Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
A native of NC who was brought to Greenville by Vardry McBee as a slave.
He worked after hours and bought his way out of slavery. Once a free man he soon owned a general store and tannery.
He served in the State House from 1868-1870.
He died at his home on Coffee St. at the age of 78.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 34° 50.667′ N, 82° 24.167′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 631 South Main Street, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Touchstone House "Falls Cottage" (within shouting distance of this marker); The Touchstone House (within shouting distance of this marker); Chicora College (within shouting distance of this marker); Greenville Arboretum (about 300 feet away, measured Restoration and Development (about 300 feet away); Harriet Smith Wyche (about 300 feet away); History of Falls Park (about 300 feet away); Dr. Charles Hard Townes (about 400 feet away); Tate Plaza (about 400 feet away); Liberty Bridge (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
More about this marker. Artwork by Suzanne Vitta.
1. Wilson Cooke
Wilson Cooke is recognized as a founding father of Greenville. Cooke was brought to Greenville as a slave by Vardry McBee. He worked hard, saved his money, and bought his freedom. He opened a general store and a tannery. By 1881, Wilson Cooke was one of the highest taxpayers in Greenville County. After the Civil War, Cooke served in the South Carolina Radical Legislature from 1868 to 1870 when African Americans controlled the state legislature and crafted legislation for state funding of public education and other matters of importance to elevate the state. (Source: Greenville County, South Carolina by Leola Clement Robinson-Simpson (2007), pg 18.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 3, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,346 times since then and 105 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 3, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.