Kershaw County, South Carolina
|Named for||Joseph Brevard Kershaw|
|• Total||740 sq mi (1,900 km2)|
|• Land||727 sq mi (1,880 km2)|
|• Water||14 sq mi (40 km2) 1.9%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||83/sq mi (32/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Kershaw County is a county located in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 61,697. The county seat and largest city is Camden. The county was created in 1791 from parts of Claremont, Lancaster, Fairfield, and Richland counties. It is named for Col. Joseph Kershaw (1727–1791), an early settler and American Revolutionary War patriot.
Kershaw County is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Kershaw County was named for Col. Joseph Kershaw (1727–1791), an early settler considered as "the father of Camden". Originally part of Camden District, Kershaw County was formed in 1791 from parts of Claremont, Lancaster, Fairfield, and Richland counties. The county seat is Camden, the oldest inland city in South Carolina. This site was settled around 1732 by English traders and farmers who moved inland from Charleston. From about 1800 until about 1867, the county was known as Kershaw District.
During the American Revolutionary War, the British occupied Camden from June 1780 to May 1781. Fourteen battles took place in the area, including the Battle of Camden in 1780 and the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill in 1781.
Several notable soldiers have come from Kershaw County. After the state seceded from the Union, six men served in the American Civil War as Confederate generals: James Cantey (1818–1873), James Chesnut (1815–1885), Zachariah C. Deas (1819–1882), John Doby Kennedy (1840–1896), Joseph Brevard Kershaw (1822–1894), and John Bordenave Villepigue (1830–1862). Richard Rowland Kirkland, a Confederate soldier and hero at the Battle of Fredericksburg, was also from Kershaw County. He served under General Kershaw. In the last months of the war, Union troops under Gen. William T. Sherman burned parts of Camden in February 1865, in their March to the Sea.
Under the 1868 South Carolina Constitution, the Kershaw District became home rule Kershaw County with the state representatives also being county commissioners. During the Reconstruction era, some freedmen and other men of color were elected to various political offices. Among them was Henry Cardozo, who had been pastor of Old Bethel Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He served in the state senate as a Republican from Kershaw County, from 1870 to 1874. (February 1, 1836 – July 22, 1903) was an American clergyman, politician, and educator. When Francis Lewis Cardozo was elected in South Carolina as Secretary of State in 1868, he was the first African American to hold a statewide office in the United States.
During World War I, two Kershaw County men were awarded the Medal of Honor in two separate actions while fighting in France in October 1918. The first was Richmond Hobson Hilton, recognized for actions taking place on October 11, 1918, during which he lost an arm. The second was John Canty Villepigue on October 15, 1918; he was wounded so severely in the action for which he was recognized that he died several months later from his injuries. Villepigue was a descendant of General John B. Villepigue noted above.
Statesman and financier Bernard M. Baruch (1870–1965), labor leader Lane Kirkland, and baseball player Larry Doby, the first African-American player in the American League, were each born in Kershaw County. Former South Carolina Governor John C. West was also from Kershaw County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 740 square miles (1,900 km2), of which 727 square miles (1,880 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.9%) is water. Kershaw County is one of three counties that compromises Lake Wateree, in which the lake is compromised with the Wateree River, which flows through Kershaw County.
- Richland County – southwest
- Lee County – southeast
- Fairfield County – west
- Lancaster County – north
- Chesterfield County – northeast
- Sumter County – southeast
- Darlington County – east
Parks and recreation
- Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site
- Camden Battlefield, site of the Battle of Camden
- Boykin Mill Complex
- Kendall Mill Historic District
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 52,647 people, 20,188 households, and 14,918 families living in the county. The population density was 72 people per square mile (28/km2). There were 22,683 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile (12/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 71.61% White, 26.29% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. 1.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 20,188 households, out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.80% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.10% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.10% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 24.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,804, and the median income for a family was $44,836. Males had a median income of $32,246 versus $22,714 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,360. About 9.70% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.90% of those under age 18 and 14.10% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 61,697 people, 23,928 households, and 17,114 families living in the county. The population density was 84.9 inhabitants per square mile (32.8/km2). There were 27,478 housing units at an average density of 37.8 per square mile (14.6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 71.3% white, 24.6% black or African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.7% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 28.1% were American, 7.8% were English, 7.7% were Irish, and 6.3% were German.
Of the 23,928 households, 34.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.5% were non-families, and 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.02. The median age was 40.2 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $44,064 and the median income for a family was $53,053. Males had a median income of $40,794 versus $30,553 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,777. About 12.1% of families and 15.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.6% of those under age 18 and 11.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Kershaw County School District serves as the governing body for all public schools in Kershaw County.
Central Carolina Technical College has two branches located in Camden.
- Camden Middle School
- Lugoff-Elgin Middle School
- North Central Middle School
- Leslie M. Stover Middle School
- Camden Elementary School
- Lugoff Elementary School
- Wateree Elementary School
- Blaney Elementary School
- Doby's Mill Elementary School
- Baron DeKalb Elementary School
- Mt. Pisgah Elementary School
- Midway Elementary School
- Pine Tree Hill Elementary School
- Jackson Elementary School
- Bethune Elementary School
- Camden (county seat)
Other unincorporated communities
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- Map of Kershaw District, South Carolina. Authored by Robert Mills (1781–1855) and J. Boykin. Published 1825. Library of Congress, accessed March 2020.
- Dixon, Nenie; Elias B. Bull (February 21, 1975). "Bethel Methodist Church (Old Bethel United Methodist Church)" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
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