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House member and town officials honor last of South Congaree’s founding fathers as he turns 90 years

South Congaree, SC – 03/17/2021 (Paul Kirby) – Representative R.J. May of SC House District 88 and the leaders of the Town of South Congaree all came together Tuesday night to honor Paul David “Tar” Outlaw as his 90th birthday approaches. Outlaw, a retired businessman and respected community leader, will celebrate his birthday on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.


Outlaw was born in North Carolina, the Tar Heel state, and was quickly given the nickname “Tar Baby” as a child. As he grew into adulthood, the baby was dropped, and he has been affectionately known to most simply as Tar ever since. Luckily for South Congaree, he also moved from North Carolina to that area of Lexington County because he was one of the founding wardens (councilmembers). He was instrumental in incorporating the town in 1957. He has been a faithful servant leader in the area ever since.

Representative R.J. May took a moment Tuesday during the town’s regular council meeting to recognize Tar on behalf of the SC General Assembly. In doing so May said, “Mr. Outlaw has stood as an inspiration to his family and friends and brought enrichment and joy to all who hold him dear.” He was surrounded by family and friends in the gallery as accolades were heaped upon him.


Tar was born in 1931 and graduated from B.C. High School in 1949 before serving his country in Korea as a member of the U.S. Air Force. After completing his service, he returned to South Congaree where he went into the automobile repair business with his brother-in-law Earnest Vining. Together they opened Vining and Outlaw Garage which later became V&O Dependable. He retired around 2019.


Representative May once again reminded the crowd that Tar is the only surviving warden who served as a leader of the town when it was originally incorporated on July 29, 1957. He went on to read from a proclamation from the SC House that said of Tar, “He has served his community and state and we are honored to extend Paul David “Tar” Outlaw our best wishes on the celebration of his 90th birthday.” The proclamation was signed by the clerk of the SC House of Representatives and the Speaker of the House Jay Lucas.


After the formal presentation, South Congaree Mayor Cindy Campbell called a short recess to the meeting so that everyone could gather around Tar and wish him well. He was presented with a gift basket by the town and those gathered afforded themselves an opportunity to offer their heartfelt praise for Tar’s contributions to the area for more than 60 years.

PHOTO: Representative R.J. May with Mr. & Mrs. Paul David "Tar" Outlaw


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