Laurens County – North
Mr. John Darby the photographer in the early 20th century.
Image taken by R&R in 2013
LCPL Post Card Collection
The depot was demolished in 1970s.
Clinton began as a gathering place for men of the area who were attracted by the bars, horsetrack, and cockfights. The early name of this area was Five Forks because of the convergence of five roads. Located one mile to the east was Holland’s Store, the only merchandising establishment and post office in the lower part of the county in the early 1800’s. With the arrival of the railroad in 1853, the inhabitants of the area decided to choose an official name for the village. It was suggested, perhaps humorously, that it be called Round Jacket because of a vest or waist coat worn by a prominent citizen. A committee was appointed and given the responsibility for laying out streets and choosing a name. The name finally selected was that of Henry Clinton Young, the chairman of the committee. A native of Iredell County, North Carolina, Young was a Laurens attorney and a member of the South Carolina Legislature. In time other persons were attracted to the area because of the fertile farm lands which made it a center of extensive agricultural, dairy, and cattle interests. It became the second largest town in the county and developed with the town of Laurens a rivalry that persists in our own day. One result of this rivalry was the unsuccessful attempt in 1912 by a number of Clinton citizens to secede from Laurens County and to create a new county of Musgrove. (Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
Constructed in circa 1898 at a cost of $15,000. Image courtesy of photographer Bill Segars – 2009
The County Court Act of 1785 provided for court to be held in every county of South Carolina each quarter. The first county court for Laurens was convened at the residence of John Rodgers in 1785 with seven justices present. The first courthouse was a wooden building that was also used for a church and school. The exact location of this courthouse is unknown. The county purchased four acres of land from Samuel Saxon in 1792 to serve as a courthouse square. In 1799, an act of the General Assembly abolished the county courts and, along with them, the judges. The General Assembly appropriated $5,000 for the construction of a new courthouse and jail in 1815. Dr. John Wells Simpson constructed the central portion of the Laurens County Courthouse c. 1838, and in February 1840, it was ready for court. Information from: Laurens Co Postcard Series, LCMA, Arcadia Publishing – 2007
Image taken by R&R in 2013