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Winnsboro, South Carolina

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Winnsboro is a town in Fairfield County, South Carolina, United States The population was 3,550 at the 2010 census4 It is the county seat of Fairfield County5 Winnsboro is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Notable people
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Based on archeological evidence, this area was occupied by various cultures of indigenous peoples from as early as the Archaic period, about 1500 BC Blair Mound is a nearby archeological site and earthwork likely occupied 1300-1400 AD, as part of the late Mississippian culture in the region6

Several years before the Revolutionary War, Richard Winn from Virginia moved to what is now Fairfield County in the upland or Piedmont area of South Carolina His lands included the present site of Winnsboro, and as early as 1777 the settlement was known as "Winnsborough" Two of his brothers joined him there, adding to family founders

The village was laid out and chartered in 1785 upon petition of Richard Winn, John Winn and John Vanderhorst The brothers Richard, John and Minor Winn all served in the Revolutionary War Richard was a general, said to have fought in more battles than any Whig in South Carolina John was a colonel See Fairfield County, South Carolina, for more

The area was developed for the cultivation of short-staple cotton after Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793, which made processing of this type of cotton profitable Previously it was considered too labor-intensive Short-staple cotton was widely cultivated on plantations in upland areas throughout the Deep South, through an interior area that became known as the Black Belt The increased demand for slave labor resulted in the forced migration of more than one million African-American slaves into the area through sales in the domestic slave market By the time of the Civil War, the county's population was majority black and majority slave

"Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues", an industrial folk song of the 1930s with lyrics typical of the blues, refers to working in a cotton mill in this city Textile mills were constructed in the area beginning in the late 19th century, and originally workers were restricted to whites The song developed after the textile mill had been converted to a tire manufacturing plant,7 reflecting the widespread expansion of the auto industry The song has been sung by Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, and other artists It was the basis of one of the ballads by modernist composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski in his Four North American Ballads for solo piano, completed in 19797

Places listed on the National Register of Historic Places for Winnsboro range from an Archaic period archeological site, to structures and districts spanning the European-American/African-American history of the city, as in the following list: Albion, Balwearie, Blair Mound, Dr Walter Brice House and Office, Concord Presbyterian Church, Furman Institution Faculty Residence, Hunstanton, Ketchin Building, Bob Lemmon House, Liberty Universalist Church and Feasterville Academy Historic District, McMeekin Rock Shelter, Mount Olivet Presbyterian Church, New Hope ARP Church and Session House, Old Stone House, Rockton and Rion Railroad Historic District, Rural Point, Shivar Springs Bottling Company Cisterns, The Oaks, Tocaland, White Oak Historic District, and the Winnsboro Historic District are listed on the 8

In the late 19th century after white Democrats regained control of state legislatures in the South, they passed laws establishing racial segregation of public facilities and disenfranchising blacks, excluding them from the political system In 1960 in the United States Supreme Court decision of Boynton v Virginia, the court ruled that racial segregation was unconstitutional in interstate bus stations, restaurants, bathrooms and on buses, as these were covered by constitutional protections of free interstate commerce9 The Civil Rights Movement had begun to use public demonstrations and events to build public awareness

In 1961, CORE decided to test the bus ruling by sending mixed racial groups of Freedom Riders to ride interstate buses and use facilities in the segregated southern United States to challenge practices related to segregation of buses and bus stations They intended to travel through the Deep South and end at New Orleans They were met by increasing violence as they went south Winnsboro was one of the cities where some Freedom Riders were beaten by local whites and arrested by local officials One was rescued by a local African-American man while outrunning a white mob9


Winnsboro is located east of the center of Fairfield County at 34°22′37″N 81°5′17″W / 3437694°N 8108806°W / 3437694; -8108806 34377069, -8108795910 US Route 321 and South Carolina Highway 34 bypass the town on the west side US 321 Business passes through the center of town on Congress Street US 321 leads north 25 miles 40 km to Chester and south 28 miles 45 km to Columbia SC 34 leads southeast 11 miles 18 km to Ridgeway and west 36 miles 58 km to Newberry SC 200 leads northeast 19 miles 31 km to Great Falls The unincorporated community of Winnsboro Mills borders the south side of Winnsboro

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town of Winnsboro has a total area of 32 square miles 84 km2, all land4


Historical population
1860 355
1870 1,124 2166%
1880 1,500 335%
1890 1,738 159%
1900 1,765 16%
1910 1,754 −06%
1920 1,822 39%
1930 2,344 286%
1940 3,181 357%
1950 3,267 27%
1960 3,479 65%
1970 3,411 −20%
1980 2,919 −144%
1990 3,475 190%
2000 3,599 36%
2010 3,550 −14%
Est 2016 3,311 −67%
US Decennial Census12
The Fairfield County Courthouse in 1940 Tocaland is one of twenty-one sites in Winnsboro listed on the National Register of Historic Places

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 3,564 people, 1,454 households, and 984 families residing in the town The population density was 1,1096 people per square mile 4289/km² There were 1,597 housing units at an average density of 4924 per square mile 1903/km² The racial makeup of the town was 4029% White, 5846% African American, 031% Asian, 033% from other races, and 061% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 131% of the population

There were 1,454 households out of which 332% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 377% were married couples living together, 254% had a female householder with no husband present, and 323% were non-families 297% of all households were made up of individuals and 140% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 246 and the average family size was 304

In the town, the population was spread out with 278% under the age of 18, 95% from 18 to 24, 248% from 25 to 44, 216% from 45 to 64, and 163% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 36 years For every 100 females there were 805 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 751 males

The median income for a household in the town was $25,094, and the median income for a family was $29,550 Males had a median income of $29,275 versus $18,925 for females The per capita income for the town was $14,135 About 236% of families and 244% of the population were below the poverty line, including 339% of those under age 18 and 141% of those age 65 or over

Notable peopleedit

  • D Wyatt Aiken 1828–1887, US congressman from South Carolina13
  • Mike Anderson, Baltimore Ravens running back, formerly of the Denver Broncos where he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the 2000 season
  • Webster Anderson 1933 – 2003, US Army soldier who received the Medal of Honor, the highest US military award, for his actions in the Vietnam War
  • John Bratton, Confederate general during the American Civil War; US congressman from South Carolina
  • Walter B Brown, former vice-president of Southern Railway now Norfolk Southern; political figure in South Carolina legislative government
  • Robert Houston Curry 1842-1892, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1888 to 1892; wounded Confederate Army veteran, born near Winnsboro1415
  • William Porcher DuBose, priest, theologian, educator in the Episcopal Church, and Civil War veteran
  • William Ellison, Jr, born a mixed-race slave April on the plantation of William Ellison likely his father near Winnsboro; he was apprenticed as a cotton gin maker and allowed to buy his freedom in 1816; he had his own business and also became a major planter in Sumter County, where he owned 1000 acres by 1860 and numerous slaves
  • Gordon Glisson, champion jockey in thoroughbred horse racing
  • Justin Hobgood, NASCAR driver
  • Ellis Johnson, college football coach
  • James G Martin, 70th governor of North Carolina 1985-1993
  • John Hugh Means, 64th governor of South Carolina 1850–1852; signed South Carolina Ordinance of Secession in 1860; killed at Second Battle of Manassas during Civil War
  • James Francis Miller, politician who represented Texas in the US House of Representatives from 1883-1886
  • Kelly Miller 1863-1939, African-American mathematician, sociologist, essayist, newspaper columnist, and author
  • James Milling, professional football player
  • Thomas J Robertson, US senator from South Carolina
  • Orlando Ruff, defensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints
  • Alex Sanders, former Court of Appeals judge, Lt Governor candidate, College of Charleston president, and Democratic US Senate candidate; resides in Charleston; related to Thomas family of Ridgeway
  • Miriam Stevenson, Miss South Carolina 1953, Miss South Carolina USA 1954, Miss USA 1954, Miss Universe 1954
  • Tyler Thigpen, Buffalo Bills quarterback
  • Joseph A Woodward, congressman from South Carolina; son of William Woodward


  1. ^ Official website
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names" United States Geological Survey 2007-10-25 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data G001: Winnsboro town, South Carolina" US Census Bureau, American Factfinder Retrieved August 15, 2016 
  5. ^ "Find a County" National Association of Counties Retrieved 2011-06-07 
  6. ^ Robert L Stevenson and George Teague April 1974 "Blair Mound" pdf National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory Retrieved 5 July 2012 
  7. ^ a b Kathryn Woodard, "The Pianist's Body at Work: Mediating Sound and Meaning in Frederic Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues", Sonic Meditations, 2008, at Academia website, accessed 13 November 2014
  8. ^ National Park Service 2010-07-09 "National Register Information System" National Register of Historic Places National Park Service 
  9. ^ a b Watson, Dylan August 2, 2011 "Freedom Rides Again" Gambit 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990" United States Census Bureau 2011-02-12 Retrieved 2011-04-23 
  11. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" Retrieved June 9, 2017 
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Retrieved June 4, 2015 
  13. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896 Chicago: Marquis Who's Who 1963 
  14. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" PDF legisstatelaus Retrieved July 24, 2015 
  15. ^ "Curry, Robert H" The Political Graveyard Retrieved July 24, 2015 

External linksedit

  • Town of Winnsboro official website
  • 101 Congress Street - Winnsboro Town Hall and Clock

Coordinates: 34°22′37″N 81°05′17″W / 34377069°N 81087959°W / 34377069; -81087959

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Winnsboro, South Carolina

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