Edgefield County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of South Carolina
South Carolina's location within the U.S.
|• Total||507 sq mi (1,310 km2)|
|• Land||500 sq mi (1,000 km2)|
|• Water||6.3 sq mi (16 km2) 1.2%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||53/sq mi (21/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
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.'" 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. 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. Parts of the district were later used in the formation of other neighboring counties, specifically:
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. 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.
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 May 1876, 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. 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.
- Saluda County - northeast
- Aiken County - east
- Richmond County, Georgia - southwest
- Columbia County, Georgia - southwest
- McCormick County - west
- Greenwood County - northwest
National protected area
- Sumter National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
1990-2000 2010-2013, 2018
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 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.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,985 people, 9,348 households, and 6,706 families residing in the county. The population density was 53.9 inhabitants per square mile (20.8/km2). There were 10,559 housing units at an average density of 21.1 per square mile (8.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 58.6% white, 37.2% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian or Alaska Native, 2.2% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race) made up 5.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.8% were American, 9.0% were English, 6.7% were Irish, and 5.1% were German.
Of the 9,348 households, 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.3% were non-families, and 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.04. The median age was 40.3 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,834 and the median income for a family was $57,114. Males had a median income of $41,759 versus $29,660 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,901. About 17.8% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.1% of those under age 18 and 17.1% of those age 65 or over.
Edgefield has one newspaper, published in the town of the same name:
- Edgefield Advertiser, the oldest newspaper in S.C.
The local radio station is located in the town of Johnston:
Edgefield is also served by the following television stations:
- WRDW-TV News 12, North Augusta, South Carolina
- WJBF NewsChannel 6, Augusta, Georgia
- WAGT NBC Augusta 26, Augusta, Georgia
- WFXG FOX-54, Augusta, Georgia
Edgefield County is the birthplace of the following people:
- Grancer Harrison (1789–1860), who is featured in the book 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey;
- Armistead Burt, (1802-1883) U.S. Representative from South Carolina.
- Preston Brooks (1819–1857), United States Congressman
- John Joel Glanton (1819–1850), Texas Ranger and leader of the Glanton Gang
- James Longstreet (1821–1904), Confederate General
- Carey Wentworth Styles (1825-1897) founder of The Atlanta Constitution, practiced law in Edgefield, published the Edgefield Informer
- Strom Thurmond (1902-2003) United States Senator from South Carolina
- Andrew Pickens, II 1816-1818
- George McDuffie 1834-1836
- Pierce Mason Butler 1836-1838
- James H. Hammond 1842-1844
- Francis W. Pickens 1860-1862
- Milledge L. Bonham 1862-1864
- Benjamin R. Tillman 1890-1894
- Strom Thurmond 1947-1951
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Morgan, Mary (2007-03-22). "Edgefield County". South Carolina State Library. Archived from the original on 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2007-12-02.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "The Edgefield County Court House: A Brief History, 1785-1997". County of Edgefield. Archived from the original on 2007-06-13. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- "Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce Home Page". Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
- Orville Vernon Burton, In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (U. of North Carolina Press, 1985)
- Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (1995)
- 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)
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
- "QuickFacts. Edgefield County, South Carolina". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "FCI Edgefield Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on July 27, 2010.
- "Edgefield town, South Carolina Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 27, 2010.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- Edgefield County Government
- Edgefield County Chamber of Commerce
- Edgefield County History and Images