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
Apling negro man April 5, 1849 in the woods in said district near the Lexington line on a branch of McGier Creek Homicide
Clara Bell colored child June 23, 1868 at Rev. H.T. Baitleys Homicide
Bill King August 9, 1881 at H C Kings Residence Homicide hoe
Lewis Bartie July 26, 1864 at Mount Zion Church Homicide shotgun
Jim McKie October 26, 1898 near John starks Homicide
Lewis Moore November 30, 1891 at the plantation of Robert Smith Homicide pocket knife
Henry Padget freedman November 14, 1866 at Wm Padgets premises on Clouds Creek Homicide
Ned Dozier September 27, 1893 at MJ Holsteins Homicide
Albert Jones April 29, 1885 at Pickens Reynolds house Homicide
Isaac Matthias Jones October 14, 1858 at the house of Lewis Jones (Sr) at Edgefield C.H. Homicide knife
Thomas Styson June 22, 1856 at R. M. Fullers Homicide hoe
Elick Youngblood child March 21, 1881 at S[?] R Warren Homicide
Milledge Denny colored child June 23, 1868 at Rev. H.T. Baitleys Homicide
Scipio slave April 1, 1862 at E. J. Youngbloods Homicide hatchet
Prophet Burt freedman December 29, 1866 at E.N. Troys Homicide knife
George Ross June 29, 1898 at Adoms[?] place Homicide
Samuel Posey October 21, 1860 at P. B. McDaniels Homicide pistol
Allen Holmes March 4, 1882 at Oscar Seigler Residence Homicide
Isham Glover August 9, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
Julia Mundy June 17, 1881 at Jas H Banknight Homicide
Edmond Sharpton December 20, 1866 at the House of Mrs J.P. Brewer Homicide pistol
Will Collens October 20, 1894 at Gaines SC Homicide
Daniel slave, boy May 27, 1862 at John H. Fair Homicide shotgun
Teague Tillman October 2, 1899 at the plantation of Thos. H. Ramsford Homicide pistol
Susan Medlock April 7, 1894 at Johnston Homicide
William Padgett February 22, 1894 at W.D. Readys plantation Homicide
William Thurmond February 14, 1856 at Edgefield Court House, Planters[?] Hotel Homicide chair
Stanmore B. Chappell January 19, 1867 at S.B. Chappells Residence Homicide pistol
James Reynolds December 20, 1860 at the residence of James Reynolds Homicide
Harry slave December 25, 1858 at Col Arthur Sinkins[?] Homicide knife
Harry slave May 20, 1863 at Jesse Gomellions Homicide knife
Charles slave, boy September 25, 1861 at Elijah Watson Homicide
Ann Kimball September 4, 1895 at China grove church Homicide
Lula Smith child June 22, 1894 at James A Satcher's Plantation Homicide
Isham Glover August 10, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
John E. Paul June 14, 1892 at Edgefield CH Homicide
Peter negro man June 16, 1838 at a Mr. Azariah[?] Abneys Homicide stick
Warren Kirkland November 16, 1858 at Benjamin Bartons Homicide
Jacob Horn February 25, 1866 at the hous of Jacob Horns Homicide
Richmond slave March 3, 1857 at V[?] Elbert Blands residence at Edgefield Court House Homicide
John H. Anderson March 21, 1891 at Tom Anderson place Homicide
Pink Williams October 6, 1898 at or near Mr E.F. Pickles residence Homicide
Nelson Smith freedman, boy October 4, 1866 at Andrew Warts Homicide
Charles M. Creswell August 5, 1869 at Edgefield CH Homicide
William Martin May 24, 1891 on the premises of W. E. Friday Homicide pistol
Prince negro boy December 23, 1849 at Thos G. Lamars Mills on little horse creek Homicide knife
Arthur Morris June 20, 1898 at M. W Clarks Homicide pistol
Alice Adkinson October 18, 1898 at Republican Church Homicide
infant infant January 10, 1898 at Johnston Homicide
Tandy Holmes September 21, 1894 at or on Dr. W.C. Prescotts Plantation Homicide

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