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 401 - 450 of 524
Name Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Typesort descending Death Method
Dave Gillam August 25, 1892 at the house of Cal Smiths Homicide
Will Collens October 20, 1894 at Gaines SC Homicide
Andrew Trapp December 4, 1869 near Trapps Mills Homicide knife
J. D. Ouzts December 7, 1891 at Edgefield Homicide pistol
infant child infant child April 14, 1895 at Charley Moors Homicide
Robert J. Butler September 15, 1864 at Hamburg Homicide
James Ramsey December 12, 1869 at the residence of Andrew Ramsay Sr Homicide pistol
Baze negro slave March 31, 1863 at the D. J. Howls Homicide chop axe
male baby male baby May 24, 1891 at the Saluda River Homicide
Alice Adkinson October 18, 1898 at Republican Church Homicide
Thomas Glover August 2, 1893 at Bill Werk[?] Residence Homicide
Mary Slave May 17, 1847 at the Plantation of A. Perrin Homicide
Jno. C Swearingin April 24, 1895 at Edgefield CH Homicide
infant, (male) infant, (male) April 29, 1857 at Potterville Homicide
Thomas Styson June 22, 1856 at R. M. Fullers Homicide hoe
Rose negro woman Slave March 14, 1846 at Michael Longs Homicide
William Martin May 24, 1891 on the premises of W. E. Friday Homicide pistol
Namro negro man August 11, 1844 at the house of Rob King Esqr Homicide club or stick
Charles M. Creswell August 5, 1869 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Edmund Brown December 24, 1853 at the house of Wm Merchantile[?] Homicide
James Thomas colored July 20, 1869 at Liberty Hill County Homicide
James Bledsoe May 15, 1893 at Dr D.P. Lalsrones[?] Residence Homicide pistol
Eugene McCarty May 11, 1861 at Edgefield Court house Homicide pistol
Eunice Hogan October 26, 1851 at the house of John Briskey Homicide
Rufus Harling September 16, 1897 at Clarks Hill Homicide
John E. Paul June 14, 1892 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Willie Toney March 26, 1899 at Edgefield Court House Homicide
Luther Sullivan October 26, 1898 near John Stuarts Homicide
Tandy Holmes September 21, 1894 at or on Dr. W.C. Prescotts Plantation Homicide
Isaah Golden August 27, 1860 at Silverton Beach iland Homicide knife
Wallace E. Bland July 4, 1880 at Edgefield C. House Homicide
John Williams August 21, 1898 at S H Nicholson Homicide stick
infant infant January 10, 1898 at Johnston Homicide
Benjamin F. Jones March 24, 1845 at W B Griffins Homicide shotgun
Louisa Laudon October 11, 1869 at Dorns Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife
Henry Padget freedman November 14, 1866 at Wm Padgets premises on Clouds Creek Homicide
William Padgett February 22, 1894 at W.D. Readys plantation Homicide
Albert Jones April 29, 1885 at Pickens Reynolds house Homicide
William Cloud July 8, 1851 at the Spaun[?] Hotel Homicide pistol
Teague Tillman October 2, 1899 at the plantation of Thos. H. Ramsford Homicide pistol
Carey Ashley October 11, 1879 at J W Wises[?] plantation Homicide pistol
Wesley male slave, child October 5, 1857 at the residence of Sophia A Tilman Homicide
Jacob Horn February 25, 1866 at the hous of Jacob Horns Homicide
Isaac Matthias Jones October 14, 1858 at the house of Lewis Jones (Sr) at Edgefield C.H. Homicide knife
Andrew slave September 3, 1850 at A.P. Butlers plantation Homicide rail
Lizzy three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden Homicide axe
Levi H. McDaniel March 9, 1859 at or near the 17 mile Post on the Scotts Ferry Road Homicide
Henry Burt June 21, 1895 at Henry Burts Homicide knife
Prince slave January 15, 1865 at John Seiglers Homicide knife
John Laudrum October 11, 1869 at Dons Steam Mills near Rocky Creek Homicide knife

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