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South Boston, Virginia
South Boston Historic District
Location of South Boston, Virginia
Location of South Boston, Virginia
Coordinates: 36°42′28″N 78°54′12″W / 36.70778°N 78.90333°W / 36.70778; -78.90333Coordinates: 36°42′28″N 78°54′12″W / 36.70778°N 78.90333°W / 36.70778; -78.90333
Country United States
State Virginia
County Halifax
 • Total 13.15 sq mi (34.07 km2)
 • Land 13.06 sq mi (33.83 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.24 km2)
430 ft (130 m)
 • Total 8,142
 • Estimate 
 • Density 580.92/sq mi (224.30/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 434
FIPS code 51-73712
GNIS feature ID 1501641

South Boston, formerly Boyd's Ferry, is a town in Halifax County, Virginia, United States. The population was 8,142 at the 2010 census, down from 8,491 at the 2000 census. It is the most populous town in Halifax County.


On December 8, 1796, the General Assembly authorized eight commissioners to establish at Boyd's Ferry on the south side of the Dan River the town of South Boston, named for Boston, Massachusetts. Because this site proved vulnerable to flooding it was eventually abandoned in favor of a new settlement on the north side. By the 1850s the Richmond and Danville Railroad passed through South Boston, which eventually developed into an important market for brightleaf tobacco. In 1884 it was incorporated as a town; in 1960 it became an independent city by court order. South Boston became a town again and rejoined Halifax County on July 1, 1995.

The Berry Hill Plantation, E. L. Evans House, Fourqurean House, Glennmary, Reedy Creek Site, Seaton, South Boston Historic District, and Tarover are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


South Boston is located at 36°42′28″N 78°54′12″W / 36.70778°N 78.90333°W / 36.70778; -78.90333 (36.707722, -78.903388).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 12.3 square miles (31.8 km²), of which, 12.2 square miles (31.6 km²) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.1 km²) (0.41%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 328
1890 1,789 445.4%
1900 1,851 3.5%
1910 3,516 90.0%
1920 4,338 23.4%
1930 4,841 11.6%
1940 5,252 8.5%
1950 6,057 15.3%
1960 5,974 −1.4%
1970 6,889 15.3%
1980 7,093 3.0%
1990 6,997 −1.4%
2000 8,491 21.4%
2010 8,142 −4.1%
2019 (est.) 7,588 −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,491 people, 3,502 households, and 2,185 families residing in the town. The population density was 694.7 people per square mile (268.3/km2). There were 3,946 housing units at an average density of 322.8 per square mile (124.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 50.63% White, 47.25% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.51% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.45% of the population.

There were 3,502 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.7% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $25,964, and the median income for a family was $34,848. Males had a median income of $28,212 versus $20,371 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,872. About 15.3% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 23.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

  • Jeremy Jeffress, former pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays
  • Michael Tucker, Major League Baseball player
  • William M. Tuck, 55th Governor of Virginia, born in Halifax County, Virginia and rests in South Boston.
  • Walter B. Scates, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Attorney General, born in South Boston
  • NASCAR drivers Ward and Jeff Burton, both brothers, are from South Boston and prepared for their racing career at South Boston Speedway.
  • NFL player Tyrone Davis of the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers is from South Boston.
  • Baseball players Michael Tucker and Jeremy Jeffress are from South Boston.
  • Robert Llewellyn, born December 29, 1945 in Roanoke, Virginia, is a professional photographer who grew up in South Boston and now lives in Earlysville, Virginia.
  • Greg Vanney, former professional soccer player and head coach of the LA Galaxy.
  • G. C. Waldrep, poet and historian, was born and raised in South Boston.
  • Olympic high jumper Tisha Waller is from South Boston.
  • Jay Blackton, who won an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture in Oklahoma!, is buried in South Boston.
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