|South Carolina Department of Archives and History|
|National Register Properties in South Carolina
Paris Simkins House, Edgefield County (202 Gary St., Edgefield)
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The Paris Simkins House is a one-and-one-half story, weatherboarded residence that was the home of Paris Simkins, a former slave who distinguished himself as a state legislator during the Reconstruction period and as a prominent member of the local black community until his death in 1930. Simkins was born in 1849 and was the son of Colonel Arthur Augustus Simkins, a prominent white public official, and his slave Charlottte Simkins. While a child, Paris Simkins learned the alphabet and how to read and write, though he never attended school. Later Simkins served as a representative of Edgefield in the South Carolina General Assembly from 1872-1876, and while he was in Columbia, he earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina. He was admitted to the state bar in 1885. Simkins is believed to have had his house built ca. 1870. More substantial than the homes of most black South Carolinians during the period, the Paris Simkins House is a symbol of the aspirations of some freedmen and a physical record of what a few blacks were able to achieve during Reconstruction. Listed in the National Register April 5, 1984. It has since been demolished. Removed from the National Register December 8, 2005.
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