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
W. Brooker Toney August 12, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide pistol
John Laudrum October 11, 1869 at Dons Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
Moses Blalock May 19, 1882 on the Plantation of W G McDavid Homicide
Susan Medlock April 7, 1894 at Johnston Homicide
J. H. Christian July 21, 1856 in the village of Edgefield in Room No 11, in B. J. Ryans Hotel Homicide pistol
Gus Blocker August 18, 1892 at the plantion of July Blocker Homicide
Richmond slave March 3, 1857 at V[?] Elbert Blands residence at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Hardy Boulware January 2, 1862 at Hardy Boulwares Homicide
William negro man, boy, slave February 13, 1849 at R. F. Barretts Homicide knife
Margaret Simpkins September 21, 1879 on Jas C Brooks Plantation Homicide shotgun
Henry Burt June 21, 1895 at Henry Burts Homicide knife
Rufus Harling September 16, 1897 at Clarks Hill Homicide
Willis Asbell December 7, 1877 at Ridge Spring Homicide
John McKinny September 26, 1894 at W P. Lipfords[?] Homicide
John Henry King October 29, 1865 in Hamburg Homicide
Isaah Golden August 27, 1860 at Silverton Beach iland Homicide knife
Charles Cobb March 13, 1893 at or near Johnston Homicide umbrella
Isaac Boseley July 5, 1880 at Ridge Spring Homicide pistol
Willie G. Harris March 25, 1897 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Rose negro woman Slave March 14, 1846 at Michael Longs Homicide
infant child infant child December 14, 1877 at Dr. K N Hudsons plantation Homicide
James Booth August 23, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide
John Williams August 21, 1898 at S H Nicholson Homicide stick
Bill King August 9, 1881 at H C Kings Residence Homicide hoe
Stanmore B. Chappell January 19, 1867 at S.B. Chappells Residence Homicide pistol
Dave Gillam August 25, 1892 at the house of Cal Smiths Homicide
William M. Tredaway March 27, 1851 at the house of William M Tredaway at Beach Island Homicide
Julia Van June 20, 1892 at the plantation of Mr Joe Thurmond Homicide
William Padgett February 22, 1894 at W.D. Readys plantation Homicide
Henry Parks September 14, 1895 at Parksville Homicide
Jacob Horn February 25, 1866 at the hous of Jacob Horns Homicide
William Cloud July 8, 1851 at the Spaun[?] Hotel Homicide pistol
Edmond Sharpton December 20, 1866 at the House of Mrs J.P. Brewer Homicide pistol
Randal negro man May 9, 1844 at Grancis Bettis's plantation on Horns Creek Homicide cow skin
Peter White March 11, 1898 at Jacob White upon the Plantation Silvester Chipley Homicide
Andrew slave September 3, 1850 at A.P. Butlers plantation Homicide rail
Lewis negro man, boy March 14, 1861 at Charles Hammonds Brickyard Homicide pistol
Henry Turner September 24, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide
male baby male baby May 24, 1891 at the Saluda River Homicide
Warren Kirkland November 16, 1858 at Benjamin Bartons Homicide
Johnson Peterson March 9, 1892 at Deny[?] S.C. Homicide pistol
Eldred Glover March 2, 1852 at the house of John Doby Homicide pistol
J. M. Long October 10, 1891 at J. M. Longs Homicide
Tom negro slave December 18, 1858 at Chlo Watsons Homicide
Bridgett Etheridge June 26, 1893 at John Etheridges Residence Homicide hoe
Lula Smith child June 22, 1894 at James A Satcher's Plantation Homicide
Aaron slave December 5, 1852 at A. Bushnells Shop Homicide chisel
Harry Anderson December 16, 1882 at Clinton Ward Homicide pistol
Flora Harrison November 4, 1890 at Liberty Hill Homicide
William Bailey July 19, 1846 at the House of Samuel C Scott Homicide

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