Hartsville residents clean up historic African American cemetery


HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) – The City of Hartsville hopes to clean up a Historic Cemetery to properly honor influential African Americans from the early 1900’s.

Two dozen volunteers cleaned headstones and started clearing trees and overgrown grass from the Marion Avenue Cemetery.

Hartsville Mayor Pro Tem, Johnny Andrews, said many veterans and other prominent people are buried there.

“Professor Butler, who the old Butler High School is named after here in Hartsville is buried in this cemetery. Also, another influential figure is Sam Poole. We have a street here in Hartsville which is the legacy of the family,” Andrews explained.

Andrews adds, “There are a good number of veterans buried in this cemetery. All the way from the Spanish American war up through world war one and world war two and beyond. And we certainly want to honor their legacy. The unkept conditions of the cemetery now do not do justice to the sacrifices they have made.”

The Hartsville cemetery committee started a fundraiser to preserve the cemetery with the help of the Chicora Foundation.

Andrews explained, “History comes alive when you make it local. You can study any period in history and it may not be the most interesting thing to you but if you can localize it. Or put a member of your family within that historic period. It does become a lot more interesting to you,”

“They all played roles in the early development of Hartsville and the wars of the 20th century and we just want community by in and the community to be aware of this little jewel that we need to polish and make it shine a little bit,” Andrews said.

City Council hopes to get the cemetery on the National Registry. For information on how you can get involved in the project contact Hartsville City Hall at 843- 383- 3015.