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Florence County, South Carolina

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Florence County, South Carolina


Contents

History/Timeline

SC Flag with Florence co. seal.
Florence, SC and Florence County were named for the daughter of General W. W. Hardlee.

http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/florence_county_sc.html

1600-1700's The first inhabitants of the Pee Dee Area were the Pee Dee Indians. Welch immigrants from Pennsylvania settled in the Pee Dee area. [1]

[2]

1730 Robert Johnson, the 1st Royal Governor of SC gave the orders to create 11 townships. This called for each township to be 20,000 acres and every settler (man, woman, and child) who improved the land could receive 50 acres free. First people in the Pee Dee area were the Welsh of Pennsylvania settlers. [2][1]
1738 15 Welsh settlers formed the Welsh Neck Baptist Church.[2][1]
map of Florence County, SC.
1740 The government also advertised bounties for settlers to the area. No roads were around. Thus the rivers had to be the method of transportation. This also meant the settlement was near the creeks and rivers.[2][1]
Crime was rampant. Lack of schools were a problem also. It was written at the time, that the “lack of education lead to idle, immoral lives- hunting, shooting, racing, drinking, gaming,and every aspect of wickedness, more rude in manners than the savages around us”.[1]
1743 - first minister was ordained. The Welsh had standards such as suspension or excommunication if a person was involved in beating a neighbor, or adultery, theft, drunkenness or swearing. The Welsh church gave rise to the other Baptist churches of the Pee Dee area.[2]
1748-57 is the earliest record of slaves in this area. Population was 4,300 with 500 slaves. Most slave owners only owned 3 or 4 slaves.[2]
Red-doe Plantation, Mars Bluff
Marriages could be obtained only in Charles Town or in North Carolina. So people lived together without marriage. Some would swap wives and children.. [2]
1750-60 Some landowners had a goal to end the lawlessness and were called "Regulators".
1758 Lumber was an important product and the river system in the area was used to ship the lumber to the coast where it was traded. Indigo (a plant that makes purple dye) was brought in from the French West Indies. In only six years the colony exported over 200,000 pounds of indigo.[1]
1760s prior to the American Revolution - the settled area was prosperous. Cattle and horses could be sold to some of the Northern colonies who had none. The river system of the area shipped the plentiful lumber to the coast for trade. I[2]
1768 - These Regulators clashed with the colonial Militia. Regulators seized 2 Militiamen, and killed two of the Militiamen. These Regulators were lashed 50 times. [2]
Royal Governor Lord Charles Greville Montagu established the system of district courts. Over in England, the British parliament rejected the law.[2]
1769 the bill for the district courts bill was re-introduced.[2]
1770 Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Claussen was organized still holds church services.[2]
1772 Parliament approved the bill, and the first appointed sheriff was P.H. Hatley.[2]
1773 - Ebenezer Baptist Church began, and continues to exist currently.[2]
1774- William Henry Drayton went into the backcountry to educate the people how they were being oppressed by the British.[2]
Sept 1775- Events caused the Royal Governor Lord William Campbell to flee. Prior to 1780 not much occurred of the war along the Pee Dee.[2]
1777 - a group met to form an organization to promote education. (Lack of education was finally acknowledged). The group wanted to education the young in Latin, Greek, math and other educational subjects.[2]
1776 - within 1770-1776, in (6) years the Pee Dee colony exported 200,000 pounds of indigo it had grown.[2]
1776- American Revolution - Pee Dee area was so isolated from large population center that events prior to the war were low.[2]
May 12, 1780- the fall of Charlestown - Little had happened before this.
Aug 16, 1780 Continental Congress sent Major General Horatio Gates to stop the British drive in South Carolina. However one of the most fierce violent battles occurred and Gen Horatio Gates was defeated in the battle of Camden.[2]
Aug 19, 1780 local Patriots attacked a British group who were taking American prisoners from Camden to Charlestown. The Patriots over-powered a British unit and freed 150 Maryland prisoners. [2]
1780 General Francis Marion began his tactics of hiding in the swampy areas of the Pee Dee, then attacking earning the name "the Swamp Fox". [2]Marion's exploits and success in evading the British in the swampy area of the Pee Dee earned him this title.[1]
June 8, 1782- Fighting ended in the area at Bowling Green in what would later beome neighboring Marion County.[2]
1783 the cotton gin was invented affecting all of the South. 50% of all U.S. exports was cotton.
Land could be purchased for cost $0.50/acre.[2]
1850 Darlington County sold 13,000 bales cotton by 1850. Cotton and the culture of the plantation caused the number of slaves to increase.
1850 Florence, SC, the city began as a railway stop on the Wilmington and Manchester Railway. It would be the county Seat of Florence County once it was created. Florence, SC was named for Florence Harley, daughter of the president of the railroad, William Wallace Harllee (1812-1897). [2]
Slavery Slavery on the Move
1856-1857 Colonel William Henry Cannon formed a school for Henry Timrod to teach the plantation children. This school is located in Timrod Park in Florence today. [2]
Three railroads were constructed in the Pee Dee. All railroads intersect in the city that is now called Florence, SC. Florence began as a railroad depot and an inn. The town started as a plot of 577 acres purchased by North Eastern Railroad Company.
1859 Secession was discussed with increased war fever. The Darlington Guards were formed, which unit was 14 officers and 100 enlisted men. They were sent to Charleston prior to firing on Fort Sumter. "Pee Dee Artillery" and "Pee Dee Rifles" units fought in N Virginia in many battles. [2]
1862-65 "Wayside House," a relief volunteer hospital, was established in Florence with Dr. Theodore Dargan in charge and had 62 volunteer female workers. The soldiers who died here are buried in the cemetery nearby known as Mt. Hope Cemetery.[2]
Florence Confederate Prison
Sept 17, 1864 - Confederates built a prison stockade called Florence Confederate Prison. Confederate authorities sent 6,000 Union Prisoners to Florence from Southern Georgia before the construction was finished. The prisoners had Smallpox, Yellow Fever, hunger, exhaustion. [2]
1864 - 65 After Florence county was selected to receive Union Prisoners from Southern Georgia and other areas, the local residents fearful of the prisoners escaping. Young boys or old men too old to fight, became the guards. [2] This prison stockade was overcrowded. Although residents complained, 2,802 prisoners died. [1]
An examination discovered one prisoner to be a woman, Florena Budwin, who had been fighting in the war, disguised as a man. She came to Florence as prisoner. She was given a private room and received clothing from donations. Florina was the first woman service member and is buried in the National Cemetery. Jan 25, 1865. [2]
1868-70's Northeastern Railroad was established and employed citizens. The towns grew along the railway due to the need to transport agriculture products from the Pee Dee River Basin. Florence soon became an important transportation center for the Pee Dee region.[2]
Cotton plantation
1888 Florence County was formed from Darlington, Marion and Williamsburg counties and named in compliment to Miss Florence Harllee. Although the county was new, its settlers people were composed of settlers from the earlier colonies or counties. This included the towns of Timmonsville, Coward,and Lake City. Townships from Williamsburg and Clarendon Counties were added.[1]

[3]

1890 Two years later, the “City of Florence” was incorporated.[1]


Florence county Museum.
Florence County that we see today is a Garden of Eden. Size is 699 square miles.
1920 Florence population (50,406 -1920, 1925 at 58,754). The economy of the County increases yearly. The County is as rich in history as it is in its commercial and agriculture resources... Social and businesses offer inducements to purchase land in the county.
Florence county produces the largest number of pounds of premier tobacco. It brings in the highest economical yield with more pounds and selling for the highest price for the tobacco. This is known as the "Bright Belt". Since Florence County first began planting tobacco, the county has maintained this lead of tobacco quality, yield and sales.
Florence is the champion corn county of the world, of 2,283 bushels to the acre has abundantly pruned.[4]
Florence county has produced two world record Jersey cows: Sensation's Mikado's Millie 568901, and Blue Fox's Eminent Queen 649491, both developed by Fred H. Young, a Florence County farmer.
Due to Florence County's location, agriculture is the primary economic endeavor.. The broad, fertile fields extending far back from the Pee Dee River are capable of growing any crops profitably except tropical fruits. Diversified farming is fast coming into favor. While cotton and tobacco are still the main money crops, dairying, poultry, hogs, and a large variety of small crops, including fruit, truck, and grain, are adding to the prosperity of the county and section.[2]
Not only is the loamy soil productive at a low cost of cultivation, but the mild climate with the ample rainfall is the farmer's heritage. Crop failures are unknown, and Florence farmers, having from ten to twelve months of good growing weather, can produce several crops a year. The rich silt soil, level, easily worked, can be farmed with diversified method, in large units or intensively, with equal success. Oats sown in the fall are harvested in May or June and followed with corn and cow peas, and a good yield of each is grown with benefit to the land. This is because of the warmth in the lands.[2]
Barn, and gourds for Purple Martins to nest
1860Florence, SC This city began in a pine forest nestled near the Pee Dee river. Location was on a plot of 577 Acres from a South Carolina.After the Civil War railroads were installed and 3 converged near this village. Logging began, pine trees were cut and shipped out of the village. The president of the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad, William Wallace Harllee became the leader of the emerging boom town in 1871.The town had a map with (7) streets, (96 lots) for citizens to purchase and settle upon [5]
1859 Jerome P. Chase, a telegraph operator arrived, began selling real-estate and insurance, and was called the "Father of Florence". [5]


1921 Another part from Williamsburg County was added to Florence County.

[3]

1920s H.K. Gilbert created an airfield, known as Gilbert Field. World War II established an Army Air Base at Gilbert. Florence Army Air Corp was a training base during the World war II. [5]
1923, Florence had a Little Theater, the Florence Museum (1930s) and Florence Symphony Orchestra (1940's).Soon Florence was the largest rail station in South Carolina having 14 passenger trains and 48 freight trains going through the city daily. [5]
1960s, 1970s brought the construction of Interstates I-20 and I-95, established Florence as a tourist spot and transportation center. It is now known as the hub of the 8-county region known as the Pee Dee It is the center for business, health care, education, communications, retail sales, culture.[5]

 ::All crops do well in Florence County - peanuts, soy beans, alfalfa, clover, and corn. Carpet grass and lespedeza furnish best summer pastures, while rye and crimson clover and rape grow luxuriantly for winter pastures.[2]

Six commercial poultry plants are prospering here now, and others are in prospect. The sweet potato is one of the many profitable crops, which yields 83 bushels/acre. [2]

http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/florence_county_sc.html


Government Offices

1892 Florence County Courthouse.

1892 Florence Co. Courthouse.
Courthouse

Current Courthouse

Florence courthouse

Geography

Size:- total area of 804 square miles (2,080 km2), of which 800 square miles (2,100 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (0.5%) is water.
Florence County is included in the Florence, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county's population is about 60% urban.
Florence County that we see today is a Garden of Eden.
population (50,406 -1920, 1925 at 58,754). The economy of the County increases yearly. The County is as rich in history as it is in its commercial and agriculture resources... Social and businesses offer inducements to purchase land in the county.
Florence county produces the largest number of pounds of premier tobacco with highest yield and highest price for tobacco sales.
Other crops, Cow peas, fruit, truck gardens, grain, corn,

Florence is the champion corn county of the world, as Jerry Moore with his world record for boys, of 2,283 bushels to the acre has abundantly pruned.[6]

  • Florence county has produced two world record Jersey cows: Sensation's Mikado's Millie 568901, and Blue Fox's Eminent Queen 649491, both developed by Fred H. Young, a Florence County farmer.

Due to Florence County's location, agriculture is the primary economic endeavor.. The broad, fertile fields extending far back from the Pee Dee River are capable of growing any crops profitably except tropical fruits. Diversified farming is fast coming into favor. While cotton and tobacco are still the main money crops, dairying, poultry, hogs, and a large variety of small crops, including fruit, truck, and grain, are adding to the prosperity of the county and section.[2]

Soil fertile loamy soil, rich silt, easily worked- no rocks or packing. soil loamy soil productive at a low cost of cultivation
Mild climate
Ample rainfall is the farmer's heritage.
Crop failures are unknown
Growing season - 10-12 months Florence farmers, having from ten to twelve months of good growing weather, can produce several crops a year. The rich silt soil, level, easily worked, can be farmed with diversified method, in large units or intensively, with equal success. Oats sown in the fall are harvested in May or June and followed with corn and cow peas, and a good yield of each is grown with benefit to the land. This is because of the warmth in the lands.[2]
Barn, and gourds for Purple Martins to nest

All crops do well in Florence County - peanuts, soy beans, alfalfa, clover, and corn. Carpet grass and lespedeza furnish best summer pastures, while rye and crimson clover and rape grow luxuriantly for winter pastures.[2]

(6) commercial poultry plants are prospering here now, and others are in prospect.
Crops - Cotton (highest producer), Corn, Tobacco (premier amount and highest in tobacco sales, gourds, Jersey cows, summer pasture grasses such as rye, crimson clover, rape, lespedeza, and carpet grass.
Other Crops peanuts, soy beans, alfalfa, cloverThe sweet potato is one of the many profitable crops, which yields 83 bushels/acre.
Florence Co. within SC.
  • McCall Farms, Florence McCall Farms expanded into producing of Southern canned and frozen vegetables in Florence County, added "Bruce’s Yams". It already produces and sells squash, string beans, peas, potatoes, peanuts, peaches and a bountiful selection of greens in its product line.

Adjacent counties

  • Williamsburg County – south
Florence Co. in SC.
  • Marion County – east
  • Dillon County – north
  • Marlboro County – north
  • Darlington County – northwest
  • Lee County – west
  • Sumter County – southwest
  • Clarendon County – southwest

Protected areas

Demographics

  • Florence County is included in the Florence, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county's population is about 60% urban.
  • Detention Center security is maximum without the towers. Solid concrete buildings, limited access for fresh air with heavy guard:inmate ratios. Also are cages for basket ball hops and dip bars 1 hour every other day.. Also has commissary, gym, barber shop, and chapel. Inmates only stay 1 year thus there are less amenities. Some access to library, telephone, bathroom and meals. Many inmates arrive daily, either drunk, or injured from fights. Similar to many county jails, this is in "pods having the tables attached to the floor with attached seats. Individual cells are on 2 levels.[7]
Barn, and gourds for Purple Martins to nest

Major Highways

Highways HighwaysHighways Highways
I-20 I-95US 52 US 76
US 301US 378SC 41SC 46
SC 51SC 57SC 327SC 341
SC 403SC 541SC 575I-20
College- Clemson College- has Pee Dee Experiment Station for:
Pee Dee Experiment Station at the Clemson college,
government sponsored boll weevil laboratory for the Southwest.
Carolina Cooperative Consolidated.
South Carolina Dewberry association
South Carolina Peach association
Clemson College Extension Service for district and county agents
marketing specialists
animal husbandry
Dairy specialists, such as creamery and poultry markets.
  • The county has 110 miles of railroad, and 14 accredited high schools.
  • Florence has the #1 tobacco production of the "Bright Belt", yielding large #'s of pounds of tobacco which earn high costs for the sale of the tobacco.
  • Florence County has 16 miles of hard-surfaced roads, with plans to pave the main highways soon..

Cities

Towns/Census Des Places/Uninco Communities

County Resources

  • All crops - peanuts, soy beans, alfalfa, clover, and corn.
  • Grasses -Carpet grass and lespedeza furnish best summer pastures, while rye and crimson clover and rape grow well for winter pastures.
  • (6) commercial poultry plants are prospering here now, and others are in prospect.
  • The sweet potato yield is 83 bushels/acre.
Notables
  • William H. Johnson (1901-1970) artist
  • Ronald E. McNair (1950-1986) astronaut
  • NASCAR racer Cale Yarborough.


Schools
  • 14 accredited high schools


Census

1890 --- 25,027 —
1900 --- 28,474 13.8%
1910 --- 35,671 25.3%
1920 --- 50,406 41.3%
1930 --- 61,027 21.1%
1940 --- 70,582 15.7%
1950 --- 79,710 12.9%
1960 --- 84,438 5.9%
1970 --- 89,636 6.2%
1980 --- 110,163 22.9%
1990 --- 114,344 3.8%
2000 --- 125,761 10.0%
2010 --- 136,885 8.8%
Est. 2016 --- 138,742

Cemeteries


Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 http://www.florenceco.org/information/history/
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 http://www.carolana.com/SC/Counties/florence_county_sc.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_County,_South_Carolina
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_County,_South_Carolina
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 http://www.carolana.com/SC/Towns/Florence_SC.html
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_County,_South_Carolina
  7. Detention Center




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