xt7s4m91cc0p https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7s4m91cc0p/data/mets.xml McCormick County, South Carolina South Carolina Historical Records Survey 1940 Prepared by the South Carolina Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration; Sponsored by the University of South Carolina; Other contributors include: United States Work Projects Administration Division of Professional and Service Projects, University of South Carolina; vi, 135 pages: illustrations and maps, 27 cm; Includes bibliographical references and index; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number FW 4.14:So8c/no.35 books English Columbia, South Carolina: South Carolina Historical Records Survey Project This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. South Carolina Works Progress Administration Publications Inventory of the County Archives of South Carolina, Number 35 McCormick County (McCormick) text Inventory of the County Archives of South Carolina, Number 35 McCormick County (McCormick) 1940 1940 2015 true xt7s4m91cc0p section xt7s4m91cc0p F w W M; u_m,0F_m,
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®‘ Prepared by
E The South Carolina Historical Records Survey Project
r Division of Professional and Service Projects
f Work Projects Administration
E Sponsored by
j’ The University of South Carolina
Q No. 35, McCORMICK COUNTY (McCormick)
Q * * * * * * * # A
· 2E l Columbia, South Carolina
Q The South Carolina Historical Records Survey Project
_ June 1940

The Historical Records Survey Projects w
Sargent B. Child, Director lf `ii 
Anne K. Gregorie, State Supervisor I?
Records and Research Section ®
_ Harvey E. Becknell, Director ii
Milton W. Blanton, Regional.Supervisor g
Flora B. Surles, State Supervisor 2
Division of Professional and Service Projects i
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner g
Blanche M. Ralston, Chief Regional Supervisor V
Margaret D. Davies, State Director l~
F. C. Harrington, Commissioner it
Malcolm J. Miller, Regional Director y
Lawrence M. Pinckney, State Administrator ’_

 i f Foamwoan
lf The Inventory of the County Archives of South Carolina is one of
f· a number of bibliographies of historical materials prepared throughout
H the United States by workers on the Historical Records Survey Projects
Qi of the Work Projects Administration. The publication herewith pre-
ri sented, an inventory of the archives of McCormick Cou ty, is number 55
li of the South Carolina series.
g The Historical Records Survey Projects were undertaken in the win-
; ter of 1935-56 for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy
é unemployed historians, lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical
if workers. In carrying out this objective, the projectsare organized to
{Q compile inventories of historical materials, particularly the unpublish-
@ ed government documents and records which are basic in the administra-
°§ tion of local government, and which provide invaluable data for students
li of political, economic, and social history. The archival guide herewith
;l presented is intended to meet the requirements of day-to—day administra-
’§ tion by the officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers, bus-
ii iness men and other citizens who require facts from the public records
Y for the proper conduct of their affairs. The volume is so designed that
I it can be used by the historian in his research in unprinted sources in
, the same way he uses the library card catalog for printed sources.
tg The inventories produced by the Historical Records Survey Projects
Q attempt to do more than give merely a list of records - they attempt
l further to sketch in the historical background of the county or other
1 unit of government, and to describe precisely and in detail the organi-
> zation and functions of the government agencies whose records they list.
E The county, town, and other local inventories for the entire country
Q will, when completed, constitute an encyclopedia of local government as
Q well as a bibliography of local archives.
i The successful conclusion of the work of the Historical Records
Q Survey Projects, even in a single county, would not be possible without
Q the support of public officials, historical and legal specialists, and
% many other groups in the community. Their cooperation is gratefully
Q acknowledged.
“{ The Survey projects were organized and directed by Luther H. Evans,
{ until he accepted a position with the Library of Congress and was suc-
i ceeded in March 1940, by Sargent B. Child. As a nation-wide series of
f locally sponsored projects, they operate in the Division of Profession-
j al and Service Projects, of which Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Com is- ‘
it sioner, is in charge.
X Com issioner

 /   I
' ` ` k
?  Q
» ;
»  2

3 P R E F A C E
Q The Historical Records Survey began on a nation—wide scale as part
E of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration,
§ and became in October 1956 an independent part of Federal Project No. 1.
i When federal projects were terminated on August 51, 1959, the Survey was
, continued by locally sponsored state-wide projects as part of a national
Q research and records program. Under the national direction of Luther H.
i Evans, and since March 1, 1940, of his successor, Sargent B. Child, the
Q Survey has inventoried state, county, city, church, and, to a limited
Q extent, private records. At present, it is preparing for publication
{ in a condensed form, descriptive lists of the public records of local
{ units of government. ln each state the counties are numbered in alpha-
‘ betical order, and treated as separate units, each with an introductory
` section giving the historical background and a description of the pres-
r ent government and records system. All records are referred to the of-
` fice of origin, which is carefully described as to history, functions,
l and required records. Each type of record is given a numbered entry
A showing the comprehensive dates for which it is extant, the quantity, an
? interpretation of contents, and details as to nature of recording, in-
Q dexing and location. State, municipal, church, and other records will
Q be described in separate publications.
_ The South Carolina Historical Records Survey Project was begun on
` March l, 1956. The University of South Carolina, as official sponsor of
‘ the project, is contributing the offices of state headquarters. Acknowl-
° edgments are due Professor R. L. Meriwether, head of the department of
- history, for access to the proof of his "Expansion of South Carolina".
We are also indebted to Dr. Leah Townsend of Florence, for the invaluable
Code of Laws of South Carolina 1952. Miss Nora M. Davis, director of the
Hi§to;icalmMaFker SurveyT'generbusly allowed us the use of her files of
local historical data. State officials of the Work Projects Administra-
tion have at all times given every possible cooperation in the adminis-
tration of the project.
The inventory of the records of McCormick County was made May 10-19,
1957, by Marvin M. Smith, field supervisor. The first draft of the book
was im ediately prepared by the state office and checked for discrepancies
by Mr. Smith. In 1959-40 the legal research was amplified and completed
by Robert H. Rast, who revised the essays. The inventory was rechecked in
the field on February 19, March 18, May 16, 1940 by the state supervisor,
Vivian Barnette, Roberta Chestnut and Josephine Copeland, research editors;
and the mesne conveyance records were checked by Harry Riddle, research as-
sistant. Illustrations were prepared by W. M. Boylston, who mimeographed -
Q the book from stencils cut by Audree Cox. Cross referencing, checking of
citations and proof reading were done by Vivian Barnette, who also prepared
the list of county officers. The final typing and the chronological index
i were the work of Dora Duren. The subject index was prepared by Janice
j Tribble and Josephine Copeland. Binding was done by Mrs. Flonie H. Lewis
> and Flcride Theodore.

 vi  . 
’ Preface ii ,
The forty-six separate units of the Inventor of the Count Archives gi;  
South Carolina will be issued in mimeographed form for free distribution to  
state and local public officials and to a selected group of public and insti—  
tutional libraries. Requests for information should be addressed to the  
state supervisor, University of South Carolina, Columbia.  
Q·Wm IU QJ ·¤¤=v¤*~:**— 3}
¤ .
June 18, 1940 Anne K. Gregorie, State Supervisor  
The South Carolina Historical Records Survey Project {gl

 'ace ~€ - l -
nsti- 5
if A. McCormick County and its Records System Page
  l. Historical Sketch ........................... . ................ .. 5
é 2. Governmental Organization and Records System ....... . ........... 8
ject § Structural Development of County Government. General
Q Administration. Registration of Titles to Property.
§ Judiciary. Law Enforcement. Finance. Elections. Edu-
. cation. Public Health. Welfare. Extension and Conser-
V vation. Records System.
( 5. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records ................ 16
( 4. Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes ................ .. l8
{ B. County Offices and Their Records
’ I. Legislative Delegation. ..... ....... ............................ 22
II. Supervisor and Board of County Com issioners. .................. . 23
( III. Commissioners of the County of McCormick (defunct) ............. 28
IV, Commission for Permanent Highways (defunct) ................... . 29
V. Clerk of Court as Register of MesneVConveyance..... ........... . 29
Real Property: Deeds and Plats; Mortgages. Personal
Property. Liens. Business Registrations. Surety Bonds.
Miscellaneous. Maps.
( VI. Clerk of Court .............. . .................................. 56
County Officers. Professional Registrations. Business
Registrations. Licenses and Fees. Motor Registration.
` Military Records. Voters and Elections. Bond Issues.
_ Vital Statistics.
VII. Circuit Court of General Sessions .............................. 42
· Case Records. Dockets and Court Journal. Court Costs.
Reports. `
‘ VIII. Circuit Solicitor..... ......... .. ................. ... ....... ... 47 .
IX!   Juryl•I•nIOOtIIIIQOOIOIOIOOOOICIIDIlltllllulittllitilllll  
X. Board of Jury Com issioners ....... ..... ........... . ........... . 49
» XI. Circuit Court of Common Pleas .................................. 50
( Case Records. Lis Pendens. Calendars and Journal.
. Miscellaneous.
§¢ lil. _____, _____________________________ _,,._ ..._

 - z -  g
I Table of Contents il  ·_4
Page Q5
XII.  aster ..................................................... 55 R;
Reference. Sales. Receipts. sd
        C I I O Il O U O O I I O I I I O I i O ¤ O O O I O O I al I ll! I | O I C UQ!    
Transmission of Property. Accounts. Court Procedure. ii
Lunacy. Marriages. Pensions. Liquor Permits. Cor- _Q
respondence. Miscellaneous. jj
xiv. Magistrates ......................................,......... as  
XV. Sheriff.... ................ . .............................. . 65 T
XVI:       I I I I IOII ICI I O I I l O 0 O O I I Q I 0 I I O I U ¤ IO O I I    
  .AU.dj.tOr•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••.••••••••••••••••    ;
Returns and Assessments. Annual Settlements. Real {V
Estate. Tax Levies. Reports and Correspondence. pjs
XIX. Board of Equalization.... ........ . .... . .................... 75 EW
Hg TreasurgryttlltlOllllll•!|IQII•II|C|C•IIUQOOQIDICOOIUIIOIII    
Tax Records. Welfare Records. Vouchers and Miscel- Q
laneous. Q
XXI. Tax Collector........... .... . .......... ........ .......... .. 85 gt
XXII. Forfeited Land Commission..... ....... ...... ....... . ....... . 85 ii
XXIII. Commission to Apportion Indebtedness (defunct).... ......... 86 gy
XXIV. Board and Superintendent of Education,................ ..... 86 mi  p*·i
Reports. Financial Records; Claims; Ledger; Bonds. QQ
State Aid. Teachers. Census. Rental Textbooks. fg
School Buildings. WPA Records. pp
XXV. Board of Registration. ..... ...... ...... .... ............... . 94 in
XXVI. Commissioners of Election... .... . ............. .. ..... . ..... 95 iw
XXVII. County Board of Public Welfare., ....................... .... 96 it
Administrative Records. Case Records. {f
      Honorltlllhllllllllltl UOQQIQIOOIQIQIOQQOOOI DIOOI OI   EA T`
XXX. Farm and Home Extension Service ............... . ........... . 107 lg
XXXI. Cooperative Soil Conservation Board(potentiel) .... ......... 109 Q
9 §

  - 5 -
gi Table of Contents
§· _ Page
§ Biblj-OgI·a•Ph¤y||Ol•Il·||I•|IOIlI|III|IIIll0Il|¢Illlllllllllll  
% Index
{ Illustrations
McCormick Cou ty Courthouse.. ..................... . frontis iece
Map of Circuit Court Districts, 1785.... ....... ....... facing 5
é Chart of County Government, 1939.. .......... . .... ..... facing 8
Q Floor plan of Courthouse.... ......... . ....... .. ....... facing 16
Map of McCormick County..... .......... . ............... facing 22,
Map of Counties, 1959, showing year of origin. ........ ..... end
‘J§_   i

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 i (First entry, p. 26)
AQ McCormick County, created in 1916 from portions of Abbeville, Edge-
‘ field and Greenwood Counties, takes its name from the county seat, which
in turn was named for Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor of the harvester.
‘ j The county is on the Savannah River in the western tier of piedmont coun-
; ties. The area is 579 square miles. The population in 1950 was 11,471
f persons; and the county seat, with a population of 1,504 persons is the
largest town. Agriculture is the chief industry. (Stat. XXIX, 717; South
~ Carolina A Handbook, Columbia, 1927, p. 550.)
A Although McCormick is young as a political entity, the history of the
region can be traced far into the past. In 1540 when visited by De Soto,
Z the Cherokee Indians were in possession. Two hundred years later, Gover-
1 nor Glen’s treaty of February 12, 1747, with the Cherokee, established the
gg 2 Indian boundary along Long Cane Creek, and opened to settlement the lands
Q south and cast of the creek. Virginians had already settled around the
W trading post at Ninety Six; and since "no man, red or white, was to cross
i, the dividing waters" established by the treaty, white settlement soon ex-
JF panded into the purchased lands. (D. D. Wallace, History gf South Carolina,
}i New York, 1954, 4 vols., I, 19, 447; II, 2.) Patrick Calhoun and Andrew
iw Pickens were among the distinguished pioneers who acquired lands in the
5 y§ locality; and in 1760, when the Cherokee War began, members of the Calhoun
Q 1% family were among the refugees overtaken in flight to Augusta, and massacred
' ‘ ‘ g on Long Cane Creek. (Nora Davis, citing S. C. Gazette, Charleston, S. C.,
  Feb. 9, za, 1760.) " ‘ """"
A; After this war, land bounties were offered to Protestant settlers,
ii and two townships were laid out in the wilderness which was later to be-
}, come McCormick County. The survey of the township of Londonborough or
l Belfast of 22 000 acres in the fork of Hard Labor and Cuffytown Creeks,
p was signed by john Liviston, December 29, 1762. Hillsborough, of 28,000
=   acres, survey signed by Patrick Calhoun on February 25, 1765, was a square
gengering where Lgng Ciie greekheniers £i§t$et§iver. l;s4towpRof New
or eaux was name y e renc w o se e ere in 6 . . L.
2 i Meriwether, "Expansion of South Caro1ina," now in press, map No. 5; Wallace,
A yi ,;.— History 2f_S: C}, II, 44.) One of them, Dr. John De La Howe, in 1797 left
y@ his estate in trust to the South Carolina Agricultural Society to endow
5) i Q for orphans an industrial school which is now a state institution (Stat.
x)B {E V, 559; XLI, 658; supplement, The McCormick Messenger, weekly, Thursday,
*—R£ I June 22, 1916). More than two hundred German Lutherans from the Palat-
"\ E inate settled on Hard Labor Creek, and their church, St. George, was in-
:£§ l corporated in 1788 (Stat. VIII, 144). Henry Laurens and John Louis Gervais
-$ acquired 15,000 acres on Long Cane and Hard Labor Creeks, where they set-
(Q; tled 240 persons, who were producing by 1767 some 6,000 pounds of flax
tp gwillace, History gft S: C}, II, 45). Scotch Presbyterians emigrating in
o 3 7 4 from Balloby Ireland founded churches during the Revolution at
E { Cedar Spring and Long Cane’(Nora Davis, citing, H. T. Sloan, Historical
`A g Sketch of Cedar Spring and Long CaneCongregations). Early Baptist con-
§ g gregations at Cal1ahan's Mill in 1785, and Plum Branch in 1795, were then
Q For abbreviations and explanatory notes see pages 18-21

 I - 6 -  
V (First entry, p. 26) Historical Sketch QQ
in the Georgia Association (L. Townsend, South Carolina Baptists, Florence, fj
S. C., 1955, pp. 229-50). wg  ii
After the influx of settlers, sporadic Indian troubles continued for JQ
several years, and in 1765 the Creek Indians massacred-fourteen persons in {
the Long Canes settlement. To guard against their depredations, Fort Char- .§
lotte was built of stone in 1765 near the ford across the Savannah River. Y
(waiiace, History gg. g_., 11, 41.)  
The people who first came into the region as settlers suffered like 5
others then on the frontier from the hardship of paying taxes for a govern- §
ment that existed only in the low country and could be reached only through §
Charleston. They petitioned for schools, churches, courts, and representa- E
tion; and when reforms were slow in coming, they formed bands of "Regula- Q
tors" to mete out justice to law breakers. In 1769, Patrick Calhoun with g
rifle in hand led his neighbors 150 miles to cast their votes in the nearest it
precinct in Prince William Parish, and was elected as their representative; )»
but John Louis Gervais was denied the right to vote in St. Bartholomew's. 1
In the same year the circuit court act brought judicial relief by dividing l
the state into seven circuit court districts. `What is now McCormick was f
included in Ninety Six. In the fall of 1772 the first courts outside of Q
Charleston were held. (Wallace, History gf_S: C., II, 51-65.) g
At the opening of the Revolution, when the Cherokees took the war path Q
in July 1776, they massacred twelve of the family and servants of Captain' (f
Aaron Smith at New Bordeaux (R. W. Gibbes, Documentary History..., N. Y., A lj
1857, p. 26). Civil war of Whig and Tory a so brought distress. After the lg
Revolution, when Ninety Six was subdivided into counties, Abbeville and Edge- lg
field were created in 1785 to dispense local justice through county courts  §
(Stat. IV, 661; VII, 211). On January 1, 1800, Ninety Six and the cou ty I5
courts ceased to exist, and Abbeville and Edgefield became the circuit court i
districts which were later to be the parents of McCormick (Stat. VII, 284). Z
Although McCormick has always been an agricultural county, its history Q
has been influenced by gold. It was the lure of gold which brought De Soto j
to the region in 1540. Gold mines were being worked in 1844 in this part of i
what was then Abbeville District, when they are mentioned as being among the l
"recent deposits" (M. Toumey, Report of the Geological and Agricultural Sur-
_ve_yo_f_t1E>_ state 2; south Carol—"—`ina, cH@BTa"""""'T, s. c., 82:27 ""_)"""'p. 26 . It 1§""  
said that William B. Dorn was owner of the first gold mine, which he operated ;
with slave labor and the aid of several California "forty-niners", using five Z
stamp mills. A United States Mint certificate of August 28, 1852, is de- E
scribed as showing from the mine for the month a bullion shipment of S
$24,454.49 averaging 98.6 fine. After the Civil War, Dorn sold the mine with g
adjoining timber tracts to Cyrus Hall McCormick, whose manufactory of farm l
machinery operated sawmills and lumber camps here. The open cuts of the Q
abandoned mine extended for more than a mile through and under the present §
~ town of McCormick. (The_State, Colu bia, S. C., November ll, 1957; J. A. $
Chapman, Histor of Ed_efield Count , Newberry, 1897, p. 206.) In 1882, the Q
town was incorporated §Stat. XVIII, 157). g
For abbreviations and explanatory notes see pages l8-21 g 

   - 7 -
tch  ii mseerieai sketch (First entry, p. 26)
5. Q The first efforts for the creation of a Savannah Valley county center-
tg, ing around the town of McCormick were made in the Constitutional Convention
i of 1895, when the name of Calhoun was suggested; but adequate data were not
§’ prepared in time for favorable action by the Convention. Ten years later
1 i an election was carried by a majority of four to one in favor of the coun-
?* g ty, but the courts ruled the election illegal because of insufficient data
E to show that the required area would be contained within the specified —
1 boundaries. In 1914 a second election was carried by an even larger vote,
E but the judicial ccm ittee of the senate refused approval on similar grounds.
l In 1915 after exhaustive surveys which showed 405 square miles, a third
2* i election was held; and after favorable court action, the county was formal-
5h — ly established on February 19, 1916, from portions of Abbeville, Edgefield,
1· ( and Greenwood Counties. The name of Calhoun was then no longer available
· because it had been taken by another county, formed in 1908. (The State,
April 13, 1916; Stat. XXIX, 717; information from Frank G. RcbiEEbh;~EEna-
ast tor from McCormick 1917-34.) The county seat, McCormick, then had only
3; 613 inhabitants (The State, Apr. 14, 1916).
S The boundaries of the new county followed the state line in the bed
of the Savannah River from opposite the mouth of Coffer Creek, by sundry
artificial lines marked by public roads and bridges to Big Stevens Creek,
down which it continued for 22,828 feet back to the state line in the
Savannah River (Stat. XXIX, 717-18; Code 3010). Five years later a por-
th tion of Edgefield County on Stevens Creek was added; and a section of
' y McCormick on Turkey Creek and Stevens Creek was transferred to Edgefield
4 Q (Stat. XXXII, 6-8, 34-36). The original commissioners appointed to mark
me it the boundaries and to build the courthouse and jail were J. E. Britt,
1ge- T. J. Price, J. T. Fooche, J. B. Harmon, R. F. Morris, J. C. Kennedy, L. N.
s Chamberlain, Warren McDaniel, and W. R. Parks (infra, p. 28).
Art A special election for county officers was held on the second Tuesday
). . in April 1916, when the following were elected: J. A. Talbert, clerk of
court; F. F. Edmu ds, sheriff; L. G. Bell, judge of probate; T. J. Price,
FY superintendent of education. C. W. Pennal was the first auditor, and`W. H.
B0 Parks, the first treasurer. The terms expired when the officers elected
Gf in November took charge (Stat. XXIX, 720). The first court opened June
the 18, 1917, in the auditoriu  of the graded school, Judge J. W. Devore pre-
E]- siding (Sessions Journal I, p. 1, entry 76). Until the present courthouse
was completed in 1924 the county offices were quartered in various places
ated in the town, usually in upstairs offices.
Five ,
The people of McCormick County are native born, and in the main,
descendants of pioneer stock. Their agricultural interests are centered
vith i in peach orchards, truck crops, and commercial poultry farms. The site of
u the former Southeastern Egg Laying Contest grounds near the county seat is
now a highway depot. During the past decade more than 50,000 acres of tax-
i able lands have been absorbed into the national forest area. The population
of the cou ty diminished by 5,000 persons between 1920 and 1930; and pre-
$h6 T liminary figures for the 1940 census indicate a further decline, except in
T the cou ty seat, where there is an increase to 1,456 (The State, Columbia,
4 S. C., May 21, 1940). The timber industry is still important, but mining
· has been abandoned.
g For abbreviations and explanatory notes see pages 18-21

 - 3 -
(First entry, p. 26)
The present constitution of 1895, under which McCormick County was
organized, declares each county an election district and a body politic
and corporate (art. VII, 9). The county is therefore:
(1) A corporation which performs various functions through
the board of com issioners (infra, p. 25) as its statutory agent, under
the legislative delegation (infra, p. 22) acting as its board of di-
(2) An agent of the state, which has delegated to the county
the general administration of local government; the registration of V
titles to private property; the administration of justice through a 1
system of courts; the enforcement of law in the preservation of peace,
and the apprehension, custody, prosecution, and punishment of offenders; {
the administration of public finance in collecting revenue, controlling
expenditures, auditing accounts, and borrowing money; the elections of I `
public officers in primary and general as well as special elections; the
education of the citizenry in the administration of school fu ds and the
operation of schools; the protection of public health, in carrying out
measures preventive and curative, for the control of disease; the dis-
pensing of public assistance to dependent and incapacitated social cat-
egories; the extension of vocational and agricultural education to rural
areas; and the conservation of natural resources.
When McCormick County was created seven townships were specified with
their boundaries (Stat. XXIX, 725; XXX, 615-14). When townships issue bonds
in their corporate capacity, the county is the agent of the township for the
assessment and collection of taxes necessary to service them (Const. 1895,
art. X, 15).
The present constitution of 1895 laid down the provisions under which
McCormick County came into existence: The legislature may create new cou -
ties and alter bou daries, provided that all questions relating to their
formation, names, county seats and boundaries, are first submitted to the
voters in the area affected. When one-third of these electors petition
the governor, naming the bou daries, and complying with other requirements
for a new county, he submits the question of the creation of the county, its
name, and cou ty seat, to a referendum. If two-thirds of the registered
voters in the area are in favor, the legislature establishes the new county
at the next session. The new county may contain not less than 400 square
miles, 1/124 of the state's population, and $1,500,000 in taxable property.
The parent cou ty may not be reduced to less than 500 square miles, 15,000
inhabitants, and $2,000,000 in taxable property. It may not be cut within
eight m;1es of its courthouse, and its boundaries must not pass through an
incorporated town. In shape, neither the new nor the parent county may be
more than four times as long as its least central width. The general as- ‘
sembly may provide for the consolidation of two or more counties. It can
For abbreviations and explanatory notes see pages 18-21

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