Harvey & Battey: Serving Beaufort for Nearly 100 Years
BRANTLEY HARVEY SR. (1893-1981)
W. Brantley Harvey, Sr., began practicing law in Beaufort in 1922, following service as a medical corpsman with the U.S. Navy during World War I, and his graduation from the University of South Carolina School of Law. An excellent trial attorney, Mr. Harvey quickly gained a reputation in the South Carolina Lowcountry for his effectiveness in both civil and criminal courts.
He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1924 and 1926, and to the South Carolina Senate in 1928. While maintaining an active law practice, Senator Harvey represented Beaufort County in the Senate for 24 years, until 1952. He served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Education Committee, the Fish and Game Committee, and of the Joint Legislative Committee. Senator Harvey was the principal author of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
Mr. Harvey was President of the Beaufort County Bar and, in 1952, his peers recognized his leadership in the profession by electing him President of the South Carolina Bar. He was President of the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, a founder of the Beaufort Museum, was instrumental in saving the Lafayette House and was Post Commander of the American Legion.
Brantley Harvey possessed many qualities – devotion for his family, love of people, loyalty to friends, compassion for the unfortunate and suffering, charity and forgiveness toward his enemies, and a warm personality. Although small of physical stature, he towered above others in spirit.
In 1955, Mr. Harvey was joined in practice by his son, W. Brantley Harvey, Jr. The firm as we know it today began to take shape in 1963, when the two Harveys were joined by Colden R. Battey, Jr.
W. BRANTLEY HARVEY, JR. (1930-2018)
Brantley Harvey was born in Walterboro, and grew up on The Point in Beaufort. His entire public education was in the schools of Beaufort County, and he graduated from Beaufort High School in 1947 as its valedictorian. After being graduated from The Citadel, Magna Cum Laude, spending two years as an officer in the United States Army, and being graduated from law school at the University of South Carolina in 1955, he joined his father in the practice of law at Harvey & Battey, the firm with which he has practiced and continues to be associated for over fifty years.
Brantley was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1958 and served in that body for sixteen years until 1974. He was elected and served as Lieutenant Governor from 19751978. He subsequently was named member and Vice-Chairman of the SC Commission of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. He also served as the Commissioner of the SC Department of Transportation and as a member of the Board of the South Carolina Technical College.
As a member of the House of Representatives, Brantley played a major role in acquiring the Beaufort campus of USC and in establishing the Technical College of the Lowcountry as one of the state’s sixteen technical colleges. He was instrumental in establishing the Beaufort Higher Education Commission which partnered with the University in helping to establish USC Beaufort. Along with his wife, Helen, he helped obtain four-year degree granting status for USCB and also helped establish the New River Campus, now referred to as USCB Bluffton.
Brantley worked diligently as a member of the House of Representatives and later as Commissioner of SCDOT to improve the quality of transportation in Beaufort County. During this time, the Hilton Head bridge was freed of toll and the Fripp Island bridge was constructed and freed of toll. He was instrumental in obtaining the funding, approval and construction of the Hilton Head Cross-Island Parkway. He supported and assisted the four-Laning of US Highway 21 and US Highway 278. He served as the organizing chairman of the Beaufort County Transportation Committee for almost eight years, carrying out the responsibility for spending the state gasoline tax fund to improve and pave secondary roads (mostly dirt) throughout Beaufort County. He also served as co-chairman of the committee at the forefront of passing the one cent additional sales tax to provide the County’s portion of funding for four-Laning of SC Highway 170 from Bluffton to Beaufort.
Brantley served on the Board of the Beaufort Marine Institute and, for a period, as its Chairman. He held a leadership position with the Coastal Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service to Boyhood award. He was a founding member of the Beaufort County Industrial Park; and served as the organizing chairman of the Yemassee Industrial Park, officially known as Beaufort County Development Corporation. Over the years, he has been a participating member of the Chamber of Commerce; the United Way; the Historic Beaufort Foundation; the Beaufort Orchestra (as a violinist); Beaufort Performing Arts Center; the Salvation Army; and Beaufort Rotary Club. He and Helen support and regularly attend Beaufort’s First Presbyterian Church in which he was ordained and served as an Elder.
Brantley Harvey has lived to serve his family, friends, fellow citizens, community and state. He stands tall as a self-effacing model of a dedicated man who has been eminently successful in myriad responsibilities, giving added credence to the adage that a difficult job always should be given to a busy man.