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Erminie M. And John T. Nave Papers, 1916-1996

The papers of Erminie M. and John T. Nave consist of one and one-quarter linear feet of files dating chiefly from 1964 to 1973 and 1980 to 1993. Although the collection principally relates to Republican Party activities in Greenwood County, it also documents political activities in the city of Greenwood, South Carolina's Third Congressional District, and throughout the state, as well as John T. Nave's mayoral campaigns.

Erminie McKnight Nave (b. 1923) and her husband, John Thomas Nave (b. 1921), were active leaders in Republican politics from the 1960s to the early 1990s, chiefly in Greenwood County but also at the district and state levels. Mrs. Nave, a native of Florence, served as chair of the Third District Republican Party, 1982-1989, and chair of the Greenwood County Republican Party, 1988-1989. She is also the author of A History of the Republican Party in Greenwood County. Published in 1996, her book chronicles the development of the Republican Party in Greenwood County between 1958 and 1993. John T. Nave, a native of Tennessee and former pilot for Abney Mills, served as mayor of Greenwood, 1967-1971 and 1986-1994; as Greenwood County Republican Party chairman, 1964-1967 and 1976-1977; and as state executive committeeman, 1978-1986.

The Naves became politically active in the early 1960s, when the Republican Party was developing across South Carolina. Their efforts focused on grass-roots activities aimed at building the Greenwood County Republican Party. In her acceptance remarks following her 1988 election as county chair, Mrs. Nave noted-"Much progress and growth has taken place in the Greenwood County Republican Party since the mid-60s when I first became an active participant. Credit is due to a number of persons who held the Party together when the 'going was rough' and to many others who through their persistence and perseverance over the years have constantly worked to build a viable two-party political system in Greenwood County."

The bulk of the collection is contained in two series-Elections and Republican Party. The latter are broken down geographically, with sub-series documenting Party activities in Greenwood, Greenwood County, the Third Congressional District, and South Carolina. Other series are General Papers, Mailing Lists, Photographs, and Newspaper Clippings. Much of the material related to the Republican Party is derived from the Naves' service on various committees. Of particular interest are Mrs. Nave's published history of the Greenwood County Republican Party and a brochure from the early 1960s attacking the "loyalty oath" that bound all those who voted in the South Carolina Democratic primaries to vote for the Democratic nominees in the general elections.

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