Robert Scott Neblett
of Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index || Obituary Index


Robert Scott Neblett
Mar. 16, 1855  -  Jan. 18, 1918

OAKWOOD CEMETERY, Corsicana, Navarro Co., TX




Great Lawyer and Good Citizen Died at Early Hour Today

The 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.

When the 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.

The 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 re-election.

He was a Mason of high order, but belonged to no other organization.

Surviving 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.

Later—A 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.



Attention Masons.

The 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.








Body of Judge Neblett Laid at Rest in Oakwood Today

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

At the 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:

It is with a sort of proud sorrow that we contemplate the death of our good friend.

The 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.

To those 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.

He 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.

The 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 presented itself.

After 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.

His 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 employment.

The 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.

His wish 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.

He is 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.

“His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, this was a man.”

We lay 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 lost him.

All the 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.

The 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 Association

Yesterday 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 well done.

Judge J. 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.

Hon. 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:

The mortal remains of our departed member now lie within the bosom of the earth from whence it came, in yonder beautiful Oakwood cemetery.

Mortality 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 

The Bar, 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.

Your committee on resolutions directs me to present the following for your consideration and it is with emotion that I proceed.

Mr. Mays then read the resolutions in the midst of profound silence on the part of the audience, as follows:

To the Hon. J. M. Blanding, President of the Navarro County Bar Association:

Your 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.

An Appreciation.

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 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.

We turn 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.

Your 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.

In 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.

In 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.

Judge J. 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.

Judge C. 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 heartfelt. 

Judge H. 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.

The 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 contents.

Judge J. 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 Corsicana:


“R. S. Neblett.”

“For many 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.

“We will 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.”

After 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.

Dexter Hamilton followed Judge McClellan and he, too, paid an eloquent, earnest tribute to the character of the deceased.

Hon. J. 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 appointment.

Hon. W. 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.

Judge R. 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.

Adair 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.

Mayor Halbert was called and read the following tribute from the United Charities to the memory of the deceased;

The United Charities of Corsicana bows its head, in sympathy with this community, in the loss of Hon. R. S. Neblett.

He was 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.

As 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.

We shall 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.

Respectfully submitted.





Briefly 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?

Mr. 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

“The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree;  they have torn me and I bleed.

I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.”

The 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:

Mr. 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 

and character shall finally be entered it will be as expressed by the poet.  Leigh Hunt:

Abou Ben Adheni  (may his tribe increace!)

Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace.

And saw within the moonlight in his room,

Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,

An Angel, writing in a book of gold;

Exceeding peace had been Ben Adhem hold,

And to the Presence in the room he said:

“What writest thou?”  The vision raised its head,

And, with a look made of all sweet accord,

Answered:  “The names of those who love the Lord.”

“And is mine one?” said Abou, “Nay, not so.”

Replied the Angel.  Abou spoke more low,

But cheerily still, and said “I pray thee, then,

Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”


The Angel wrote and vanished.  The next night

It came again with a great awakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,

And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name lead all the rest.


Mr. 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.

Capt. W. 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.

Rev. Abe 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.

The court 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.




Young Man Pays Tribute As Do Also Fellow Practitioners

The Neblett United Charities Memorial Fund continues to grow.  It now totals something more than $200.00.

Today the Daily Sun received the following:

Corsicana, January, 25, 1918.

Daily Sun, City:

Gentlemen: Enclosed I send you check for $2.00 for the R. S. Neblett Memorial Fund of the United Charities Association.

During 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.

I extend my sympathies to Judge Neblett’s family and especially to Robert Neblett who is a member of the staff of The Corsican.

Sincerely Yours,

WM. HARRY JACK, Mgr., The Corsican


The following tribute was also received by the United Charities:

Houston, Texas, January 24, 1918

The 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.

Sincerely Yours,








Corsicana Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Adopts Resolutions

Corsicana, Texas, June 1, 1918.

Corsicana Lodge No. 174, A. F. & A. M.

Your committee charged with the duty of preparing suitable resolutions upon the death of our deceased brother, Robert Scott Neblett,  respectfully submit the following:

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.

He first 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.

He was 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.

He was 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.

As a 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 beloved.

By 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.

In 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 endeavor.

Public 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.

From 1885 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.

In the 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.

At the 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 was rendered.

Private 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.”

Of 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 sigh

“For the 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.

He loved 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 him.

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.


Be It Resolved:

First:  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.

Second:  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.

Third:  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 survive him.

Fourth:  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.

Fifth:  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.

Respectfully submitted,








Letters Received Addressed to the Late Judge R. S. Neblett

Several 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.

The 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.





Hon. J. H. Woods Paid a Warm Tribute to Judge Neblett

At the 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.

Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen of the Bar,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Scarce 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.

Hon. R. 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 no evil.”

In all my acquaintance with him, I have no recollection of his having spoken evil of any one.

As a 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.

It has 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.

It is 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 well knew.

That there are sounds we cannot hear

And sights that we cannot see,

And know that the world has many a door

To which we have no key.

And yet 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 cannon reach.

When 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?”

From 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 have lost?

The 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.

Cato, the 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.

“It must be so. Plato thou reasonest well,

Else whence this pleasing hope this fond desire,

This longing after immortality?”

The morrow found him no longer in the land of the living, but putting to the test his confidence in the reasoning of Plato.

Cicero took up the thoughts of Plato and made them his own.  And expressing his own thoughts he said:

“When I 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.”

And he 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 otherwise.

He who 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.”

His great 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 Heavens.

And when 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?”

May it 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 together?

Where 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?

When our 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.”

And have 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.”

For our friend and brother,

“The books are closed and the prayers are said,

And he is numbered with the countless dead.”

It is 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?

“And through from out this bourne of Time and Place,

The flood has borne him far,

May not we hope that he has met his Pilot face to face,

Since he has crossed the bar?”

My heart 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 things.




Judge Owen Pays Tribute to the Man Who Was His Friend 

The 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.

Mr. President, Members of the Bar,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is 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 gone.

During 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.

“The hand 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.

He was 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.

It has 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 everything.”

I have 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.

A few 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:

“Let me 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.”




Remembers His Friends Wishes—Brother Also Pays Tribute

A letter 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 life.

Following 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:

“I feel 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.”




Blooming Grove Banker Pays Tribute to Departed Citizen

The following was received today.  It speaks for itself and in doing so also expresses the sentiment of scores of our citizens:

Blooming Grove, Tex., Jan. 22, 1918


Corsicana, Texas.

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 dead.”

Very Truly,

R. S. Loyd

(Another long list of donations amount and names.)




Judge Neblett Hears From Young Man to Whom He Wrote

The 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:

American Y. M. C. A.  On active Service, with the American Expeditionary Force, Nov. 14, 1917.

Mr. R. S. Neblett,

Corsicana, Texas, U.S.A.

Dear Sir: 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.

We have 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 talk French.

Wherever 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.

Good-bye, hoping to hear from you in a short time.

Yours truly,


Co. E. 26th Infantry,

A. E. F. Via New York




Unknown Soldier Boy Received Appreciated Package

The following letter came to Judge R. S. Neblett a few days after his death:

France, Dec. 27, 1917.

Mr. R. S. Neblett,

Corsicana, Texas.

Dear Sir: 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 Christmas day.

Allow me 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.

May I 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.

With kindest regards,



Capt. 26th Infy.,

Commanding Co. E.

It will 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 soldier.

The above letter shows that it did reach the soldier for whom it was intended and that it was appreciated.

Several 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.




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.

The privates killed in the explosions were:

Herbert E. Koch, infantry, Ashley, Pa.

Mike Duda, infantry. St. Clair, Pa.

Paul H. Herrick, infantry, Dunlow, Pa.Joseph J. Chorba, infantry, whose mother lives in Kefahre, Autria.


Paul H. 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.

It will 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.

Judge Neblett sent the young man boxes at various times and wrote him many letters which were always answered promptly.

After the 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.

The young man probably never received the news of Judge Neblett’s death.



Miss Rice Receives Letter From Soldier’s Home Town

Many will 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.

Miss Lacy 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.

The following letter was received today in answer to her communication:

Dunlo, Pa., May 28, 1918

Miss Lacy Rice,

Corsicana, Texas.

My Dear Miss Rice,

Your 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.

Paul H. 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.

His 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.

They own 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.

Paul 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.

But as 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.

If there 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.
Thrice happy, then, if some soul can say,
I live because he has passed my way.”




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Edward L. Williams