EASLEY — A monument honoring the life of William Milliken Hagood Sr. was unveiled on Thursday on the front lawn of the Easley Area Museum.
The seven-foot-tall marble monument and water fountain was donated to the museum by Beth Hagood in memory of her late husband, William “Billy” Milliken Hagood III — Billy Sr.’s grandson.
“Billy and I played football together,” reminisced Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell. “All 135 pounds of him.”
The monument was originally placed near the entrance of the old Glenwood Mill on Hagood Street. When the mill underwent renovations in the 1950s, the monument was lost until it was discovered later near Glenwood Mill Pond by none other than Hagood’s own grandson, Billy.
It was restored and moved to Billy and Beth’s home where it served as the focal point in their yard until Billy passed away.
As far as Hagood Sr., there’s not much in Easley that the man didn’t have an impact on.
According to the museum, he was born on Dec. 29, 1850, at Hagood Estate in Pickens County. He married Kate Cleveland in 1873 and the couple had nine children, six of whom survived to adulthood.
One of the first general merchandise stores in Easley, W.M. Hagood & Company, was owned by Hagood Sr. and he helped to organize the first industry and oldest corporation in Pickens County in 1889 — Easley Oil Mill, serving as both secretary and treasurer.
With a seemingly natural flair for business, Hagood also started the second corporation in Pickens County in 1891, Easley Banking Company, and served as its president.
He was instrumental and involved in the organization of Easley Mill, Glenwood Mill, Alice Mill and Pickens Mill, helping to put the little town of Easley on the map when it came to textiles.
He was also a charter member of Easley Presbyterian Church, from donating the land for the construction of their first place of worship in 1887, to serving as church Elder for many years.
Hagood Sr. also helped organize Easley Area Schools and served as School Trustee, was Intendant of Easley twice.
He died on May 14, 1927, in his beloved town.
The Easley Area Museum, which states its purpose as “creating a physical presence in the Easley area for gathering, displaying and preserving the history of the town and its surrounding communities” has worked hard at providing opportunities for that history to be shared with its citizens and visitors since it opened — including monuments like Hagood’s fountain.
The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m..
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.