A.P. Williams Funeral Home

1808 Washington St., Columbia, South Carolina


A. P. Williams Funeral Home, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


Street View 


The A.P. Williams Funeral Home is significant for its association with the system of segregation in Columbia from 1936 to 1955, representing the creation of an alternative space by a black entrepreneur in order to serve the city’s black community. The home was built between 1893 and 1911 as a single-family residence. In 1936, Bessie Williams Pinckney and her son Archie Preston Williams, II converted part of the building to a funeral home with a residence on the second floor where they lived. At this time the white-owned funeral homes in Columbia served white customers only, and the black community needed its own funeral homes. In 1936, there were four funeral homes in Columbia that served white customers and six that served black customers. Archie Preston Williams, II was also a leader in the city’s black community who ran for election to both the Columbia City Council and the state legislature in the 1950s. He was also an officer in the Columbia Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for twenty-two years. Williams was instrumental in convincing Columbia to hire its first two African American police officers and to provide equal pay for African American city employees. The home is a two-story frame building featuring a hipped roof with lower cross gables and a columned porch running across the east half of the façade. Listed in the National Register September 28, 2005. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2005
Reference number
NR name
Williams, A.P., Funeral Home
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival
Areas of significance
Social History; Ethnic Heritage - Black
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Mortuary
Current function
Periods of significance
1925-1949; 1950-1974
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • October 3, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 3, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller