York County lies within the Olde English region of South Carolina. The county and its seat are named in honor of York County, Pennsylvania.
Catawba Indians initially inhabited the region before they ceded control of the area to the United States via treaty in 1763. After this treaty was signed, a great number of Scotch-Irish from both Pennsylvania and the South Carolina Lowcountry began to settle the area.
The county was founded in 1785 within the Camden District. It later belonged to the Pinckney District before becoming its own district. During the Revolutionary War, the battles of Williamson’s Plantation and King’s Mountain took place here.
Initially, the economy relied on small cotton farms. However, over time the economy transitioned from cotton farming to cotton processing and became dependent on the textile industry.