I.S. Harley Biography

Gedcom available here: ISHarley.ged

Irvin Sylvanus Harley was born in Orangeburg County, about 15 miles from Orangeburg on January 17th, 1854. He was the son of John Harley and Mrs. Mahala Bullock Harley. Mahala died when Irvin was 3 and he then lived with his grandmother Mrs. Mary Carn Bullock.  He lived in a two room log house that had cracks between the logs. 

In 1882, Mary died and Irvin moved to Orangeburg to seek his fortune by starting a mercantile business with only $95 dollars in his pocket. There were no opportunities for work in any existing mercantiles in Orangeburg, so he set out a canvas tent and stocked it with some supplies. By 1903, he had moved from a canvas tent on the street to his large I.S. Harley Building.

Irvin had been a member of the Orangeburg City Council and President of the Farmers and Merchants Bank for several years. He was married three times: In 1875, he married Miss Laura Whetsell and she died in 1887. He then married Miss Olivia Whetsell but she also died about 5 years later. In 1897, he married Miss Fannie Ruple.

Irvin died on January 23rd, 1918. Irvin’s sons Clifton and Irvin Jr. joined their cousin “Hampy” Dukes to create the Dukes-Harley Funeral Home. Hampy started the funeral home in 1896

Author: chris

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