yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee
People of Action - 1969

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).  Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of the late Lillye Younger for permission to make this web page.

Charles Maxwell Collett

By Lillye Younger

Parsons Youth Treasures Gold-Tipped Walking Cane

PARSONS, Tenn. — "This is the first gold-tipped walking cane I ever saw," says 14 year old Charles Maxwell Collett of Parsons, Tennessee. He has just received the cane from his cousin, Mrs. Lou Carter, who lives in Huntingdon.

"It was my grandfather's cane," she said.

"I wanted to give it to someone young in the family who would cherish it."

Judge William Samuel Maxwell received the gold-tipped cane while serving as circuit judge in Brownwood, Texas. Its inscription on the tip reads: "From Citizens of Llano to Judge W. S. Maxwell 1890".

The late judge lived in Lobelville, Tenn. with his wife and five children. Alter the children grew up his wife became ill and passed away. Judge Maxwell moved to Paris, Tenn. where he set up a law practice.

Soon the wander lust got the best of him and he headed for the lone star state of Texas. Here he settled at Brownwood where he was appointed circuit judge. He served in this capacity for 14 years and upon his retirement the citizens presented him with this cane for outstanding service.

After retiring as judge he returned to Lobelville and lived with his daughter, Mrs. A. W. Dodson. Later the family moved to Huntingdon and lived with his granddaughter, Mrs. Lou Carter in the ante-bellum home on Paris Street. The judge passed away in 1912.

"I never saw my grandfather cross," Mrs. Carter said. He was Scotch Irish and a very tall man. His jovial manner made him a good conversationalist. Quite often he would remark at bedtime, We will continue the conversation in the morning, Mrs. Carter recalls.

His habit was to arise early. He was the first one in the household to get up in the morning and was always immaculately groomed. He was never seen without his beloved gold-tipped walking cane which added dignity to his appearance.

The cane measures 37 inches in length and is made from Texas mesquite. The gold head measures two and one hail inches across and is one and one-half inches long. It is engraved with an intricate ivy leaf pattern. A steel rod is run through the cane to give it strength. A metal band and steel tip at the bottom of tin cane adds to its beauty.

The coveted cane has reached the fifth generation when it was passed on to Charles Maxwell Collett from his great-great grandfather.

"Fourteen-year-old boys don't carry walking canes now," the youth said," but I will always cherish it."

Charles is a sophomore at Riverside High Schoo1. He hasn't chosen his career yet but who knows he might follow in the footsteps of his late great-great grandfather Judge Wil11am Samuel Maxwell.

He lives with his parents at 405 South Kentucky Avenue in Parsons. He has one sister, Janice Collett, age 10.

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