Chesterfield County, South Carolina

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: chesterfield_county south_carolina us_history
This page has been accessed 1,412 times.
This profile is part of the Chesterfield County, South Carolina One Place Study.

Welcome to Chesterfield County, South Carolina Project!

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

Chesterfield County, South Carolina

Leader of this Project is Paula J
Coordinator is Mary Richardson



Chesterfield county seat is Chesterfield. The largest town in the county is Cheraw. [1] It is located north of the Midlands, bordering North Carolina.[1]

1650 The earliest known settlers here in the area were the Cheraw and Pee Dee Indians. They were descendants ofSiouan stock. The Cheraw Indians were the dominating tribe along the upper end of the Pee Dee River. They reached the height of their power by this date, having a village which was fortified and located on the river hill near the present known town of Cheraw. Disease is attributed to their decrease in population. They joined the Catawba Confederacy in the 1700s. By 1776, the names, trading routes and a few families were left. [2]
map of Chesterfield.
1737-Settlers of this county were Welsh Baptists migrating from Pennsylvania and Delaware settled area when it was part of Cheraws District. Soon Scots-Irish and English settlers joined them.[3]
1740 -Two of the early settlers were James Gillespie and Thomas Ellerbe who began operating a trading center and water mill at the Cheraw Hill.. [2]
1748 Cheraw, Chesterfield, S.C. is the oldest town in Chesterfield County. [3]
December 26, 1780 - American Revolution -Battle of Cheraw.[3]
1750 - More settlers, Joseph and Eli Kershaw came to the area. They received a grant near the town of Cheraw.. They are responsible for laying out the Cheraw street system, having wide streets along with a town green. [2]
1752- The Kershaws named their town, originally "Chatham" after the Earl of Chatham, William Pitt. This did not catch on as a town name, so the name "Cheraw or Cheraw Hill was used interchangeably with Chatham. [2]
1776-1781 During the American Revolution, Cheraw was held by the British and sometimes by the Patriots. Major General Nathanael Greene's army had a camp across the river, and St. David's Church was used by both armies as a hospital.[2]
Slavery Slavery on the Move
1785- Chesterfield County was formed and received its name after the Chesterfield County in Virginia, (named for the English statesman Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773). The South Carolina County Court Act of 1785 was responsible for forming Chesterfield.[1] [3]
1796 - the house of John Craig, 203 East Main 203 E. Main St was completed, by the town's first settler, John Craig. This home is the oldest house in town. it was used by Union General William T. Sherman as his headquarters during his stay here in the Civil War.

1800 - Chesterfield was part of the large earlier Cheraws District. [1] The county was mainly agricultural.[3]
Post 1820 - the town "Chatham/Cheraw"was incorporated and Cheraw became the official name.[2]
1830 Cheraw's streets had been planted with elm trees, so that they were lined with triple rows of theelm trees. Some of the median trees remain, such as on Third Street. Many of the trees were taken down in the 1900s to install water lines. [2]
1835 A serious fire destroyed most of the business district of Cheraw.[2]
1850- Cheraw had become a prosperous, secure town, with its business district, educational opportunities, as well as culture and religion. [3]
Slavery Slavery on the Move

Nov 19, 1860 Chesterfield County voted and held its first secession meeting in South Carolina. [3]Citizens of Cheraw played a leading role in South Carolina's secession. Refugees came there for safety. Valuables and military items were stored in Cheraw during the war.[2]
Secession marker placed by DAR.
1862-65 The Civil War extracted a severe toll upon the state and Chesterfield county. It seems General Sherman felt antagonism toward the state of South Carolina: "that Sherman expected to exact vengence from the original secessionists, who, he said, bore a major share of the blame for the war." [3]
Mar 2, 1865, thus General Sherman entered Chesterfield County with a vengence. Union Gen William T Sherman Union acquired a house of one of the landowners, John Craig and used it as his HQ. [3]
1862-65 Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's troops came through the county during the American Civil War. They occupied both towns, Cheraw and Chesterfield. [3] The house of John Craig, of Cheraw's first settler, John Craig is not only the oldest house in town. When Union Gen William T Sherman came to Chesterfield County, he appropriated the home to use as his Union headquarters during his stay here in the Civil War.[2]
John Craig's house, used by Sherman
Mar 1865 The Chesterfield county seat, the court house, jail, academy, and other buildings, were all burned to the ground.
1865 In Cheraw, the business portion, except for one house, was also burned down. Cotton, crops, food, and livestock were either stolen or destroyed. [3]
Courthouse, marker of courthouse burned 1865 by Sherman.
1867-1870- Reconstruction - South Carolina districts became counties with home rule during the 1867 state constitution ruling which occurred during Reconstruction. [1][3]
Chesterfield County was formed by the County Court Act of 1785, when Cheraws District was divided into Chesterfield, Darlington, and Marlboro counties. Many textbooks will tell you that Chesterfield County was named after Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, a close friend of King George III; however, local tradition states that the Craig family, who originally inhabited the county seat, was influential in naming the county after the county from which they came, Chesterfield County, Virginia.
Population grew slowly with Welsh, French Huguenots, Scots-Irish, Germans, and English moving in mostly from the other colonial areas.[3]

1868-70 Reconstruction Thomas Powe wrote in his letter d to Gov. James Lawrence Orr, that "every house in Chesterfield District, with the exception of two cabins, were visited by Sherman's soldiers and the bare mention of this fact speaks volumes."[3]

Many of Chesterfield's settlers came also through and from North Carolina. It is located to the north.  ::The Great Pee Dee River with bottomlands that produced grain, and has many swamps loaded with gum, oak, hickory, poplar, walnut and ash trees on the eastern border.
Lynches River and Cedar Creek, that have rich alluvial lands,are on the east and south.
The County's central region is a sandhill land, from which are grown fruit, melon and berries.
The county is 35 miles across, the towns are situated around the border, and 150 miles of state sand-clay roads connect them. In the central section is a considerable area of only partly-developed land naturally adapted to cotton, fruit, grapes, and melons. This land can be bought at low prices.[3]
1925 As an agricultural county, Chesterfield produced more than 30,000 bales of cotton. The boll weevil was not as destructive as it was in the counties to the south. The Cotton crops have never had a failure. The fruit, berry, and melon crop rank second in production.
1926s Chesterfield is the leading peach county of South Carolina. Near Cheraw can be found the best peach orchards of the two Carolinas.
1926- Shipments of peaches from 2000 acres of peaches were 200 carloads.
1926- 100 Acres of dewberries and grapes are shipped all over the E part of the united States.[3]
1930s Watermelons are grown on 3000 acres and still increasing for profit.[3]
1934 -Cheraw State Park was founded, but is the oldest of the South Carolina state parks. [3]
1937 - The grounds of Cheraw post office, built in 1937, were once home to an Indian trading post. Inside is a fine example of New Deal Art, a relief sculpture "The Farmer's Letters", which is one of two of such sculptures in the entire Palmetto State. [1]
2000's Seven carloads of chickens were shipped from Chesterfield last year.
Railroads - there are 4 railways with 116 miles of tracks crossing each part of the county. The county has eight accredited high schools.[3]
Dizzy Gillespie statue, from Cheraw, SC.

7 towns are thriving today:

Cheraw - a lively old town which was the Capital of the State during the Revolution was the Capital of the State, has a lot of historical interest. The British troops were stationed here. there is an old cemetery where soldiers of every warHere the British troops were stationed and in the old cemetery are buried soldiers of every war that the United States has taken part in. General Sherman fought fought the retiring Confederates. [3]
World War I Cheraw sent a company of the Thirtieth Division to help break the Hindenburg line [in WW-I].[3]
1920- Cheraw had 3,150 inhabitants, has 3,500 now with four large school buildings, 10 churches, 3 cotton mills, an oil mill, an ice factory, and the largest veneer plant in South Carolina. Near the town are 2 brick and tile plants and valuable kaolin deposits are close.[3]The town owns its water-works, has available electric power in unlimited quantities.

Cheraw is known to have one of the smallest debts and lightest tax rates of any of the towns in the state. [3]

Government Offices

  • 1865 - the Old County Court House in Chesterfield was burned and exact dates on many Cheraw buildings are still unknown.
Old Courthouse, burned 1865 by Sherman.


Current Courthouse


County seat is Chesterfield.
Location- located north of the Midlands, on a border with North Carolina.
Size- Chesterfield County, a name transplanted from Pennsylvania and the old country, was organized in 1785 and was settled principally by Welsh, English, and Scots, has an area of 837 square miles.

Many of Chesterfield's settlers came also through North Carolina or were from NC, (to the north of Chesterfield).
The Great Pee Dee River with bottomlands that produced grain, and has many swamps loaded with gum, oak, hickory, poplar, walnut and ash trees on the eastern border.
Lynches River and Cedar Creek, that have rich alluvial lands,are on the east and south.
The County's central region is a sandhill land, from which are grown fruit, melon and berrys.
Grand Distance across- The county is 35 miles across, its towns are located around the border,
Roads - 150 miles of state sand-clay roads connect the towns.
central section land can be purchased for low prices. It is partly-developed land naturally adapted to cotton, fruit, grapes, and melons. This land can be bought at low prices.

Adjacent counties

  • Anson County, North Carolina - north
Chesterfield in South Carolina.
  • Richmond County, North Carolina - northeast
  • Union County, North Carolina - northwest
  • Marlboro County - east
  • Darlington County - southeast
  • Kershaw County - southwest
  • Lancaster County - west

Protected areas

  • Pee Dee River


In 2000, there were 42,768 people living in the county with a population density of 54 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 64.34% White, 33.22% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.04% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 2.27% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $29,483, and the median income for a family was $36,200. The per capita income for the county was $14,233. About 16.70% of families and 20.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.70% of those under age 18 and 24.20% of those age 65 or over.[4]

Chesterfield County Seal.

Chesterfield County is located in the South Carolina House of Representatives's 53rd House district which is represented by Republican Ritchie Yow. The S.C. Senate is district 26 represented by Democrat, former governor Vincent Sheehen.[5] In the US House of Representatives Chesterfield County is in South Carolina's 7th Congressional District. As of the 2012 House elections, it is represented by Republican Tom Rice, who comes from Horry County. [6]

  • Railroads - there are 4 railways with 116 miles of tracks crossing each part of the county. The county has eight accredited high schools.
  • Chesterfield County is part of the Charlotte Metropolitan Area.

Major Highways:

  • US 1
  • US 52
  • US 601
  • SC 9
  • SC 102
  • SC 109
  • SC 145
  • SC 151
  • SC 207
  • SC 265
  • SC 268
  • SC 903

The Chesterfield County School District. South Point Christian School is a private school located in Pageland and offers Kindergarten through 12th grade

Central High School, Pageland
Cheraw High School, Cheraw
Chesterfield High School, Chesterfield
McBee High School, McBee
Middle schools
Chesterfield/Ruby Middle School, Chesterfield/Ruby
Long Middle School, Cheraw
New Heights Middle School, Jefferson
Elementary schools
Cheraw Intermediate School, Cheraw
Edwards Elementary School, Chesterfield
Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson
McBee Elementary School, McBee
Pageland Elementary School, Pageland
Plainview Elementary School, Plainview
Ruby Elementary School, Ruby
Primary schools
Cheraw Primary School, Cheraw
Petersburg Primary School, Pageland
  • Northeastern Technical College has branches in Pageland and Cheraw.


Towns/Census Des Places/Uninco Communities

Uninc communities

County Resources

  • Hunting and fishing in the swamps of the Black Creek and Lake Robinson
  • Historic place listings
  • USS Chesterfield LST-551 Named for Chesterfield County, South Carolina
  • Chesterfield County supports several fine arts organizations ranging from High School Marching Bands to community theatres to municipal arts commissions.
  • The Central High Sound of Central
  • The Cheraw Tribe Marching Band
  • The Chesterfield Marching Pride
  • The Spirit of McBee High Marching Band
  • The Cheraw Arts Commission
  • The Chesterfield Arts Commission
  • Jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) was a native of Chesterfield County.


1800 --- 5,216 —
1810 --- 5,564 6.7%
1820 --- 6,645 19.4%
1830 --- 8,472 27.5%
1840 --- 8,574 1.2%
1850 --- 10,790 25.8%
1860 --- 11,834 9.7%
1870 --- 10,584 −10.6%
1880 --- 16,345 54.4%
1890 --- 18,468 13.0%
1900 --- 20,401 10.5%
1910 --- 26,301 28.9%
1920 --- 31,969 21.6%
1930 --- 34,334 7.4%
1940 --- 35,963 4.7%
1950 --- 36,236 0.8%
1960 --- 33,717 −7.0%
1970 --- 33,667 −0.1%
1980 --- 38,161 13.3%
1990 --- 38,577 1.1%
2000 --- 42,768 10.9%
2010 --- 46,734 9.3%
Est. 2016 --- 46,013



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5,_South_Carolina
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Mary Richardson and Paula J. (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.)

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