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 ascending Death Method
William negro man, boy, slave February 13, 1849 at R. F. Barretts Homicide knife
Henry Turner September 24, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide
male baby male baby May 24, 1891 at the Saluda River Homicide
Peter negro man June 16, 1838 at a Mr. Azariah[?] Abneys Homicide stick
infant infant March 24, 1892 at Pinksville Homicide
Namro negro man August 11, 1844 at the house of Rob King Esqr Homicide club or stick
Joseph Riddle April 10, 1856 at Hamburg Homicide
Peter White March 11, 1898 at Jacob White upon the Plantation Silvester Chipley Homicide
Joe Weston January 31, 1895 in Edgefield County Homicide
Richard Lundy December 7, 1891 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
infant child infant child December 14, 1877 at Dr. K N Hudsons plantation Homicide
Elijah Reynolds April 11, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide pistol
Edmund Brown December 24, 1853 at the house of Wm Merchantile[?] Homicide
Rose negro woman Slave March 14, 1846 at Michael Longs Homicide
George Watkins October 10, 1866 at George Watkins Homicide
Jim negro boy July 23, 1855 at Wade Holsteens Homicide knife
Henry Mobley December 11, 1899 at Johnston Homicide pistol
Eunice Hogan October 26, 1851 at the house of John Briskey Homicide
Lewis negro man, boy March 14, 1861 at Charles Hammonds Brickyard Homicide pistol
Robert Parks September 27, 1894 at Parkville Homicide lick
Hammond Frasier November 6, 1897 at Trenton S.C. Homicide pistol
John Webb March 26, 1899 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Alfred Hollingsworth October 10, 1898 at David Strothers place Homicide razor
Lee Ryan September 27, 1877 at the plantation of Abram F Broadwater Homicide iron instrument
Isham Glover August 9, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
Willis Asbell December 7, 1877 at Ridge Spring Homicide
Benjamin F. Jones March 24, 1845 at W B Griffins Homicide shotgun
Lewis Bartie July 26, 1864 at Mount Zion Church Homicide shotgun
John Butler October 23, 1850 at the House of Mr Seth Butler Homicide knife
Wilson Griffin freedman February 13, 1867 at Luke Rodgers Homicide
Yancy Hardy December 31, 1877 at Dr. GJ[?] Butlers Plantation Homicide pistol
infant child infant child August 5, 1878 at the residence of H J Wright Homicide
Bill King August 9, 1881 at H C Kings Residence Homicide hoe
Scipio slave April 1, 1862 at E. J. Youngbloods Homicide hatchet
Dave Parkman December 16, 1897 at Cheatham place Homicide pistol
Augustus W. Burt March 25, 1847 at the Plantation of A.W. Burt Homicide axe
Joseph W. Glover September 2, 1844 at Charles Comptys[?] Hotel Homicide
Luther Harris May 26, 1899 at the plantation of George F Towns Homicide
Robert Neid free man of Colour August 26, 1847 at Vaudun[?] Factory Homicide dirk knife
Wallace E. Bland July 4, 1880 at Edgefield C. House Homicide
Charles M. Creswell August 5, 1869 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Jim McKie October 26, 1898 near John starks Homicide
James Ramsey December 12, 1869 at the residence of Andrew Ramsay Sr Homicide pistol
William Cloud July 8, 1851 at the Spaun[?] Hotel Homicide pistol
Moses Blalock May 19, 1882 on the Plantation of W G McDavid Homicide
Thomas Glover August 2, 1893 at Bill Werk[?] Residence Homicide
Allen Holmes March 4, 1882 at Oscar Seigler Residence Homicide
J. H. Christian July 21, 1856 in the village of Edgefield in Room No 11, in B. J. Ryans Hotel Homicide pistol
Charles Cobb March 13, 1893 at or near Johnston Homicide umbrella
Julia Mundy June 17, 1881 at Jas H Banknight Homicide

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