The area now known as Barnwell County initially existed within the Orangeburg District before becoming Winton County. In 1800 the county changed its name to honor John Barnwell, who was known for his service in the Revolutionary War. The town of Barnwell serves as the county seat.

The history of South Carolina’s railroads has had a strong impact on the history of Bamberg County. Two of the county’s towns, Williston and Blackville, resulted from the construction of the South Carolina Railroad. The county became smaller in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with several pieces of the county breaking off to form Allendale, Aiken, and Bamberg counties.

Barnwell County History. Accessed June 01, 2016.
 

 

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Brown, James | South Carolina Public Radio
Brown, James | South Carolina Public Radio

Audio

"B" is for Brown, James (1933-2006). Musician. Born in Barnwell County, Brown began his career in Augusta in the 1950s when he formed the Flames—the first of a series of backing bands that would...
Brown, Edgar Allan | South Carolina Public Radio
Brown, Edgar Allan | South Carolina Public Radio

Audio

"B" is for Brown, Edgar Allan (1888-1975). Legislator. At the age of sixteen, Brown learned shorthand and became a stenographer. In 1910, he passed the state bar exam. He represented Barnwell County...
Blackville | South Carolina Public Radio
Blackville | South Carolina Public Radio

Audio

“B” is for Blackville [Barnwell County; population 2,973]. Incorporated in 1837, Blackville originated as a depository on the South Carolina Railroad. It was named for Alexander Black, a railroad...
Tarleton Brown | History of SC Slide Collection
Tarleton Brown | History of SC Slide Collection

Photo

Tarleton Brown (1756-1845) served as a Captain in the Revolutionary army, and as a scout in Georgia and South Carolina for the remainder of the war in the South, later publishing an eyewitness account...
Solomon Blatt | History of SC Slide Collection
Solomon Blatt | History of SC Slide Collection

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Born in Blackville, in Barnwell County, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Solomon Blatt (1895-1986) rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in South Carolina. Educated at the...
The "Barnwell Ring" of South Carolina
The "Barnwell Ring" of South Carolina

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The famous "Barnwell Ring" of South Carolina. Senator Edgar Brown, left, the state's senior Senator and chairman of the finance committee, and House Speaker Sol Blatt (see Solomon Blatt), both from...