Darlington County, South Carolina

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Darlington County, South Carolina

Leader of this Project is Paula J
Coordinator is Mary Richardson



Darlington co. sign.

Darlington County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. Its county seat is Darlington. Hartsville is the largest city in the county. Darlington County is home to the famous Darlington Raceway, which hosts the annual NASCAR Southern 500. Darlington County is also home to Coker College in Hartsville. After Charles Town was settled, for 60 years this area consisted of pine forestland with only a few Indian tribes such as the Cheraws.[1][2]

Darlington county, SC map.

The origin of the name of this county is uncertain, possibly named for Darlington, England. The county was formed in 1785, with the county seat at Darlington, and until 1800 it was a part of the Cheraws District. [2]

pre 1730's white men did not try to settle in the backcountry along the upper Pee Dee. Murphy cleared for his plantation on the Pee Dee River near Pocket landing. Other Welshmen soon immigrated here from Pennsylvania and Delaware.[3]
1730-1768 Planters Club were organized by the early planters.[3]
1736-37 South Carolina's Colonial Government set aside 2 grants on the Pee Dee River to be used by the Welsh Baptist settlers of Delaware. S.C. wanted settlers. All of Darlington County on the Pee Dee River is within these 2 Royal Grants area.[3]
1738 The Baptist Church of Christ was founded. Settlement began near the Pee Dee River bend opposite the current Society Hill (of Marlboro County). Members of this were: James, Devonald, Evans, Harry, Wilds, Jones.[3]
Welch Neck - from this river bend, the Welsh cleared their land along both sides of the rive. They raised flax, hemp, indigo, and later raised cattle and hogs. Cheraw Bacon soon became a rapidly selling item in Charles Town markets. Before the Revolution, other settlers also came to settle, such as English, Scotch-Irish, French Huguenot and German Palatine settlers from other regions. Following marriages occurred, soon the original Welsh Baptist s as a specific type of people was melded with the other immigrants into Darlington area.[3][2]
1760 Long Bluff Village was on the bluff on west side of Pee Dee River across from the church in the Welsh NECK.[3]
1768 - Long Bluff Village was chosen for the site of the Courthouse after Cheraws District was created.[3]
1774- grievances against Britain or the British Crown were presented to a Petit Jury meeting at Long Bluff. This one of the earliest declaration of rights of the 13 colonies.[3]
1776-82 Long Bluff was the county seat for justice and commerce during the American Revolution. Severe casualties to lives and property during the War. Recovery occurred due to population increases with settlers from North Carolina.[3]
St. Davids Socieety
1777 prosperous planters formed the St. David's Society to begin education. Little occurred during the war. [3]
1782- the cause of education; little was done during the war, but with the return of peace, a schoolhouse - St. David's Academy - was built on the first hill the river. This was 1 mile from Long Bluff village. [3]
1785 South Carolina Government created 3 counties out of the old Cheraws District with Darlington County as one of the three counties. [3][2]
1785 - A new County seat and courthouse had to be chosen. After dissension, the John King, Sr. plantation on Swift Creek was chosen to be geographical center of the area. [2]
1785- The Court House was built a short distance south of the King house near two roads' intersection. Josiah Cantey, Deputy Surveyor laid out the lots surrounding the Courthouse. Josiah Cantey's plat has not been found . The village was first called Darlington Court
Long Bluff (the old village) was eventually abandoned as newcomers liked the new village on the hill. Long Bluff was eventually abandoned in favor of the new village on the hill.[2]
pre-1789 There were no churches in Darlington area of other faiths.[3]
post 1789 - Baptist missionaries crossed the area striving to convert people to Methodism. [3]The first region was LYDIA, which has one of the oldest Methodist church of South Carolina, named Wesley Chapel or Gully Church.[3]
Darlington Co. 1800
1800's David Rogerson Williams (1776-1830), governor and scientific experimenter, was a native of Darlington. The mule was begun be used for southern agriculture due to David R. Williams. he is remembered for introducing the mule to Southern agriculture.[2]
1812 An attempt toward industrialization began by Gov. David Rogerson Williams, one of Darlington's most colorful. . He began and operated within the span of his life a water-powered cotton mill on Cedar Creek near Society Hill. This was Cheraw Union Factory, which later was named Union Manufacturing Company of South Carolina and manufactured cotton bags.[3]
1820 other villages had sprung up throughout the district:
Mechanicsville, near the river, 10 miles below Society Hill on the road to Georgetown; ::Springville (summer resort, having an academy and a post office.
Kelley Town not far from Black Creek in the Northwestern portion of the district.
1827 first and only Presbyterian Church of the District was Darlington Church.[3]
1833- Episcopalians were scant, church was Trinity Church in Society Hill.[3]
1738 The Welsh settlers arrived, began the first settlements without much aid of the Royal Government.[3][2]
Darlington Co. Map.

Greenville ( named for Gen. Greene of the Revolution) began to sprang up as a new community near the Academy. Gen. Greene of the Revolution. [3]
Society Hill (the new village) started named for the St David's Society Academy. This Academy was said to have the best tutors. The Library Society was the Cultural center for the Pee Dee Region for generations. [3]
Slavery Slavery on the Move
1800-1850's Cotton planting was the prime acreage for agriculture. The Wealth of this district grew during this time. Cotton culture depended on the labor of the African American slaves. During this time the ration of population by the US. Census of 1850 showed African Americans outnumbered the whites two to one.[3]
John Hart house
1840's Hartsville started as a village near Capt. Thomas E. Hart's Store and post office. [3]
May 5, 1846 Darlington District Agricultural Society was formed to promote "planting interests". This is still active, being the 2nd oldest in the nation. Officers of the Society were W.E. James, President; Rev. J.M. Timmons, Rev. Robert Campbell, I.D. Wilson and Robert Rogers, Vice Presidents.[3]
1850's Lamar ( known as Mims' Cross Roads) grew around a crossroads store and post office on the Capt. George Mims' Plantation. [3]
1850s Leavensworth began as a village near John F Wilson's store and grist meal, at the center of his plantation. Soon it had a school, Post Office and physician, Dr. John J Wilson.[3]
1850's The D & D railroad laid tracks across Daniel Dove's plantation land. Dovesville (then Dove's Depot) grew around the Railroad Depot.[3]
Darlington home.
Oaklyn Plantation.
1855- Most of the wealth in this district during the ante-bellum era, was centered in the Eastern 1/2 of the area. Here were many huge plantations with its community centered around the plantation. each an independent community within itself. The western portions of the district contained smaller and less prosperous plantations/farms and thus less slaves.[3]
1859 - 2nd Episcopal Church founded near MARS BLUFF.[3]
1862-65 Civil War Sherman and the torching troops did not come to Darlington County as it was out of the direct line of the Union Forces. No battles occurred here, except very small skirmishes. Some branches of the main force came through Kelley Town and New Market where they looted and confiscated supplies and livestock from this area. The pioneer cabins and plantation mansions were not burned, but were allowed to stand. [3]
1868 the name Darlington District which had been used since 1798 was changed to Darlington County. (Plans were made for the Township system which was adapted after those of New England states. However the Southerners felt the system was not right for South Carolina type of Counties.[3]
1880's Tobacco was introduced to Darlington planters. Tobacco was the alternative to cotton which was King until after World War I, when it became the mainstay.. Since World War II Industry has been the alternative. [3]
1883- a cotton mill was built and led by Major James Lide Coker. Later he organize the Carolina Fibre Company and Southern Novelty Company factories in Hartsville. These factories made paper and paper products from the plentiful supply of southern pine trees. [3]
1884-85 a few years later, the Welsh Neck Baptist Church was moved from the East side of the river to a lot on the hill, very near he Academy. [3]
1888 Due to the S.C. government needing to create 2 counties, Darlington County had been one of the larger counties. At this time it lost 1/3 of its land for the creation of Florence.[3]
1901 Darlington County lost 50 sq. mi. for the state to form Lee County.[3]
Darlington residents were industrialists James Lide Coker (1837-1918) and David R. Coker (1870-1938), and novelists Annie Greene Nelson (1902-1993) and Elizabeth Boatwright Coker (1909-1993).[2]

  • Darlington County is the subject of a song of the same name on Bruce Springsteen's 1984 album, 'Born in the U.S.A.' Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Recent years Darlington county is best known for the stock car races which take place at the Darlington Raceway. [2]
Dale Earnhardt Jr at Darlington Raceway

Government Offices

1903 Old Darlington Co. Courthouse

1903 old Courthouse

Current Darlington Co. Courthouse

Current Courthouse.


Siae -the county has a total area of 567 square miles (1,470 km2), of which 561 sq. mi. (1,450 km2) is land and 5.7 square miles (15 km2) (1.0%) is water.

Adjacent counties

  • Marlboro County - southeast
  • Marlboro County - northeast
  • Chesterfield County - northwest
  • Lee County - southwest
  • Kershaw County - west


In 2000, there were 67,394 people living in the county with a population density of 120 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 56.98% White, 41.70% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 0.98% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $31,087, and the median income for a family was $37,662. Males had a median income of $30,947 versus $20,998 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,283. About 16.40% of families and 20.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.70% of those under age 18 and 22.10% of those age 65 or over. In 2010 census, there were 68,681 people with a population density of 122.4 people/sq. mi.[4]

  • Darlington County was classified as 41% urban and 59% rural. It contains the two urbanized areas of Hartsville (2000 pop. 14,907) and Darlington (12,066). The county's population is included within the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  • Florence-Darlington Technical College
Florence-Darlington Technical College.
  • SC 151 in Hartsville is named Bobo Newsom Highway in honor.
  • SC 151 in Darlington is named Harry Byrd Highway in honor.

Darlington County has voted Democratic in many elections. (the presidential elections were Democratic, 1940, 48, 50, 60, 68, . George HW Bush won the national election but not the Darlington county. However D Trump won the electoral votes, but did not win the majority. This is taken from a wikipedia chart.

Darlington Raceway.
  • Darlington County is home to the famous Darlington Raceway, which hosts the annual NASCAR Southern 500.
  • Darlington Raceway Darlington County is the home of the Darlington Raceway. The NASCAR racing track located near Darlington, Darlington, SC, is nicknamed "The Lady in Black" and "The Track Too Tough to Tame" by many NASCAR fans and drivers and advertised as "A NASCAR Tradition." It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of very different configurations, a condition which supposedly arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends.[5]

gsteen 'Born in the U.S.A'

  • Darlington County is the subject of a song of the same name on Bruce Springsteen's 1984 album, 'Born in the U.S.A.' Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Protected areas

  • Coker Experimental Farms, (Coker Pedigreed Seed Company is a National Historic Landmark agricultural site. Coker farm holdings, (220 acres of the area) used by Coker in his breeding experiments was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1964 for its significance in revolutionizing the field of agriculture in the South.


Towns/Census Des Places/Uninco Communities

Census-des places

County Resources

Darlington NASCAR Raceway

Darlington .
  • Orlando Hudson, former Major League baseball player, was born in Darlington.
  • Albert Haynesworth, a professional football player -Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins,born in Hartsville.
  • W. W. Hicks, member of Louisiana House of Representatives for Webster Parish, 1900-1904, born in Darlington County in 1843
  • John Sidney Killen, pioneer farmer, cattleman, and member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Webster Parish in 1871; born in Darlington County in 1826
  • Bobo Newsom, MLB pitcher with the Tigers, Senators, Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Giants, and Red Sox. (211-222 record 20 seasons, including a 21-5 season in 1940. SC 151 in Hartsville is named Bobo Newsom Highway in his honor.
  • Jordan Lyles, Major League baseball player, was born in Hartsville.
  • William G. Farrow, lieutenant in the United States Army Air Corps in the Doolittle Raid. Farrow was born in Darlington, SC in 1918.
  • Harry G. Byrd Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher played for Philadelphia Athletics, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers.Bornborn in Darlington, South Carolina. SC 151 in Darlington is named Harry Byrd Highway in his honor.
  • James E. Williams, a sailor of the United States Navy during the 1950s and 1960s. He was the most highly decorated enlisted man in the history of the United States Navy and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.


1800 --- 7,631 —
1810 --- 9,047 18.6%
1820 --- 10,949 21.0%
1830 --- 13,728 25.4%
1840 --- 14,822 8.0%
1850 --- 16,830 13.5%
1860 --- 20,361 21.0%
1870 --- 26,243 28.9%
1880 --- 34,485 31.4%
1890 --- 29,134 −15.5%
1900 --- 32,388 11.2%
1910 --- 36,027 11.2%
1920 --- 39,126 8.6%
1930 --- 41,427 5.9%
1940 --- 45,198 9.1%
1950 --- 50,016 10.7%
1960 --- 52,928 5.8%
1970 --- 53,442 1.0%
1980 --- 62,717 17.4%
1990 --- 61,851 −1.4%
2000 --- 67,394 9.0%
2010 --- 68,681 1.9%
Est. 2016 --- 67,234



  1. History of the Old Cheraws: Containing an Account of the Aborigines of the ...By Alexander Gregg, John Julius Dargan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/darlington_county_sc.html
  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 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 3.33 3.34 3.35 http://www.darcosc.com/residents/county_history.php
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlington_County,_South_Carolina
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlington_Raceway

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Yay!!! You included the racetrack and Bruce Springsteen. That's Darlingston!!
posted by Paula J