Clinton, South Carolina

Clinton, South Carolina
Broad Street
Broad Street
Flag of Clinton, South Carolina
Clinton is located in South Carolina
Location in South Carolina
Coordinates:34°28′17″N 81°52′30″W / 34.47139°N 81.87500°W / 34.47139; -81.87500Coordinates:34°28′17″N 81°52′30″W / 34.47139°N 81.87500°W / 34.47139; -81.87500
CountryUnited States United States
StateSouth Carolina South Carolina
 • TypeCouncil–Manager[1]
 • MayorRobert McLean
 • City ManagerThomas Higgs[2]
 • City Council
  • Danny Cook
  • Shirley Jenkins
  • Robbie Neal
  • Gary Kuykendall
  • Ronnie Roth
  • Megan Walsh
 • Total10.36 sq mi (26.84 km2)
 • Land10.30 sq mi (26.68 km2)
 • Water0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation676 ft (206 m)
 • Total8,490
 • Estimate 
 • Density813.43/sq mi (314.07/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)864
FIPS code45-15295[6]
GNIS feature ID1247319[4]

Clinton is a city in Laurens County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 8,490 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the GreenvilleMauldinEasley Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clinton is the home of Presbyterian College.


The Cherokee Indians were Clinton's original inhabitants. The first settler to inhabit the area was John Duncan, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, who arrived in 1752 from Pennsylvania and settled along a creek between the present-day towns of Clinton and Whitmire.[7]

Scots-Irish immigrants from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia became the predominant settlers in the area in the two decades before the American Revolutionary War and took active part in a Revolutionary War battle in 1780 at nearby Musgrove Mill.[8]

As late as 1852, the town was called Five Points because it arose at the intersection of four major roads and the railroad.[9] It was named Clinton after Henry Clinton Young,[10] a lawyer from the county seat of Laurens, who planned the first roads in the area.[9]

As the railroad began to grow, so did the town, and more plots of land were developed around the railroad. With the population's growth came the establishment of the First Presbyterian Church in 1855.[11]

A few of the employees in the Clinton Mills, going home from work. December 1908. Photographed by Lewis Hine.

In 1895, "factory fever" had struck the town of Clinton. This came with the establishment of the Clinton Cotton Mill in 1896[12] by Mercer Silas Bailey, owner of the town's leading dry goods store. Lydia Cotton Mill, also owned by the Baileys and their descendants, followed in 1902.[13] In 1933 there is a documented case of the lynching of an African American 35-year-old Norris Bendy in Clinton after he was arrested for hitting a white man.[14]

The mills continued to be a vital source of prosperity for Clinton until their closure in 2001[15] brought years of economic hardship from which the area is still struggling to emerge.

The Clinton Commercial Historic District, Duncan's Creek Presbyterian Church, and Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[16][17]


Clinton is located at34°28′17″N 81°52′30″W / 34.47139°N 81.87500°W / 34.47139; -81.87500 (34.471257, -81.875023).[18] The city is concentrated around the intersection of U.S. Route 76 and South Carolina Highway 72, south of Spartanburg and northwest of Columbia. Interstate 26 passes through the eastern portions of Clinton, and intersects Interstate 385 in the city's northern outskirts.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.1 square miles (24 km2), of which 9.1 square miles (24 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.


Historical population
2019 (est.)8,380[5]−1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]

2020 census

Clinton racial composition[20]
White (non-Hispanic)4,16054.5%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic)2,90238.02%
Native American130.17%
Pacific Islander10.01%
Hispanic or Latino2082.73%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 7,633 people, 3,141 households, and 1,585 families residing in the city.


As of the census taken in 2014, there were 8,619 people residing in Clinton, South Carolina. 96% of people live in urban areas, while the other 4% reside in rural areas. The population has grown 6.5% since 2000. 51.8% of the population is males (4,460) and 48.2% are females (4,159). The racial makeup of Clinton in 2015 was 58.9% White, 36.8% African American, 2.2% Hispanic, 0.6% Asian, and 0.2% American Indian. In 2015, the median age of all people in Clinton was 29.8. Native-born citizens, with a median age of 29.4, were generally younger than foreign-born citizens, with a median age of 33.1. For the population 15 years and over in Clinton 48.5% have never been married, 27.8% are now married, 4.1% are separated, 9.4% are widowed, and 10.1% are divorced.[16]

The estimated median household income in 2015 was $29,342, but the average male's salary was $15,124 more than the average female's salary. Black or African American is the most likely racial or ethnic group to be impoverished in Clinton, SC. The mostly highly paid racial group is Asians who made 1.25 times what White workers made. The average median household in South Carolina in 2015 was $47,238. The estimated per capita income in 2015 was $15,108. 75.6% have acquired a High School diploma, 20.0% have acquired a bachelor's degree, and 8.9% have acquired a graduate or professional degree. 11.3% of the population in Clinton is unemployed. The mean travel time to work is 18.3 minutes. From 2014 to 2015, employment in Clinton, SC grew at a rate of 6.08%, from 3,025 employees to 3,209 employees. The median property value in Clinton grew to $92,100 from the previous year's value of $81,800. In Clinton 42.5% of housing units are owner-occupied, lower than the national average of 63.9%. This percentage grew from the previous year's rate of 41.9%.[21]


Laurens County School District 56 covers the southern part of Laurens County, including the town of Clinton. Eastside Elementary, Clinton Elementary, Joanna-Woodson Elementary, Clinton Middle School, and Clinton High School serve the town's students.

Both Clinton Middle School (formerly Bell Street Middle School) and Clinton High School have gained statewide and national attention for their Science Olympiad programs, with the middle school winning 20 of the 34 South Carolina Science Olympiad Division B competitions, including two in 1986-1987 and all 17 competitions since 2003. The high school has won nine of the last eleven State tournaments, from 2009–14 and 2016–18.

Clinton is also home of Presbyterian College and Thornwell Orphanage. Both institutions were founded by Presbyterian minister and philanthropist William Plumer Jacobs while he was the pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Clinton.


The city of Clinton is host to two media outlets that serve the community as well as surrounding Laurens County. The Clinton Chronicle is the local newspaper and only print media source in town; it publishes new editions weekly. Founded in 1900, the Chronicle is owned by Smith Newspapers, Inc., Fort Payne, Ala. Breaking news is published to as well as, both operated by The Clinton Chronicle staff and updated regularly between editions.

The second form of media found in Clinton is the local radio station WPCC, 96.5 FM and 1410 AM. This radio station plays beach and easy listening music and offers sports broadcasts through a partnership with ESPN Radio and Motor Racing Network. WPCC is also affiliated with the Atlanta Braves radio network.


Clinton operates under a council–manager form of government.[1] The incumbent Mayor is Robert T. "Bob" McLean; he was re-elected to a third term in March 2019. The City Manager is Thomas Higgs, who was appointed to the position by the Mayor.

2019 election results


Notable people


  1. ^ a b Clinton's official website.
  2. ^ "Cannon resigns as Clinton city manager". Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Clinton, South Carolina
  5. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  6. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "History of Laurens County". Laurens County, South Carolina. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "Musgrove Mill | South Carolina Parks Official Site". Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  9. ^ a b Griffith, Nancy (2010). Clinton a Brief History. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. pp. 13–15. ISBN 9781596296473.
  10. ^ "Communities". Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  11. ^ "First Presbyterian Church - Clinton, SC: About Us". Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  12. ^ Griffith, Nancy (2010). Clinton a Brief History. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. pp. 52–53. ISBN 9781596296473.
  13. ^ "Records, 1895-1981, of the Clinton and Lydia Cotton Mills founded by Mercer Silas Bailey". University of South Carolina Libraries. 2004. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
  14. ^ Ciuba, Gary M. (2007). Desire, Violence & Divinity in Modern Southern Fiction: Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Walker Percy. LSU Press. p. 1. ISBN 9780807131756.
  15. ^ Griffith, Nancy (2010). Clinton a Brief History. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. pp. 129–134. ISBN 9781596296473.
  16. ^ a b "Clinton, SC". Data USA. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  17. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-14.
  21. ^ "Clinton, South Carolina (SC 29325) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders". Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  22. ^ "Laurens County municipal election results". Index-Journal. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  23. ^ "McLean, Jenkins & Walsh are winners | My Clinton News". Retrieved April 9, 2019.

External links

Media files used on this page

USA South Carolina relief location map.svg
Author/Creator: SANtosito, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Relief location map of South Carolina, USA

Geographic limits of the map:

  • N: 35.4° N
  • S: 31.8° N
  • W: 83.6° W
  • E: 78.3° W
Flag of the United States.svg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: PD
Map of South Carolina highlighting Laurens County.svg
This is a locator map showing Laurens County in South Carolina. For more information, see Commons:United States county locator maps.
Flag of Clinton, South Carolina.svg
the flag Clinton, South Carolina; adopted by the city on 7th November 2016 designed by Patrick Nelson
Child workers in Clinton, SC.jpg
Original description: A few of the employees in the Clinton Mills, going home from work. Many others as small were in evidence. Supt. wouldn't allow me to take photos inside. Clinton, S.C., 12/02/1908. Photographed by Lewis Hine.
Author/Creator: Brian Stansberry, Licence: CC BY 4.0
Buildings along Broad Street in Clinton, South Carolina, United States.