1902 -03 Mississippi Bar and Bench composite

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward MageeNews.com a small commission – at no extra cost to you.

October  10, 2018

  The Mississippi Supreme Court on Sept. 5, 2018, received for display a historic photo composite of the 1902 and 1903 Mississippi Bench and Bar.

Attorney Richard Edmonson said the composite was found stored in a back room of his  mother’s Magee home when the family began preparing it for sale. Lanelle Edmonson, 102, moved from Magee to Jackson to live with her son.

“I appreciate very much the opportunity to donate it,” Edmonson said. “I wanted to donate it to somebody who would use it.”

Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. welcomed the addition of the 115-year-old composite to the Supreme Court’s collection. Presiding Justice Jim Kitchens, Justice Leslie King, Justice Josiah Dennis Coleman, State Law Librarian Stephen Parks, Mississippi Bar Executive Director Deanne Mosley, Bar Associate Executive Director Melanie Henry  and former Mississippi Bar President W.C. “Cham” Trotter joined Chief Justice Waller at a viewing of the composite.

The composite hangs in the fourth floor lobby of the Supreme Court Building.

The Court and the State Law Library are working to increase the archival collection. “I hope this will generate some interest,” Chief Justice Waller said.

Trotter  said the composite is one of only three known to exist. Trotter has one in his Belzoni  office. His great-grandfather, Justice William Campbell McLean of Grenada, is among those in the composite. The composite is arranged alphabetically, by town, Trotter said.
Edmonson has examined the composite but can’t find his grandfather, Rich Russell of Magee, among those pictured. He recalled his grandfather two-finger typing documents on a manual Underwood typewriter. “I’m told that he was thrilled to death that I was going to law school,” said Edmonson, who has practiced law now for 55 years.

Richard Edmonson, at right, presents a rare 1902-1903 Mississippi Bench and Bar composite to the Supreme Court.

Richard Edmonson

Left to right, Justice Leslie D. King, Justice Josiah Dennis Coleman, Presiding Justice Jim Kitchens, attorney Richard Edmonson, attorney Cham Trotter and Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. are pictured with the 1902-1903 Mississippi Bench and Bar composite which Edmonson gave to the Supreme Court on Sept. 5.

**** Message from the prez:  Richard Edmonson grew up in Magee and graduated from Magee High School.  The photograph was found in the family home while preparing to sell.  Everyone called Richard’s mother Tootsie!  She is well over 100 and still lives with her son Richard in Jackson.  The family home has been sold.


  1. I grew up on the same street that Cham Trotters grandparents lived on. Cham, his mother and brother spent most of their summers with his grandparents and we played together most days when they were there. His grandmother is the lady that Mrs. Birdie Craft took care of for several years.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.