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 351 - 400 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort descending Death Method
Richard Lundy December 7, 1891 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Louisa Laudon October 11, 1869 at Dorns Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
Luther Harris May 26, 1899 at the plantation of George F Towns Homicide
Andrew Trapp December 4, 1869 near Trapps Mills Homicide knife
infant child infant child August 5, 1878 at the residence of H J Wright Homicide
W. Brooker Toney August 12, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide pistol
Prince negro boy December 23, 1849 at Thos G. Lamars Mills on little horse creek Homicide knife
Eunice Hogan October 26, 1851 at the house of John Briskey Homicide
Ben Lowman September 14, 1894 at W.[?] L. Rawls Mills Homicide pistol
Green negro boy July 23, 1850 at the house of John Cheatham Homicide knife
Thomas Styson June 22, 1856 at R. M. Fullers Homicide hoe
Pink Williams October 6, 1898 at or near Mr E.F. Pickles residence Homicide
Aaron slave December 5, 1852 at A. Bushnells Shop Homicide chisel
Milledge Denny colored child June 23, 1868 at Rev. H.T. Baitleys Homicide
Mary Slave May 17, 1847 at the Plantation of A. Perrin Homicide
William Martin May 24, 1891 on the premises of W. E. Friday Homicide pistol
John Butler October 23, 1850 at the House of Mr Seth Butler Homicide knife
Frank Holson freedman January 9, 1867 at Lee Holson Homicide pistol
Charles M. Creswell August 5, 1869 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Gus Blocker August 18, 1892 at the plantion of July Blocker Homicide
Teague Tillman October 2, 1899 at the plantation of Thos. H. Ramsford Homicide pistol
Margaret Simpkins September 21, 1879 on Jas C Brooks Plantation Homicide shotgun
infant child infant child December 14, 1877 at Dr. K N Hudsons plantation Homicide
John David Twiggs September 15, 1864 in Hamburg Homicide
Baze negro slave March 31, 1863 at the D. J. Howls Homicide chop axe
Harry slave May 20, 1863 at Jesse Gomellions Homicide knife
Isham Glover August 10, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
Edmund Brown December 24, 1853 at the house of Wm Merchantile[?] Homicide
Susan Medlock April 7, 1894 at Johnston Homicide
John Webb March 26, 1899 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Willie Toney March 26, 1899 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Henry Padget freedman November 14, 1866 at Wm Padgets premises on Clouds Creek Homicide
Ann Kimball September 4, 1895 at China grove church Homicide
John H. Anderson March 21, 1891 at Tom Anderson place Homicide
Isham Glover August 9, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
John Henry King October 29, 1865 in Hamburg Homicide
Thomas O'Donald September 13, 1869 at Dr. John E. Padgetts Homicide pistol
Elick Youngblood child March 21, 1881 at S[?] R Warren Homicide
Joe slave, boy September 13, 1860 at the residence of D. M. Glover Homicide
infant, (male) infant, (male) April 29, 1857 at Potterville Homicide
Jesse Weatherford September 4, 1849 at the plantation of Mrs R Blaylock Homicide shotgun
Apling negro man April 5, 1849 in the woods in said district near the Lexington line on a branch of McGier Creek Homicide
Prophet Burt freedman December 29, 1866 at E.N. Troys Homicide knife
Arthur Morris June 20, 1898 at M. W Clarks Homicide pistol
Samuel Posey October 21, 1860 at P. B. McDaniels Homicide pistol
Alice Adkinson October 18, 1898 at Republican Church Homicide
William M. Tredaway March 27, 1851 at the house of William M Tredaway at Beach Island Homicide
Jacob Horn February 25, 1866 at the hous of Jacob Horns Homicide
Cesar Negro, negro boy July 7, 1843 at the house of Elijah Watson Homicide
Eugene McCarty May 11, 1861 at Edgefield Court house Homicide pistol

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