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“F” is for Fort Mill

“F” is for Fort Mill (York County; 2020 population 24,521). Although White settlers did not arrive in the area until the late 1750s, the region was already populated by Indigenous people. By the 1830s the little community was called was called Fort Mill. It was chartered in 1873. The Fort Mill Manufacturing Company (established in1887) brought Fort Mill into the textile economy that dominated the upstate. Later the plant was combined with others to form Springs Cotton Mills. The mill, which employed twelve hundred workers, closed in 1983. The area received a boost in population with the arrival of televangelist Jim Baker and his Praise the Lord development in 1978. But into the twenty-first century sustained growth came because Fort Mill was positioned to take advantage of the booming population growth in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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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.