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More history made in Cowpens as African-American takes office

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by Craig Peters, GoUpstate.com

COWPENS – A town with a long line of history on Friday had room for a little more.

Roy Logan was sworn in as the first African-American member of the Cowpens Town Council on Friday afternoon, a day which Mayor Michael Hamrick called “momentous.”

Logan won a run-off election against incumbent Brenda Adair on May 20. He said the opportunity to serve the citizens as an elected official didn’t seem realistic years ago, but said he’s seen “so much progress in the last 20 years.”

“I didn’t think I’d live long enough to see this day, much less be part of it,” he said. “I hope and believe I can bring the community closer together.”

The 67-year-old retiree got involved on community committees and enjoyed the work. He said others encouraged him to run for the council.

“People saw me and knew I was capable of being a leader,” Logan said. “They got behind me. It helps a lot to know that someone’s behind you.”

Municipal Judge John Morrow swore in Logan and Wilma Dearybury, who was re-elected to a second four-year term. Dearybury, a real estate agent, joined the council in 2002 as a write-in candidate during a special election.

Dearybury said Logan has “big shoes to fill” in replacing Adair, but added “I’ve seen (Logan’s) performance on committees, and he does an excellent job.”

Town Administrator Fred Gossett said Logan’s election is “great and long overdue.” Gossett said Logan’s presence on the council will strengthen its diversity and be good for all citizens.

“He didn’t take the job as a matter of black and white,” Gossett said.

“He looks at things the same way for all people.”

Logan and his five siblings were raised in Cowpens by their oldest sister, Corrie Brackett, after their mother, Minnie Logan, died. Brackett was about 24 when she took on that responsibility.

When Logan told Brackett he was running for the council, she told him, “Take the Lord with you.”

Brackett stood at Logan’s side during Friday’s ceremony, along with sisters Alice Stevenson and Minnie Lee Makupson, brother Eddie, and Logan’s niece, Cora Culbert.

The town in eastern Spartanburg County was chartered in 1880, nearly 100 years after the Revolutionary War battle at the nearby battlefield of the same name.

Two ships – a World War II aircraft carrier and a guided missile cruiser – have shared the name USS Cowpens to commemorate the area’s historical significance.

Logan said he already has a few plans for making a mark on Cowpens during his four-year term. Hamrick said he’s “happy for (Logan) and the community.”

The 57-year-old Dearybury said she’s proud the history of the town in which she was born and raised will include Logan.

“Cowpens again made history,” Dearybury said. “(Logan) was elected because of his credentials. It says a good statement when citizens are involved and take part in an election.”

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Written by Symphony

July 13, 2008 at 7:48 pm

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