Pickens County, South Carolina Genealogy & History

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Pickens District, SC  was named for General Andrew Pickens (1739-1817), a Revolutionary War hero. This area in the northwestern corner of the state was Indian territory until 1777. It subsequently became part of Pendleton District. In 1826 Pendleton was divided into two counties, Pickens and Anderson; the western portion of Pickens County was later split off to form Oconee County (1868). The earliest European settlers in this region were Indian traders. The British built Fort Prince George around 1753 as protection against the Indians, and the fort was the site of several battles in the Cherokee War of 1756. The Cherokee town of Old Seneca was later destroyed by American troops in 1776. John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), United States vice president, senator, and cabinet member, made his home at the Fort Hill plantation in Pickens County. His son-in-law, Thomas Green Clemson (1807-1888), bequeathed the plantation to the state for use as an agricultural college, which led to the founding of Clemson University.


With a population of over 100,000 it's no wonder that Pickens County is home to two of the finest 4-year schools in the south, Clemson University, home of the Clemson Tigers, and Southern Wesleyan University in Central. Pickens County is also served by Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, SC. The county seat of Pickens County is Pickens, established at about the same time that Pendleton District was abolished and split into Anderson District and Pickens District. The original site was where the Keowee Dam now stands. When Pickens District was split into counties after the War Between the States, the town of Pickens was pulled down and physically moved 8 miles east to its current site. 

Other cities and towns (past and present) in Pickens County are: Ariail , Beverly, Calhoun, Cateechee, Cedar Rock, Central, Clemson, Crosswell, Dacusville, Easley , Five Forks, Glenwood, Hale, Hendricks, Lakemont, Liberty, Nine Times, Norris , Pendleton, Pickens, Pickensville, Pumpkintown, Rocky Bottom, Six Mile, Sunset, and Traber.

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