George Hopson Cornelius

Citation
George Hopson Cornelius

Material Information

Title:
George Hopson Cornelius extraordinary ordinary (1880-1946)
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Place of Publication:
[Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
Morison Buck
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (4 p.) : ill. ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County ( lcsh )

Notes

Original Version:
Originally published as part of the "Chips off the Old Bench" column: [Tampa, Fla.] : Hillsborough County, June 1999, Lawyer under title:
General Note:
Title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
B28-00007 ( USFLDC DOI )
b28.7 ( USFLDC Handle )
NEW

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Book

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PAGE 1

G e or ge H op s on C or n e l i u s : E xt r aor d i n ar y O r d i n ar y ( 1880 1946) T he w or d or di na r y ha s be e n gi ve n di f f e r e nt s ha de s of m e a ni ng i n t he l a ngua ge ove r t he ye a r s C om m onl y us e d t oda y a s s ynonym ous w i t h t ypi c a l us ua l or a ve r a ge i n C ol oni a l A m e r i c a i t r e f e r r e d t o t he l oc a l t a ve r n or pub. A t c om m on l a w a n O r di na r y w a s one ha vi ng j ur i s di c t i on i n e c c l e s i a s t i c a l c a us e s I n s om e s t a t e s l i ke A l a ba m a or G e or gi a i t i s t he t i t l e gi ve n t o a j udi c i a l of f i c e r w i t h s t a t ut or y a ut hor i t y i n m a t t e r s pe r t a i ni ng t o w i l l s pr oba t e a n d gua r di a ns hi p. G e or ge H C or ne l i us w a s a n i m m i gr a nt f r om G e or gi a T he gur u of g r a m m a r i a ns Y ogi B e r r a s a i d: W he n you c om e t o a f o r k i n t he r oa d, t a ke i t C or ne l i us di d a nd w e l l G e or ge t ook i t B e f or e l e a v i ng hi s hom e pl a c e i n C l i nc h C ount y G e or gi a how e ve r he s e r ve d a s t i nt a s O r di na r y i n t he G oobe r S t a t e A f t e r pr a c t i c i ng l a w i n T a m pa f or s e ve r a l ye a r s he be ga n s e r vi c e a s C ount y J udge H i l l s bor ough C ount y now ha s 13 C ount y C our t D i vi s ons but he ha d und i vi de d r e s p ons i bi l i t y f or t ha t o f f i c e f or t w e nt y ye a r s A f t e r hi s de a t h i n of f i c e he w a s s uc c e e de d by H onor a bl e W i l l i a m C B r ooke r A t t he ga t e w a y t o F l or i da on U S 41, l yi ng m i dw a y be t w e e n V a l dos t a a nd W a yc r os s a nd ha r d by t he O ke e f e noke e S w a m p c ount r y, l i e s t he s l e e py t ow n of H om e r vi l l e T he C or n e l i us f a m i l y w a s w e l l r e pr e s e nt e d i n C l i nc h C ount y, w i t h a r i c h t r a di t i on of publ i c s e r vi c e G od m us t ha ve l ove d t he m be c a us e he m a de s o m a ny of t he m A c c or di ng t o one o f t he j udge 's c ol l a t e r a l ki n hi s f or be a r s c a m e f r om C ount y C or k I r e l a nd be f or e t he R e vol ut i ona r y W a r O n hi s m ot he r 's s i de t he j udge w a s a de s c e nda nt of L i gh t H or s e H a r r y's s on, w ho w a s m a r r i e d t o a ha l f C he r oke e I ndi a n. O ne o f t he i r of f s pr i ng w a s M a r y A nn L e e w i f e o f t he j udge 's gr a ndf a t he r G e or ge 's gr e a t gr a ndf a t he r B e nj a m i n, s e r ve d a s j us t i c e of t he P e a c e i n bot h L ow nde s a nd C l i nc h c ount i e s a nd l a t e r w a s e l e c t e d t a x c ol l e c t or i n t he l a t t e r j ur i s di c t i on f or t e r m s t ot a l i ng 24 ye a r s G e or ge 's gr a ndf a t he r a l s o na m e d G e or ge w a s e l e c t e d J P i n C l i nc h ( f or m e r l y W a r e C ount y) A f t e r C i vi l W a r s e r vi c e i n t he i nf a n t r y, he s ought t he j ob a s O r di na r y but w a s de f e a t e d by one vot e O n hi s s e c ond t r y he w a s e l e c t e d, s e r vi ng f r om 1888 unt i l 1900. O ur s ubj e c t 's ol de r br ot he r B e n, w a s a l s o a l a w ye r a nd hi s s i s t e r K a t e P a f f or d, ha d t he j ob o f O r d i n a r y i n C l i nc h C ount y, one m o r e f a m i l y m e m be r w ho w a s a t t r a c t e d t o publ i c s e r vi c e A f t e r r e c e i vi ng a t e a c he r 's de gr e e f r om G e or gi a N or m a l C ol l e ge he gr a dua t e d i n l a w f r om M e r c e r U n i v. i n M a c on, w a s a dm i t t e d t o t he ba r i n 1903 t he n pr a c t i c e d i n H om e r vi l l e w he r e he s e r ve d a s M a yor f or one ye a r T he ye a r a f t e r be c om i ng a l a w ye r C ol one l C or ne l i us ( a s he i s r e f e r r e d t o i n a hi s t or y of C l i nc h C ount y) w a s a ppoi nt e d t o f i l l a va c a nc y on t he C ount y C our t A f t e r s e r vi ng l e s s t ha n t w o ye a r s C or ne l i us m ove d t o S t

PAGE 2

P e t e r s bur g, t he n t o T a m pa w he r e he c om m e nc e d l a w pr a c t i c e I n 1921, C or ne l i us w a s a ppoi nt e d j udge of t he M uni c i pa l C our t i n T a m pa T ha t dut y w a s s hor t l i ve d w he n he w a s di s pl a c e d by E dm und W or t h due t o s om e c ha nge s i n t he s t r uc t ur e of c i t y gove r nm e nt A f t e r a br i e f hi a t us h e w a s r e a ppoi nt e d M uni c i pa l ( P ol i c e C our t ) J udge by t he C i t y C om m i s s i on. T he n i n 19 26 he w a s pi c ke d by G ove r no r J ohn M a r t i n t o f i l l t he une xpi r e d t e r m of C ount y J udge J ul i a n H a z z a r d w ho r e s i gne d t o be c om e j udge of t he ne w l y c r e a t e d C i vi l C our t o f R e c or d. H a z z a r d, w ho f i r s t w e nt on C ount y C our t i n J a nua r y, 1921 w a s a da s hi ng, ha nds om e i ndi vi dua l w ho ha d a n E r r ol F l ynn l i ke l i f e a nd w ho w i t h a not he r T a m pa l a w y e r de ve l ope d t he pa r i m u t ue l s ys t e m f or dog r a c i ng be t t i ng T hus di d G e or ge C or n e l i us e m ba r k on hi s l ong c a r e e r a s C ount y J udge be i ng r e e l e c t e d c ont i nuous l y f or t w e nt y ye a r s unt i l de a t h ove r t ook hi m i n 1946. N e w s a c c ount s t e l l t ha t hi s onl y s e r i ous c ha l l e nge a t t he pol l s c a m e f r om C i t y J udge R obe r t J P ot t e r i n t he 1944 pr i m a r y. O r di na r i l y a m i l d m a nne r e d ge n t l e m a nl y f e l l ow P ot t e r w e nt on t he of f e ns i ve H e m a de t he J udge 's he a l t h a n i s s ue a s s e r t i ng t ha t he w a s i n s uc h ba d he a l t h he c oul d not pe r f or m t he dut i e s of t he o f f i c e A l t houg h he ha d be e n us i ng a c a ne f or s e ve r a l ye a r s be f or e t he 1944 e l e c t i on, C or ne l i us r e s ponde d t ha t hi s a bs e nc e f or s e ve r a l m ont hs i n 1941 w a s hi s f i r s t t i m e of f i n 18 ye a r s P ot t e r a l s o c ha r ge d t he i nc um be nt w i t h ne pot i s m c ont e ndi ng t ha t a dm i ni s t r a t i on o f t he C ount y j udge 's of f i c e w a s a f a m i l y a f f a i r A l t h ough t he J udge 's da ught e r G e or gi a ( w ho l a t e r be c a m e t he w i f e of J C l i f f or d M c D ona l d, f ounde r o f M c D ona l d T r a i ni ng C e nt e r f or ha ndi c a ppe d young pe opl e s t i l l a c t i ve i n t hi s c i t y) ha d w o r ke d i n t he of f i c e a t one t i m e J udge C or ne l i us pa r r i e d t he t h r us t by poi nt i ng out t ha t hi s s on, I va n, h i s C hi e f C l e r k, w a s t he onl y r e l a t i ve e m pl oye d i n h i s of f i c e A f t e r t he r e s ul t s w e r e i n t he f i na l t a l l y i n t h e M a y, 1944 p r i m a r y w hi c h w a s de c i s i ve w a s C or ne l i us 16, 028 vot e s t o 9 455 vot e s f or P ot t e r T ha t w a s t he l a s t t i m e t he na m e of G e or ge H C or ne l i us a ppe a r e d on a ba l l o t C or ne l i us a nd hi s w i f e A nni e w e r e m a r r i e d i n 19 01 a f t e r he s e c ur e d hi s l a w de gr e e T he y l i ve d i n T a m pa H e i ght s ( t he n a n uppe r c l a s s ne i ghbor hood) w i t h t he i r f our c hi l dr e n J a m e s O s w a l d ( a n a t t or ne y) ; I va n G e or gi a a nd U na ( l a t e r M r s H ugh D a w s on) O nl y t he l a t t e r w a s l i vi ng a t t hi s w r i t i ng i n M ont i c e l l o, F l or i da but t oo e nf e e bl e d t o be he l pf ul T he P ol k di r e c t or y r e f l e c t s t ha t i n 1928 t he f a m i l y m ov e d t o N e w S ubu r b B e a ut i f ul on S uns e t D r i ve w he r e t he j udge r e s i de d t he r e m a i nde r o f hi s l i f e W e l l know n l a w ye r J R e x F a r r i or l i ve d i n t he s a m e bl oc k. L i t t l e i s know n a bout hi s l i f e a s a l a w ye r a f t e r he m ove d t o T a m pa H i s o f f i c e w a s i n t he l ong gone G oul d B ui l di ng a t 604 1/ 2 F r a nkl i n S t r e e t di r e c t l y nor t h of t he ol d c our t hous e H i s br ot he r A ugus t us E ( F r a nk) ha d a n of f i c e a t t he s a m e l oc a t i on R e a de r s w i l l unde r s t a nd t ha t i n t he v i r t ua l l y unr e gul a t e d ba r i n t hos e ye a r s C ount y J udge s c oul d s t i l l e nga ge i n ge ne r a l l a w pr a c t i c e C i t y di r e c t o r i e s l i s t e d C or ne l i us a s bot h C ount y J udge a nd A t t or ne y a t L a w G e t t i ng a f a i r pi c t ur e of t he pe r s ona l i t y a nd j udi c i a l r e c or d o f G e or ge C or ne l i us i s not a n e a s y t a s k be c a us e he f i ni s he d l i f e 's c our s e s o l o ng a go. N one of hi s f a m i l y or pe r s ona l f r i e nds a r e a va i l a bl e A l s o gone a r e a l m os t a l l o f t h e l e ga l c om m uni t y w ho kne w hi m or pr a c t i c e d be f or e hi m T he w r i t e r w i s he s t o t ha nk t he f ol l ow i ng f o r t he i r pe r s pe c t i ve a nd f or t he i r s t or i e s know n or he a r d w hi c h t he y ha ve s ha r e d a bout J udge C or ne l i us : B a ya r d A ngl e M a yna r d R a m s e y, a nd T P a i ne K e l l y, J r

PAGE 3

T he de s c r i pt i on gi ve n W i ns t on C hur c hi l l by J a m e s R e s t on of t he N e w Y or k T i m e s w he n he ha d l unc h w i t h t he f a m ous m a n i n 1949, c oul d a l s o a ppl y t o J udge C or ne l i us w e l l r ounde d, f o r e a nd a f t H e w a s i n t r ut h, a po r t l y m a n c l e a n s ha ve n, w i t h he a vy br ow s a nd s ha dow s unde r ne a t h t he e ye s O ne c oul d s pe c ul a t e t ha t t he r e w a s s om e t hi ng a bout hi s phot ogr a phs t ha t r e m i nds of hi s C he r oke e a nc e s t r y. O ne of hi s o f f i c e s t a f f f or m a ny ye a r s w a s t he l a t e F or r e s t O H obbs a f a m i l y na m e f a m i l i a r i n T a m pa 's l e ga l c i r c l e s H obbs w or ke d a s t he j udge 's c l e r k, s t udi e d l a w a nd pa s s e d t he B a r e xa m i na t i on w i t hout a c qui r i ng a l e ga l e duc a t i on. M y c l os e f r i e nd, nona ge ne r i a n B a ya r d A ngl e ha s a c oupl e of s t or i e s r e ga r di ng C or ne l i us O ne he a t t r i but e s t o hi s c ont e m po r a r y, t he j udge 's br ot he r F r a nk I n a f l a s h ba c k t o t ur n of t he c e nt ur y H om e r vi l l e w e know t ha t G e or g e w a nt e d t o ge t a c ol l e ge e duc a t i on but c oul dn't a f f or d i t O ne of hi s ne i ghb or s t ook hi m out t o O ke e f e noke e S w a m p, f i s he d out a c ont a i ne r b ur i e d i n a r e m ot e a r e a ope ne d i t a nd c ount e d ou t s om e c ur r e nc y a nd l oa ne d i t t o young G e or ge f or c ol l e ge A c c or di ng t o F r a nk, t he l oa n w a s r e pa i d. A not he r s t or y w i de l y know n a t t he t i m e c onc e r ne d a he a t e d a r gu m e nt i n c ha m be r s i nvol vi ng c ont e ndi ng l a w ye r s J ohn S ut t on a nd J T om W a t s on. T hi ngs w e r e w a xi ng w a r m i n t he c our s e of t he he a r i ng be f or e J udge C or ne l i us w he n W a t s on, know n f or hi s f i e r y a nd c om ba t i ve t e m pe r a m e nt t ook a s w i ng a t S ut t on a c r os s t he t a bl e H e m i s s e d hi s t a r ge t a nd m a s he d i n t he j udge 's ha t w h i c h w a s on hi s de s k c l os e by. B a ya r d a l s o ha s t he w ondr ous r e c a l l t o r e m e m be r j udge C or ne l i us t e l l i ng a bout a l i ght he a r t e d i nc i de nt I t s e e m s t ha t S he r i f f W i l l S pe nc e r w hos e of f i c e w a s ne xt door t o t he j udge 's ha d a c ons t i t ue nt dr op of f a l a r ge l o a d of w a t e r m e l ons out s i de t he of f i c e S om e C r a c ke r c a m e a r ound a nd a s ke d t he S he r i f f i f he c oul d ha ve one of t he m e l ons w hi c h l ooke d s o good. S pe nc e r s a i d i t w oul d be f i ne w i t h hi m but t ha t t he m e l ons be l onge d t o J udge C or ne l i us A bout t ha t t i m e t he J udg e c a m e o ut ove r he a d t he c onve r s a t i on, a nd w i t h a s m i l e t ol d t he m e l on s e e ke r t o he l p hi m s e l f M a yna r d R a m s e y, w e l l know n T a m pa a t t o r ne y, no w r e t i r e d, w ho f or ye a r s ha s l i ve d i m m e di a t e l y ne xt door t o t he C or ne l i us f a m i l y ho m e on S uns e t D r i ve r e l a t e s t ha t t he f i r s t t i m e he a ppe a r e d be f o r e J udge C or ne l i us t he l a t t e r i nqui r e d i f t he O r de r he w a s pr e s e nt i ng t o t he c our t w a s c or r e c t a nd i n pr ope r f o r m H e hope d s o, he t ol d R a m s e y, be c a us e i t w a s t he a t t or ne y's r e s pons i bi l i t y, not t he J udge 's T P a i ne K e l l y J r s t i l l i n a c t i ve pr a c t i c e r e c ol l e c t s t ha t a s r e s ul t o f hi s s uc c e s s i n a w i l l c ont e s t be f or e J udge C or ne l i us vyi ng a ga i ns t a c l i e nt of O l i ve r M a xw e l l ( l a t e r a C i r c ui t j udge ) he K e l l y, a c qui r e d t he pr e va i l i ng p a r t y a s a c l i e nt f or de c a de s a f t e r w a r d. J udge C or ne l i us ha d a f i ne r e c or d o f be i ng s us t a i n e d on a ppe a l t o t he S upr e m e C our t of F l or i da t he r e be i ng no i nt e r m e di a t e a ppe a l s c our t i n t ha t e r a A s ur ve y of s om e of t hos e r e por t e d c a s e s r e ve a l s one w hi c h i s pa r t i c ul a r l y i nt e r e s t i ng. I t w a s a w i l l c on t e s t T hom ps on v F r e e m an, 111 F l a 149 S o. 7 40, de c i de d by t he S up r e m e C our t on J ul y 17, 1933 T hi s a r t i c l e i nc l ude s a r a r e phot og r a ph t a ke n i n t he of f i c e o f J udge P a r ks on t he 2nd f l oor o f t he ol d C ount y C our t hous e i n 1939 or 194 0. T he f our j udge s c om pr i s i ng t he e nt i r e j udi c i a r y of H i l l s bor ough C ount y a r e pi c t ur e d. F r om l e f t t o r i ght t he y a r e : C r i m i na l C our t o f R e c or d J udge J ohn R H i m e s ; C i r c ui t J udge L L P a r ks ; C ount y J udge C or ne l i us a nd C i r c ui t J udge H a r r y N S a ndl e r S t a ndi ng be hi nd i s t he s a m e B a ya r d A ngl e m e nt i one d e a r l i e r w ho w a s s e r vi ng a t t ha t t i m e a s P r e s i de nt of H i l l s bor ough C ount y Y oung D e m oc r a t s N ot i c e t ha t e a c h pe r s on i n t he phot o gr a ph i s hol di ng a pa pe r

PAGE 4

A ngl e 's m e m or y, s t i l l ke e n, i s t ha t he ha d gi ve n a n honor a r y m e m be r s hi p i n t ha t o r ga ni z a t i on t o e a c h j udge G e or ge H C or ne l i us w a s a popu l a r a nd e vi de nt l y a bl e j udge w ho e nj oye d a gr e a t s uc c e s s dur i ng hi s l ong t e nu r e a s C ount y J udge i n T a m pa a pl a c e de s c r i be d by one w r i t e r a s t he da m ne de s t t ow n t hi s s i de of he l l r e f e r r i ng t o t he de c a de of t he 1920s W e r e i t not s o, he w oul d l i ke l y not ha ve be e n r e e l e c t e d e ve r y f our ye a r s be gi nni ng i n 1926. M or i s on B uc k A f t e r w or d: N ot hi ng i n t he w or l d c a n t a ke t he pl a c e o f pe r s i s t e nc e T a l e nt w i l l not N ot hi ng i s m or e c om m on t ha n uns uc c e s s f ul m e n w i t h t a l e nt G e ni us w i l l not U nr e w a r de d ge ni us i s a l m os t a pr ove r b. E duc a t i on a l one w i l l not T he w or l d i s f ul l of e duc a t e d de r e l i c t s P e r s i s t e nc e a nd de t e r m i na t i on a l one a r e om ni pot e n t C al v i n C ool i dge


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Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

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Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.