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“A” is for Anderson County

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“A” is for Anderson County (718 square miles; 2020 population 207,036). In 1826, the General Assembly divided Pendleton District into two smaller ones—Pickens and Anderson. Anderson District was named for revolutionary War veteran Robert Anderson. Before and after the Civil War transportation improvement brought substantial growth to what was predominantly an agricultural county. Industrial development began in earnest after the war. With a number of textile mills joining the county’s only pre-war firm, the Pendleton Manufacturing Company. By 1920 some nineteen textile mills were located in towns across Anderson County. By the 1990s, foreign competition and decreasing demand had taken its toll on county textile mills, forcing a number to close. However, diversification helped maintain a healthy manufacturing base. In 2000, the National Civic League selected Anderson County as one of its ten “All-American” communities.

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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.