South Carolina - Legislative Acts Creating Counties / Districts

An Ordinance to Divide Pickens District into Two Election and Judicial Districts

February 16, 1868

Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina in 1868, Page 387

There are various records asserting that Oconee County was created via an "ordinance" during the 1868 Constitutional Convention of South Carolina. This Author has located the Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina 1868, but the approved ordinances are not included in the volume found. Perhaps there is a second volume that this Author has yet to locate.

The proceedings have many references to the creation of Oconee County, and the "ordinance" was read for the third time and agreed to on February 16th - with the following words included in the report:

The Judicial Districts shall hereafter be designated as Counties, and the boundaries of the several Counties shall remain as they are now established, except the County of Pickens, which is hereby divided into two Counties, by a line leaving the southern boundary of the State of North Carolina where the White Water River enters this State, and thence down the centre of said river, by whatever names known, to Ravenel's Bridge, on Seneca River, and thence along the centre of the road leading to Pendleton Village, until it intersects the line of the County of Anderson; and the territory lying East of said line shall be known as the County of Pickens; and the territory lying West of said line shall be known as the County of Oconee; and except, also, the County of Charleston, which is hereby divided into three Counties, viz : The County of Charleston, to be composed of the late Parishes of St. Philip and St. Michael; the County of Berkeley, to be composed of the late Parishes of St. Thomas and St. Dennis, St. James' Santee, St. Stephen's, St. John's Berkeley, Christ Church and St. James' Goose Creek; and the County of Edisto, to be composed of the late Parishes of St. Andrew's, St. John's Colleton, including Fenwick's Island, and all adjacent Islands as far South as the northern boundary of the County of Beaufort; and these three Counties shall constitute one Judicial District, the Court House and Jail of which shall be in the city of Charleston; Provided, That the Legislature shall have the power at any time, by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses, to organize new Counties by changing the boundaries of any of the old ones; but no new County shall hereafter be formed of less extent than six hundred and twenty-five square miles, nor shall any existing Counties be reduced to a less extent than six hundred and twenty-five square miles. Each County shall constitute one election district.

Joint Resolution to Dissolve the Board of Special Commissioners Appointed for Oconee County, Under an Ordinance of the Constitutional Convention Entitled "An Ordinance to Divide Pickens District into Two Election and Judicial Districts," Adopted the 29th Day of January, A.D. 1868.

March 26, 1869 

Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina 1868-1869, Pages 291-292

Whereas, by an Ordinance of the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina, adopted the twenty-ninth day of January, A. D. 1868, entitled “An Ordinance to Divide Pickens District into two Election and Judicial Districts,” a special Commission, consisting of five persons from each of the Counties of Oconee and Pickens, was appointed, whose duty it was made to select suitable locations for the public buildings in said counties, to purchase lands in the name of the State, and sell them in lots to raise funds for the erection of said public buildings; and whereas the special Commissioners of Oconee County, in pursuance of the powers vested in them by said Ordinance, did locate the County seat for Oconee County at Walhalla, and discharged the duties devolving on them to the extent of selling said lands in lots and taking a bond from responsible parties for the erection of public buildings for the proceeds of said sale of lots in July last; and whereas the special Board of Commissioners has been virtually dissolved by the removal of some of its members from and without the limits of this State, and the desire of others to be relieved, on account of important public and private business, and the great distance at which they live from the County seat; and whereas, by an Act entitled “An Act to define the jurisdiction and duties of County Commissioners,” it is specially incumbent on the County Commissioners to superintend all public works in the County; therefore,

SECTION 1. Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, now met and sitting in General Asssembly, and by the authority of the same, That said Board of Special Commissioners be, and is hereby, dissolved, and that the powers and duties vested in it be hereafter discharged by the Board of County Commissioners for said County, who shall have power to amend or cancel any existing contract by and with the consent of the contracting party or parties, and who shall also have power to assess a County tax, if necessary, to meet any additional expenses incurred, and to provide oflices for County Officers, and a room for holding Court at Walhalla, until the court house is completed.

SEC. 2.That it shall be the duty of the Chairman of said special Commission to turn over to the Board of County Commissioners, all moneys on hand, notes, and other evidences of debt, together with all records and other papers belonging to said Special Board.

SEC. 3. That each and every member of the said special Commission shall be held individually responsible for any neglect of duty or unauthorized proceeding on his part up to the time of transfer, and for the failure, on the part of any Commissioner or Commissioners, whose duty it may be to comply with the provisions of the preceding Section, and that the Chairman of said Board, upon failure to comply with provisions embraced in the preceding Section, after ten days’ notice from the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, shall be held responsible to the extent of damages arising thereon and fifty per cent.

Approved March 26, 1869.

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