Welch Neck High School / Coker College
Darlington County Historical Marker
|Marker ID:||SCHM 16-32|
|Location:||311 E. Home Ave. (DT)|
|County & State:||Darlington County, South Carolina|
|Coordinates:||N 34° 22′ 41.65″ W 80° 04′ 09.60″|
|Erected by:||Hartsville Heritage Commission in 1995.|
The Welsh Neck Baptist Association initiated this institution as a coeducational boarding school. It opened Sept. 17, 1894, through the generosity of Maj. James Lide Coker, Civil War veteran, local industrialist, and the school’s first chairman of the board of trustees. Enrollment peaked at 267 in 1902. When the 1907 public high school act reduced the need for this school, it became a four-year college for women.
The trustees of Welsh Neck High School converted their institution into a non-sectarian Baptist college. It opened Sept. 30, 1908, as “Coker College for Women, founded by James L. Coker.” Baptist control ended in 1944, and in 1969, the college became coeducational. The Governor´s school for Science and Mathematics opened on the campus in 1988. Throughout its history, Coker has emphasized liberal arts.