Vardry McBee
Permission to use photo granted by Donning Publishers.


Vardry McBee is often called the "Father of Greenville". He was a very important person in Greenville's history. He dropped out of school at 12 to help his father work, after he lost his fortune following the Revolutionary War. When he was 18 Vardry learned saddle-making from his brother-in-law in Lincolnton, NC and by 1836 he had an entire chain of saddle shops.

Vardry married Jane Alexander in 1804. In 1815 he purchased 11,028 acres of land in Greenville County that now makes up much of the central part of Greenville City today. He donated land for the first four churches and first male and female academies. He was also extremely vital in bringing the city its first railroad. McBee was even involved in the relocation of Furman University to its present day location. He owned two flour mills, a cotton factory, wool and paper mills, and a store in Greenville. He was born in 1775 and died in 1864 and is buried in Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery.

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