Chester is a small rural city in Chester County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,607 at the 2010 census, down from 6,476 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Chester County.
While being transported to Richmond, Virginia, for his trial for treason, former Vice-President Aaron Burr passed through Chester. Burr "flung himself from his horse and cried for a rescue, but the officer commanding the escort seized him, threw him back like a child into the saddle, and marched on." The large stone he stood on has been inscribed and is preserved in the town center, and is known locally as the Aaron Burr Rock.
Chester was home to Brainerd Institute, a school for African American children.
The Catholic Presbyterian Church, Chester City Hall and Opera House, Chester Historic District, Colvin-Fant-Durham Farm Complex, Fishdam Ford, Kumler Hall, Lewis Inn, and McCollum Mound are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Chester is located just west of the center of Chester County at 34°42′20″N 81°12′42″W (34.705553, -81.211638). U.S. Route 321 bypasses the city to the west and the south, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to York and south 25 miles (40 km) to Winnsboro. South Carolina Highway 9 passes through the city center and leads east 11 miles (18 km) to Interstate 77 near Richburg and west 49 miles (79 km) to Spartanburg. Highways 72 and 121 lead northeast 19 miles (31 km) to Rock Hill and southwest 28 miles (45 km) to Whitmire.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,476 people, 2,465 households, and 1,639 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,042.8 people per square mile (788.8/km2).