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Manigault-Hurley Funeral Home. Est. 1902 employed more African Americans than a

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The Gist of Freedom

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Anna May Manigault-Hurley 

Female Funeral Home Director and Embalmer

In 1940, Anna went to New York to study embalming at the famous Renouard School of Embalming. After her graduation, she returned to Columbia as one of the few women in South Carolina to become a licensed embalmer. Embalming school changed her life and she went on to direct the family's business. Mrs. Manigault-Hurley also helped to operate the Congaree Casket Company, founded by her father. After her father, William Manigault, died in 1940, Anna Manigault made a career choice that was uncommon for women. Her mother, Annie Rivers Manigault, along with her father, owned and operated Manigault's Funeral Home at 714 Main Street in.Columbia, South Carolina. Their funeral home was one of the few African American businesses located on Main Street. As a young person, Miss Manigault assisted her parents at the funeral home. It was known to employ more African Americans than any other black owned business in South Carolina!


The printed funeral programs of her mortuary were known to be the first use of printed programs in South Carolina for funeral services. Among its many services, the casket company and the mortuary provided free meals for its employees and others in need. In 1959, she relocated the funeral home to 2229 Two Notch Road, Columbia, S.C. and it became the Manigault-Hurley Funeral Home, Inc. Mrs. Manigault-Hurley remained active in many civic organizations, and in her church, the Union Baptist Church, until her death on April 15, 1976. 

The legacy of Anna May Manigault-Hurley continues. The funeral home is currently under the management and directorship of her son, Anthony Manigault-Hurley; her granddaughter, Michelle Manigault-Hurley; and Mr. Hurley's wife, Alice Wyche Hurley."