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"B" is for Belton

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"B" is for Belton [Anderson County; population 4,161]. Belton began as a proposed railroad junction of the Greenville and Columbia Railroad and a spur line of the Blue Ridge Railroad. The town was named in honor of Judge John Belton O’Neall, president of the Greenville and Columbia. The town was incorporated in 1855 and the Rice family can be credited with much of the town’s post-Civil War development. Among the family enterprises were a brick mill, a cottonseed oil mill, a grist and flour mill and a traveling cotton gin. At the beginning of the 20th century there were three textile mills in operations and two of these—Blair and Rice Mills remained in operation at the turn of the 21st century. In 1908, terry cloth was first manufactured in this country in one of Belton’s textile mills.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson 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.