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 151 - 200 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort descending Death Method
Uriah Koon October 16, 1847 at the house of Col John Hunt Accident wagon
Emanuel Johnson October 7, 1893 at Wards Accident train
Esther Jeter April 17, 1893 at Huiets x Roads Accident
Lesthia Ridlehouse[Ridlehover?] January 5, 1892 at the Residence of Mrs Edny Mary Accident
Sam Slave June 14, 1858 at Henry Spiers[?] Accident
Wallace Halloway June 25, 1895 at Edgefield Court house Accident train
David West boy January 30, 1862 at Graniteville Accident
Jesse Limbecker June 18, 1869 at Hamburg Accident
John McManas December 4, 1883 at the Jail Accident
George Washington Crowder October 19, 1866 at Grannetville Accident
Mingo Mosley January 13, 1883 at Samuel[?] Corley's Accident
Seware[?] Stuart November 4, 1893 at J.[?] E. Griffiths Accident
infant child infant child November 23, 1891 at the plantation of Willis Owdom[?] Accident
Ora Weaver February 21, 1891 at the plantation of D B. H Holfarth[illegible - ink blot] Accident
Emanuel slave March 12, 1856 at Matthew McGraw's plantation Accident
James Blocker May 6, 1897 Accident train
infant infant December 15, 1892 at Mr. Pleasant Grave Yard Accident
Henry negro man June 3, 1849 at the house of Mrs Mary Harrison Accident
J. F. Styron April 21, 1891 at residence of J. F. Styron[?] Accident
Henry negro man Slave August 21, 1850 at New Savannah in beach Island Accident
Gertrude infant child December 1, 1891 at Edgfield Court house Accident
John Scott May 10, 1851 at Vaucluse[?] Factory Accident horse
Samuel Harrison February 18, 1881 at [inelligible - faded] Accident
William C. Goff May 7, 1865 at Bethany Church Accident
Kenneth Martor[?] January 15, 1852 at Thomas Samar's[?] Mills on horse creek Accident
William H Maharey May 25, 1863 at Haslin Factory on the Procelian Manufacturing Company Accident
Charles negro boy March 7, 1857 at Archy Clark residence Accident
Tom Waldrum colored man (Free) January 20, 1857 in the woods near Mr Avory Franklins Accident
Joseph Jay October 4, 1860 at Joseph Jays Accident horse
Abram man slave August 17, 1860 at the Residence of Gen[?] Jas B. Griffin Accident snake
Louisa slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
William Perry January 7, 1894 in the county and state aforesaid Accident
Spencer Mays freedman November 8, 1866 at John Buslys Accident pistol
W. W. Miller Sr. white man July 10, 1891 at J M. Mays place Accident
William Prince July 9, 1851 at the house of John W Garrett Accident
Elmira Jackson May 18, 1884 at George Holingsworths House Accident
Thomas Rosseter[?] August 30, 1852 at Hamburg SC Accident
Selena Allen child, boy, baby December 12, 1890 at Mrs Blacks[?] Plantation Accident
William Harlin February 19, 1856 at a new place sitting by Mr James Swearingem(Jr) on the Akien Road Accident
Eldrige Padgett February 9, 1859 at Eidson Padgetts Accident
Toby negro man July 10, 1844 near Bauskett Bridge on Stevens Creek Accident
John slave September 27, 1863 at the residence of Johnson A Bland Accident
Lizzy Rardon September 28, 1879 at Clansey Holloways plantation Accident
Thomas Welheu[?] June 19, 1868 at Benjamin Better[?] wheat field on the Columbia & Augusta Rail Road Accident
Henry slave, boy May 1, 1857 at Arthur Glovers House, Horns Creek Accident
Simon slaves March 4, 1860 at the mill Pond of W. Glover on mill Creek Accident boat
Fannie Patton November 18, 1898 at Francis Williams house Accident
Charles negro boy November 14, 1842 On Mr Thos Oliver's Plantation, at or near Said Oliver's residence Accident
Sallie Holmes December 20, 1893 at D. P. Bodies[?] Accident
William Lundy August 28, 1846 at house of John Rainsford Accident

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