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Edgefield in Edgefield County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Booth-Toney Shootout of 1878

 
 
The Booth-Toney Shootout of 1878 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
1. The Booth-Toney Shootout of 1878 Marker
Inscription. On the 12th of August 1878, two Edgefield County families has a shootout here that left three persons dead on the Square and four others badly wounded. The Booth and Toney families were from the eastern side of the county near Trenton. There had been bad blood between them, dating back to 1869 when Benjamin Booth killed Luther Toney.

Thousands of people from all over this part of South Carolina had come to Edgefield on that August day to celebrate the second anniversary of the Election of 1876, when Governor Hampton has been elected and the state "redeemed" from "Radical Republican" rule. The Booths and Toneys were among those who attended the festivities.

In the mid-afternoon, when Brooker and Mark Toney were in the bar room of A.A. Clisby which was located on this site, Benjamin Booth, his son Tim, and brother Sampson entered the front door. At the same time, Benjamin's other two brothers, Jim and Marion, entered the back door. The owner of the store saw Jim and Marion at the back door and, knowing that the Toneys were already in the bar room, stopped these Booths, saying that he did not want any "fuss" in his store.

About that time, shooting broke out in the front room of the building between Brooker and Mark Toney, on the one hand, and Benjamin, Tom and Sampson Booth on the other. The fighting spilled
The Booth-Toney Shootout of 1878 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
2. The Booth-Toney Shootout of 1878 Marker
Marker is located on the far left side of the Israel Mukashy building.
out into the street, with as many as forty shots being fired. When the shooting ended, Brooker Toney lay dead on the Square; Tom Booth lay dead on the sidewalk in front of Lynch's store (right next door), and Jim Booth lay dead on the sidewalk in front of the Advertiser office (where the Public Library is now located). Benjamin Booth, Mary Toney, W.L. Coleman and Wade Lott were all wounded in the affray.

Subsequently, nine men involved in the shooting were indicted and tried for murder. Many of the prominent lawyers of Edgefield, including U.S. Senator and former General M.C. Butler, State Senator and former General M.W. Gary, Speaker of the House and Governor-to-Be John C. Sheppard, and Solicitor John R. Abney, participated in either the prosecution of the defense. The jury ultimately rendered "Not Guilty" verdicts against all defendants. The trial is perhaps, in some measure, responsible for the adage "Juries in Edgefield understand the idiosyncrasies of a gentleman."
 
Location. 33° 47.383′ N, 81° 55.75′ W. Marker is in Edgefield, South Carolina, in Edgefield County. Marker is on Courthouse Square, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located on the western side of the building, facing Courthouse Square. Marker is at or near this postal address: 102 Courthouse Square, Edgefield SC 29824, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Pained Side of the Israel Mukashy Building image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, October 10, 2008
3. Pained Side of the Israel Mukashy Building
As a child in my hometown of Anderson, South Carolina, I often remember buildings with faded painted walls advertising goods. Walls such as these can still be found in many of the small down towns of South Carolina. A short walk down the alley takes you to Old Edgefield Pottery, where you can see artists create real the Edgefield pottery the town is famous for.
At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Israel Mukashy Building (here, next to this marker); Turner's Country Store (here, next to this marker); Lynch Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Historic Edgefield (within shouting distance of this marker); Governors and Lieutenant Governors from Edgefield (within shouting distance of this marker); The Jewish Merchants of Edgefield (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Welcome to Historic Edgefield (within shouting distance of this marker); Industrial History (within shouting distance of this marker); Religion & Education (within shouting distance of this marker); First Term of Court (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Edgefield.
 
Also see . . .  Edgefield Historic District. As early as 1787, the village green near Court House Square was deeded to the town of Edgefield. (Submitted on October 13, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 13, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,518 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 13, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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