Researched and Transcribed by :

Tina Easley

tina@grnco.net

From the Daily Soliphone - Vol. 4

Mar. 20 , 1902

 

HOPKINS ' WRITES


THE COUNTY FARM

J.T. HOPKINS MAKES ANOTHER LENGTHY REPLY TO JUDGE W.C. JONES

DEFINES IN DETAIL HIS POSITION RELATIVE TO THE QUESTION UPON WHICH THEY DIFFER


 

I AM DUE AN APOLOGY TO THE EDITOR AND ALSO , TO THE READERS OF THE SOLIPHONE , FOR IMPOSING ON THEM WITH ANOTHER LETTER THIS WEEK . I WENT OUT TO BRIGHTON LAST TUESDAY MORNING , AND ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT I WROTE MY LAST LETTER. I ARRIVED AT PARAGOULD ABOUT 12 A.M. THURSDAY , WENT DIRECT TO THE OFFICE AND HANDED IT TO THE EDITOR.

AT THAT TIME , I DID NOT KNOW THAT JUDGE JONES HAD PUBLISHED A SERMON IN WHICH HE HAD TAKEN ME FOR A TEXT . IF I HAD , I CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE MENTIONED IT THROUGH COURTESY , TO SHOW TO THE JUDGE THAT I DID NOT FAIL TO APPRECIATE HIS MASTERLY EFFORT.

IT IS TRUE I FILED AN AFFIDAVIT TO THIS EFFECT , THAT I HAD COMPLETED 900 FEET OF THE BRIDGE WHICH I HAD CONTRACTED TO BUILD , AND AT THE PEICES AGREED , WOULD HAVE BEEN WORTH NEARLY $2,000 , AND ASKED THE JUDGE AT THE JANUARY TERM OF THE COUNTY COURT TO ALLOW ME $1,000 , AND HE REFUSED TO DO IT . I SAY HERE POSITIVELY THAT I DO NOT HOLD THE LEAST MALICE AGAINST HIM FOR HIS REFUSAL . AS HE HAS HAD SOME TROUBLE OVER BRIDGES HERETOFORE, HE IS NOT TO BE BLAMED FOR BEING CONTRARY.

I AM SATISFIED THAT THE JUDGE THOUGHT THAT HE WAS ACTING FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE COUNTY WHEN HE BOUGHT THE COUNTY FARM . BUT WHEN HE SAW THE EVIL RESULTS , HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WILLING TO MAKE A CHANGE AT ONCE AS TO THE PURCHASE BEING A BAD DEAL. LAND HAS ADVANCED NEARLY 50 PER CENT IN OUR COUNTY WITHIN THE 8 YEARS. EIGHT YEARS AGO (1894 ) OUR COUNTY INVESTED NEARLY THREE THOUSAND IN THAT FARM AND IMPROVEMENTS , AND I DOUBT IF SHE COULD GET TWO THOUSAND FOR IT TODAY.

( PART OF PAPER MISSING )

LEGISLATURE COMPLETES THAT MILLION DOLLAR STATE CAPITAL , MAY BE THEY WILL TURN THEIR ATTENTION TO THE ASYLUM . BUT FOR TH PRESENT THE 10 SUBJECTS IN GREENE COUNTY MUST BE DEPRIVED OF THE BENEFITS OF THE ASYLUM , WHOSE FAULT IS IT ? LET THE PEOPLE ANSWER , THE JUDGE HAS THE RIGHT TO USE THE COUNTY FUNDS TO BUILD SUFFICIENT ROOM TO CARE FOR THEM IN A RESPECTABLE MANNER.

BUT HE PREFERS TO TOLERATE THE PILING UP OF BOTH SEXES OF THE LOWEST DEGRADE TYPE OF HUMANITY IN ONE LITTLE HOVEL , JUST LIKE HE HAS DONE FOR YEARS. HE SAYS THAT LONG BEFORE I RAISED MY FRENZIED COMPLAINT , THAT HE AND MR. NEWSOM DECIDED TO BUILD A SEPERATE ROOM FOR MALES , BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN DONE . I INTEND TO PUBLISH THE REPORT BY THE GRAND JURY FOR THE SEPTEMBER TERM OF THE COURT , AND ALSO THE FEBRUARY TERM AND YOU MAY SEE WHETHER OR NOT HIS ATTENTION HAS BEEN CALLED TO THE MATTER . THE JUDGE IS QUITE ELEQUENT IN HIS BLUFFING , AND SUBMISSIVE IN HIS PLEADING.

HE WOULD TRY TO SCARE YOU INTO VOTING FOR HIM BY TELLING YOU THAT IF WE HAD A HOSPITAL IN PARAGOULD IT WOULD BE A DUMPING PLACE FOR THE RAILROADS FOR 100 MILES DISTANT , AND YOU WOULD BE TAXED TO KEEP THEM UP.

WHAT BOSH THAT IS , WHEN HE KNOWS THAT HE WOULD HAVE A RIGHT TO REJECT OR ADMIT ANYONE ON APPLICATION . THEN HE SAYS " YES , IF YOU WILL ELECT ME I WILL ESTABLISH MY OFFICE IN THE COURTHOUSE AND SPEND MUCH OF MY TIME HERE." YOU REMEMBER HE MADE THAT PROMISE ONCE BEFORE , AND WHEN ELECTED , CAME DOWN AND SPENT A FEW WEEKS IN PARAGOULD AND WENT BACK TO GAINESVILLE.

TO BILLY NEWSOM'S CREDIT , I WANT TO SAY THAT THE INMATES TOLD ME THAT THEY GOT PLENTY TO EAT.

BUT THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION AT ISSUE . I STATED IN MY LAST LETTER THAT THE PAUPERS DID NOT GET THE PROPER MEDICAL ATTENTION . THE JUDGE BRANDED ME AS A LIAR FOR MAKING THAT ASSERTION . THE COUNTY PHYSICIAN DEMANDS MY AUTHORITY. I GIVE BILLY NEWSOM . HE TOLD ME THAT OFTEN WHEN MEDICINE WAS LEFT THERE IT WAS THROWN AWAY , NOT TAKEN . ARE THEY NEGLECTED ? HAVE I STATED A FALSEHOOD ?

I WISH TO EXONERATE DR. MERIWETHER BEFORE THE PEOPLE . I AM ???? DID HIS DUTY AS A PHYSICIAN .

(PART OF PAPER MISSING )

CONDITION AS COULD BE EXPECTED WITH THE LIMITED MEANS AND ACCOMMODATIONS FURNISHED THE KEEPER . FOUND SEVEN INMATES , THREE OF WHOM ARE INSANE . TWO SMALL CHILDREN AND THEIR MOTHER , WHOSE HUSBAND IN IN THE COUNTY JAIL . THERE IS NO WAY TO KEEP MALES AND FEMALES SEPARATE , AND WE RECOMMEND THE BUILDING OF A SEPERATE HOUSE FOR THE MALES. BT THINK IT ALSO THE THE INTEREST OF GREENE COUNTY TO SELL THE FARM AND FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO CARE FOR PAUPERS . THE AMOUNT PAID FOR CARING FOR THE INMATES OF THE HOME IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO DO ANY MORE THAN KEEP THEM LIVING , AND LEAVES NO PROFIT TO THE KEEPER.

THE FARM WE FIND TO BE A VERY POOR ONE , OUT OF REPAIR AND YEARLY GETTING POORER , INSTEAD OF BETTER. WE ALSO FIND THAT SOME OF THE INMATES HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE ABLE TO CARE FOR THEM , AND RECOMMEND THAT IF ANYWAY CAN BE FOUND TO COMPEL THEM TO DO SO IT SHOULD BE DONE. NOW YOU CAN PLAINLY SEE THAT THE JUDGE HAS IGNORED THE RECOMMENDATIONS BY DIFFERENT BODIES WHOSE BUSINESS IT IS TO SEE AFTER THE COUNTY'S INTERESTS , AND HAS PERSISTED IN KEEPING UP A HOUSE . IF SUCH A ONE WAS IN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF PARAGOULD IT WOULD BE DECLARED A NUISANCE AND DONE AWAY WITH A SHORT NOTICE.

J.T. HOPKINS