All 44 U.S. Marshals who have served South Carolina since the foundation of the U.S. Marshals Service in 1789 are now honored with their portraits on a wall in the agency’s Columbia office.
The U.S. Marshal Wall Display was dedicated Tuesday. Descendants and families of some of the Marshals honored on the wall were invited to attend the ceremony.
“I think the volume and the number of family members that were here today that their great-great-grandfather were former Marshals speaks to the significance of the event and how much it meant to certain family members,” current District of South Carolina U.S. Marshal Thomas Griffin said.
About 50 descendants and family members attended the event.
Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Tom Henman proposed the idea. “To undertake this task was pretty daunting just because of the number, the age,” Henman said. “Then I started to try to find family members of the Marshals. That’s really when the fun started for the project for me. . . and that’s when I started hearing the wonderful stories. The memories.”
Henman said families showed him photos, badges, service weapons and even oaths of office.
“It’s just amazing what people keep and hold onto,” he said. “Which is so special.”
One photo on the wall was the only known existing image of one marshal. It featured the man reclining in a boat in Charleston harbor.
“All of these individuals just incredible people,” Henman said. “Successful businessmen, attorneys, military officers, soldiers, teachers, doctors, athletes, statesmen, philanthropists, law enforcement officers –just amazing the people that were U.S. Marshals over time.”
Chief U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten was the keynote speaker. Also sharing their experiences as District of South Carolina U.S. Marshals were Stacia Hylton, Johnny Mack Brown and Kelvin Washington. Hylton also is former director of the U.S. Marshals Service. Brown is currently serving as interim Greenville County Sheriff and Washington is the Darlington police chief.
“We’ll continue the tradition moving forward,” Griffin said.