South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Keitt House — Newberry, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Newberry County  |  Keitt House

Adopt A South Carolina Landmark
Keitt House

This old house, which sadly no longer stands, once anchored a 500-acre cotton plantation just outside of Newberry. The home was built around 1858 by Thomas Wadlington, who remained here until his death in 1882. The house then belonged to Wadlington’s sister, Caroline, and her husband, Ellison S. Keitt, who served as a Captain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Keitt House

Ralph Mayer of Lexington © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Captain Keitt, known as “Colonel Keitt” by friends and neighbors, was the subject of a scandal involving identity confusion in 1877. A biracial man named Thomas Keitt, said to be the son of a former slave of the Keitt family and an unknown white father, also was known by his acquaintances by “Colonel Keitt,” though neither man had ever actually earned the title. Thomas Keitt had defeated a number of opponents for a seat in the South Carolina Legislature in 1877, including Ellison S. “Colonel” Keitt. In September of that year Thomas Keitt was arrested on charges of bigamy. Several print publications, including the New York Times, erroneously printed the subject of the arrest as Ellison S. Keitt, as both men were known as “Colonel Keitt.”

Keitt House

Ralph Mayer of Lexington, 1910 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ellison S. Keitt sued the newspaper for libel as a result, asking for $50,000 in damages. During the libel trial, Ellison S. Keitt explained that it was common for slaves or slave descendants to adopt the names of their white owners, so the existence of two men from Newberry County called “Colonel Keitt” was not as unusual as it seemed. The court ruled in favor of Ellison S. Keitt, who was awarded six cents in the case.

Kiett House

Ralph Mayer of Lexington, 1975 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ellison S. Keitt had a son, also named Thomas, who taught at Clemson University and later moved into the home and maintained the family farm. During the 1970s and 1980s, the home was rented by Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity of Newberry College. Unfortunately, the home burned on October 8, 1989.

Keitt House Info

Address: Keitt's Crossroads, Newberry, SC 29108
GPS Coordinates: 34.343631,-81.50984

Keitt House Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

One Comment about Keitt House

Lexington County Museum says:
April 20th, 2015 at 5:29 pm

The pigeon house that was located on the grounds of the Wadlington Plantation is now a part of the Lexington County Museum.


Join Us on Facebook
Search for Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Erhardt Eutawville Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Great Falls Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Holly Hill Honea Path Hopkins Hotels & Inns Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Lowndesville Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinewood Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Prosperity Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeland Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Santee Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Sunsets Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Ware Shoals Waterfalls Water Towers Wedgefield West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York