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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lancaster in Lancaster County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Thomas H Davis

 
 
Thomas H Davis Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anna Inbody, November 8, 2011
1. Thomas H Davis Marker
Inscription.  
Honoring
Thomas H. Davis
Site where his forty year selection, (1880), of okra led to the nationally known variety of "Clemson Spineless Okra"
1939

 
Erected 1968 by Clemson University Extension Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Agriculture. A significant historical year for this entry is 1939.
 
Location. 34° 43.197′ N, 80° 46.227′ W. Marker is in Lancaster, South Carolina, in Lancaster County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and East Dunlap Street on South Main Street. Marker is attached to a building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lancaster SC 29720, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lancaster County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); The Courthouse Lancaster County / John Simpson (within shouting distance of this marker); Lancaster County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Leroy Springs House (about 600 feet away); The Springs Block (about 700 feet away); The Jail / Robert Mills
Overview image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anna Inbody, November 8, 2011
2. Overview
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(about 800 feet away); Lancaster (approx. 0.2 miles away); Franklin Academy / Oldest Continuous Public School Site in Lancaster County (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lancasterville Presbyterian Church (approx. Ό mile away); Lancaster Normal and Industrial Institute (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lancaster.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Thomas H. Davis
Thomas H. Davis had a large garden behind the Mittag Inn which was directly across the street from the courthouse. It is only a speculation but it is likely that he sold fresh vegetables to local restaurants.

In 1880 Tom Davis noticed an okra plant that was different from all the others. The pods were spineless. Davis saved the seed and planted them the following season. A number of the okra plants exhibited the same lack of spines. He saved those seed and so on down a number of years.

In 1930, Miss Dora Walker of Winthrop College, which then housed the S. C. Extension Service, sent some of Davis' okra seed to R. A. McGinty at one of the S. C. experiment stations for agricultural products. Further experimentation was done with
Thomas H Davis Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, March 21, 2016
3. Thomas H Davis Marker
the spineless okra plants. When they were certain that the seed would faultlessly develop into spineless plants, the seed became available to the public.

There is a plaque on the corner of Main and Dunlap Streets in Lancaster that reads: "Honoring Thomas H. Davis-Site Where His Forty Year Selection (1880), of Okra Led to the Nationally Known Variety of 'CLEMSON SPINELESS OKRA' 1939."
    — Submitted November 9, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 9, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 682 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 9, 2011, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina.   3. submitted on June 5, 2016, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Aug. 12, 2022