Patrick got its start as a railroad town and was named for railroad executive John T. Patrick. John Tyrant Patrick (1852 - 1918) was a journalist and resort developer from Wadesboro, North Carolina. Patrick attracted northerners to North Carolina by advertising inexpensive, fertile land in northern newspapers. In 1883, North Carolina Governor Thomas J. Jarvis appointed Patrick as the head of the Department of Immigration. In addition to contributing to the founding of Patrick, Mr. Patrick is also credited with the establishment of Southern Pines, Pinehurst, and Chimney Rock, North Carolina, and chiefly responsible for the road that became Highway 74 in North Carolina.
By 1905, with the railroad coming through, families began moving in. On October 26, 1906, F.S. Gillespie, H.B. Poston, and S.O. Goodale submitted to the Secretary of State of South Carolina, J.L. Grant, for the incorporation of Patrick.
One of the most interesting stories in Patrick's growth was how Willie F. Griggs helped engineers locate the new well. In 1967, engineers were hired to drill a new well and had become very discouraged after 5 unsuccessful attempts. W.C. Ruthven, the Town Clerk and Treasurer at the time, recommended they contact Willie F. Griggs. Willie took them to a spot on the edge of town where he broke off a twig to use as a divining rod and began searching. When the rod began to twitch, he instructed the engineers to "dig here". Willie continued to tell them how deep they would find water and how deep there would be an underground stream. He was correct on all accounts. While Patrick residents love to tell this story, this town well has been shut down and Alligator Rural Water and Sewer in McBee, SC now pumps water to Patrick from their wells.
Telephone service came to Patrick in 1956, provided by Sandhill Telephone Corp. and the first phone was installed in July 1957.
The town of Patrick is bounded by 95,000 acres of land owned mostly by the United States Government. The land is leased to the South Carolina State Commission of Forestry, which has planted native pine throughout the sandhills. Several lakes have been created in the area, making fishing an enjoyable pastime. Dove and deer hunting are annual events. Former Patrick Major W.C. Hoffman says that not only is "Patrick a wonderful place to live", but also it's "God's country".
Patrick is a safe, friendly town that welcomes visitors and new neighbors.