"Not the Typical Hay-Seeds"

The installing of a brand new judge for Lincoln County also ushered in the Centennial year properly here in Davenport. Outgoing Judge Zellmer ceremoniously swore in Phil Borst, so his judgeship can be establish officially.—The first chore Judge Borst preformed was to open some presents that were bestowed upon him—so the court room of spectators could see what he got. The wrapped gifts consisted of a sentimental plaque given by children, which was emotionally read by Dixie Guhlke. A gavel that looked too pretty for ‘his honor’ to use, and a spic and span desk cover that Borst can ponder decisions over in his chamber, all during his reign. 

During the punch, cake and congratulation hour, the new ex-Judge Zellmer’s portrait joined the other immortals, making a total of nine judges that are now hanging on those walls of justice.—It was interesting to note that all past judges must have been right handed, as that is where all the gavel dents are. The left side of the judge's bench is as smooth as a polished table top. 

What a young county and state we live in! Some of us are still around that were born from pioneer parents who were busy making a living when our first judge was installed a hundred years ago. 

When the turn of the century started to take over, Judge W. T. Warren wanted to see Lincoln County grow into a haven for those that were smart enough to settle here. Between sentencing crooks and other judgeship duties, Judge Warren found time to promote Lincoln County to the highest point ever obtained by an individual. He imagined this county could grow nearly anything, as long as the seeds were stuck in the ground. 

Judge Warren had lots of praises for the early settlers of Lincoln County to gloat over. Here is part of a statement the judge had printed for local consumption: 

“The farmers of Lincoln County are not the typical hay-seeds we are pictured in the funny papers, but the strong, healthy, intelligent men and women, well read, independent and self-confident, who are able to hold their own with any people on earth, capable of conversing intelligently on any subject from wheat raising to high finance. 

"Taking it all in all with our great natural advantages and the character of our citizens, as a whole, a man can truly be proud of the fact that he is a citizen of the greatest country in the greatest state in these United States, Lincoln County Washington." 


The first court trial I ever listened to was when judge number five, Joseph Sessions, prevailed. It was a criminal trial where the defense put up some strong arguments. During my court visit, Judge Sessions had already become heavy set and quite stationary looking when court was in session. But he was wide awake to the surprise of the spectators when he ruled rather quickly on making court decisions. 

"Lawyers and Judges" Kik-Backs No. 3, page 16, part 2 (continued)      (previous)     (home)

Walt Kik
Old Letterhead courtesy of Gabe Gants

Walt Kik
The present Lincoln County Superior Court Judge, Willard Zellmer, enjoys the history of the late Judge Nevins who passed away in 1963. Judge Zellmer is standing by a picture of the unforgettable judge who Zellmer describes as part of the folklore of Lincoln County.