Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina

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Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
Nickname(s): B-L, The Twin Cities
Location of Batesburg-Leesville within South Carolina.
Location of Batesburg-Leesville within South Carolina.
Coordinates: 33°55′N 81°33′W / 33.917°N 81.550°W / 33.917; -81.550Coordinates: 33°55′N 81°33′W / 33.917°N 81.550°W / 33.917; -81.550
Country United States
State South Carolina
Counties Lexington, Saluda
 • Mayor Lancer Shull
 • Total 7.4 sq mi (19.2 km2)
 • Land 7.3 sq mi (19 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 643 ft (196 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 5,517
 • Density 752/sq mi (290.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes 29006, 29070
Area code(s) 803
FIPS code 45-04300[1]
GNIS feature ID 1692657[2]

Batesburg-Leesville is a town in Lexington and Saluda counties, South Carolina United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town's population was 5,448 in 2016,[3] up from 5,362 at the 2010 census.


The town of Batesburg-Leesville was formed in 1992 by the consolidation of the towns of Batesburg and Leesville. The last mayor of Batesburg and the first mayor of Batesburg-Leesville was Elza S. "Sandy" Spradley, Jr.

Hartley House (1830) located on U.S. Highway One across from the old Batesburg Graded School

The D. D. D. Barr House, Batesburg Commercial Historic District, Simon Bouknight House, Cartledge House, Cedar Grove Lutheran Church, Church Street Historic District, Broadus Edwards House, Hampton Hendrix Office, Hartley House, Henry Franklin Hendrix House, Thomas Galbraith Herbert House, J.B. Holman House, A.C. Jones House, Leesville College Historic District, Crowell Mitchell House, McKendree Mitchell House, Mitchell-Shealy House, Old Batesburg Grade School, John Jacob Rawl House, Rawl-Couch House, Southern Railway Depot, and Rev. Frank Yarborough House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4][5]

Batesburg's Southern Railway Depot (1900) now located in the Wilson Street Park

In February 1946, a black American soldier, Isaac Woodard, was attacked by the local police chief, Linwood Shull. The assault left Woodard blind. Shull was never punished. The attack was the subject of an Orson Welles radio commentary a few months later.[6] The Town of Batesburg-Leesville, along with Town Attorney Christian Spradley, Police Chief Wallace Oslwald, and Mayor Lancer Shull (no relation to Linwood Shull), sought to reopen Mr. Woodard's case in 2018 to dismiss all charges. During a regular term of municipal court on June 5, 2018, the case was reopened and dismissed by Town Judge Robert Cook.

Leesville United Methodist Church (1909) on U.S. Highway One
Former Batesburg Graded School (1912) on U.S. Highway One
Barr-Price Funeral Home (1909) - Part of the Leesville College Historic District

Law and government

Batesburg-Leesville is served by a council-manager style government. The town employs approximate 60 full-time employees, and 35 volunteer firefighters. The town will operate from a $7.4 million budget in Fiscal Year 2018-2019.[7]


Batesburg-Leesville's Mayor is Lancer Shull.[8]

Town Council

The town council[8] comprises eight elected council persons representing single-member districts. The current council members are:

  • District 1: Vacant
  • District 2: Olin Gambrell
  • District 3: Steve Cain
  • District 4: Charles Simpkins
  • District 5: Shirley E. Mitchell
  • District 6: Vacant
  • District 7: Jason Prouse
  • District 8: Magen Hallman


William Theodore "Ted" Luckadoo is the town manager and oversees the day-to-day administrative functions of the town. Ted was named the third town manager of consolidated Batesburg-Leesville in 2014. Seth Duncan was hired in 2014 to serve as the assistant town manager.

Fire Department

The Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department [9] consists of two stations, five career staff members and 35 volunteer firefighters as of October, 2018. The two stations are located in each of the historic business districts and represent their origins as they are still identified as the Batesburg station and the Leesville station. The department boasts an Insurance Services Office Class 3/3B rating.

  • Fire Chief: Jay Hendrix
  • Assistant Chief: Shane Summer
  • Assistant Chief: John Gall
  • Captain: Bobby Hallman
  • Lieutenant: Dean Bedenbaugh
  • Lieutenant: Dustin Crapps
  • Assistant Training Officer: Chris Hallman


Historic Leesville Business District - Main Street
Historic Batesburg Business District - Oak Street

Top employers

The top employer in Batesburg-Leesville is Lexington County School District Three with four different schools and a district office. The next is Ansaldo STS, which has a 184,000-square-foot (17,100 m2) manufacturing facility.

Poultry industry

The town's economic dependence on poultry harvesting is apparent due to the presence of two large processing plants: Amick Farms and Columbia Farms. These assist in making Lexington County the top poultry producer in the state.

Poultry Festival

The South Carolina Poultry Festival (formerly the Ridge Poultry Festival) has been on the second Saturday in May since 1987. The festival features live music, food vendors, craft vendors, a carnival, a parade, and to conclude the event, a cake auction and fireworks show.


Public schools

The public school system in Batesburg-Leesville is administered by Lexington County School District Three, which consists of:

  • Batesburg-Leesville Primary School (grades K-2)
  • Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School (grades 3-5)
  • Batesburg-Leesville Middle School (grades 6-8)
  • Batesburg-Leesville High School (grades 9-12)

Lexington County School District Three

All sports teams associated with School District Three use a panther as their mascot. The Panthers' colors are purple, gold, and blue.

Private schools

W. Wyman King Academy and the Ridge Christian School are both private, nondenominational Christian schools accepting students in grades K-12.

Colleges and universities

University of South Carolina Aiken, University of South Carolina Columbia, and several Midlands Technical College campuses are within a roughly 30-45 minute drive from town.

In 2008, Midlands Technical College opened a new Batesburg-Leesville satellite campus around the site of the Old Haynes Auditorium in the Leesville side of town.

Historic Colleges

Leesville College Park and old classroom building, summer 2018
  • Leesville College, 1890-1911. Originally the Leesville English and Classical Institute (1881-1890). The Haynes Auditorium (built 1883) in the Leesville College Historic District at the intersection of Main Street and College Street is the original classroom building. Two neighboring houses were the President's House and Dormitory. The two homes were a single building during the college days and known as Salisto Hall (combining the name of two neighboring rivers, Saluda and Edisto). The school was said to have been the first in the state to include practical and technical training in its curriculum, to have a girls basketball team, to teach tennis and to teach higher mathematics to females. A.B. degrees were granted after four years of Latin, two years of French or German, mathematics and natural science, history, English, philosophy and Greek. A Master's Degree was offered for a year of post graduate work. There were departments of music, arts, commercial law, bookkeeping, typing and the Pitman system of shorthand. [10]
  • Summerland College, 1912-30. Originally Summerland Resort it was converted to a all-female college of the Lutheran Church in 1912. Located on the site of the current Batesburg-Leesville High School. Closed after the 1930 school year and consolidated with the all-male Newberry College.



Batesburg-Leesville is served weekly by The Twin-City News, which specifically focuses on local news, as well as that from immediately surrounding areas (mostly Gilbert and Monetta). It is usually devoid of national or world news.

The town is also served by The State newspaper, which is also circulated through most of the state of South Carolina.

In 2007, Lexington County Chronicle and The Dispatch-News began circulating at town stores and business to complement their subscribers in the area. The newspaper covers all county governments, state, national, and international news as it affects Lexington County residents.


Batesburg-Leesville has only one radio station transmitting from within its borders, WBLR 1430 AM. However, Batesburg-Leesville is in range of several radio stations broadcasting from the surrounding areas, including:

  • WYFV 88.7 FM - Christian - Cayce, SC
  • WMHK 89.7 FM - Christian - Columbia, SC
  • WUSC 90.5 FM - University of South Carolina - Columbia, SC
  • WLTR 91.3 FM - Classical/NPR - Columbia, SC
  • WARQ 93.5 FM - New Rock - Columbia, SC
  • WCOS 97.5 FM - Country - Columbia, SC
  • WLXC 98.5 FM - R&B/Soul - Lexington, SC
  • WWDM 101.3 FM - R&B/Soul - Columbia, SC
  • WEKL 105.7 FM - Classic rock - Augusta, GA
  • WNOK 104.7 FM - "Top 40" - Columbia, SC
  • WTCB 106.7 FM - "Top 40" - Columbia, SC


Over-the-air channels receivable in Batesburg-Leesville include:

  • WJBF - Channel 6 - Augusta, GA
  • WAGT - Channel 26 - Augusta, GA
  • WRDW-TV - Channel 12 - Augusta, GA
  • WOLO-TV - Channel 25 (ABC Affiliate) - Columbia, SC
  • WFXG - Channel 54 - Augusta, GA
  • WLTX - Channel 19 (CBS Affiliate) - Columbia, SC
  • WACH - Channel 57 (Fox Affiliate) - Columbia, SC
  • WIS-TV - Channel 10 (NBC Affiliate) - Columbia, SC
  • WRLK-TV - Channel 35 - Columbia, SC

Alternatively, digital cable providers Time Warner Cable and Pond Branch Telecommunications collectively cover the majority of the greater Batesburg-Leesville area.


Batesburg-Leesville is located at 33°54′35″N 81°32′03″W / 33.909767°N 81.534296°W / 33.909767; -81.534296 (33.909767, -81.534296).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19.2 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (19.0 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (1.21%) is covered by water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 286
1890 528 84.6%
1900 971 83.9%
1910 1,995 105.5%
1920 2,848 42.8%
1930 2,839 −0.3%
1940 2,933 3.3%
1950 3,169 8.0%
1960 3,806 20.1%
1970 4,036 6.0%
1980 4,023 −0.3%
1990 4,082 1.5%
2000 5,517 35.2%
2010 5,362 −2.8%
Est. 2016 5,448 [12] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,517 people, 2,167 households, and 1,482 families residing in the town. The population density was 751.4 people per square mile (290.2/km2). There were 2,446 housing units at an average density of 333.2 per square mile (128.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 52.82% White, 45.66% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.40% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.61% of the population.

There were 2,167 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 22.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.6% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,865, and the median income for a family was $40,040. Males had a median income of $32,447 versus $22,196 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,078. About 16.1% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.9% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

Notable figures who were born in, lived in, or are otherwise associated with Batesburg-Leesville include:



  • Linda Martell, singer. First African-American singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 1969.
  • Raymond Taylor, song writer. Wrote Eartha Kitt's "I Want to be Evil", which reached #22 on Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1953. Also wrote Little Richard's "Rice, Red Beans and Turnip Greens" in 1954. Wrote Batesburg-Leesville High School Alma Mater as a student. He is a 1940 graduate of Batesburg-Leesville High School.[15]



  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Batesburg-Leesville town, South Carolina". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  4. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 11/15/10 through 11/19/10. National Park Service. 2010-11-26.
  6. ^ Poston, Ted (17 July 1946). "Ask US to Probe Negro Vet's Blinding by Carolina Cops". New York Post. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  7. ^ "FY 2018-2019 Budget" (PDF). Town of Batesburg-Leesville.
  8. ^ a b "Mayor and Council - Town of Batesburg Leesville". Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  12. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links

  • Batesburg-Leesville Town Website
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