Newberry County, South Carolina
|Newberry County, South Carolina|
Newberry County Courthouse
Location in the state of South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
|• Total||647 sq mi (1,676 km2)|
|• Land||631 sq mi (1,634 km2)|
|• Water||17 sq mi (44 km2), 2.55%|
|• Density||59/sq mi (22.9/km²)|
|Congressional districts||3rd, 5th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Newberry County was formed from Ninety Six District in 1785. Prior to its formal founding, the area was the site of several American Revolutionary War battles: Williams' Plantation, Dec. 31, 1780; Mud Lick, March 2, 1781; and Bush River, May 1781. The town of Newberry was founded in 1789 as the county seat and was sometimes called Newberry Courthouse for that reason.
Originally settled by yeomen farmers, in the nineteenth century numerous plantations were established for the cultivation of short-staple cotton. Its processing had been made profitable by invention of the cotton gin. Cotton was the primary crop grown in Newberry County before the American Civil War, supported by the labor of enslaved African Americans, who comprised a majority of the population in the county. With numerous plantations yielding good revenue, planters formed the social elite of the county and city. Newberry was a trading town, and expanded with the arrival of the railroad in the early 1850s, which connected it to major towns and markets. Newberry College was established by the Lutheran Church in 1856.
The Civil War interrupted growth in the county; the warfare and loss of lives of many southern men disrupted the state economy. Emancipation of slaves after the war began to change the social order during Reconstruction. By the late 1870s, white Democrats had regained their political power in the state legislature. In the later 19th century, they passed a new constitution and other measures to disfranchise the blacks. White legislators passed Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation, which also lasted until the mid-1960s. This exclusion from politics lasted for most black residents until after the passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s.
The first cotton mills were constructed in the county in the 1880s, and quickly became an important part of the economy and a source of jobs. For decades, jobs at the mills were limited to white workers. With the mechanization of agriculture in the early 20th century, labor needs were reduced. Many rural blacks left the county and state to migrate to northern and midwestern industrial cities for work during the Great Migration, which had two waves, before and after World War II. Less noticeable were rural whites who departed for opportunities in southern urban and suburban locations.
Since the 1970s the population of Newberry County has been growing due to increasing local economic prosperity.
- Union County, South Carolina - north
- Fairfield County, South Carolina - east
- Lexington County, South Carolina - southeast
- Richland County, South Carolina - southeast
- Saluda County, South Carolina - south
- Greenwood County, South Carolina - southwest
- Laurens County, South Carolina - northwest
National protected area
- Sumter National Forest (part)
As of the 2000 census, there were 36,108 people, 14,026 households and 9,804 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 16,805 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 64.02 percent White, 33.12 percent Black or African American, 0.28 percent Native American, 0.29 percent Asian, 0.09 percent Pacific Islander, 1.30 percent from other races, and 0.90 percent from two or more races. Some 4.25 percent of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 14,026 households out of which 30.4 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2 percent were married couples living together, 16.1 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1 percent were non-families. 26.5 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 12 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.5 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.1 percent under the age of 18, 9.8 percent from 18 to 24, 27.6 percent from 25 to 44, 23.7 percent from 45 to 64, and 14.7 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,867, and the median income for a family was $40,580. Males had a median income of $29,871 versus $21,274 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,045. About 13.6 percent of families and 17 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.8 percent of those under age 18 and 16 percent of those age 65 or over.
- Newberry County Water & Sewer Authority
- Newberry Electric Cooperative
- Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- South Carolina Revolutionary War Military Engagements, SCIWay
- Newberry County History, Official Newberry County Historical Society website
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
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||Laurens County||Union County|
|Greenwood County||Saluda County||Lexington County and Richland County|