Joseph Emile Harley, Governor

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Joseph Emile Harley

Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: Williston, Barnwell County, South Carolina, USA
Death: February 27, 1942 (61)
Immediate Family:

Son of Lunsford Felix Harley and Mary Elizabeth Hummell
Husband of Sarah Agnes Richardson

Managed by: Private User
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About Joseph Emile Harley, Governor

Joseph Emile Harley (September 14, 1880 – February 27, 1942) was the 100th Governor of South Carolina from 1941 to 1942 and a member of the "Barnwell Ring."

Early life and education

Harley was born September 14, 1880 in Williston, South Carolina.

Harley received an LLB from the University of South Carolina in 1902.

He married Agnes Richardson.


Harley served as a Colonel in the South Carolina National Guard and as Sergeant of Company L, 1st SC Volunteers in the Spanish-American War.

He also worked as a lawyer.

Democratic Party Activities

Member of the Democratic National Conventions at Denver in 1908
Member of the Democratic National Conventions at San Francisco in 1920
Member of the Democratic National Conventions at Houston in 1928
Member of the Democratic National Conventions at Chicago in 1932

Elected Positions

South Carolina House of Representatives, 1905–1906, 1927–1930
Mayor of Barnwell, South Carolina, 1912–1922
The 74th Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, 1934–1941


Harley became Governor of South Carolina on November 4, 1941, upon the resignation of Governor Burnet Maybank who was elected to serve in the US Senate.

On February 27, 1942, Governor Harley died in office after having served only four months. He died of terminal throat cancer. The Governor could only communicate by writing in the last months of his life. He is buried in Baptist Cemetery, Barnwell, South Carolina.

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Joseph Emile Harley, Governor's Timeline

September 14, 1880
Williston, Barnwell County, South Carolina, USA
February 27, 1942
Age 61