Ibra Charles Blackwood

67th Governor of the State of South Carolina 1931 to 1935

Date Born: November 21, 1878

Date Died: February 12, 1936

Place Born: Blackwood, SC

Place Buried: Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Spartanburg, SC

Residence: Spartanburg County, SC

Occupation: Lawyer


Furman University, then Wofford College: Graduated 1898

South Carolina House of Representatives: 1903-1906

Solicitor, Seventh Judicial Circuit of South Carolina: 1916-1930

Blackwood was defeated in the 1926 Democratic gubernatorial primary by John Gardiner Richards. He returned to Spartanburg to practice law after leaving office.

1930 - Blackwood was elected governor without opposition, receiving 17,790 votes.

1931 – The People's State Bank failed and its forty-four branches in South Carolina closed.

October 13, 1931 – The Charleston City Council passed the first Historic Preservation Ordinance in the nation.

May 19, 1934 – Governor Blackwood signed the act that created the South Carolina Public Service Authority and led to the construction of the Santee-Cooper dams

September 1934 – Seven striking textile workers were killed in Honea Path by special deputies when 45,000 of the state's 80,000 textile workers went on strike


Ibra Charles Blackwood was born on November 21, 1878, the son of Charles Blackwood and Elizabeth Louvenia (Burns) Blackwood, in rural Spartanburg County, SC. He studied at Furman University preparatory school and obtained his law degree from Wofford College in 1898. During this time he became a brother of Pi Kappa Alpha. He then began to practice law in Spartanburg.

In 1902, at the age of 24, Ibra Charles Blackwood was first elected as one of six men to represent Spartanburg County in the House of Representatives of the:
- 65th General Assembly that met from 1903-1904
- 66th General Assembly that met from 1905-1906

From 1914 to 1916, Blackwood served as a tax collector for the Internal Revenue Service after which he became the Solicitor for the 7th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina.

In 1915, Ibra Charles Blackwood married Margaret Elizabeth Hodges, daughter of John C. Hodges and Mary E. (Mann) Hodges.

Ibra Charles Blackwood won a contested Democratic primary in 1930 to become the next governor of South Carolina. His term as governor was noted for the creation of the South Carolina Public Service Authority in 1934 which provided for a hydroelectric plant at Pinopolis Dam and the construction of numerous dams on the Santee and Cooper Rivers. A major strike in 1934 by the majority of textile workers in the state forced Governor Blackwood to call up the National Guard. However, the strike was so severe that the Governor had to commission "constables without compensation" and six strikers were killed by these special deputies in Honea Path on September 6, 1934.

Blackwood resumed the practice of law in Spartanburg upon leaving the governorship in 1935. He died almost a year later on February 12, 1936, and is buried in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.


Ibra Charles Blackwood was born in Blackwood, Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He attended both Furman University and Wofford College, graduating from Wofford in 1898. He went on to study law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1902, after which he went into private practice in Spartanburg. He was a member of the SC House of Representatives from 1902 to 1906, a U.S. Revenue Agent for South Carolina from 1914 to 1916, and Solicitor of the 7th Judicial Circuit of SC from 1916 to 1930. After waging an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1926, Blackwood won the 1930 Democratic gubernatorial primary and runoff elections, promising judicial reform. As governor, he signed legislation creating the SC Public Service Authority, which later constructed the Santee-Cooper dams. During Blackwood’s administration, a strike of textile workers resulted in the death of seven strikers in Honea Path, SC. In addition, legislation was enacted to tax hydroelectric and steam power. While governor, Blackwood extended the paved highway system in South Carolina, and he created a special Board of Bank Control during the bank crisis of 1933 which he chaired with emergency authority, giving the governor virtual control over the banking system. After leaving office, resumed his law practice in Spartanburg.

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