Category: African-American history

Spotlight On: Stephen Presley

Father Stephen Presley was born a slave in 1820. He was owned by Boykin Witherspoon, a prominent planter from Society Hill. Presley was a carpenter by trade. He married another slave by the name of Phyllis McIver Presley. Welsh Neck Baptist Church records indicate…

Spotlight On: Darlington Memorial Cemetery

Located on Avenue D and Friendship Street in Darlington, the Darlington Memorial Cemetery was the first cemetery created for African-Americans in the community. The cemetery began in 1890 as a five-acre cemetery established by Macedonia Baptist Church and African-American citizens in Darlington. In 1946,…

Spotlight On: Arthur W. Stanley, veteran, activist, and councilman

Arthur W. Stanley, a native of Darlington, was a WWII veteran. He served in the Pacific Theater. Stanley was the president of the Darlington Chapter of the NAACP and held the position for 40 years. He led the efforts to desegregate the Darlington County…

Spotlight On: Dr. Daniel Collins

Dr. Daniel Collins, a Darlington native, was a 1932 graduate of the Darlington County Public Schools. He attended Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, where he received a B.S. degree in science and a D.D.S. degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He also…

Spotlight On: Mayo School

From “Introduction: A History of Mayo School” About the year 1890, public education in Darlington County was started for African-Americans. One of the early buildings which the state and county used for education of African-Americans was located on Pearl Street in front of the…

Spotlight On: Honorable Richard H. Humbert

Born in Charleston, Richard H. Humbert was a devoted resident of Darlington County. A former slave who taught himself to read and write, Humbert wrote his own pass for freedom. He was an active member of the South Carolina Republican Party and an organizer…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Rosenwald Consolidated School/Rosenwald High School

The Julius Rosenwald Fund was established in 1915 to provide grants to African Americans for school construction. Rosenwald, the president of the Sears Roebuck Company, worked closely with Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama to develop the program. 

SPOTLIGHT ON: Jerusalem Baptist Church

Jerusalem Baptist Church, located at 6th Street and Laurens Avenue in Hartsville, is one of the oldest African-American churches in Darlington County. Organized after the Civil War, its first church service was held in a brush arbor on Snake Branch, a creek near E….

SPOTLIGHT ON: Edmund H. Deas House

Located at 229 Avenue E in Darlington, the Edmund H. Deas House was named after Edmund H. Deas, who moved to Darlington in 1870. Known as the “Duke of Darlington,” Deas was a very active Republican and served as the county chair of the…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Senator Kay Patterson

Born in Darlington County on January 11, 1931, Kay Patterson represented the 19th District in the South Carolina Senate from 1985 until his retirement in 2008. Senator Patterson also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1975 through 1985. He was the…

FAMOUS DARLINGTON COUNTY RESIDENTS: Buddy Johnson, jazz musician

Woodrow Wilson “Buddy” Johnson, a renown jazz and New York blues musician, was born in Darlington, SC, on January 10, 1915.  A pianist and bandleader, Buddy performed songs with his sister Ella Johnson.  Among his songs that went into the R&B and pop charts…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Isaiah DeQuincey Newman, clergyman and civil rights leader

Isaiah DeQuincey Newman, a Darlington County native, was an esteemed clergyman and important civil rights leader. Educated in Williamsburg County public schools and Claflin College, he was ordained in the United Methodist Church (UMC) in 1931. In 1943, he helped organize the Orangeburg branch…