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New historical marker to be unveiled downtown

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A historical marker will be unveiled tomorrow at 1012 Marion St. recognizing the home of a prominent black Columbia family who resided there during the Reconstruction era.

The marker will stand in front of townhouse built around 1872 for Theophilus and Virginia McKee Minton, according to a news release from local civil rights organization Columbia 63.

Theophilus Minton, a Philadelphia native, graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1876 along with Richard Greener, USC’s first black professor. Minton worked as a clerk in the state senate and treasurer’s offices. In 1870, he married Virginia McKee, a daughter of one of the wealthiest black families in the country.

The Mintons’ son, Dr. Henry McKee Minton, was born in Columbia on Dec. 25, 1871. After graduating from Jefferson Medical College in 1906, Henry Minton opened the first black-operated drugstore in Philadelphia and served as a founding member of that city’s Mercy Hospital.

The Mintons lived in the Marion Street home until moving to Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1877.  Around 1912, the house was relocated from the corner of Gervais and Marion streets to its current location near the corner of Pendleton Street.


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