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“L” is for Lancaster

South Carolina from A to Z logo

“L” is for Lancaster (Lancaster County; 2020 population 9,083). Originally called Barnetsville, Lancaster was established as the seat of government for Lancaster County and incorporated in 1830. The architect Robert Mills designed the jail and courthouse. The regional antebellum economy \was dominated by agriculture and Lancaster served as the district’s central market for farm produce. By 1920 more than three-fourths of the crop value in the county came from cotton. Poverty in the rural area was alleviated somewhat by the opening of the Lancaster Cotton Mill by Leroy Springs in 1896. Many local farmers sought work in the mills and the population of the town increased dramatically. The cotton textile industry gradually replaced agriculture as the economic foundation of the Lancaster area and continued to anchor the town’s economy for the rest of the twentieth century.

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.