Florence Benson Elementary

The Florence C. Benson Elementary School was built in 1953-55 as Wheeler Hill School to serve African American students of the community and as a replacement for the overcrowded Celia Dial Saxon Negro Elementary School. An equalization school, it is both an example of the government’s efforts to maintain “separate but equal” school systems for blacks and whites and one of the last remnants of a segregated black residential area. The school served 270 students in the first through sixth grades. In 1958 it was re-named in honor of Florence Corinne Benson, a former teacher at the school.

KEYWORDS: NATIONAL REGISTER, EQUALIZATION SCHOOL, CELIA DIAL SAXON, COLUMBIA, RICHLAND COUNTY. WHEELER SCHOOL