Goodspeed’s 1891 Biographical Memoirs
For White Township, the managers of the general election of 1850 were Isaac Denson, Ambrose Ball and William Daniels; for Egypt Township, James Sims, Joel Hawley and Mr. Williams; for Carter Township, John Carter, Josiah Stevens and William Hopkins; for DeBastrop, John L. Hawkins, Anguish Cameron and Joseph Dean; for Union Township, John P. Fisher, John D. Herd and Cypean Lambert. The place of holding elections in White Township was the house of Isaac Denso; DeBastrop, the house of Joseph Dean; Union, the house of Henry Tramels; Egypt, the house of Squire Norris; Carter, the house of John Carter.
The same court, on April 30, 1849, ordered that "one-sixth of one per cent be levied as ad valorum tax on all taxable property in the county of Ashley; also 75 cents for each white free 'mail" inhabitant over the age of twenty-one and under the age of sixty years of age."
The first proceedings in chancery in Ashley County were instituted in a suit in partition for a division of the Boycroft estate. The order was granted. In the first circuit court there were but two cases before the court in the case of Hugh M. Gary, plaintiff, and Henry C. Dade and Isaac I. Newton, defendants. Gary secured judgment to the amount of $250 and costs; the case of E.L. Strange, plaintiff, and Robert Trammell, defendant, was dismissed at the cost of the plaintiff. The grand jury came into court and by their foreman reported that they found no indictments, and that there was no business before them, thereupon the prosecuting attorney stating he had nothing to lay before them, they were discharged. It was then ordered that court adjourn until court in course. This court was held on the first Monday after the fourth Monday in March, in the year 1849, at the house of Isaac Denson, at Fountain Hill.
Ashley County is in the Third Congressional District, and the Tenth Judicial Circuit. The present circuit judge is C.D. Wood, of Monticello, who was elected September 6, 1886, his term to expire October 30, 1890. The prosecuting attorney, C.R. Fuller, resides at Princeton. He was elected September 3, 1888, and his term expires October 30, 1890. Court is held twice a year commencing on the first Mondays in February and August, and lasting two weeks. This county was formerly in the Second District. The judges who occupied this bench included such well known individuals as Josiah Gould, John C. Murray, T.F. Sorrels, John C. Murray, J.F. Lowery, and W.H. Harrison. Among the prosecuting attorneys were T.F. Sorrels, W.P. Grace, S.F. Arnett, D.W. Carroll, C.C. Godden, and W.F. Slemmons. Since included in the Tenth Circuit, Judges H.P. Morse, D.W. Carroll, T.F. Sorrels, J.M. Bradley and C.D. Wood have presided, the prosecuting attorneys being J.McL. Barton, H. King White, M. McGehee, J.C. Barrow, M.L. Hawkins and R.C. Fuller.
The resident attorneys are M.L. Hawkins, Norman & Wooldridge and W.S. Lawson, Van H. Manning, afterward in Congress, from Mississippi, was at one time a member of the Ashley County bar, as were also Judge James B. Wood, now on the bench in the Seventh Circuit; George W. Murphey, of Hot Springs, Ark., and also the present presiding judge.
Legal penalties for crime have been administered in this county, as the following facts show: In 1853 a Negro man and woman were hanged for the murder of their master, a man named Davis. October 20, 1872, Frank Cobb was hanged for the murder of Dr. W.L. McKoin, a most atrocious crime, Cobb having waylaid McKoin, and shot him off his horse. H.P. Morse was the judge to pass sentence, and J.P. Harbison, sheriff.
October 22, 1881, Boge Jackson and Henry Hill were hanged for the murder of Rube Jordan. This affair grew out of a difficulty at a Negro dance, all the parties concerned were Negroes. Jackson was the principal and Hill received his sentence, as being accessory before the fact. T.F. Sorrels was then judge, and Thomas Stilwell, sheriff.
On the night of July 7, 1877, George Jackson, being incarcerated in the county jail charged with rape and murdering his victim, was taken by a mob and hanged. Sam, a brother to George escaped and was gone seven years, but was finally caught and brought back, and on the second night, August 1, 1884, he too was hanged. The county has had its share of tragedies in the past, but nowhere in the State can there now be found a better class of society nor more orderly law-abiding citizens.
At the April term of the county clerk, 1850, S.F. Maines was appointed commissioner to let the building of a county jail, "to cost #1200, the lower story to be built of double logs, ten inches thick, lined with inch plank, nailed with six inch spikes, drove every four inches, the floor to be of one foot square timber". The upper story was not quite so substantial in its construction. At the October term of court, 1850, S.F. Maines, A.J. Hays and E.H. Moore were appointed commissioners to let the building of a clerk's and sheriff's offices, at a cost of $200, the building to