Pressly, John S
Pressly, John S.
a Presbyterian minister, noted also as a classical teacher, was born in Abbeville District, S. C., in 1794. His means for acquiring the rudiments of a literary education were very limited. Until the years of manhood he had not enjoyed very fully the advantages of the common school. In 1812, however, he moved to the State of Ohio, and during a stay of three years in the Northwestern States he underwent much privation and hard labor in his endeavors to acquire knowledge. About the close of the year 1815 he was prostrated on a bed of suffering with a painful illness; a kind Providence brought him the medical services of Dr. Joseph Gilbert, who. on his recovery, suggested to him the desirableness of a classical education, and proposed to furnish him with the necessary books. Thus encouraged, and accepting the doctor's kind offer, he entered Church Hill Academy June 19, 1816; in 1819 he entered South Carolina College, and spent two years there. In 1822 his career of classical teacher began, and in this field of usefulness, in which he labored during the balance of his life, he attained an enviable reputation. His first charge was Union Academy, in the southern part of Abbeville District, S. C. Among his pupils here were the late Rev. E. E. Pressly, D.D., Re. J. T. Pressly, D.D., Hon. T. C. Perrin, and J. A. Calhoun, Esq. In 1824-27 he taught at Cambridge and Beaver Dam — the latter in Laurens District. In 1828 he took charge of Church Hill Academy, but his labors there were soon interrupted by his being elected to the State Legislature of South Carolina by the people of Abbeville District. In 1835, at the close of his political career, he was invited to tale charge of the high school at Due West, S. C., just founded by the Associate Reformed Synod of the South, where he continued to labor till 1839 with great success. At last released from all engagements connected with teaching, he turned his attention to the study of theology; studied one session in the seminary of the Associate Reformed Church at Oxford, Ohio; was licensed in 1840; and after attending during the ensuing session in the Associate Reformed Seminary at Alleghany City, Pa., he was employed until 1842 as a missionary to destitute churches within the bounds of the synod. Subsequently he was settled for five years as pastor of Bethel and Ebenezer churches, Ga.; the remainder of his life until 1851 was spent in teaching and missionary work. He (lied June 1. 1863. Mr. Pressly as a man wuas social and companionable; as a teacher he was a strict disciplinarian, and in the capacity to impart classical knowledge had few superiors. See Wilson, Presb. Hist. Alm. (1867), p. 398. (J. L. S.)