The “Hitchen” Judge

Jasper County South Carolina

Jasper County Courthouse
Georgian Revival style building built in 1915
Jasper County Courthouse
Built in 1915 by William A. Edwards a South Carolina architect

Besides the historical significance of this beautiful old building is another big story that the locals “love” to talk about.  Jasper County South Carolina is located in the coastal area referred to as the Lowcountry.  The county seat is the town of Ridgeland or as some call it “the heart of the low country”.

Between the years of 1947 and 1987 over 40,000 marriages were performed by Probate Judge William “Willie” Frances Cook.  People came from all over the world to have the  “hitchen judge” or “marryin judge” perform their ceremony.  It is also a popular spot for those who elope since South Carolina licensing is a one day process.   Blood tests and witnesses are not required and the average license fee is $50.00.

Adjacent Clementa C. Pinckney Government Building

Clementa C. Pinckney Government Building
Clementa C. Pinckney Government Building

Clementa Pinckney, was the pastor of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, and  among the nine people who killed in a massacre at the Church on June 17, 2015.  He was also a member of the State House of Representatives.

If you happen to get the itch and you want to hitch travel into South Carolina on I95, and take exit 21into Ridgeland.  The courthouse is located on 3rd Avenue.

Judges parking area
Judges parking area near Courthouse


Ridgeland South Carolina is easily accessed to Interstate 95, but if you’re a traveler that likes to see the towns, US 17 is the better choice.

Thursday Doors