South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Laurens County Courthouse, Laurens County (Courthouse Square, Laurens)
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The Laurens County Courthouse represents an excellent example of Greek revival architecture in rural South Carolina. Designed by architect Thomas C. Veal and built by Dr. John Wells Simpson, both residents of Laurens, the central portion of the courthouse was constructed in 1837-1838. The massiveness and the decorative elements attest to the affluence of pre-Civil War South Carolina. Laurens County is one of several counties carved out of the Old Ninety-Six District of South Carolina by an act of the General Assembly in 1785. The Courthouse stands on a portion of the four-acre tract that was deeded to the county in 1792 and was the site of two earlier courthouses between 1792 and 1838. Primary construction materials were stone (granite ashlar) and brick. This courthouse contains the office of Miss Jeannie V. Culbertson, the first woman to be publicly elected to a government position in the state. The original projecting porticoes in the front and rear have four Corinthian columns and two simple pilasters supporting entablatures consisting of boxed cornices, modillions, dentils, and simple medallions upon the frieze. The initial construction involved a simple cruciform plan with a low gabled roof. The original plan called for wings, which were added in 1858. In 1911 further additions were made to the wings, the windows remodeled, and the Palladian stairways added. At this time the low elliptical dome was constructed. Listed in the National Register June 19, 1972.

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