Main Births etc
Abbeville, South Carolina
—  City  —
Abbeville Opera House
Motto: "Pretty. Near. Perfect."

Abbeville, South Carolina is located in South Carolina
Location within the state of South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°10′43″N 82°22′45″W / 34.17861, -82.37917Coordinates: 34°10′43″N 82°22′45″W / 34.17861, -82.37917
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Abbeville
 • Mayor Sarah Sherwood
 • Total 6.13 sq mi (15.87 km2)
 • Land 6.12 sq mi (15.84 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 591 ft (180 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,237
 • Density 856/sq mi (330.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 29620
Area code(s) 864
FIPS code 45-00100[1]
GNIS feature ID 1244839[2]

Abbeville is a small city in Abbeville County, South Carolina, United States, 86 miles (138 km) west of Columbia and 45 miles (72 km) south of Greenville.[3] Its population was 5,237 at the 2010 census.[4] It is the county seat of Abbeville County[5]. Settled by French Huguenot settlers, it was named, along with the county, for the French town of the same name.[3][6]


Abbeville was established by French Huguenots in 1764,[7] at a site named by John de la Howe.[8] It was incorporated in 1840.[3]

Abbeville and the American Civil War[]


The Rock at Secession Hill

Abbeville has the unique distinction of being both the birthplace and the deathbed of the Confederacy. On November 22, 1860, a meeting was held at Abbeville, at a site since dubbed "Secession Hill", to launch South Carolina's secession from the Union; one month later, the state of South Carolina became the first state to secede.

Abbeville is considered to be the home of noted states' rights advocate and Vice President of the United States John C. Calhoun, as he was born on a farm on the outskirts.[8]

At the end of the Civil War, with the Confederacy in shambles, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond, Virginia, and headed south, stopping for a night in Abbeville at the home of his friend Armistead Burt. It was on May 2, 1865, in the front parlor of what is now known as the Burt-Stark Mansion that Jefferson Davis officially acknowledged the dissolution of the Confederate government.

2003 right-of-way standoff[]

On December 8, 2003, in a 14-hour standoff that stemmed from a land-survey dispute, two Abbeville lawmen were killed by West Abbeville resident Steven Bixby. This siege has been compared by both sympathizers of the Bixbys and law enforcement agents to the events of Waco and Ruby Ridge. In February 2007, Steven Bixby was convicted on 17 counts including the two murders, as well as lesser charges of kidnapping and conspiracy. He was given two death sentences for the murders plus 125 years in prison on the other charges.

Modern history[]

In 2011, Abbeville High School won its sixth South Carolina high school football state championship. It was the second title in a row in the 1A division.[9]

In 2011, Abbeville High School (South Carolina) also won their 1st South Carolina high school softball championship. It was the first female team to win a state championship in Abbeville High School history. Pitcher Gennifer Durham had a fantastic year, striking out many batters with her ankle-breaking knuckle ball. She currently plays softball for the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

The Abbeville County Courthouse, Abbeville Historic District, Abbeville Opera House, Armistead Burt House, Patrick Calhoun Family Cemetery, Cedar Springs Historic District, Harbison College President's Home, Trinity Episcopal Church and Cemetery and Upper Long Cane Cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[10][11]

Architectural mention[]

Abbeville is the location of the tallest building in South Carolina, the Prysmian Copper Wire Tower. Built in 2009, the tower is 373 feet (114 m) tall and has 30 floors.[12]

Notable people[]

  • John C. Calhoun, 7th American Vice President, 16th U.S. Secretary of State
  • James S. Cothran (1830–1897), born near Abbeville, United States Congressman from South Carolina[13]
  • Thomas D. Howie (April 12, 1908 – July 17, 1944), American army officer killed during the Normandy Campaign of World War II while trying to capture the French town of Saint-Lô. He is known as "The Major of St. Lo".
  • Benjamin Glover Shields (1808–1850), born in Abbeville, United States Congressman from Alabama[13]


Abbeville is located at 34°10′43″N 82°22′45″W / 34.17861, -82.37917 (34.178572, -82.379200),[14] and is within the Piedmont Upland geographical region.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (15.9 km2), of which 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.19%, is water.[4]

Nearby is the Sumter National Forest.[8]


Like most of the Deep South, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa). Winters are cool, sometimes cold, and short in duration. Summers are hot and humid. The transitional seasons of spring and fall can vary in temperature but tend to be warm. In the summer highs usually peak in the mid 90s, but temperatures over 100 °F (37.8 °C) occur on occasion, most recently in the summer of 2012 during a heat wave. In the winter highs are in the low to mid 50s and lows are right around freezing, seldom dropping below 25 °F (−3.9 °C). Rainfall is well distributed throughout the year. Afternoon thunderstorms are a common occurrence in the summer months and can bring heavy winds and lightning. Snow is rare, falling every few years.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 1,251
1860 592 −52.7%
1880 1,543
1890 1,696 9.9%
1900 3,766 122.1%
1910 4,459 18.4%
1920 4,570 2.5%
1930 4,414 −3.4%
1940 4,930 11.7%
1950 5,395 9.4%
1960 5,436 0.8%
1970 5,515 1.5%
1980 5,833 5.8%
1990 5,778 −0.9%
2000 5,840 1.1%
2010 5,237 −10.3%
U.S. Decennial Census


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,840 people, 2,396 households, and 1,574 families residing in the city. The population density was 995.2 people per square mile (384.1/km²). There were 2,654 housing units at an average density of 452.3 per square mile (174.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 50.46% White, 48.48% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.

There were 2,396 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 23.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,756, and the median income for a family was $30,040. Males had a median income of $28,339 versus $21,824 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,274. About 16.3% of families and 19.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.2% of those under age 18 and 20.9% of those age 65 or over.

Abbeville is the center of a small urban cluster with a total population of 6,038 (2000 census).


The 2010 United States Census reported that Abbeville had a population of 5,237. The racial makeup of Abbeville was 2,458 White, 2,645 African American, 10 Native American, 23 Asian, 22 from other races, and 79 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 48 persons.[15]


Agriculture and forestry are important industries in the area. Crops that are grown in quantities are cotton, soybeans, corn oats, wheat, and peaches. Livestock and poultry are also raised in the area. Finally textiles are the chief manufactured product.[3]


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Johnston, Bernard, ed (1997). "Abbeville". Collier's Encyclopedia. I A to Ameland (First ed.). New York, NY: P.F. Collier. pp. 8. 
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Abbeville city, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. pp. 22. 
  7. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica 1984 edition, Vol. I, p. 8
  8. ^ a b c "Abbeville". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-Ak - Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. 2010. pp. 11. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  9. ^ "Abbeville vs Hemingway Radio Broadcast Live Online – South Carolina 1A-DI State Championship Football Game on November 25". Oliver Stream Sports. November 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  11. ^ "Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 12/13/10 through 12/1723/10". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Prysmian unveils nation's first extra-high voltage cable plant, state's tallest building in Abbeville. GSA Business. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  13. ^ a b Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  15. ^ US Census Bureau

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Abbeville, South Carolina. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.