The Ballenger Family
“Woodfin Richardson Ballenger (1912-2001), nicknamed ‘Monk’, son of Grady Woodfin (1880-1964) and Eleanor Richardson Ballenger (1882-1958), was a Seneca native and lifelong resident of Seneca, husband to Elizabeth Marett Ballenger (1913-2003), and brother to Marion Ballenger (1920-1979). A graduate of Seneca High School, he attended The Citadel, graduating in 1933 with a degree in English and a commission as an officer of the U.S. army.
In 1935 'Monk' completed legal studies at Cumberland School of Law, now Samford University, and returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Marett. He was 23 and ‘Lib’ was 21. In 1941 he was called to active duty in WWII as a Second Lieutenant, with responsibilities for domestic coastal artillery and barrage balloon defense. When the War ended, he was a Lt. Colonel. In 1972 he retired from the Army as a Colonel.
'Monk' returned to Seneca after the war to run the family business, Ballenger Hardware, founded in 1903. He was a champion of downtown Seneca and the virtues of neighborly small-town living. He twice was elected to Seneca's City Council and served as the Chair of the Hospital Board during the development of plans for the building of the new hospital and the renovation of Lila Doyle. Following Lib's leadership he helped establish a new library in Seneca. Upon the death of his sister Marion, he and Lib gave the Ballenger family home on 212 East South 3rd Street to the Seneca Woman's Club for use by all citizens.
The home continues with that mission today, honoring four generations of family members in the Woman's Club and Once-A-Week Club. In 1989, for their service to the community, Monk and Lib were honored as Citizens of the Year by the Sertoma Club. He believed in loyalty and duty and love of family, community, nation and God.” The Greenville News, Nov 29, 2001 Page 33
The Seneca Woman's Club
The Seneca Woman's Club consists of up to 120 members who volunteer in the community and help to maintain the Historic Ballenger House. This house is a designated site on the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor. Three women of the Ballenger family were devoted members of the Once-A-Week Club, the mother of the General Federation of Women's Clubs of South Carolina. Six clubs meet at the Ballenger House: Home and Garden Club; Once-A-Week Club; Pilot International Club of Seneca; Seneca Woman's Study Club; Wizard of Tamassee Chapter, NSDAR; and the Seneca Woman's Club.
The house was built circa 1925. The Club was formed as a 501(c)(3) in 1979 to receive this donated home from the Ballenger family.
Seneca Woman's Club Officers
Debbie Shafer — President
Maggie Kavran — President Elect
Peg Stutsman — Vice-President of Membership
Dawn Feltner — Recording Secretary
Kay Witherite — Corresponding Secretary
April Witherspoon — Treasurer