Ruth Gardena <I>Harrison</I> Birnie

Ruth Gardena Harrison Birnie

Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
Death 10 Jun 1956 (aged 71)
Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 101764518 · View Source
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Ruth was born to Moses and Louise Harrison in Sumter, South Carolina. The Harrison's had six children: Louise, Katie, Melinda, Rosa, Page, and William. Since her parents died while she was very young, Ruth was reared by Martha A.Savage, a teacher. Ruth graduated from Lincoln School an early African American school in Sumter. Later she taught there for a short period of time. As was customary for women during the early twentieth century. she learned to sew, and she used her talents as seamstress while teaching. In 1902, when she was eighteen, Ruth married Charles Wainwright Birnie, M. D., who came to Sumter as its first African American Physician. Charles, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, was educated at Avery Institute, Wilbraham Academy, Oberlin College, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Sixteen years after their marriage, the Birnies gave birth to a daughter, Anna. As Charles' practice grew, he and Martha, Ruth's foster mother, encouraged Ruth to pursue pharmacy as a profession. She entered Benedict College, then went on to Temple University and received her degree in pharmacy. Upon her return to South Carolina, Ruth became one of the earliest African-American pharmacists...male or the state. About 1912, she opened her drugstore, People's Pharmacy, on West Liberty Street.

Family Members

Gravesite Details D/O Moses and Louise Harrison

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  • Created by: Sam
  • Added: 5 Dec 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 101764518
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ruth Gardena Harrison Birnie (15 Aug 1884–10 Jun 1956), Find a Grave Memorial no. 101764518, citing Walker Cemetery, Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Sam (contributor 47263334) .