Martha M. Horne was born December 4, 1953, in Sumter, SC, to parents Joseph T. McElveen and Elizabeth Thomas McElveen. She attended Clemson Extension (now USC Sumter) for two years, then transferred to the University of South Carolina and earned her Bachelor’s degree cum laude in 1975. She later attended the University of South Carolina School of Law, from which she earned her J.D. in 1978.
After graduating from law school, Martha clerked for then-Circuit Judge Ernest A. Finney for a year, then moved to Columbia, SC, to serve as a state assistant attorney general in the Child Support Enforcement and Criminal Appeals sections. In 1983, Martha returned to Sumter to serve as assistant solicitor under then-Solicitor Wade Kolb. She became Sumter’s first female deputy solicitor under Solicitor Kolb. In 1991, she left the solicitor’s office to serve as in-house attorney and city prosecutor, a position she held until her retirement in 2015. Martha was very active in the SC Bar and served as the first female president of the SC Bar Young Lawyers Division. She was a member of the SC Bar House of Delegates and Board of Governors and was the first chair of the executive council of the SC Bar Resolution of Fee Disputes Board. Martha also served on numerous Bar committees, including the Domestic Violence Publication Project, which received a first place award from the American Bar Association in 1987. She served on the board of directors of the USC School of Law and in 1992 was honored as one of the first recipients of its Compleat Lawyer Award.
She was also extremely active in the Sumter community. She was the first female president of the Sumter County Alliance for Law Enforcement, a member of the Sumter Area Technical College Criminal Justice Advisory Board and chair of the Sumter County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She served on the Sumter County Child Abuse and Neglect Advisory Team and the YWCA Domestic Violence Advisory Board. She served on the board of directors of the Sumter County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Sumter County United Way Campaign. She was president of the Sumter Junior Welfare League, served on the board of directors of The Forum and on the board of directors of SAFE Federal Credit Union.
In 1990, Martha was honored as the SC Bar Young Lawyer of the Year; in 1986, she was recognized by the YWCA as one if its TWIN (Tribute to Women & Industry) honorees; and in 1992, was the recipient of the Volunteer Sumter Point of Light. She received the SC Law Enforcement Association President’s Award for Outstanding Citizenship in 1992. Martha was a devout Christian and member of First Presbyterian Church.
Martha M. Horne died on July 15, 2015. She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Terrell T. Horne; her two children, Elizabeth M. Horne and Joseph T. Horne; brother, Joseph T. McElveen Jr. (Kathryn); a niece, Kathryn W. McElveen; and a nephew, Joseph T. McElveen III (Bronwyn) and their daughter, Adelaide.