Thirty percent of the residents of Laurens County live in the two main cities of Clinton and Laurens. The remainder live in the smaller communities of Cross Hill, Fountain Inn, Gray Court, Hickory Tavern, Mountville, Joanna, Ware Shoals, and Waterloo or in rural areas.
Historic Laurens serves as the County seat and the largest city in Laurens County. The first record of the town being officially called Laurens appears on a charter issued in 1873. Today, the public square and most of the surrounding streets are on the National Register of Historic Places as the "Laurens Historic District." For more information, City of Laurens, 126 East Public Square, Laurens 29360-0519. Phone: (864) 984-0144.
The beginnings of Clinton have been lost in a maze of local legends, with its history traced back to 1864. The town is named for Henry Clinton Young, a lawyer from Laurensville (Laurens) who helped design the layout of the first streets. Clinton is the second largest city in Laurens County. For more information contact: City of Clinton, 404 North Broad Street, Clinton 29325-0748. Phone: (864) 833-7505.
Fountain Inn takes its name from the old inn with a fountain that attracted travelers seeking a rest from the tiresome stagecoach journeys between Greenville and the Low Country. It is a small town filled with historic landmarks, interesting anecdotes, and historic figures. Fountain Inn has a population of approximately 4500. For more information contact: City of Fountain Inn, 200 North Main Street, Fountain Inn 29644 -1908. Phone: (864) 862-4421.
Cross Hill is in the southeastern corner of Laurens County. The area was a North-South Indian path, across the fish dams on the Broad River and leading to the fish dams on the Savannah River. Today the Town of Cross Hill has about 600 residents. For more information contact: Town of Cross Hill, P.O. Box 337, Cross Hill 29332-0337. Phone: (864) 998-4453.
Gray Court is nestled in the northwest corner of Laurens County. Originally named Dorroh or Dorrohville in honor of a local family, the name was changed to Gray Court on October 17, 1899, and the new town was charted three days later. The population of Gray Court is slightly over 900 residents. For more information contact: Town of Gray Court, PO Box 438, Gray Court, 29645. Phone: (864) 876-2581.
Waterloo, with a population of about 150, is located twelve miles south of Laurens on Highway 221. Waterloo received its charter on December 4,1885. For more information contact: Town of Waterloo, 93 Coyote Lane, Waterloo 29384-0099. Phone: (864) 677-4646.
Joanna is a the county's largest unincorporated community with a population of about 1,600. Located five miles southeast of the City of Clinton, Joanna's post office name was changed from Goldville to Joanna on August 1, 1948. The name was derived from the wife of the owner of Joanna Manufacturing Company.