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Incorporated as Sumterville in 1845, the city’s name was shortened to Sumter in 1855. It has grown and prospered from its early beginnings as a plantation settlement. The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the “Fighting Gamecock” of the American Revolutionary War. During the 20th century, Sumter grew into a major industrial center. Still, a unique business founded in 1923, Palmetto Pigeon Plant has grown into one of the largest producers of squab, poussin(chicken), cornish game hen, and silkie chickens in the world. Starting with the opening of Shaw Air Force Base (now home to the 9th Air Force, 20th Fighter Wing, and United States Army Central) in 1941, the industry grew, especially after World War II. Sumter became increasingly known for textiles, manufacturing, biotech industries, a thriving retail environment, and the medical center of its region in addition to agricultural products, which makes it a hub for business in the east-central portion of South Carolina.
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