Bennettsville, South Carolina

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Bennettsville, South Carolina
The Marlboro County courthouse
The Marlboro County courthouse
Location of Bennettsville inSouth Carolina
Location of Bennettsville in
South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°37′17″N 79°41′5″W / 34.62139°N 79.68472°W / 34.62139; -79.68472Coordinates: 34°37′17″N 79°41′5″W / 34.62139°N 79.68472°W / 34.62139; -79.68472
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Marlboro
 • Mayor Dexe Bostick
 • Total 6.2 sq mi (16.1 km2)
 • Land 5.6 sq mi (14.5 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)
Elevation 157 ft (48 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 9,425
 • Density 675/sq mi (260.7/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 29512
Area code(s) 843
FIPS code 45-05680[1]
GNIS feature ID 1246743[2]

Bennettsville is a city located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It is the county seat of Marlboro County and home to the Bennettsville Historic District. According to the 2000 census, Bennettsville has a population of 9,425.


Bennettsville is located at 34°37′17″N 79°41′5″W / 34.62139°N 79.68472°W / 34.62139; -79.68472 (34.621270, -79.684830)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2), of which, 5.6 square miles (15 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (10.13%) is water.


The city of Bennettsville was founded in 1819 and named after Thomas Bennett, Jr., then governor of South Carolina.

In the same year, the S.C. General Assembly authorized the relocation of the courthouse from the eastern bank of the Great Pee Dee River to a more central location, selecting a 3-acre (12,000 m2) apple orchard located on a bluff above Crooked Creek for the new courthouse, designed by South Carolina architect Robert Mills. Streets were then developed spreading out from the square, one of the state's largest. In 1852, the Mills building was replaced.

In 1865, during the American Civil War, the city was occupied by Union troops. During this time, the Jennings-Brown House and the first County Courthouse was used as the headquarters for General William T. Sherman during the Civil War. The new courthouse escaped burning, making it one of South Carolina's few county seats with records accessible for genealogical research dating back to 1785.

In 1884, another Second Empire style courthouse was erected on the site and is the central portion of the present building. Two story red brick wings and the present clock steeple designed by Bennettsville architect Henry D. Harrall were added during the 1952-1954 remodeling.

In 1885, Duncan Donald McColl brought the first railroad, bank and textile mills to Bennettsville. The economy boomed during this "king cotton" era. The city became one of the richest agricultural areas in the state. Because of this importance to its early history, the State of South Carolina gave Bennettsville the designation of its first "G.R.E.A.T. Town" (Governor's Rural Economic Achievement Trophy).

The nearby Welsh Neck-Long Bluff-Society Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[4]

Notable natives[edit]


Within the Bennettsville Historic District, historic buildings include the Jennings Brown House (1826), the Female Academy (1830), the Medical Museum (1902), and the Murchison School (1902) — as well as other residences in the Queen Anne and Beaux Arts style.

The D. D. McColl house at 300 West Main Street is a South Carolina mosquito cottage built in 1826 originally constructed by H. H. Covington on Darlington Street and sold in 1871 to Duncan Donald McColl (1842–1911) (who brought the first railroad, bank, and textile mills to Marlboro County). McColl lived in the home until 1884 — the house later being moved to S. Liberty Street, and later still to McColl Street. Now home to the Marlboro Chamber of Commerce and The South Carolina Cotton Trail, the house had been purchased, restored, relocated to its West Main Street location and presented to the county in 1991 by D.D. McColl's great-grandson, Bennettsville native Hugh L. McColl, Jr., former Bank of America Chairman of Charlotte. D. D. McColl's 1884 Victorian brick home sits nearby.

See: the D.D. McColl house

A new Marlboro County library named in honor of Marian Wright Edelman, opened on February 22, 2010.[5] Located on 4.4 acres (18,000 m2) at the intersection of Marlboro Street and Fayetteville Avenue adjacent to the Murchison building (1902) and the Northeastern Technical College, the new single-story building is approximately 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2), with a proposed front tower oriented on axis with that of the Murchison Building. The building's cost has been secured by $ 1.325mil in federal funding.[6] The Library holds 60,000 volumes and has two conference rooms, seating 50 and 12.[7]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,425 people, 3,289 households, and 2,167 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,686.2 people per square mile (651.0/km²). There were 3,775 housing units at an average density of 675.4 per square mile (260.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.15% African American, 34.80% White, 0.85% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.63% of the population.

There were 3,289 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.7% were married couples living together, 25.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 107.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,389, and the median income for a family was $29,272. Males had a median income of $24,697 versus $21,054 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,917. About 22.0% of families and 27.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.2% of those under age 18 and 22.1% of those age 65 or over.

Bennettsville is the center of an urban cluster with a total population of 12,070 (2000 census).


The city is run by an elected Mayor-council government system. The city administrator is appointed by the city council and serves as the chief executive officer to carry out polices and oversee the daily business of the city.


Dexe Bostick

Council Members[edit]

Sandy Donaldson, Wilhelmina R. Pegues, John M. Jackson, III, Freddie Hodges, Edward Samuels, Jr., Jean Quick

The city is home to the Bennettsville Federal Correctional Institution.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  5. ^ "Marian Wright Edelman Library opens". U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), press release, December 24, 2001. "Monday, February 22, was a dreary day by all accounts, with grey skies and bouts of sometimes heavy rain. But inside the Marian Wright Edelman Public Library, it was a different story: bright and warm, with an air of excitement that anyone could feel. Monday was opening day for the new library." 
  6. ^ "Spratt Secures $1.325 Million for Marian Wright Edelman Library". = Marlboro Herald Advocate, Lynn McQueen, February 25, 201. 
  7. ^ "Marian Wright Edelman Library opens". Marlboro Herald Advocate, Lynn McQueen, February 25, 2010. "The library boasts approximately 60,000 volumes, she said, and has features to appeal to all segments of the community. One source of pride is the computer area, which has 22 computers for public use / The larger conference room, which seats 50 and has a small kitchen. The smaller conference room seats 12, and both have drop-down screens." 

External links[edit]