Street to be renamed for businessman

December 6, 2012 

Sunday, the 1600 block of Gregg Street will be renamed Leevy Lane to honor the late community leader and funeral home director Isaac Samuel Leevy.

The 4:30 p.m. ceremony will be at Leevy’s Funeral Home, 1831 Taylor St. in Columbia.

Mayor Steve Benjamin and members of City Council are recognizing the man who, in 1930, established the first black-owned gas station at Taylor and Gregg Streets. In 1932, he remodeled the building into The Leevy’s Funeral Home, a local landmark for 80 years now.

Leevy founded the Leevy Department Store and Victory Savings Bank, now S.C. Community Bank. He rose through the ranks of the Republican Party and, during segregation, ran for a number of public offices, including City Council and Congress. His grandson is lawyer I.S. Leevy Johnson, who in 1970 became one of the first African Americans elected to the state Legislature since Reconstruction.

Sunday’s ceremony will mark the 44th anniversary of Isaac Samuel Leevy’s passing.

-- Dawn Hinshaw

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