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The commercial. (Union City, Tenn.) 190?-193?, July 16, 1909, Image 1

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Drs. Kcores & Long,
E. Church St., Union City
Drs. wnoores & Long,
E. Church St., Union City
. Telephone Hi.
Union City Commercial, established 1890 r.uAiA
West Tennessee Courier, estannsned liw )
ii ti v iono
VOL. 18, NO. 17
Telephone 223 THE AIIL-ilLilMG DRUG COMPANY Telephone223
Jno. T Walker; President
H. Dietzei., Vice President
D. N. Walker, Cashier
Hunter Elam, Ass 't Cash 'r
Union City, Jcnnessi
" This Bank was organized, succeeding" the Commercial Bank, to
meet a growing demand from the public for greater security and
more conservative methods in banking.
J The management will bestow unusual care in always being able
and ready to loan reasonable sums at uniform rates to its patrons;
and each one of its sixty local stockholders are individually and
collectively an abiding assurance that courtesy and conservatism
will be its fundamental guide of conduct.
Cash Capital Jird Surplus .
Stockholders' Liability (and -every dollar good)
Security for Depositors $140,000.00
Accounts Solicited from. $1.00 Up
Heavy ; Eains Wash Away Bridges
! and Damage Crops.
From Mayor John D. Killion we learn
that 1 Protemira was under water last
Sunday morning. -The water was
eighteen inches deep in the residence of
Mr.'i Killion 's mother, and the house
hold and kitchen furniture was damaged
to considerable extent. Mr. Killion
also reports the loss of old corn and new
oorn in the field and a damage by the
flood of about two thousand dollars al-
together. Protemus is situated on a
small rivulet twelve miles west of Union
City, and the little stream was swollen
to such extent that the entire surface for
hundreds of yards looked like an im
mense lake. John Matt Caldwell is also
a resident of that village, and his out
buildings and crops were also greatly
damaged. Many other residents sus
tained losses.
It is also learned that the bridge over
Davidson Creek on the road entering
Troy from tlie north was washed away
No 'similar occurrence has taken place
as far as can be remembered by many
citizens. The bridge, however, was an
old one, and it .is probable that.it was
' dangerous. It is altogether reasonable
to suppose that the county needs a new
iron bridge there any way.
The iron bridge over the stream on
the road leading from this city to Troy,
approaching the tjlark lane, was re
ported to be washed away, but that re
port was altogether a mistake. It is a
sample of what is needed all over the
county. The bridge is a substantial
structure with abutments of concrete,
so constructed as to resist any such
floods as the one Sunday morning, and
that is the worst in the memory of the
present citizens.
The final brief of John G. Carlisle
and Edmund W. Taylor in behalf of
the "straight" whiskey men will be
filed with the President.
Wall street rumor has it that the
Union Pacific is to absorb the Illinois
Central as soon as Harriman returns
from Europe. Officials of both roads
deny the rumor.
- A hurricane did much damage to
property at Panama. Telegraphic com
munication has been interrupted, and
it is feared that interior and coast towns
have suffered considerably.
During a quarrel at their home at
Waco, Texas, J. M. Parkes, 50 years
old, attactd his wife with a club and
inflicted ,kinds that will probably
cause her Qeath. He then hanged him
self to a tree in the backyard.
- The Sheriff at Mobile has placed men
at "near beer" stands -v to take tlie
names of customers. It is said the pro
ceeding is under the Prohibition law. It
is claimed that only two Mobile saloons
have closed, and that the consumption
of liquor is as great as ever.
Gen. T. S. Sharretts, the veteran
tariff expert who assisted the Demo
crats in rigging up the Wilson Tariff
bill, is authority for the statement that
the recent tariff bill passed by the Sen
ate shows a 2 per cent, reduction from
the rates of the Dingley law, and a ma
terial reduction from the House rates.
A bronze tablet, presented by the
Chicago Congregational Club in com
memoration of the arrival of the Pil
grim fathers in Amsterdam in 1609,
and in recognition of the hospitality of
the City of Amsterdam, was unveiled
in the English Eefornied Church of
that city. Since the year 1007 Eng
lish-spcaking people have worshipped
in this church, including many of the
Pilgrims and others who in the Seven
teentii century became colonists in
Able Attorney Comments on
Recent Court Decision.
Mr. Vertrees Pleads for Freedom
in the Administration of the Law
for Those Entrusted With Its In
terpretation G ood Healthy
Signs for State.
"It is openly advocated that accused
persona be convicted first and the law
for it found afterward, but Judges with
oaths upon their consciences cannot
stand for that. They are not street,
talkers, but men with duties to do."
'" . . . The killing was inexcus
able, intimidating to the people of
Obion, and deliberate. The inquiry
was not 'Are the perpetrators guilty of
a crime?' but iit was merely 'Are the
accused the guilty parties?' "
"Rules of criminal law are not es
tablished alone to try GUILTY'people.
They are established for the trial of
ACCUSED persons. They are estab
lished because innocent persons are
often accused as well as guilty ones;
and they are 'established for the inno
cent and the guilty equally and alike,
to prevent favoritism and to give a
square deal."
Want Hangings in Prison.
Nashville, Tenn., July 9. The Su
preme Court, at a meeting here to-day
heard a motion by Attorney-General
Cates to amend former judgments iin
the cases of Cecil Palmer, Wilson Coun
ty; Virgil Lee, Wayne County, and Wm.
Marshall, Rutherford County, so that
these men, under sentence of death
may be executed at the main prison in
Nashville, instead of in the counties
where their crimes were committed.
Attorney John E. Turney opposed the
motion insofar as it affected Cecil Pal
mer. ine court tooK the motion under
The attorney-general also called the
attention of the court to differences in
the caption and provisions of the act
requiring the execution of all criminals
convicted of capital offenses at the main
prison. The court will also consider this
and decide at an adjourned meeting to
be held in Nashville July 27.
Rev. Jerry M. Moss.
Fulton, Ky., July 9. Rev. Jerry M.
Moss, one of the oldest and best loved
citizens of Fulton, died this morning at
2 o'clock at his home in West Fulton.
Yesterday morning, while sitting in his
room, Mr. Moss was stricken with par
alysis and fell to the floor. Physicians
were hastily summoned and all that
medical skill could do was done for
him, but his condition was hopeless
from the start. For years Rev. Mr.
Moss was regarded as one of the lead
ing ministers of the Methodist Church,
but the infirmities of age forced him to
quit the ministry a few years ago.
George Oliver.
George Oliver, an aged citizen of the
country north of Harris, died on Thurs
day of last week, July 8. Deceased
was one of the oldest citizens of the
county, and was survived by a number
of children and grandchildren. " j
John J. Vertrees, Tennessee's eminent
attorney, writes The American a most
interesting communication regarding
the recent Supreme Court decision in
the Nightrider case. The American
took occasion to express opinion on the
action of the court several days ago. It
is gratifying to note we are sustained in
the position taken by so wise a coun
cillor as Mr. Vertrees. He writes as
To The American:
The strictures, under the guise of crit
icism, which newspapers have passed
upon the recent decision of the Supreme
Court in the Reelfoot Lake Nightrider
cases call for special notice.
It is the right of every citizen to dis
cuss the opinions of the courts, tocrit-
icise their reasoning, and expose by
argument the unsoundness of their con
elusions. The newspaper or the citizen
who undertakes to show that the Su-
preme Court has erred, in all decency,
ought to be reasonably learned and
fairly qualified to perform that self
imposed task.
It is the right of any citizen to charge
that the Judges of the Supreme Court
are foolish or dishonest, but plainly no
man with proper ideas as to civic duty
and the public welfare will make such
charge unless it can clearly be estab
I am not familiar with the record w
these Nightrider cases, and have no
knowledge of the facts beyond the loose
and distempered reports which news
papers usually give, but upon the knowl
edge I have, I wish as a citizen, and a
member of the bar of Tennessee, to
congratulate the people of this State
upon the sense of duty-doing which
this judgment shows characterizes our
Supreme Court.
Public Opinion Is Strong for Pun
The murder of Capt. Rankin was so
atrocious that the case attracted great
public interest. When it was made to
appear that there was an oath-bound
band organized for lawlessness and vio
lence, and that the military strength of
the State was invoked to maintain or
der and enforce the law, the public in
terest increased and newspapers through
out tlie country not only published
everything that would influence the ex
cited and indulgent public, but clam
ored for blood and punishment. There
appeared to be but one side to the case.
The killing was inexcusable, intimidat
ing to the people of Obion, and delib
erate. The inquiry was not, Are the
perpetrators guilty of a crime?" but it
was merely, "Are the accused the guilty
persons?" Public opinion outside of
Tennessee, and in Tennessee, was, and
is strong for punishment. The sen
tence of death pronounced by the trial
court received a great deal of printed
Under the circumstances of that sit
uation the case was heard by the Su
preme Court. I assume that there is
not a member of the court who is ever
eager to hang any man; but it is com
mon knowledge, by reason of the mini
ber of sentences of death that are in
flicted by the court at every term, that
it never shrinks from the duty of pro
nouncing the judgment of death, when
in the opinion of the Judges the law
demands that the accused thould die
There were no circumstances, so far as
have seen, in connection with the crime
to mitigate the severest judgment of the
law nothing which appealed to the
court to deal lightly with the accused,
they were shown to be guilty men.
Constitutional Trial Not Given the
When, therefore, in a case of peculiar
atrocity and extraordinary public inter
est, a case in which the law-abiding
called for judgment and the morbid
newspaper-fed public clamored for blood
'the court, regardless of the question of
guilt or innocence, reversed the case be
cause the accused had not been given
a constitutional trial had not been
brought to the scaffold in accordance
with the sane and orderly rules of pro
cedure and justice, established by the
people themselves, when calm and de
liberate it seems to me they rendered
a judgment that will meet the appro
bation of disinterested persons who
stop and think.
The rules of criminal law are not es
tablished alone to try guilty people
They are established for the trial of ac
cused persons. They are established
because innocent persons are often ac
cused as well as guilty ones; and they
are established for the guilty and the
innocent equally and alike, to prevent
favoritism and to give a square deal.
The Constitution was not made for
the majority. Majorities can always
take care of themselves. It was made
for the minority for the man accused
It was made by the majority in an hour
of sober deliberation, that the minority
may be protected against the majority
themselves in the day of excitement
and passion and rage.
Rules of Criminal Law Are Not
The rules of criminal law and pro
cedure which the people, when sane
and sober, have established for them
selves are not technicalities," as some
are flippantly saying, but laws which
the Judges of the Supreme Court of
Tennessee took office oaths to adminis
ter and regard.
When a guilty miscreant is railroaded
or bayonetted through to his death it is
easy to feel that after all no great harm
has been done; and probably not, so
far as he is concerned. But the prac
tice is one that begets lawlessness and
contempt of courts and increase of
crime, and 'which, therefore, does im
mense harm to the community at large.
If it shall ever come to pass that our
Judges are deterred from administering
the laws which they are sworn to ad
minister, because in a particular case
by reason of tlie highly-advertised and
atrocious guilt of the accused, they will
be denounced by the press and insulted
by the multitude, who will be safe
against the rage of the many?
If it shall ever come to be understood
that when the evidence shows guilt and
the community is against the accused,
the Supreme, Court will disregard all
rules of law and procedure as "techni
calities" and affirm and convict, it will
also then come to be understood that
the accused can not under any circum
stances allow himself to be convicted
below; that is, that he can not rely up
on tlie law for a fair trial, but must
look to the jury and tlie witnesses.
Principal Comfort is Confidence in
Law's Reign.
The principal comfort which the citi
zen has is the confidence that he is un
der the reign of law, and there is a de
partment of government represented by j
judges and courts where he can have
a fair and impartial trial according to
general rules of law a fair and square
deal. And nothing can take away that
consolation like a loss of confidence in
the courage, and duty-doing sense of
the courts.
It is openly advocated that accused
persons be convicted first and the law
for it found afterward, but judges with
oaths upon their consciences cannot
stand for that. They are not street-
talkers, but men with duties to do
It does not follow that these accused
persons will escape. Whether they do
or not is a matter for the community in
which they dwell, the people of Obion
County, Tennessee, and not for the Su
preme Court. The question for that
Appellate Court was whether the sen
tence of death had been pronounced
upon these men according to the de
mands of the law.
When the court found it had not, its
duty was plain and that it discharged
that duty, regardless of what persons
not charged with that duty may say, is
good and healthy for the people of Ten
nessee. Under our elective short-term system
the judges are hampered and trammeled
sufficiently. Let us not add to those
restraints. Let them be free to admin
ister the law as under their oaths they
see fit, and not as those whom the peo
ple have not invited to be judges may
wish it to be. At any rate, let those
who are off the bench not denounce
those who are on the bench for admin
istering sane, ancient, and established
laws. Laws do not become "Techni
calities" through calling them "techni
calities," and many technicalities are
good. John J. Vertrees.
Nashville, July 8, 1909.
Hie day for escaping the conse
quences of crime on mere technicalities
not going to the protection of essential
right has gone by, and violators of law
had as well accept the fact and act ac
In our criticisms of the decision
the Supreme Court in the Nightriders
case, we have said nothing more than
what is quoted above. If the Supreme
Court of the State of Tennessee had
acted under this proposition, all would
have been well. Justice would have
been done, and the murderers of Rankin
would not have escaped.
Some of our sapient case lawyers who
have no idea of right or wrong further
than courts' decisions, reading the
above proposition, and not knowing
whence it came, would condemn us if
we demanded that it be applied in rul
ing on the Nightrider cases.
It makes an absolute cleavage be
tween right and wrong. It goes to the
heart of things, of the issue rather than
to the accidents of the issue.
The proposition is good logic. Those
lawyers who have written us, objecting
our grounds of criticism of the
court, would hardly accept it as a fun
damental rule for drawing a distinction
between right and wrong. But in order
that we may ease their souls, we beg to
state it is good law as well as good logic.
The proposition is taken from the case
of the State vs. Staley, 71 Tennessee,
page o(h. Decided by the Supreme
Court of Tennessee in the December
term of 1879, and the lawyer who
kindly cited us to it is one of the most
eminent in this country.
The language is not ours. It is the
language of the court the same court
that in 1909 decided the Nightrider
cases on alleged incorrect methods of
selecting jurors without going into the
merits of the case at all.
To all other objectors to our position
as to the Supreme Court's decision, we
merely state that former members of
this court give us warrant in truth and
in law for all that we have said. Com
mercial Appeal. . ..
Popular Girl Premium Piano
at Union City Bank and
Trust Building.
Contestants Very Busy-
Contest is in Full Swing and the Spirit
Increasing The Piano is a Fne
One Call and See It.
We take much pride in calling atten
tion to the work being done by the
girls of Union City and Obion County
in The Commercial Popular Girl Piano
Contest. Not only the girls, but many
of their friends are awakening to the
importance of securing one of our big
$400 pianos or other special prizes.
Bear in mind that every premium we
have named will be given away just as
we have advertised them. On Saturday
night of this week, we will give to some
of these girls a beautiful gold locket
and necklace. It is now at our office
and will be handed to the winner not
later than 7 o'clock Saturday night. Be
sure and get all the money in you can
this week in order to get the benefit of
the big extra fine vote on every f 10 on.
subscriptions turned in at one time on
or before Saturday evening, July 17,
at 6 o'clock.
There are several earnest workers now
n both the city and county contests,
and the race bids fair to be one of keen
interest and much enthusiasm to all in
terested, and we are glad to note that
all rivalry is of a friendly nature. We
guarantee a fair, square deal to all.
The ones who secure the most votes
will win the prizes. One of these pianos
is now here, and has been examined
and endorsed by one of our leading
musicians, who declares it a tine instru
ment of unmistakable value and merit.
The other will be here in a short time.
All the contestants and their friends are
invited to call and see them and play
on them. Both are shortly to be given
away to popular girls of Union City
and Obion County. The closing date
of the contest is not far off, but we will
give due notice of same in these col
umns. Arthur Cloar Here.
Arthur Cloar, one of the eight Reel
foot Lake Nightriders, who has been
confined in the Madison County jail for
several months and who has been quite
ill for the past fifteen days or more with
something like typhoid-bilious fever,
was taken Friday night by Sheriff T. J.
Easterwood, of Obion County, and a
brother of the prisoner to Union City,
where he was placed in the jail at that
The prisoner was taken on an order
from the Obion County Court, which
was issued by Judge Jones, who tried
the Nightrider cases.
Hon. Rice A. Pierce, leading coun
sel for the Nightriders, made applica
tion to the Obion County Court to have
the sick prisoner removed to Union
City, where he would be nearer his rela
tives who could better assist in taking
care of him at that place.
The prisoner, looking pale and show
ing the effects of his long confinement,
was taken from' the local jail to the
union depot in a hack.
During his illness every possible at
tention was shown him by Sheriff Pear
sons and his assistants as well as by Dr.
C. C. Drake, the county health officer.
Jackson Sun.
Big Muddy Washed Nut Coal is best
for cooking. At. Union City Ice & Coal
Fulton, Ky., July 9. Announce
ment of the marriage of Henry Mun
cey Roach to Miss Pearl Black, which
occurred Sunday, July 4, in Princeton,.
Ky., has just been received in Fulton.
The bride is the accomplished daughter
of John W. Black, a leading business
man of Princeton. The groom was
born and reared here, but has for sev
eral months been living in Eddyrille,
Ky., where he holds a position as guard
in the penitentiary.

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