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833rd Memorial: Leroy Wallace Nance 1874-1940

Photograph by Robin Foster, August 13, 2014.

Leroy Wallace Nance is the 833rd memorial added to Find A Grave, and it feels good that we are still uncovering undocumented grave markers. We had no prior knowledge of him. We have discovered a little more about him outside of his name and birth and death dates. His death certificate was available at

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"South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1943," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 Aug 2014), 004181090 > image 804 of 1688; citing Department of Archives and History, State Records Center, Columbia.

According to his death certificate, Leroy Nance's parents are Samuel Nance and Necie Pitts of Laurens County, South Carolina, and his wife is Susie Nance. The name of the informant was not entered here, but his birth is listed as April 5, 1874 making him 66 years old at the time of his death on July 9, 1940.

The headstone was discovered in Fairview Cemetery. This is confusing because the death certificate states his burial to be Mt Pisgah. Fortunately, one of our researchers, Jan Mitchell Edwards, found an article announcing his death which appeared in the Index-Journal on July 10, 1940.

We learned from the obituary that Leroy Nance was one of the founders of Mt. Pisgah AME Church. It would not beunreasonable to assume that he is actually buried there, and this is an addtional headstone in the Nance family plot in Fairview Cemetery. We will need to check Mt. Pisgah AME Church Cemetery for evidence of his burial there. Perhaps we will find a headstone there more befitting a church founder since most reknown leaders had more elaborate headstones than the one pictured above.

The obituary also explains that Leroy a resident of Greenwood for 38 years, fell dead suddenly from a heart attack and that he was a well known carpenter who was "liked by both white and colored citizens of the city." We have found several obituaries of people buried in Fairview that give the account that the person was liked by both colors.

Leroy was also a member of the board of trustees for Brewer Hospital. Until recently, the history of Fairview Cemetery and the people buried there have been almost completely lost to us. Because of the effort of the Fariview Cemetery Project Committee and community volunteers we are able to use the grave markers being uncovered to connect us once again to the past and people who accomplished great things.

We will bring more of these pieces of history to you, and you will learn right along with us that people who built Greenwood long ago sacrificed a great deal and often wore several hats in the community. They must not remain forgotten. We have a lot that we can learn from them in our day. We appreciate all of you who are inspired to reach out to us to assist and share our posts.

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