Fairfield County, South Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fairfield County
County of Fairfield
Fairfield County Courthouse
Fairfield County Courthouse
Flag of Fairfield County
Official seal of Fairfield County
Motto(s): 
"Capital Convenience, Country Comfort"
Map of South Carolina highlighting Fairfield 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°24′N 81°08′W / 34.4°N 81.13°W / 34.4; -81.13
Country United States
State South Carolina
Founded1785
Named forComment made by General Cornwallis stating ""How Fair These Fields"[1]
SeatWinnsboro
Largest townWinnsboro
Area
 • Total710 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Land686 sq mi (1,780 km2)
 • Water24 sq mi (60 km2)  3.3%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2021)
20,948
 • Density30.5/sq mi (11.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district5th
Websitewww.fairfieldsc.com

Fairfield County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was 20,948.[2] Its county seat is Winnsboro.[3]

Fairfield County is part of the Columbia, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

18th century[edit]

It is alleged that the county name originated from a statement made by General Cornwallis when he declared "How Fair These Fields" during the British occupation of the area in 1780–81. The house Cornwallis[4] stayed in during the occupation is still standing.

Several years before the Revolution, Richard Winn from Virginia moved to what is now called Fairfield County. His lands covered the present site of Winnsboro, and as early as 1777 the settlement was known as "Winnsborough".[5]

The village was laid out and chartered in 1785 upon petition of Richard Winn, John Winn and John Vanderhorst. John Richard, and Minor Winn all served in the Revolutionary War. Richard was a General and he is said to have fought in more battles than any patriot in South Carolina.[5]

Fairfield County has numerous churches, some of which have existed for over 200 years. Perhaps the most famous church, built in 1788, is the Old Brick Church,[6] where the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod of the Carolinas was organized in 1803. A note penciled on the wall of the Old Brick Church is testimony to a Union soldier's regret at the church's floor boards being taken up to build a crossing over the nearby river for General Sherman's troops during the American Civil War.

The early settlers in the mid-18th century brought cotton to the county. It was soon supported as a commodity crop by the labor of enslaved African Americans.

19th century[edit]

Invention of the cotton gin enabled the cultivation of short-staple cotton through the upcountry regions of the South. It was the chief commodity crop for this county from the early 19th century through the 1920s. In the antebellum era, most of the intensive labor was accomplished by African-American slaves, many of whose descendants still live in this rural area. After the Civil War, many African Americans initially worked as sharecroppers and tenant farmers. Over time the soil became depleted, but more damaging was infestation in the 20th century by the boll weevil. Together with mechanization of agriculture, the need for labor was reduced. In the first half of the 20th century through the 1940s, millions of African Americans left the rural South in the Great Migration to northern and midwestern cities for other job opportunities and the chance to escape Jim Crow restrictions.

In December 1832 Winnsboro was incorporated as a town to be governed by an intendant and wardens. The most prominent architectural feature of Fairfield County is the Town Clock[7] in Winnsboro. South Carolina's General Assembly authorized Winnsboro's town fathers to build a market house that "shall not be of greater width than 30 feet (9.1 m)" to allow 30 feet (9.1 m) of wagon travel on either side. The narrow building was modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia and built on the site of a duck pond. A clock was added in 1837, and the building has since been known as the Town Clock.[8]

The County Courthouse,[9] across from the Town Clock, dates back to 1823. Designed by South Carolina architect Robert Mills, the courthouse houses records dating to the mid-18th century.[10]

Reconstruction[edit]

During Reconstruction the Fairfield District was changed into Fairfield County and was occupied by Union troops. The South Carolina state constitution of 1868 was such that those who fought for the confederacy were barred from voting in the 1868 elections. As a result most eligible voters in Fairfield County were African-American. In 1868 there were 942 whites in the county were eligible to vote and 2,434 African-Americans who were eligible to vote.[11] In the election held under these circumstances an African-American man, George Barber, was elected to represent Fairfield County in the South Carolina State Senate.[12][13] In the same election the county elected three people to the South Carolina state house of representatives. Henry Jacob and Henry Johnson, who were African-Americans and L.W. Duvall who was white.[14] This was considered revolutionary at the time and those who had previously been slave owners were extremely angry.[15] Due to how much social spending the Reconstruction government engaged in, by the end of 1870 Fairfield County was one of only two counties in the state that was not in debt.[16] During the Presidential election of 1872, there were three companies of U.S. troops stationed in Fairfield County to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from disrupting voting.[17]

Granite deposits in the County led to the early development of quarrying. Winnsboro blue granite, "The Silk of the Trade," is used worldwide in buildings and monuments.[18]

20th century[edit]

The county was home to the Carolinas–Virginia Tube Reactor during the 1960s. In 1984 the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station was built here. The county owns the Fairfield County Airport, in operation since 1975.[19] The Ridgeway gold mine, east of Ridgeway, was in operation from 1988 to 1999.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 710 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 686 square miles (1,780 km2) is land and 24 square miles (62 km2) (3.3%) is water.[20]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Other major infrastructure[edit]

Major water-bodies[edit]

National Protected area[edit]

State and local protected areas/sites[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
17907,623
180010,08732.3%
181011,85717.5%
182017,17444.8%
183021,54625.5%
184020,165−6.4%
185021,4046.1%
186022,1113.3%
187019,888−10.1%
188027,76539.6%
189028,5993.0%
190029,4252.9%
191029,4420.1%
192027,159−7.8%
193023,287−14.3%
194024,1873.9%
195021,780−10.0%
196020,713−4.9%
197019,999−3.4%
198020,7003.5%
199022,2957.7%
200023,4545.2%
201023,9562.1%
202020,948−12.6%
2021 (est.)20,690[21]−1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[22]
1790-1960[23] 1900-1990[24]
1990-2000[25] 2010-2013[26]
2020[21]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[27] of 2000, there were 23,454 people, 8,774 households, and 6,387 families living in the county. The population density was 34 people per square mile (13/km2). There were 10,383 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 59.09% Black or African American, 39.58% White, 0.19% Asian, 0.15% Native American, 0.44% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,774 households, out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.90% were married couples living together, 20.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.10% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,376, and the median income for a family was $35,943. Males had a median income of $29,033 versus $21,197 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,911. About 17.20% of families and 19.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.70% of those under age 18 and 24.10% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,956 people, 9,419 households, and 6,578 families living in the county.[28][26] The population density was 34.9 inhabitants per square mile (13.5/km2). There were 11,681 housing units at an average density of 17.0 per square mile (6.6/km2).[29] The racial makeup of the county was 59.1% black or African American, 38.6% white, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.6% of the population.[28] In terms of ancestry, 18.0% were American, 6.0% were English, 5.4% were Irish, 5.3% were Subsaharan African, and 5.0% were German.[30]

Of the 9,419 households, 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 30.2% were non-families, and 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.01. The median age was 42.4 years.[28]

The median income for a household in the county was $32,022 and the median income for a family was $40,849. Males had a median income of $39,837 versus $28,695 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,877. About 15.8% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.7% of those under age 18 and 20.7% of those age 65 or over.[31]

2020 census[edit]

Fairfield County racial composition[32]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 8,503 40.59%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 11,201 53.47%
Native American 64 0.31%
Asian 101 0.48%
Pacific Islander 7 0.03%
Other/Mixed 649 3.1%
Hispanic or Latino 423 2.02%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 20,948 people, 9,191 households, and 5,921 families residing in the county.

Attractions[edit]

The county is home to the South Carolina Railroad Museum (in Winnsboro).[33]

The Enoree Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest provides opportunities for outdoor recreation.[34][35] The county has an abundance of deer and wild turkeys, making it an attraction for hunters.[36] It is home to the Lake Wateree State Recreation Area.

Crime[edit]

Fairfield County’s violent crime rate is 629, as compared to the South Carolina average of 521 and the top performing states at 62. The measure is the number of violent crimes reported per 100,000 population. Violent crimes are defined as offenses that involve a face-to-face confrontation between the victim and the perpetrator, including homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.[37] According to CrimeGrade.org, Fairfield County is listed as D+ on an A-F grading scale. This means that the rate of crime is higher than the average US county. Fairfield County is in the 29th percentile for safety, meaning 71% of counties are safer and 29% of counties are more dangerous.[38]

Poverty[edit]

Based on the Fairfield County Community Health Needs Assessment Report conducted in March 2018, the median household income for Fairfield County is $36,004 which is considerably lower than the state median at $46,898. Of the county’s 22,653 residents, 23% live in poverty. Fairfield County’s rate of Children in Poverty is 32%, which is greater than the South Carolina average of 23% and far exceeds the top performing states at 12%.[37]

Politics[edit]

County Council[edit]

  • Moses W. Bell - District 1, Chairman
  • Shirley M. Greene - District 2, Vice Chair
  • Mikel Trapp - District 3
  • Timothy Roseborough - District 4
  • Douglas Pauley - District 5
  • Cornelius Robinson - District 6
  • Clarence Gilbert - District 7

County Administrator[edit]

  • Malik Whitaker (Whitaker was offered a one year contract worth $135K, and assumed duties on 12/02/2021) [39]

Director of Economic Development[edit]

  • Margaret Broadwater

Controvery[edit]

Fairfield County Council voted to approve a $50,000 settlement with the wife and niece-in-law of two county council members. On June 13, 2022, the council voted 6-0 to approve an agreement with former employee Diana Robinson over her allegations of discrimination in the workplace. Her husband, Councilman Cornelius Robinson (District 6), recused himself from the vote and appeared to remove himself from the executive session where the issue was discussed beforehand. Councilman Mikel Trapp (District 3) did not recuse himself from the vote, motioned for the settlement to be approved, and voted to approve it. Cornelius confirmed that Trapp is his uncle through marriage.[40] The allegations presented by Diana Robinson by letter of October 15, 2021, to Fairfield County: Mrs. Robinson was spoken to in a threatening and hostile tone in the workplace; Mrs. Robinson was confronted over her use of social media and told to cease the use of her personal social media accounts; Mrs. Robinson was forced to resign; Mrs. Robinson was passed up for raises her white counterparts received, and Mrs. Robinson expressed concern regarding the promotion of less qualified white employees.[40]

United States presidential election results for Fairfield County, South Carolina[41]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 4,625 38.11% 7,382 60.83% 129 1.06%
2016 4,027 35.74% 6,945 61.64% 295 2.62%
2012 3,999 33.62% 7,777 65.38% 119 1.00%
2008 3,912 33.67% 7,591 65.33% 116 1.00%
2004 3,531 37.42% 5,764 61.09% 140 1.48%
2000 3,011 35.85% 5,263 62.67% 124 1.48%
1996 2,414 32.29% 4,719 63.12% 343 4.59%
1992 2,518 31.12% 4,867 60.15% 706 8.73%
1988 2,714 41.23% 3,827 58.13% 42 0.64%
1984 3,147 43.19% 4,117 56.50% 23 0.32%
1980 2,098 33.18% 4,153 65.68% 72 1.14%
1976 1,817 30.34% 4,153 69.36% 18 0.30%
1972 2,608 50.68% 2,492 48.43% 46 0.89%
1968 1,619 27.14% 3,011 50.47% 1,336 22.39%
1964 1,997 43.18% 2,628 56.82% 0 0.00%
1960 1,549 48.68% 1,633 51.32% 0 0.00%
1956 519 19.60% 961 36.29% 1,168 44.11%
1952 1,607 50.27% 1,590 49.73% 0 0.00%
1948 63 4.67% 211 15.64% 1,075 79.69%
1944 21 2.43% 798 92.47% 44 5.10%
1940 20 2.30% 848 97.70% 0 0.00%
1936 13 1.28% 1,005 98.72% 0 0.00%
1932 10 1.09% 901 98.58% 3 0.33%
1928 94 10.74% 781 89.26% 0 0.00%
1924 11 1.71% 631 97.98% 2 0.31%
1920 15 1.99% 737 98.01% 0 0.00%
1916 0 0.00% 726 98.37% 12 1.63%
1912 3 0.47% 622 98.26% 8 1.26%
1904 0 0.00% 723 100.00% 0 0.00%
1900 17 2.47% 670 97.53% 0 0.00%


Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cornwallis House". Archived from the original on December 11, 2005. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Fairfield County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 11, 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2005.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b "Fairfield County, South Carolina". www.carolana.com. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 29, 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2005.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Town Clock from fairfieldchamber.org
  8. ^ "Winnsboro Town Clock". SC Picture Project. July 9, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 11, 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2005.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Fairfield County Courthouse - Town of Winnsboro | South Carolina". Town of Winnsboro. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  11. ^ Reconstruction in South Carolina, 1865-1877 By John Schreiner Reynolds pg. 74
  12. ^ "South Carolina During the Late 1800s - the 48th General Assembly (1868-1870)".
  13. ^ Reconstruction in South Carolina, 1865-1877 By John Schreiner Reynolds pg. 121
  14. ^ Reconstruction in South Carolina, 1865-1877 By John Schreiner Reynolds pg. 107
  15. ^ State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina by Richard Zuczek pg. 48
  16. ^ Reconstruction in South Carolina, 1865-1877 By John Schreiner Reynolds pg. 134
  17. ^ Reconstruction in South Carolina, 1865-1877 By John Schreiner Reynolds pg. 137
  18. ^ "Blue Granite". South Carolina Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  19. ^ "Nearest Airports to Columbia, South Carolina". Traveltips.usatoday.com. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  20. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Fairfield County, South Carolina". www.census.gov. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  22. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  23. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  24. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  25. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  26. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  27. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  28. ^ 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 9, 2016.
  29. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  30. ^ "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 9, 2016.
  31. ^ "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 9, 2016.
  32. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 15, 2021.
  33. ^ "Directions and Facilities". South Carolina Railroad Museum. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2012. Located at 110 Industrial Park Road, Winnsboro, SC 29180...
  34. ^ "Enoree Ranger Districts". U.S. Forest Service. The Enoree Ranger District consists of more than 170,000 acres located in Newberry, Union, Chester, Laurens and Fairfield counties.
  35. ^ "History of the Enoree and Long Cane Ranger Districts". U.S. Forest Service.
  36. ^ "Welcome to Fairfield County, South Carolina". Fairfield County, South Carolina. 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  37. ^ a b https://fairfieldforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2018-CHNA-Fairfield-County.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  38. ^ https://crimegrade.org/safest-places-in-fairfield-county-sc/
  39. ^ "Council hires new county admin". November 23, 2021.
  40. ^ a b "Fairfield Co. Council approved $50,000 settlement for wife & niece-in-law of councilmembers".
  41. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved January 2, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°24′N 81°08′W / 34.40°N 81.13°W / 34.40; -81.13