Europeans came to the Bethune area in the early 1800s, and at that time the Kadapaw Indians inhabited the area. Bethune was originally known as Lynchwood when a post office was established there in 1828.
When the railroad came to this area, it crossed property belonging to Daniel Murdock Bethune. When the charter for the town was issued in 1900, the town's name was changed from Lynchwood to Bethune in honor of Daniel M. Bethune. Mr. Bethune was one of the pioneer men of the Bethune area, which was predominately of Scottish decent. Today you can find a Scottish burial ground between Bethune and Cassatt. Scottish Cemetery, located on US Highway 1 South outside Bethune, has been the final resting place for local citizens since the late 1700s. The history of surrounding communities is reflected in the names etched on the faces of the soapstone headstones.
On high ground surrounded by the waters of Lynches River and Little Lynches River, Bethune is a quiet town where turn-of-the-century Southern charm reigns supreme. Train tracks run beside Bethune Town Hall as a reminder of the rail's importance to this stop on the Seaboard Railroad. Residents are carefully restoring historic homes to preserve the town's Mayberry-like character. The bridge on Highway 1, north of Bethune, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only bridge spanning the same river three times.
Bethune was awarded the Governor's Rural Economic Achievement Trophy, and thus became the smallest of participating cities and towns in South Carolina to qualify as a "GREAT" town. "The People of Bethune" is more than just a phrase. It is four words that describe the dedication and drive of a community on the move. Bethune is everybody's idea of a small town. A wide main street, good schools, a good library, excellent medical facilities, beautiful homes and friendly people are found in Bethune.
From healing springs, to pottery, to agriculture, this Kershaw County town is proud of its heritage.