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Aiken County, South Carolina

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BRIEF HISTORY OF AIKEN COUNTY:

Aiken County and its county seat, the town of Aiken, were named for William Aiken (1806-1831), president of the South Carolina Railroad. The county was formed in 1871 from parts of Orangeburg, Lexington, Edgefield, and Barnwell counties. The area was sparsely settled until the 1830s, when the South Carolina Railroad was built connecting Charleston to the town of Hamburg on the Savannah River with the town of Aiken being established as a depot. In the 1870s Aiken became a winter resort for wealthy Northerners, and it remains popular with horse trainers and riders. The federal government chose Aiken County in the 1950s to be the site of a hydrogen bomb plant, the Savannah River Site.

James F. Byrnes (1879-1972) began his legal and political careers in Aiken before going on to become United States Congressman and senator, secretary of state, Supreme Court justice, and governor of South Carolina. Other prominent residents of the county were William Gregg (1800-1867), who built the state's first textile mill at Graniteville in 1846, and governor and United States senator James Henry Hammond (1807-1864).

-- History courtesy of South Carolina State Library

LINKS OF INTEREST

AIKEN COUNTY:

Aiken County Government
Vital Records:
Aiken County Clerk
P.O. Box 583
Aiken, SC 29802-0583
(803) 642-2001

Aiken Standard
Newspaper (publishes online, has obituaries section)

Aiken County Public Schools

SOUTH CAROLINA:
South Carolina Department of Archives and History
8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223
(803-896-6100)

South Carolina Historical Society
SC State Museum

The SCGenWeb Project
The main page with links to state-wide information and all South Carolina counties.


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