William Dunlap Simpson House

726 W. Main St., Laurens, South Carolina


William Dunlap Simpson House - Built 1839

Photo taken by Michael Miller on June 23, 2016


Street View 


Constructed in 1839, this Greek Revival dwelling has been owned by South Carolinians of prominence in both local and statewide affairs. The Simpson House is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture. Its designer-owner, Christopher Garlington, probably with the aid of a pattern book, created a structure that still retains the aura of an antebellum plantation house owned by a wealthy planter. The white clapboard structure has three stories with a total of twelve rooms. The gable roof is pierced by four end chimneys contained within the structure. A fifth chimney is in the rear projection. At the end of the Civil War William Dunlap Simpson purchased the house from John Adam Eichelberger, a wealthy planter who had used the structure as his townhouse. Simpson, a graduate of South Carolina College and Harvard Law School, had been a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives for several terms and was a member of the State Senate when South Carolina seceded. During the Civil War, he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After the war he was elected to the US House of Representatives; however, due to his Confederate affiliations, he was refused his seat in the House. Wade Hampton was elected governor in 1876 with Simpson as lieutenant governor. When Hampton was elected to the US Senate in 1879, Simpson became governor. He was appointed Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1880. The Motes family purchased it from Simpson heirs in 1939. The once elaborate gardens, orchard, and vineyard have disappeared. Listed in the National Register July 24, 1974. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 24, 1974
Reference number
NR name
Simpson, William Dunlap, House
Architectural style
Mid 19th Century Revival: Exotic Revival
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant years
1839; 1879; 1880

Update Log 

  • June 24, 2016: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • September 22, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • September 22, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller