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 Type Death Methodsort ascending
Matt Loyd February 24, 1891 at Mr. Carmal cemetary near the Old Wills Natural Causes
Henry Jennings September 14, 1891 at the residense of diceased Natural Causes
John David Twiggs September 15, 1864 in Hamburg Homicide
Thomas Welheu[?] June 19, 1868 at Benjamin Better[?] wheat field on the Columbia & Augusta Rail Road Accident
Sallie Busch August 21, 1892 at Lewis Beans plantation Natural Causes
Caroline Free negro August 26, 1858 four miles from Hamburg Unknown
Luther Sullivan October 26, 1898 near John Stuarts Homicide
Joseph Powel August 18, 1879 at [??] Accident
Tom negro man Slave August 21, 1850 at H. L. Maysons in Beach island Accident
Gertrude infant child December 1, 1891 at Edgfield Court house Accident
Lidia Watson January 26, 1894 at J E Macks Accident
Howard Gale June 13, 1879 at Jacksons Holinns[?] Mill Accident
Prince negro man October 27, 1844 at Mrs Elizabeth Timmermans Suicide
James Perry December 27, 1894 at Mt Enon Church Accident
James Edward Settle boy March 9, 1884 on Henry Hill Plantation Accident
Blassingame Wise April 27, 1848 at or near the Negro quarter of Mrs Wiley Glover, on Savannah River Suicide
Isaac Jones July 1, 1881 at Ridge Spring Natural Causes
Ryal Negro Slave July 28, 1851 at Mr Thos McKies Batteau landing on Big Stephen's Creek Accident
David West boy January 30, 1862 at Graniteville Accident
Fannie Patton November 18, 1898 at Francis Williams house Accident
Enoch Douglass August 11, 1879 near Wesly Barrs on the rail road Accident
Lucius Walker October 5, 1869 at James Doziers plantation Accident
Garett Doby October 11, 1880 at William Rufus Natural Causes
Reubin Weaver December 28, 1895 at Elijah Boatwrights Plantation Natural Causes
Rachiel Mitchel June 21, 1881 at J. R Corleys Accident
infant child infant child July 24, 1892 at Promised Land School house Unknown
Sam Slave June 14, 1858 at Henry Spiers[?] Accident
Alick Croker boy September 29, 1878 at Mrs. Marshes premises Accident
Unknown April 11, 1860 at or near W.J. Walkers Unknown
A. R. Steel girl child August 28, 1869 at Graniteville Accident
Riller three negro children October 2, 1846 at the house of Philip Brogden Homicide
Flora Harrison November 4, 1890 at Liberty Hill Homicide
infant child infant child October 6, 1891 at her Residence Unknown
Susan Medlock April 7, 1894 at Johnston Homicide
Ann Kimball September 4, 1895 at China grove church Homicide
infant infant January 24, 1893 at Clintonwards Accident
Joseph W. Glover September 2, 1844 at Charles Comptys[?] Hotel Homicide
Charly Washington boy November 22, 1891 at the house of George Washington near Bauknights ferry Accident
Lindy Jones March 15, 1882 at George Holingsworth House Accident
Kenneth Martor[?] January 15, 1852 at Thomas Samar's[?] Mills on horse creek Accident
Richard J. Barton December 28, 1866 at Mrs Lucinda Bartons Accident
Wade Barronton October 8, 1860 at Wade Barrontons Residence Natural Causes
Pompy Robinson November 1, 1898 at Norris Place Natural Causes
infant child infant child August 5, 1878 at the residence of H J Wright Homicide
Peyton Bird colored September 29, 1869 at Edgefield CH Natural Causes
Bartly negro man January 16, 1846 in the woods near the plantation of Dr Wm M Bent Unknown
John Shumport[?] November 7, 1851 at John Shumports[?] Accident
Everett Hook July 18, 1891 at the saw Mill of M J Hook Accident
George Mitchel June 21, 1881 at J. R Corleys Accident
William Prince July 9, 1851 at the house of John W Garrett Accident

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