Central, South Carolina
|Central, South Carolina|
Location of Central within South Carolina
|• Mayor||Mac Martin|
|• Total||2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2)|
|• Land||2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||912 ft (278 m)|
|• Density||2,100/sq mi (830/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1247236|
Central is a town in Pickens County, South Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,159. Contrary to its name, it is not near the center of South Carolina. It received its name from its geographic location, being the halfway or central point between Atlanta and Charlotte along the former Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway line. The primary campus of Southern Wesleyan University is located east of the downtown area.
Central owes its existence to a railroad boom that began in 1873. The town's name represents the fact that it is midway between Atlanta and Charlotte. Central was incorporated as a town on March 17, 1875.
In 1897, Southern Railway moved its headquarters from Central to Greenville; trains no longer stopped to change engines, and soon all shops and offices were closed. The establishment of Issaqueena Mill and in 1906,  Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute (now Southern Wesleyan University) brought people back to the town.
Two buildings on Church Street in Central are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Central High School and Morgan House. The Central Roller Mills on Madden Bridge Rd. was listed in 2013.
Downtown Central is bisected by a rail line. A significant number of late 19th to early 20th century commercial buildings remain, most of which are a single story in height and retain a good amount of historical integrity. As of summer 2006, a downtown streetscape project is underway that is designed to improve the aesthetics of the area. There are also many modest pre-World War II homes near the downtown. Central has several very large apartment complexes, including The Summit at Cross Creek, which primarily house students from nearby Clemson University (who can use Clemson Area Transit to get there), as well as from Central's own Southern Wesleyan University.
The Central Heritage Society has a museum and information on many historic buildings and homes in the area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,522 people, 1,560 households, and 617 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,463.4 people per square mile (564.3/km2). There were 1,832 housing units at an average density of 761.2 per square mile (293.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 79.70% White, 15.25% African American, 1.79% Asian, 0.03% Native American, 2.13% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.32% of the population.
There were 1,560 households out of which 17.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.1% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.4% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the town the population was spread out with 15.1% under the age of 18, 37.4% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 12.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 116.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $23,869, and the median income for a family was $39,524. Males had a median income of $26,855 versus $22,207 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,394. About 11.3% of families and 29.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
The population of the Town has grown rapidly since 2000 due mostly to the construction of apartment complexes for students attending nearby Clemson University as well as Southern Wesleyan, and Tri-County Technical College.
The Central Clemson Regional Branch library serves as the community's public library, which is part of the Pickens County Library System.
Central shares educational facilities and transportation services with the adjacent city of Clemson.
Southern Wesleyan University
Central is home to the main campus of Southern Wesleyan University. Southern Wesleyan University is a SACS-accredited school, founded in 1906. It is a four-year Christian university. The main campus in Central houses over 600 traditional undergraduate students. The main campus offers three main housing buildings, two fine arts centers, a dining hall, a library, a gym, and many different class buildings. The campus is also home to FWC Alive, a Wesleyan church which offers both a traditional worship service alongside its contemporary worship service. Between the rich culture close by, and the on-campus activities, Southern Wesleyan University has many opportunities for personal growth and spiritual developmental alongside its educational program.
- Rod Fontana, male pornographic actor
- Lindsey Graham, South Carolina's U.S. senator, was born and raised in Central.
- DeAndre Hopkins, football player, was born and raised in Central.
- Jarvis Jenkins, football player, was born and raised in Central.
- Furman L. Smith, Medal of Honor recipient, who as part of the 34th Infantry Division fought and died during World War II, is buried in Central.
- Timothy L. Smith, noted historian and educator, was born in Central.
- History of Central from the Central Heritage Society website
- Mayor's Corner from Central's official website
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- History, Mission & Vision from Southern Wesleyan University
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Southern Wesleyan University". http://www.scicu.org. Retrieved 21 February 2013.