An expansion and upgrade of the Columbia Canal in 1891 by the Columbia Water Power Company had significantly improved the power generation potential of the waterway, making it suitable to power modern, large-scale manufacturing for the first time in its history. The success of the Columbia plant revolutionized textile mills by opening the electric era.
The train depot proved essential to Clemson’s prosperity. Through it passed most of the people and supplies connected with the town and college.
Like other southern states, South Carolina believed that a military education would instill education, discipline, character, and patriotic devotion in its young men.
The first graduate, Samuel Dibble, took his diploma in 1856 and went on to become a congressman during the 1880s. Enrollment grew each year, and by 1861 sixty-five men had taken their degrees.
In 2001 the institution celebrated a legacy of two hundred years of educating South Carolinians by dedicating itself to continued improvements in the quality of service it offers to the Palmetto State.