Benjamin Wofford

Benjamin Wofford (1780-1850) was a Methodist minister who was a co-founder and the namesake of Wofford College in South Carolina in the United States.

Benjamin Wofford
Born(1780-10-19)October 19, 1780
Died1850(1850-00-00) (aged 69–70)
OccupationClergyman, farmer
Spouse(s)Anna Todd
Maria Scott Barron
Parent(s)Joseph Wofford
Martha Wofford

Early lifeEdit

Benjamin Wofford was born on October 19, 1780, to Joseph and Martha Wofford and was named after his Loyalist uncle. Wofford's father, a supporter of the American Patriot cause, was supposedly captured on the night of Wofford's birth during the American Revolution, but was freed by Martha Wofford's pleading. Under his mother's Christian mentorship, Wofford became a Christian.


Wofford was ordained as a Methodist preacher, going on to preach in Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina. By 1807, he ran a farm and continued preaching locally in South Carolina.

Wofford became involved in banking and other investments in the region. Wofford was a co-founder of Central Methodist Church in Spartanburg in 1837. Wofford was involved in various church charitable causes, including donating to Randolph-Macon College in Virginia during the 1830s.

Personal lifeEdit

Wofford married Anna Todd, the only child from a wealthy Spartanburg family, in 1807. The Woffords had no children. His wife died on October 2, 1835, at age 51. On September 6, 1836, Wofford married Maria Scott Barron, a wealthy woman from East Tennessee who was 23 years younger than Wofford. Wofford also owned slaves.[1]

Death and legacyEdit

Wofford died in 1850 and left a will donating $100,000 for the creation of a college, which eventually became Wofford College, requesting the creation of a school "literary, classical, and scientific education in my native district of Spartanburg.".[2][3][4]


  1. ^ Stone, Phillip. "Benjamin Wofford". Wofford College. Retrieved March 14, 2022. Ben’s desire to marry was probably chiefly responsible for his decision to leave the active ministry, for his ownership of slaves would not have prevented him from serving in South Carolina.
  2. ^ David Duncan Wallace, History of Wofford College (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1951) pp. 48-56
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2013-03-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Phillip Stone, Wofford College (Arcadia Publishing, 2010)

External linksEdit