Ozie Jackson, Sr.

Ozie Jackson was born April 15, 1916, in Ridge Spring (Saluda County), South Carolina. He was the first of eight children of the late Sam Jackson and Mary Quattlebaum Jackson. After the death of Jackson’s mother, his father married Maxie Campbell West Jackson, and six children were born to them. Jackson attended Ridgehill School in Ridge Spring, South Carolina. After coming to Columbia, he married Mable Grant Jackson and the couple had five children. He later joined the Dennis Chapel Baptist Church in Columbia, served as a Deacon and sang with the Jubilee Choir.

Having little formal education, Jackson was blessed with wisdom, ingenuity, persistence, and God’s guidance. He has allowed God to use him. In Jackson’s early adult life he obtained a chauffeur’s license, drove taxis from 1946 to 1949, and subsequently owned a cab company, the Capital City Taxi Club. In 1946, Jackson opened the Capital City Sandwich Shop. This shop was operated out of an old school bus located at 1607 Harden Street. In 1952 he and a partner put up a building in place of the old school bus and renamed the restaurant, ALBEN, for Allen University and Benedict College. The business was located across from both schools. In 1964, Jackson and his wife bought the building next door. That enterprise eventually became known as the A & B House Restaurant. Again, it was named using the first letter of each of the two schools to retain the identity and warmth that had developed with the schools over the years.

During the many years that he was in the restaurant business, Jackson literally fed thousands. He established a catering business that provided service for any African American conventions and conferences held in Columbia. He had extra compassion for struggling students at Allen University and Benedict College. Those students who were unable to pay were served. In addition to family members, including his wife, sisters, and children, many students were employed in the businesses.

In 1982, Mr. Jackson retired, happily and healthy. He and his wife enjoyed working in the church, community, and his half-acre garden. In 1994, his wife preceded him in death.

He was well known and respected throughout Columbia and the state of South Carolina. On June 1, 1996, Mr. Jackson was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame, a project of the 100 Black Men of South Carolina and the United Black Fund of the Midlands. In November of 1996, the Starks Terrace Community Club recognized him for outstanding community service and having been a resident since 1950. In 1997 the Columbia Urban League presented him with their community service award for assistance he provided them in feeding the needy. The State of South Carolina House of Representatives and members of the Legislative Black Caucus honored him upon his death January 11, 1998, with a Proclamation on January 16, 1998. On October 31, 1998, Benedict College held a Tree Planting Ceremony in honor of him in front of the David H. Swinton Student Center.