Richard I. Manning III (1859-1931) served as governor from 1915-1919. Born in 1859 at Homesley Plantation in Sumter County, Manning was educated at local schools and at the Kenmore Preparatory School in Virginia. After completing a pre-law course at the University of Virginia, Manning returned home where he became involved in business and agricultural affairs. In 1892, Manning was elected to the state House of Representatives, and in 1898 to the Senate. Coming from a family with a long line of governors, it was natural for Manning to seek that office. He was elected in 1914 and served for two terms. As governor, Manning supported the Progressive movement's social, economic, and political reforms that attempted to deal with the industrial and urban problems that had developed since the Civil War. During his time in office, Manning helped bring about reform of the State Hospital, improvement in law enforcement, and the abolishment of race track gambling. He also settled the controversy with the United States authorities concerning control of the South Carolina National Guard, and approved legislation raising child labor standards. During his administration, statewide prohibition was established. During WWI, Manning gave his full support to the United States war effort. Six of his sons were in military service and one was killed in action. Manning himself served as an aide and advisor to President Wilson. After his tenure as governor, he returned to his business affairs, and he died in Columbia in 1931. Governor Manning is pictured here on horseback around 1918. The stars on the flag indicated the sons that he had in the service during WWI.
Courtesy of the South Carolina State Museum.