Feeding the students has always been a big job at North Greenville. It was Miss Essie Taylor’s job from 1918 to 1935. At that time the dining hall and kitchen were in the basement of the old part of the girls’ home.
Facilities were primitive. There was an old range fired by wood. A pipe from the well on front campus brought water to a barrel that stood by the kitchen door. In the dining hall were rough tables seating twelve students.
“We didn’t have much equipment,” said Miss Essie, “but we did have good food, what there was of it. Food was pretty scarce. One year money was so scarce Mr. Simpson had me to take the syrup pitchers off the tables at the dinner hour. Some of the boys left, for they weren’t getting enough to eat.”
Miss Essie knew how to do much with little. She had no milk and butter except what she purchased occasionally from neighbors. She had her own chickens. She had a garden and strawberry patch in front of the girls’ dormitory. The year she left North Greenville, she put up thirty gallons of strawberry preserves.
“I used to buy apples by the truck load from people in the Fruitland Community. We had apple sauce, baked apples, and apple pies, and I used the peelings to make jelly and vinegar,” she recalled.
In addition to her duties as dietitian, Miss Essie was interested in the church work. In 1918, she served as first president of the newly organized W.M.U. of the North Greenville Baptist Academy.
The daughter of Rev. Harvey A. Taylor and Ann Hudson Taylor, Miss Essie lives in the Locust Hill Community, Taylors, South Carolina.
Here she is active in the church work and in community affairs.
For about ten years Miss Essie was dietitian at the Locust Hill Grammar School. Interviewed by a Greenville News reporter in 1951, Miss Essie said, “I like to cook and help people and I like to help young people best of all. There is no better way than being sure they get good food.”
This was certainly Miss Essie’s philosophy while she was at North Greenville.
Printed in the November, 1953, North Greenville Junior College Alumni News