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
Namesort ascending Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Type Death Method
Henry Jones September 21, 1855 Accident
Henry Jennings September 14, 1891 at the residense of diceased Natural Causes
Henry Goodman May 4, 1851 at or near to William H Adams on little horse Creek Accident
Henry Ethredge June 2, 1899 at the plantation of P.B. Mayson Accident
Henry Burt June 21, 1895 at Henry Burts Homicide knife
Henry male slave July 15, 1858 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide hickory stick
Henry slave, boy May 1, 1857 at Arthur Glovers House, Horns Creek Accident
Henry negro man Slave August 21, 1850 at New Savannah in beach Island Accident
Henry negro man June 3, 1849 at the house of Mrs Mary Harrison Accident
Hartwell Roper June 17, 1869 at the residence of Rev. J.P. Mealing Natural Causes
Harry Anderson December 16, 1882 at Clinton Ward Homicide pistol
Harry slave May 20, 1863 at Jesse Gomellions Homicide knife
Harry slave December 25, 1858 at Col Arthur Sinkins[?] Homicide knife
Harry negro boy September 9, 1858 at the residence of the Rev. J. L. Brooks Accident
Harriet negro woman July 20, 1859 at the residence of JB Rease Natural Causes
Hardy Boulware January 2, 1862 at Hardy Boulwares Homicide
Hampton Weaver colored July 17, 1869 at the house of and on the farm of James T Outz Accident shotgun
Hampton Reynolds July 30, 1892 at J.W. Reynolds Plantation Accident
Hammond Frasier November 6, 1897 at Trenton S.C. Homicide pistol
H. P. Church December 27, 1842 in the house of C. H. Goodman in the Vilage of Edgefield Other
Gus West October 11, 1883 at Jack Holms Unknown
Gus Blocker August 18, 1892 at the plantion of July Blocker Homicide
Griffin Mays November 20, 1897 at W. H. Pordew Unknown pistol
Griff Zimmerman October 9, 1899 at Johnston Township Homicide pistol
Green negro boy July 23, 1850 at the house of John Cheatham Homicide knife
Gertrude infant child December 1, 1891 at Edgfield Court house Accident
George Watkins October 10, 1866 at George Watkins Homicide
George Washington Crowder October 19, 1866 at Grannetville Accident
George W. Medlock January 1, 1848 at the house of Daniel Abby Natural Causes
George Ross June 29, 1898 at Adoms[?] place Homicide
George Robinson January 12, 1892 at the plantation of E. B. Davis Natural Causes
George Mitchel June 21, 1881 at J. R Corleys Accident
George Low col June 6, 1869 at Sand Bar Ferry Accident stems of yellow jasmine
George Hatcher freedman June 19, 1867 at B. W. Hatchers Mill on Shaws creek Natural Causes
George Delaughter April 30, 1861 at the Hamburg Passenger Depot Accident train
George Bowers May 26, 1891 at Kenards bend Accident mule
Garett Doby October 11, 1880 at William Rufus Natural Causes
Frank Milton child January 26, 1894 at Sanders Loricks Natural Causes
Frank Holson freedman January 9, 1867 at Lee Holson Homicide pistol
Flora Harrison November 4, 1890 at Liberty Hill Homicide
Fed Martin convict September 1, 1895 at Poor House and CH Unknown
Fannie Patton November 18, 1898 at Francis Williams house Accident
Fannie Ford March 5, 1893 at Trenton S.C. Accident train
Ezekiel Thomas February 4, 1879 near Johnstons Accident train
Everett Hook July 18, 1891 at the saw Mill of M J Hook Accident
Eva Blocker February 11, 1893 at J. P. Wrights Plantation Accident
Eunice Hogan October 26, 1851 at the house of John Briskey Homicide
Eugene McCarty May 11, 1861 at Edgefield Court house Homicide pistol
Esther Jeter April 17, 1893 at Huiets x Roads Accident
Ernest Bean April 6, 1884 at the Mill of B[?] Hill Accident

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