History of Pageland
In 1793, Thomas Sumter, Jr., received a state grant which included what is now known as the Pageland area west to Lynches River. Several other settlers also obtained similar grants for their smaller homesteads, about the same time. Among them was John Blakeney.
In 1816, Mr. Blakeney built a house near a crossroads which is now the center of Pageland (McGregor and Pearl Streets). He had previously (about 1815) opened a trading post which gave the name “Old Store Township” to the surrounding community.
About 1860, “Blakeney’s Crossroads” became known as “Gold Mine Post Office.” Blakeney’s store was used as the mustering place for those volunteering for service in the Confederacy in the War Between the States.
Following the war, Henry J. Fox (representing a New York Land Development Company) came to this area buying land. He lived in the Blakeney House, and it soon became known as the Fox House or the Fox Place.
By 1890, Pageland was known as Irvington Post Office (the reason for this remains unclear) and had three houses in the immediate area.
In 1904, word was received of the impending approach of a railroad. The people were so excited by this that they named the town Pageland, after Captain Dolly Page, promoter of the railroad.
On December 3, 1907, papers were filed with the Secretary of State of South Carolina who commissioned Samuel Isham Evans, Garry H. Watts and James R. Cato “to provide for the registration of all electors within the proposed corporate limits of said town, and to appoint three managers to hold an election, at which election the said registered voters shall vote on the following questions: 1st, Corporation; 2nd, Name of town; 3rd, Selection of Intendent and four Wardens and to certify the result of such election to the Secretary of State.”
The papers were filed by Robert Hugh Blakeney, Thomas Edgar Cato, Lee Cato, Raymond E. Ogburn, Samuel Isham Evans, William John Blakeney, James Russel Cato, Garry H, Watts, Robert Allen Carpenter and William Jenkins. (Ten freeholder electors were required by law to file.)
The proposed corporate limits were described as follows: a circle, with a radius of one-half mile. The center of said circle to be a point in the middle of the street, at the intersection of Pearl and McGregor Streets, thirty-three feet from a large sycamore tree, in a proposed town now known as Pageland … situated on the Chesterfield & Lancaster Railroad. The election was held and the vote was in favor of incorporation (by what vote is not known). The name selected for the town was Pageland and the following men were elected as the first governing body of the town: J.W. Laney was elected Intendent (now called Mayor); Messrs. S. I. Evans, B. C. Ogburn, R. A. Carpenter and W. J. Blakeney were elected as the town’s first Wardens. The town’s first charter was issued January 11, 1908 by the Secretary of State, R. M. McCown, as a result of the election.
On August 23, 1976, Pageland was issued a new charter as a result of the 1975 “Home Rule Act” which gave local government the first opportunity to govern itself.
The form of government chosen at that time was the “Council” form. The terms of office for Mayor and Council were two years. (The U. S. Attorney General, on April 15, 1985, approved the town’s request for four year terms, following a local nonbinding referendum in which voters voted for such a change. Preclearance by the Department of Justice is a requirement when any act of Council would change the voting pattern.