First established in the 1780s as a courthouse village, Spartanburg was named after the Spartan regiment of the South Carolina Militia. This small band of 200 to 300 men under the command of Col. John Thomas, Sr. played a key part in the battles against the British in the upstate.
European settlers, primarily Scotch-Irish, began moving into this area from Pennsylvania and Virginia in the late eighteenth century. For many years the primary occupations were small scale cattle raising and cotton farming. Areas with mineral springs, such as Glenn Springs, were also popular summer resorts for lowcountry residents. Following the Civil War, textile manufacturing became the dominant industry, and Spartanburg County remains an important manufacturing center today with a population of 280,000.