Alexander receives historic new title

PICKENS — Longtime Pickens County historian Julia Alexander has made a little history of her own.

Alexander, a lifelong Pickens resident, was unanimously elected President Emeritus of the Pickens County Historical Society (PCHS) at its January board meeting, a first in the 56-year history of the organization, of which she was a charter member.


“Recognized for her many years of dedicated service to the historical society, her leadership and genteel character, Julia Alexander has always been a wealth of knowledge of Pickens-area history,” read a release from the historical society.

“No one deserves this unique honor more than Miss Julia,” PCHS president Ken Nabors said. “Her generosity of her time and talent to this community has always been without limit, and it does not go unappreciated.”

Alexander has lived all her life in Pickens, within a three-block radius of her first home on Ann Street, where she was born.

After her graduation from Pickens High School, Alexander attended Draughon’s Business College in Greenville and then worked for her father, Ernest Alexander, at his feed, seed and grocery store on Main Street in the building next to the current Gravely’s Barber Shop. After Mr. Alexander passed away, she sold his business and began working across the street at South Carolina National Bank. Later, she went to work at the Pickens branch office of Duke Power, which was on Court Street. After a few years, Duke promoted her with the distinction of being Duke’s first female branch manager. She held that position for 30 years until her retirement in the early 1980s.

A true expert on the history of the town and many of its oldest families, Alexander has kept a series of notebooks on Pickens County history. College professors and history buffs alike have visited her to consult with her on local history and the families who have made Pickens such a special place. There are at least three books that have been written on the Alexander family heritage in the Upstate.

“I have lived a good life here,” Alexander said upon winning the “I Fan The Flame award given by the city of Pickens and the Pickens Revitalization Assocation in October 2012. “I love the people and have been very blessed by them”,