About Hampton County

Hampton County is a quiet, special place located in the Southeastern corner of South Carolina. Our location is perfect..easy access to the excitement of the Atlantic Ocean, Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Savannah buffered by beautiful countryside and a relaxing lifestyle. Hampton County is close to everything but at the same time remains wonderfully far from the maddening crowd.

History of Hampton County

Hampton County took its name from Wade Hampton, a renowned General of the Confederacy and Governor of South Carolina. The county was created on February 18, 1878, by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly that cut away the northern portion of Beaufort County in the Lowcountry, creating the thirty-third county of the state's 46 counties.

Private citizens donated land near the area known as "Hoover's Station" for the establishment of the county seat. General Wade Hampton laid the cornerstone of the courthouse, now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, on October 12, 1878. The county's founding residents then planned the Town of Hampton around the courthouse. In 1899, Miles Benjamin McSweeny, editor and publisher of The Hampton County Guardian, became Hampton County's first and only resident to date to become Governor of South Carolina. He served until 1903.


Hampton County adopted the council form of government in 1975, under the South Carolina Home Rule Act. It is governed by a five-member County Council, employing a professional administrator. Hampton County is included in South Carolina Senate Districts 40 and 45. It is in South Carolina House District 120. The Sixth Congressional District includes Hampton County. The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina is comprised of Hampton, Allendale, Jasper, Beaufort and Colleton Counties.

S.C. General Assembly U.S. Officials

District 40 -Brad Hutto
District 45 - Clementa Pinckney

House of Representative
House District 120 Bill Bowers

Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Tim Scott

Representative James Clyburn


Hampton County is home to five major municipalities as well as four smaller communities: Luray, Furman, Scotia and Gifford.

  • Brunson
  • Estill
  • Hampton
  • Varnville
  • Yemassee

(population 578; land area one square mile)

The coming of the railroad established quite a few towns in Hampton County. Before the Charleston and Western Carolina Railroad began construction, the area now known as Brunson was not even a settlement area. The construction of the railroad brought people, which in turn helped build the Town of Brunson.

A post office was constructed in the area on November 7, 1872 on a site donated by William Edgar Brunson Senior. Brunson, a large landowner, also gave the right-of-way for the construction of the railroad and ten square acres for the establishment of the town. The Town of Brunson, which was chartered in 1874, and was named in Brunson's honor. An octagonal structure, which still stands, was built to serve as the town hall for the community of Brunson. The building was originally built on wood piers to shade the town's artesian well. It was relocated in 1959 to its present location and is used as a museum.

The town hall moved to its present location in January 2002, the site of the old Hampton County Bank (BB&T bank). The town is located in the northeastern section of the county. The major highway through the town is Highway 278.


(population 2,386; land area 12.5 square miles)

The Town of Estill was incorporated September 8, 1905. It was named in honor of Colonel James Holbrook Estill, President of Southbound Holdings Company. Southbound was a development company that worked as an adjunct of the Southbound Railroad. It was because of the promotional development by Southbound that Estill, of Savannah, Georgia was selected as the name for the town when it was incorporated.

The town began as a small community called Lawtonville. William (Billy) Cuyler Johnson, Jr. is known as the town's founder. He gave the railroad a 100-foot right-of-way through what is now known as the Town of Estill. He also donated 50 acres to locate the depot and station.

The town is located in the southwestern section of the county. Major highways through the town include Highway 321 and Highway 3.


(population 2,786; land area 15.5 square miles)

The Town of Hampton was first known as Hoover's Crossing, taking its name from George Hoover, who operated a general mercantile business and also lived and farmed in the area. The Town of Hampton was incorporated on December 23, 1879, named in honor of Confederate Civil War General Wade Hampton, who also served as South Carolina's governor.

Hampton County was born in 1878 after a petition of citizens asked that the area be cut off from the Beaufort District. When the geographic center of the county was determined to be unsuitable for the county seat, the area known as Hoover's Station was selected. The land for the courthouse, jail, and other buildings was donated by Colonel George Hoover, Mrs. Josephine Lewis Hoover, Major W.H. Mauldin and Captain A.A. Browning.

The town is located in the northeastern section of the county. Major highways through the town include Highway 278, Highway 601, and Highway 363.


(population 2,039; land area 12.5 square miles)

The Town of Varnville was first known as the unincorporated village of Dixie, which was settled in 1860. When the Port Royal and Augusta Railroad was built, Dixie Station was established where a road from the Hickory Hill community crossed the tracks. Shortly afterward, A. McBride Peeples laid out a town on the south side of the tracks straddling the road to Hickory Hill.

James G. Varn and his younger brother, Rev. Little Berry Varn, after whom the Town of Varnville was later named, had a sawmill on the north side of the tracks and sold the right-of-way to the railroad. The Varns then laid out a town on the north side of the tracks. The Town of Varnville was born and a post office opened in 1872.

The town was formally incorporated December 24, 1880. Varnville's history is intertwined with the logging industry, agriculture and the railroad.

(population 851; land area 6.2 square miles)

The Town of Yemassee is a small town rich in local history. In the late seventeenth century, when Englishman began to settle coastal Carolina, a number of tribes, mostly of Muskogean stock, inhabited the area. Of those tribes, the Yamasee Indians were the most extensive and powerful. Its territory stretched along the coast from southern Georgia to the Edisto region.

The Yamasee's two major centers of power lay between the Savannah and Combahee Rivers at Pocataligo and Coosawhatchie. Towards the end of the War between the States, Sherman's army came through the area on his infamous march to the sea from Atlanta, Georgia. All of the churches in the area were destroyed, except for the Presbyterian Church, which was used as a hospital by the union army. Blood stains on the floor are visible on the still standing church.

After that war, the Port Royal-Augusta Railroad was constructed. At that time, the railroad hamlet of Yemassee was formed from the lands of Richfield Plantation and portions of the Cuthbert lands. In 1868, a post office was established. The house where Somerest Maughn wrote the Razor's Edges is located in that area. There is also a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect. The house is unique in its design as having no right angles. The house is located on Auld Brass Plantation and has been refurbished.

The town is located in the southeastern section of the county. Major highways passing through the town include Interstate 95 and Highway 68.


Economic Development Commission

The mission of the HCEDC is to grow the economy of Hampton County and the surrounding region by supporting our existing industries to encourage expansion and by recruiting new businesses to our area. HCEDC members are appointed by County Council to serve three year terms.

Commission Meetings

  • 6:00 pm
  • Third Tuesday of every other month beginning in January
  • Conference Room, Hampton County Administrative Center
  • Open to the public
Commission Members
Sandy Fowler,
Executive Director
P.O. Box 672
Hampton, SC 29924
(803) 914-2140
Bill Hager
P. O. Box 1168
Beaufort, SC 29901
(843) 525-7725
Clarence Fennell, Jr.,
P.O. Box 157
Estill, SC 29918
(803) 606-6394
Holbrook Platts
P.O. Box 82
Hampton, SC 29924
(803) 943-2777
Buddy Bullard
805 West Fifth Street
Hampton, SC 29924
(843) 986-2444
Collins B. Lane
P. O. Box 373
Yemassee, SC 29945
(843) 589-2908
Gregg Brunson
702 Fifth Street West
Hampton, SC 29924
(803) 943-2725
Dr. Lamar Priester, Jr.
458 Palmetto Avenue West
Varnville, SC 29944
(803) 914-0400

Donna Gohagan
Materials Manager
P. O. Box 325
Estill, SC 29918
(803) 943-7279

Chuck Boswell
453 Rams Horn Road
Varnville, SC 29944
(803) 943-3001
Ex Officio Members

Sabrena Graham
Hampton County Administrator
200 Jackson Avenue East
Hampton, SC 29924
(803) 914-2100

Hugh Gray
Hampton County Council Chairman
P.O. Box 237
Hampton, SC 29924
(803) 943-5352

Representative Bill Bowers
P. O. Box 686
Hampton, SC 29924
(803) 914-2142

Ad-Hoc Members
Lynette Harley
Career Corner Employment Services
301 First Street East
Hampton, SC, 29924
(803) 398-0112

Brian Burgess
Lowcountry Regional Water
513 Elm Street West
Hampton, SC, 29924,
(803) 943-1006

DeThane Johnson

930 McKenzie Trail

Furman, SC 29921

(803) 625-3136


copyright 2009 - Hampton County EDC  200 Jackson Avenue East   P.O. Box 672 Hampton, SC 29924     
Phone: (803) 914-2140 | Fax: (803) 914-2144     Email: jlamprecht@hamptoncountysc.org
www.HamptonCountyEDC.com | www.hamptoncountysc.org

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