South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Robert Quillen Office and Library, Greenville County (200 N. Main St., Fountain Inn)
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Facade Left Oblique Left Elevation Rear Elevation Right Rear
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Right Elevation Portico Detail Portico Ceiling
Overview Main Entrance
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Paired Window
and Cornice
Detail of Fireplace
and Mantel
Beam and
Plank Ceiling
Monument to Eve

The Robert Quillen Office and Library is significant for its association with Robert Quillen, a local literary figure who became nationally known for his humorous newspaper columns. The office and library is the best surviving resource that conveys his life as an American journalist and humorist, and has represented Robert Quillen from the time of the building’s construction in 1928. It is a small one-story, one-room brick Neo-Classical Revival building with a distinctive temple front situated at the southeast corner on a landscaped lot adjacent to the Fountain Inn City Hall. Directly in front of the Office are two contributing structures, a rectangular reflecting pool and a round pool, and a contributing object, a granite obelisk known as the “Monument to Eve.” Born in Syracuse, Kansas, Quillen moved to Fountain Inn in 1911 to start the Fountain Inn Tribune. He wrote paragraphs, editorials, one-liners, and cartoons for Baltimore Sun, Saturday Evening Post, and The American Magazine. Once his work was recognized by George Horace Lorimer of the Literary Digest, Quillen’s columns were syndicated in nearly four hundred newspapers in the United States and Canada. He syndicated two single-panel cartoons, “Aunt Het” and “Willie Willis,” drawn by John H. Striebel. Quillen was the prototype for Hollywood screenwriters Lamar Trotti and producer George Marshall’s Life Begins at Forty (1934), a film featuring Will Rogers as a small-town newspaper editor. He also wrote two novels: One Man’s Religion, 1923, and The Path Wharton Found, 1924. Quillen died after a prolonged illness on December 9, 1948. Listed in the National Register January 30, 2012.

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