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.


By Lillye Younger

New Circuit Judge Follows In Steps Of Grandfather

DECATURVILLE, Tenn. — Using his late grandfather's Bible, Judge James L. England took the oath of office Thursday as the first circuit judge in the newly created 22nd Judicial District.

The ceremony occurred at 10 a.m. at the Decatur County Courthouse here. Magistrate Frank Hardin administered the oath.

Judge England is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the late Judge James England, who served as circuit judge of the 12th district in the 1920s.

The impressions made on the youngster as he went with his grandfather to court sessions helped the younger England to decide on a legal career.

"I knew that I wanted to become a lawyer and perhaps someday a judge," said the new judge. "It is the fulfillment of a dream come true."

The 22nd Judicial District, created by a special act of the State Legislature in 1965 to alleviate crowded court dockets, includes Decatur, Hardin, Carroll and Benton counties.

Decatur and Hardin counties were removed from the 12th District, over which presides Judge Andrew T. (Tip) Taylor. Carroll County was separated from the 13th district of Judge Richard Jerman and Benton County from the 14th district of Judge E. A. Morris.

In the Aug. 4 election England defeated two opponents for the post — Benton County Judge William A. Dearington and Hardin County attorney John J. Caldwell.

Judge England's first assignment will be to preside over the Carroll County circuit court cases on next Tuesday, Sept. 6.

In an acceptance speech at the swearing-in ceremony Thursday, England thanked the courts, officials and friends for their support and confidence in him.

"This is one of the happiest days of my life and I feel very humble in taking the oath of office as a member of the judiciary," he said. "The courts are second to none except the church. Our civilization was built on the courts of our land. Without them we would be in a jungle warfare.

Judge England was graduated from Lambuth College in Jackson and received his law degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He began his law practice in Decaturville.

World War II broke out and he joined the Navy. He served for four years and received the Bronze Star. Following the war he returned to Decaturville and resumed his law practice.

He is married to the former Nell Tinker of Parsons and has a son, James, age 14, and a daughter, Kathy, 12. The Englands live on a hill in the big, white two-story house where he spent his childhood.

Judge England was sworn in at the same time that newly elected Decatur County officeholders took their oaths of office.

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