History

Established as the county seat of Marlboro County on December 14, 1819, Bennettsville continues to serve as the political and economic center for the county.

In 1819, the town of Bennettsville was established and named in honor of Thomas Bennett, then governor of South Carolina. Bennettsville quickly grew into one of the richest agricultural communities in the state. Legend has it that the land is so rich it once was sold by the pound instead of the acre. The State of South Carolina recognized Bennettsville’s prominence by designating it South Carolina’s first “G.R.E.A.T. Town” (Governor’s Rural Economic Achievement Trophy).

Bennettsville’s affluent past and lifestyle are captured in the Victorian and Greek revival homes and public buildings. Bennettsville was occupied by Union forces in 1865. The Jennings-Brown House and original Marlboro County Courthouse served as headquarters for Union Major General Frank Blair and General William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War.

Today Bennettsville is home to cultural venues, recreation activities and a lifestyle comparable to none.

Many visitors to Bennettsville and Marlboro County are seeking information on their ancestors from this area. Genealogy information may be found at the Marlboro County Historical Museums, 123 South Marlboro Street, 843-479-5624.