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“L” is for Laurens County

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“L” is for Laurens County (715 square miles; 2020 population 67,539). In 1785, Laurens County was one of six counties carved from old Ninety Six District. It was named for colonial statesman Henry Laurens. Located in the Piedmont, Laurens is a county of forests and gently rolling hills. The Enoree River separates Laurens from Spartanburg and Union Counties on the northeast. Newberry County borders on the southeast and Greenville County on the northwest, while the Saluda River and Lake Greenwood separate it from Abbeville and Greenwood Counties on the southwest. By 1860 Laurens had become a major cotton-producing area. Like many upcountry counties, Laurens sought to revive its economy by spinning cotton rather than simply growing it. By the turn of the twentieth century, textile manufacturing had become an important part of the economy of Laurens County.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.