Ninety Six, South Carolina

Ninety Six, South Carolina
Ninety Six, South Carolina
—  Town  —
Sunset over the battlefield at Star Fort
Location of Ninety Six, South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°10′24″N 82°1′18″W / 34.17333°N 82.02167°W / 34.17333; -82.02167Coordinates: 34°10′24″N 82°1′18″W / 34.17333°N 82.02167°W / 34.17333; -82.02167
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Greenwood
 – Total 1.5 sq mi (3.8 km2)
 – Land 1.5 sq mi (3.8 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 548 ft (167 m)
Population (2000)
 – Total 1,936
 – Density 1,325.1/sq mi (511.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 29666
Area code(s) 864
FIPS code 45-50290[1]
GNIS feature ID 1249874[2]

Ninety Six is a town in Greenwood County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,936 at the 2000 census.



Ninety Six is located at 34°10′24″N 82°1′18″W / 34.17333°N 82.02167°W / 34.17333; -82.02167 (34.173211, -82.021710).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.8 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,936 people, 820 households, and 560 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,325.1 people per square mile (512.0/km²). There were 904 housing units at an average density of 618.7 per square mile (239.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 76.50% White, 22.73% Black, 0.15% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.21% from other races, and 0.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.

There were 820 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 81.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,423, and the median income for a family was $39,550. Males had a median income of $30,978 versus $25,034 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,648. About 7.0% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.6% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.


Ninety Six was established in the early 18th century. It derived its name from the mistaken belief that it was 96 miles to the nearest Cherokee settlement of Keowee. The National Park Service operates the Ninety Six National Historic Site at the site of the original settlement.

Ninety Six figured prominently in the Anglo-Cherokee War and also in the southern campaigns of the American Revolutionary War. The first land battle of the revolution south of New England was fought here in 1775, and in 1780 the British fortified the strategically important frontier town.

From May 22 to June 18, 1781 Major General Nathanael Greene, with 1,000 American Patriot troops, besieged 550 American Loyalists who were defending Ninety Six. General Greene's chief engineer at the siege was the world renowned Polish hero Colonel Tadeusz Kościuszko, who was also wounded at the siege. This siege is described in the chapter Ninety-Six of the historic novel of Kenneth Roberts: Oliver Wiswell, 1940. The American Loyalists survived the siege and moved to Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Notable people

Preston Brooks achieved notoriety for his brutal attack on Massachusetts abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate Chamber in 1856 after Sumner delivered a speech comparing slavery to a harlot and slaveholders to those who embraced her, to which Brooks objected violently. Ninety Six honored Brooks with the largest gathering ever in that region. Thousands of canes were presented to Brooks to replace the one he had broken while beating Sumner, who remained incapacitated for years as a result.

Benjamin Mays, Sixth President of Morehouse College and mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in the vicinity of Ninety Six. Some biographies place his birthplace in Epworth, South Carolina, roughly six miles to the south.

Orville Vernon Burton, Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was raised in Ninety Six. His book, In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina traces the social history of that region. In 2007 he published a new book, The Age of Lincoln, which has received wide acclaim, including the Heartland Award for Nonfiction.

Bill Voiselle, pitcher for the New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Chicago Cubs, gained the distinction of being the only baseball player to wear his hometown as a uniform number when he wore "96" in honor of his South Carolina birthplace while with Boston and Chicago. At the time, this was the highest uniform number ever seen in Major League Baseball; it has since been broken by several players wearing 99.

James Augustus Black, (1793–1848), was born in Ninety Six and became a United States Congressman from South Carolina.[4]

Odean Pope, (1938–present), jazz tenor saxophonist, was born in Ninety Six but grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[5]

The Beautiful South reference the town in the first line of their 2004 song 'This Old Skin' which masqueraded as a cover version of an original by the imaginary band The Heppelbaums.

Other places with numerical names


  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. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  5. ^ Odean Pope website

External links

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