Hampton County and its county seat Hampton were named for Confederate general and governor Wade Hampton (1818-1902). The county was formed from Beaufort County in 1878, shortly after Wade Hampton took office as governor. Parts of Hampton County later went to form Jasper (1912) and Allendale (1919) counties. During the Civil War, while the coastal areas of Beaufort County were occupied by federal troops, many planters fled to the area that became Hampton County. General Sherman's troops passed through the county in 1865, fighting several skirmishes with Confederate troops. This section of the state has remained primarily agricultural. Athlete Lucile Ellerbe Godbold (1900-1981), who won two gold medals in track and field at the 1922 Olympics, grew up in Hampton County, and writer Vertamae Grosvenor was also born there.
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