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"W" is for Whitten, Benjamin Otis [1886-1970]

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"W" is for Whitten, Benjamin Otis [1886-1970]. A Pendleton native, Whitten graduated from the Atlanta College of Physicians and Surgeons. He then joined the staff of the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane. In 1918 Governor Manning got the legislature to differentiate between individuals classified as "feeble-minded" and those who were "insane." Whitten became the first director of a new facility, the South Carolina State Training School for the Feeble-Minded in Clinton. There he developed a national reputation as a skilled administrator, adept at running a large facility, instituting training programs for  residents, and advocating his facility throughout the state.  Over the four decades of his leadership, Whitten Village [as it was later named] grew tremendously in size, reputation, and service. Benjamin Otis Whitten reached the pinnacle of his profession in 1937 when he was elected president of the American Association of Mental Deficiency.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.