The Wofford Family
In the decades preceding the American Revolution, five brothers – William, James, John, Benjamin and Joseph Wofford – migrated from Maryland to settle on land near the Tyger River in what later became Spartanburg. These brothers contributed much to the cause of independence and their family name is still recognizable in Spartanburg today.
William Wofford established Wofford's Iron Works on Lawson's Fork Creek in 1773. William took an active role in the Revolution, joining the Spartan Regiment and taking part in much of the regiment's early action. By 1780, William had sold his interest in the iron works and moved to North Carolina. The iron works was the site of a battle in 1780 and was destroyed by William "Bloody Bill" Cunningham in 1781.
James Wofford settled in the area that became Woodruff in southern Spartanburg County. Though there isn't as much detail about his life as about the lives of William and Joseph, it does appear that he was a staunch supporter of independence. The same can be said of John and Benjamin Wofford.
Joseph Wofford may have left the most lasting legacy on Spartanburg. He served in the Spartan Regiment and took part in many of their actions prior to the surrender of Charleston to the British in May 1780. Later that year, his wife gave birth to a son named Benjamin. Benjamin Wofford established Wofford College which still provides higher education in the City of Spartanburg.
In the 21st century, the Wofford family past and present met again in Glendale, a former textile village, when Wofford College established the Goodall Environmental Studies Center as the hub of its environmental studies program. Glendale is located on the banks of Lawson's Fork Creek, very close to William Wofford's iron works location.