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
Thomas O'Donald September 13, 1869 at Dr. John E. Padgetts Homicide pistol
Willis Asbell December 7, 1877 at Ridge Spring Homicide
Wesley male slave, child October 5, 1857 at the residence of Sophia A Tilman Homicide
Allen Holmes March 4, 1882 at Oscar Seigler Residence Homicide
Sam Howard Freedman August 6, 1866 at L. L. Halls Homicide knife
Arthur Morris June 20, 1898 at M. W Clarks Homicide pistol
Levi H. McDaniel March 9, 1859 at or near the 17 mile Post on the Scotts Ferry Road Homicide
infant child infant child December 14, 1877 at Dr. K N Hudsons plantation Homicide
Alice Adkinson October 18, 1898 at Republican Church Homicide
Apling negro man April 5, 1849 in the woods in said district near the Lexington line on a branch of McGier Creek Homicide
Mahlon Jones December 25, 1891 at Landrams Farm Homicide
Henry Turner September 24, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide
Harry slave December 25, 1858 at Col Arthur Sinkins[?] Homicide knife
Bill King August 9, 1881 at H C Kings Residence Homicide hoe
Prophet Burt freedman December 29, 1866 at E.N. Troys Homicide knife
Bridgett Etheridge June 26, 1893 at John Etheridges Residence Homicide hoe
Samuel Posey October 21, 1860 at P. B. McDaniels Homicide pistol
Joseph W. Glover September 2, 1844 at Charles Comptys[?] Hotel Homicide
Joe slave, boy September 13, 1860 at the residence of D. M. Glover Homicide
Isaah Golden August 27, 1860 at Silverton Beach iland Homicide knife
Presley Wise July 11, 1891 at D W. Padgetts plantation Homicide
J. M. Long October 10, 1891 at J. M. Longs Homicide
Jesse Weatherford September 4, 1849 at the plantation of Mrs R Blaylock Homicide shotgun
Richmond slave March 3, 1857 at V[?] Elbert Blands residence at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Thomas Styson June 22, 1856 at R. M. Fullers Homicide hoe
Daniel slave, boy May 27, 1862 at John H. Fair Homicide shotgun
Al White October 12, 1898 at Mundy[?] Place Homicide
Joseph Riddle April 10, 1856 at Hamburg Homicide
J. H. Christian July 21, 1856 in the village of Edgefield in Room No 11, in B. J. Ryans Hotel Homicide pistol
Edmund Brown December 24, 1853 at the house of Wm Merchantile[?] Homicide
John Laudrum October 11, 1869 at Dons Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
Rufus Harling September 16, 1897 at Clarks Hill Homicide
Cesar Negro, negro boy July 7, 1843 at the house of Elijah Watson Homicide
Andy Padgett July 5, 1891 near Ridge Spring Homicide knife
Ned Dozier September 27, 1893 at MJ Holsteins Homicide
Michael Long April 17, 1849 at the house of Michael Long Homicide shotgun
Julia Mundy June 17, 1881 at Jas H Banknight Homicide
Eunice Hogan October 26, 1851 at the house of John Briskey Homicide
Moses Blalock May 19, 1882 on the Plantation of W G McDavid Homicide
John Williams August 21, 1898 at S H Nicholson Homicide stick
John McKinny September 26, 1894 at W P. Lipfords[?] Homicide
Whit Terry October 19, 1894 J.K. Corleys Place Homicide
Isham Glover August 9, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
John Agner December 26, 1883 at Mr. John Agner's Homicide knife
William Padgett February 22, 1894 at W.D. Readys plantation Homicide
Willie G. Harris March 25, 1897 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Benjamin F. Jones March 24, 1845 at W B Griffins Homicide shotgun
Edmond Sharpton December 20, 1866 at the House of Mrs J.P. Brewer Homicide pistol
infant child infant child April 14, 1895 at Charley Moors Homicide
Henry male slave July 15, 1858 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide hickory stick

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