ORANGEBURG OUT OF THE PAST

Robert Lide, 1871-1944: Eminent lawyer, statesman, banker, and philanthropist, Robert Lide has been a solid rock in Orangeburg’s history. Mr. Lide was born in 1871 to Rev. Thomas P. and Martha H. Lide in Greenville. Because of his father’s ministry, he grew up in several different towns in North and South Carolina. He received an A.B. degree from Wake Forest College in 1892. Afterwards he studied law in Orangeburg under B. Hart Moss and was admitted to the bar in 1894. He then entered into a law partnership with Mr. Moss at that time. Mr. Lide began his career in public service in 1895 when he became a United States Commissioner. From 1900-1904 he was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1908 he was elected as Orangeburg County’s senator, serving until 1916. Mr. Lide was elected Orangeburg’s mayor from 1917-1919. From 1904 to 1914 he was Orangeburg County Democratic Party Chairman and was a delegate to the national convention in St. Louis in 1916. Mr. Lide also served as chairman of the Orangeburg County Court House Commission which was responsible for building our new court house in 1927. Additionally Mr. Lide was a highly regarded correspondent for twelve years for the Charleston daily newspaper The News and Courier. He was a member of the Orangeburg County Board of Education as well as a member of the board of trustees for Furman University. In the business world he helped organize three small town banks in Fort Motte, Elloree, and Holly Hill, becoming president of each of these. In 1934 he helped organize the First National Bank here (now South State Bank) and was president for several years until his death in 1944. Mr. Lide was selected as a Special Judge on several occasions and even sat with the South Carolina Supreme Court. He also served as president of the Orangeburg County Bar Association. He was a past president of the Rotary Club and held offices in the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World, as well as a member of the Elks. Religiously Mr. Lide was a dedicated member of the First Baptist Church and was the chairman of the board of deacons there. Mr Lide was also a member of the board of trustees of the Tri-County Hospital here in Orangeburg. It was through his generosity that 1500 volumes of medical books were purchased for the hospital medical library. After his death the library became known as the Robert Lide Memorial Library. In 1897 Mr. Lide married the former Ethel M. Lowman, and they had three daughters, Mildred L. Fair, Evelyn L. Glenn, and Ethel L. Council. After a long and distinguished career of public service, Robert Lide died in 1944.

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