Chester, South Carolina

Chester is a small rural city in Chester County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,607 at the 2010 census,[3] down from 6,476 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Chester County.[4]

Chester, South Carolina
Chester County Courthouse, built in 1852
Chester County Courthouse, built in 1852
The Picture Perfect City; The Little City on the Big Hill
Location of Chester, South Carolina
Location of Chester, South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°42′20″N 81°12′42″W / 34.70556°N 81.21167°WCoordinates: 34°42′20″N 81°12′42″W / 34.70556°N 81.21167°W
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
 • TypeCouncil
 • MayorGeorge Caldwell
 • Total3.27 sq mi (8.46 km2)
 • Land3.27 sq mi (8.46 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
535 ft (163 m)
 • Total5,607
 • Density1,716/sq mi (662.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)803
FIPS code45-14095[1]
GNIS feature ID1247275[2]


The Catholic Presbyterian Church, Chester City Hall and Opera House, Chester Historic District, Colvin-Fant-Durham Farm Complex, Fishdam Ford, Kumler Hall, Lewis Inn, and McCollum Mound are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

Geography and climate

Chester is located just west of the center of Chester County at 34°42′20″N 81°12′42″W / 34.70556°N 81.21167°W (34.705553, -81.211638).[6] U.S. Route 321 bypasses the city to the west and the south, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to York and south 25 miles (40 km) to Winnsboro. South Carolina Highway 9 passes through the city center and leads east 11 miles (18 km) to Interstate 77 near Richburg and west 49 miles (79 km) to Spartanburg. Highways 72 and 121 lead northeast 19 miles (31 km) to Rock Hill and southwest 28 miles (45 km) to Whitmire.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2), all of it land.[3]

Springstein Mill. John Lewis (boy with hat), 12 years old, 1 year in mill. Weaver - 4 looms. 40 (cents) a day to... - NARA - 523117
Young mill workers in Chester, 1908, photographed by Lewis Hine


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20165,474[8]−2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,476 people, 2,465 households, and 1,639 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,042.8 people per square mile (788.8/km²). There were 2,774 housing units at an average density of 875.0 per square mile (337.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.26% African American, 36.37% White, 0.15% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.

There were 2,465 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 26.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,518, and the median income for a family was $32,973. Males had a median income of $27,321 versus $20,802 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,386. About 16.4% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.3% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.

Chester is the center of an urban cluster with a total population of 11,140 (2000 census).


While being transported to Richmond, Virginia, for his trial for treason, former Vice-President Aaron Burr passed through Chester. Burr "flung himself from his horse and cried for a rescue, but the officer commanding the escort seized him, threw him back like a child into the saddle, and marched on."[10] The large stone he stood on has been inscribed and is preserved in the town center, and is known locally as the Aaron Burr Rock.

Chiefs, a miniseries based on the novel by Stuart Woods, was filmed in Chester over the course of three months in 1983.[11] It was nominated for three prime-time Emmy awards, and featured a star-studded cast including Charlton Heston, Keith Carradine, Paul Sorvino, Billy Dee Williams and Danny Glover.[12]

Local news media

  • Chester Vision or CSN (Chester Sports Network)
  • Chester News & Reporter
  • WRBK, 90.3 FM, a noncommercial station that primarily features classic oldies

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Chester city, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2015-05-10. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Henry Adams, History of the United States of America during the Administrations of Thomas Jefferson, Library of America, 1986, p. 828.
  11. ^ "A Salute to Chiefs", The Rock Hill Herald, July 27, 1983.
  12. ^

External links

Allison Feaster

Allison Sharlene Feaster-Strong (born February 11, 1976) is a retired American professional basketball player. Feaster-Strong played in the Women's National Basketball Association from 1998 through 2008, for the Los Angeles Sparks, Charlotte Sting, and Indiana Fever. She played professionally in Europe from 1998 through 2016 for teams in Portugal, France, Spain, and Italy. She retired from professional basketball on August 8, 2016.Feaster-Strong attended Harvard College, graduating in 1998 with a degree in Economics, and setting multiple Ivy League women's basketball records along the way. She was selected as a first-team All-Ivy League player each of her four years, and was the first athlete in any sport to be honored as Ivy League Player of the Year three times, after also having been Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

Bobby Gage

Robert "Bobby" Gage II (January 15, 1927 – April 19, 2005) was an American football player who played two seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Devan Downey

Devan Deangelo Downey (born September 28, 1987) is an American professional basketball player.

Ed Durham

Edward Fant "Bull" Durham (August 17, 1907 – April 27, 1976) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1929 to 1933 for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox. Listed at 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), 170 lb., Durham batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was born in Chester, South Carolina.

In a five-season career, Durham posted a 29–44 record with 204 strikeouts and a 4.45 earned run average in 143 appearances, including 71 starts, 23 complete games, three shutouts, one save, and 641​2⁄3 innings pitched.

Durham died in Chester, South Carolina, at the age of 68.

J. Charles Jones

Joseph Charles Jones (born August 23, 1937) is a civil rights leader, attorney, co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and former chairperson of the SNCC's direct action committee. Jones was born in Chester, South Carolina. He led and participated in several sit-in movements during the 1960s. He served as chair of SNCC's direct action committee. In 1961 Jones joined the Freedom Riders driving from Atlanta, Georgia, to Birmingham, Alabama; he was later arrested in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1966, Jones organized an activist organization called the Action Coordinating Committee to End Segregation in the Suburbs or ACCESS. He is a graduate of Howard University Law School (1966). Jones passed the North Carolina State Bar in 1976. As of 2011 he was serving as the chairperson for the Biddleville/Smallwood/Five Points Neighborhood Association.

John Dunovant

John Dunovant was a brigadier general with temporary rank in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Dunovant was a native of South Carolina who had been a Mexican–American War veteran and captain in the U.S. Army from March 3, 1855 to December 29, 1860. During the Civil War, he was commander of the 1st South Carolina Regulars and later the 5th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment. He was in command of a cavalry brigade in the later part of the Overland Campaign and the early part of the Siege of Petersburg. He was killed at the Battle of Vaughan Road on October 1, 1864 during the Siege of Petersburg.

John J. Hemphill

John James Hemphill (August 25, 1849 – May 11, 1912) was a U.S. Representative from South Carolina, cousin of William Huggins Brawley, nephew of John Hemphill and great-uncle of Robert Witherspoon Hemphill.

Born in Chester, South Carolina, Hemphill attended the public schools and was graduated from the University of South Carolina at Columbia in 1869.

He studied law.

He was admitted to the bar in 1870 and practiced in Chester, South Carolina.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the State legislature in 1874.

He served as member of the State house of representatives 1876-1882.

Hemphill was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1893).

He served as chairman of the Committee on District of Columbia (Fiftieth and Fifty-second Congresses).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress.

He resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C., while retaining his residence in South Carolina.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for election as United States Senator from South Carolina in 1902.

He died in Washington, D.C., May 11, 1912.

He was interred in Oak Hill Cemetery.

John Lyles Glenn Jr.

John Lyles Glenn Jr. (April 2, 1892 – May 2, 1938) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina and the United States District Court for the Western District of South Carolina.

John Richard C. King

John Richard Christopher King (born June 25, 1976) is an American politician. He is a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from the 49th District, serving since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic party. King previously served as a Chester city councilman from 1999- 2000 and county councilman from 2000 to 2006. King is also a funeral director at Christopher King's Funeral Home in Chester, South Carolina, Professor at Clinton College in Rock Hill, SC.

Marion Campbell

Francis Marion Campbell (May 25, 1929 – July 13, 2016) was an American football defensive lineman and coach. He played college football for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1949 until 1951, where he was appropriately nicknamed "Swamp Fox". During his National Football League (NFL) playing career, he played for the San Francisco 49ers (1954–1955) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1956–1961), winning Pro Bowl honors in 1959 and 1960 and also being named 1st team All-Pro in 1960 as part of the Eagles' championship team that year. He was one of the last of the NFL's "two-way" players who played all offensive and defensive snaps in a game.

Maurice Morris

Maurice Autora Morris (born December 1, 1979) is a former American football running back. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft and also played for the Detroit Lions. He played college football at Oregon.

Ron Rash

Ron Rash (born September 25, 1953), an American poet, short story writer and novelist, is the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University.

Scot Brantley

Scot Eugene Brantley (born February 24, 1958) is an American radio and television sports broadcaster and former college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1980s. Brantley played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.

Sheldon Brown (American football)

Sheldon Dion Brown (born March 19, 1979) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft and also played for the Cleveland Browns. He played college football at South Carolina.

Tony Stewart (Canadian football)

Tony Stewart is a former running back in the Canadian Football League.A graduate of University of Iowa, Stewart played 3 seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. His best season was 1994 when he rushed for 1120 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. He finished his career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


WBT-FM ("News 1110/99.3 WBT") is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Chester, South Carolina that primarily serves the western region of the Charlotte metropolitan area. The station is owned by Entercom, one of the largest owners of radio stations in the United States. The station's programming primarily consists of simulcasts of the news/talk radio format of WBT, AM 1110 in Charlotte.

WBT-FM was first licensed, as WCMJ, on December 1, 1969. It broadcasts on 99.3 MHz with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 7,700 watts, using a tower nearly 600 feet (182 meters) in height above average terrain (HAAT). The transmitter is located 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Charlotte, off Armenia Road in Chester. The station is also authorized to broadcast using the digital HD Radio format.Studios are located at One Julian Price Place on West Morehead Street, just west of Uptown Charlotte, co-located with the city's CBS affiliate WBTV, which previously had common ownership.


WRBK is a non-commercial oldies radio station located in Chester, South Carolina, that broadcasts on a frequency of 90.3 MHz.

WRBK is programmed on an automated basis rather than featuring live-on air personalities. Sometimes, a jingle featuring the station's frequency and callsign is played between songs. At other times, weather forecasts, public service announcements, or underwriting announcements for local businesses air between songs. However, at many other times, songs are simply played back-to-back with no bumpers in-between.

Its playlist is very diverse and broad, featuring not only prominent songs and artists from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. but many lesser-known artists whose songs were hits during that era as well. Prior to 2009, it promoted itself by claiming that its songs came from the years 1955 through 1977. However, in 2009, the playlist was extended to include songs from the early 1980s as well, making its musical timespan from 1955 to 1984, with its on-air promotions revised accordingly.

In addition to music, WRBK broadcasts various community interest programs—most notably, high school football games on Friday nights and Sunday church worship services.

Its signal reaches areas in both North and South Carolina. Northward, it reaches part of the Charlotte market, and can easily be picked up in Union County, North Carolina and in the Southern portions of Mecklenburg County. Hickory station WFHE, which broadcasts on the same frequency, blocks out WRBK's signal north of Charlotte.

WRBK is simulcast in Whitmire, South Carolina on 90.9 WNBK-FM, as the main signal from 90.3 is directional to protect 90.1 WEPR in Greenville. The WNBK-FM 90.9 signal covers the area between Union and Newberry. WRBK is also simulcast on 91.1 WEBK-FM, licensed to Society Hill, South Carolina.

William H. Brawley

William Hiram Brawley (incorrectly reported in some works as William Huggins Brawley; May 13, 1841 – November 15, 1916) was a United States Representative from South Carolina and later a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Zip Hanna

Elzaphan McConnell (Zip) Hanna (December 1, 1916 – January 18, 2001) was an American football guard in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. Hanna attended Chester High School in Chester, South Carolina. Hanna was invited to play in the first S.C.-N.C. Shrine Bowl, but rejected the invitation as Gaffney was playing for the Southeastern Football Championship. He played college football at the University of South Carolina. In 1946, suffering from knee injuries, he became a player-coach of the Charlotte Clippers semi-pro team.

In the latter part of 1946, he became chief of police in Rock Hill, SC In 1955, he accepted the position of chief of police in Aiken, SC, from which he retired. Not one to be content in retirement, he moved to the Piedmont area of the Palmetto State and formed a home builders group. He died in 2001 at the VA Hospital in Asheville, NC.

Climate data for Chester, South Carolina, normals 1981–2010, extremes 1923-present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 82
Average high °F (°C) 52.1
Average low °F (°C) 29.0
Record low °F (°C) −3
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.13
Average snowfall inches (cm) 1.1
Source: NOAA[7]
Municipalities and communities of Chester County, South Carolina, United States
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