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Judge James Etherington Trimble - PA/LA
Posted by: Timothy Hudson (ID *****7158) Date: May 29, 2010 at 05:42:30
  of 1966


I am trying to locate descendents of Judge James Etherington Trimble (22 Feb 1834 - 19 Dec 1887). He was born in Bridgewater, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Talmadge and Matilda E. Appleton Trimble. He moved south and settled in Farmerville, Union Parish Louisiana in 1859. He served as a teacher, engineer for the Confederate Military, lawyer, president of the school board, newspaper editor, and judge over the next twenty-eight years. He had staunch political beliefs, and initially was one of the few outspoken Republicans in Union Parish after the war. In 1868, he cast the only vote for General Grant from Union Parish. As the Republican Party became corrupted by Radicals, he distanced himself from them. He ran for district judge in November 1872, and although he lost the popular vote, since he was the Republican candidate, Louisiana's Returning Board invalidated the results and named Trimble as judge. Local citizens apparently thought he would give them more of the same corrupt Republican rulings. However, during the 1874 elections, when US Army officers committed outrages against local citizens, Trimble gained the respect and admiration of the north Louisiana citizens by arresting and imprisoning the officers. The Radical Republican governor pardoned the officers, and the Radical Republican legislature attempted to impeach Trimble for his actions against the officers. The impeachment attempt failed, and the following year, the legislature passed a resolution expressing their confidence in Judge Trimble. After finally realizing that Louisiana's Republicans had become hopelessly corrupt, Trimble then switched to the Democratic Party.

After stepping down from the bench in 1878, he founded the Farmerville "Gazette", a paper still published each week. Holding staunch political views, he became embroiled in a long debate with other Farmerville attorneys over the course the Louisiana Democratic Party should take. The controversy became intense during the 1887 gubernatorial campaign, during which Trimble supported McEnery against former Governor Nichols. The drama played itself out in a public setting, as Trimble and his opponents dueled in print in their respecitive papers. On 19 December 1887, Trimble met one of his primary nemeses, James A. Ramsey, on the streets of Farmerville. After a hot verbal exchange, guns were pulled, and both men died after a flurry of bullets.

I would like to have photographs of Judge Trimble and know more about his parents and children.


Tim Hudson

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