Robert Quillen Office and Library

National Register Listing
Street Address:
200 N. Main St., Fountain Inn, SC (Greenville County)

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Robert Quillen Office and Library is significant for its association with Robert Quillen, a local literary figure who became nationally known for his humorous newspaper columns. The office and library is the best surviving resource that conveys his life as an American journalist and humorist, and has represented Robert Quillen from the time of the building’s construction in 1928. It is a small one-story, one-room brick Neo-Classical Revival building with a distinctive temple front situated at the southeast corner on a landscaped lot adjacent to the Fountain Inn City Hall. Directly in front of the Office are two contributing structures, a rectangular reflecting pool and a round pool, and a contributing object, a granite obelisk known as the “Monument to Eve.” Born in Syracuse, Kansas, Quillen moved to Fountain Inn in 1911 to start the Fountain Inn Tribune. He wrote paragraphs, editorials, one-liners, and cartoons for Baltimore Sun, Saturday Evening Post, and The American Magazine. Once his work was recognized by George Horace Lorimer of the Literary Digest, Quillen’s columns were syndicated in nearly four hundred newspapers in the United States and Canada. He syndicated two single-panel cartoons, “Aunt Het” and “Willie Willis,” drawn by John H. Striebel. Quillen was the prototype for Hollywood screenwriters Lamar Trotti and producer George Marshall’s Life Begins at Forty (1934), a film featuring Will Rogers as a small-town newspaper editor. He also wrote two novels: One Man’s Religion, 1923, and The Path Wharton Found, 1924. Quillen died after a prolonged illness on December 9, 1948. Listed in the National Register January 30, 2012.
Period of Significance:
1928 – 1948
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
January 30 2012