By Jo Ann Mitchell Brasington ’89

As a Wofford student, Steve Jobe ’91 spent most of his days on the basketball court or wandering Spartanburg to discover more about the area’s history. Now, he has a history series for young readers designed to inspire as well as educate.

The series features 12 works ranging from titles about Mary H. Wright and Daniel Morgan to peaches, music and NASCAR, and they’re all about Spartanburg County.

“The series is written for use in the schools — it’s curriculum-/standards-based — but it’s also a fun read for adults,” says Jobe, who has taught high school history for more than 20 years. “I want to inspire people, whatever their age, to get out there and explore, and Spartanburg has lots of interesting sites and people to discover.”

In September Jobe returned to Spartanburg to release the Spartanburg History Series for Young Readers as the featured speaker for the Spartanburg County Public Libraries Dennis L. Bruce Author Series. During his talk, he discussed coming to Wofford and how that influenced his path.

“I came to Wofford from Indiana... to play basketball but also because I was tired of corn and cold,” says Jobe, who majored in business economics. On the side, and with the support of local historians, including Dr. Doyle Boggs ’70, who was director of communications at Wofford at the time, Jobe began organizing his own personal field trips to historic sites in the area: Duncan Park, the James Byrnes house in Converse Heights, Vanderbilt Road and the site of Camp Wadsworth, the Cowpens Battlefield and others.

After graduation, he took a position as a graduate assistant at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. There he became certified to teach secondary history. He returned to Spartanburg as a teacher

and coach at Dorman High School. He’s also taught at Spartanburg High School, Spartanburg Day School, Frederica Academy on St. Simons Island in Georgia and now at King’s Ridge Christian Academy in Marietta, Ga. He holds master’s degrees from Converse University.

Todd Stephens, county librarian, approached Jobe about the book series because of the impact Jobe made on Stephens’ sons.

“Students loved his classes and his tours,” says Stephens. “He made local history fun, and his class trips to see the historic symbols and landmarks in downtown Spartanburg were the stuff of legend. We wanted to share Steve’s knowledge and fun stories about history with a wider audience.”

Jobe is also famous for his collection of bobbleheads, all of historic figures.

“Students need to understand how invested you are, and I supposed hundreds of bobbleheads say that,” says Jobe. “There’s nothing better than for a student to see one of my bobbleheads and ask, ‘Who’s that?’ It opens a conversation and an opportunity to share my passion for history.”

The series is available in print in the library store at the Spartanburg County Public Libraries headquarters or digitally at