Edgefield County, SC

County Name: 
Edgefield
State: 
South Carolina

Total population (1850): 39,262

Enslaved population (1850): 22,725

Percent slave: 58%

Extant nineteenth-century inquests: 524

Date range: 1829-1899

Percentage of violent crimes in county sample: 39% (202/524)

The small, rural district of Edgefield, South Carolina was the Deadwood of its day, amassing a reputation for murder and mayhem unique in the nation. Forget the gangs of New York, the toughs in tailored suits strutting about Edgefield's Court House Square were up for almost anything. Take this typical exchange between Thomas Cherry and Charles Cobb.

Cherry: "You Damn puppy."

Cobb: "What are you?"

Cherry: "Do you mean to call me a Damn puppy?"

Cobb: "What are you?"

Cherry: "If you call me a Puppy, I will ag you in the face."

Cobb: "You are nothing else."

With that Cherry stabbed Cobb through the face with an umbrella.

"If we over in Edgefield insult each other, there is generally a fight or a funeral afterwards."

"If we over in Edgefield insult each other, there is generally a fight or a funeral afterwards," noted Ben Tillman, one of the ten men of the district to serve the state as governor. Like Tillman, circuit judge Thomas Mackey took an almost perverse pride in the region's reputation. "I am going to hold court in Edgefield," he told a friend, "and I expect a somewhat exciting term, as the fall shooting is about to start."

Like most reputations, Edgefield's was at once deserved and exaggerated. At 39 percent, Edgefield County does have the highest proportion of violent crimes in the CSI:D sample. At 35 percent, Greenville County is not that far behind. More important, Edgefield's reputation for affairs of honor masks the mountain of dishonorable violence revealed by the morgue. Men spoiling for a fight on the street are rarely much different at home. In June 1893, Bill Gasten was sitting near his wood pile when his wife emerged from the house to draw some water from the well. Something she said set him off and he grabbed up a walking stick, hit her with it, then threw her down and began choking her. Emerging from the kitchen, her sister grabbed up the stick and told Bill to "let his wife alone." She had just started back to the kitchen when Bill cracked her head with a hoe.

Edgefield County, SC Inquests

Displaying 51 - 100 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort descending Death Method
Dave negro man Slave March 16, 1849 at Kilcrease's Ferry Accident boat
Robert Reynolds July 30, 1892 at J.W. Reynolds Plantation Accident
David West boy January 30, 1862 at Graniteville Accident
George Washington Crowder October 19, 1866 at Grannetville Accident
Tilman Attaway April 14, 1849 at the corner of the Oharer[?] old field Accident
Minnie Johnson December 22, 1892 at John Bettis plantation Accident
Abram man slave August 17, 1860 at the Residence of Gen[?] Jas B. Griffin Accident snake
Charly Washington boy November 22, 1891 at the house of George Washington near Bauknights ferry Accident
Louisa slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
Lilla Olophant female infant August 18, 1879 at Simpton[?] Pinns[?] Accident
Willie Glover July 26, 1892 at Lark Glovers Plantation Accident mule
Elijah Flour[?] youth July 24, 1849 at the hous of Mrs Salley Spradley Accident
Jesse Moragna[?] March 3, 1882 at Luke Moragines[?] House Accident
John Scott May 10, 1851 at Vaucluse[?] Factory Accident horse
Charles negro boy March 7, 1857 at Archy Clark residence Accident
Peter Negro man December 30, 1859 at the Plantation of Mr Wm Bunch Accident
Albert Brunson June 26, 1895 at Edgefield CH Accident train
Simon slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
Elijah Sullivan April 24, 1898 at Cow-buel[?] place Accident
Jesse Limbecker June 18, 1869 at Hamburg Accident
Ezekiel Thomas February 4, 1879 near Johnstons Accident train
Hugh Wetherford June 25, 1895 at Edgefield CH Accident train
Seware[?] Stuart November 4, 1893 at J.[?] E. Griffiths Accident
infant child infant child November 23, 1891 at the plantation of Willis Owdom[?] Accident
Sallie Young December 8, 1890 at Mr A. F Broadwaters Plantation Accident
negro man negro man April 10, 1850 near Kilcreases Ferry Accident
Isaac negro man December 1, 1856 at a point on the South Carolina Rail Road [?] Brooks Mill creek Accident train
Ransom Hollaway May 14, 1862 at Ransom Holaways Accident lightning
Edinborough Ryan December 30, 1882 at Mrs D. L Bussy Plantation Accident
W. W. Miller Sr. white man July 10, 1891 at J M. Mays place Accident
Ellen slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
Lucius Walker October 5, 1869 at James Doziers plantation Accident
Belaus[Velaus?] slave, boy March 30, 1863 at Robert Smiths Accident
Richard Mims August 1, 1899 at the plantation of Mrs. H. Carter Accident
Lila Washington February 20, 1879 at Wesley Barns Mill Accident
Wallace Halloway June 25, 1895 at Edgefield Court house Accident train
Mike negro man September 13, 1844 at Dr John D. Nicholsons Mill Accident
Tom Slave, old negro man January 12, 1853 near the residence of Harry Scott Accident
Allen Bauknight freedman June 11, 1866 at William Bauknights Accident
Mingo Mosley January 13, 1883 at Samuel[?] Corley's Accident
Isah Zimmerman December 26, 1881 at the Residence of W F Ste[?]eies Accident pistol
Andrew negro man October 6, 1855 on the track of the South Carolina Rail Road Accident train
Liz slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
William Humphry January 4, 1894 at Etheridge Bridge Accident pocket knife
Uriah Koon October 16, 1847 at the house of Col John Hunt Accident wagon
Blanchy Wilson November 30, 1893 on the plantation of Robert Hastings Accident
Emanuel Johnson October 7, 1893 at Wards Accident train
Ben Culbreath July 24, 1895 at Jno A Corleys plantation Accident horse
Charles negro boy November 14, 1842 On Mr Thos Oliver's Plantation, at or near Said Oliver's residence Accident
Toby negro man July 10, 1844 near Bauskett Bridge on Stevens Creek Accident

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