William Watts Ball (1868-1952) was the long-time editor of the Charleston "News and Courier." Born in Laurens County, he grew up during Reconstruction, and, according to legend, held Wade Hampton's hat during the "Redshirt Ride" of 1876 that swept Republicans out of office in South Carolina. His journalism career took him successively from the Laurens "Advertiser" to the Charleston "Evening Post," Greenville and Florida newspapers, the Columbia "State," and from 1923 until his retirement, Managing Editor of the Charleston "News and Courier." An unreconstructed traditionalist, he opposed the New Deal, vividly argued for states' rights, upheld white supremacy, and, by the time of his death, had come full circle to support the Republican presidential candidacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower. This photograph was taken at his graduation from South Carolina College in 1887, where he was president of the Clariosophic Society.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.