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Historical South Carolina Newspapers: Sumter County History

Delve into the rich content of historical South Carolina newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922 through suggested topics, important dates, interesting articles, and tips for searching.

Selected Articles Found in Chronicling America

Sumter County History Topics Guide

Suggested Search Terms:

Mary McLeod Bethune Kaolin mining Silk Culture
C.S.A. General Richard Heron Anderson Clara Louise Kellogg General Thomas Sumter
Dingle's Mill Battle Mason Telephone Factory Sumter County Fair
High Hills of Santee Morris College Sumter Opera House
Hydro-electric power Potter's Raid Textile mills
Ice Factory Railroads Tobacco


Important Dates:

1840s Sumterville, the seat of Sumter County, is incorporated in 1845.
1850s Town leaders shorten the name of Sumterville to Sumter following the arrival of a railroad in 1855.
In 1855, General Assembly divides Sumter District with eastern portion becoming Clarendon District.
1860s Sumter serves as a vital distribution center for the Confederacy.
Battle of Dingle's Mill, eleventh hour skirmish of the Civil War, takes place in April 1865.
Sumter occupied by Union forces led by General Edward E. Potter
Sumter District becomes Sumter County following the adoption of a new constitution by S.C. in 1868.
1870s Sumter Opera House is built in 1872, also serving as Town Hall.
1880s Sumter thrives as a cotton market and shipping hub with numerous flour and grist mills as well as lumber and turpentine industries.
1890s Tobacco is a successful crop in the Pee Dee region of S.C.
1900s Lee County is created from the northeastern portion of Sumter County in 1902.
Sumter County Court House constructed in 1907.
Morris College founded in 1908 by the Education and Misisonary Convention.
Sumter's economy grows at the turn of the century due in part to the cotton and tobacco markets, ice factory, and telephone manufacturer established there.
1910s Sumter becomes the first city in America to adopt the Council-Manager form of municipal government in 1912.
Souther Power Company builds hydro-electric power plant on Wateree River in 1917.

Images & Headlines Found in Chronicling America

Dingle's Mill Battle Site is Marked, 1913

Gamecock City Carnival ad, 1894

Opera Singer Clara Louise Kellogg, circa 1905

Advertisement for the Sumter Iron Works, 1905

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show performed in Sumter, S.C. in 1912

Article on life of Gen. Thomas Sumter, 1901

The Sumter Dry Goods Company, 1897

Horses, Mules, and Wagons ad, circa 1892

Sumter Motor Company ad, 1918