Anderson County, South Carolina

Year Established

County Seat

Significance of County Name

Population (2020)



Colonel Robert Anderson


Legislative Act Creating County

First Settled / By

County Evolution by Decade

Official County Website

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1777 / 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 Anderson County

Maps of Anderson County

Books About Anderson County

Genealogy Sources

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A History of Anderson County

Old Anderson County Court House - Built in 1897

Anderson County is named for Revolutionary War leader Colonel Robert Anderson. It was created in 1826 when the Pendleton District was abolished after being divided into Anderson District (county) and Pickens District (county). The city of Anderson is the county seat. It has several historic districts and a strong cultural base. The town of Anderson is known as "the Electric City" for pioneering long-distance power transmission.

Pendleton, in Anderson County now, was too near the edge of the new county to be the county seat. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, one of the largest historic districts in the nation. Belton is named for railroad pioneer Belton O'Neal. Honea Path is a Cherokee name - 'Honea' means 'Path'. The town of Piedmont is named after the geographic province. It has a rich heritage in textiles. Pelzer is named for textile pioneer Francis Pelzer.

Anderson County is situated about 100 miles, as the crow flies, from the State House in Columbia. It was formed from the lands that were ceded to the state during the American Revolution by the Cherokee Indians. These ceded lands were later granted to ex-soldiers of the Revolution in part payment for their services and were largely settled by these. The present population of the county is, to a considerable degree, made up of the descendants of these veterans and the name Anderson is derived from Colonel Robert Anderson, who was one of them.

The county was organized in 1827 and contains an area of 758 square miles. The population in 1920 consisted of 49,887 white persons, 26,312 negroes, 144 of foreign birth, and only nine Chinese and Indians. The total population at present is probably above 80,000.

The county lies on the piedmont plateau and enjoys a mild, salubrious, and equable climate. Malaria is almost unknown. The highways are in excellent condition and there are 98 miles of railway.

In addition to the county seat, Anderson County contains the incorporated towns of Belton, Honea Path, Williamston, Iva, Pendleton, Starr, and Townville. Of these, Honea Path is the largest with approximately 2,000 inhabitants and Townville the smallest with less than 300. Belton occupies the highest point on the railway between Columbia and Greenville.

The schools of the county are in excellent condition and are efficiently and economically administered. The number of accredited high schools is twelve. In 1925-6, the public school enrollment was 14,838 white children and 6,395 colored. Anderson College, an institution for white women under control of the Baptist denomination, is located in the city of Anderson.

Anderson County has many large factories for the production of textiles, the experimental stage in such manufacturing having long ago been passed. The supply of water-generated electrical power for such projects is ample and cheap, and the cost of living is comparatively low.

Agriculturally, according to the United States Department of Commerce, Anderson County ranks first in the Southeast, second in the South and twenty-third in the nation. Cotton, corn, small grain, and forage crops are extensively grown as well as all the fruits and vegetables common to the Piedmont. Cattle, hogs, sheep, and bees all thrive well and lately the poultry industry has risen to considerable proportions, eight car loads of poultry being shipped from the county during the fall and winter of 1925-6.

The soils of the county are the usual Cecil loams of this section of the state. The growing season is from 215 to 220 days and the rainfall is adequate. The farms number above 8,000 with an average area of 44 acres each. The majority of the farms are operated by their owners. A progressive county farm agent devotes his entire time to promoting the agricultural interests of the county.

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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