Hampton County was created on February 18, 1878 by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly that cut away the northern portion of Beaufort County creating the 33rd county of the state’s 46 counties. The county was named for statesman and soldier, General Wade Hampton, III, who was elected governor of South Carolina in 1876.

Shortly after, Miles B. McSweeney founded The Hampton County Guardian newspaper in 1879 before going on to become the only county resident ever to serve as Governor of South Carolina.

On 1769 maps, Beaufort District was subdivided into three parishes: St. Peter’s, St. Luke’s and Prince William’s. Most of Prince William’s Parish is now Hampton County. Another name for the northern part of Beaufort was Lincoln County, which eventually became Hampton County.

In 1868 the county seat of Beaufort County was relocated from Gillisonville, which was near the center, to the Town of Beaufort. This created greater distances for many of the county residents to travel in order to conduct county business thus creating a hardship. The State Legislature was petitioned to allow a new county to be formed, giving birth to Hampton County

Since these citizens were breaking away for the purpose of having their own courthouse, it was important to seat the new government in a place convenient to all. Voters chose the geographic center of the new county, but when it was surveyed, the center was found to be a large cypress pond surrounded by swamp. In a second referendum, Varnville won the county seat race and commissioners determined the new courthouse could be situated within two miles of the town that won the referendum. The center of the courthouse was placed exactly two miles from the Varnville Depot. The well-worn brass top of the surveyor’s benchmark may still be seen in the center of the main corridor in the Hampton County Courthouse. Officially identified as the Town of Hampton Courthouse, the town was incorporated December 23, 1879 as Town of Hampton.

In 1912, a strip of Beaufort County and a southwestern slice of Hampton County were joined to form Jasper County. In 1919, Hampton County was again reduced in size when the northernmost tip was cut off and added to a piece of southern Barnwell County to form Allendale County

Today’s Hampton County was originally mapped as “Indian Lands.” Yamasee and Creek Indians, migrating from Florida, and others had trading posts, trails, burial grounds and ceremonial grounds throughout the pinewoods and swamplands. Numerous Indian names remain: Salkehatchie, Coosawhatchie, Huspah, Caw Caw and Combahee.

Hampton County did not escape the ravages of war, its lands seeing action in the Yamasee War, Revolutionary War and Civil War. General William T. Sherman’s Union troops cut a three-pronged swath of destruction through Hampton County on his march from Savannah, Georgia to Columbia, South Carolina.

Historical Markers

Hampton County Courthouse

Elm Street, Hampton SC

Town of Brunson

Highway 278  between Morris & Broad Streets, Brunson SC

Miles McSweeney Home Site

Regions Bank, Jackson Avenue E. at First St. E., Hampton SC

Lawtonville Baptist Church

194  Fourth Street East, Estill SC

Prince Williams Baptist Church

Pond Town Road, right on Prince Williams Road, Brunson SC

American Legion Hut

Corner of Hoover Street & Jackson Avenue West, Hampton SC

Whippy Swamp Muster Ground

Harmony Presbyterian Church, Crockettville SC

Plywood Plastics Corporation/Westinghouse Micarta Division

Hoover Street North/Hwy. 601 N, Hampton SC

Estill Presbyterian Church

343 Clark Street, Estill SC

Estill Methodist Church

287 Keene Avenue, Estill SC

Hampton Colored School

725 Holly Street West, Hampton SC

Morrison Academy

At Lawtonville Cemetery on Old Orangeburg Rd south of Estill, SC

Old Pocotaligo Road (March from the Sea)

Intersection of Pocotaligo Road and Highway 601 South, Hampton SC

Lawtonville Church (Circa 1884)

Augusta Stagecoach Road north of Crab Orchard Road, Estill SC

Hermitage Plantation

Located on Federal Correctional Institution Property, Estill SC

Gifford Rosenwald School

6146 Columbia Highway, Gifford SC

Steep Bottom Baptist Church

2035 Steep Bottom Road, Estill SC

Huspah Baptist Church & School

105 Hoover Street North, Hampton SC

Davis Swimming Pool and Airport

1395 Shirley Road, Garnett SC

Yemassee Rosenwald School

Fennell Elementary, 131 Yemassee Highway, Yemassee SC

Hickory Grove Baptist Church

125 Hickory Grove Road, Brunson SC

James Washington Moore House

503 Oak Street West, Hampton SC

Cherry Grove Christian Church

1895 Cherry Grove Road, Brunson SC


505 Hoover Street W.at Hampton Elementary School, Hampton SC

Bank of Hampton

15 Elm Street East, Hampton SC

Brunson Rosenwald School

(Former Allen Elementary) 483 North Broad Street, Brunson SC

Estill Rosenwald School

(Former Estill Training School) 555 Third Street West, Estill SC

Lucile Ellerbe Godbold

Martin L. King Boulevard North between Fourth and Fifth Streets, Estill SC

Site of Hampton High School 1911-1954

408 Mulberry Street, Hampton SC

All Wars Memorial

Courthouse Square (on First St. West side), Elm Street, Hampton SC