The A. Frank Lever Extension Agent Hall of Fame (hereinafter referred to as the Lever Hall of Fame) recognizes former Clemson Extension Agents for superior contributions and outstanding leadership in promoting the Extension Mission in their home community and throughout the state of South Carolina. Persons selected for recognition will be honored and formally inducted into the Lever Hall of Fame at an annual ceremony conducted in the spring of any given year.
Asbury Francis “Frank” Lever was born January 5, 1875 near Spring Hill in Lexington County, South Carolina and graduated with honors from Newberry College in 1895. Lever taught school briefly and studied law receiving his bachelor of law from Georgetown University in 1899.
Lever was elected to the US Congress and received membership on the Committee of Agriculture and later was appointed chairman of the Committee. He served in this capacity until he left the House in 1919.
The legislation for which he is best remembered is the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. This established extension services at state agricultural colleges to aid the farmer with new techniques of farming. The Smith-Lever Act also helped transform the face of agriculture from 19th century modes to more modern and scientific 20th century modes of farming.
Lever left the House in 1919 to accept a position on the Federal Farm Loan Board, offered to him by President Wilson. He remained on the Board until 1922 eventually becoming president of the First Carolina Joint Stock Land Bank and served until 1929.
Lever was elected to several other political positions in subsequent years. When the Farm Credit Administration was formed in 1933, Lever was appointed director of public relations for the southeast. In this role he informed farmers of the Farm Credit Administration’s duties and of the legislation that was important to the farmer. He served in this position until his death in 1940.
Lever was a trustee of Clemson College and chairman of the board of trustees of Newberry College. Lever was active in Epsilon Sigma Phi, the honorary extension fraternity. Lever died on April 28, 1940 and is interred at Woodland Cemetery at Clemson University.