A Sedalia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Blog
By L.C. Melton
We have only one more state to visit to round out our collection of Sedalia community place names. South Carolina’s Sedalia also has an interesting history and like most of the others it is probably linked to Missouri’s Sedalia but again there is no direct reference to the name’s origin and there are other interesting possibilities.
Sedalia, South Carolina is in the Sumpter National Forest about 40 miles south of Spartenburg in Union County. Like the others along the east coast, it is in the Piedmont just east of the Blue Ridge mountains. The Sedalia place name is applied to a road, lake, camp grounds and variety of physical features and they are all mingled among the Sumpter and Marion (Francis of Revolutionary War fame) place names of the region.
As I google my way down Old Buncombe Road out of Spartanburg, I’m reminded of Missouri’s rural Ozark roads all Baptist Churched along the way. Sedalia is little more than a blinking spot (blink and you’ve missed it) but it’s there all right.
The community dates to an 1870’s Sedalia post office that lasted until 1954, However there is an interesting element about the origin of the name that lurks just below the published history of the place.
In an old slave narrative I read, “Dat over in Sedalia in de Minter Section. You kno’s ’bout de larce plantation o’ Marse James E. Minter, dat gib de section its name? Way back over dar whar I was born.
And so it appears that what was known as the Bobo (BauBau) House there originally carried the name Sedalia and gave its name to the community. The Bobo/Minter’s go clear back to the 1750’s so it may predate George R. Smith’s naming of Sadieville. Stay tuned…
2 Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews ivith Former Slaves; “Aunt” Emma Jeter, 21 Long Twelve, Union, S.C. Interviewer: Caldwell Sims, Union, S.C. (4/37); p. 33-34 http://memory.loc.gov/mss/mesn/143/143.pdf