123 South Main Street
City Directories and History: Lee County Courthouse, the first and only courthouse for Lee County, was built six years after the formation of the county in 1902. The courthouse was financed by two bond issues at a cost of $75,000 and was considered one of the finest, most modern courthouses in the state. Lee County, named in honor of, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was formed from portions of Sumter, Kershaw, and Darlington Counties. The Neo-Classical design, the formality of the composition, and the stone and yellow brick construction suggest a Roman precedent, both of
architecture and of law. The courthouse was built in 1908-1909 by contractor Nicholas Ittner of Atlanta. William A. Edwards, of the firm of Edwards and Walter, Atlanta, was the architect. The courthouse is a three-story brick and stone building of Neo-Classical design. A colossal portico in antis defines the façade. The portico features four stone Tuscan columns on stone pedestals, with paired pilaster at the junctions of the portico and the single-bay pavilions which flank the portico. The body of the courthouse is of yellow brick, laid in American Flemish bond, with flush mortar joints. Stone trim is used throughout for window surrounds, water table, and the entablature. A Civil War memorial, a mounted cannon, and a flagpole occupy the courthouse grounds. Listed in the National Register October 30, 1981. (Courtesy of South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
The Rock Hill Herald reported on Sept. 23, 1896 – “The Town of Bishopville has voted $5,000. for the erection of a courthouse and jail for Salem County, provided that Bishopville is made the new county seat.”
The Rock Hill Herald reported on Oct. 24, 1896 – “Three sections are asking for elections to form new counties to be named Calhoun, Greenwood and Dorchester under the new constitution. Already Salem (Lee Co.), has submitted an application. Calhoun would take land from Orangeburg and Lexington. Greenwood would take 16,082 people from Abbeville and 6,153 from Edgefield County. Dorchester would take townships from Colleton and Berkeley Counties.”
On Dec. 2, 1896 the Herald reported, “Greenwood citizens have issued bonds for $25,000. to build a courthouse and jail in case the town become the county seat.”
Also the same date, “An election to determine the fate of the proposed county of Limestone will be held Tuesday. Gaffney residents are supporting the vote, Spartanburg is opposed, and Yorkville is very opposed. J. S. Brice and W. B. DeLoach of Yorkville spoke in opposition at a recent meeting.” (Creation of Cherokee County, S.C.)
The Rock Hill Herald on March 12, 1902 reported, “Lee County has been approved as formation as a county. There has been a dispute that the new county line is too close to the Sumter Courthouse, “within eight miles” but a new survey has proved this to be untrue. All the constitutional requirements have now been completed for the formation of the county.”
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