HORRY County, SC
Horry County is the easternmost county in the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2010 census, its population was 289,650, making it the fourth-most populous county in South Carolina. The county seat is Conway.
Horry County is the central county in the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, about 90 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina and about 130 miles east of the state capital Columbia.
Horry County (pronounced orry) was created from Georgetown District in 1801. At this time, the county had an estimated population of 550. Isolated by the many rivers and swamps typical of the South Carolina Lowcountry, the area essentially was surrounded by water, forcing its inhabitants to survive without much assistance from the "outside world". This caused the county residents to become an extremely independent populace, and they named their county "The Independent Republic of Horry". The county was named after, and in honor of, Revolutionary War hero Peter Horry who was born in South Carolina around 1743. Horry started his military career in 1775 as one of 20 captains, elected by the Provincial Congress of South Carolina, to serve the 1st and 2nd Regiments. In 1790, he was assigned to the South Carolina militia under Brigadier General Francis Marion
The population has increased more than fourfold since 1970 as the area has become a destination for retirees and people owning second homes. It has been developed for resorts and retirement communities. The majority-white residents have constituted a majority-Republican voter base since the late 20th century.
On October 29, 2012, the county paid homage to the man for whom the county is named. It commissioned a bronze sculpture of Peter Horry, installing it inside the Horry County Government and Justice Center. The sculpture was designed by artist Garland Weeks. Coastal Monument of Conway designed the stone base. The base of the sculpture is inscribed with the names of the 1801 commissioners on one side and the names of 2011 Horry County Council members on the other; a brief biography of General Peter Horry is on the front. It cost slightly more than $16,200 for both the bust/sculpture and the stone base.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which are land and (9.6%) are covered by water. It is the largest county by land area in South Carolina. The highest point in the county is 124 feet above sea level.
Horry County is in the northeastern corner of South Carolina. It is a diverse land made up of rivers, beaches, forests, and swamps, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Little Pee Dee River and Drowning Creek (also known as the Lumber River) on its western side, and North Carolina to the north. The Waccamaw River, around long, runs through southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina into Horry County. The river runs through the coastal plain, along the eastern border between the two states, and into the Atlantic Ocean.
National protected area
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 351,029 people, 140,260 households, and 89,281 families residing in the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, 269,291 people, 112,225 households, and 72,254 families resided in the county. The population density was . The 185,992 housing units averaged . The racial makeup of the county was 79.9% white, 13.4% black or African American, 1.0% Asian, 0.5% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 3.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 6.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 15.3% were American, 13.4% were African American (which can include other ethnicities), 13.3% were Irish, 12.8% were German, 11.3% were English, and 6.1% were Italian.
Of the 112,225 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.2% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 35.6% were not families, and 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 41.1 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,142 and for a family was $51,608. Males had a median income of $37,351 versus $29,525 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,811. About 11.6% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
Law and government
Horry County has a county council whose members represent 11 single-member districts within the county, with a chairman voted at-large. The county council usually meets at 6 pm on the first and third Tuesdays of every month in the council chambers at the Horry County Government and Justice Center at 1301 2nd Avenue in Conway.
County Council members
The Horry County Police Department provides 24-hour services to the unincorporated areas of the county. It is the only county police department in South Carolina. The Horry County Sheriff's Office is responsible for numerous tasks, including courthouse security, processing of warrants, fingerprinting, registration of sex offenders, funeral escorts, background checks, and managing the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. The South Carolina Highway Patrol has a Troop 5 barracks in Conway, and they provide services throughout the county. Myrtle Beach, Conway, Briarcliffe Acres, Atlantic Beach, Surfside Beach, Loris, and Aynor all have their own police departments, which patrol within the relevant town or city's border. North Myrtle Beach has a Public Safety Department, which provides police and fire services in the city of North Myrtle Beach.
In March 2020, Todd Cox, a former Horry County police officer, was fined $300 for failing to investigate reports of sex crimes against children. He and three other officers had been indicted in 2016 on charges of coercing sex and ignoring cases.
Horry County used to be loyally Democratic, even by the standards of the Solid South. In 1936, Republican Candidate Alf Landon did not receive a single vote in Horry County. However, in 1964, Barry Goldwater carried the county by a margin almost as large as John F. Kennedy's 1960 margin. It has voted Republican in every election since, with the exception of supporting the third-party candidacy of Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968 and neighboring Georgia's Jimmy Carter in 1976. While conservative Democrats continued to hold most local offices into the 1990s, today there are almost no elected Democrats above the county level. No Democratic presidential candidate has received more than 40% of the county’s vote since 2000.
In 2013, PTR Industries, a gunmaker, relocated to the Cool Springs Business Park near Aynor from Bristol, Connecticut. That state had passed restrictive gun control legislation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Twenty-one PTR employees relocated from Bristol. The company stated that it would hire an additional 30 workers in the first quarter of 2014, with a goal of having 120 employees by 2017.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Horry County, SC, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.