Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 50 of 58
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50 TEXAS AND TEXANS FIFTY YEARS AGO.
trict. These men by their conduct were an enlightening and an elevating
influence in society, and by their learning and high professional
courtesy and integrity, not only adorned the bar of that day,
and gave it prestige and dignity, but left a shining example behind
them for the guidance and direction of those to come after them.
* * *
The, first county seat of Brazos county was Boonville. The first
county seat of Robertson county, when in point of territory it was
almost an empire, was Old Franklin. Old Franklin, in Robertson
county, in the early days of the Republic and State, was a common
center, where the lawyers located in its vast territory congregated,
and from which common center they dispersed and settled, in new
counties as they were carved out of its territory from time to time.
There is not now a vestige of the old town of Franklin remaining.
Here it was that old settler and pioneer, Harrison Owens, reigned
as county clerk, at a time when he had to hunt for his daily meat.
When out in pursuit of game he had a large ox bell, which he hung
near his office door, so that those who came on official business during
his absence could ring the bell and notify him that he was
wanted. From Old Franklin the county seat went to Wheelock,
from Wheelock to Owenville, from Owenville to Calvert, from Calvert
to New Franklin, where it now is.
The writer's information is that the first district court of Hill
county was held at or near the site of old Fort Graham, under the
spreading branches of a mighty live oak tree. Colonel Arnold, the
commandant of the post, was killed by Dr. Stiner, post surgeon.
Stiner was indicted and tried for the killing, and this was the first,
or among the first, criminal cases tried in Hill county. Dr. Stiner
was acquitted. Judge R. S. Gould was the district attorney and
prosecuted the case.
* * *
JUDGE ASA MI. WILLIE was district attorney of the old Third
Judicial District, under Judge Baylor, and at that time resided in
Washington county. He was the author of the first criminal code
and code of criminal procedure adopted by the State of Texas. He
was elected to Congress after the war, and judge of the Supreme
Court, defeating Judge Gould for the nomination on the expiration
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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/m1/50/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .