McColl is Marlboro County's second largest municipality and traces its roots to its founding in 1884.
At that time, a railroad was being built from Fayetteville in the direction of Bennettsville and T.B. Gibson and J.F. McLaurin, in order to induce them to locate a depot at this point, offered to build a depot and subscribe to the stock of the company. Others joined in and in 1884, the depot, the first building in McColl, was built.
The new town was named for Duncan Donald McColl of Bennettsville, who during the time of building and for a time afterwards, was president of the South CArolina Pacific Railway, the South Carolina division of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad.
This was a signal development in that it gave Marlboro County farmers, and later industries, a better mode of transportation for their goods to reach the port at Wilmington, N.C., to be shipped abroad.
As stores and shops followed the arrival of the railroad, McColl became the trading center for the northern portion of Marlboro County. Within a few years, several textile mills were built along the railroad to utilize the cotton grown in the county.
Beautiful and impressive new homes attest to the success of the growing town and McColl schools were well known for their excellence academically and athletically.
Today, the McColl Elementary/Middle School is an excellent educational institution and is the only school in Marlboro County operating on a year-round schedule.
A number of well-known sports figures are from McColl - national championship football coach Jim Tatum and Felix A. "Doc" Blanchard, who was the Heisman Trophy Winner as an All American running back at the United States Military Academy at West Point, to name two.
McColl High School, under the coaching of Clyde Parrish, is the only school in Marlboro County to have won a state championship in football prior to consolidation of the five area high schools into Marlboro County High School.
The textile mills continued in full operation until after World War II, and with their closing, McColl's dynamic growth waned.
Today, there is a resurgence of business activity in McColl with several new retail firms located on the Tatum Highway.