Laurens County (Ninety-Six District)
South Carolina

  Nestled in the rolling green hills of South Carolina's up-country, Ninety-Six District's first white settler was John Duncan in 1753.
  Just thirty-one years later, our Bolt ancestors came to call Ninety-Six "home".  
  It's doubtful that there are any other towns in America that have more Bolts per capita, than Laurens County, SC.

  Laurens County even has a "Bolt Drive".  It's located off a major thoroughfare, alongside of Winn Dixie in Laurens.
  The first county court in Laurens was convened in the home of John Rodgers, on June 13, 1785, a mere nine months after Robert Bolt receives his land plat there.
  The Laurens County Courthouse (pictured above) is located in the center of town and became the gathering place for our ancestors and their neighbors, on Courthouse Square.  Even today, it's still possible to visit the Square and run into a Bolt cousin.
(It's happened to me.)

 

Our Bolt family has a connection to one of the most famous residents in Laurens' history - the 17th President of the United States - Andrew Johnson.  When he set up his tailor shop in Laurens in the early 1800's, Johnson was a fugitive tailor's apprentice.  A pretty young lady, Miss Sarah Word, caught his eye, and he began courting her.  The couple worked together on a quilt (which is now housed at the SC State Museum in Columbia)
but when young Johnson asked Sarah's mother for her hand in marriage, her mother refused on the grounds that her daughter was not to marry a lowly tailor.  Johnson was said to be so mortified, he left Laurens the very next day.  Sarah eventually married William Hance, and their granddaughter, Sarah "Sallie" Crews married John Franklin Bolt.  John Bolt served as Laurens Clerk of Court and Coroner, in the early part of the 20th century.
   The photo pictured above is a mural painted on the rear of a brick building, just off Laurens Square, near the site of Andrew Johnson's tailor shop.  
Information from "The Scrapbook: A Compilation of Historical Facts About Laurens County, South Carolina" (Available for purchase at the Laurens County Library for $35)
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