and was pumped into two 6,000 gallon tanks on the third floor of the manufacturing building, afterward called "Main". Fire protection was provided by an engine drawn by six horses.

Although Congressman W. C. Whitthorne obtained the facility for Columbia during the first administration of President Grover Cleveland, construction actually began during President Benjamin Harrison's administration. During William McKinley's administration the arsenal became a training facility and quarters for Spanish-American War troops until about 1900, when the Chief of Army Ordnance recommended that the Arsenal be closed. In August of 1901 twelve train carloads of arms, ammunition and machinery were shipped to Rock Island, Illinois. After the war the arsenal was declared surplus property and influential people within the state sought an adaptive use for the buildings and grounds and the promotion of a military school began. In June 1904 Company K, 16th Infantry formerly abandoned the arsenal and the property was received by the school.

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