108-Year-Old SC Woman Gets State's Highest Honor

Donella Brown Wilson now has the state's highest civilian honor.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A 108-year-old woman who's been a pillar of the Midlands community for decades has now received the state's highest civilian honor.

Governor Henry McMaster awarded Donella Brown Wilson the Order of the Palmetto Wednesday. 

She was recognized for her dedication to civic duty. She has been a champion for civil rights, and hasn't missed a vote in about 70 years. She's generally considered one of the first African-American women to vote in the state. 

She also had a long career as a teacher, getting her certificate in 1933 and working in a classroom until her retirement in 1971.

Wilson was born in 1909 in Fort Motte over in Calhoun County.  She grew up to become an educator and a champion for civil rights, and settled in Columbia's Waverly neighborhood, where she is considered an expert on the community's history.

She waited until 1948 to vote with her husband. Her daughter, Minnie Wilson-Bivins, says Wilson hasn’t missed an election since.

She is a life member of the NAACP, and is the oldest living graduate of Allen University.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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