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“C” is for Chesterfield County

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  “C” is for Chesterfield County [799 square miles’ population 42,768]. Chesterfield County was established in 1785 when the General Assembly divided the Cheraws Judicial District into three counties. The county’s name might have originates in Chesterfield County, Virginia, from whence many of the early settlers came. Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Cheraw Indians occupied the region. Of Siouan stock, they were decimated by disease and in the early 18th century left the area and joined the Catawba Confederacy. The earliest European settlement was at Cheraw Hill located at the head of navigation for the Great Pee Dee River. The introduction of steam boats on the Great Pee Dee brought prosperity to Cheraw and its environs. Until the 1960s Chesterfield County remained largely agricultural and was noted for its production of peaches and watermelons.

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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.