In this photograph, Ellen Iredell Butler (1905-) is opening her invitation to the 1961 presidential inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A lifelong Democrat and the first woman to hold political office in Richland County, she was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1906, but has lived most all her life in Columbia, where her father was a physician for the Central Correctional Institution and her mother ran a boarding house. After graduation from high school in 1925, she went to work for the sheriff and helped sell cars confiscated from "rum runners" during Prohibition. Appointed tax collector by the Richland County Legislative Delegation in 1932, she served in that office until her retirement in 1968. She is a granddaughter of United States Senator Matthew Calbraith Butler and great-granddaughter of Governor Frances Wilkinson Pickens.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.