The grand jury of the first term of district court held in Childress County, in 1887, reported the county was free
from lawlessness and it was not until the fall of 1888 that a felony indictment was returned. Judge Frank WILLIS
was on the bench at Clarendon, July 11, 1887, when he ruled that the organization of Childress had been completed
|and ordered district court terms in Childress the third Monday in each February and August. The terms were to be one week.
The first session of the court held in Childress was on August 15, 1887, with Judge Willis on the bench, L.D. MILLER as
the district attorney, J.T. VAN HOY as district clerk and Harry MUNDY as sheriff. Serving on the grand jury were
U.S. WEDDINGTON, W.C. MONTGOMERY, A.N. BLAIR, H. KING, John Quincy ADAMS, C. JUDY, Elbert HOWARD,
J.W. CREWS and Sterling BUSTER, Sr.
At the February term in 1888, the first suit was filed. It was J.J. LONG vs. Sam LAZARES involving the right of property.
The first divorce was granted on February 18, 1888 to L.C. REED from Samantha C. REED.
It was at the fall term of the court in 1888 that the first criminal indictment was returned. G.W. CLEMENT was charged with
murder. After several continuances, the case went to trial and CLEMENT drew a life term. However, a new trial was ordered
and at a second trial in 1891 a jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
From "The Childress County Story," compiled and edited by Michael G. Ehrle. Transcribed by Clemi Higley Blackburn, May 2000.
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