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“E” is for Easley

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“E” is for Easley (Pickens County; 2020 population: 21, 708). As the Atlanta and Charlotte Airline Railroad was being completed through Pickens County in 1873, Robert Elliott Holcombe proposed to railroad authorities that he would build a depot at his own expense if the line went through property he owned. His offer was accepted and he developed a town. It was incorporated in 1874 and named for William King Easley, a railroad attorney. As with many other towns in South Carolina’s upcountry, the railroad and cotton mills brought dramatic growth. The first mill was begun in 1890 and others followed soon afterward. Diversity of industry developed in more recent times and Easley has a healthy retail trade. In the twenty-first century Easley’s population growth has come as a bedroom community for folks who work in Greenville.

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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.