The Amis, Brewer, Pettey, Langford and Wilson Families of Newton County, Mississippi

by A. B. Amis, Sr., (1936)
Revised and Updated by Lucius F. Wright, M. D.
(Updated 30 April 2012)

A 147 page document written by Lucius F. Wright, M. D. formed the basis for Chapter 3 of the book below. Please click here to read the document.

Amis Family Book CoverFrom the Heritage Books website: Lucius F. Wright, M.D.. Dr. Wright has greatly expanded the scope of A. B. Amis’ original genealogical work, The Amis, Brewer, Pettey, Langford and Wilson Families of Newton County, Mississippi, while retaining the original information and spirit. As an aid to researchers, Dr. Wright has made minor grammatical corrections and presented the data in Register format, as it is a widely recognized way of organizing the data, but differs slightly from that used by Judge Amis. Chapters include: The Amis Family; Descendants of 1825 Lewis Amis of Granville Co., North Carolina; Descendants of 1857 William Amis of Granville Co., North Carolina; Descendants of 1852 John Amis of Maury Co., Tennessee; Brewer Families of Sumter Co, Alabama, to 1860; Ancestry of 1866 Flora (McPherson) Brewer of Scott Co., Mississippi; Descendants of 1750 Thomas Petty of Orange Co., Virginia; Descendants of 1860 Richard Langford of Macon Co., Alabama; Descendants of 1706 Robert Davis of Accomack Co., Virginia; Descendants of 1788 Larkin Wilson of Botetourt Co., Virginia; Descendants of 1820 David Howe of Jones Co., Georgia; and, Ancestry of 1887 Martha (Wadkins) Amis of Scott Co., Mississippi. A portrait of A. B. Amis and a full-name index add to the value of this work. 2014, 5x8, paper. index, 518 pp.

My First Law Suit
A. B. Amis, Sr.

When I first opened a law office in the small town of Mendenhall, very wise, ambitious, and feeling secure in my ability to cope with all things, my library consisting of the code of 1892 and three sheet redacts of the legislature, a second-hand typewriter, stationery emblazoning my name at large, a 75 cent sign at the foot of the stair telling all that I was a good lawyer awaiting them upstairs, I sat down for about two weeks without having my door darkend. My pangs of disappointment grew more acute as the footsteps of those seeing other occupants of the building would turn into other doorways.

Finally a denizen of Sullivan’s Hollow, whom I now know to have been in very great need of a green lawyer, one of that shade of sincere inexperience who could readily see the law as confirming to the vehement facts related to him by his prospective client who was preparing to “have the law on his offending neighbor,” came in, looked around and asked if I were a lawyer. Upon my informing him that I was and in that manner benefiting the occasion, that I was a good one, too, he blurted out, “I may want to hire you. What’s the law on truspass?”

After quizzing him I found that the cause of his ire was that a man in the community who “had it in for him” and who “was agin’ him,” had “tore down his fence,” maliciously, malevolently, with malice aforethought, and with venom and hatred in his heart, had cared to “trespass” and injure the property of my client.

I, of course, assured him that the law was against this sort of “truspass” and that when its might and power were properly invoked by a mighty wielder of the law, the proper vengeance would be wreaked upon the offender, the cruel wrong would be righted by fine and imprisonment, and the imprisonment would be especially inflicted. This line of talk seemed to get over and he want to know, “What’ll you ax me to go down to Sarytogy Satidy and put it to him? The court will be held two miles out from Sarytogy at the Shiloh school house.”

I explained to him that because of the importance of his case and the expense of railroad fare being $1.60, that I would have to charge him $10.00 cash. We traded by splitting the fee in two payments—half cash and half at the court.

My train got to Saratoga at 7 o’clock in the morning, and I proceeded to walk out to Shiloh and sit around for an hour or so before anybody came up. After awhile the natives began to straggle in. There came up from one of the dim pathways a tall, barefooted, angular, and most voluble man carrying a long, single barreled shot gun. His repertoire was complete with all the jokes with which Solomon regaled his court, and the witty and funny things which were so old no doubt in the days of Noah. His guffaw was loud and long at all his witty sayings and stale repartee. His toes spread apart and each toe had an individual motor. If, by chance, one of those large red ants got on his toe, without moving his foot or flicking a muscle, that toe would go into action like a mule’s tail switching a horse fly, careening the said ant so far that he could hardly crawl back that day.

Court was duly opened, the case proceeded to trial. My client put on his evidence, which almost made out a case, and if the opinion of my client and strong, unimpeachable, and hearsay evidence competently made out a prima facie case, which I maintained that it did, then we had enough to go to the consideration of the court. The defense was, as related by the defendant, that it was merely an accident. He told how he had come around a little dim road to the back of my clients field after a load of light wood and at one joint where the dim road came too near the rail fence that his wagon accidentally jerked a couple of panels of his fence down.

Among defendant’s witnesses was the tall individual already referred to. He took his seat on the witness stand, crossed his legs and spit off about six or eight feet in a long, thin squirt—every drop of it went through a crack in the floor of the school house. (I verily believe he could have spit a fly off a door knob ten feet away and not hit the door.) He related how he had “overtuk” the defendant in the case while out hunting; how he was walking along, talking with him when the accident occurred; that it was purely accidental, with no taint of maliciousness in what he did. When he wound up, I sailed into him and the following examination took place.

Lawyer: “Why didn’t this defendant drive his wagon further away from this fence so that it would not be struck by the hub of the wagon?”
Witness: “Wal, sir, because it wuz a nonpossibility.”
Lawyer: “Why was it a non-possibility?”
Witness: “Because thur wuz a mud hole that coulda bogged ‘im down.”
Lawyer: “Why didn’t he go around the mud hole?”
Witness: “Wal, sir, that wuz a non-possibility.”
Lawyer: “Why was that a non-possibility?”
Witness: “Because there wuz a big stump agin the mud hole on the other side.”
Lawyer: “Why didn’t he straddle the stump?”
Witness: “Because that wuz a non-possibility.”
Lawyer: “Why was that a non-possibility?”
Witness: “Because the stump wuz too high and it woulda caught on the axle.”
Lawyer: “Why didn’t he go around the stump?’
Witness: “Wal, sir, that wuz a non-possibility.”
Lawyer: “Why was that a non-possibility?”
Witness: “Because a big gulch made off from agin the stump and went on down to the crick bottom.”
The lawyer by this time was somewhat bewildered and he hurled this question: “What do you mean by a non-possibility.”
Witness: “Wal sir, I’d say it’s a non-possibility fer you to stretch your mouth any wider cep’n you get your years a little fudder back.”

Moral: Don’t ask a witness one question too many.

    While his grandchildren did not think he had a sense of humor, this story suggests otherwise. A. B. Amis opened his law practice in 1893, but soon moved to Meridian. This story was not dated, but was contained in a file my mother, his granddaughter, kept. I suspect he wrote the story sometime in the early 1930’s, when he was writing a number of other reminiscences of  his childhood. Lucius F. Wright, M. D.

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