1883 Map of Laurens Co., S.C. showing households and landownership by Kyzer and Hellams, Library of Congress
Early postcard image of a downtown residence. Courtesy of the Martin Postcard Collection – 2014/15
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Laurens County – North
Mr. John Darby the photographer in the early 20th century.
Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History – 1984
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)
These early-1900s postcards show the Red Iron Racket, Willis Furniture Store, Palmetto Drug Company, W. Cl. Wilson and Company, and Davis and Roper Company, all of which were located on the south side of the Laurens Court House Square. Many souvenir postcards depicting Laurens scenes were printed and sold by the Palmetto Drug Company. Today these postcards are highly collectible. (Courtesy South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia.)