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"S" is for Sumter

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Sumter (Sumter County; 2010 population 40,576). When the South Carolina legislature created Sumter District (named for the area’s most prominent resident Thomas Sumter) in 1800, the legislators also established the crossroads village of Sumterville as the courthouse seat. The town was incorporated in 1845 and in 1855 its names shortened to Sumter. By 1900 the town was a major cotton and tobacco market and home to several industries, including a textile mill and an ice-manufacturing plant. In 1912 the city became the first in the country to use the council-manager form of municipal government, which consisted of four elected officials (a mayor and three council members) and a professional city manager chosen by the council. Today, Sumter retains the same form of government, but the council has been enlarged to six members.

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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.