BIOGRAPHIES of HENDERSON COUNTY

WASHINGTON H DENISON

Washington Hill Denison was born in Henderson County on a farm 10 miles northwest of Lexington, January 5, 1878, the son of W. W. and Martha Fuller Denison. He attended the country schools of the County and took the course prescribed in the old Southern Normal University at Huntingdon, Tennessee, receiving the B. A. Degree from this institution in the classes of 1900 and 1901. For a number of years he taught school in Henderson County, and other sections of West Tennessee. He was admitted to the bar in the summer of 1903, taking the first examination held by the State Board of Law Examiners at Jackson in June 1903. He began the active practice of law at Lexington in January 1907, and at the same time performed the duties of County Superintendent of Schools of the County, though he had practiced law at Decaturville for a few months prior thereto. He served for a period of ten years as County Superintendent in connection with his law practice, and retired voluntarily at the end of that period, not being a candidate to succeed himself at the January term, 1917.

He formed a partnership for the practice of law with Hon. E. W. Essary in 1915 and this relationship lasted until 1929, with the exception of the time spent on the Chancery Bench and the Court of Civil Appeals. He was appointed Chancellor by Governor A. A. Taylor in June, 1921, to succeed Chancellor J. W. Ross, when Ross became Federal Judge where he served until the regular August election in 1922, when he was defeated by the former Governor Tom C. Rye. Soon thereafter, Denison was appointed on the Court of Civil Appeals by Governor A. A. Taylor to serve during the sickness of Judge Sid Clark of Trenton, serving during the fall session of that Court at Nashville, 1922. Early in 1923, he resumed the practice of law in partnership with Hon. E. W. Essary. He became an independent candidate for judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit in the August election, 1926, defeating Judge N. R. Barham, the Democratic candidate for that office, and after a long contest with his unsuccessful opponent, he was declared elected by the Supreme Court of Tennessee, the last of May 1929, assuming the duties of that office the first of June 1929, where he is now serving the people of the 12th Judicial Circuit of Tennessee. He married to Katherine B. Gaston of Nashville, Tennessee, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. B. J. Gaston, on the 20th day of March 1917. They have two children, Katherine L., aged 12 years, and W. H. Jr., aged 8 years. These four, with his mother now in her 83rd year, constitute the family circle, his mother having lived in his home since the death of the father nearly a quarter of a century ago. Judge Denison has the reputation of being a fair and honest Judge. He is a republican, and was elected Judge in a district that is overwhelmingly democratic. This alone speaks for the confidence the people put in Judge Denison.

Auburn Powers 1930 History of Henderson County TN
Washington Hill & his wife Katherine (Gaston) Hill are both buried at Lexington City Cemetery

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