214 E. Market Street, P.O Box 653, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
Phone: (843) 479-5626 | Email: JRMUNNERLYN

Historic Past

The People

  • Marlborough County (original spelling) was named for John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722).
  • Marlboro County was established on March 2, 1785.
  • The last “Aunt Jemima” for Quaker Oats Cereals was Annie Short Harrington from Marlboro County. She was discovered by the Quaker Oats Company in 1935 at a fairground in Syracuse, NY, while cooking pancakes.
  • Mason Lee was born in 1770 in Marlboro County and was struck by lightening at age 30. He became obsessed with witches and the devil and slept in a hollowed-out log. He left a large estate of $50,000 to the states of South Carolina and Tennessee. The trial contesting his will and the subsequent ruling in this landmark case established standards for determining mental capacity studied in leading law schools both here and abroad.
  • D.D. McColl brought the first railroad to the county during the 1870s, the first bank during the 1880s, and the cotton mills to McColl and Bennettsville during the 1890s.

The Places

  • Marlboro County’s first town was called Carlisle.
  • Blenheim was named in honor of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England.
  • Four courthouses have stood on the Courthouse Square in Bennettsville since April 4, 1820.
  • Courthouse Square in Bennettsville is the largest in the state.

The Architecture

  • The Edward Crosland House at 204 Parsonage Street is the oldest house in Bennettsville built in 1800.
  • Southern Oaks Plantation, located on Beauty Spot Road, was dismantled board by board and hidden to avoid being burned by Sherman’s troops. Later, it was rebuilt and stands today.

The Military History

  • During the Civil War, Bennettsville was occupied March 6 and 7, 1865 by Major General Frank P. Blair.
  • Cadets from across the country received their primary flight training for World War II at Palmer Field.
  • There were six battles or skirmishes that occurred in Marlboro County during the Revolutionary War.
  • The only cartel (a written agreement between sides) achieved in America during the Revolution was signed in Marlboro County on May 3, 1781 for the exchange of prisoners.
  • The Jennings-Brown House, built in 1825-26 by one of Bennettsville’s early physicians, Dr. Edward W. Jones, was the headquarters of Union Army Major General Frank P. Blair when the Union Army occupied Bennettsville.

The Government

  • Marlboro County operates under a council/administrator form of government.
  • Bennettsville city government is comprised of a mayor and six council members.
  • Blenheim, Clio, McColl and Tatum are incorporated municipalities with the mayor and council form of government.
  • The Bennettsville Visitor Center was recognized with a Municipal Achievement Award by the Main Street South Carolina program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina.