2021 Black History Month: Ron and Joetta Gantt and Uncle Bill Greenlee

Updated: Apr 22

Current Community Members: Ronald and Joetta Gantt

In celebration of Black History Month, the City of Clemson would like to recognize Mr. Ronald Gantt and Mrs. Joetta Gantt, who have dedicated their lives to volunteer work, community programs, and youth outreach in our community.


Prior to their retirements eighteen years ago, Ron worked as a chemist with Clemson University and Joetta worked with the Greenville County School District. During that time, and in the years since, the Gantts have donated time and resources to offer their assistance to the community in many ways, including volunteering with Meals on Wheels Clemson – Ron for 35 years and Joetta for 25 years – contributing to the Littlejohn Community Center Afterschool Program and Summer Camp Scholarship Fund, working polls during elections, volunteering at local food banks, and mowing lawns for senior citizens who would otherwise have to pay for this service. For more than 15 years, the Gantts have canvassed for local events, raised money for charities, helped plant gardens, and offered their assistance to the community in many other ways.


The Gantts are a strong and powerful couple within the community who say that everyone in the community creates the fabric of that community with every choice we make and have decided to be intentional in their choices and their contribution to that fabric. They are an inspiration to everyone they meet and are well-loved by all who know them. We are proud to have them as members of our community.


In celebration of Black History Month, the City of Clemson would like to recognize the historical contributions of a past member of the Clemson community: “Uncle Bill” Greenlee. Uncle Bill was born in 1870 and died in 1972 at the age of 102.


Historical Community Member: Uncle Bill Greenlee

Uncle Bill was a living link to Clemson’s past – both the City and the University – and a beloved character around town. He worked as a servant for Thomas Green Clemson, taking care of his horses and acting as coach driver and later worked as a water boy – for 60 cents a day – when Clemson College was being constructed.


His time with Clemson led to him becoming an expert horseman. Even into the 1960s, Uncle Bill would ride around town in a horse drawn wagon, with his horse – that was trained to respond to military commands – even after the four lane US 123 was built. Uncle Bill was noted for his noble bearing, riding erect in his cart, and addressing men as “captain.” He would also use this wagon to haul trash for people in the neighborhood or plow gardens, and he would hire himself out or birthday parties, giving kids rides in his flatbed wagon. Many in the community who were fortunate enough to know Uncle Bill remember these wagon rides fondly.


Uncle Bill is still remembered fondly around the community nearly 50 years later and is an integral part of Clemson’s history. We are honored to recognize his legacy to the community.




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