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 ascending Death Method
Richard Mims August 1, 1899 at the plantation of Mrs. H. Carter Accident
John slave September 27, 1863 at the residence of Johnson A Bland Accident
Manerva Sanders March 22, 1890 at Webb S.C Accident tornado
Lidia Watson January 26, 1894 at J E Macks Accident
Thomas Welheu[?] June 19, 1868 at Benjamin Better[?] wheat field on the Columbia & Augusta Rail Road Accident
Kenneth Martor[?] January 15, 1852 at Thomas Samar's[?] Mills on horse creek Accident
Milton Barter[?] youth August 24, 1849 at Capt. Andrew J Hammonds Mills Accident
Richard J. Barton December 28, 1866 at Mrs Lucinda Bartons Accident
Robert Reynolds July 30, 1892 at J.W. Reynolds Plantation Accident
Mingo Mosley January 13, 1883 at Samuel[?] Corley's Accident
Charles negro man February 27, 1850 at Scotts Shoals on Savannah River Accident
Unknown October 10, 1869 at Graniteville Accident train
Allen Bauknight freedman June 11, 1866 at William Bauknights Accident
John Seigler February 13, 1856 at J.H. Christians Accident buggy
Enoch Douglass August 11, 1879 near Wesly Barrs on the rail road Accident
Edinborough Ryan December 30, 1882 at Mrs D. L Bussy Plantation Accident
Jesse Moragna[?] March 3, 1882 at Luke Moragines[?] House Accident
Henry Ethredge June 2, 1899 at the plantation of P.B. Mayson Accident
Larrence Valentine December 28, 1893 at Mt[?] Willing Accident
Richard negro boy Slave September 9, 1850 at Thomas Garretts Accident machinery
Thomas Rosseter[?] August 30, 1852 at Hamburg SC Accident
Wallace Halloway June 25, 1895 at Edgefield Court house Accident train
Elleck free boy December 13, 1866 at Johnathan Gregorys Accident
Henry Langley April 2, 1848 at Wm Vances Accident wagon
Henry Jones September 21, 1855 Accident
Lilla Olophant female infant August 18, 1879 at Simpton[?] Pinns[?] Accident
Samuel Harrison February 18, 1881 at [inelligible - faded] Accident
Ryal Negro Slave July 28, 1851 at Mr Thos McKies Batteau landing on Big Stephen's Creek Accident
Ezekiel Thomas February 4, 1879 near Johnstons Accident train
Tom Slave, old negro man January 12, 1853 near the residence of Harry Scott Accident
James Blocker May 6, 1897 Accident train
Tilman Attaway April 14, 1849 at the corner of the Oharer[?] old field Accident
Lucy Roper June 29, 1899 on the pantation of S.W. Miller Accident lightning
Louisa Wooden October 13, 1893 at Mose Woden Accident
Eva Blocker February 11, 1893 at J. P. Wrights Plantation Accident
John Hester May 13, 1846 at Hamburg in the shop of J.J. Kenedy Accident
Richard negroe Boy April 21, 1863 in the District of Edgefield Accident train
Mary female Slave January 13, 1853 at Isaac Bowles[?] Accident
Dick male slave July 13, 1859 at Ted Scurrys residence Accident
Hampton Reynolds July 30, 1892 at J.W. Reynolds Plantation Accident
Sallie Young December 8, 1890 at Mr A. F Broadwaters Plantation Accident
John Rufus Russell October 10, 1884 at John L Russell House Accident
infant child infant child January 18, 1892 at the Plantation of L. G. Swearinger Accident
Elmira Jackson May 18, 1884 at George Holingsworths House Accident
John Radford April 12, 1860 at the residence of John Radford Accident wagon
Infant Boy Child Infant Boy Child June 18, 1883 at Marsh Grobe Yard Accident
Lizzie Darian child November 21, 1894 at Waldo Richardsons Accident
Lawrence Frazier child January 14, 1895 at D.B. Holingsworths Accident
Wily Royal January 7, 1895 at J.S. Hancocks Accident pistol
Esther Jeter April 17, 1893 at Huiets x Roads Accident

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