James Wesley Culpepper

Male, #34970, (12 Aug 1869 - 10 Oct 1954)
Father*Simeon Fletcher Culpepper (11 Oct 1842 - 22 Jun 1929)
Mother*Ellen Clay Nall (5 May 1844 - 19 Jan 1929)
Birth*12 Aug 1869 James was born at Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., Georgia, on 12 Aug 1869. 
1870 Census1 Jun 1870 James, Ellen and Nathan listed as a household member living with Simeon Fletcher Culpepper on the 1870 Census at Meriwether Co., Georgia.1 
1880 Census1 Jun 1880 Nathan, James, Homer, Edgar and Wilbur was listed as a son in Simeon Fletcher Culpepper's household on the 1880 Census at Meriwether Co., Georgia.2 
Photographed*say 1892 He was photographed say 1892 at Georgia.3
James Wesley Culpepper
Marriage*3 Dec 1892 He married Sarah Pickens Taylor at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia, on 3 Dec 1892 at age 23.4,5 
1900 Census*1 Jun 1900 James was listed as the head of a family on the 1900 Census at Fayette Co., Georgia.6 
1910 Census*15 Apr 1910 James was listed as the head of a family on the 1910 Census at Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia.7 
1920 Census*1 Jan 1920 James was listed as the head of a family on the 1920 Census at Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia.8 
Death of Mother19 Jan 1929 His mother Ellen Clay Nall died on 19 Jan 1929 at Greenville, Meriwether Co., Georgia.9,10 
Death of Father22 Jun 1929 His father Simeon Fletcher Culpepper died on 22 Jun 1929 at Greenville, Meriwether Co., Georgia.11,12 
1930 Census*1 Apr 1930 James was listed as the head of a family on the 1930 Census at Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia.13 
Photographedsay 1940 He appeared as a brother in a family photograph say 1940 at Meriwether Co., Georgia,
standing left to right: Nathan Florence Culpepper, James Wesley Culpepper, Homer Lee Culpepper, Wilbur Clay Culpepper, Thomas Jefferson Culpepper; seated: Edgar Clarence Culpepper.14
sons of Simeon Fletcher Culpepper
Death of Spouse9 Nov 1948 His wife Sarah Pickens Taylor died on 9 Nov 1948 at Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia.15 
Photographedsay 1950 He was photographed say 1950 at Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia.3
James Wesley Culpepper
Death*10 Oct 1954 He died at Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia, on 10 Oct 1954 at age 85.16 
Burial*11 Oct 1954 His body was interred on 11 Oct 1954 at Fayetteville City Cemetery, Fayetteville, Fayette Co., Georgia
Biography* Although the obituary notice gives James W. Culpepper's date of birth as 12 Aug 1870 and the 1900 census notes the birth in August 1870, his brother, Thomas J. Culpepper, in a 3 Aug 1969 report, gives James W. Culpepper's date of birth as 18 Aug 1869 and he was noted in the 1870 census as nine months old. James W. Culpepper was a solicitor at the City Court of Fayetteville, GA from 18 Jun 1905 to 20 Dec 1906. He also represented Fayette County in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1919/20 through 1946.
      Mrs. Eleanor Culpepper Willingham wrote the following: Uncle Wes, as I have said, was a lawyer. His daughter, Mae, lost a bedspread at the laundry. They would not pay her for it so she asked her dad to write them a letter about it. He, at first, refused to deal with such a petty thing, but finally said "Well, Mae, I will write the letter for you. It's true I am a lawyer, but I am not a "bed-spread lawyer."
      The following memorial to James Wesley Culpepper appeared on pp. 149-151 of the History of Fayette Co, GA: Mr. Chairman: Your committee to prepare the memorial on the life of Honorable James Wesley Culpepper, of the bar of this Court, begs leave to submit the following report: James Wesley Culpepper was born August 12, 1870, in Meriwether County, Georgia. He was the son of Simeon Fletcher Culpepper and Ellen Nall Culpepper. His father was a Confederate veteran and had served as a teacher in the common schools of Meriwether County, as tax collector of that county, and for twenty-five years as Clerk of the Superior Court of that county. Both parents were pioneer Georgia stock. Mr. Culpepper was educated in the Meriwether County schools and attended high school at Grantville, Georgia, and at Rockford, Alabama. He also attended the University of Nashville, now Peabody College, at Nashville, Tennessee. For about fifteen years Mr. Culpepper taught school, first at Concord in Pike County, then at Inman and Woolsey in Fayette County. Many of the most prominent citizens of Fayette County were in his classes. He studied law in the offices of Judge Walter Daly and Aldine Chambers in Atlanta, took the bar examination, and was admitted to practice in 1905. He was married December 3, 1892, to Sarah Pickens Taylor, the daughter of Dr. Joel Pickens Taylor and Rebecca Hodnett Taylor, of Coweta County. Mrs. Culpepper died in 1948. They had four daughters, Mrs. B. D. Murphy, Miss Mae Culpepper, Mrs. W. E. Greer, and Mrs. A. M. Bowen. Mr. Culpepper was a member of the Lutheran Church and a staunch Democrat. He was a Mason, a Knight Templar and an Odd Fellow. Shortly before his admission to the bar, Mr., Culpepper moved from Inman to Fayetteville. He was elected Mayor of Fayetteville and served in that capacity in 1906 and 1907. He became Solicitor of the City Court of Fayetteville almost immediately after his admission to the bar, and served in that capacity until December 20, 1906. He was elected to the House of Representatives from Fayette County in 1918 and served as Fayette County's Representative in the General Assembly for fourteen consecutive terms--a total of twenty-eight years. His record of continuous service exceeded that of any other member of the Georgia legislature. Mr. Culpepper served in the House of Representatives during the administrations of Governor Hugh M. Dorsey, Governor Thomas W. Hardwick, Governor Clifford Walker, Governor L. G. Hardman, Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr., Governor Eugene Talmadge, Governor E. D. Rivers, and Governor Ellis Arnall. During his service in the General Assembly, Mr. Culpepper filled every important committee assignment available to a member. He served several terms as Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, several times as Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, and as Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, and the important Judiciary Committees. During the last administration of Governor Eugene Talmadge, he was administration floor leader of the House of Representatives. He served as a member of the Commission provided for by resolution of the General Assembly to revise the Constitution of Georgia of 1877, which later became the Constitution of Georgia of 1945. Mr. Culpepper's service as a member of the House of Representatives was noteworthy. During his entire service of twenty-eight consecutive years, he introduced only one local bill. He introduced a great many bills of statewide import, mostly administration measures, for which his support was sought by the Governor in office. It has many times been said that for many years he was the most influential member of the General Assembly. This influence resulted from his wide knowledge of the affairs of the State of Georgia and from the knowledge of his colleagues that he sought always for the accomplishment of those things which were best for all of the people of the State. Governors, constitutional officers, judges and legislators uniformly had and expressed complete confidence in his ability, his knowledge, and his beneficent measures--for during his service no major piece of legislation was entered upon the statute books without in some way bearing the imprint of his thinking--but he was also instrumental in preventing the enactment of many unwise measures. It was often said that Culpepper of Fayette killed more bad bills than all of the other members of the House combined. Mr. Culpepper was the author of the first cigar and cigarette tax measure, which was designed originally to provide funds to pay Confederate pensions. He was instrumental in enacting the legislation now of force under which Georgia's system of State Highways has been constructed, and he brought about almost single handedly the enactment of the laws relating to the State budget. One of the measures of which he was proudest was the so-called "grandfather clause," which brings about an automatic annual balancing of the State budget. It was originally a part of a general appropriations act, but the framers of the Constitution of 1945 made it a part of that document. Mr. Culpepper's career at the bar was outstanding. Soon after his admission to the bar he became one of the leading lawyers in this section of the State. He practiced not only in Fayette County, but in all of the surrounding counties and throughout the State of Georgia, both in State and Federal Courts. For many years he was in every case of importance on the docket of Fayette Superior Court. Notwithstanding the fact that he was one of the most successful trial lawyers in the State, he was even more useful to his clients and to the people generally in counsel and conference. Just as he prevented the passage of many bad bills in the Georgia legislature, by his fine judgment and good counsel he prevented the institution of many bad law suits in court. He was respected by judges and jurors. He was beloved by his fellow members of the bar, by his clients and a host of Georgians. Mr. James Wesley Culpepper died October 10, 1954. His death leaves a vacancy in our number which cannot be filled. We join with the court and the people of Fayette County, as well as the people of the entire State, in mourning his passing. We recommend that this memorial be filed with the court and that the court, by appropriate order, direct that it be spread upon the minutes of the court. _________________________________/s/Lester Dickson _________________________________/s/F.A. Somer? _________________________________/s/Howard Handley
      The following obituary appeared in The Atlanta Constitution on Monday, 11 Oct 1954: Fayette's J. W. Culpepper, Legislator, Dies at 84 James Wesley Culpepper, 84-year-old prominent Fayetteville attorney who probably set a record for continuous service in the Georgia Legislature, died in an Atlanta hospital at 4:30 a.m. Sunday. Known affectionately by friends and political opponents as "The Fox From Fayette," Mr. Culpepper was as effective in scuttling legislation he considered to be bad for the people as he was in passing bills which he considered to be in the best interest of Georgians. He served 28 years continuously as representative from near-by Fayette County before he voluntarily retired in 1945. He was floor leader during the administrations of the late Gov. Eugene Talmadge. Over the years, Mr. Culpepper headed all the important committees of the House -- including the Ways and Means, the Appropriations, and the Constitutional Amendment Committees. MANY KEY BILLS The Veteran legislator's last contribution to the General Assembly and the State was his help in rewriting the state Constitution in 1945. He was a member of the committee to revise the Constitution, as well as chairman of the House Constitutional Amendments Committee. During his tenure from 1918 through 1943, Mr. Culpepper was author of many important pieces of legislation. Well-known throughout this section as an attorney, Mr. Culpepper had practiced law for 50 years in Fayette County. He taught school for 15 years. SERVED AS MAYOR In addition to being a legislator, Mr. Culpepper served a term as mayor of Fayetteville in 1906, and solicitor of the City Court the previous year. Born Aug. 12, 1870, in Meriwether County, Mr. Culpepper attended the University of Nashville, and was admitted to the Bar in 1905. He was a Lutheran, a Democrat, Mason, Knight Templar and an Odd Fellow. Surviving Mr. Culpepper are four daughters, Mrs. B. D. Murphy, Mrs. W. E. Greer and Miss Mae Culpepper, all of Fayetteville, and Mrs. A. M. Bowen of Newnan; a sister, Mrs. D. O. Phillips of Atlanta; brother, T. J. Culpepper of Atlanta, and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the Fayetteville Methodist Church 4 p.m. Monday.
.
An excerpt from a 1996 column by Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist and former editor Jim Minter:
.
"To get a new constitution, Gov. Ellis Arnall had to have the support of Col. J.W. Culpepper , the Fayette Fox, a power in the House of
Representatives, boss of all the important committees, floor leader for Gene Talmadge.
" 'They say Tom Murphy holds the House in the palm of his hand,' (Peachtree City resident) Floy Farr chuckles. 'He's not close to the way Mr. Culpepper dominated it.'
.
"Knowing he couldn't get a new constitution over Mr. Culpepper 's
opposition, Gov. Arnall drove to Fayetteville. At the time, Fayette County had only 7 1/2 miles of paved road, from the Courthouse Square to Jonesboro.
.
"Mr. Culpepper proposed a compromise. If the governor would pave Ga. 85, he would support a new constitution. Arnall agreed. However, The Atlanta Constitution, as is its habit, began to sniff around the deal. "Gov. Arnall, Mr. Culpepper and Mr. Charlie Redwine, fearing the Constitution was about to make the agreement public, paid a visit to Clark Howell, the newspaper's owner and publisher. The Constitution got on somebody else's case. We got a paved road, which we needed; the people of Georgia got a new constitution, which they needed; and the publisher of the Constitution got a road named for him, which he deserved." 

Family

Sarah Pickens Taylor (7 Aug 1873 - 9 Nov 1948)
Marriage*3 Dec 1892 He married Sarah Pickens Taylor at Atlanta, Fulton Co., Georgia, on 3 Dec 1892 at age 23.4,5 
Children
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited8 Jun 2015

Citations

  1. 1870 Federal Census, United States.
    Page 381A, Family 87, Lutherville PO, Meriwether Co., GA
    Simeon Culpepper, 26, M, School Teacher, $1000/$450, GA
    Ellen Culpepper, 24, F, GA
    Nathan Culpepper, 2, M, GA
    James Culpepper, 9/12, M, GA.
  2. 1880 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 81, Page 203C (34), Family 263, Luthersville, Meriwether Co., GA
    Sim Culpepper, Self, M, Md, 37, Farming, GA/SC/GA
    Ellen Culpepper, Wife, F, Md, 35, Keeping House, GA/GA/GA
    Nat Culpepper, Son, M, S, 12, Working On Farm, GA/GA/GA
    Wesley Culpepper, Son, M, S, 10, Working On Farm, GA/GA/GA
    Homer Culpepper, Son, M, S, 8, Working On Farm, GA/GA/GA
    Edgar Culpepper, Son, M, S, 6, --- , GA/GA/GA
    Wilber Culpepper, Son, M, S, 3, --- , GA/GA/GA
    Mary Lou Culpepper, Dau, F, S, 1, --- , GA/GA/GA.
  3. E-mail written 1977 - 2011 to Lew Griffin & Warren Culpepper from Sara Hodnett Murphy [ID:20147], e-mail address.
  4. Coweta County, Georgia Marriages 1827-1979, Newan, GA, Newnan-Coweta, Historical, Society.
    but the certificate states that the actual marriage took place in Atlanta, and that the Pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta performed the ceremony.
  5. Jordan Dodd, compiler, Georgia Marriages, 1851-1900, Online database at Ancestry.com, 2000.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/vital/gamarr/main.htm
    J. W. Culpepper and Sallie Taylor on 03 Dec 1892 in Coweta Co., GA.
  6. 1900 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 45, Page 276A (18), Family 305, 538 District, Fayette Co., GA
    James W. Culpepper, Head, M, Aug 1870, 29, md 8 yrs, GA/GA/GA, School Teacher
    Sarah P. Culpepper, Wife, F, Aug 1873, 26, md 8 yrs, ch 3/3, GA/SC/GA
    Louise Culpepper, Dau, F, Sep 1893, 6, S, GA/GA/GA
    Lizzie M. Culpepper, Dau, F, Mar 1895, 5, S, GA/GA/GA
    Catherine Culpepper, Dau, F, Mar 1897, 3, S, GA/GA/GA.
  7. 1910 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 57, Page 19B, Family 305, Gen.com img 6, Fayetteville, Fayette Co., GA
    James W. Culpepper, Head, M, 38, md1-17 yrs, GA/GA/GA, Lawyer
    Sarah Culpepper, Wife, F, 35, md1-8 yrs, ch 4/4, GA/GA/SC
    Louise Culpepper, Dau, F, 16, Sng, GA/GA/GA
    Mae Culpepper, Dau, F, 15, Sng, GA/GA/GA
    Kate Culpepper, Dau, F, 13, S, GA/GA/GA
    Julian Culpepper, Dau, F, 13 [sic], S, GA/GA/GA.
  8. 1920 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 81, Page 131A, Family 72, Anc.com img 9, Rowell Mill Rd., Fayetteville, Fayette Co., GA
    J. W. Culpepper, Head, M, 49, md, GA/GA/GA, Lawyer
    Sallie Culpepper, Wife, F, 46, md, GA/GA/GA
    Mae Culpepper, Daughter, F, 24, Sng, GA/GA/GA, School Teacher
    Kate Culpepper, Daughter, F, 22, Sng, GA/GA/GA, School Teacher
    Julia Culpepper, Daughter, F, 17, Sng, GA/GA/GA.
  9. Georgia Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998, Online database at Ancestry.com, 1998.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/5426a.htm
    Mrs. S. F. Culpepper, d. 19 Jan 1929 in Meriwether Co., GA.
  10. Priscilla Turner, compiler, Meriwether Co., GA Cemeteries, Spartanburg, SC: , 1993, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Book: 975.8455 V39.
    Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church Cemetery, near Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., GA
    + Ellen Clay Nall Culpepper, 5 May 1844 – 19 Jan 1929.
  11. Georgia Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998, Online database at Ancestry.com, 1998.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/5426a.htm
    S. F. Culpepper, d. 22 Jun 1929 in Meriwether Co., GA.
  12. Priscilla Turner, compiler, Meriwether Co., GA Cemeteries, Spartanburg, SC: , 1993, Repository: LDS Family History Library - Salt Lake City, Call No. US/CAN Book: 975.8455 V39.
    Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church Cemetery, near Lone Oak, Meriwether Co., GA
    + Simeon Fletcher Culpepper, 11 Oct 1840 (sic) – 22 Jun 1929, Sgt., Co. D, 8th GA Inf.
  13. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 2, page 2B, Fayetteville, Fayette Co., GA
    Home=$3500, Radio=Y, Farm=N
    J. Wesley Culpepper, Head, M, 59, M, md @ 22, GA/GA/GA, Lawyer
    Sarah T. Culpepper, Wife, F, 56, M, md @ 19, GA/GA/GA
    E. Maie Culpepper, Dau, F, 35, S, GA/GA/GA, Public School Teacher
    S. Kate Culpepper, Dau, F, 33, S, GA/GA/GA.
  14. Correspondence from Eleanor Herring Culpepper (Mrs. Albert Marvin Willingham), Grantville, GA, to Lew Griffin, 1976-2004.
  15. Georgia Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998, Online database at Ancestry.com, 1998.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/5426a.htm
    Sarah P. T. Culpepper, d. 9 Nov 1948 at 75 years in Fayette Co., GA; Res. in Fayette Co., GA.
  16. Georgia Health Department / Office of Vital Records, compiler, Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998, Online database at Ancestry.com, 1998.
    http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/inddbs/5426a.htm
    James W. Culpepper, d. 10 Oct 1954 at 84 years in DeKalb Co., GA; Res. in Fayette Co., GA, 22548.