Mar. 16, 1855 - Jan. 18, 1918
OAKWOOD CEMETERY, Corsicana,
Navarro Co., TX
JUDGE NEBLETT DIED IN TEMPLE
Lawyer and Good Citizen Died at Early Hour Today
community was informed yesterday that Judge R. W. Neblett had been hurried
to Temple Wednesday night because of a serious illness, and even that news
was a shock to the community, but when a telephone message came at noon
today from his wife saying that he had just passed away at the Scott & White
sanitarium a deep and profound sorrow spread like a pall over the entire
community, for no man was more universally esteemed and loved than Robt. S.
Neblett. This universal love and esteem was not simply because he was a
great lawyer and a good citizen, but because he had a great heart and
enjoyed doing good to humanity for humanity’s sake. The body will reach
Corsicana at 9:30 in the morning, but no funeral arrangements have yet been
made. Mrs. Neblett telephoned to Mr. Albert Brooks soon after his death and
requested that friends to no expense about her husband’s funeral, and if any
of his friends had any money to spend for flowers, it was his desire that
they give the money to Red Cross or the United Charities.
deceased began working for the government in connection with the
registration of soldiers, he wrote the authorities at Washington not to put
his name on the pay roll, saying his work for his country was gratuitous.
The authorities paid no attention to his request and recently sent him
$180. Judge Neblett promptly divided that amount equally between the United
Charities and the Red Cross. The Sun simply mentions these matters to show
the great sympathetic heart of the man.
deceased was about sixty-two years old and was born in Texas. His father,
who was also a lawyer, lived in Corsicana when his son was a child four or
five years old, but later moved to Grimes County, where the deceased grew to
manhood. He returned to Corsicana to live about 1882 and has practiced his
profession here continuously since. For many years he had been the lawyer
here for the Houston & Texas Central railroad as well as the Cotton Belt,
and was known all over Texas as one of its ablest jurists. Not, only was he
an able lawyer, a ripe scholar, and few men were as well informed in the
sciences and literature of this and past ages, and his wide reading made him
a most entertaining companion. Although not a politician the deceased was
sent to the legislature from this county a few years ago and soon ranked
among its leaders but politics did not suit him and he did not seek
He was a
Mason of high order, but belonged to no other organization.
the deceased is his widow and three children, Mrs. Lynn Brooks, Mrs. J. W.
Hall and Robt. Neblett, Jr., and to these the entire community extends the
deepest and most sincere sympathy. Mrs. Neblett was with him when the end
came, but Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, Mrs. Hall, Robert Neblett and Miss Fannie
Rice left here at 8 o’clock this morning by automobile for Temple, but the
end came before they reached there.
telephone message from Mrs. Neblett at 4 o’clock this evening said that the
funeral would take place at 9:30 in the morning from the Union Station, and
that the Masons would be in Charge.
members of the Masonic Lodge will meet at 8:45 tomorrow morning in the Lodge
room for the purpose of attending the funeral of our deceased brother, Judge
R. S. Neblett.
FINAL TRIBUTE TO DEAD FRIEND
Body of Judge Neblett Laid at Rest in Oakwood Today
remains of the late Judge R. S. Neblett arrived from Temple this morning,
accompanied by his grief-stricken family and a large concourse of friends
met them at the train at 9:10 to mingle their sorrow with those who were
nearest to him.
procession formed soon after the train reached the Union Station and a long
line of automobiles followed the body to Oakwood cemetery where it was laid
to rest with Masonic honors. Through respect to his well known wishes there
was no display and no flowers, but no funeral cortege that ever assembled in
Corsicana carried sadder faces.
active pall bearers were Judge R. R. Owen, Adair Dyer, Major C. H. Mills,
Judge J. J. McClellan, R. B. Molloy and J. S. Callicutt. The honorary pall
bearers were Capt. W. J. McKie, Hon. J. H. Woods, Judge J. M. Blanding, Dr.
W. D. Cross, Judge J. H. Rice, Capt. C. H. Allyn and Capt. Jas Garitty.
grave Mayor J. L. Halbert, for the United Charities, paid a splendid tribute
to the memory of the deceased, and he was followed by Major C. H. Mills, who
paid this beautiful tribute to the memory of the man whose death is so
deeply and universally mourned:
with a sort of proud sorrow that we contemplate the death of our good
thought that we shall not look upon his face again cannot displace the
satisfaction which all who knew him must take in his life and in his work.
of us who knew him more intimately this bereavement assumes the proportions
of a personal loss. For above all it was his character that set him apart
from other men.
abounded in those little acts of kindness and of love which make a man’s
memory fragrant among his associates. His sympathy was as constant as the
appeals which were made to it, and he had a heart as open as the day. He
did nothing common or mean. In his generous nature, small motives never
found a place. The firm texture of his goodness never yielded to a strain.
He was a man whom everybody trusted.
A man of
varied scholarship and wide reading, he gave his life to his beloved
profession of the law. Here he was a master. Having acquired a firm grasp
of the great fundamental truths, he applied them, with a large sagacity, to
every problem. He was never lost in a forest of details. Not for him the
fine drawn speculation, or novelties of reasoning, which could only be
expressed in terms of mathematical intricacy. Rugged good sense and down
right argument were his stock in trade.
specialty of his mind was a strong simplicity. He took a plain obvious view
of every subject that came before him. Ingenuities, refinements, and
specious fallacies might be suggested around him in any number or variety,
but his mind was combination-proof. The power of logic and analysis which
he possessed, destroyed each ambiguity, and each subtle distinction as it
years of such work he came to have a reputation for clear and conclusive
judgment in matters legal. You might be puzzled, but if you took your doubts
and fears to him, you got an answer straight and clear.
nature was kindly, and justice the actuating motive of his life. An act of
cruelty, or a breach of faith would make his benevolent fact grow stern, and
yet he always seemed to find it hard to use the strong language of
condemnation. He simply was unaccustomed to it and shrank from its
exception, which proves the rule, in this instance was the great struggle in
which the world is now engaged. He knew that it was absolutely without
justification. His spirit was roused to revolt by its cruelties, and by the
suffering which followed in its train. The iron entered into his soul, and
much as he abhorred war with all its attendant evils, he wanted to live to
see it finished, and as he expressed it “finished right,” and therefore he
was willing and anxious that every resource at the command of his beloved
country should be used to the attainment of that great end.
was not granted, but he died steadfast in the belief that when the end did
come, it would be seen that “He who worketh high and wise” had not let go
“unwhipt of justice” the great sinners of the earth.
gone. Hearts may ache, and eyes become suffused with tears; and it may be
that the place which his going away has caused will never be filled again as
he filled it, yet the world is better for his living, and we who knew and
loved him are better men and women for our association with him for we have
profited and shall continue to profit from his precept and example.
was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and
say to all the world, this was a man.”
him to rest in this quiet and peaceful God’s Acre, where the soft south wind
shall whisper his requiem to the listening trees, and his memory shall be
ever green to those of us, his neighbors and friends, who loved, and have
banks of the city were closed for an hour during the funeral, and
everywhere, from people in town and county, nothing was to be heard but
expressions of profound sorrow at the death of one of the county’s best and
most useful citizens.
district court adjourned for the entire day out of respect for the deceased.
Memory of Judge R. S. Neblett Fittingly Honored by Navarro County Bar
was a gloomy day as to weather conditions. It was a day also upon which
Corsicana looked with a heavy heart. Only a few days ago Judge Neblett, a
man who was so true that even his faults, if he had them, leaned to virtue’s
side had been called to the Great Beyond. With clouds overhanging the city
and facing a bitter cold wind, spitting, stinging drops of rain, a large
number of men and women gathered in the district court room to mingle their
sorrow with that of the members of the Navarro County Bar Association, who
had appointed this day to pay tribute to Judge Neblett, who would no more
grace that body with his presence and who had been a honored member. the
fact that so many defied the elements was itself a magnificent tribute to
the man whose memory was being commemorated. The fact that the speakers
without exception spoke of his generous heart and liberal hand, of his
willingness to help when called upon showed that he scattered sunshine
wherever he went. His knowledge of the law was only equaled, as the
speakers indicated, by his love of it. Without exception they credited him
with having a wonderfully attentive memory as well as a strikingly
analytical mind. It was told over and over yesterday how his fellow
practitioners called on him when law questions were involved and how
unfailingly he responded, and always with correct information. He did it
out of the abundance of his knowledge and the fullness of his heart, for the
reason, his friends said, that he loved men, and saying it they gave no
evidence of flattery. They credited him with a big mind and a big heart and
as a man capable of doing big things. Yet he was equally sensitive to the
importance of what are sometimes referred to as the little things. He
inclined his ear to the young lawyer’s modest request for advice, he
succored without waiting to be asked the man in need and heard in advance of
others the cry of the orphan and was first to see the tears of the widow.
And in it all there was no display, no thought of letting the left hand know
what the right was doing. His life and his work was laid before his friends
on this occasion and by them it was unanimously agreed that his was a life
worthy of emulation and it was the further verdict that the belief was in
every heart present that the Great Ruler had already pronounced the edict of
M. Blanding, as president of the Bar Association, presided and after calling
the meeting to order, paid a splendid tribute to the deceased, reviewing his
useful and unselfish life as a citizen and his high standing as a lawyer in
all the courts of the country. The speaker declared that Judge Neblett had
few enemies, but many friends; few faults, but many virtues. At the
conclusion of Judge Blanding’s address Mr. Adair Dyer was made secretary,
and an appropriate song was rendered by a sextette composed of Mr. Lloyd
Kerr, Miss Rollin Shaw, Miss Sloan Johnson, Mrs. J. L. Dockum, Miss Evelyn
McKie and Mr. Hugh Johnson.
Richard Mays presented a set of resolutions in memory of the deceased and in
doing so spoke as follows: Brethren of the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen:
mortal remains of our departed member now lie within the bosom of the earth
from whence it came, in yonder beautiful Oakwood cemetery.
has put on immortality—a part of which we now commemorate.
As to his
memory, we bid defiance to the declaration that the evil that men do lives
after them, and that the good is oft interred with their bones
which he loved so well, has an interest in the legacy he left behind, and it
now wishes to perpetuate it in so far as it can. And in emulation of the
noble Romans in principle and deed, we convert this forum into our Appian
Way and here write and proclaim in final and durable form our conception of
his merits and worth to present and future generations of the Bar.
committee on resolutions directs me to present the following for your
consideration and it is with emotion that I proceed.
then read the resolutions in the midst of profound silence on the part of
the audience, as follows:
Hon. J. M. Blanding, President of the Navarro County Bar Association:
committee, to whom was assigned the privilege of preparing a suitable
tribute of love and respect to the memory of our lamented deceased brother,
Judge R. S. Neblett, to be presented on this occasion to this Association,
beg to report that if it meets the approbation of the Bar Association we
would like to have this called.
Scott Neblett was born in Grimes county, Texas on March 16, 1855, and died
in Temple, Texas, (where he had gone for medical treatment) on January 18th,
A. D. 1918. He first came to Corsicana, Texas, with his parents when two
years of age in June, 1857. During the Civil War, about 1862 or 1863, the
family returned to Grimes county, in November, 1877. He returned to
Corsicana on January 1st, 1878, and formed a partnership with the
Hon. Rufus Hardy, the present Congressman from this district, for the
practice of law. He was married November 25, 1879 to Miss Mattie C. Yeater,
in Hearne, Robertson county, Texas, and he has lived continuously in
Corsicana since January 1st 1878. Four children blessed this
union, the first, a girl, who died at the age of six weeks, two daughters,
Mrs. L. D. Brooks and Mrs. Winston Hall, and one son, Robert S. Neblett, now
in our High School, who with his widow, still survive him. In personal
appearance our friend was about 6 feet, or possibly a little less, in
height, weighed possibly 175 or 180 pounds. His carriage was always erect,
with straight back and squared shoulders and his step always alert. His
head was beautifully modeled, showing a round contour with a noble forehead
and the perceptive and reflective features fully developed. In type he was
blond, with grayish blue eyes and blond hair. While we would not say he was
a handsome man we know he was a striking personality, who attracted
attention at once in any gathering of notable men. Your committee feels it
will be pardoned these intimate personal references to our friend, for it
desires to put on permanent record a true picture of the life, personality
and character of the one whose memory we desire to perpetuate today. Your
committee desires to say in the outset that it is its purpose to avoid a
stilted and stereotyped presentation of the life, character and virtues of
the friend whose memory we seek to honor today, and without fulsome eulogy
to present to this Association in a plain, simple and direct manner such as
would comport with his own character, a true appreciation of the lawyer and
the man. Intellectually Robert S. Neblett was first and foremost a lawyer,
and we believe a great lawyer. To his chosen profession he had given all the
strength and force of his mind. He was a most diligent and untiring student
of the books where the law is imbedded. His familiarity with the reported
decisions of the higher courts of this State was wonderful indeed, and many
of his lazier brethren regarded and used him as a digest. We, his less
studious brethren constantly went to him with the question, “Bob, where will
I find authority for this proposition?” and the answer was always cheerful
and prompt: “”Why, that was decided in such a volume,” and nearly always
the exact page, and if perchance, his retentive memory failed to remember
the page he would drop any business in hand, reach for the volume, read the
case and illumine the point with his own clear and analytical criticism. He
was a safe counselor, and believed the true duty and province of the lawyer
is to keep clients out of the forum rather than to rush them into
litigation, but in actual practice at the bar he was a careful and skilful
practitioner and trial lawyer, always courteous to the Bench and opposing
counsel. Perhaps his greatest forte in the profession was the preparation
of the record and the briefing of a case on appeal. Here he had few equals
and no superior. He possessed in an eminent degree those qualities that
would have adorned the Supreme Bench of the State, for “in the explorations
of the ocean of legal lore, his search was for two pearls to be found in its
depth—trust and justice.” Notwithstanding the demands of a very busy
practice he took time to serve his fellow citizens in several important and
useful positions. He served as Mayor of Corsicana from 1885 to 1888. He
was chairman of the School Board of Corsicana from 1899 to 1905 and
represented Navarro county in the 30th Legislature in 1907, and
was chairman of the Board of Managers of the State Orphan Home in 1911.
Perhaps the well known superiority and efficiency of the Public Schools of
Corsicana can be attributed very largely to his unflagging zeal and wise and
prudent administration of school affairs. In connection with his service in
the legislature an incident which only illustrates his scrupulous and
punctilious sense of honor and the right and proper thing to do, may be
mentioned. To avoid even the appearance of representing the people and
railway interests at the same time, he declined to receive any part of the
compensation received by his firm as attorneys for the Cotton Belt and H. &
T. C. Railways and at once returned all his railway passes, which gave him
free transportation to every portion of the United States.
now to consider our friend and brother as a man and citizen in private
life. In this relation he was indeed one of God’s Noblemen, modest and
unassuming to a degree, and very far from self-seeking. Honest personally
and intellectually as the day was long-generous and charitable to a fault,
it seemed that he lived to do good and be helpful to others, and especially
to others less fortunately circumstanced than himself. Before the
organization of our United Charities in Corsicana he had for many years
modestly constituted himself the United Charities and no call of distress of
which he could hear went unheeded. He did not wait for the call to come,
but went to seek it. If pecuniary relief was needed his purse was always
open and if mental or moral sorrow came to his notice he was promptly on
hand with tender sympathy and wise counsel. We will never know the extent
of his acts of charity and benevolence because there were so secretly and
unostentatiously performed. He was a man of wide and varied reading and
culture, especially in the English classics of prose and poetry, in science,
biology and kindred studies.
committee approaches now with some hesitancy the question of the religious
convictions of our friend. R. S. Neblett believed in a Supreme Being and in
immortality. His mind was too deep and keen to admit the thought that the
universe came by chance and was sustained and governed by blind material
forces. Postulating a Supreme Architect of the Universe, his logical mind
could not conceive that this Supreme Power could take such infinite pains to
make and set on its way so wonderful a being as a human body, mind and soul,
making up the complex being man, so fearfully and he wonderfully made, to no
end or for nothing. While his views were not orthodox as orthodoxy is
generally accepted. In the gospel according to St. James there is given a
definition of true religion. St. James says that “True and undefiled
religion before our God is to visit the widow and the fatherless and keep
oneself unspotted from the world.” Could any one have fulfilled these
conditions more nearly than our friend? You know how near to his heart were
the widow and the fatherless, and his mind and heart were as pure and clean
as those of a good woman.
closing this imperfect sketch, it remains only to call attention to his
intense patriotism which impelled him for months past to give his efficient
and loyal service to his Government as Chairman of Board of Exemptions No.
1, and few recognize the irksome, arduous and thankless duties he here
performed without the hope of fee or reward.
conclusion your committee requests that this Association ask the Hon.
District Judge of Navarro County to permit a page of the Civil Minutes of
said Court to bear a copy of this heartfelt tribute and that said page be
set aside as sacred to the memory of Robert Scott Neblett.
H. Rice moved the adoption of the resolution and followed his motion with a
beautiful tribute to the deceased, especially to his character as a Mason.
L. Jester seconded the motion, with only a few remarks, because he was
suffering from a severe sore throat, but his tribute was beautiful and
B. Daviss followed with a splendid tribute to the deceased as a lawyer at
the bar, saying that all Texas recognized him as a great lawyer and above it
all a just and honest man in the practice of his profession, and in the
private walks of life as a true and loving friend, and one whose private
life was pure to the degree that it was spotless, and while he had no creed
he believed him to have been a deeply religious man. Judge Daviss spoke
highly of Judge Neblett’s knowledge of the law and declared that the last
two governors had missed an opportunity to honor themselves, their state and
the judiciary by not appointing Judge Neblett to a position on one higher
courts. He had told Judge Neblett that he would do what he could to have
him appointed, but that Judge Neblett’s deep modesty had prompted him to
declare that he did not wish the appointment if he must ask for it.
motion to adopt the resolutions as read by Mr. Mays also carried with a
motion that the resolutions be spread upon the minutes of the district
court. Judge Daviss declared that he would be glad to devote all space
necessary to accommodate the resolutions and he hoped that every lawyer
would attach his signature to them, thus testifying his endorsement of their
J. McClellan read a letter from Judge E. B. Perkins of Dallas, saying he
regretted very much his inability to be present. The letter was address to
Messrs. W. J. McKie, J. J. McClellan and R. R. Owen, program committee, with
the letter were the following expressions from Judge Perkins showing the
high esteem in which he held the man whose death is deeply mourned in
years I have been intimately associated with R. S. Neblett. It is possible
that we never know another individual, but I think I knew and understood him
as well as one man knows and understands another. We have worked together
in practical affairs, wher the utmost candor was required; in times of
leisure, we have communed together about the higher things of life, and
about their exceeding value as compared with the transitory and material.
It is true that as to that value man always has difficulty, because he
wanders in the mists and in the shadows; he ‘sees through the glass
darkly.’ and is always, except in his exalted moods, troubled with more or
less doubts and uncertainties. He had these troubles, as we all have, but
always found that he rested securely on the eternal verities. Like many a
good man, he had read much, and thought much, therefore, did not walk
blindly in the beaten paths, but he never stepped out of the paths of right
and duty, as he saw that path. His vision was clear as to right and wrong
and he never compromised with wrong. His courage was modest but unfailing,
and he would, therefore, stand out in the open for his convictions. If he
was impatient with anything it was with hypocrisy. He was always lenient
with the man who did not know and had a helping hand for the man who was
unfortunate, but in this regard he fulfilled the injunction, ‘Not let his
left hand know what his right hand did.’ As a friend, he was loyal to a
degree that is altogether uncommon among the children of men; his friend’s
interest was his interest; his friend was his neighbor, and he loved his
neighbor as he loved himself. He thoroughly qualified himself to understand
citizenship, and as a citizen he was ever vigilant, watchful and true to his
country. There has probably been no man in Texas, during the period in
which he has been active as a citizen, who made fewer mistakes with
reference to what was and would be beneficial to the people. It sometimes
seemed as to untried theories, that his intuition as to what was right, was
uncanny. New fads and fancies in government were mercilessly dissected by
him, and the results of their adoption foretold with prophetic certainty.
As a lawyer he was absolutely devoted to the purity of the law. He was
ready at all times and places to defend that purity. His learning reached
back to the fountains of the law, and followed its streams through all the
ages, so that many things that seemed new and novel to other lawyers, were
told to him. His respect for the poet was unbounded but his contempt for
the man unfitted for the position who happened by some accident, to gent on
the Bench, was profound. Still he was not a satirist or a mean critic; but
he was very much disturbed to see a bungler attempt to handle the law. With
all this, he went his way a simple, unassuming, urbane and cheerful
citizen. His record is made up, but is now before the court of last
resort. Of that Court, we do not know what we would know, but we have an
abiding faith, hope and belief, that in its judgements there will be no
error. Looking at his record, as we see it, we feel safe as to the
judgement that will be pronounced in his case. It is true that we see this
record with infinite eyes; our vision is, therefore, limited, but we see it
by the light of the wonderful rules of life that has come down to us from
the First Book of Law—the light that enlightens the world; the light that
has guided the sages, philosophers and jurists of all times. Therefore, we
are confirmed in our opinion of this record.
miss him—his place will not be supplied—in fact, no man’s place is supplied
or filled. Each man has his own place in this Universe. We will not forge
him, however, because he is absent. We will remember the goodness that he
represented, and if he had faults they are already obliterated.”
reading the tribute Judge McClellan spoke earnestly and feelingly of Judge
Neblett and told how he had aided him in the beginning his legal career in
Corsicana and of his wonderful knowledge as a lawyer. Concluding his
remarks Judge McClellan read an unfinished address that Judge Neblett had
outlined to deliver before the United Charities as to the duties and needs
of the organization at the beginning of the new year 1918.
Hamilton followed Judge McClellan and he, too, paid an eloquent, earnest
tribute to the character of the deceased.
H. Woods followed in a beautiful and thoughtful tribute to his friend and
neighbor, saying many beautiful things of him and his noble thoughts and
manly search after knowledge and of his undying love for his fellowman. Mr.
Woods spoke with evident feeling and was deeply in earnest. He told of his
early associations with Judge Neblett and he spoke of Judge Neblett’s public
service as he did of his private life. He too, referred to the deep
knowledge of the law and repeating what Judge Davis had said as to two
governors failing in recognize Judge Neblett’s superior qualifications for
the bench, said that on one occasion entirely without Judge Neblett’s
knowledge he had personally called on the governor and urged his
A. Tarver in eloquent earnestness referred to Judge Neblett’s many noble
traits of character especially referring to the time when he was president
of the school board, and later as he knew him as a helper and generous
advisor and councellor of the younger men of the bar, whom he never failed
to aid with his kind words and timely advice.
R. Owen, who has been closely associated with Judge Neblett for the past
several months on the board of exemptions declared him to have been
uniformly kind and considerate of others, but that he had done his duty to
his country and that as a lawyer he had never tried to win a case in any
doubtful way, but by his superior knowledge of the law and from his high
sense of justice.
Dyer paid a short and splendid tribute to the character of the deceased,
dwelling especially upon his modesty, at the same time pointing to his great
mind and character. He declared that Judge Neblett was truly a great
lawyer, a great scholar, a statesman and a man.
Mr. W. H.
Taylor said that he had known Judge Neblett for twenty five years and he
knew him not only as a great lawyer but as a true friend.
Halbert was called and read the following tribute from the United Charities
to the memory of the deceased;
United Charities of Corsicana bows its head, in sympathy with this
community, in the loss of Hon. R. S. Neblett.
not only a man of strong intellect, of broad learning and of high
attainments at the Bar, but his qualities of Heart were as marked as his
qualities of Intellect. He was simple in his tastes and habits, as becomes
a citizen of a Democracy. He was not cold and aloft, as scholars are apt to
be, but friendly, affable and easy to approach. He was a lover of books, of
trees, and of his fellow men. His ear was quick to catch the cry of
distress, and his heart and hand quick to give relief.
president of our Association, he was punctual and faithful in the discharge
of his duties, wise in his council, and in heart sympathy with every phase
of charitable work.
miss him greatly. Peace to his ashes. And may those with whom he has
worked, and those for whom he has worked, know him again in a world where
the ties of friendship are not broken, nor the Bonds of Love dissolved.
commenting, Mayor Halbert said: “At the meeting Friday night, an
unconscious but beautiful tribute was paid Mr. Neblett by three of the
members. One of them remarked that she thought that Mr. Neblett was more
interested in the work of United Charities than anything else. Another
thought he was more interested in the Belgian Children’s Relief Fund while
the third said: ‘No, you know he was always urging us not to forget the
little ones here at home.’ Could anything show more forcefully his keen
interest in charity?
Neblett was a clean minded man. The vulgar and the impure found no place in
his life. If doubt if even in his younger days he was ever guilty of any
character of dissipation. so in his maturer manhood he was not forced with
Lord Byron, to look back upon a wasted past, and cry
thorns which I have reaped are of the tree; they have torn me and I bleed.
have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.”
Master has said: “The pure in heart shall see God.”
Mr. E. H.
Church read a splendid tribute to the deceased. The full text of Mr.
Church’s remarks follow:
Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: Not having been trained in the arts of
oratory and being of a diffident nature, so much so that I always feel
embarrassed in speaking in the public, and wishing to add my mite to the
homage which is being paid to our deceased friend and fellow citizen, I
crave your indulgence while I read the few remarks I wish to make. It is
with a sad heart and a deep feeling of personal loss that I add this small
tribute to the memory of my friend. My acquaintance with the distinguished
dead runs back to the time when we were both young men. Our acquaintance
soon ripened into a friendship which remained steadfast to the day of Judge
Neblett’ s death. Of late years our relations were more intimate from the
fact that we were interested in the same line of study: biology and kindred
subjects and our frequent discussions of these subjects led to an
intellectual comradeship which was highly prized by myself, as it was my
great privilege to enjoy the benefits of his erudition and ripe
scholarship. Judge Neblett, early in life had broken the shackles of an
unreasoned and inherited faith and was intellectually brave enough to follow
the teaching of his reason to whatever end it might lead. He was fully
abreast of the advanced thoughts of the day. He was a great admirer of
Charles Darwin and has told me, that he thought that Mr. Darwin, by his
great works on natural selection, had done more to advance our knowledge
than any man who ever lived. He accepted Prof. Haeckel’s Monistic
philosophy which teaches the unity of nature and that all living organisms
had a common origin. That life can be traced from the lowest protists in an
unbroken chain first through the fishes then the amphibian, reptiles, birds,
monotremes, marsupials, prosimiae (the lowest primates), simian, manlike
apes and finally speaking man. Holding these views he believed with Henry
Ward Beecher that if man ever fell, he fell upward. That in the childhood
of the race, man was in constant struggle with the forces of nature, both
animate and in animate, but by a slow and gradual increase of brain power he
learned to fashion weapons with which to defend himself and secure his food
and by observing the different phenomena of nature that certain causes
always produced certain effects, his reasoning faculties arose and that
through all of the ages man’s course has been continually upward—Though his
advance was at times checked—when man would almost be swamped by darkness
yet there were a few noble minds to keep alight the torch of reason and
carry civilization forward until it reached its present heights. He
believed in universal absolute reign of law; that every effect had a
sufficient cause, that nothing came by chance. Therefore there was no place
in his philosophy for miracle. It was a great pleasure and a privilege to
hear him discuss these or any other subjects when he chose as I think he had
one of the most comprehensive minds I ever came in contact with. He had a
breadth of view and mental grasp that is rare among men. He was a great
student, omnivorous reader and deep thinker. Not being bound by
conventionalism his mind was free to soar to any heights. His only concern
with any statement presented was: Is it true? Added to all of these
qualities of mind was a noble and generous heart. He was kind, sympathetic
and gentle as a woman, charitable to the shortcomings of others and ever
ready to relieve distress. His charity embraced mankind. It knew no
nationality or creed. He respected men for what they were, not for what
they believed or where they were born, and I believe that when the judgment
of his life
character shall finally be entered it will be as expressed by the poet.
Adheni (may his tribe increace!)
night from a deep dream of peace.
within the moonlight in his room,
rich, and like a lily in bloom,
writing in a book of gold;
peace had been Ben Adhem hold,
the Presence in the room he said:
writest thou?” The vision raised its head,
a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered: “The names of those who love the Lord.”
mine one?” said Abou, “Nay, not so.”
the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
cheerily still, and said “I pray thee, then,
as one that loves his fellow men.”
wrote and vanished. The next night
again with a great awakening light,
showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
Ben Adhem’s name lead all the rest.
Church was followed by Ralph Beaton who read a carefully prepared paper to
the memory of the deceased, saying that he was not only a great man but that
he was humanity’s friend.
J. McKie said that he and Judge Neblett had been intimate since young
manhood and that he knew him to be a deep thinker in his profession and out
of it, and that in all of the walks of life he was a man. He was not and
never sought to be a noisy leader of men, but he did his own thinking and
was never led by anything except his own sense of right and justice. He did
much good in the world in the war of charity, but did it for humanity’s
good, and not for the gain he hoped to get out of it. His life was one of
absolute unselfishness. In short, he had a big brain, a great heart and his
life was a noble one.
Mulkey, who is out of town, sent his expressions of regret at the loss of
Judge Neblett, whom he regarded as one of Corsicana’s most useful best
citizens. In 1876, when Judge Neblett was a young man here, he and others
boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Mulkey. At that time they had a temperance
society here and Judge Neblett was Worthy Primate and Hon. Rufus Hardy
secretary. Both boarded with Mr. and Mrs. Mulkey. the Society met in an
unseated room and Judges Neblett, and Hardy and Mr. Mulkey would each take a
chair from home to the hall. Judge Neblett as well as the other young men
took great interest in the temperance society, and all else that went for
the good of Corsicana.
room was draped for the occasion, decorated with the National colors, which
was in itself recognition of the high qualities of the man who was being
honored. It was 5 o’clock before the meeting adjourned and when that hour
came all present were more deeply impressed than ever before with the fact
that Corsicana had lost a citizen who was an ornament to all of its best
circles, that the despondents had lost a sincere helper, that the poor had
parted with a man whose sympathies were always with them, and that humanity
had lost a friend.
MEMORIAL FUND STILL GROWING
Young Man Pays Tribute As Do Also Fellow Practitioners
Neblett United Charities Memorial Fund continues to grow. It now totals
something more than $200.00.
Daily Sun received the following:
Corsicana, January, 25, 1918.
Gentlemen: Enclosed I send you check for $2.00 for the R. S. Neblett
Memorial Fund of the United Charities Association.
the last summer I worked as a clerk in the office of the Local Exemption
Board for about two month, and in such capacity I became intimately
acquainted with Judge Neblett. It is thought that a young person is greater
impressed by the character of another, and this was true with me in respect
to Judge Neblett. I regarded him as a manof true and noble character, who
was serious, yet at times sparkling with humor. Such a man as Judge Neblett
was, constantly inspires those around him to a higher and better things.
my sympathies to Judge Neblett’s family and especially to Robert Neblett who
is a member of the staff of The Corsican.
JACK, Mgr., The Corsican
following tribute was also received by the United Charities:
Texas, January 24, 1918
United Charities, Corsicana, Tex.
Gentlemen: In memory of Judge Robert S. Neblett who was for many years the
legal representative in your County of the Southern Pacific Line and who
was, during all of those years our dear friend, we beg you to accept our
check for $25.oo drawn to your order.
BOTTS, PARKER, & GARWOOD.
FOLLOWED A LONG LIST OF DONATIONS BY NAME)
TRIBUTE TO JUDGE NEBLETT
Corsicana Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Adopts Resolutions
Corsicana, Texas, June 1, 1918.
Lodge No. 174, A. F. & A. M.
committee charged with the duty of preparing suitable resolutions upon the
death of our deceased brother, Robert Scott Neblett, respectfully submit
Biographical: Robert Scott Neblett was born in Grimes County, Texas on
March 16, 1855, and died in Temple, Texas, where he had gone for medical
treatment, on January 18, 1918.
came to Corsicana, Texas with his parents when two years of age, in June
1857. During the Civil War, about 1862 or ’63, the family returned to
Grimes County, where he lived until the 1st day of January, 1878,
and formed a partnership with Hon. Rufus Hardy, president congressman from
this district for the practice of law.
married November 25th, 1879, to Miss Mattie C. Yeater in Hearne,
Robertson County, Texas. Four children blessed this union; the first a
girl, who died at the age of six weeks; two daughters, Mrs. L. D. Brooks
and Mrs. Winston Hall, and one son, Robert S. Neblett, now in our High
School, with his widow still survive him.
made a Master Mason in Corsicana Lodge No. 174, October 23, 1891, and was
made a Royal Arch Mason in Corsicana Chapter No. 41, May 27, 1902, and
became a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in 1906. He was elected
Worshipful Master of Corsicana Lodge in 1900, and again Worshipful Master in
1915. At the latter date Corsicana Lodge was heavily in debt, and our
deceased brother requested that he be permitted to use his best endeavors to
relieve the situation and free the lodge from this burden. His efforts in
this behalf were untiring, and so wisely and efficiently were the financial
affairs of the lodge handled and managed by him that in less than a year, by
carefully conserving and developing its revenues he succeeded in freeing it
entirely from this burden of debt, with a substantial balance in the
treasury, and establishing it again upon a sound working basis.
Mason he was an honor to the fraternity to which he belonged. Exceptionally
well versed in the history and tenets of the order, he not only thoroughly
understood its teachings, but was inspired by its doctrines and in his daily
life and practice conformed to its highest ideals. The passing of Brother
Neblett leaves a vast void, a great vacancy which will be hard to fill. No
bronze tablet or marbles shaft is necessary to recall him to our memories;
his friendly acts, his gentle ways, his sympathy for the poor and
unfortunate and his readiness to help endeared him to all who were fortunate
enough to know him and his kind heart and helping hand marked him as one
profession he was a lawyer of profound learning and marked ability, with few
equals and no superiors. In his chosen profession he was frequently
retained upon the side that was unpopular and against which public sentiment
had been unjustly aroused. He faced these conditions bravely, as he met all
issues, and true to his professional duty, faithfully and successfully
championed the interest he represented. With sublime conception of duty, he
was the soul of loyalty and fidelity, absolutely true to every interest he
represented, whether great or small, and to every trust reposed in him,
whether public or private. In his career at the bar and elsewhere, his
splendid abilities and indomitable energies were equally and fearlessly
given in behalf of every cause which he espoused. In his practice as a
lawyer he exemplified the highest ideals of correct professional ethics and
reflected at all times luster upon the great profession he loved so well.
politics he was a Democrat, who ever adhered unswervingly to the fundamental
principles of that faith. While in no sense of the word a politician. In
politics he took the interest of a patriotic citizen. On all public
questions he took his position and courageously maintained it and was
fearless in the expression of his convictions. He always contended that,
“those are governed best who are governed least,” and while office with its
emoluments and honors never appealed to him; yet, he was ever the champion
of human rights and human liberties always and everywhere, and was
unalterably opposed at all times to unwarranted restrictions upon human
Service: Notwithstanding a large and burdensome practice, he took time from
his personal affairs to serve his fellow-citizens in many positions of
usefulness and importance.
to 1888 he served as Mayor of
Corsicana. He was Chairman of the Board of Managers of the State
Orphans Home from 1892 to 1894, and again in 1911. He was president of the
School Board of Corsicana from 1899 to 1905, and it is safe to say that the
well known superiority and efficiency of the public schools of Corsicana
today can very largely be attributed to his unflagging zeal and wise prudent
administration of school affairs. In 1907 he represented Navarro County
with honor and distinction in the 30th Legislature.
early part of 1917, he was appointed by the Governor of his State as
Chairman of the Local Exemption Board No. 1 for Navarro County, and during
the last year of his life his time and energies were almost exclusively
devoted to the service of his country. Intensely patriotic, his unstinted
devotion went out to his country in her hour of greatest need, and to this
service he gave his time, his abundant energy, his watchful care and anxious
thought. Duty was the watchword of his life, and responding to this call
upon his patriotism, he entered at once upon the duties of this position,
never shrinking from the heavy responsibilities, nor laying down the burden
until the inevitable summons came. He gave to this service the best that
was in him, and with the gift the giver was given. Nor does anyone doubt
that he gave himself freely and willingly.
time of his death he was President of United Charities of Corsicana, and to
the work of this organization he was intensely and devotedly interested. At
all times ready and eager, not only to give material aid to every case
called to his attention, but to give his personal interest and sympathy, he
was beloved alike by those with whom he served and those to whom his service
Citizen: In his social relations he was ever genial, cordial and friendly;
kind and courteous in his intercourse with all, in every walk ad station. A
loving and devoted husband, a kind and affectionate father, a true and loyal
friend, a public-spirited citizen; one learned to know him only to love
him. His constant thought and the true key-note of his life was “I shall
pass through this world but once, and any good thing, therefore, that I can
do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now;
let me not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
boundless affection And humanity, he loved his fellow men and desired to
serve all. Unselfish and generous, his generosity was without the weakness
of prodigality. Broad in his charity, this charity was yet gentle, quiet
and considerate, not to be proclaimed from the housetops nor talked of in
public places. No poor or unfortunate one ever turned away from Robert S.
Neblett empty-handed; his bounty knew no creed, no condition, no race or
color; his generosity knew no bounds, but extended to the furthermost
limits of the sphere in which he moved. to the infirm and old he was gentle
and respectful, ever ready to lend an attentive ear, or a strong and helping
hand. To the younger and struggling he was sympathetic and considerate,
always seeking to give hope and encouragement by a friendly word and
material aid, and to assist and inspire them to greater and better efforts.
Tender and gentle as a woman, the weak, the dependent and the suffering were
the especial objects of his concern and interest. These ever found in him
a strong and true friend, a wise and safe councellor; and many of them had
come to rely on him for strength and support, to look to him for
encouragement and in whose hearts his memory is sacredly enshrined, now
touch of a vanished hand, And the sound of a voice that is still.”
Characteristics: His character was many-sided, but not complex; not so
unique or unusual as it was strong, wholesome, pure and good. A man of
rarely gifted personality and unusual charm of manner. Endowed with
exceptional traits of character and exalted ideals of life and duty. A man
of great intellect, broad and varied learning and deep thinking, yet with an
exceedingly modest, simple and unassuming in his demeanor and actions. His
self-knowledge was thorough and his self-control marvelous. Proud and
brave, quick and sensitive, his master of himself was complete, and the most
trying circumstances and direst provocations did not disturb his splendid
poise, nor mar his fair and knightly courtesy. Broad, tolerant and liberal,
he scorned that which was narrow, small and mean. Ambitious and aspiring
always to greater and better things, he never consented to secure his own
desires through the downfall of another, nor to profit by the misfortunes of
another human being. Scrupulously fair and just in act and thought, he
accorded exactly what was due, and precisely that he expected to receive.
In a proper regard for the rights of others, and in the power to subordinate
self and selfishness, as an example of sterling integrity he stood in a
class by himself.
simplicity and abhorred the herald of pomp and display. He exemplified
truth, frankness and sincerity, and despised falsehood, hypocracy and cant.
He looked upon every man as his superior, nor considered any his inferior.
He loved his friends and was intensely loyal to them. No one ever appealed
to him for aid in the hour of trouble in vain. His conception of right and
wrong, doubtless made him recognize at times that his friend was in the
wrong, and he may have told this friend that he was wrong, but none other
ever heard him admit that any friend of his ever did wrong. He always
followed the theory that the enemies of his friend were quite sufficient to
proclaim that friend’s shortcomings without the aid or encouragement from
He was in
every sense of the word a gentleman, by nature, by birth and education,
cultured, quiet and refined, yet forceful. A man of lofty ideals and high
ambitions, he adhered to them closely, of exalted purposes, he subserved
them carefully, and of noble instincts and impulses, he was true to them
fully. Courageous, honest, powerful of intellect, benevolent of heart, he
has passed into the great beyond leaving to his state, his friends and his
family the legacy of distinguished service unselfishly performed, a standard
of lofty and steadfast character, a heritage of loving devotion and duty
faithfully accomplished in every relation. Bearing upon his breast the
white flower of an unsullied name, no purer soul than his ever entered the
portals of Paradise.
That in the death of Brother Robert S. Neblett the Masonic Order and
Corsicana Lodge have lost a faithful member, and able and capable leader of
noteworthy accomplishment and growing power, whose ideals of life were high,
whose honesty of purpose was unwavering, whose energy was untiring, whose
service was self-sacrificing, whose loyalty to duty was abiding, and whose
influence for good upon the entire community was constantly increasing.
That in the death of Robert S. Neblett the State of Texas and the City of
Corsicana have lost a distinguished and able lawyer, a talented and
public-spirited citizen, whose private life represented the highest type of
pure manhood, and whose public life was blameless and unspotted, and whose
life and character was an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact;
that measured by the standard of upright character and lofty ideals, judged
by the value of his life and work, his name is entitled to be enrolled among
those whom the people acclaim great and while his face and presence will be
sorely missed, his influence and memory will abide.
That we commend to all and especially to the youth of our land and the manly
virtues exemplified in the life and character of our deceased brother, and
express the sincere hope and belief that in this, as in other ways, he being
dead, may yet live in the higher ideals and nobler deeds of those who
That in recognition of his valuable services and successful efforts in
behalf of this lodge, we earnestly recommend the purchase of the portrait of
him recently executed, and that the same be hung on the walls of the lodge
room, as a tribute to his worth as a man, as a citizen, as a mason, and as a
testimonial to the memory of our beloved brother.
That we tender to his bereaved family our sincere sympathy and condolence
for their irreparable loss; that a copy of these resolutions be spread upon
the minutes of this lodge, a copy be sent to the press, and a copy be
delivered to his family.
SOLDIER WRITES AGAIN
Received Addressed to the Late Judge R. S. Neblett
letters have been received addressed to the late Judge R. S. Neblett from
the soldier boy whom Mr. Neblett too such interest in during the latter part
of his life. It will be remembered that the boy handed the Judge his name
and address on a scrap of paper as a troop train passed through here quite a
while ago and the Judge wrote to him often and sent him several boxes which
the soldier wrote were greatly appreciated.
letters received after the death of the Judge have been opened and Miss Lacy
Rice has answered them by sending a package containing a supply of tobacco
and several papers containing the reports of the talks made at the Neblett
Memorial Meeting held at the court house a short while ago.
IN PRAISE OF HIS FRIEND
Hon. J. H. Woods Paid a Warm Tribute to Judge Neblett
memorial services in honor of Judge Neblett’s memory Hon. J. H. Woods was
one of the speakers. Like some of the others who spoke on that occasion Mr.
Woods spoke without notes or manuscript. The Sun has requested those so
speaking to reduce their utterances to writing that they may be published.
Mr. Woods has responded and others will do so. The Sun feels sure that his
remarks will be appreciated by the public. His warmth, earnestness, and
eloquence made a deep impression on all who attended the services. Mr.
Woods spoke substantially as follows.
Chairman, Gentlemen of the Bar,
ten years ago we assembled in this room to do honor to the memory of that
splendid lawyer and distinguished fellow citizen, Judge Sam R. Frost. Today
we are gathered to render like honor to his junior partner, Hon. R. S.
Neblett, and the chairman of this meeting is Judge J. M. Blanding, the third
member of that firm.
It is a
satisfaction to assemble ourselves and give utterance to our respect and
love for our departed brother, but it is a saddening thought that he can no
longer gather with us.
S. Neblett was one of a group of young attorneys who began the practice of
law in Corsicana within the five years beginning with January 1st,
1878: Of this group the following recur to my memory, R. S. Neblett, Rufus
Hardy, J. M. Blanding, J. F. Stout, J. H. Rice, W. J. McKie, John D. Lee, H.
G. Damon, Ralph Beaton, E. O. Call, J. L. Autry, H. A. Halbert, the three
Greers, J. J. McClellan, R. E. Prince, J. H. Woods. Of these, three are now
deceased, the last being our friend, R. S. Neblett. Ten are yet citizens of
Navarro County and seven are present this afternoon. They are no longer
young in years and their heads are gray.
I may be
pardoned if I suggest that these young me, all of whom were poor, but
industrious and aspiring, have given freely of their services to their city
and county, and to their state. Four have served the City of Corsicana as
Mayor. Four have served the county as County Judge. Five have served their
county in the legislature, one as Speaker of the House. One has served as
state senator from another district, one has served as district judge and
member of congress Two as county attorney. Our departed brother has
rendered worthy service as Mayor of Corsicana, President of its School Board
and as member of the legislature from this county. As a man, R. S. Neblett
was modest and unassuming in demeanor, quiet and courteous in manner, genial
and kind in disposition, cordial and charitable in his deeds, untiring in
labor, ever accessible and sympathetic. Of him, it may be said in the words
of St. Paul in his encomium of charity, that “he suffered long and was kind,
that he envied not, was not puffed up, was not easily provoked and thought
In all my
acquaintance with him, I have no recollection of his having spoken evil of
lawyer and student, he was emphatically “learned in the law,” and had no
superior in his intimate knowledge of the law of Texas as determined by the
reports of the Supreme Court. His studies were not confined to the law, but
took in the field of human thought in its wide extent. He was widely read
and had a vast fund of information in many of the branches of knowledge.
been my fortune to know and be associated with Mr. Neblett for very near the
entire time of his residence in Corsicana and during the friendship based on
this long acquaintance, we have had opportunity to discuss many questions of
law, politics, science, ethics and religion.
true, as suggested by Judge Perkins in his tribute, that we can know but
little of our fellow man. Each of us lives a life that is only partly open
to his fellow. We pass one another from day to day, we associate together
and may even live on terms of close intimacy in the home and family, and yet
much of us may remain an undiscovered territory to those with whom we live.
We see and know but fragments of those hopes and fears, those aspirations
and depressions, those joys and griefs and those inmost thoughts that make
up the lives of our nearest and dearest. There are thoughts, hopes, fears,
and griefs that lie too deep for words, and while there may be times of
stress and feeling, when we get some little insight into the deeper things
of life in our friends and dear ones, yet often we carry in our hearts but
shadows of those whom we love. When the parting has come there often occurs
to us fragments of thought or feeling that open up to us unknown depths in
the character and thought of our friends. Our friend who has left us was an
earnest and sincere student of the problems that face us here and up to the
last he was seeking light on the mystery of life and the tragedy of death.
Not always following the paths opened up by authority, he sought to use to
the limit his own powers of thought and analysis on these questions. He was
aware that we have yet gone but a little way on the road to knowledge and he
there are sounds we cannot hear
sights that we cannot see,
that the world has many a door
we have no key.
that the human heart longs for knowledge and visions of the things that are
hidden from us. On many points we differ, visions are granted to some that
come not to others and the eyes of faith may penetrate where knowledge
death lays his cold hand upon some one whom we love and the dear heart is
stilled, we are startled and stunned and know not the full force of the
stroke. then the first days of death go slowly by and the thought comes to
us in all its appalling reality, that never again, so long as we shall live,
shall we again see that form or hear that voice of the loved one, the mind
falters and the broken heart cries out in agony. “Shall my loved one live
again in another life?” And the old cry of the human heart takes on a
strength and vividness that hold the thought enthralled. “If a man die,
shall he live again?”
century to century this question has held the thought and heart of mankind,
and never in the history of the world has it had a more commanding hold upon
men than in this time when millions of the strongest and best of our race
are meeting a violent death upon the battle fields of Europe and millions of
those who are left are demanding in the depths of their grief that
paralyzes thought and life, shall we behold no more forever those whom we
ancient Egyptians attempted to answer this question. Socrates, Plato,
Aristotle, and Cicero gave to it the profoundest labor of their minds. Job
voiced it in his lament and gave a hopeful answer. Socrates and Plato said
that the human soul does not vanish like smoke or sleep on forever. That as
life passes into death, so the dead shall pass on to life, otherwise at the
last, all things would be swallowed up in death.
Younger, fifty years before Christ, confronted by the army of Ceasar and
knowing that the morrow would bring to him ruin, disgrace and possible
death, spent the last night of his life pondering the Paedo of Plato and its
argument for the immortality of the soul and as the night wore on he
soliloquized to himself.
be so. Plato thou reasonest well,
whence this pleasing hope this fond desire,
longing after immortality?”
morrow found him no longer in the land of the living, but putting to the
test his confidence in the reasoning of Plato.
took up the thoughts of Plato and made them his own. And expressing his own
thoughts he said:
consider the wonderful activity of the mind so great a memory of what is
past, and such a capacity of penetrating into the future; when I behold
such a number of arts and sciences, and such a multitude of discoveries
arising therefrom, I believe and am firmly persuaded that a nature which
contains so many things within itself cannot but be immortal.”
concludes that even though Plato should be found to be wrong, he for himself
would rather be wrong with Plato than to be right with those who believe
spoke as never man spoke is reported to have said to his disciples “Let not
your hearts be troubled. Ye believe in God. In My Father’s house are many
mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.”
apostle St. Paul in defense of himself on one occasion, said in his ardor:
“Why should it be thought incredible with you, that God should raise from
the dead.” And in his writings he has said: “If this earthly house of our
tabernacle be dissolved, we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the
he had finished his argument in the 15th chapter of First
Corinthians, he said in his exultation: “Now Death where is thy sting? O
Grave where is thy victory?”
not be that this body is not the creator of the soul, but simply its
habitation and that the soul may live on when the body shall have ceased to
exist? This is a World of order and law, standing forth in all its
conditions and activities as the purposeful effect of a might intelligence,
can it be that fire has no other meaning and purpose than that contained
within the few years of our sojourn on Earth? That the lives that are
broken and marred here, that end so soon and so hurriedly, before there can
be any complete fulfillment of their meaning and purpose, pass into the void
and care no more? Is it not within the thought and poser of the mighty and
merciful mind behind the Universe, that some where and some how, every
personality shall be perfected in thought, feeling and will? And that some
where and some time, we, with those whom we love, may again be gathered
knowledge fails may we not lean upon our instinctive hope and faith in the
wise and beneficent purpose of him that made all things and will bring his
purposes to pass?
minds turn to thoughts of our departed friend, let us follow the council of
St. Paul wherein he says:
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report, think on these things.”
we not already followed the admonition of the Order of Elks, wherein they
say, “We shall write the faults of our brother in shifting sand, and his
virtues on the tablets of our memory.”
friend and brother,
books are closed and the prayers are said,
And he is
numbered with the countless dead.”
thinkable that all that store of knowledge, the labor of years, all that
power of thought and strength of intellect, all that excellence of moral
character, all those aspirations for the good and the true, and those
longings for the eternal values, have perished forever?
through from out this bourne of Time and Place,
has borne him far,
we hope that he has met his Pilot face to face,
has crossed the bar?”
goes out in the deepest sympathy to that fond wife who has been the sharer
of his joys and sorrows for so many years, to those two dear girls and that
young son who mourn his going hence and to that lady, Miss Fannie Rice, who
for years has been connected with him in business as stenographer and
assistant. I commend them to the love of God who knoweth and seeth all
FRIENDS FOR MANY YEARS
Judge Owen Pays Tribute to the Man Who Was His Friend
following tribute by Judge R. R. Owen was delivered at the memorial services
held in behalf of Judge R. S. Neblett at the court house January 27 and was
furnished for publication at the request of the Daily Sun.
President, Members of the Bar,
with mingled feelings of sorrow and pleasure that I speak to the resolutions
just presented by the Bar Association, which evidenced the high esteem in
which our deceased brother was held; sorrow that one who possessed his
noble qualities has passed away so soon; pleasure because during the last
eleven years of his life I enjoyed an intimate association with him, which
enables me to bear testimony to his many virtues.
On May 6,
1906, I entered the office of the firm of which he was then a member. From
the very beginning I was drawn closely to him, and until the date of his
death I regarded him as one of my best friends. Throughout the entire time
of our association he was always kind, gentle and courteous and always
seemed anxious to help those who came in his way. Our relations were always
cordial and were never strained. I accepted his friendship as a matter of
course, and never knew how much I really esteemed and loved him until he was
the last seven months of his life I was with him almost daily as a member of
the Local Exemption Board. In all his work upon the Board he was “true to
his Government and just to his country,” and yet he was ever zealous in
securing for every one with whom the Board had to deal every right to which
he was entitled.
of death is active each day. It strikes with relentless force, mingling in
a common grave, the tender blossoms of Spring and the ripened fruit of
Autumn. But the loss of a great man causes the community to pause and
reflect. Death then points its cold solemn finger to the beautiful and
there may be some compensation for the loss in the lessons his life can
teach. It is fortunate that when the existence of a good being ceases, in
passing away it casts a shadow of its loveliness on the waste fo life. The
character of a good man is the heritage of posterity; he passes on into
history but his biography stands as a guide-post pointing the way to those
who come after him.”
As I knew
our decease brother, I believe he possessed all the qualities of a great
man. Very few of the citizens even of his own town, ever came to know and
appreciate his beautiful character and his real worth, because it required
some association with him to get an insight into his character and
disposition. In my opinion he possessed a nobility of soul such as but few
men in each generation possess.
easily one of the big lawyers of Texas. His superior ability as a lawyer
was due to the fact that he always read and understood the cases better and
more thoroughly than others usually did. He never sought to win a case by
artifice or trick or by unfair means, but always by having a more thorough
knowledge and grasp of the legal principles involved; and by a more shrewd
and skillful application of the same to the case in hand; and many
reversals of cases are attributable to this fact and practice. He sought to
win only on the law and the facts. He was not of the pettifogging and
brow-beating type which unfortunately are permitted to frequent our courts.
In seven years association with him in practice, he never suggested by word
or deed any course in one case that smacked of unfairness or dishonesty.
been thought that he was an atheist. Such was not a fact. His religion was
not orthodox, yet he placed his trust in God. “He recognized the good in
man and was ever willing to help the weak and relieve the distressed, he
cherished no animosity, cast no stone of malice and wagged no tongue of
gossip. Of the living, and of the dead, he said nothing if not good. He
did not believe that the finger of scorn pointed toward Heaven. He was a
humanitarian, and although he knew and understood the creeds, they had for
him but little attraction. He founded his faith in the universal doctrine,
that he serves God best, who best serves his fellow man. He found “tongues
in trees, books, in running brooks, sermons in stones and good in
thought much of him since he has gone. I have tried to analyze his
character, as I understood him, and to find what it was in him that evoked
by love and admiration. After much thought, I have reached the conclusion
that it was his spirit of geniality, kindliness and helpfulness so
continually manifest in his manner, and bearing and in his life and conduct.
He was a
friend to whom I often went for help, and whose counsel I always felt I
could safely accept. One has truly said: “It us a great deal if one in a
lifetime has found two friend upon whom he can rely, and whose fidelity is
not guided by selfishness.” To me, I believe this man was one such friend.
days after the death of our brother a beautiful prayer was found in his
traveling bag. He must have been impressed with it, for he had taken the
time, a busy man that he was to write it out in pencil in his own
handwriting. So fitly does it indicate the spirit and character of the
man. I feel it is worthy of presentation to you in connection with and as a
part of this, his Memorial service. It is as follows:
do my work each day, and if the darkest hours of despair overcome me, may I
not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times.
May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent
hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of the river when a light
glowed within me and I promised my early God to have courage amid the
tempest of the changing years. May I not forget the poverty and riches of
the spirit. Though the world know not, may my thoughts and actions be such
as will keep me friendly with myself. Lift my eyes from the earth and let me
not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I
should condemn myself. Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk
calmly in my path. Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am.”
IN KEEPING WITH HIS LIFE
Remembers His Friends Wishes—Brother Also Pays Tribute
received from Judge Hardy contained Judge Hardy’s check for the sum of $5.
This Judge Hard wrote, is to be given the United Charities in lieu of
flowers for Judge Neblett. That request of his was in keeping with his
Judge Neblett’s death the Sun received a letter from W. T. Neblett Sr., of
the Sun “containing tributes to the memory of my late lamented brother, R.
S. Neblett.” The letter continued:
very grateful to the people of Corsicana and other places for expressions of
love and appreciation of our brother. I feel deeply the irreparable loss.
We were companions in boyhood and early manhood and I can say truthfully
there was no moral blemish in his character.”
“IN KEEPING WITH HIS LIFE”
Blooming Grove Banker Pays Tribute to Departed Citizen
following was received today. It speaks for itself and in doing so also
expresses the sentiment of scores of our citizens:
Grove, Tex., Jan. 22, 1918
Gentlemen: Herewith is my check for $5.00 for use of the United Charities
“Neblett Memorial Fund.” Judge Neblett was a lovable man. this fund is in
keeping with his sane ideas of life. “Our flowers cast no fragrance for the
long list of donations amount and names.)
SOLDIERS ARE WELL CARED FOR
Judge Neblett Hears From Young Man to Whom He Wrote
following letter was received by Judge R. S. Neblett in reply to a letter
written by him to a young American soldier in France on October 25th
and shows to have been received by the young man 19 days after it was mailed
here. It will be remembered that this is the young soldier whose address
Judge Neblett picked up as it was thrown from the train as the soldier boys
passed through Corsicana on their way to France last June. The letter is
written on Y. M. C. A. stationery, and is of interest, as showing how our
boys are taken care of when off duty:
Y. M. C. A. On active Service, with the American Expeditionary Force, Nov.
Mr. R. S.
Corsicana, Texas, U.S.A.
I received your letter late this evening and I was glad to hear from you.
When I wrote the first letter to you from France I thought that you would
not receive it, but as you got it, I will write you another one. I am still
looking for the old Kaiser, and believe me, we are not going to go back to
the old U. S. A. till we get him, so that we can have peace in France and
also in the old U.S.A.
been out for two weeks, and now we are in for a rest, I suppose. You know
what it is. While we were away we were all as happy as could be. You also
asked me how I was getting along with the French language. Well, we are
getting along fine, and I believe that in a short time we will be able to
we go the French people give us a warm welcome; they always want us to go in
their homes and have something to eat, but we know that they don’t have as
much food as we have, so when we get paid we give them a little money to buy
some bread, and also when we go in a store to buy some candy we give them a
little more than what it is worth. The French people say that the American
soldiers are awful good to them.
I think I
will close now, for there is a boxing bout going on just now and when there
is anything like that going on, you know yourself, that where the boys are
out and don’t see any shows or anything, they all go to see them.
hoping to hear from you in a short time.
PAUL H. HERRICK,
Co. E. 26th
A. E. F.
Via New York
ANOTHER ACT OF KINDNESS
Unknown Soldier Boy Received Appreciated Package
following letter came to Judge R. S. Neblett a few days after his death:
Dec. 27, 1917.
Mr. R. S.
Your letter of November 3rd relative to a package addressed to Private Paul
H. Herrick, Co. E. 26th Inf., A. E. F., France, duly received,
and upon investigation I find that the package reached Private Herrick on
please to say a word about this young man, as he told me that he did not
know you, but had given you his name and address. He has been with the
company since May and has been a splendid little soldier. He is quite
attentive to his duties and not at all dissipated.
also assure you that such kind remembrance coming from our friends at home
are a great stimulant to the men, and that they all deeply appreciate it.
Commanding Co. E.
be remembered that Private Herrick is the young man whose name and address
on a post card was picked up by Judge Neblett when the first U. S. Troops
went through Corsicana in April last, as it was thrown from the train. He
immediately wrote to the young man, and has had several letters from him.
About the first of October he sent him a package containing a sweater,
wristlets, socks, tobacco, soap and other little things that the soldiers
like, and in order to make sure that the package reached him he wrote him a
letter telling him that it had been sent, and at the same time wrote to the
commanding officer, whose name he did not know, of Company E., stating that
he had sent this package to Private Paul H. Herrick, and asking him to see
that it reached the young man, but if for any reason it could not be
delivered to Private Herrick to see that it was given to some young American
letter shows that it did reach the soldier for whom it was intended and that
it was appreciated.
times Judge Neblett expressed the hope that the boy received the package.
While it was sent about October 1st and was not intended as a
Christmas present, it was evidently held up here until the Christmas
shipment for the soldiers was forwarded. It was intended as a token of the
kindly appreciation that Judge Neblett had for the young soldier who is
serving his country so far away from home.
HERRICK WAS AMONG KILLED
Young Man Corresponded With the Late Judge Neblett
Washington, Feb. 18.—The deaths of four privates as the result of
explosions, the killing of Cadet Lindley H. DeGarmo, Ridgewood, N. J. in an
airplane accident last Saturday and the suicide of Lieutenant Gordon Loring
Rand, Lawrence, L. I., attached to the aviation section of the Signal Corps,
were reported to the War Department today by General Pershing.
privates killed in the explosions were:
E. Koch, infantry, Ashley, Pa.
infantry. St. Clair, Pa.
Herrick, infantry, Dunlow, Pa.Joseph J. Chorba, infantry, whose mother lives
in Kefahre, Autria.
Herrick, mentioned in the above dispatch, is the young man whom the late
Judge R. S. Neblett took such an interest in and who has written many times
expressing appreciation for letters and boxes sent him by the Judge.
be remembered that Judge Neblett picked up a slip of paper containing the
young man’s name and company which was tossed onto the depot platform here
when a troop train passed through several months ago.
Neblett sent the young man boxes at various times and wrote him many letters
which were always answered promptly.
Judge’s death a letter was received from Herrick thanking him for a box that
had been sent him. Miss Lacy Rice, as an answer to the letter sent the
young man a package containing tobacco and copies of the Daily Sun
containing the report of the Neblett memorial services held January 27th.
man probably never received the news of Judge Neblett’s death.
Miss Rice Receives Letter From Soldier’s Home Town
remember the name of Paul H. Herrick, the young a man in whom the late Judge
R. S. Neblett took such an interest and who was killed in action in France
not many months ago.
Rice in effort to get in communication with the family wrote the postmaster
of his home town, Dunlo, Pennsylvania, and enclosed clippings from Corsicana
papers in which he was mentioned.
following letter was received today in answer to her communication:
Pa., May 28, 1918
letter to the postmaster of Dunlo, Pa., of Feb. 19, 1918 was handed to me to
be read at a Memorial Service for Paul H. Herrick Feb. 25th. I
returned the letter to the postmaster that night and requested that he
answer it as it had been given to Paul’s family before that time to be read
by them; through the kindness of Miss Mary MacIntyre, Assistant P.M. of
Dunlo, Pa., I learned a few days ago that your very kind letter was not
answered yet and as I am very well acquainted with Paul’s family I will try
and answer you.
Herrick was the first soldier boy from Cambria Co., Pa. to lose his life in
France. He enlisted here about May 15, 1917, and as you know went to France
early in the war.
father, Paul Herrick, and mother, Elizabeth were born in Austria, Hungaria
but all the children were born in this county. Paul’s eldest brother,
Joseph, is twenty years old and his eldest sister, Mary is seventeen, he has
three smaller brothers and two smaller sisters.
a modest little home here where the father and brother work in the coal
mines. Paul was a good boy at home. He belonged to a society which has
paid his father and mother $1,000 insurance; he also had a $10,000
insurance with the U. S. Government from which his mother will receive $56
per month for almost seventeen years.
often sent little presents home some of these coming her several weeks after
he was killed. We wrote him often and also sent him papers frequently.
Private P. H. Herrick’s name is the first one on the roll of honor from this
County we pause to think of how many more of our boys will give up their
lives for our Country.
is anything more that you wish to know about this boy or his family be free
to write me as I will be glad to answer you at once.
Today the Sun received the following:
In Memory of Our
Friend, Judge R. S. Neblett:
“Memory is the
only paradise out of which we cannot be driven.”
We wish to pay
one last tribute to our friend who has passed from the walks of this earth,
but is going on weaving the pattern of his beautiful life. We can find no
words more befitting than the following lines:
“A little more
laughter, a little more tears,
And we shall
have told our increasing years
The book is
closed, and the prayers are said,
And we are a
part of the countless dead.
then, if some soul can say,
I live because
he has passed my way.”