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Brief History
     by Victoria Proctor

The city now known as Mullins was a quiet farming community until the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad established a depot there in 1854. It was named for Col. William S. Mullins, a representative for Marion County in the South Carolina State Legislature from 1852 to 1866.

The 1860 census, the first to enumerate the population by Post Office and provide occupations, indicates that the majority of residents enumerated under Mullins Post Office were engaged in farming, several of whom were quite prosperous. Here and there, however, we find other occupations -- boot maker, turpentine distiller -- intriguing for the clues they give to the growth of the area.

In 1872 the population totaled less than 100, there were only four streets, and only three stores existed to serve the public.

For awhile, Mullins, like its neighbor Nichols, engaged in the turpentine industry, but it was the tobacco market which boosted the economy and drew new settlers to the town. W.W. Sellers states, in his History of Marion County, that the 1890 census showed a population for Mullins of 282. Tobacco was introduced to the area in 1894. The first tobacco sale took place on August 28, 1895, and by 1900 the population had grown to over 800.

The Mullins Tobacco Market sold more tobacco than any other market in the state -- over 4 million pounds in 1900 -- and by 1901, Mullins had three large tobacco warehouses, employing over 400 people.

located on Main Street between North and South Front Streets, Mullins:

(Front) Mullins Depot The town of Mullins, first known as Mullins Depot, grew up as a result of the opening of the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad in 1854. Land for the railroad's buildings and for right-of-way was given here by Wm. S. Mullins (1824-1878) who was elected Wilmington and Manchester president in 1857. A frame railroad depot, constructed here in 1901, was remodeled in 1931 as it is today.

(Reverse) Mullins The town of Mullins was incorporated March 4, 1872 by an act of the S.C. General Assembly which set town limits "half a mile north, one-quarter of a mile east and west, and one-third of a mile south" from a stake here. Dr. Rudolph Vampill was elected first intendant and A. E. Gilchrist, D. W. Ketchum, James Norton, and Stephen Smith, wardens. Smith was also the community's first postmaster, appointed in 1855.
Erected by Marion County Historical Society-1981


postcard of Imperial Tobacco Co. Plant
Imperial Tobacco Co. Plant   
Mullins, SC   
Early Homes

Places & Things

Railroad Depot
Imperial Tobacco Co.*
Liberty Warehouse*
Neal & Dixon's Warehouse*
Old Brick Warehouse*
Mt. Olive Baptist Church*
Rasor and Clardy Co.*

*listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Mullins Schools

Old Todd's School
Scotch Schoolhouse

Historical Articles

More about Mullins - Links to other sites:

Back to Marion History
Marion County, South Carolina Genealogy and History


Copyright Victoria Proctor © 2002, 2004, 2011, 2015
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