South Carolina from A to Z

Mon-Fri, throughout the day

From Hilton Head to Caesars Head, and from the Lords Proprietors to Hootie and the Blowfish, historian Walter Edgar mines the riches of the South Carolina Encyclopedia to bring you South Carolina from A to Z. (A production of South Carolina Public Radio.)

South Carolina from A to Z Archives (April 2011 to Sept 2014)

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  "H" is for Harby, Isaac [1788-1828]. Journalist, playwright, educator, religious reformer. After attending the College of Charleston and studying for the law, Harby opened a private school. Harby’s Academy provided him with an income while he attempted various literary pursuits. For several years he owned and edited a Charleston newspaper, the Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser. He later edited the Charleston City Gazette and was a frequent contributor to the Charleston Mercury. Harby wrote at least three plays and was a respected drama critic.

"G" is for the German Friendly Society. Oldest of all the German male social organizations in Charleston, the German Friendly Society was founded by Michael Kalteisen and Daniel Strobel in 1766. Originally it was a social and mutual-aid society to pay sick and death benefits, and allow members to borrow funds at low interest rates. Within a few years, German ethnicity was no longer a requirement for membership.

"F" is for Florence County [800 square miles; population 125,761]. Created in 1888, Florence County lies between the Great Pee Dee and Lynches Rivers in the eastern part of the state. In the late antebellum period, three railroads intersected in the area and the town of Florence developed. With the creation of the county, the town became the county seat. Railroads and agriculture would be the economic mainstays of the county until well into the 20th century.

"G" is for Georgetown County [815 square miles; population 55,797]. Named in honor of King George III, Georgetown County lies in the fertile plain surrounding Winyah Bay. Its early wealth lay in the maze of rivers and creeks that traversed the county that produced timber, naval stores, and rice. With the tidal cultivation of rice came thousands of slaves. By 1860, slaves accounted for 85 percent of the county's population. After Reconstruction, the county's white and black population shared political offices and power under what was called a fusion plan until 1900.

"F" is for Flat Nose

Aug 23, 2016

"F" is for Flat Nose. In the 1980s, Flat Nose, a Darlington County bulldog, attracted international attention because of his ability to climb pine trees. According to his owner Barney Odom, Flat Nose developed his tree-climbing ability as a puppy despite Odom's best efforts to stop him. After regional media gave the dog considerable attention, he and his owner were invited to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

"E" is for Eleanor Clubs. During the early years of World War II, white South Carolinians, like other white southerners, passed rumors about “Eleanor Clubs.” They told each other that their black help—inspired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt—were organizing quasi-unions to raise their pay or leave domestic employment. And, they vowed to have a white woman in every kitchen by Christmas. Then they would start to press for social equality and, finally, the overthrow of white-led government.

"Y" is for Young, Anne Austin [1892-1989]. Physician. Born in Laurens County, at the age of fourteen Young enrolled at Presbyterian College where she graduated with honors. She taught school briefly then in 1911 went to Philadelphia to study at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, specializing in gynecology and obstetrics. After graduating in 1915, she declined a fellowship at the University of Edinburgh and returned home. In 1918 she wed Charles Henry Young and together they practiced in Anderson County. They devoted their careers to Anderson Memorial hospital.

"W" is for Walter, Thomas [ca. 1740-1789]. Botanist, planter, patriot, politician. Born in England, Walter was in South Carolina by 1769 and remained in the lowcountry for the next twenty years. During this period he collected plants in the coastal plain of South Carolina and cultivated others in his garden. The culmination of his botanical efforts was Flora Caroliniana, the first flora document of a region of North America to utilize the Linnǽan system of classification. Published in 1788, it contained more than one thousand species—including many new to science.

"U" is for United Church of Christ. In 1957 the United Church of Christ was established through the merger of the Congregational Church with the German Reformed Church. Congregational churches traced their American roots to the 1648 union of the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay into a single denomination. Congregationalists were among the earliest settlers of South Carolina and established churches throughout the lowcountry. The Circular Congregational Meeting House in colonial Charleston included some of the city's most influential citizens.

"T" is for Taylor, Susie King [born circa 1848]. Born into slavery as Susan Baker near Savannah, Taylor became free at fourteen when her uncle led her and others to freedom. As one of thousands of black refugees on the Sea Islands, she attached herself to the First South Carolina Volunteers. Originally, she was the regimental laundress, but her other talents—especially her ability to read and write and her knowledge of folk remedies—soon gave her a wider scope of responsibility. She nursed the regiment's sick and wounded and served as its reading instructor.

"S" is for St. Helena’s Parish. On June 7th, 1712, the Commons House of Assembly passed an act designating all of the land between the Combahee and Savannah rivers [most of modern Beaufort and Jasper counties] as the parish of St. Helena. British settlers Anglicized the name given to the area by early Spanish settlers, Santa Elena. The area, however, did not grow substantially until after the Yamassee War. In 1724, the beautiful parish church was built in Beaufort. By 1767, three other parishes were carved out of St. Helena’s—so that the parish consisted of only Port Royal, Lady’s, and St.

"E" is for Edens, J. Drake, Jr. [1925-1982]. Republican Party leader. Born in Columbia, Edens graduated from the University of South Carolina and for a number of years was an executive with his family's food store chain. He became involved with the Republican Party during the 1960 presidential campaign and by 1963 was state party chairman. He worked tirelessly to strengthen and expand the party and eventually established the foundation for the South Carolina Republican Party.

"D" is for Daniels, David Carlton [born 1966]. Countertenor. A native of Spartanburg, Daniels very early showed considerable musical promise. After attending Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, Daniels [then a tenor] received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Near the ends of his graduate study he declared himself a countertenor—a voice type most often associated with the castrati of the 18th century—although his sound is atypical of the modern countertenor's male falsetto. He made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in 1999.

"C" is for Callen, Maude Daniel [1898-1990]. Nurse. Born in Florida, Callen was educated at Florida A&M College and the Tuskegee Institute. In 1923, now a registered nurse, she arrived in Berkeley County as a missionary of the Episcopal Church. She was often the sole health-care provider, teacher, and nutritionist for the remote and scattered population of a 400 square mile area. She is best remembered for her work as a nurse mid-wife, delivering more than one thousands babies and providing pre-natal and post-natal care for mothers.

"B" is for Bamberg

Aug 9, 2016

"B" is for Bamberg [population 3,733]. Bamberg, the county seat of Bamberg County began as a water-refilling stop on the South Carolina Railroad. The little settlement was incorporated in 1855 and named in honor of William Seaborn Bamberg who had acquired the site. During the Civil War Union cavalry destroyed the railroad depot and tracks. After a postwar recovery, by the 1880s, the town was prospering and by the early 20th century was the most active cotton market between Augusta and Charleston. Successful residents built homes on Railroad Avenue and adjacent streets.

"A" is for African Americans. The first African-Americans to live in what is now South Carolina were slaves in the 16th century failed Spanish settlements. Within the first year of permanent English settlement, there were enslaved Africans in the colony. By 1708 the colony had a black majority population. At least 25 separate West African ethnicities have been identified among the colony's slave population. On the eve of the Civil War the state's population was nearly sixty percent black.

"D" is for Denmark

Aug 5, 2016

"D" is for Denmark [Bamberg County; population 3,328]. The community was first established in 1837 as a turnout on the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company line. Incorporated in 1870 as Grahams, the town was renamed Denmark for Colonel Isadore Denmark, president of the Southbound Railroad Company. Until the formation of Bamberg County in 1897, Denmark was in Barnwell County. By the end of the 19th century, the town had become an important office for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and was a transportation center—boasting three major railroad systems.

"C" is for the Carolina Cup. The inaugural Carolina Cup was run in 1930 at Ernest Woodward’s Springdale Race Course in Camden. A sterling trophy crafted in Ireland in 1704 and dedicated to the great horseman Thomas Hitchcock was secured for the occasion. Destined to become one of the most popular stops on the national steeplechase circuit, the Carolina Cup is among the oldest surviving race meets in America and the largest in terms of faithful fans. Thoroughbred racehorses are still touted as the feature of the day, but the tradition goes far beyond the superb steeple chasing over fences.

"B" is for Batesburg-Leesville. [Lexington County; population 5,517]. Located in western Lexington County on “the Ridge” separating the Saluda and Edisto Rivers, the towns originated on Native American trading paths that became early roads. Leesville was incorporated in 1875 and Batesburg in 1877. Although separated by only a narrow strip of land, the two towns nevertheless developed distinct identities. Batesburg faced west and served as a market and distribution center for the Ridge farmers in Edgefield, Aiken, and Saluda Counties.

"A" is for Allston, Robert Francis Withers [1801-1864]. Legislator, Governor, rice planter. After attending West Point and working for the Topographical Service, Allston returned to Georgetown District to manage his family’s property. By the time of his death he had expanded his estate to more than 15,000 acres and 690 slaves. He represented Prince George Winyah Parish in the South Carolina Senate for twenty years from 1836 to 1856. Elected governor in 1856, he was a staunch advocate of higher education and served on the board of trustees of the South Carolina College.