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Calhoun County, MS

ARMSTRONG, Walter Preston, lawyer; born Pittsboro, Miss., October 26, 1884; son of Geo. W. and May (Cruthirds) Armstrong; English descent; educated, and graduate of Yale University B.A. (1906), LL.B. (1908); member Sigma Chi, Phi Delta Phi, Corbey Court, K. of P., Chickasaw Guards Club, Memphis; Tennis Club; Business Men's Club; editor of Yale Law Journal (1907-08); admitted to practice in all State and Federal Courts in 1908; Secretary and Treasurer of the William A. Webster Drug Manufacturing Company of Memphis; member Methodist Church.
Who's Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler
Added 20 Dec 2014


Intense loyalty to his native state, a conscientiousness demanding honest discharge of both public and private duties, are predominant characteristics of the nature of Hon. Earl Brewer of Mississippi, and entitle him fairly to be called "The First Gentleman"' of the state he has admirably served for the past four years.
Earl Brewer was born in Carroll County, Mississippi, seven miles west of Vaiden, on the eleventh day of August, 1869. His father died when he was eleven years of age; being the oldest boy, he became the head of the family, and as they were afflicted with poverty he was permitted to attend school but little after his father's death.
At the age of fifteen he went to Texas, remaining out on the plains for three years when he came back to Mississippi. He entered the Law School at the University of Mississippi the twenty-first day of November, 1891, receiving his diploma as a graduate In law on the tenth day of June, 1892. He had studied law around the fireside at home, without a teacher, and entered the University late in the session after the other members of the law class were well on their way; but he began with them, taking both junior and senior law, during the Christmas holidays reviewing the work of both classes. On the first of February, 1892, he stood the intermediate examination with both classes, passing his examination in June and graduated. He immediately began the practice of law at Water Valley in Yalobusha county, Mississippi, and in 1895 was nominated for the State Senate by the Democratic party of his senatorial district; was duly elected at the November election and served as State Senator from the twenty-eighth district, as the youngest member of that body, for four years.
In February, 1902, he was appointed District Attorney in the newly created Eleventh Judicial District, by Governor Longino, and served under this appointment until January, 1904, when he was elected to the full term, without opposition, and continued to serve as district attorney until the twenty-fifth day of August, 1906, when he resigned the office and entered the race for governor of Mississippi. During the term he served as district attorney, he was recognized as a terror to all evil doers. His vigorous and fearless prosecution of all violators of the law, of all classes, deterred any one from opposing him for re-election to this office, and the law abiding people of his district greatly regretted his resignation.
He was opposed in the race for governor by five as strong men as the state afforded, and under the double primary system, in August, 1907, four of the candidates were eliminated-he and the Honorable E. F. Noel were left In the race as the leading candidates. A strenuous second primary resulted in a neck-and-neck finish, Noel being elected by 2002 majority in the entire state. Four years later, in 1911, Earl Brewer was nominated and elected governor of Mississippi without opposition. At the time of his election he was in Montreal, Canada, on business.

He was inaugurated governor on the sixteenth day of January, 1912, and will complete his four-year term in the early part of January, 1916.
When he was inaugurated governor, the state was rent in twain with political factions as never before. His whole administration has been characterized by his desperate effort to enforce the laws of the state and have every person, regardless of wealth, power or influence, obey the laws, as the humblest citizen of the land should.
In addition to discharging the many and varied duties devolving upon him during his tenure of office, he has engaged in trying to systematize the various institutions of the state and give them a business administration. He has been successful in this endeavor, and the institutions are run upon a more economical basis than ever before. In fact, the entire administration has been businesslike, and an effort on the part of the governor to see that all laws were enforced.
One of his greatest efforts has been to maintain the faith and credit of his state, and as an evidence of his accomplishment in this regard, he has been able to borrow such money as the state was compelled to borrow at the lowest rate of interest that the state has paid since the Civil War. At one time during his administration, the state sold a large issue of its bonds at a premium, although the neighboring states were compelled to sell their bonds, bearing the same rate of interest, at a discount.
Governor Brewer is married, and his home life is ideal.
[Source: The Lawyer & Banker and Southern Bency & Bar review, Vol. 8 Edited by Charles Ellewyn George]


George Elias Denley, of Coffeeville, representative from Yalobusha County, was born August 9, 1867, at Coles Creek, Mississippi. His father was James Denley, who was the son of Nicholus P. Denley and Sarah (Carter) Henley of South Mississippi. He was born In Yalobusha County, and enlisted In the Confederate Army, August 9, 1861, in Company D. 42nd Mississippi Regiment, and served with ardent devotion to the Southern cause throughout the entire War. His regiment took part in the campaigns fought in , Virginia and Pennsylvania. George Elias Denley’s mother, Margaret (Sellers) Denley, was the daughter of Phillip Sellers, of Coles Creek, Calhoun County, Mississippi. Representative Denley was educated in the free schools of his county, and at Coles Creek Academy, where he spent one term. His chief occupation has always been farming. But from 1887 to 1889, and from 1896 to 1900 he taught school. Not content with success along these two lines, he became the successful proprietor and editor of the Coffeeville Courier, which he is conducting at the present time. He is also agent and district manager of the Lamar Life Insurance Company and holds the responsible position of Trustee of the Yalobusha County Agricultural High School. From 1895 to 1899 he was Justice of the Peace; and from 1899 to 1907 he was an able member of the Board of Supervisors of his County. Mr. Denley is not only well equipped for public service but his sterling qualities and steadfast purpose in contending for the right makes him a safe servant of the people. Elected to the State Legislature in 1915, he was placed upon the committees on Municipalities, where he has faithfully served his constituents. Mr. Denley is a Democrat, and Treasurer and Deacon of the Baptist Church. He belongs to the Masons and the Woodmen of the World. January 7, 1892, he was married, near Coffeeville, Mississippi, to Martha Ellen Williams, daughter of George W. and Martha Ellen (Vanhoozer) Williams of Yalobusha County. Mr. and Mrs. Denley have a large and interesting family of children, whose names are as follows: Martha Essie, Margaret Bessie, Chester Lamar, Mary Jessie, Gladys Ethel, Sellers Vanhoozer, Nellie Tolise, Evelyn Grace, Gerald Hamilton, and George Edwin.
[Source: The Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi By Mississippi Dept. of Archives and History, Dunbar Rowland]

This page last updated on -- 20 Dec 2014


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