Olive Hill Attorneys, 1920

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Pictured are Olive Hill attorneys of 1920:  Left to Right:  Ralston Hendricks Paynter, Ben Cassidy, Henry L. Woods, Jim Porter, Albert  James Counts, Benjamin Franklin Thompson, Robert Thornton Kennard and Charles Milton "Milt" Erwin.

Ralston Hendricks Paynter, was born   in 1854, the s/o James Asbury Payntor and Sarah Alice Young.   He was certified as a teacher by testing in July, 1878 and was later admitted to the bar and practiced law in Olive Hill for many years.   On Feb 1, 1909, announcement was made of the formation of The Imperial Bank of Olive Hill with J. R. Duncan, C. V. Zimmerman, J. H. Rice and R. H. Paynter as principals.   Ralston m. Sarah "Sally" Henderson, the d/o Geroge Henderson and they reared nine children:   Myrtle Leone, Harvey Winchester,  George Washington, Hazel Curry, Ella Gertrude, Shirley Irene, Arthur James, Gordon and Harry.

Henry L. Woods was born Oct 30, 1865, in Brown County, Ohio.  A Republican he served as deputy clerk and deputy sheriff, was admitted to the bar in 1895.  He served as U.S. Commissioner 1897-1927 and Circuit Judge from 1925-1927.   He married Nora Roadcup.

Benjamin Franklin Thompson was born Jan 3, 1873, in Richmond, VA, the s/o Joshua Howell Thompson and Phoebe Walters who migrated to Pittsburgh in 1880.   After public school education there, he studied law under H. L. Woods in Olive Hill.   He was admitted to the bar in 1914.  He married 1910 Kate Cunningham and together they reared five children.

Albert James Counts was born Nov 6, 1876, the s/o George W. Counts and Mary James.   Albert attended the University of Kentucky, read law under Henry L. Woods, admitted to bar in 1910.   Married, Oct 3,  1901, Lillie Everman.  State representative, 1910-11; Police Judge of Olive Hill, 1912-20.   Republican, Mason, Odd Fellow, Christian.  Died Dec 15, 1959.

Robert Thornton Kennard was born August 10, 1886 in Olive, the s/o Marion Kennard and Martha Williams.   He attended common schools, Morehead Normal, and then taught for three years.   He read law under Henry L. Woods and in 1908 became Judge Woods' partner.   He served as Olive Hill City Attorney in 1921, was Chairman of the Kentucky Workmen's Compensation Board.  He was a Mason, Odd Fellow, Democrat, Missionary Baptist, and JOUAM.  He died Dec 5, 1967.

Charles Milton Erwin was born Jun 3, 1856 in Carter Co., the s/o Henderson Mitchell Erwin and Elizabeth Lansdowne Ramey.   He m. 26 May 1887 Amanda Higgins b. Aug 5, 1864, the d/o David and Sarah Higgins.   Milt was admitted to the bar in March, 1889 according to Carter Circuit Court records.   He also kept a general store.  He became Police Judge at Olive Hill in 1902.   Died Sep 19, 1944 and is buried in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

Note:  In the earlier days of Kentucky, since there were few law schools, attorneys "read for the bar", which meant that they studied law under a practicing attorney until they were able to pass the bar examine and become licensed.   This was a common practice in many states.

Submitted by  Garrett and Sherry Lowe

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