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Ibra Charles Blackwood Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Ibra Charles Blackwood passes away in 1936.

Ibra Charles Blackwood was an American politician.

Blackwood was born on November 21st, 1878 in rural Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He first studied at Furman University preparatory school before attending Wofford College. From Wofford he obtained his law degree. After Woffard he opened a practice in Spartanburg.

Blackwood was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1902, he was only 24 at the time. From 1914 to 1916 he served as a tax collector for the Internal Revenue Service. Later he became a solicitor for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of South Carolina.

In 1930, Blackwood ran for Governor of South Carolina. The 1930 Democratic primary was contested with eight candidates, including Blackwood, running for the seat. The large field was due to the fact that in 1926, the South Carolina Constitution was changed to allow four year terms. In a runoff election, Blackwood came in second in the original primary election, Blackwood defeated Olin D. Johnson for the Democratic nomination. No new candidates emerged in the general election, so Blackwood run unopposed to a four year term as governor.

Blackwood's term as Governor had two major events. The first was the creation of the South Carolina Public Service Authority, more commonly known as Santee Cooper in 1934. Santee Cooper provides hydroelectric power to the state. Some of their early projects were dams on the Santee River and the Cooper River in South Carolina. The other event was a major strike by textile workers in the state. The strike was severe enough that Blackwood had to call out National Guard troops. When that was enough he commissioned "constables without compensation", special deputies to help contain the striking workers. The special deputies ended up killing 6 striking workers in Honea Path, South Carolina on September 6th.

After leaving the Governors office, Blackwood resumed his legal practice in Spartanburg. Almost a year later Blackwood passed away on February 12th, 1936.

Blackwood was a member of Spartan Lodge No. 70 in Spartanburgh, South Carolina.