Marlboro County, South Carolina
|Marlboro County, South Carolina|
Marlboro County Courthouse, Bennettsville
Location in the U.S. state of South Carolina
South Carolina's location in the U.S.
|Named for||John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough|
|• Total||485 sq mi (1,256 km2)|
|• Land||480 sq mi (1,243 km2)|
|• Water||5.6 sq mi (15 km2), 1.2%|
|• Density||60/sq mi (23/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Marlboro County is a county located in the Piedmont on the northern border of the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census recorded its population to be 28,933. Its county seat is Bennettsville. The Great Pee Dee River runs through it. Marlboro County comprises the Bennettsville, SC Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Nearly 5% of the county population identify as Pee Dee people. They are descendants of an indigenous tribe that occupied this area before 1000 CE, building elaborate earthwork mounds and palisaded villages. Today the state recognizes the Pee Dee Tribe of South Carolina (2006) and the Pee Dee Indian Nation of Upper South Carolina (2005), among other Native American tribes. The first is based in McColl, as is the Marlboro, Chesterfield, Darlington County Pee Dee Indian Tribe, which separated from the second listed Pee Dee tribe.
Succeeding indigenous peoples occupied this area for thousands of years. At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area were the historic Pee Dee. At one time researchers thought they might have moved into the Piedmont from the Lowcountry as a result of colonial pressures along the coast. Descendants identifying as Pee Dee still live in the county and region. But archeological excavations have shown that the Pee Dee were part of a complex culture that emerged here about 1000 CE. They are believed to have spoken a Siouan language, as did other historic tribes of the Piedmont, such as the Cheraw.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, researchers identified numerous sites in South Carolina and the Southeast that they associated with what they have classified as South Appalachian Mississippian culture. It developed later, about 1000 CE, later than did some of the largest settlements to the northwest that were closer to the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Like other Mississippian peoples, the Pee Dee built earthwork mounds as part of their major settlements. These were sites of religious and political ritual, which were closely intertwined.
Town Creek Indian Mound, a National Historic Landmark located across the border in present-day Montgomery County, North Carolina, is a surviving platform mound and archeological village site of this Pee Dee culture. It was occupied about 200 years and abandoned after 1150CE, for unknown reasons.
European colonization and later history
The first European colonists to arrive in the area were Welsh settlers, part of the British Isles colonists who migrated south from Pennsylvania. In 1737, they established the first European-American settlement, called Welsh Neck. These settlers organized a Baptist church in January 1738.
On 12 March 1785, Marlboro County was established by state law of the new United States. It was named for the Duke of Marlborough. The first courthouse was built near the Great Pee Dee River, just north of Crooked Creek, in a village called Carlisle, named for Richard Carlisle.
In order to have a more central location for the county court, the state legislature designated Bennettsville founded in 1819, as the new county seat. A courthouse was built according to a design by Robert Mills. Construction began in 1820 and was completed in 1824. It was replaced in the later 19th century. The second courthouse was expanded and renovated in 1953-1954.
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,818 people, 10,478 households, and 7,334 families residing in the county. The population density was 60 people per square mile (23/km²). There were 11,894 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 50.73% Black or African American, 44.49% White, 3.36% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. 0.71% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 10,478 households out of which 32.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.60% were married couples living together, 22.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.20% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,598, and the median income for a family was $32,019. Males had a median income of $25,896 versus $20,590 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,385. About 17.70% of families and 21.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.20% of those under age 18 and 22.70% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 28,933 people, 10,383 households, and 6,903 families residing in the county. The population density was 60.3 inhabitants per square mile (23.3/km2). There were 12,072 housing units at an average density of 25.2 per square mile (9.7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 50.9% black or African American, 41.4% white, 4.5% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, and 9.7% were American.
Of the 10,383 households, 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 24.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.5% were non-families, and 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.06. The median age was 38.8 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,688 and the median income for a family was $32,485. Males had a median income of $31,170 versus $24,885 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,817. About 23.3% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.4% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.
After Democrats regained power in the state in the late nineteenth century, the legislature passed a new constitution that raised barriers to voter registration, effectively disfranchising black voters; at the time blacks comprised a majority of the population in the state and mostly supported Republican candidates. The state legislature also imposed legal racial segregation and laws for Jim Crow and white supremacy. This situation of disfranchisement lasted largely into the 1960s, until after Congress passed the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, to give the government oversight and power to enforce constitutional rights for all citizens. As part of the Solid South, the whites of the county and state used to vote overwhelmingly Democratic, giving 100% of its vote to the party in 1924. White South Carolina residents (and throughout the South) had outsize power in Congress, as they controlled seats apportioned on the basis of total population of the state, while disfranchising the blacks.
Since the late 20th century, the county has voted mostly Democratic, but the demographics of political alignments have changed markedly since the 19th century. African Americans have mostly left the Republican Party to support the national Democratic Party. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party. In the 1972 election, Republican Richard Nixon won every county in the state including Marlboro. In state and local voting, many whites have voted for Republican candidates, and African Americans have tended to continue to support the Democrats.
More recently the county went strongly for Barack Obama, who received 62.4% of the vote in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. The Democratic presidential candidates have received more than 58% of the county vote in all elections from 1992 to 2004.
- Marlboro County Jetport
- Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) 76.8 Miles South - South - East of Bennettsville
- Charlotte International Airport (CLT) 81.3 Miles West - North - West of Bennettsville
- Clio Crop Care Airport (9W9)
- Bennettsville (county seat)
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- Hudson, Charles M. (1970). The Catawba Nation. University of Georgia Press. pp. 16–17.
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- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
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- Marlboro County "It’s Good to be Home". Bennettsville, SC: Marlboro Herald-Advocate. January 2009. p. 60.
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- 1924 Presidential Election Statistics
- David Leip Presidential Atlas (Election maps for South Carolina)
- New York Times Electoral Map (Zoom in on South Carolina)
- 1905 Reprint of Bishop Gregg's History of the Old Cheraws with additional material as an appendix. (Google Book pdf)
||Anson County, North Carolina||Richmond County, North Carolina||Scotland County, North Carolina|
|Chesterfield County||Robeson County, North Carolina and Dillon County|
|Darlington County||Florence County|