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 251 - 300 of 524
Name Deceased Description Datesort ascending Inquest Location Death Type Death Method
Michael Long October 11, 1877 near the Residence of E.N. Youngblood Suicide knife
Lee Ryan September 27, 1877 at the plantation of Abram F Broadwater Homicide iron instrument
Ben Shubrick col December 24, 1869 at Negro heade Lane Natural Causes
James Ramsey December 12, 1869 at the residence of Andrew Ramsay Sr Homicide pistol
Andrew Trapp December 4, 1869 near Trapps Mills Homicide knife
John E. Elsmore November 28, 1869 at the house of John E. Elsmore Homicide pistol
John Laudrum October 11, 1869 at Dons Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
Louisa Laudon October 11, 1869 at Dorns Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
Unknown October 10, 1869 at Graniteville Accident train
Lucius Walker October 5, 1869 at James Doziers plantation Accident
Peyton Bird colored September 29, 1869 at Edgefield CH Natural Causes
Dilsey Seigler September 20, 1869 at Miles Mills Natural Causes
Thomas O'Donald September 13, 1869 at Dr. John E. Padgetts Homicide pistol
John Whitlock boy September 8, 1869 at Grainteville Accident
A. R. Steel girl child August 28, 1869 at Graniteville Accident
Charles M. Creswell August 5, 1869 at Edgefield CH Homicide
James Thomas colored July 20, 1869 at Liberty Hill County Homicide
Hampton Weaver colored July 17, 1869 at the house of and on the farm of James T Outz Accident shotgun
Jesse Limbecker June 18, 1869 at Hamburg Accident
Hartwell Roper June 17, 1869 at the residence of Rev. J.P. Mealing Natural Causes
George Low col June 6, 1869 at Sand Bar Ferry Accident stems of yellow jasmine
Isaac Grimer December 10, 1868 at Jacobs Branch on the Spaun Church road Accident
Auson Peeler July 25, 1868 near Kalmia[?] Mills Accident horse
Clara Bell colored child June 23, 1868 at Rev. H.T. Baitleys Homicide
Milledge Denny colored child June 23, 1868 at Rev. H.T. Baitleys Homicide
Thomas Welheu[?] June 19, 1868 at Benjamin Better[?] wheat field on the Columbia & Augusta Rail Road Accident
George Hatcher freedman June 19, 1867 at B. W. Hatchers Mill on Shaws creek Natural Causes
Milledge Fuller freedman February 18, 1867 at John Ransford plantation Accident
Wilson Griffin freedman February 13, 1867 at Luke Rodgers Homicide
Stanmore B. Chappell January 19, 1867 at S.B. Chappells Residence Homicide pistol
Allen Smith Freedman January 19, 1867 at S.B. Chappells Residence Homicide pistol
James L. Hill January 10, 1867 at James L Hills Accident
Frank Holson freedman January 9, 1867 at Lee Holson Homicide pistol
Prophet Burt freedman December 29, 1866 at E.N. Troys Homicide knife
Richard J. Barton December 28, 1866 at Mrs Lucinda Bartons Accident
Edmond Sharpton December 20, 1866 at the House of Mrs J.P. Brewer Homicide pistol
Elleck free boy December 13, 1866 at Johnathan Gregorys Accident
Jim Coleman freidman November 15, 1866 at the Mackey Place on horse Creek Accident
Henry Padget freedman November 14, 1866 at Wm Padgets premises on Clouds Creek Homicide
Spencer Mays freedman November 8, 1866 at John Buslys Accident pistol
Ansabelle Brown October 21, 1866 near the Tambor[?] Soba[?] Rail Road Unknown
Keal Johnson colourd man October 20, 1866 at J.M. Proctors Residence Homicide pistol
George Washington Crowder October 19, 1866 at Grannetville Accident
George Watkins October 10, 1866 at George Watkins Homicide
Lizza colered woman October 7, 1866 at the house of Thomas S. Miller Natural Causes
Nelson Smith freedman, boy October 4, 1866 at Andrew Warts Homicide
Unknown August 30, 1866 at Fosity[?] Creek ford Unknown
Sam Howard Freedman August 6, 1866 at L. L. Halls Homicide knife
Allen Bauknight freedman June 11, 1866 at William Bauknights Accident
Jacob Horn February 25, 1866 at the hous of Jacob Horns Homicide

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