Johnsonville is a city in Florence County, South Carolina, United
States. The population was 1,480 at the 2010 census. It is part of
the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The city was founded in 1913 west of the spot of the former
Witherspoon's Ferry on the Pee Dee River, where General Francis Marion
received his commission for the Revolutionary War. Edward "Dwight"
Carraway, Jr., a resident of Johnsonville from early childhood to the
early 1980s, holds the record of South Carolina's youngest person ever
elected to public office (1976–present). He was elected Alderman in
June, 1976. Also, he was a classmate of Joseph Stevens "Steve" Dukes
who has served as Mayor of Johnsonville since 2004.
The city is home to the Johnsonville Heritage Festival, which began in
2011 to celebrate the area's ties to the American Revolution.
1 History and Witherspoon's Ferry
4 Notable people
6 External links
History and Witherspoon's Ferry
Statue of General
Francis Marion at Venters Landing
In use during the American Revolution, Witherspoon's Ferry was the
Francis Marion accepted command of the Williamsburg Militia
in 1780. Ownership of the ferry lands passed from Robert to John
Witherspoon in 1787. In 1802, John bequeathed the land to Aimwell
Witherspoon's Ferry was a strategic ferry in the northeastern area of
Williamsburg County, vested in John Witherspoon in 1801 and remaining
in his charge until his death in 1815. According to the terms of John
Witherspoon's will, the ferry was then vested in J. D. Witherspoon,
executor, for a term of 14 years, "in trust for and having the sole
benefit of the incorporated Presbyterian Church at Aimwell on the Pee
In 1819, former
South Carolina Governor David R. Williams, son-in-law
of John Witherspoon, obtained these ferry lands. William J. Johnson,
born 1787, succeeded J. D. Witherspoon at the ferry after purchasing
the plantation in 1825 from the Witherspoon estate. The 1850 census of
Williamsburg County shows William Johnson, a man of considerable
wealth for his time and place, living just below where the American
Legion stands in Johnsonville today.
Johnson's Ferry was the point at which the stagecoach stopped to
change horses. As the stagecoach passed east over the
Lynches River on
the ferry, a Johnson slave in charge of the ferry mules announced the
number of passengers with a blast from a fox horn: one blast for each
passenger, thus informing Mrs. Johnson of the number of places that
should be set for dinner. The passengers ate during the change of
horses, and then proceeded to the next stop.
The stagecoach stopped at the Johnsons' house. All the mail for the
surrounding communities was left in Capt. Johnson's care. This
provided an excellent reason for him to request a post office be
granted. In 1843 a post office, named "Johnsonville", was established
near the ferry.
The city of Johnsonville was incorporated in 1913.
Broadway St. Looking East, 2015
Johnsonville is located in southeastern Florence County at
33°49′4″N 79°26′54″W / 33.81778°N 79.44833°W /
33.81778; -79.44833 (33.817802, -79.448288). The center of town is
1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the crossing of the
Lynches River by
South Carolina Highways 41 and 51. The combined highways lead north 4
miles (6 km) to
U.S. Route 378
U.S. Route 378 at Kingsburg and south 5 miles
(8 km) to Hemingway.
South Carolina Highway 341 passes through the center of town as
Broadway Street, leading west 20 miles (32 km) to Lake City.
Florence, the county seat, is 35 miles (56 km) to the northwest,
while Myrtle Beach is 45 miles (72 km) to the east.
According to the United States
Census Bureau, the city has a total
area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), of which 0.03 square miles
(0.07 km2), or 1.36%, is water.
The city of Johnsonville is located only a few miles from The
Johnsonville Impact Crater, a circular geophysical feature that has
been interpreted by some scientists as an impact crater, situated at
the junction of
Lynches River and the
Pee Dee River
Pee Dee River in South Carolina.
Snows Island, at that point, is believed to be the upthrust of the
center after the impact. This eight-mile-wide crater is not well
defined at the surface and was discovered by magnetic anomalies and
supported by the study of well drilling cores. Supposed impact breccia
was found in these cores.
U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,418 people, 532 households,
and 413 families residing in the city. The population density was
897.6 people per square mile (346.5/km²). There were 602 housing
units at an average density of 381.1 per square mile (147.1/km²). The
racial makeup of the city was 75.74% White, 22.78% Black, 0.21% Native
American, 0.14% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 0.56% from two or
more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the
There were 532 households out of which 35.7% had children under the
age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living
together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and
22.2% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of
individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age
or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family
size was 3.03.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of
18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and
12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years.
For every 100 females there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age
18 and over, there were 82.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,274, and the
median income for a family was $38,690. Males had a median income of
$30,109 versus $19,500 for females. The per capita income for the city
was $15,539. About 13.3% of families and 16.6% of the population were
below the poverty line, including 21.5% of those under age 18 and
18.1% of those age 65 or over.
South Carolina House of Representatives, 1961-1968,
General John Henry Woodberry, Brigadier General; United States Army;
Chief Ordinance Officer Southwest; Pacific Area SOS; World War II,
^ Official city website
^ a b "American FactFinder". United States
Census Bureau. Retrieved
^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey.
2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001):
Johnsonville city, South Carolina". U.S.
Census Bureau, American
Factfinder. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census
Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9,
Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the
original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
City of Johnsonville official website
Johnsonville Heritage Festival
Johnsonville History Website
Municipalities and communities of Florence County, South Carolina,
County seat: Florence