Gaffney is a city in and the county seat of Cherokee County, South Carolina, United States, in the upstate region of South Carolina. Gaffney is also sometimes referred to as the Peach capital of South Carolina. The population was 12,414 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Gaffney, South Carolina, Micropolitan Statistical Area (population 52,537 according to year 2000 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau), an µSA which includes all of Cherokee County and which is further included in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area (population 1,185,534 according to year 2005 U.S. Census Bureau estimates).
Michael A. Gaffney, born in Granard, Co. Longford, Ireland, in 1775, emigrated to America in 1797, arriving in New York and moving to Charleston, South Carolina a few years later. Gaffney moved again in 1804 to the South Carolina Upcountry (The Upstate) and established a tavern and lodging house at what became known as "Gaffney's Cross Roads." The location was perfect for growth because of the two major roads which met here, one from the mountains of North Carolina to Charleston and the other from Charlotte into Georgia. Michael Gaffney died here on September 6, 1854.
In 1872, the area became known as "Gaffney City." Gaffney became the county seat of Cherokee County which was formed out of parts of York, Union, and Spartanburg Counties in 1897. Gaffney became a major center for the textile industry in South Carolina and was the backbone of the county's economy up until the 1980s.