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Ligon, Watkins Added to Hall of Fame

Each year, two notable people are inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Anderson County Museum’s Advisory Committee. The ACM Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions in shaping Anderson County, South Carolina, United States or world history. Nominees must be deceased for at least 10 years before they are eligible for induction. 

Today, Museum Director Beverly Childs announced that Robert Emmett Ligon and William Law Watkins would join other notables on May 1, as the Hall of Fame Class of 2010. These two gentlemen were chosen out of over 40 applicants and both are remembered for their remarkable character, vision and generosity of spirit for Anderson County.

Anderson County native Robert Emmett Ligon was is best remembered for his contributions to the textile industry, but he was also deeply involved in the civic and religious life of the area. Born on September 11, 1868, to William Jackson Ligon and Louise Seibels Ligon, he received his education from his father who operated a private school in Anderson. He married Mamie Benson and had six children, four of whom survived to adulthood. 

His work with the local mills began in Spartanburg and included the mill in Liberty, South Carolina. In Anderson, he took over as superintendent of the Anderson Cotton Mill where he later rose to president and general manager. In 1904, he was named vice-president and general manager of Gluck Mill. With J. A. Brock, he organized and built Brogon (later Appleton) Mill in 1908. The name “Brogon” was derived from the first three letters of “Brock” and the last three of “Ligon“. In 1914 Ligon also served as president of Cox Manufacturing Company, the forerunner of  Equinox Mill. 

Among Ligon’s many contributions to Anderson County outside the textile industry was the work he did during World War I as Anderson County Food Administrator and chairing the Anderson War Price and Ration Board during World War II. A primary organizer and president of Perpetual Building and Loan Association, Ligon guided it successfully through the Depression. 

An active member of St. John’s Methodist Church, he also organized and served as superintendent of the first Sunday School at Gluck Mill. During his 14 years as Ward Five Alderman, he played a major part in establishing the city’s Silver Brook Cemetery. He was an organizer of the Anderson Country Club, a charter member of the Anderson Rotary Club, president of the first telephone company in Anderson, a director of both the Blue Ridge Railroad and the Piedmont and Northern Railway, a director of the State Warehouse System, and a member of the State Highway Commission.

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