Allendale County, South Carolina

Year Established

County Seat

Significance of County Name

Population (2020)



Paul H. Allen - 1st Postmaster


Legislative Act Creating County

First Settled / By

County Evolution by Decade

Official County Website

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1750s / Huguenots, Scots-Irish

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Historical Post Offices

American Revolution

American Civil War

Significant Education Events

Alphabetical / Date Started

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Coming Later

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Airports in Allendale County

Maps of Allendale County

Books About Allendale County

Genealogy Sources

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A History of Allendale County

Allendale County Court House - Allendale, South Carolina

The area presently known as Allendale County was first a part of Colleton County when it was formed in 1682, although presumably inhabited only by Indians at that time. The area was part of Carteret County in 1684, which was renamed to Granville County in 1708.

A township first called Edisto Township was laid out to encourage emigration into the interior, in 1735, it was called Orangeburgh Township by its Swiss, German, and French settlers who arrived that year. In 1768, the Orangeburgh Township was included within St. Matthew's Parish by an Act of the Commons House of Assembly.

In 1768, South Carolina eliminated the original four counties and established seven new "overarching Districts," with judicial seats in each district. The Act creating these new districts was nullified by the British Parliament, but the re-introduction of the Act in 1769 was approved. One of these new "overarching Districts" was the Orangeburgh District, which included what is today Allendale County.

In 1785, the new County Court Act created thirty-four (34) new counties across South Carolina. Within the overarching Orangeburg District were created four (4) new counties: Lewisburg County, Lexington County, Orange County, and Winton County. These new counties were not very popular in all of the "overarching Districts," and by 1791 most new counties were abolished. From 1785 to 1791, Winton County included the lands that are today in Allendale County.

In 1800, the South Carolina General Assembly created six new counties - called districts at that time - including the Barnwell District, which then included what had once been Winton County and included what is now Allendale County.

In 1878, Hampton County was formed from the northern part of Beaufort County.

Allendale County was formed in 1919 from part of southern Barnwell County and part of northern Hampton County.

The area was settled in the mid-eighteenth century by English, German, and Scots-Irish farmers, and it remains primarily agricultural. The plantation of Confederate General Johnson Hagood (1829-1898) was in what is now Allendale County, and the artist Jasper Johns spent his childhood years in Allendale County.

Allendale County is a Savannah River county of the Lower Pine Belt, midway between the fall line and the coast, and is one of the best examples of the lowcountry county. The 435 square miles of its area are almost uniformly level or slightly rolling save to the northwest, where the cool swift current of the Lower Three Runs, flowing into the Savannah River, has cut the land into considerable hills.

The Salkehatchie River bounds the county on the east, and the Coosawhatchie River has its source in the center, each taking its independent course to the sea. Both these small rivers have swamp areas from a hundred yards to a mile wide, and the Savannah River a larger stretch. The alternation of cotton fields with lanes of tall trees, or masses of underbrush of the swamp with its dark but clear waters, makes the characteristic and pleasant, even beautiful, scenery of the county.

Most of the area, outside the swamp regions, is Norfolk sandy loam, which is easily cultivated, absorbs rainfall quickly, yet withstands drought well. The growing season is long, 245 days, on the average, between frosts. The winters are mild, and the summers tempered by the daily ocean breeze.

Agriculture is the almost universal occupation, about 75 per cent of the population being engaged in it. Approximately 65 per cent of the county's area is cultivated, although large swamps and shallow ponds, the richest portions of its soil, remain to be made available. Cotton is the main crop, and Allendale stands fifth among the counties in yield per acre. Corn, hay, and oats produce heavily, but are chiefly raised to feed the stock. Watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, asparagus, and other varieties of truck are an important adjunct to cotton, as market crops, and any one of them can be made a main product. The pine forests and swamps of cypress, poplar, and gum make lumbering a considerable source of revenue.

Three railroads, with a mileage of 59, two from Columbia to Savannah, and one from Augusta to the coast, were formerly the dependence of Allendale for transportation, and caused the growth of several towns, Allendale, Fairfax, Appleton, Ulmers, Seigling, and Sycamore, ranging in population from 1,893 to 113. Two towns have electric lights, and Allendale has an excellent sewerage and light system, and a mile of paved streets. Allendale and Fairfax have accredited high schools; the former has recently provided for ii $100,000 high school, and the latter one to cost $40,000.

Four state highways traversing the county, improved county roads, automobiles, and individual light and water systems, are making country life more attractive. This and the economy of living upon the farm promise more and better rural homes. The tradition of country life is strong, and a number of families are still living in ante-bellum homes.

Allendale County's population is 16,098, estimated 1925 at 16,215. Most of the blacks are tenants; a few own their farms. The white population is much the same in its composition as at the end of the Eighteenth century-predominantly English, with a large German and somewhat smaller Scots-Irish element.

The county was formed in 1919, and takes its name from the town, Allendale, the county seat, which had its name from the elder Paul H. Allen, the first postmaster.

Immediately above, published in "South Carolina: A Handbook," prepared by The Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Industries and Clemson College, Columbia, South Carolina, 1927. In the Public Domain. [with minor edits] 


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