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“M” is for Marlboro County

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“M” is for Marlboro County (480 square miles; 2020 population 26,376). Marlboro County was formed in 1785 and named for John Churchill, the duke of Marlboro. Retaining the same general dimensions for much of its existence, the county is bounded by the Great Pee Dee River on the west, North Carolina on the north and northeast, and Dillon County on the southeast. The Cheraw Indians occupied the area prior to European settlement. Among the early settlers were Welsh Baptists from Pennsylvania that settled the area that became the Welsh Neck. In 1819, Bennettsville became the county seat. In the 1880s D.D. McColl opened the Bank of Marlboro and established cotton mills in Bennettsville and McColl. In the twenty-first century, Marlboro County has continued its economic development while preserving its considerable architectural heritage and scenic beauty.

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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.