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 101 - 150 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort descending Death Method
Robert Johnston May 23, 1891 at Clarks Ferry below bridge on C. & G.[?] R R Accident
Hugh Duffey Sr. August 26, 1855 at Bethany Church Accident horse
Isaac negro man December 1, 1856 at a point on the South Carolina Rail Road [?] Brooks Mill creek Accident train
William H Maharey May 25, 1863 at Haslin Factory on the Procelian Manufacturing Company Accident
Cland Elam child March 17, 1892 at A. J. Norris Place Accident
Kenneth Martor[?] January 15, 1852 at Thomas Samar's[?] Mills on horse creek Accident
Elmira Jackson May 18, 1884 at George Holingsworths House Accident
Clem slave, boy October 3, 1858 at Tabitha Abney's Accident
Jesse Moragna[?] March 3, 1882 at Luke Moragines[?] House Accident
infant child infant child June 14, 1891 at Kenny Grave Yard Accident
Joseph Powel August 18, 1879 at [??] Accident
Lidia Watson January 26, 1894 at J E Macks Accident
Auson Peeler July 25, 1868 near Kalmia[?] Mills Accident horse
Allen Bauknight freedman June 11, 1866 at William Bauknights Accident
Jim Coleman freidman November 15, 1866 at the Mackey Place on horse Creek Accident
Henry Goodman May 4, 1851 at or near to William H Adams on little horse Creek Accident
Harry negro boy September 9, 1858 at the residence of the Rev. J. L. Brooks Accident
infant child infant child December 9, 1891 at a colored cemetary Accident
Thomas Rosseter[?] August 30, 1852 at Hamburg SC Accident
Edward Horton August 7, 1879 near Wesley Barrs[?] Accident sunstroke
Ransom Hollaway May 14, 1862 at Ransom Holaways Accident lightning
Lilla Olophant female infant August 18, 1879 at Simpton[?] Pinns[?] Accident
Sallie Young December 8, 1890 at Mr A. F Broadwaters Plantation Accident
William Humphry January 4, 1894 at Etheridge Bridge Accident pocket knife
Berry Butler October 9, 1892 at J. H Lagroons[?] plantation Accident
Alick Croker boy September 29, 1878 at Mrs. Marshes premises Accident
Joseph Jay October 4, 1860 at Joseph Jays Accident horse
Gertrude infant child December 1, 1891 at Edgfield Court house Accident
Unknown October 10, 1869 at Graniteville Accident train
Louisa slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
James L. Hill January 10, 1867 at James L Hills Accident
Dave negro man Slave March 16, 1849 at Kilcrease's Ferry Accident boat
John Hester May 13, 1846 at Hamburg in the shop of J.J. Kenedy Accident
Julia Hightower child November 9, 1890 at Mr Sam Marshes Place Accident
Eldrige Padgett February 9, 1859 at Eidson Padgetts Accident
Larrence Valentine December 28, 1893 at Mt[?] Willing Accident
George Low col June 6, 1869 at Sand Bar Ferry Accident stems of yellow jasmine
Simon slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
Billy November 28, 1857 at the South Carolina Rail Road Accident wagon
George Delaughter April 30, 1861 at the Hamburg Passenger Depot Accident train
Esther Jeter April 17, 1893 at Huiets x Roads Accident
Jesse Limbecker June 18, 1869 at Hamburg Accident
Lila Washington February 20, 1879 at Wesley Barns Mill Accident
Hampton Weaver colored July 17, 1869 at the house of and on the farm of James T Outz Accident shotgun
Mike negro man September 13, 1844 at Dr John D. Nicholsons Mill Accident
Charley Geeter October 27, 1881 at Violets Geeter's house Accident
Howard Gale June 13, 1879 at Jacksons Holinns[?] Mill Accident
Isah Zimmerman December 26, 1881 at the Residence of W F Ste[?]eies Accident pistol
Eva Blocker February 11, 1893 at J. P. Wrights Plantation Accident
Ellen slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat

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