “It was on a mid-summer night in 1877 that I took my leave. Stealing quietly from the house, I took a course directly for the railroad yard [behind the Citadel a block northeast].”
William walked the tracks to Summerville, where he met an engineer who remembered his father. Suder hitched a train ride to Columbia where he was introduced to his father’s older sister, Mary. Not far from here, William found his brother John.
Later John moved to Connecticut where he stayed and raised a family, while William married his wife in Dutch Fork just outside Columbia, and moved to Sumter.
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