A History of Manning, South Carolina


Clarendon County Court House - Manning, SC (2008)

The town of Manning, which is the county seat of Clarendon County, received its charter on January 28, 1861, by an Act of the legislature, and was rechartered by the Secretary of State on March 15, 1904.

Just after the re-establishment of Clarendon County in 1855, Captain Joseph C. Burgess was selected to determine the geographical center of the county so that a court house village could be built. The center fell on the east side of Ox Swamp, about a mile east of the present court house. However, enough suitable land was not available at that spot, so the commissioners, who had been charged with the responsibility of locating the county seat, decided on the site where the present court house stands. Captain Burgess deeded to the state six acres, which provided sites for the court house and jail, in addition to streets 75 feet wide on four sides.

Many of the first settlers were French Huguenots, and many early settlers were farmers. The county seat is Manning, named for John Laurence Manning, Governor of South Carolina from 1852-1854, and is the rough geographical center of the county.

The Old Manning Library, an imposing square brick building on Brooks Street, was built in 1908 by the same architects who built the present Clarendon County Court House. It is unique with a high domed skylight. Entering through the double doors, one steps into an octagon shaped room, with four small rooms forming the corners. Clarendon County Archives and History Center beautifully utilizes this historic site.


Manning was granted a U.S. Post Office on June 26, 1856, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Thomas S. Coogler. It has been in continuous operation ever since inception.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved