Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000 Page: 34
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
alderman, and candidates for city recorder and city treasurer. Three of the other council
seats were taken by Democratic nominees; the last was taken by a Republican, and a black
man, Edmund Eason. The marshal's office went to the Republican nominee, Jesse Joyner
Harrison, though his opponent was longtime Republican John R. Brooks, who was evidently
running as a Democrat. Despite the fact that, in November 1876, by virtue of a vote of the
commissioners court, he became the first Colorado County judge to collect a salary, mem-
bers of both parties also praised the performance of Jahu W. Johnson. When he resigned, on
September 24, 1877, he was replaced by a Democrat, S. D. Delany, the brother of the man
he had defeated in 1876. The new judge had only recently come to the county from Ken-
Meanwhile, two of Colorado County's leading Democrats had made great ad-
vances in the state government. When, on December 1, 1876, Governor Richard Coke
resigned to become a United States senator, and Lieutenant Governor Richard Bennett
Hubbard assumed the office of governor, Thompson, who had been elected president pro
tempore, became the presiding officer of the state senate. Only three months earlier, one of
his two Columbus law partners, George M. McCormick, had been named assistant state
attorney general. Two years later, McCormick was elected attorney general in his own right,
though, running as a Democrat, he did not carry his home county. 46
45 Colorado Citizen, November 23, 1876, May 24, 1877, May 31, 1877, June 7, 1877, Septem-
ber 27, 1877, October 4, 1877; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-
1879, pp. 247, 250; William S. Speer and John Henry Brown, eds., The Encyclopedia of the New West
(Marshall, Texas: The United States Biographical Publishing Co., 1881), pp. 122-127. Johnson's resig-
nation was probably prompted by the demands of his business. In 1874, he had invented an insecti-
cide designed to kill cotton worms, which he called Dead Shot. He also raised cattle. Twice during his
short tenure as county judge he was granted lengthy leaves of absence to attend to business (see
Colorado Citizen, June 25, 1874; Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book
1876-1879, pp. 54-55, 229). Earlier, the commissioner from Oakland, Christian Heydorn, had been
replaced on the court by a known Democrat, Joseph C. Kindred. Heydorn had resigned, both from his
commissioner's seat and from another office he held, justice of the peace, in March 1877. In each of the
previous two months, he had, it seems, collected two fines amounting to $56 which he had not yet
turned over to the county treasurer. When he rather suddenly left the county, he was pursued by a
special deputy, who arrested him and placed him in jail in Columbus. The following September he was
indicted for embezzlement, but was subsequently acquitted (see Colorado Citizen, March 15, 1877,
March 22, 1877, March 29, 1877; Colorado County District Court Records, Criminal Cause File No.
1593: State of Texas v. Chris Heydorn, Criminal Cause File No. 1594: State of Texas v. Chris Heydorn;
Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1876-1879, p. 202; for Kindred's status
as a Democrat, see Colorado Citizen, August 3, 1876).
46 Colorado Citizen, May 4, 1876, June 22, 1876, September 14, 1876, October 5, 1876,
November 21, 1878; Members of the Texas Legislature, 1846-1962 (n. p., n. d.), pp. 87-92. Colorado
County had perhaps its most profound influence in Austin in 1876 during the Fifteenth Legislature.
Not only did Thompson preside over the state senate, but another of its members, James Harvey
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 10, Number 1, January, 2000, periodical, January 2000; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151408/m1/34/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.