James Henry Sweat 1911-1995 - James Henry Sweat was a constant in the Appling area for over 60 years. Known throughout the area as Booker T, Sweat was a well respected man and had the ability to leave everyone he met with something that helped them. Growing up in Columbia County in a time when Blacks weren’t allowed the the same privileges as others, James rose above the disadvantages and set the ground work for his families present day success. In his early years, Sweat was instrumental in the construction of Clark’s Hill Dam, being apart of the blasting team. Soon after, he was hired to manage Wildwood Park and developed it with new roads and paths. Some of those paths still used today.
In the Appling community, Sweat was a gentle giant. Whether through his civil work as President of the Rosemont Baptist Association Inc, or as a Deacon at Second Mount Carmel Church, Deacon Sweat always answered the call. He has always had the best interest of his family and neighbors at heart, that led to him having a peddling route in which he would drive down to the farmers market in Augusta and peach orchards in Johnston SC to buy vegetables and fruit. He would then get up every Friday and Saturday mornings during the summer and fall months and drive around the areas of Clarks Hill, Winfield , Leah and Appling to provide fruits and vegetables to families at a fraction of the cost of grocery stores and allowing them credit on the goods ensuing that his neighbors had food for their family.
Sweat’s legacy continues present day through the foundation that bears his name, with the mission of what he always believed, that children and elderly were the people who drove the world - children because they are the future and elderly because they are full of wisdom.