Town & Area History
The Town of Richburg is located in the Olde English District of South Carolina and is rich with history
The early settlers in this area were mainly Scots-Irish from Virginia and Pennsylvania who began immigrating to
the Upcountry of South Carolina in the 1750's after so many of the colonists living in the Northern Colonies were
killed by the French and Indians. As the colonists migrated south, they settled in what are now the five great Irish
counties of South Carolina, Lancaster, York, Chester, Fairfield, and Newberry.
During the Revolutionary War, Colonel Banastre Tarleton, Lord Cornwallis’s cavalry leader, wrote in his memoirs
that of all the colonists the Irish were the most averse to English rule. He ought to have known, for after the
colonists won the Battles of Fishing Creek, Brattonsville, and Beckhamville, the morale of the colonists was so high
that they went on to Kings Mountain to wipe out the English army in this part of the Southern colonies.
In the mid 1800s, a New York preacher by the name of Miller worked out a chart that proved the world would
come to an end on March 15, 1843. He had lots of followers called Millerites all up and down the East Coast.
After selecting a high elevation from which to view the end of the world, the Millerites in this area obediently set
about putting their affairs in order, constructed temporary shacks, and awaited the coming of the great day. Only
the rich could afford to stop work and live on accumulated supplies of food, The less wealthy people in the
community could not afford to stop work and ridiculed the Millerites, and called the place where they had settled
Rich Hill. When the night passed without mishap, and the sun rose as usual the next morning, the people lost
faith in the Prophet Miller. They found the so-called Rich Hill a pleasant place to live so they began to construct
About this time the people applied for a post office for Rich Hill, but since there was already a Rich Hill in
Lancaster County, the people decided to name the post office Richburg. The exact date is not known for the
founding of the Richburg Post Office.
In about 1878, the railroad came through Richburg. It was a narrow gauge connecting Chester with Lancaster. It
was a new method of transportation to the people of Richburg. Each train was met with friendly greetings, for
there was always someone coming or going on it. It made as many as four trips a day carrying passengers, mail,
and cotton to and from Lancaster.
An act to incorporate the Town of Richburg was made to the General Assembly on December 24, 1889. The
earliest records show Richburg’s first form of town government was in effect sometime before 1897.
Over the years several people held the position of mayor of the Town of Richburg. In 1936, J H. Clawson became
mayor and served for 31 years, the longest record of time in office held by a mayor in the State of South Carolina
until his successor, John B. McCrorey. Mr. McCrorey served for 41 years as mayor of the Town of Richburg
beginning in 1967 and continued until his sudden death in July 2008. Mayor McCrorey was the oldest and
longest serving mayor in the State of South Carolina at the time of his death.
At the sudden death of Mayor Clawson in May 1967, the clerk, Barnette F. Nichols, served as Mayor Pro tem until
the election in June 1967, at which time, John B. McCrorey was elected mayor. Mr. McCrorey had served as a
councilman with Mayor Clawson since 1964. At the sudden death of Mayor McCrorey in July 2008, Council
member Barnette F. Nichols once again served as Mayor Pro tem until the special election for mayor, at which
time, James O. Harris ran unopposed for the unexpired term of mayor. Mr. Harris was sworn in as mayor of the
Town of Richburg on September 22, 2008.
The mayor and council seats were made two-year terms in 1965, having previously been for one year. In the June
1967 election, registration certificates were required for the first time in over 30 years and ballots were printed.
In 1965, Chester County’s mammoth water line was constructed from the Catawba River along SC Highway 9
through Richburg. The town bought and installed five fire hydrants within the town limits. A new lighting system
replaced some of the older street lights with the installation of 28 new lights. Land was purchased for a fire
department and new town hall.
In 1998, the Richburg Town Hall moved down the street into what was formerly Armstrong’s Grocery, a town
landmark. The old store was renovated making it possible for the Olde English District Tourism Commission to
have their visitors’s bureau inside the town hall, as well. The magistrate’s office and the Chester District
Genealogical Society are also located in this building.
In June 1999, ThyssenKrupp Steel Services dedicated a new building for their expanding business. It was the first
major industry to locate within the town limits of Richburg.
|For genealogical assistance contact:
Chester County Genealogical Society
203-A North Main Street
Richburg, SC 29729
George Moore (803) 377-8822
Jean Nichols (803) 789-5664 (After 7:00 PM)
Dr. Robert Walker (803) 230-4588