Laurens County
County of Laurens
Laurens County Courthouse
Official seal of Laurens County
Official logo of Laurens County
Map of South Carolina highlighting Laurens County
Location within the U.S. state of South Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting South Carolina
South Carolina's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 34°29′01″N 82°00′21″W / 34.48357°N 82.00593°W / 34.48357; -82.00593
Country United States
State South Carolina
Founded1785
Named forHenry Laurens
SeatLaurens
Largest cityLaurens
Area
 • Total724 sq mi (1,880 km2)
 • Land714 sq mi (1,850 km2)
 • Water10 sq mi (30 km2)  1.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total67,539
 • Density93/sq mi (36/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitelaurenscounty.us

Laurens County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 67,539.[1] Its county seat is Laurens.[2]

Laurens County is included in the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Laurens County was formed on March 12, 1785.[3] It was named after Henry Laurens, the fifth president of the Continental Congress.

One of nine modern counties of the Colonial Ninety-Six District, Laurens County hosted more "official" (i.e. officially recognized and contemporaneously documented by competent governments) battles than did half of the original colonies. The Battle of Musgrove Mill was the first time during the American Revolution that regular soldiers of Great Britain were defeated in battle by militia.

Those battles in modern Laurens County were:

  1. Fort Lindley/Lindler
  2. Widow Kellet's Block House
  3. Musgrove's Mill
  4. Farrow's Station
  5. Duncan Creek Meeting House
  6. Indian Creek
  7. Hammond's Store
  8. Fort Williams (not to be confused with Williamson's fort some 25 miles south in Greenwood County)
  9. Cedar Springs (begun in Cross Anchor SC, then an old-fashioned "Hoss Chase" of fifty eight miles through four counties and ended in NC after about 30 hours!)
  10. Mud Lick Creek
  11. Hayes' Station. (Joe Goldsmith, State Historian, SC Soc., Sons of the American Revolution)

Geography

Interactive map of Laurens County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 724 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 714 square miles (1,850 km2) is land and 10 square miles (26 km2) (1.4%) is water.[4]

National protected areas

State and local protected areas/sites

Major water bodies

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Major infrastructure

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
17909,337
180012,80937.2%
181014,98217.0%
182017,68218.0%
183020,86318.0%
184021,5843.5%
185023,4078.4%
186023,8581.9%
187022,536−5.5%
188029,44430.7%
189031,6107.4%
190024,311−23.1%
191026,6509.6%
192042,56059.7%
193042,094−1.1%
194044,1855.0%
195046,9746.3%
196047,6091.4%
197049,7134.4%
198052,2145.0%
199058,09211.3%
200069,56719.8%
201066,537−4.4%
202067,5391.5%
2021 (est.)67,803[5]0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]
2020[10]

2020 census

Laurens County racial composition[11]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 44,358 65.68%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 15,937 23.6%
Native American 144 0.21%
Asian 295 0.44%
Pacific Islander 24 0.04%
Other/Mixed 2,634 3.9%
Hispanic or Latino 4,147 6.14%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 67,539 people, 25,901 households, and 16,961 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 66,537 people, 25,525 households, and 17,707 families living in the county.[12] The population density was 93.2 inhabitants per square mile (36.0/km2). There were 30,709 housing units at an average density of 43.0 per square mile (16.6/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 70.4% white, 25.4% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 2.3% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.1% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 11.8% were American, 9.8% were Irish, 9.6% were German, and 8.8% were English.[14]

Of the 25,525 households, 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.6% were non-families, and 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.00. The median age was 39.9 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $37,529 and the median income for a family was $45,769. Males had a median income of $36,807 versus $26,799 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,757. About 14.1% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.0% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.[15]

2000 census

As of the census[16] of 2000, there were 69,567 people, 26,290 households, and 18,876 families living in the county. The population density was 97 people per square mile (38/km2). There were 30,239 housing units at an average density of 42 per square mile (16/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 71.57% White, 26.23% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 26,290 households, out of which 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.10% were married couples living together, 15.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.30% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,933, and the median income for a family was $39,739. Males had a median income of $30,402 versus $21,684 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,761. About 11.60% of families and 14.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.60% of those under age 18 and 13.50% of those age 65 or over.

As of December 2017, the county unemployment rate was 4.4%.[17]

Government and politics

During the 1870 South Carolina gubernatorial election, Joseph Crews was a county election commissioner in Laurens County, and in that capacity had ordered all ballot boxes to be set up in the county seat. This disadvantaged rural voters, but enabled him and the state militia to oversee the election process and to mobilize black voters. However, armed whites attacked the black militia and disarmed them; some were wounded, others murdered. "Like companies of Confederate cavalry", "heavily armed whites" pushed away black voters—until Federal troops came from twenty miles away, with Crews, and took the ballot boxes.[18] but was murdered by Democrats[19] in the run-up to the 1876 South Carolina gubernatorial election.[18]

Until 1948, Laurens County was a Democratic Party stronghold similar to the rest of the Solid South, with Democratic presidential candidates receiving near-unanimous margins of victory in most years. The 20 years from 1948 to 1968 were a highly transitional time for the politics of South Carolina and Laurens County, largely in part due to the Democratic Party's increasing support for African-American civil rights and enfranchisement. South Carolinian Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond won the county in 1948, and Democrats won it back from 1952 to 1960. Barry Goldwater's opposition to the Civil Rights Act led the county to turn Republican for the first time in 1964, which it remained for Richard Nixon's two electoral victories. The county flipped to the Democratic column to support Jimmy Carter from neighboring Georgia in 1976 and 1980, the last Democrat to win the county. From 1984, the county has been consistently Republican in presidential elections, often by wide margins of victory.

United States presidential election results for Laurens County, South Carolina[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 20,004 65.61% 10,159 33.32% 325 1.07%
2016 16,816 63.30% 8,889 33.46% 861 3.24%
2012 14,746 58.02% 10,318 40.60% 352 1.38%
2008 15,334 58.34% 10,578 40.25% 370 1.41%
2004 14,466 60.71% 9,205 38.63% 158 0.66%
2000 12,102 59.29% 7,920 38.80% 388 1.90%
1996 8,057 48.69% 7,055 42.64% 1,435 8.67%
1992 8,347 48.53% 6,638 38.59% 2,215 12.88%
1988 9,731 61.97% 5,930 37.77% 41 0.26%
1984 9,729 64.49% 5,312 35.21% 45 0.30%
1980 6,036 42.83% 7,856 55.74% 201 1.43%
1976 5,300 41.31% 7,440 57.98% 91 0.71%
1972 8,141 74.46% 2,650 24.24% 142 1.30%
1968 4,813 39.75% 3,016 24.91% 4,279 35.34%
1964 5,081 53.79% 4,365 46.21% 0 0.00%
1960 3,299 42.05% 4,547 57.95% 0 0.00%
1956 1,377 20.71% 3,726 56.05% 1,545 23.24%
1952 3,400 47.91% 3,697 52.09% 0 0.00%
1948 69 2.62% 513 19.51% 2,047 77.86%
1944 38 1.84% 1,924 93.40% 98 4.76%
1940 40 1.46% 2,697 98.54% 0 0.00%
1936 13 0.42% 3,069 99.58% 0 0.00%
1932 13 0.47% 2,750 99.39% 4 0.14%
1928 44 2.16% 1,989 97.64% 4 0.20%
1924 6 0.28% 2,105 99.53% 4 0.19%
1920 35 1.52% 2,263 98.48% 0 0.00%
1916 14 0.73% 1,895 98.65% 12 0.62%
1912 6 0.38% 1,566 98.49% 18 1.13%
1904 50 2.73% 1,779 97.21% 1 0.05%
1900 30 1.91% 1,540 98.09% 0 0.00%


2016 presidential election

Main articles: 2016 United States presidential election in South Carolina and 2016 United States presidential election

United States presidential election in Laurens County, SC (2016)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Donald Trump 16,770 63.3%
Democratic Hillary Clinton 8,845 33.4%
Libertarian Gary Johnson 373 1.4%
Independent Evan McMullin 200 0.8%
Green Jill Stein 124 0.5%
Constitution Darrell Castle 122 0.5%
American Peter Skewes 40 0.2%
Total votes 26,474 100%

Education

There are three public school districts in the county. Laurens County District 55 covers what is generally the northeastern half of the county while District 56 covers the southwestern half. The Ware Shoals area is covered by the multi-county Greenwood County District 51. There are two public high schools in the county: Laurens (in Dist. 55) and Clinton (in Dist. 56.)

Public K-12 education includes Hickory Tavern Elementary, Ford Elementary, Gray Court-Owings, E.B. Morse, Hickory Tavern Middle, Laurens Middle, and Sanders Middle.

Private K-12 education includes Laurens Academy.

Presbyterian College, located in Clinton, is a four-year liberal-arts school founded in 1880.

Communities

Cities

Towns

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "History of Laurens County, S.C." Town Square Publications. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Laurens County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  8. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Laurens County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  14. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  17. ^ "Monthly Unemployment Rates Ranked By County". www.eascinc.com. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Ginsberg, Benjamin (April 12, 2010). Moses of South Carolina: A Jewish Scalawag during Radical Reconstruction. JHU Press. pp. 71, 102–103, 133, 136 – via Google Books.
  19. ^ Bellesiles, Michael A. (2010). 1877: America's Year of Living Violently. The New Press. p. 31. ISBN 9781595585943.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  21. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  22. ^ "Cannon, Arthur Patrick (Pat), (1904 - 1966)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 4, 2012.

Coordinates: 34°29′01″N 82°00′21″W / 34.48357°N 82.00593°W / 34.48357; -82.00593