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 301 - 350 of 524
Namesort ascending Deceased Description Date Inquest Location Death Type Death Method
J. D. Wells December 14, 1890 at Edgefield C.H. Natural Causes
J. D. Ouzts December 7, 1891 at Edgefield Homicide pistol
J. B. Whittle November 28, 1894 at Mrs Whittles Natural Causes
Isham Glover August 10, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
Isham Glover August 9, 1892 at Edgefield C.H. Homicide
Isah Zimmerman December 26, 1881 at the Residence of W F Ste[?]eies Accident pistol
Isaah Golden August 27, 1860 at Silverton Beach iland Homicide knife
Isaac Oliphant November 9, 1882 at Ritch Thomson Accident
Isaac Matthias Jones October 14, 1858 at the house of Lewis Jones (Sr) at Edgefield C.H. Homicide knife
Isaac Jones July 1, 1881 at Ridge Spring Natural Causes
Isaac Grimer December 10, 1868 at Jacobs Branch on the Spaun Church road Accident
Isaac Boseley July 5, 1880 at Ridge Spring Homicide pistol
Isaac negro man December 1, 1856 at a point on the South Carolina Rail Road [?] Brooks Mill creek Accident train
Infred Padgett July 12, 1848 at the Joal of Edgefield Natural Causes
infant, child infant, child November 29, 1894 at the plantation of J. P. Roton Natural Causes
infant, (male) infant, (male) April 29, 1857 at Potterville Homicide
infant male child infant male child January 3, 1894 in Edgefield County Natural Causes
infant child infant child April 14, 1895 at Charley Moors Homicide
infant child infant child November 23, 1891 at the plantation of Willis Owdom[?] Accident
infant child infant child July 24, 1892 at Promised Land School house Unknown
infant child infant child September 9, 1891 at Wards Natural Causes
infant child infant child September 15, 1861 at the residence of Mrs Margret Willis Accident
infant child infant child January 10, 1892 at Trenton Accident
infant child infant child December 9, 1891 at a colored cemetary Accident
infant child infant child August 5, 1878 at the residence of H J Wright Homicide
infant child infant child June 14, 1891 at Kenny Grave Yard Accident
infant child infant child November 17, 1891 at Mr M Toneys place Unknown
infant child infant child December 14, 1877 at Dr. K N Hudsons plantation Homicide
infant child infant child October 6, 1891 at her Residence Unknown
infant child infant child January 18, 1892 at the Plantation of L. G. Swearinger Accident
Infant Boy Child Colored Infant Boy Child Colored February 15, 1883 at the residence of Charles Coleman Unknown
Infant Boy Child Infant Boy Child June 18, 1883 at Marsh Grobe Yard Accident
infant Boy infant Boy October 29, 1894 at [?] Coleman Natural Causes
infant infant December 15, 1892 at Mr. Pleasant Grave Yard Accident
infant infant January 24, 1893 at Clintonwards Accident
infant infant January 10, 1898 at Johnston Homicide
Infant Infant December 18, 1894 at the Rinheart Grave yard Unknown
infant infant January 22, 1894 at Oak Gilchrist House Natural Causes
infant infant March 24, 1892 at Pinksville Homicide
infant infant May 5, 1893 at F. L. Foys Natural Causes
Hurnon[?] April 4, 1862 at Doct H R Cooks Plantation on Savanah River Unknown
Hugh Wetherford June 25, 1895 at Edgefield CH Accident train
Hugh Duffey Sr. August 26, 1855 at Bethany Church Accident horse
Howard Gale June 13, 1879 at Jacksons Holinns[?] Mill Accident
Henry Turner September 24, 1878 at Johnstons Homicide
Henry Peterson June 13, 1893 at Ridge Spring Accident train
Henry Parks September 14, 1895 at Parksville Homicide
Henry Padget freedman November 14, 1866 at Wm Padgets premises on Clouds Creek Homicide
Henry Mobley December 11, 1899 at Johnston Homicide pistol
Henry Langley April 2, 1848 at Wm Vances Accident wagon

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