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Clinton is a city in Laurens County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 8,490 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clinton is the home of Presbyterian College.
The Cherokee Indians were Clinton's original inhabitants. The first settler to inhabit the area was John Duncan, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, who arrived in 1752 from Pennsylvania and settled along a creek between the present-day towns of Clinton and Whitmire.
Scots-Irish immigrants out of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia became the predominant settlers in the area in the two decades before the American Revolutionary War and took active part in a Revolutionary War battle in 1780 at nearby Musgrove Mill.
As late as 1852, the town was called Five Points because it arose at the intersection of four major roads and the railroad. It was named Clinton after Henry Clinton Young, a lawyer from the county seat of Laurens, who planned the first roads in the area.
As the railroad began to grow, so did the town, and more plots of land were developed around the railroad. With the population's growth came the establishment of the First Presbyterian Church in 1855.
In 1895, "factory fever" had struck the town of Clinton. This came with the establishment of the Clinton Cotton Mill in 1896 by Mercer Silas Bailey, owner of the town's leading dry goods store. Lydia Cotton Mill, also owned by the Baileys and their descendants, followed in 1902.
The mills continued to be a vital source of prosperity for Clinton until their closure in 2001 brought years of economic hardship from which the area is still struggling to emerge.
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