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

Williams-Ball-Copeland House, Laurens County (544 Ball Dr., Laurens)
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Facade Main Entrance Right Oblique Left Oblique Left Elevation
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Rear Elevation Tower Detail Cupola Detail Interior
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Ceiling Medallion
Summer Kitchen

(The Villa) The Williams-Ball-Copeland House is significant for the contributions made by four of its former residents, John Drayton Williams, Beaufort Watts Ball, William Watts Ball, and Sarah Ball Copeland, to the fields of publishing, politics and government, and civic work. The house is an outstanding example of the Italian Villa style of architecture. Built ca. 1859-61 as a winter residence for Colonel John Drayton Williams (1798-1870), the house was one of at least four in the city of Laurens built in this style; it is the only one that remains intact. The contractor for the house was Dr. John Wells Simpson, who employed skilled, slave artisans in its construction. Dr. Simpson also built the Laurens County Courthouse. John Drayton Williams and Beaufort Watts Ball, the first two owners of the house, were active in state government. Williams served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and the Southern Rights Convention of 1852. He was also a member of the Secession Convention and a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. Ball was a member of the South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1865 and a State Representative. Ball’s children William Watts Ball and Sarah Ball Copeland were editors of their father’s newspaper the Laurens Advertiser. W.W. Ball later served as editor of The State and The News and Courier. Sarah Ball Copeland served as Chairman of the Library Board of Trustees for twenty-seven years. The house is a two-story brick residence that is stuccoed and scored. The house is situated on the crest of a prominent hill in the western section of the city. To the north of the house are two, small, brick outbuildings which date from the same period as the house. One was originally the summer kitchen and the other was a combination smokehouse and food storage house. Listed in the National Register November 19, 1986.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of the City of Laurens, ca. 1800-ca. 1940 includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.

Most National Register properties are privately owned and are not open to the public. The privacy of owners should be respected. Not all properties retain the same integrity as when originally documented and listed in the National Register due to changes and modifications over time.

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