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Roan, who had recently presided, over the celebrated Frank case, was transferred from the bench of the Stone Mountain Circuit to the bench of the State Court of Appeals. To succeed Judge Roan on the Stone Mountain Circuit, Governor Slaton appointed Hon. Chas. S. Reid, of Campbell. This occurred in the fall of 1913. But the Appellate bench underwent still further changes. Judge Pottle, having resigned his seat to resume the practice of law at Albany, Georgia, there occurred a vacancy which Governor Slaton filled, on February 5, 1914, by appointing Hon. Peyton L. Wade, of Dublin, Georgia, to the vacant judgeship. This appointment gave wide satisfaction. Judge Wade was one of the state's ablest lawyers, a man of broad culture and of commandingly high character. Judge Roan's tenure of service on the bench was brief. Some injudicious words spoken impulsively by Judge Roan expressing a doubt as to Frank's guilt, at the time of his refusal to grant him a new trial after hearing argument from counsel on both sides, served to impair Judge Roan's standing somewhat with the legal profession. It was seemingly an inconsistent attitude, pleasing neither to the friends nor to the enemies of Leo M. Frank. But Judge Roan was an ill man; and it was probably due to this fact rather than to adverse public sentiment that he declined to be a candidate at the next general election. Within a few months after leaving the bench he died of cancer at a private sanitarium in the City of New York. His death occurred during the month of March, 1915. Judge Nash R. Broyles, for years recorder of the City of Atlanta, an officer of the law whose name was a terror to evil doers and a synonym for law enforcement, succeeded Judge Roan on the bench of this tribunal.
On February 14, 1914, U. S. Sen. Augustus 0. Bacon died in Washington, District of Columbia, while intent upon his labors as Georgia's senior senator. At the time of his death Senator Bacon was chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The President relied heavily upon his counsels, especially in negotiations with Mexico—then nearing an acute stage; and throughout the nation there was deep sorrow felt on account of his death. Senator Bacon had just been awarded the toga for a fourth term and was the first United States senator to be elected under the new law providing for popular elections. As a parliamentarian he possessed few equals. Nor was he less distinguished as a ready debater, as a safe councillor and as a learned constitutional lawyer. To succeed him in the United States Senate until a regular election could be held to fill the vacancy, Governor Slaton appointed Hon. William S. West, of Valdosta, a former state senator and a man of affairs, then serving as vice chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee. As Congress was then in session, Colonel West immediately repaired to Washington.
When the Legislature re-assembled for its summer session in 1914, a new county was created by constitutional amendment in honor of Georgia's deceased senator and called Bacon. It was formed out of Appling, Pierce and Ware counties, in the lower part of the state, with the Village of Alma for its county seat, and was annexed to the Eleventh Congressional District, to the Third Senatorial District and to the Way. cross Judicial Circuit. There were three other counties created at this session: Barrow, Candler and Evans.
Barrow County was formed out of territory belonging to Gwinnett, Walton and Jackson, and was named for Dr. David C. Barrow, chancellor of the State University, who was still in life. This compliment to Doctor Barrow was most unique and exceptional, demonstrating the high esteem in which he was held. Winder, a progressive town, with a rapidly growing volume of business, was designated as the county seat. Up to this time Winder occupied a somewhat anomalous position. It was located in three counties at a point where these counties cornered, and for more than ten years Winder had been anxious to obviate these conditions by forming out of the territory around it a new county, but it was not until 1914 that a series of organized efforts in this direction finally succeeded. Barrow was annexed to the Ninth Congressional District, to the Thirty-third Senatorial District, and to the Western Judicial Circuit.
Candler County, named for the late Gov. Allen D. Candler, was formed out of territory taken from three counties: Emanuel, Bulloch and Tattnall. Metter was named as its county seat. The new County of Candler was annexed to the First Congressional District, to the Seventeenth Senatorial District, and to the Middle Judicial Circuit. Evans County was named for Gen. Clement A. Evans, a much beloved veteran of the Lost Cause, who had served Georgia during the last years of his life on the prison commission. This new county was attached to the First Congressional District, to the Second Senatorial District and to the Atlantic Judicial Circuit. It was formed out of Bulloch and Tattnall counties, and Claxton was designated as its county seat.
Governor Slaton, in his annual message to the Legislature in 1914, called attention to acute relations existing between the National Guard of Georgia and the War Department at Washington. Said he:
“Since the last session of your honorable body I have had brought before me in acute form the relation existing between the National Guard of Georgia and the War Department at Washington. By statutes embodied in sections 1361, 1362 and 1363, second volume of the Code of Georgia, the office of Adjutant-General and Quartermaster-General are established, each with rank of Brigadier-General. Code sections 1367 and 1368 give general authority to the Governor as Commanderin-Chief regarding the number and grades of the officers.
“The War Department at Washington issued an order requiring in effect that the Quartermaster-General in Georgia should have the rank of Major. The failure to comply with the order was visited with the penalty that the Quartermaster-General would not be recognized for the purpose of receiving arms, equipments, etc., nor would he receive pay during manoeuvers.
“I asked if this order could be suspended as to Georgia until the Legislature could meet and deal with the subject, as I maintained that obedience to the laws of Georgia was a superior duty and more binding on me than the orders of the War Department.
“This suspension was declined, unless I promised to use my influence as Chief Executive with the Legislature to repeal legislation conflicting with the orders of the War Department. This I declined to do, and hence I designated the Adjutant-General to receipt for equipment until the subject could be brought to your attention.
* House Journal, 1914, pp. 25-27.
"Perhaps it may be the part of practical wisdom to adapt the office of Quartermaster-General to the grade required in the regular army, in order that our National Guard may receive the support of the Federal Government, as provided by its laws. But I believe it should be with the strict heed that the National Guard of Georgia shall always owe first allegiance to the State and subject to the order of her Governor as paramount authority. The National Guard is ready in time of national peril to perform the duties of a soldier against a foreign enemy, and the Government should be generous with it and liberally support it on these terms. Its members spend time and money and make a disapproval the growing tendency to militarism, with a large standing army under direct control of one man in Washington. It is not difficult
to suppose an occasion when such a force under the control of some one possessed of audacity, ambition and courage, might make it a menace to our Government and its institutions."
There was also an act passed at this session authorizing the governor to issue bonds of the state to the amount of $3,679,000, to pay off that portion of the public debt maturing May, 1915, the amount of which was $287,000, and that portion maturing July 1, 1915, the amount of which was $33,392,000.* Said bonds were to bear interest at a rate not to exceed 41/2 per cent and were to be of such varying denominations as the governor might see proper to fix. The interest was to be paid semi-annually and the principal was to mature serially in successive amounts commencing July 1, 1930, or July 1, 1935, as the governor might elect, and thereafter installments of the same maturing each year successively during the next ten or fifteen years, as the case might be, so that the last installment shall mature July 1, 1945. The manner in which this refunding of the state's bonded indebtedness was handled by Governor Slaton will be discussed later.
* Acts 1915, pp. 81-86.
The Legislature, at its session in 1914, passed several important acts, among them an act to regulate child labor, making it unlawful for children under fourteen to work in factories except where a widowed mother was dependent upon such labor, in which case the child must not be under twelve; † an act to provide for the registration of vital statistics; I an act to revise the health laws of the State of Georgia and to make the State Board of Health consist of fifteen members, three of whom, to wit, the secretary of the State Board of Health, the state superintendent of schools and the state veterinarian, should be members ex officio, and twelve members to be appointed by the governor, one from each congressional district, a majority of whom were to be physicians; $ an act to regulate and control all fraternal benefit societies; ** and an act to abolish the office of quartermaster-general, thereby making the organization and discipline of the organized militia of this state conform to the requirements of an act of Congress.*
On August 17, 1914, the following joint resolution was given the governor's approval (Acts 1914, p. 1247).
WHEREAS, The great seal of the State, in the custody of the Secretary of State, has become so worn by time and use that it will no longer make a clear, or even legible, impression, and it has become necessary that a new seal shall be provided; therefore,
Be it resolved, By the House of Representatives of Georgia, the Senate concurring, that the Governor and the Secretary of State are hereby authorized, empowered and directed to cause a new great seal of the State to be made, either of silver, or of some harder and more durable metal or composition of metals, the new seal to be in all respects a facsimile of the old one, except that the date appearing thereon shall be 1776, commemorative of the year of the Declaration of American Independence, instead of 1799, as appears on the present seal.
Be it further resolved, That when the new great seal herein provided for shall be completed and received by the Secretary of State, it shall be used in place of the present great seal in all cases where the use of the great seal of the State is required; and it shall be the duty of the Governor and the Secretary of State to see to it that the present great seal is destroyed.
Be it further resolved, That all laws and parts of laws in conflict with this joint resolution, or any part thereof, be and the same are hereby repealed.
As soon as the state's new Great Seal was ready for use, Governor Slaton, in the presence of the secretary of state, mutilated the old one as authorized by law, but what remains of this sacred relic—Georgia's Great Seal of State for 115 years—is still reverently preserved in the state department.
During the fall of 1914 the North Georgia Mineral Railroad applied to the secretary of state for a charter to construct a line from the City of Atlanta to Wofford's Cross Roads, in Bartow County; and, while the application appeared on the surface to ask of the state nothing un. usual, it was fraught, in the opinion of the secretary of state, with far. reaching consequences. The proposed railroad was projected by par: ties who were either allies or owners of the Louisville and Nashville system, a corporation controlling the Nashville, Chattanooga and St.
+ Acts 1914, pp. 88-92.