xt7b2r3nw89g https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7b2r3nw89g/data/mets.xml Robbins, R. G. 1911  books b92-61-27078308 English Westerfield-Bonte, : [Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Lawyers Kentucky Mayfield. Mayfield (Ky.) Biography. Mayfield bar  / by R.G. Robbins. text Mayfield bar  / by R.G. Robbins. 1911 2002 true xt7b2r3nw89g section xt7b2r3nw89g 

- AM
6,  : A 7 IM;

 
This page in the original text is blank.

 

The Mayfield Bar
          By R. G. ROBBINS
            (Of the M.ayfield Bar)
               -0-
               AUTHOR OF
     "Autobiography of R. G. Robbins,"
             "Life of Leo,"
 "Boys I Knew at West Kentucky College,"
              "Pigeons,"
  "Master Commissioners and Their Duties,"
"The Farmer's Complaint, and other Stories,"
   "Complete Works of R. G. Robbins,"
   "A Twvo-Year-Old Doodle Bug," etc.

 

      Copyright 1911
            BY
     R. G. ROBBINS
Wester-field-Bonte Company
        Incorporated
   Loulisille, Kentucky



 

lw

 
This page in the original text is blank.

 

               preface.
  We have nothing of much importance to
say here, but every book has to have its
preface.
  This was conceived and executed for the
sole purpose of narrating the peculiarities
of the Mayfield Bar, as they appeared to us,
with perhaps some slight exaggerations.
  It was clone without the slightest provoca-
tion, and without the least hope of pecuniary
remuneration.
  December 1, 1910.

 

It is not so nmuch to know the law as it is to
find a lawcy3er who knowvs it.
         (Apologies to Judge Sharswood.)

 

              J. P. EVERS
  James P. Evers is a little-bitty fellow
wvith auburn hair, and the same kind of
mustache, who is always smoking either a
cob pipe or a cigar, except while in the
presence of His Honor. He is a man who
enjoys a joke as much as any man, which
reminds us that he is the originator of the
saying, "Some people have just as much
sense as anybody," which was right bright
in him.
  He wins his cases with the Statutes and
the Code, which some lawyers consider quite
good authority.
  He knew many of us before we got to
be real good lawyers, and is possessed of a
good memory in other respects as well. He
threw a chair at us once because we squirted
water on him, the same time we squirted it
on Holifield, but there was a large post be-
tween us and the chair, and we are still here,
but not squirting water.
                  
          JAMES T. WEBB
  Judge Jas. T. Webb. ex-County Judge,
is the step-father of Hon. R. E. Johnston,
an uncle of Joe XWreaks, and a brother of
                   a

 

WV. J. Webb, all licensed lawyers at this
bar.  In fact, the Webb-Weaks-Johnston
combination predominate at this bar in num-
bers. Judge Webb and his nephew, Joe
Weaks, are partners, and they make a good
team. What Uncle Jim don't know from
experience Joe will assert with confidence
he has read in the books, and so they have
it all in the firm.
  Judge Webb, mythology tells us, used to
be called by some of his intimate associates
"Old Yaller"; why we do not know. Then
we have heard him called "Chancellor," and
we plead ignorance of this also.
  The Judge is a jolly, good fellow, and
when he comes along down the street on a
third Monday, or other big day, you can
hear him holler "Howdy boys" across the
square, and ask them, "What do you know
about the new constitution " He enjoys
mingling with his fellow-countrymen, and
generally finds out what their business is
in town before he leaves them.
  It is a pleasure to hear him laugh; firstly,
because it seems to do him so much good;
and, secondly, because it sounds so much
like the jolly, whole-souled laugh of the
"Gravel King."
  Judge Webb speaks English, but does not
                    4

 

write it; in fact, the closest guess we have
ever heard as to the language he employs
in writing is that it is ancient Greek.
  Judge Webb is so peculiar we don't hardly
know how to tell about him, and will con-
tent ourselves with what we have already
said.
                     
            GUS THOMAS
  The next gentleman about whom we
would "make a few remarks" is "what is
commonly known as" Gus Thomas, but
whose real and insurable name is William
Atugustus Thomas. He is a son of the soil,
and by this expression we do not mean that
his hands and face are alzcwas dirty, because
they are not, but the idea we would convey
is that he is one born and reared on a farm.
where the "son" rises at four o'clock in the
morning, and sometimes at half past three,
and "sets" at seven or seven-thirty in the
evening; where the dew sparkles brightest,
and the birds sing the sweetest, and the
cows go off the farthest (in Tennessee).
Hle became possessed of a keen intuitive
perception while roaming on "off days" and
Saturday afternoons through the primeval
forest, "where the wind thistled and the
                    5

 

wild fox dlug his hole unscared." It was
there that he used to kill toad frogs and
murder snakes and learned to put himself
both on the offensive and the defensive,
which characteristic in after years was of
so much benefit to him in defending assault
and battery cases.
  lie was born amid plenteous originality,
fostered by home-made experience, and
reared in the tall timber. where the speech
of man was extravagant and, like his hair,
became quite lengthy.
  lie spent many hours picking cockelburrs
from the mane and tail of the old family
nag, and from the shaggy dog's tail, and
thus laid a foundation which, in his practice
of the law, enabled him to see the knotty
points in a case.
  "Now, in the first and foremost place,"
Gus, as everybody calls him (and this in-
cludes his wife), used to work on this
"aforesaid" farm  sometimes.  He raised
corn, tobacco, gourds and "Cain." He was
quite expert in biting the heads off worms
in the tobacco patch, and equally as. skillful
a carpenter, and once "built a house all by
himself. Yes, sir-ee. And it was just as
good a house, if not better than his father,
or Uncle Fon, or, we might say, any of

 

the rest of the fellers living around in that
settlement had in those days."
  One day he suddenly came to that point
in life when he decided "to get out and d(
something for himself," so he took a little
money, some clothes that he thought would
fit when he got fatter, and a clean handker-
chief, and boarded the train "right down
here at Fulton," and went "way off up
yonder to Valparaiso. You know that is
up there in Indiana, up there on the- well.
it's on that railroad that runs down here
by- well, anyway, it runs through Valpar-
aiso," and he stayed there a while and
studied law.
  He tells us he "just knocked the sox off
those fellers up there when it come to ar-
guing law." After completing his course
"'up there," he returned to the little berg
of Fulton, in the State of Kentucky, border-
ing on the State of Tennessee, with one
railroad, and an overflowing creek, running
through the town, and "hung out his
shingle," which perhaps read:
            "GUS THOMAS,
    Attorney and Counsellor at Law.
    Special attention paid to the collection
    of claims, settling of all kinds of es-
    tates including those of dead persons.
    wtnding up of affairs, w ritin  mort-
    gages,  wills, and  everything  but
    checks."
                     '7

 

  We say perhaps, because we do not
know for certain. We are only guessing at
this, judging from his later "verbosity of
speech and numerosity of wvords."
  Ile afterward came to Mayfield and en-
tered upon the practice of his chosen pro-
fession, and is now a partner of Judge J. E.
Robbins and R. G. Robbins, the firm repre-
senting the Illinois Central Railroad Com-
pany in the counties of the First Judicial
District.
  HIe is married, has a wife, of course, and
a daughter; has a mother-in-law, and lives
with her. Wonderful, you say Well,
books are not written about ordinary people.
  Hle has never held but three offices in
all his public career since I knew him, and
they were only fairly supplied with chairs
and tables.
  When the Standard Oil Company was
fined 29,000,000 for divers and sundry of-
fenses AIr. Thomas was listening to some
men discussing the case. One man had be-
gun to express his views, when Mr. Thomas
interrupted him by saying: "Oh, well', now,
let me tell you one thing. In the first and
foremost place, you know-well-my good-
ness alive, if they don't fine this great big
willopus-wallopus of a concern, it won't be
                    8

 

a thousand years before this very same
identical thing will be stretching out its
claws from the very doors of heaven, and
grabbing up all our hard-earned dollars,
and even walking right down the streets,
and carrying off our little infant baby chil-
dren."
  Once he was defending a peddler for sell-
ing wares without a license. In his argu-
ment to the jury he said, inter alia: "Why,
gentlemen, this very feller right here was
not violating the law. lie was just simply
itinerating around."
  One day Mr. Thomas had gone into the
trial of a case, and after nearly all the evi-
dence had been introduced, he came over to
the office for some authorities. Judge Rob-
bins asked him how he was getting along
and he replied: "Well, sir, I'll tell you right
now, they are going to swamp me from who
laid the rails. They are over there swear-
ing like buzzards. I am going to be set
out on a sandbar as soon as the jury
comes in."
  He went back to the courthouse, finished
the evidence and presented his authorities,
and the case was decided in his favor. Re-
turning to the office, he was asked how he
came out. "Oh, my goodness alive, I won
                     9

 

hands down. I knew all the time I had 'em
skinned all over the board."
   He was not very self-confident, nor did
 he have the utmost confidence in others,
 and if you told him such and such a thing
 was a fact, he would shake his head, look
 scared, and say: "Well, now, I don't know
 so much about those."
 Take, for instance, motion hour in the
 Circuit Court before His Honor, Judge
 R. J. Bugg. The judge is asking the attor-
 neys if they have any motions. Mr. Thomas
 is sitting in a split-bottom chair, his feet set
 pigeon-toed on the bottom rung, his knees
 pointing outward and heavenward, stroking
 his thirteen stubby goatees, as he quietly,
 but safely, shifts his quid of homemade from
 the west jaw to the east.
 Judge Bugg: "Mr. Thomas, have you
 any motions "
 Gus: "Why, yes, sir." (Rising and look-
 ing about the court room, his face in a deep
 study.) "That is, uh, I haven't any motions
 or anything of that sort this morning, but
 before the court adjourns, perhaps to-
 morrow, or next day, or, at any rate, some
 day this week, I desire to file a general de-
 murrer to the answer in a case I have got
here, and would like for Your Honor-"
                   10

 

  The Judge: "Well, I am asking you if
you have any motions now"
  Gus: "No, sir; but I was just telling you
that-"
  The Judge: "Mr. Foy, any motions this
morning " And Mr. Thomas sits down
and resumes his comfortable attitude on the
bottom round of the "aforesaid" split-
bottom chair.
  One day Mr. Thomas was out hunting
with some fellows in the bottom. He wan-
dered off by himself, and got lost. After a
little while the other members of his party
heard such a bombardment in another part
of the woods they thought evidently Gus
was killing squirrels by the "barrel." They
would hear a couple of shots, and then in
a few minutes two more shots. This kept
up for several minutes, and they started in
the direction whence the reports came.
They went along cautiously, and soon found
out the cause of the shooting. Mr. Thomas
did not know where he was, and was shoot-
ing to attract attention. He would stick his
gun down toward the ground and fire both
barrels, and then, raising up, on his tip-toes,
would listen for a few minutes, then "boom,
boom," he would shoot some more, and
listen again. One of the fellows hollered
                   11

 

to him, and said: "Gus, what is all this
shooting about" He looked around rather
sheepishly and said: "Why, hello." Then
he recovered his equanimity, and continued:
"Well, sir, just go around on the other side
of that tree there with your gun. There
is a million squirrels up that very tree
yonder, and they are all on the other side.
I have been shooting at them here for an
hour." Another one of the party walked
up to where Gus was, and pointing to the
holes in the ground made by the shots from
his gun, inquired what made them. Then
Mr. Thomas smiled, and stroked his goatees,
but made no answer, and the joke was on
him.
  He considers himself the champion squir-
rel hunter in Kentucky, and we believe he
has killed one or two.
  The last one: One night after supper,
Mr. Thomas, his wife and his wife's mother
were discussing some proposition, and Mr.
Thomas found it expedient to side with his
mother-in-law. That night, after he and
his wife had retired, she told him she re-
gretted very much that he should take sides
against her on any proposition.  "Why,
Gus," she said, "you ought to take sides with
your wife against any one." "No, sir-ree,"
                   12

 

he replied, "when I'm right, and I know
I'm right, I wouldn't take sides with any-
body, not even Jno. WV. God."
                   .  
           R. E. JOHNSTON
  The subject of this sketch is a home
product, having been reared in this com-
munity, as we are told, and after hav-ing
attended Wiest Kentucky College for a
while, was admitted to the bar, and began
to seek the nomination for that always-to-
be-sought-after position, the Legislature.
We remember reading a book once about
some fellow going to the Legislature, the
title of which book was not very euphonious,
but we will not be so unkind as to compare
Mr. Johnston to him, because there is no
comparison.
  Our first recollection of him was when at
the college the older boys used to "make
the welkin ring" with the strains of "Tramp,
Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching,"
and we thought from the way our friend
Johnston was starting out, by this time he
would have been president of our land.
  He possesses many characteristics of a
good lawyer, one of which is that he always
knows he is right in a lawsuit before the
                   13

 

final decision, and then if perchance the de-
cision should be adverse to him, he will tell
you that he was just making the best fight
he could for his client, and told him all the
time that he could not win. We admire him
for doing the best he can for his clients, but
it is our unbiased opinion that a lawyer
should tell his client that he can not win his
case just a little earlier in the game.
   Mr. Johnston is a Notary Public, duly
and regularly commissioned by His Excel-
lency, the Governor of Kentucky, with full
and complete power and authority to swear
witnesses, acknowledge deeds and mort-
gages, and to attest any and perhaps all of-
ficial documents which, by the very nature
of them, must cross the border and go into
some foreign State. We feel proud to know
that the Governor of this great Common-
wealth has seen fit to bestow upon him such
a remunerative and exalted position, as that
of Notary Public, and we know that he is
amply qualified to fulfill all the duties per-
taining to the office.
  Mr. Johnston is most frequently seen.
crossing the street from his office to the
courthouse with a short cigar in his mouth,
and a few papers in 'his hands, as he quickly
and solemnly takes short but certain steps,
                    14

 

placing only the toe of his foot upon the
ground, as he glides along rythmically,
smoothly and with no undue detonation
upon the earth's surface.
   Mr. Johnston is a specialist in filing re-
ports as guardian ad litem, and really seems
to enjoy the practice.
  Also he is a Woodman, and orates con-
siderably whenever opportunity offers upon
the mysteries and intricacies of the order.
  We could say more about him, but we
must be on our way.
                    
            A. L. GILBERT
  Albert Gilbert is our City Attorney, and
self-constituted legal adviser to our Most
Worthy City Council. There is nothing
peculiar about Gilbert, because he is always
in dead earnest. Recently the Council or-
dered him to institute suits against certain
property owners for whom side walks had
been built. Gilbert immediately arose, and
in stentorian tones deliberately and emphat-
ically told them that he desired them to un-
derstand that in no event would he be re-
sponsible for the costs of the actions. Of
course, we don't blame him for letting them
know his true position at the outset, because
                    15

 

we wouldn't want to be paying a lot of costs
for somebody else.
  Gilbert is a fine-looking fellow, with a
heavy suit of hair, and dark brown eyes,
and especially when his mustache is long.
It gives him a distinguished appearance, so
necessary to a professional man, that can be
obtained in no other way. He has a loud
clear voice, and when he walks into the
courtroom, swinging his hat by the brim,
he can be heard greeting the various
citizens who happen to be sitting in the
room, and sometimes he laughs aloud, so he
can be heard through the entire room.
  Recently, while Judge W. M. Reed, of
Paducah, Ky., was acting as Special Judge,
in the absence of Judge R. J. Bugg, Gilbert
was very persistent in calling up several
cases in which the city of Mayfield was in-
terested, and finally, after many rebuffs,
arose and with a sickly smile, said: "Judge,
Your Honor please, I don't want to worry
the court, but-" Whereupon Judge Reed
interrupted by saying, "Well, you're doing
it anyway," and he returned Gilbert's smile.
  But with all his faults, we like Gilbert.
He never did anything to bother us, and we
are just telling you these things because they
happen to come into our mind while we
                    16

 

are at leisure, which is a thing we don't
have much of.
                  
             J. E. WARREN
  Joe, as his wife calls him in public, used
to go to school at the same time that we did,
but not educating himself to be a bookist,
and being a "great deal older," he resigned
his position as student in West Kentucky
College, and entered upon the practice of
law, in our little city. Joe was raised near
Boaz, and for many years. way back yonder.
subsisted mainly upon country ham and
fried chicken. Even now he frequently goes
back to the old homestead not only to recall
memories of happy days spent in his boy-
hood, but also to see if the same good, old
fashion of ham and eggs is still prevailing.
  We went with him once to the scenes of
his birth, and later attended the cleaning of
a graveyard, and we found, besides his old
friends, much ham and eggs and thicken,
and the further fact that Joe is akin to most
of the people in that section of the country.
This, of course, gave him a wide acquaint-
ance, and as we would pass along the public
highway, he took great pleasure in pointing
out where his Aunt Susan, or his Uncle
                    17

 

Jeremiah lived, with explanatory remarks
about early instances of his life, supplement-
ing all with a short history of the age and
surroundings of the dwellings and barns.
We enjoyed it, too, including the ham and
chicken.
  We also passed the site where, as he told
us. "he made himself what he is now," a
little two-by-four school house, near Fol-
somdale, over which his august presence
cast a most effective spell while "books was
took up," and where day in and day out
he instilled into them of the surrounding
country, the principles of readin,' 'ritin' and
rithmetic.
  In these parts also he suffered and felt
his first pangs of a schoolboy's love, and,
as he told us, with tear-stained cheeks, of
his experiences, and even showed us stumps
and fences where he had once sat with the
object of his affections, we could hardly
refrain from tears ourself, so pathetic did
it appear to us.
  In the language of Gus Thomas, Joe is
"right smart of a lawyer, he is," but some-
how we have a presentiment (if that is the
word) that he has found it out, for he has
even had the nerve to our own knowledge,
at times, to attempt to argue propositions
                    18

 

of law before a learned judge, and to try
to convince His Honor that his views are
correct.
  Joe is not the most aggressive person in
the world, but we have heard that his wife
(he being married at this writing) is blessed
with a most magnificent quantity of hirsute
adornment, of vermillion hue, and we
"kinder" believe in signs.
  There is nothing peculiar about Joe, ex-
cept his walk, and his actions, and some of
his looks, and as we are trying merely to
describe peculiarities in this edition, we will
"slack ahead" for the present.
                  
          W. B. STANFIELD
  Will Stanfield, as his father calls him;
Willie, as his mother calls him; Bill, as the
boys call him; and Wee-ul, as his wife calls
him, -is a little-bitty, sawed-off sucker, with
an extra large head on his rather delicate
shoulders. We have heard, and without
betraying any secrets, we will say from close
relations, that he is a very bright, intelligent
young man, and well grounded in the prin-
ciples of jurisprudence, for a man of his
age and ability. Will and we went to school
together, but he was attracted by the fame
                    19

 

and glory of the court room, and was hold-
ing himself in readiness to try his first case,
long before we knew what the rule in Shel-
ley's case was.
  Will is what the street Arabs call a "cut-
ter," which means, in their own language,
that he is a "slick duck." We use this term
in its most reverent meaning, for we intend
by so doing to compliment him.
  Will recently had a land suit, involving
the rights of a widow with children, to the
homeplace. The attorney for the opposing
side we have forgotten. Anyway, after he
had delivered himself of a most delightful
and self-satisfying expose of the issues in
the case, he was followed by Will, who
spoke something like this:
  "Gentlemen of the Jury: I am almost
moved to tears (here he began to blink his
eyes rapidly, twitch his mouth, and imitate
salty tears) when I contemplate even in my
feeble way the injustice and the outrage
about to be perpetrated upon this good
woman. Turn her out of this old home,
where she has lived for years; where she
has given birth to and reared her happy
family of five sweet little children; turn
this good woman out into the cold, dreary
                    20

 

world to make a living for these dear little
ones 
  "Gentlemen, as we look at the old fence,
and go through the fallen gate, into the
weed-grown yard, and up on the rotting
doorsteps of this rickety old homeplace, we
have feelings not far from sorrowful. When
we contemplate such a step as the distin-
guished gentleman on the other side would
have you make, we become sad and gloomy.
If you do, gentlemen, there is nothing for
this poor old woman to do. She can only
rise in the morning, cook and eat her scanty
meal of bacon and bread, and taking her
children by the hand, fall upon her straw-
stuffed bed, and weep until her heart almost
breaks from sorrow. Then, as she steps
to the mantle, and takes down the old family
clock, which has ticked in that same place
for twenty years, and by which her dear
husband and little ones have lived through-
out the days, she kisses it, and leaves with
her ragged little ones, to go out in the
cold, strange world, alone and fatherless,
without even a ray of hope for the morrow,
and with nothing to appease the hunger of
the little ones."
  And as he sat down, self-satisfied, appar-
ently much distressed, and about to shed
                    21

 

tears himself, but inwardly with a happy
heart, the jury wiped their eyes, and filed
out to render their verdict in favor of his
client. Hence, Will is called a "cutter."
  He is an expert authority on telephones
and farmers' associations. He is a member
of all of them, and can tell you the price
of lug tobacco in Berlin, Germany, on the
31st day of next June. He can give you the
connections you will need to talk from
Pant'er Creek to the Panama Canal, and
knows the names of all the central girls
enroute.
  His wife thinks he is the smartest man
in town, and the best lawyer. In fact, she
told us confidently that if she hadn't thought
so, she would have married another man
here in town, whose name I will not call.
  But Will has a brother Ralph, who is pe-
culiar, too, and we can't afford to spend all
our time in one family, so we will take up
Ralph a little later.
                     
             W. J. WEBB
  We do not know anything much to say
about Mr. Webb's peculiarities, because
they are hard to describe. The most strik-
ing peculiarity he has -is that he always gets
                   22

 

mad when he gets beat in a lawsuit, which
is to say that he is not always in a good
humor. He is never found on the wrong
side of a case until after the jury has re-
turned -its verdict, or the judge has rendered
his decision, and then he says they didn't
pay any attention to the facts or the law
of the case, and he will appeal the case,
which is a lawyer's privilege.
  Mr. Webb, technically perhaps, is not
very musically inclined, but we have heard
that he plays the fiddle, but that no matter
what his connection with any given case is,
he absolutely and steadfastly refuses to play
second fiddle.
  Whenever he comes into your office, the
first thing he does is to look over all your
papers and documents lying on your desk,
and then sits down, and proceeds to write
all over everything in reach, not being par-
ticular whether it is a law book or a polished
table top.
   Fearing that we -have already said
enough, we will now desist from further
participation.
23

 

           JOB H. WEAKS
  Joe Weaks is our ex-County Attorney.
He is a long, tall, slim, hungry-looking sort
of fellow, always in a good humor, with his
hands in his pockets most of the time. Joe
reminds us of the fellow named Long, who
married a girl by the name of Long. The
first year they didn't get along (a Long)
at all, but the second year they did.
(Laughter.)
  Joe is tolerably truthful in most things,
but when you ask him how he is, he will
invariably say, "Oh, I'm fat," when a single
glance at him would prove that his state-
ments are "false, and that he knew them to
be false when he uttered them," with apolo-
gies to Townsend on Slander.
  The two foremost pictures that hang in
Joe's Hall of Fame are those of Blackstone
and Uncle Jim.
  Joe is more perfectly at ease in the court
room when he is sauntering around, look-
ing for a vacant chair, with both of his
hands stuck in his back pockets, and in this
attitude he is a most imposing figure among
the legal lights of the Mayfield Bar.
24

 

   JOSEPHUS EWING ROBBINS
   This man is our father, and naturally we
must do our best on him. When we were
little we were taught, or rather we believed,
that he was the greatest man in the world,
knew more than anybody else, was the best-
looking man in town, and could do any-
thing, and answer any question that we
might ask him. We would not, for the
world, cause him the slightest pain, at this
stage of life, by writing here that our opin-
ion has somewhat changed as to the latter
accomplishment.
  He is an older man than we, and more
experienced in the law, and we give his
opinions much consideration, for this rea-
son, if for no other.
  Judge Robbins was born among the hills
of old Graves County, and after the death
of his father, which occurred while he was
yet very young, he taught school, and sup-
ported his widowed mother and only sister.
Later he moved to Mayfield, and was elected
Surveyor of Graves County, which position
he held for one term. He was married in
1879 to our mother, and some four years
thereafter, your -humble servant, we, the
author, moved to -this country, and located
                   25

 

in Mayfield, taking up our abode with our
father and mother within two blocks of the
courthouse. It was here that we uttered
our first sound, and raised our voice loudly
and vehemently, with much inarticulate
gesticulation, prolonged vociferations and
infantile screams. It was about this time
that we met Judge Robbins, and with all
modesty we feel constrained to say that we
perhaps know him better than any other
member of the Mayfield Bar, excluding our-
self.
  He was elected County Judge of this
county once, and the-after the people had
forgotten about that, he ran for Circuit
Judge, and was elected.
  lie was also nominated for Representa-
tive in the General Assembly of Kentucky
by the Democrats, and made the race for
the election against his half brother, Curg
Willingham, a Populist; while at the same
time his other half-brother, Bob Willingham
was making the race for Senator on the
Republican ticket. He argued that he was
the right man, because he had two half-
brothers in the race, and it took two halves
to make a whole, and he was elected.
  lie used to practice being Judge on us,
and when the author of this literary gem
                    26

 

would pound the filling out of his youn-er
brother, the Judge would listen to only one
side (his) and then he would administer
justice, without any undue amount of mercy
upon us. When he became Judge in earn-
est, he learned to hear both sides of a case
before deciding the WRONG way.
  He is left-handed, learned to write first
with his left hand, and is still trying to
learn to write with his right hand. We
once took a course in Greek, and can now
read his handwriting fairly well, which is as
much as he can do when it gets cold.
  WAhen he was in the Legislature, Gus
Thomas informs us he got only one bill
through, and HE sent that up there to him.
  He has been a candidate for the Court
of Appeals once or twice, and once or twice,
by appointment, has sat as Judge of that
court in special cases, and by appointment
from  Governor   Beckham   tried  Caleb
Powers for the assassination of Governor
William Goebel, and refused to sit at a
subsequent trial of the case.
  Ile has donated to all the churches in
Graves County, and in some of the other
counties, has bought dresses for a great
many little young Americans, whose parents
were so kind as to name them Joe, and has
                   27

 

done many other things to win the hearts
and votes of his constituency. We some-
times feel that some people are of the opin-
ion that this same spirit is a thing handed
down from father to son.
  Once, when he was a boy, he and his
half brother went down to the stable lot,
undressed themselves, and put the two pairs
of pants on a young colt, using one pair
for the front legs and the other pair for
the hind legs. The colt got away from
them, and while watching colt and
"breeches" disappear in the distance, his
motther caine around the corner of the
stable, and without any further notice or
preparation, proceeded to administer a
sound thrashing to the two.
  Once, while he was on the bench as Cir-
cuit Judge, it is said of him, that an igno-
rant negro was testifying about some trivial
matter, and in answer to a question by his
attorney, the negro mumbled his answer,
so that the Judge did not hear him, and he
thereupon asked the witness: "What did
you say " The negro replied: "YOU heard
what I said." The Judge turned to the
Clerk and said: "Mr. Clerk, let the witness
be fined five dollars." The negro turned
around to the Judge quickly and said:
                    28

 

"What did you say, Judge" and was an-
swered with "YOU, heard what I said."
   Pete Seay is authority for the following
anecdote told on Judge Robbins: Pete's
client was on the witness stand, testifying
to a certain conversation, and was asked
about it. Finally be blurted out: "Well, the
upstart of the whole thing was he offered
mne a dollar to swear a lie." Judge Robbins
insinuatingly remarked, "It's a wonder you
hadn't done it," thereby almost precipitating
a fight in the court room.
  He has some peculiarities, like playing
with his pocket knife or gold ring, twitching
his mustache with his hand, and fingering
his cuff buttons. While speaking, very fre-
quently he grabs up one corner of his coat,
and wads it up in his hand. When sitting
in the court room he very frequently pats
his foot on the floor or takes his knife or a
mallet and hammers on the table or desk
top.
  Some people say we are just like him.
We suppose they mean we resemble him in
looks and manner, too, and since he has pe-
culiarities, it naturally follows that we
would have them, too, and it is a well-known
fact that people can not see