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J. Frank McInnis

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Jesse Frank McInnis
Judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit
Court of Appeal
In office
1952 – December 1953
Preceded byRobert F. Kennon
Succeeded byH. Welborn Ayres
26th Judicial District Court Judge
In office
January 1, 1930 – 1952
Preceded byHarmon Caldwell Drew
Succeeded byJames E. Bolin
Webster Parish Clerk of Court
In office
September 26, 1919 – April 7, 1924
Preceded byJohn H. Tillman
Succeeded byG. A. Rathbun
Personal details
Born(1886-01-28)January 28, 1886
Castor, Bienville Parish
Louisiana, USA
DiedJanuary 27, 1959(1959-01-27) (aged 72)
Madison, Wisconsin
Resting placeMinden Cemetery in Minden, Louisiana
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Cortez Mixon McInnis
ChildrenElizabeth M. Crumpton (1917-2013)[1]
ResidenceMinden, Louisiana
OccupationJudge; Attorney
Grave of Judge J. Frank McInnis at Minden Cemetery

Jesse Frank McInnis, known as J. Frank McInnis (January 28, 1886 – January 27, 1959), was a judge of his state's Second Circuit Court of Appeal from Minden in Webster Parish, Louisiana. In 1952, McInnis succeeded Robert F. Kennon of Minden, in the circuit judgeship which Kennon vacated to become governor of Louisiana. Prior to his appeals court service, McInnis served for twenty-two years on the now 26th Judicial District Court.[2]

Biography[edit | edit source]

The son of Jesse McInnis (1858-1946),[3] McInnis was born on a farm near Castor in Bienville Parish in north Louisiana, where he attended Castor High School. He left the farm at the age of sixteen to come to Minden in 1906,[4] where he worked for more than a decade in mercantile, railroads, and banking.[5] From 1919 to 1924, he was the Webster Parish clerk of court, having succeeded his mentor, John H. Tillman, in which capacity he also independently studied for the law.[6] In 1923, McInnis was admitted to the Louisiana bar and began his law practice in Minden. One of his early law partners was another attorney originally from Castor, John T. Campbell (1903-1993), who also for a time was the secretary of the Louisiana State Senate.[7]

On January 1, 1930, Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr., appointed McInnis, a fellow Democrat, to the new 26th District state court, created in 1926 and based in Benton, the seat of Bossier Parish.[8] After his short-term appointment, McInnis was elected to full terms on the district court in 1930, when he defeated fellow Democrat R. H. Lee in a runoff election.[9] In 1936, he won by 46 votes over opponent Clifford E. Hays, 2,889 (50.4 percent) to 2,843 (49.6 percent).[10] McInnis won again in 1942 and 1948. Some 80 percent of McInnis' criminal court rulings were upheld on appeal. At the time, few criminal cases were appealed.[6]

As district judge, McInnis succeeded Judge Harmon Caldwell Drew, who at the time was elevated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport.[6] Drew was the father of later City Judge and State Representative R. Harmon Drew, Sr. Harmon Caldwell Drew's grandson, Harmon Drew, Jr., also of Minden, still serves on the same appeal court.

From 1945 to 1946, McInnis served for fourteen months on the Court of Appeals[2] and returned to that body when Judge Kennon became governor in 1952. On December 31, 1952, Judge McInnis swore in Louis H. Padgett, Jr., as the district attorney for Bossier and Webster parishes. Padgett had defeated R. Harmon Drew, Sr., in a special election for the DA position vacated by incoming Judge James E. Bolin.[11]

McInnis was also involved in non-judicial matters. He helped to reorganize the former Bank of Webster during the Great Depression. In 1950, he marked his twentieth anniversary on the court.[5] In 1953, McInnis was named "Citizen of the Year" by the Minden Lions Club.[2][12]

In December 1953, McInnis retired after a year and a half of service on the circuit court of appeals, having completed Kennon's unexpired term. In February 1954, McInnis joined the Minden law firm of John B. Benton, Jr. (1924–2009), the assistant DA under Louis Padgett, and Enos Carr McClendon, Jr., later a state court judge from 1960 to 1978.[13] He was married to the former Cortez Mixon (November 3, 1889 – December 2, 1947), a native of Cotton Valley in central Webster Parish.[6][14][15] The couple resided at 211 Goode Avenue in Minden.[16] McInnis was a Methodist.[2]

McInnis died on the day before his 73rd birthday in Madison, Wisconsin, where he was visiting his daughter, Elizabeth Crumpton (1917-2013), and her husband, Dr. Charles Whitmarsh Crumpton, Sr. Elizabeth was living in Middleton near Madison at the time of her death. Frank and Cortez McInnis are interred at Minden Cemetery.[14][17]

Judge McInnis, through his brother John Lawson McInnis, Sr., was an uncle of the Minden businessmen and building contractors, Harry Elwood McInnis, Sr. (1913-2003), and John Lawson McInnis, Jr. (1915-1994).[1][18] Judge McInnis was a brother-in-law of the banker Clarence C. Fulbright of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who was married to Mrs. McInnis' sister, Trevanion Mixon Fulbright. Clarence Fulbright was killed in an automobile accident in 1953.[19]


Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Louisiana : Charles Fuselier, John Ardis Cawthon, William G. Stewart (Louisiana), W. W. Burnside, George A. Burton, Leon Gary, George E. Hearn

Others articles of the Topics Louisiana AND Law : John M. Robinson (Louisiana judge), Pike Hall Jr., Edmund Reggie, Scott Leehy, Richard Cleveland Drew, Joseph Barton Elam Jr., Monty M. Wyche

Others articles of the Topics Biography AND Law : Bobby Culpepper, Cecil C. Lowe, Richard Cleveland Drew, Scott Leehy, Pat M. Baskin, Edmund Reggie, James Nelson Lee

Others articles of the Topic Biography : Rodney Glassman, Edwin Pepping, Hayley-Marie Coppin, George Johnson (supercentenarian), Bill Robertson (Louisiana politician), Hisham al-Hashimi, Nina Cuso

Others articles of the Topic Louisiana : Bobby Culpepper, John Henry Baker, C. J. Bolin, Scott Leehy, Pete Heine, John M. Robinson (Louisiana judge), Thornton F. Bell

Others articles of the Topic Law : Edmund Reggie, Cecil C. Lowe, Richard Cleveland Drew, Monty M. Wyche, Smart contract, Solidus Bond, List of 2019 United States cannabis reform proposals

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Elizabeth M. Crumpton obituary, Minden Press-Herald, February 26, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Judge J. F. McInnis Will Retire Soon," Minden Herald, December 18, 1953, p. 1
  3. Records of Old Castor Cemetery, Castor, Louisiana
  4. "Judge J. F. McInnis Will Retire Soon", Minden Herald, December 18, 1953, p. 1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "District Judge J. Frank McInnis on Bench 20 Years; Serves Longer than Any Other Man!", Minden Herald, January 6, 1950, p. 1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "McInnis became longest serving judge of 26th District," Minden Herald January 6, 1950, p. 1.
  7. "Local attorney to be honored", Minden Press-Herald, March 20, 1942, p. 1.
  8. "J. F. McInnis Candidate for District Judge: He Is Now Serving on the Bench", Minden Herald, May 1, 1930, p. 1.
  9. Minden Herald, September 18, 1930, p. 1.
  10. Minden Herald, January 28, 1936, p. 2.
  11. "L. H. Padgett Sworn in as DA by Judge McInnis", Minden Press, January 9, 1953, p. 1.
  12. Minden Press, April 3, 1953, p. 1
  13. "Judge J.F. McInnis Joins Law firm," February 19, 1954, p. 1
  14. 14.0 14.1 Earlene Mendenhall Lyle, Minden Cemetery records
  15. "Mrs. J. F. McInnis Funeral Rites Held December 4: Wife of Minden Jurist Succumbed After Long Illness", Minden Herald, December 5, 1947, p. 1
  16. Telephone directory, Minden, Louisiana, 1940
  17. "Final Rites at 3 p.m. Friday for Judge J. Frank McInnis", Minden Herald, January 29, 1959, p. 1.
  18. "Frances McInnis Crumpton". channel3000.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  19. "Judge McInnis's Brother-in-law Killed by Truck", Minden Press, July 3, 1953, p. 5.
Preceded by
John H. Tillman
Webster Parish Clerk of Court

Jesse Frank McInnis
1919–1924

Succeeded by
G. A. Rathbun
Preceded by
Harmon Caldwell Drew
26th Judicial District Court Judge from Bossier and Webster parishes, Louisiana

Jesse Frank McInnis
1930–1952

Succeeded by
James E. Bolin, Sr.
Preceded by
Robert F. Kennon
Judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal

Jesse Frank McInnis
1952–1953

Succeeded by
H. Welborn Ayres


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