Family, friends, and dignitaries gathered in downtown Greenville to dedicate a new federal building to former Gov. Carroll Campbell. The groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the official construction start of the $105 Million, 10 story building slated to be completed by 2021. The building will provide space for space for seven courtrooms and nine judges. When completed the facility will also provide workspace for the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and a federal Public Defender’s Office. The courthouse will be located at the corner of East North and North streets in Greenville.
Campbell was born in Greenville and was educated at McCallie School in Chattanooga Tennessee. He also attended the University of South Carolina and the American University.
Campbell’s political career began when he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1971. In 1973 he became assistant minority leader. In 1974 he was the Republican Party’s nominee for Lt. Gov. but was defeated. In 1975 he served as executive assistant to Gov. James Edwards. Campbell was elected to the South Carolina Senate in 1976, and in 1978 he was elected to the US House of Representatives from the fourth Congressional District. He served in Congress from 1979 until 1986. In 1979 he was named outstanding freshman congressman. While in Congress he served on the appropriations committee and the ways and means committee.
In November 1986 Campbell was elected governor of South Carolina, reelected for a second term in 1990 and played major roles in presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
Gov. Campbell’s sisters remember him so fondly. One sister, Anne Mangum, shared these comments about her brother. “Carroll A Campbell, Jr. Governor Campbell, politician, super business man. He was a large presence during his short time in this world. To me he was “big brother”, a very handsome, smart big brother. I miss him daily. Carroll and I shared a love for horses, raising, training, and riding them. Carroll was passionate about his Arabian horses and was a successful showman.
Carroll’s farm was just moments from my farm in Fountain Inn. He truly loved the country life here, but he realized his calling at an early age and followed that path always looking to improve the lives of South Carolinians. Perhaps now he is riding his stallion or tossing hay bales with his hair blowing in the wind. I hope so.”
Elizabeth Bigham, also a sister of Gov. Campbell’s, shared comments about the memories of her brother. “His love of Arabians moved him from Greenville to the Simpsonville/Fountain Inn area where he bought farm land and built a home on Fairview Road where could raise Arabian horses.”
Elizabeth continued, “A picture of Carroll, Jr. was taken in, 1942 at age 2. He is pictured sitting on the curb on North St. In front of the Beattie home (his grandmother’s family home) looking across to where the Carroll Campbell US Federal Courthouse is being built today.! Carroll later leased the property from our grandmother’s, Elizabeth Beattie Williams, estate. He developed Handy Park parking lots and got his start in small business affairs in downtown Greenville.”
“Carroll got his love of politics honestly. His great, great, great, great grandfather was Vardry McBee, who was a founding father of Greenville, and whose statue is on Main Street. Most appropriately, a statue of Carroll Campbell, Jr. will stand at the new court house and face the very place he started his life in business and in politics.”, Elizabeth added. “I could not be prouder of my oldest brother or love and miss him more than I do.”
After leaving office, Campbell became president of the American Life Insurance counsel in Washington, DC. In 1996 he considered running for president, but that was a short-lived venture. In October 2001 in an open letter to the people of South Carolina, he announced that he had been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He died December 7, 2005 and was buried in the cemetery at All Saints Episcopal Church, Pawley’s Island.
Carroll Campbell, Jr. was a well-loved family man, a gentleman, and a statesman. His contributions to South Carolina are a wonderful legacy!♦