Lancaster County, South Carolina

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Lancaster County, South Carolina

Leader of this Project is Paula J
Coordinator is Mary Richardson



Lancaster Co., SC.
Lancaster County /ˈleɪŋkəstər/ is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The 2016 Census shows a population of 89,594 people. [1]
County Seat for this county is Lancaster, Sc. Its population is (urban) 23,979.[1]

Lancaster County is included in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located in the Piedmont region.

Early the Catawba Indians were original inhabitants of present Lancaster County, claiming the area as part of their tribal lands. Of the Sioux tribes, the Catawba once considered one of the most powerful SE Siouan-speaking tribes. The Catawba and Siouan peoples may have combined. They were an agriculture-based tribe ands were considered to early European Immigrants.[1]
1750 White immigrants appeared who settled between Rum Creek and Twelve Mile Creek. The Waxhaw Creek in the area was named for the Waxhaw Indian tribe.[1]
The majority of the new settlers were Scots-Irish from Pennsylvania; others from North Carolina and Virginia joined them. Many came to South Carolina from Lancaster, Lancashire, naming their county for the House of Lancaster (opposed the House of York in the struggles of 1455-85), (War of the Roses). The House of Lancaster chose the red rose as their emblem while their neighbor, York County, boasts the white rose.[1]
1752 A 2nd settlement was established in lower part of the present Lancaster County on Hanging Rock Creek. The first grant was made there in 1752, and included the huge overhanging mass of rock from which the creek takes its name. [1]
1755 others came in and settled along Lynches Creek, Little Lynches creek, Flat Creek, Beaver Creek, and lower Camp Creek. To reach Lancaster area, these early settlers had to walk on the old Indian paths; which repeated use, soon became to be known as roads. [1]
The Rocky River Road is an old route that originated as an Indian path. [1]
1759 the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church was formed as a center of faith and society. The pastor, Reverend William Richardson also organized the Waxhaw Academy where many South Carolina notables received their education. Some were: Andrew Jackson, Lancaster native, 7th president of the US; Stephen D. Miller, South Carolina’s 25th governor; and William R. Davie, founder of the University of North Carolina.[2]
1776 - during the American Revolutionary War, this road was where Colonel Abraham Buford fled from Tarleton and was overtaken a few miles south of the North Carolina state line. The Patriot forces were defeated in a battle, known as the Battle of Waxhaws, or Bufords Massacre. Today, the Rocky River Road is part of South Carolina Highway 522, the latter following the old thoroughfare very closely.[1]
Waxhaw Massacre Monument
1780 During the Revolutionary War, Lancaster's Scots-Irish settlers experienced harsh unwelcome actions from the British. Skirmishes or Battles in this area include Buford’s Massacre and Hanging Rock.[2]
1785- Lancaster county can point to 1785 as its official beginning. At this time it was included in Kershaw County. An act authorized building a courthouse, a “gaol” (jail), a pillory (whipping post and stocks). Prior to this court was held in John Ingram’s home near Hanging Rock.


Marker between North Carolina and Lancaster Co., SC.
1791 Citizens of Camden also worked to have a county created, known as Kershaw County with Camden as the County Seat. This led to a problem that Hanging Rock was not centrally located. So court was moved to Nathan Barr’s home north of present day Lancaster, SC.


May 26, 1791 - President George Washington passed through on his southern tour using the old Catawba Trading Path as his route. He kept detailed journals, describing Camden as "goes over the most miserable pine barren”. He stayed at Barr’s Tavern N or Lancaster and next day at Major Robert Crawford’s home in the Waxhaws..[3]
1795 -John Simpson donated land for the courthouse to be built. It was a log building, and was located very near the site of the present day courthouse when Lancaster, Sc was named Barnettsville[3][2]
1798--Lancaster County was created in 1798 from Camden District. [1]
1800’s Transportation began to improve. Although bad weather made roads impassable., efforts to improve conditions began. Rivers had barriers for transportation. Ferries established by private businessmen were effective and increased to many on the Catweba and Lynches rivers. One was McClanahan’sl Ferry which was 5 miles above Landsford on the Catawba. Later it was named Cureton’s Ferry and Indian Ferry, being used for 200 years.[3]
1801 2nd courthouse was built. [3]
Slavery Slavery on the Move
1802, application was filed for charter for the village of Lancaster, Sc, with a plat drawn. [3] [2]
1824 It took twenty-two years to settle a court dispute over the original plat. [2]
1825 jail and courthouse were built. Renowned American architect who studied under Thomas Jefferson, Robert Mills designed these buildings and later designed the Washington Monument. He described Lancaster as a village with 30 houses, 1 store, 5 streets running each way at right angles. The town grew around the courthouse with houses scattered up and down the present day, Main Street.[2][3]
1827 3rd Courthouse was built.[2]
Dec 1830 the town of Lancaster was finally incorporatedby Act of the South Carolina State Legislature, the Town of Lancaster was incorporated. Provisions were established for town officials' election. The 1st election on Mar 1831 elected Andrew Mayor as Mayor. [2]
William Harrison Sapp house.
1865 General William Tecumseh Sherman's troops occupied the town on their way to Virginia after the Southern campaign. These Union soldiers tried to burn both the Courthouse and the Jail. Damage was not severe to either buildings, but many wills and other important papers were destroyed. The soldiers also looted the town, raised havoc, and stabled their horses in the sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church, built in 1862.[2]
1876 General Wade Hampton was elected. Social order between blacks and whites faltered when Ku Klux Klan became active. Several African Americans were killed.[3]
1880s in areas of the piedmont, water was plentiful to build cotton Mills. [3]
1888 - Colored Farmers Alliance was organized and suceeded in raising the wages for cotton pickers.[3]
1895 - Industrialization began. Col. Leroy Springs founded Springs Cotton Mill, an industrial enterprise that soon expanded to become known as the “largest textile plant in the world.” Global in scope, Springs Industries shaped the fortunes of Lancaster and its citizens for more than 100 years. [2]
Lancaster Co. Cotton Oil.
1898 -Town of Lancaster was re-chartered
“Springs Block” along Main Street is evidence of Springs’ tremendous influence.[2]
1967 City of Lancaster was re-chartered.[2]
2016-2017 -Today, Lancaster’s mills are no longer operating, yet the town retains its character and vitality. Close to the Charlotte, North Carolina, metropolitan area, this quiet, quaint “garden spot” is attracting new visitors, businesses, and residents with its allure. [2]


Government Offices

1st Courthouse, Lancaster county, 1795 Log cabin was built on land donated by John Simpson.[3]

2nd Courthouse, Lancaster County, 1801 2ndCourthouse was built. [3]

3rd Courthouse, 1825 and Jail Jail and courthouse were built, designed by renowned American architect, Robert Mills. [2][3]

Lancaster co. Jail, SC.
Lancaster Co. Courthouse, 1828.


The county has a total area of 555 square miles (1,440 km2), of which 549 square miles (1,420 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (16 km2) (1.1%) is water. It is bounded on the west by the Catawba River and Sugar Creek and on the east by the Lynches River.

Lancaster Co, SC.

  • Union County, North Carolina - northeast
location Lancaster Col., SC

Adjacent Counties

  • Chesterfield County - east
  • Kershaw County - south
  • Fairfield County - southwest
  • York County - west
  • Chester County - west
  • Mecklenburg County, North Carolina - north
  • 1798--Lancaster County was created in 1798 from Camden District.

County seat: Lancaster [2]



In 2000, there were 61,351 people in the county with a population density of 112 people/sq. mi. The racial makeup of the county was 71.03% White American, 26.86% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.27% Asian American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 1.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median income for a household in the county was $34,688, and the median income for a family was $40,955. The per capita income for the county was $16,276. About 9.70% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty threshold, including 16.50% of those under age 18 and 15.80% of those age 65 or over. In 2010 there were 76,652 people, with a population density of 139.6 people/sq. mi.[4]

location Lancaster Co., SC


County Resources

Mount Carmel AME_Zion_Campground near Caughen's Crossroads


1790 --- 6,302 —
1800 --- 6,012 −4.6%
1810 --- 6,318 5.1%
1820 --- 8,716 38.0%
1830 --- 10,361 18.9%
1840 --- 9,907 −4.4%
1850 --- 10,988 10.9%
1860 --- 11,797 7.4%
1870 --- 12,087 2.5%
1880 --- 16,903 39.8%
1890 --- 20,761 22.8%
1900 --- 24,311 17.1%
1910 --- 26,650 9.6%
1920 --- 28,628 7.4%
1930 --- 27,980 −2.3%
1940 --- 33,542 19.9%
1950 --- 37,071 10.5%
1960 --- 39,352 6.2%
1970 --- 43,328 10.1%
1980 --- 53,361 23.2%
1990 --- 54,516 2.2%
2000 --- 61,351 12.5%
2010 --- 76,652 24.9%
Est. 2016 --- 89,594
  • Wayne A. Cauthen, first appointed African-American City Manager, Kansas City, MO
  • Don Dixon, record producer, songwriter, musician
  • Charles Duke, astronaut and moon-walker
  • Jim Hodges, former Governor of South Carolina
  • Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States
  • Nina Mae McKinney, actress and Broadway star
  • Julie Roberts, country music singer
  • J. Marion Sims, surgeon known as the "Father of Modern Gynecology"
  • The Zodiacs, led by Maurice Williams, R&B vocal group


Civil War


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Could you also remove the link to "Indian Lands"? (The category is links to is pending deletion.) Thanks!
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Could you please remove the category link for Category: Springdale, South Carolina? It was deleted. Thanks,


posted by Natalie (Durbin) Trott