Edgefield County, South Carolina

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Edgefield County, South Carolina
Map of South Carolina highlighting Edgefield County
Location in the U.S. state of South Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1785
Seat Edgefield
Largest city Edgefield
 • Total 507 sq mi (1,313 km2)
 • Land 500 sq mi (1,295 km2)
 • Water 6.3 sq mi (16 km2), 1.2%
 • (2010) 26,985
 • Density 54/sq mi (21/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.edgefieldcounty.sc.gov

Edgefield County is a county located on the western border of the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 26,985.[1] Its county seat is Edgefield.[2]

Edgefield County has as part of its western border the Savannah River; across the river is Augusta, Georgia. Edgefield is part of the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The origin of the name Edgefield is unclear; the South Carolina State Library's information on the county's history suggests that the name "is usually described as 'fanciful.'"[3] There is a village named Edgefield in Norfolk, England.

Edgefield District was created in 1785, and it is bordered on the west by the Savannah River.[3][4][5] It was formed from the southern section of the former Ninety-Six District when it was divided into smaller districts or counties by an act of the state legislature.[3][4][5] Parts of the district were later used in the formation of other neighboring counties, specifically:[3]

In his study of Edgefield County, South Carolina, Orville Vernon Burton classified white society as comprising the poor, the yeoman middle class, and the elite planters.[6] A clear line demarcated the elite, but according to Burton, the line between poor and yeoman was never very distinct. Stephanie McCurry argues that yeomen were clearly distinguished from poor whites by their ownership of land (real property). Edgefield's yeomen farmers were "self-working farmers," distinct from the elite because they worked their land themselves alongside any slaves they owned. By owning large numbers of slaves, planters took on a managerial function and did not work in the fields.[7]

During Reconstruction, Edgefield County had a slight black majority. It became a center of political tensions following the postwar amendments that gave freedmen civil rights under the US constitution. Whites conducted an insurgency to maintain white supremacy, particularly through paramilitary groups known as the Red Shirts. They used violence and intimidation during election seasons from 1872 on to disrupt and suppress black Republican voting.

In the early summer (year unknown), six black suspects were lynched by a white mob for the alleged murders of a white couple. In the Hamburg Massacre of July 8, 1876, several black militia were killed by whites, part of a large group of more than 100 armed men who attended a court hearing of a complaint of whites against the militia. Some of the white men came from Augusta.[8] Due to fraud, more Democratic votes were recorded in Edgefield County than there were total residents; similar fraud occurred elsewhere, as did suppression of black voting. Eventually the election was decided in Hampton's favor, and the Democrats also took control of the state legislature. As a result of a national compromise, Federal troops were withdrawn in 1877 from South Carolina and other southern states, ending Reconstruction.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,310 km2), of which 500 square miles (1,300 km2) is land and 6.3 square miles (16 km2) (1.2%) is water.[9]

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 13,289
1800 18,130 36.4%
1810 23,160 27.7%
1820 25,119 8.5%
1830 30,509 21.5%
1840 32,852 7.7%
1850 39,262 19.5%
1860 39,887 1.6%
1870 42,486 6.5%
1880 45,844 7.9%
1890 49,259 7.4%
1900 25,478 −48.3%
1910 28,281 11.0%
1920 23,928 −15.4%
1930 19,326 −19.2%
1940 17,894 −7.4%
1950 16,591 −7.3%
1960 15,735 −5.2%
1970 15,692 −0.3%
1980 17,528 11.7%
1990 18,375 4.8%
2000 24,595 33.9%
2010 26,985 9.7%
Est. 2014 26,553 [10] −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[1]

The long decline in population from 1910 to 1980 reflects the decline in agriculture, mechanization reducing labor needs, and the effect of many African Americans leaving for Northern and Midwestern cities in the Great Migration out of the rural South.

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 24,595 people, 8,270 households, and 6,210 families residing in the county. The population density was 49 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 9,223 housing units at an average density of 18 per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.77% White, 41.51% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 2.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,270 households out of which 34.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 15.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 32.10% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 10.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 112.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,146, and the median income for a family was $41,810. Males had a median income of $32,748 versus $23,331 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,415. About 13.00% of families and 15.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.60% of those under age 18 and 18.40% of those age 65 or over.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Institution, Edgefield is in the county; it is partially within the city limits of Edgefield, and partially in an unincorporated area.[16][17]


Edgefield has one newspaper, published in the town of the same name:

The local radio station is located in the town of Johnston:

Edgefield is also served by the following television stations:




Census-designated place

Notable people

Edgefield County is the birthplace of the following people:


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 23, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Morgan, Mary (2007-03-22). "Edgefield County". South Carolina State Library. Archived from the original on 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2007-12-02. External link in |publisher= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Edgefield County Court House: A Brief History, 1785-1997". County of Edgefield. Retrieved 2007-12-02. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce Home Page". Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2007-12-02. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Orville Vernon Burton, In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (U. of North Carolina Press, 1985)
  7. Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (1995)
  8. Melinda Meeks Hennessy, “Racial Violence During Reconstruction: The 1876 Riots in Charleston and Cainhoy”, South Carolina Historical Magazine, Vol. 86, No. 2, (April 1985), 104-106 (subscription required)
  9. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "FCI Edgefield Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on July 27, 2010.
  17. "Edgefield town, South Carolina." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 27, 2010.

External links

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