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 401 - 450 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort descending Death Method
Henry male slave July 15, 1858 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide hickory stick
Elijah Reynolds April 11, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide pistol
Lewis Bartie July 26, 1864 at Mount Zion Church Homicide shotgun
John Henry King October 29, 1865 in Hamburg Homicide
Wallace E. Bland July 4, 1880 at Edgefield C. House Homicide
Will Collens October 20, 1894 at Gaines SC Homicide
Henry Parks September 14, 1895 at Parksville Homicide
Jacob Horn February 25, 1866 at the hous of Jacob Horns Homicide
Lula Smith child June 22, 1894 at James A Satcher's Plantation Homicide
Isham Glover August 10, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
Peter White March 11, 1898 at Jacob White upon the Plantation Silvester Chipley Homicide
Lizzy three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden Homicide axe
Eldred Glover March 2, 1852 at the house of John Doby Homicide pistol
male baby male baby May 24, 1891 at the Saluda River Homicide
Scipio slave April 1, 1862 at E. J. Youngbloods Homicide hatchet
William M. Tredaway March 27, 1851 at the house of William M Tredaway at Beach Island Homicide
John E. Elsmore November 28, 1869 at the house of John E. Elsmore Homicide pistol
Carey Ashley October 11, 1879 at J W Wises[?] plantation Homicide pistol
William Cloud July 8, 1851 at the Spaun[?] Hotel Homicide pistol
Joe Weston January 31, 1895 in Edgefield County Homicide
Robert Neid free man of Colour August 26, 1847 at Vaudun[?] Factory Homicide dirk knife
Elick Youngblood child March 21, 1881 at S[?] R Warren Homicide
Riller three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden Homicide
Lee Ryan September 27, 1877 at the plantation of Abram F Broadwater Homicide iron instrument
Dave Parkman December 16, 1897 at Cheatham place Homicide pistol
Johnson Peterson March 9, 1892 at Deny[?] S.C. Homicide pistol
Thomas Booth August 23, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide pistol
William Martin May 24, 1891 on the premises of W. E. Friday Homicide pistol
Stephen Stalmaker August 30, 1850 at J.M.C. Freeland's Homicide plank
infant infant March 24, 1892 at Pinksville Homicide
Aaron slave December 5, 1852 at A. Bushnells Shop Homicide chisel
Henry Mobley December 11, 1899 at Johnston Homicide pistol
Alfred Hollingsworth October 10, 1898 at David Strothers place Homicide razor
Willie Toney March 26, 1899 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Rose three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden Homicide
Aaron slave December 3, 1851 at the house of Larkin Swearinghim Homicide cow hide
Mary Grace Aldrich infant child August 11, 1856 at Graniteville Homicide
Stanmore B. Chappell January 19, 1867 at S.B. Chappells Residence Homicide pistol
Yancy Hardy December 31, 1877 at Dr. GJ[?] Butlers Plantation Homicide pistol
Harry slave May 20, 1863 at Jesse Gomellions Homicide knife
Jim McKie October 26, 1898 near John starks Homicide
Prince negro boy December 23, 1849 at Thos G. Lamars Mills on little horse creek Homicide knife
William Samuel April 26, 1891 at Scima[?] Hill Church Homicide
Rose negro woman Slave March 14, 1846 at Michael Longs Homicide
W. Brooker Toney August 12, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide pistol
George Watkins October 10, 1866 at George Watkins Homicide
William negro man, boy, slave February 13, 1849 at R. F. Barretts Homicide knife
Lucious Perry November 8, 1891 at the plantation of Ben Boatwright Homicide
Hammond Frasier November 6, 1897 at Trenton S.C. Homicide pistol
Green negro boy July 23, 1850 at the house of John Cheatham Homicide knife

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