Abbeville County, South Carolina

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: South Carolinamap
Surnames/tags: abbeville_county south_carolina United_states
This page has been accessed 1,519 times.

Welcome to Abbeville County, South Carolina Project!

... ... ... is a part of South Carolina history.
Join: South Carolina Project
Discuss: South Carolina
Abbeville County, South Carolina

is Paula J

Coordinator is Mary Richardson



Abbeville, Sc.
1750 - Settlers in District 96 were mostly Scotch Irish and French-Huguenot farmers. As Settlers arrived, it was originally referred to as Abbeville Colony within District 96. See US Southern Colonies, British, South Carolina (part of the US Southern Colonies Project) [1]
1756 - Patrick L Calhoun with his 4 friends and families settled in this western part of South Carolina. This was first called District 96, then called Abbeville Distict and even later, Abbeville County. They were of the Scottish, or Scots-Irish, order.[1]
Another Scottish family, Alexander McAlpin and sons who settled here, served in American Revolution. Sons were Robert McAlpin, b 1757 and Solomon McAlpin (b 1762 ) and more sons and daughters.
Oct 7, 1763 Proclamation line -- a Royal Proclamation which had been issued by King George III, issued after Britain acquired French territory at the end of the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War). This forbade settlement west of a line southward along the Applachian Mountains. Early settlers increased in this backcountry in the 1760's-1770's. Some came from Maryland, Virginia or Scotland (Alexander McAlpin and sons).[2]
1764 This District 96 later split into Abbeville county settlement was followed by arrival of 211 Huguenot exiles from France. The name of the district as well as the character, and strength of the settlers and institutions. This area was designated: Abbeville District.[1]
1775-1782 This Ninety-Sixth District was known to have been at the front during the war for American Independence.[1]
1777 There was a historic treaty was signed with the Cherokee Indians in Dewitt's Corner, which has become known as Due West.[1]
March 18, 1782 was the birth of John C Callhoun in Abbeville, South Carolina. John Calhoun later served the state and United States as a congressman, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and U.S 7th Vice President. Calhoun was the first vice president to be a United States citizen. NOTE: Calhoun was Vice President under John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and later for Andrew Jackson (1829-1832). Later he resigned as Vice President to become a United States Senator. Calhoun also served in the United States House of Representatives (1810-1817). He was cabinet members as Secretary of War (1817-1824) and Secretary of State (1844-1845). OF Note, Calhoun is buried in the graveyard of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.[3]
Pre 1785 - Abbeville county was part of Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, in 1785 :District Ninety-Six was split to be Abbeville County. Later parts of the Abbeville county were split off to create the counties of Greenwood in 1897 and McCormick in 1916[1]
Image for South Carolina.
Abbeville County organized in 1785, ranks first among, the counties of upper South Carolina. [1]
According to Robert Mills, Abbeville promoted education for the youth.
Statistics of South Carolina
The county promoted education for the youth. Mills' quote:
"Abbeville may be regarded as the original seat of learning in the upper country, and from it has emanated that light and intelligence which manifested themselves there previous to and during the Revolutionary War. Attention to education was equal with the settlement."[4]
1800's The Abbeville County Courthouse has an early date of 1800's. It was first built on 102 Church Street (a corner of the town square). [3]

1802 Gold had been found in Greenville County. Through the years discoveries were found in other Counties. discoveries After this other discoveries were found in other counties [5]

1832 Gold was processed and shipped from South Carolina to the United States. [5]
Slavery Slavery on the Move
1830's to 1840's Abbeville's most famous native son was John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), United States Vice President, Secretary of War and of State, and U.S. Senator.[1]
Abbeville's county seat, the town of Abbeville, SC can be found 50 miles S of Greenville and 70 miles W of Columbia.[1]
Abbbeville Plaza
1860 - This county was a hotbed of secession before the Civil war.
1862-65 Men from this district were among the front lines, and first in the Confederate war. [1]
Education - According to Robert Mills Abbeville promoted education for the youth.
Statistics of South Carolina
The county promoted education for the youth.
Mills' quote: "Abbeville may be regarded as the original seat of learning in the upper country, and from it has emanated that light and intelligence which manifested themselves there previous to and during the Revolutionary War. Attention to education was equal with the settlement."[6]
Abbeville County is in the gold belt. This is a large running vein of ore from Dahlonega, Georgia, into South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and into Maryland. The Dorn Gold Mine of Abbeville County, is a pocket mine which was abandoned after gold worth $3,000,000 was extracted. This mine has not been operated in many years. [1]
1856 A lump of gold was found within in Abbeville County. Through the years discoveries were found in other Counties. discoveries After this other discoveries were found in other counties [5]
Abbeville had 11 mines[7]Minerals uch as feldspar for porcelain and china, mica - essential for radio field and electrical areas, hiocher (basis for paint, and holler's earth - used in clarifying and whitening minerals, vegetable and animal oils and asbestos (fireproofing. Also found are iron and onyx. [1]
Nuggets, Abbeville
Diamond Hill Quartz Mine, Antreville, Abbeville Co., South Carolina,
Parson's Mountain Gold Mines - on Parson's Mountain, 10 miles south of Abbeville.
Lyons gold mine small, closed now
Cook Gold Prospect in Lowndsville began 1908 [8]
Civil War Mine near Abbeville, SC ( with the Piedmont Belt-Mccormick Mining District) [9]
Lyon Gold Prospect Troy, SC also with the Piedmont Belt-Mccormick Mining District . One vein remains.[10]


Eminent men

John C. Calhoun, George McDuffie, Langdon Cheves, the Haskells, James L. Petigru, the Wardlaws, statesmen, lawyers, judges, soldiers, and a host of other eminent men were born in this county.
Frasier Pressley house octagon
1865 The last Confederate council of war was held here.
Opera House, Abbeville, Co., SC
1868- the area was renamed Abbeville County. [1]
The county's transportation is via the Norfolk Southern Railroad and Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (now CSX), and parts of the county are served by the Piedmont & Northern Railway (currently known CSX). Many improved public highways take care of the automobiles in present day.
1950 Abbeville County had a population of 22,456.

Abbeville County's history is colorful, which extends back into the 1700's, while it was a colony within District 96. After the county formed, towns formed such as: Abbeville, Calhoun Falls, Donalds, Due West and Lowndesville. The county originally extended from the Savannah River to the Saluda River (which is a divider between Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah River). Sources indicate that it was named for a French town, located 20 miles from the French coastline and ocean. Abbeville, South Carolina is situated on the Savannah River.[3]
Famous sons and daughters added their local, state and national contributions to make the Abbeville County rich in history.[3]
The Trinity Episcopal church began in 1842, then in 1859, a cornerstone was placed for the church at 200 Church Street. Included in the building with a cost of $15,665 was also an organ. Its steeple is visible from downtown Abbeville due to the steeple being 120 feet high. A cemetery was included on the church grounds where both Confederate and Union soldiers are buried.[3]
1915 Rebecca Scott Smith was a school teacher in Abbeville, SC, who lived to be 104 years, circa 1915.[3]

Local views and history of Abbeville's city include the Historic Square (which are reminiscent of Charleston and Savannah). Others include the Abbeville Opera House, the State Theater, many boutiques and restaurant, the Classic Hotel, many architectural homes dating back to the Confederacy, as well as musical events, and carnival rides. [13]

Government Offices

Abbeville county is governed by Districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4, District 5, District 6 and District 7. Chairmen are elected for each council.
Abbeville Co. Courthouse.


  • Size: Abbeville county size is 511 square miles (1,320 km2). 490 square miles (1,300 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (4.0%) is water.
  • Abbeville County is in the Savannah River basin and the Saluda River basin.[14]
  • Original Size, the territory embraced in the district covered an area of 992 square miles. In recent years the size of the county has been greatly reduced, (other counties were created from the territory) until its present area covers only about one-half of the original territory.
  • Description - Physical aspects a land of waters, of fountains and springs flowing forth in valleys and hills
  • Crops - Wheat and corn and vines.
  • Vegetation - 715 trees - a land of honey. The great forests originally described are removed. Wooded areas remain, covered by the short-leaf pine and the hardwoods native to this region.
  • Agriculture is the principal industry of the county.
  • Cotton Mills in Calhoun Falls and even a mill at the Abbeville Court House are two of the most profitable.
  • Soil - Red clay loam, natural fertility.
  • Crops: Cotton, soil is well adapted to all the grain and forage crops.
  • Meadow lands of the county, (1000's acres) afford rich pasturage for cattle and the development of a highly profitable dairying industry.
  • Temperature - even temps; no zero cold in winter or tropical heat in summer.
  • Growing season in Abbeville County is 235 days the year.
Abbeville County, South Carolina Map
Abbeville County Map highlighted.

Protected areas

  • Sumter National Forest (part)

Adjacent counties

Abbeville Co. in SC.
  • Greenville County - north
  • Anderson County - north
  • Laurens County - northeast
  • Greenwood County - east
  • McCormick County - southeast
  • Elbert County, Georgia - west


Trinity Episcopal Church, Abbeville County, SC
In 2000, there were 26,167 people residing in the county with a population density of 52 people/sq.mi. The racial makeup of the county was 68.33% White, 30.29% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 0.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Ancestry - 22.1% were of American, 9.7% Irish, 6.7% English, 5.5% German and 5.3% Scotch-Irish.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,635, and the median income for a family was $38,847. The per capita income for the county was $15,370. About 10.10% of families and 13.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.20% of those under age 18 and 16.90% of those age 65 or over. By 2010 there were 25,417 people living here with a population density of 51.8 inhabitants/sq.mi. Racial percentages of the county were 69.6% white, 28.3% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population. Ancestry was 14.7% were American, 10.9% were Irish, 9.7% were English, 7.6% were German, and 5.6% were Scotch-Irish. [15]


US 178
South Carolina SC 20
South Carolina SC 28
South Carolina SC 72
South Carolina SC 81
South Carolina SC 184
South Carolina SC 185
South Carolina SC 284


  • Calhoun Falls Charter School (part of South Carolina Public Charter School District, (students from any part of the state may attend)
  • Schools part of the Abbeville School District
    • Abbeville County Adult Education
    • Abbeville High School (grades 9-12)
    • Abbeville County Career Center (supplementary career education - grades 10-12)
    • Cherokee Trail Elementary (grades K-7)
    • Diamond Hill Elementary (grades K-7)
    • Dixie High School (grades 8-12)
    • John C. Calhoun Elementary (grades K-5
    • Long Cane Primary (grades K-2)
    • Westwood Elementary (grades 3-5
    • Wright Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • Colleges
    • Erskine College, 4 -year Christian liberal arts college, with 575 undergraduates in Due West, SC
    • Piedmont Technical College, hosts a branch campus in Abbeville, SC


John C. Calhoun, (1782–1850), b Abbeville District, US Congressman and US Senator from SC, Secretary of War, Secretary of State, and Vice President of the United States
Langdon Cheves, (1776–1857), b Abbeville County at Rocky River, banker and US Congressman
Francis Alanson Cunningham, (1804–1864), B Abbeville District, physician,US Congressman from Ohio
Joshua Hill, (1812–1891), b in the Abbeville District, US Senator from Georgia
Abner Smith Lipscomb, (1816–1890), b in the Abbeville District, member of the Alabama Legislature and Supreme Court Justice of Alabama and Texas.
James L. Petigru, (1789–1863), b in the Abbeville District, attorney general of SC, SC House of Representatives. He was the leader of the anti-nullificationalists in the state house.
Thomas D. Howie, (1908-1944), army officer, killed during Battle of Normandy,World War II, trying to capture the French town of Saint-Lô. He is known as "The Major of St. Lo"


Abbeville City storefronts


1790 --- 9,197 —
1800 --- 13,553 47.4%
1810 --- 21,156 56.1%
1820 --- 23,167 9.5%
1830 --- 28,149 21.5%
1840 --- 29,351 4.3%
1850 --- 32,318 10.1%
1860 --- 32,385 0.2%
1870 --- 31,129 −3.9%
1880 --- 40,815 31.1%
1890 --- 46,854 14.8%
1900 --- 33,400 −28.7%
1910 --- 34,804 4.2%
1920 --- 27,139 −22.0%
1930 --- 23,323 −14.1%
1940 --- 22,931 −1.7%
1950 --- 22,456 −2.1%
1960 --- 21,417 −4.6%
1970 --- 21,112 −1.4%
1980 --- 22,627 7.2%
1990 --- 23,862 5.5%
2000 --- 26,167 9.7%
2010 --- 25,417 −2.9%
Est. 2016 --- 24,872 −2.1%



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
  4. Statistics of South Carolina
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2
  6. Statistics of South Carolina
  14. Abbeville County, South Carolina

  • Login to request to the join the Trusted List so that you can edit and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Paula J and Mary Richardson. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)
Comments: 3

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Hi Mary,

Could you please correct the category to Category:96th_Judicial_District, South_Carolina. Ninety-six District in incorrect. Thanks, Natalie

posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott
This just keeps getting more amazing!!!
posted by Paula J
Great page, Mary! Thanks so much!!
posted by Paula J