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 descending Inquest Location Death Type Death Method
Milledge Denny colored child June 23, 1868 at Rev. H.T. Baitleys Homicide
Auson Peeler July 25, 1868 near Kalmia[?] Mills Accident horse
Isaac Grimer December 10, 1868 at Jacobs Branch on the Spaun Church road Accident
George Low col June 6, 1869 at Sand Bar Ferry Accident stems of yellow jasmine
Hartwell Roper June 17, 1869 at the residence of Rev. J.P. Mealing Natural Causes
Jesse Limbecker June 18, 1869 at Hamburg Accident
Hampton Weaver colored July 17, 1869 at the house of and on the farm of James T Outz Accident shotgun
James Thomas colored July 20, 1869 at Liberty Hill County Homicide
Charles M. Creswell August 5, 1869 at Edgefield CH Homicide
A. R. Steel girl child August 28, 1869 at Graniteville Accident
John Whitlock boy September 8, 1869 at Grainteville Accident
Thomas O'Donald September 13, 1869 at Dr. John E. Padgetts Homicide pistol
Dilsey Seigler September 20, 1869 at Miles Mills Natural Causes
Peyton Bird colored September 29, 1869 at Edgefield CH Natural Causes
Lucius Walker October 5, 1869 at James Doziers plantation Accident
Unknown October 10, 1869 at Graniteville Accident train
Louisa Laudon October 11, 1869 at Dorns Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
John Laudrum October 11, 1869 at Dons Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
John E. Elsmore November 28, 1869 at the house of John E. Elsmore Homicide pistol
Andrew Trapp December 4, 1869 near Trapps Mills Homicide knife
James Ramsey December 12, 1869 at the residence of Andrew Ramsay Sr Homicide pistol
Ben Shubrick col December 24, 1869 at Negro heade Lane Natural Causes
Lee Ryan September 27, 1877 at the plantation of Abram F Broadwater Homicide iron instrument
Michael Long October 11, 1877 near the Residence of E.N. Youngblood Suicide knife
Willis Asbell December 7, 1877 at Ridge Spring Homicide
infant child infant child December 14, 1877 at Dr. K N Hudsons plantation Homicide
Yancy Hardy December 31, 1877 at Dr. GJ[?] Butlers Plantation Homicide pistol
Elijah Reynolds April 11, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide pistol
infant child infant child August 5, 1878 at the residence of H J Wright Homicide
W. Brooker Toney August 12, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide pistol
James Booth August 23, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide
Thomas Booth August 23, 1878 at E. C. House Homicide pistol
Henry Turner September 24, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide
Alick Croker boy September 29, 1878 at Mrs. Marshes premises Accident
Charles S. Harrison November 25, 1878 at E.C. House Accident pistol
Ezekiel Thomas February 4, 1879 near Johnstons Accident train
James Mitchell February 18, 1879 at L D Laudrums Natural Causes
Lila Washington February 20, 1879 at Wesley Barns Mill Accident
Howard Gale June 13, 1879 at Jacksons Holinns[?] Mill Accident
Edward Horton August 7, 1879 near Wesley Barrs[?] Accident sunstroke
Adam Barker August 10, 1879 at the Residence of Adam Barker Decd Suicide
Enoch Douglass August 11, 1879 near Wesly Barrs on the rail road Accident
Lilla Olophant female infant August 18, 1879 at Simpton[?] Pinns[?] Accident
Joseph Powel August 18, 1879 at [??] Accident
Margaret Simpkins September 21, 1879 on Jas C Brooks Plantation Homicide shotgun
Lizzy Rardon September 28, 1879 at Clansey Holloways plantation Accident
Carey Ashley October 11, 1879 at J W Wises[?] plantation Homicide pistol
Wallace E. Bland July 4, 1880 at Edgefield C. House Homicide
Isaac Boseley July 5, 1880 at Ridge Spring Homicide pistol
Garett Doby October 11, 1880 at William Rufus Natural Causes

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