Horry County, South Carolina
         
   

   

Year Established

County Seat

Population (2010)

1801

Conway

269,291

First Settled

First Settled By

Significance of County Name

1700

English/Welsh

Colonel Peter Horry

Other Significant Towns

Allsbrook

Aynor

Bayboro

Galivant's Ferry

Green Sea

Little River

Loris

Myrtle Beach

 N. Myrtle Beach

Socastee

Surfside Beach

Wampee
Click Here - To see how Horry County evolved each decade - includes all the known towns and villages.
Click Here - To see the known battles/skirmishes in Horry County during the American Revolution.

A History of Horry County



Horry County Court House c.1915 - Still In Use Today

Click Here to go to the official website of the Horry County government.


Horry County was named for Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry (1743-1815). The county was originally a part of Georgetown District, and was earlier called Kingston County (1785-1801). It was named Horry County in 1801, with the county seat at Conwayborough (now Conway).

This area of the state was isolated for many years by numerous rivers and swamps, and the inhabitants sometimes referred to themselves as the "Independent Republic of Horry." Lumber and naval stores were the primary industries during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with tobacco farming being introduced later. In the twentieth century tourism has come to dominate the coastal section of the county centered around Myrtle Beach. Television personality Vanna White and science fiction writer William Gibson are natives of Horry County.



The Grand Strand

Looking at the map of South Carolina you see that Horry County forms the eastern extremity of the state. Its southeastern boundary is that part of the Atlantic shown on some maps as Long Bay. Its area of 1,158 square miles makes it one of the largest counties of the state, extending from the ocean westwardly to the Little Pee Dee River. It was a part of the All Saints Parish and was organized as a county in 1801. Its population in 1920 was 32,077, of which 24,354 were white native born. The census estimate for 1925 was 34,955. It is named for Brigadier General Peter Horry, famous colonel of militia in the Revolution. The name may not be pronounced correctly by the stranger. He is told that it is the same as if spelled "Oree." He thinks more of the name after that.

Horry County is located in the alluvial soil region of the coast. Only twenty per cent of its area is swamp land subject to overflow. This percentage is ever decreasing by reason of improved drainage. The most of the remaining soil area is made up of the sort known as Norfolk and is good land. There are small percentages of Portsmouth and Coxville soils made available by better drainage, also good land.

The entire soil area in the past has provided great forests of timber. The history of the county pictures it as a region rich in forest products. Later came an increasing development in the use of its fertile soils in raising annual crops, and this goes on steadily. Annual crops of cotton, corn, and tobacco, sweet potatoes, peas, beans, all varieties of truck, flourish in great abundance.

The mild climate provides 240 growing days in the year. Three crops are produced on the same land during the year.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the southeast, and for many years hemmed in by the deep swamps of the Pee Dee River on the west, the county has only in late years become well connected with the rest of the state. The railroad mileage is 61. Development proceeds at a rapid rate.

The Pee Dee Rivers are now spanned by three long bridges, one at Yauhanna ferry, another at Potato Bed ferry, the third at Galivant's ferry. Forests of virgin timber have long since been utilized as to the first growth. There is a large industry in second and third growth. As the forest industries have declined, agriculture has taken strides forward. There is a great opportunity in the growing of strawberries and other fruit and truck.

Conway, the county seat, is on the Waccamaw River, at the junction of Kingston lake. Its population is 1,969. It has paved streets, public water supply of pure artesian water, and an adequate lighting plant. The Burroughs High School is the equal of any. There are three other accredited high schools within the county.

Two other towns of Horry are Loris, 600 inhabitants, and Aynor, 275, both on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and growing towns in the midst of rich and fertile sections of broad extent.

The whole coastline is being developed into summer and winter resorts. Lands there are rapidly enhancing in value. The Horry County ocean strand bids fair to become one of the great playgrounds of the country. [what a guess in 1927, huh?]


Immediately above, published in "South Carolina: A Handbook," prepared by The Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Industries and Clemson College, Columbia, South Carolina, 1927. In the Public Domain. [with minor edits]
Click Here for an 1825 map of Horry District created by Robert Mills..
Click Here for much more historical information pertaining to Horry County. Link is current as of August 2005 and December 2015.
Click Here for a detailed Timeline of historical events in Horry County. Link is current as of August 2005 and December 2015.

 


© 2013 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved