Milton Lafayette Donaldson

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Milton Lafayette Donaldson, a native of the Greenville District, South Carolina, was one of original seven Life Trustees named in the will of Thomas Green Clemson for the Board of Trustees for the founding of Clemson Agricultural College in 1889.


Donaldson was born July 29, 1844, to a family of farmers and mechanics in the Greenville District. He attended the Williamston School (1858-1862). With the outbreak of hostilities between the Confederacy and the United States, he enlisted in the Confederate army and remained in it until the end of the war in 1865. He married Margaret Louisa Ware on January 23, 1866.

"Like several of the trustees, Donaldson served in the S.C. House of Representatives (1878-1880 and 1884-1886), where probably knew Simpson. He also served in the senate from 1888 to 1892 and played an instrumental role in steering Thomas Green Clemson's bequest through that body. Further, his was a strong Tillman supporter. Active in farming movements, Donaldson served as president of the S.C. Farmers' Alliance from 1891 to 1892. His agricultural research led to a series of articles published in national farming journals. He also served in the National Democratic Executive Committee from 1890 to 1894. The Donaldsons were active members of Greenville's Pendleton Street Baptist Church, which he served as a deacon. Donaldson and his wife had no children. He died September 3, 1924, and is buried in Springwood Cemetery in Greenville."

Donaldson Hall on the West Campus of Clemson University is named in his honor.


  • Reel, Jerome V., The High Seminary, vol. 1: A History of the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, 1889-1964, Clemson University Digital Press at the Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9842598-9-2, page 54.)
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