Mr. Wilmer Gresham Meggett, Sr.

Mr. Wilmer Gresham Meggett, Sr, was born in Charleston, South Carolina and of Huguenot Descent, on Wednesday October 14, 1903. He resided in the  area the majority of his life and was the son of John Fripp Meggett and Anna Leize Hills Meggett. He was married to the former Lilla Seabrook Oswald and reared two children, Mrs. Jennie Meggett Klingbeil and Mr. Wilmer Gresham Meggett, Jr. of James Island. Mr. Meggett was recognized and held in high regards as one of James Island’s leading citizens of his time.

His civic and service activities included membership on The Charleston County School Constituent District #3 on James Island for 24 years (1944-1968), where he has served as Board Chairman for 16 years (1952-1968). During his tenure, Meggett assisted in the building of 10 schools, including Sol Legare School, the first James Island High School (former Fort Johnson Middle School), the former W. Gresham Meggett Educational Occupation Center, and the former Fort Johnson High School which is the current James Island Charter High School. Mr. Meggett was a member of the Charleston County Library Board of Trustees for 15 years; member of St. James Episcopal Church on James Island for 40 years where he served as Senior and Junior Warden, Vestryman, and Superintendent of the Sunday School. He has also been a member of the Trident Chamber of Commerce serving on the Highways and Bridges committee where he has worked diligently for the James Island-City of Charleston Bridge and Expressway. Mr. Meggett was a charter member and past president of the James Island Exchange Club; Past-President of the Agricultural Society of James Island; Chairman of the Parks and Playground Commission of James Island; and Past-President of the Pivot Club of S.C.E.& G. He has also been a member of the American Right of Way Association of the Carolinas Chapter No. 31, the Charleston Port Society, and the Agricultural Society of South Carolina.

Mr. Meggett was a graduate from Charleston High School and has attended special training schools in accounting, sales analysis, real estate, and public speaking at Rice Business College, The Sales Analysis Institution of Illinois, Lee Institute of Massachusetts and Dale Carnegie Institute respectively. He was employed with the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company from 1942-1968 and has held positions as Chief Accountant and Chief Land Agent of the Charleston Division.  Mr. Meggett has always been keenly interested in the development of all young people of James Island encouraging them at all times to take full advantage of an education and to become full-fledged, honorable citizens of any community throughout the United States in which they may reside.

In 1982, Mr. Meggett was awarded the Book of Golden Deeds Award for his community service by the Exchange Club. He was a former chairman of the local Democratic Party for six years but later became a Republican. An American Flag was dedicated to him in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol for his service to the Republicans. He was awarded a Medal of Merit from the Republican Presidential Task Force and received  a letter of appreciation from former President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).
The Charleston County School District chose to honor Mr. Wilmer Gresham Meggett , Sr. and his years of dedicated community and civic service by naming what became known as W. Gresham Meggett High and Elementary School located on James Island at 1929 Grimball Road. The school was constructed as a consolidated school for African-American students residing on James Island. As such, it historically became the first high school on James Island for African American students. Mr. Meggett passed on Thursday, October 18, 1990, in a local nursing home four days after his 87th Birthday.

We will continue and strive to promote academic excellence and achievement each and every day we open the doors to all of our students while instilling the collaborative values, principles, and the legacy of both Septima P Clark and Wilmer Gresham Meggett, Sr.


James Island Journal 10-3-1968

The Evening Post (Charleston, South Carolina), October 18, 1990, Page 10

Charleston News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), October 19, 1990, Page 16

Charleston News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), April 18, 1952, 9-B