Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 47 of 58
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TEXAS AND TEXANS FIFTY YEARS AGO. 47
the impression made on his mind by that first meeting. Heavy
set in person, his yellow locks, his large head, short neck, bold,
intellectual, defiant forehead, reminded the writer of what his
imagination had pictured for the front of Jove, the mythological
thunderer. Ochiltree was a man among men, and would attract
attention in any crowd as a man far above and beyond the ordinary
mortal. He served officially both the Republic and the State of
Texas. He, under the Republic, was district judge, and ex-officio
a member of the Supreme Court. His decisions as supreme judge
are to be found in "Dallam's Reports."
* * *
JUDGE REUBEN REEVES, of the Anderson county bar, was a visitor
and practitioner in the Thirteenth Judicial District. Judge
Reeves was a plain, social, kindly gentleman, easy of approach, simple
and unostentatious in manner, loved and respected by all who
were fortunate'enough to know him. That he had the confidence
of his fellow-citizens is evidenced by the fact that they elected him
several times as judge of his district, and then the people of the
State promoted him to the bench of the Supreme Court. A story
is told of him, for the truth of which the writer does not vouch,
but which, if true, while it is unquestioned that he was a profound
lawyer, demonstrates that he was not a carpenter. It is said the
judge built in an early day, at Palestine, a smoke house with his
own hands. He was very solicitous that the roof should not leak.
Consequently when nailing on the clapboards he was very careful to
break every joint, and when he finished he congratulated himself
that he had a snug, tight roof. Much to his disappointment, however,
the first rain that fell on the new roof, instead of pouring
off at the eave, poured into the inside of the house. He called in
a passing carpenter, telling him of the leakage, and had him to
examine and see what the matter was. The carpenter looked at it.
"Why," says he, "the cause is plain; you commenced to put on
your boards at the comb of the house when you should have commenced
at the eave." "I declare," said the judge, "I see, I see."
* * *
A. T. RAINEY was a member of the bar of Anderson county, and
visited as a practitioner the Thirteenth Judicial District. The
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/47/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .