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Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Cyril O. Spann Medical Office

 
 
Cyril O. Spann Medical Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, November 27, 2019
1. Cyril O. Spann Medical Office Marker
side 1
Inscription.  From 1963 to 1979, this was the office of Dr. Cyril O. Spann (1916-1979), one of the first fully trained African American surgeons in S.C. Born in Chester, Spann fought in World War II and attended nearby Benedict College. After graduating from Meharry Medical College, he traveled to different S.C. towns to perform surgery and train other black doctors. He built this office after acquiring the site in 1962.

A local civil rights leader, Spann helped desegregate public accommodations and once performed life-saving surgery on a student stabbed during a sit-in. While Spann saw patients at this office, he conducted surgery at Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital, where he worked as early as 1957 and later served as chief of staff. After Spann's death, other black doctors continued practicing at his office into the 1990's.
 
Erected 2019 by Tnovsa Global Commons and the Richland County Conservation Commission. (Marker Number 40 211.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArchitecture
Cyril O. Spann Medical Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, November 27, 2019
2. Cyril O. Spann Medical Office Marker
side 2
Civil RightsScience & Medicine.
 
Location. 34° 0.635′ N, 81° 1.088′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Hampton Street west of Oak Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2226 Hampton Street, Columbia SC 29204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Visanska-Starks House (within shouting distance of this marker); Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Matthew J. Perry House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Calvary Baptist Church (about 500 feet away); Waverly (approx. 0.2 miles away); Allen University (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lighthouse & Informer / John H. McCray (approx. 0.2 miles away); Carver Theatre (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
 
Regarding Cyril O. Spann Medical Office. The building served as the office of Dr. Spann from 1963 until his death in 1979 and represents the history of segregated medical facilities in Columbia until the opening of the integrated Richland County Memorial Hospital in 1972.

It is in Columbia’s Historic Waverly neighborhood, a City of Columbia Protection
Cyril O. Spann Medical Office image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce
3. Cyril O. Spann Medical Office
Area and one of the few African American residential districts in South Carolina that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Dr. Spann, a native of Chester, SC and graduate of Benedict College and Meharry Medical College, was a Black physician and surgeon who operated a practice out of this building while also working at the Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital down the block. From 1966 to the hospital’s closure in 1973, Dr. Spann served as the hospital’s chief of staff.

Unlike the segregated hospital wings and waiting rooms that typically greeted Black patients seeking care, Dr. Spann’s office provided a doctor’s office created by and for African Americans. Through additional rigorous study and practice at Meharry, Dr. Spann became one of the first fully trained Black surgeons in South Carolina during the 1960s and early 1970s. At the time of his practice, he was the only Black surgeon in the state. As a result, Dr. Spann traveled to Kingstree, Sumter, Union, Greenville, Charleston, and other areas across the state to provide his much-needed surgical expertise to Black patients.

Spann also acted alongside other civil rights leaders to desegregate downtown Columbia businesses, and to support the 187 student protesters arrested for demonstrating at the South Carolina State House, which led to a US Supreme Court ruling in their favor in Edwards
Cyril O. Spann SR, MD image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, circa 1965
4. Cyril O. Spann SR, MD
Source: South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina
v. South Carolina (1963).

The Dr. Cyril O. Spann Medical Office was operated exclusively by African-American physicians from 1964 until 1995. These individuals included Dr. Albert Reid, Dr. Everett Dargan, Dr. Gerald Wilson, Dr. Burnett Gallman, Dr. Ronald Johnson, the late Dr. Vera McBryde, a Latta, SC native; and the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center Annex founded by Dr. Stuart Hamilton.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May 2019. This historic marker was unveiled on November 19, 2019 and has created a unique space with three historic markers in a row for related buildings: The Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital, where Dr. Spann served as chief of staff; the Visanska Starks House, where nurses who served Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital lived, and the Spann Medical Office itself. Tnovsa Global Commons plans to restore the building and open it by 2021.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Oral History Interviews, Black Medical History Project - Dr. Cyril O. Spann Sr. (video). This oral history project, funded by Richland County Conservation Commission and Richland County, documents the impact of Dr. Spann on health care during the transition from segregated to desegregated health services for Blacks in
Physicians who practiced in the Spann Medical Office image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, March 22,
5. Physicians who practiced in the Spann Medical Office
Left to right: Gerald Wilson, MD; Jean Hopkins, RN; Rodney Reid, MD and his father, Albert Reid, MD (seated); Burnett W. Gallman, MD and Everett L. Dargan, MD.
the Midlands and in South Carolina. Interview subjects include Cyril O. Spann Jr., MD; Burnett W. Gallman, MD; Gerald Wilson, MD; Everett L. Dargan, MD; Albert L. Reid, MD and Stuart A. Hamilton, MD. (Submitted on November 24, 2019, by C.F. Bruce of Columbia, South Carolina.) 

2. SC African American Civil Rights Commission Tweet for the unveiling of the marker. (Submitted on November 28, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
 
Cyril O. Spann SR, MD with Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital Staff image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, 1965
6. Cyril O. Spann SR, MD with Good Samaritan Waverly Hospital Staff
Cyril O. Spann SR, MD with Edwards v. South Carolina team image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, March 1963
7. Cyril O. Spann SR, MD with Edwards v. South Carolina team
Student protesters vindicated after winning the Edwards v.South Carolina case. Before them stand attorney Lincoln C. Jenkins, Attorney Matthew J. Perry, Cyril O Spann Sr., MD and NAACP leader I.DeQuincey Newman. The 187 petitioners consisted of African-American high school and college students who assembled at the Zion Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina on March 2, 1961 and marched to the South Carolina State House grounds to express their grievances regarding civil rights of African-Americans. The students failed to disperse when ordered to do so and were arrested. Dr. Spann raised money to insure that the bail was paid. The student protesters were convicted of the common law crime of breach of the peace. The case went to the US Supreme Court, which held that in South Carolina infringed on the petitioners’ rights of free speech, free assembly and freedom to petition for a redress of grievances, rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Stuart A. Hamilton, MD image. Click for full size.
By C.F. Bruce, April 1, 2019
8. Stuart A. Hamilton, MD
Dr. Hamilton was another physician who worked in the Spann Medical Office. The office served as the 'birthplace' for the Eau Claire Community Health Centers, founded by Dr. Hamilton, which are now in four counties and in one country outside of the United States.
Vera McBryde, MD image. Click for full size.
By Alan Hefter, son of Vera McBryde, MD, circa February 1, 2010
9. Vera McBryde, MD
Dr. McBryde, who died in 2012, the only woman physician who worked in the Spann building. A native of Dillon County in South Carolina, she was a Meharry graduate, practicing at this office in Columbia, in Nashville, TN, and did research and teaching at the University of Chicago.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 28, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 24, 2019, by C.F. Bruce of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 428 times since then and 234 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 24, 2019, by C.F. Bruce of Columbia, South Carolina.   2. submitted on November 27, 2019, by C.F. Bruce of Columbia, South Carolina.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 24, 2019, by C.F. Bruce of Columbia, South Carolina.   8, 9. submitted on November 27, 2019, by C.F. Bruce of Columbia, South Carolina. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 27, 2020