District 11, Montgomery County, Magistrate's Docket Book
Scope and Contents
This magistrate docket book contains a record of court cases brought before magistrates of the 11th District of Montgomery County, primarily W.H. and G.A. Crotzer. The docket book, which dates from 1856 to 1910, consists of nearly sixty years of records which pertain to civil and criminal county court case proceedings. This item presents a robust and comprehensive record of legal disputes for the 11th District in the Montgomery County, County Court from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
The importance of this item can be ascribed to its utility for researchers interested in the legal history of the Montgomery County court system. This docket book not only delineates an extensive collection of court proceedings, but also serves as a noteworthy representation of the work of some of the county’s most esteemed public officials. Names of prominent individuals such as members of the Crotzer family are frequently referenced as the magistrates in charge of overseeing the majority of such court entries, attesting to the family’s notability in the county court during the latter half of the 19th century. The names of other important county officers, clerks and judges appear continuously throughout the bulk of this docket book. Researchers interested in information on prominent public servants, local civil and criminal disputes, or the history of the Montgomery County court system will find this item to be a valuable resource.
- 1856-07-19 - 1910-04-25
- Crotzer, William H., 1828-1906 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
While the Montgomery County Archives houses an item, it does not necessarily hold the copyright on the item, nor may it be able to determine if the item is still protected under current copyright law. It is the user’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Biographical / Historical
The District 11, Montgomery County, Magistrate's Docket Book, which ranges from 1856 to 1910, is comprised of court case proceedings overseen by various magistrates operating in Montgomery County’s Eleventh District. During this time period, District 11 of Montgomery County encompassed an area that roughly coincides with the District 2 established in 2022. It included land from slightly north of Big McAdoo Creek up to the Red River, and roughly along the length of modern-day Memorial Drive. Magistrates during this period functioned primarily as arbitrators who administered civil or criminal justice over minor legal disputes in the county courts. During this period, sections 1 and 15 of Article VI in the Tennessee Constitution established that the position of Justice of the Peace must be elected according to districts for a six year term. However, the current constitution does not include section 15.
While the signatures of some magistrates may not be present, it is believed that cases from 1860 up to 1876 were presided over by Justices of the Peace P.O. Travis and W. M. Rudolph. Magistrate P.O. Travis was born around 1828 in Clarksville, Tennessee and maintained his occupation as a farmer throughout a majority of his life whilst working on the county court, primarily administering civil court cases in the Eleventh District alongside W.M. Rudolph from 1860 to 1876. W.M. Rudolph was born in 1812 in Clarksville, Tennessee. Like many other individuals working in the court system during this period, Rudolph came from an esteemed family of farmers originally from North Carolina. Both Travis and Rudolph administered civil court cases in the eleventh district, albeit independently presiding on different cases throughout several occasions.
In 1876, W.H. Crotzer assumed the role of magistrate. Born in 1828, William Henry Crotzer began as a farmer and served as a prominent member of the Montgomery County court system. According to the Leaf-Chronicle, his tenure as a member of the county court spanned twenty-eight years, beginning from 1876 to 1904. Crotzer administered civil and criminal justice in dozens of court cases, with approximately 512 cases signed off as justice of the peace. His son, George A. Crotzer (1856 – 1924), would succeed him as primary magistrate after his resignation in 1904. There are 28 cases ascribed to G.A. Crotzer. Recurring names of county officers, clerks, and judges appear continuously alongside the names of P.O. Travis, W.M. Rudolph, and the Crotzer family.
1 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Opening and closing pages have been torn from docket book. Book cover and spine show damage. Only digital surrogates will be made available to researchers due to the condition of the original.
Gene Downing maintained of this docket book until his donation to the Montgomery County Public Library. The item was transferred to the Montgomery County Archives in 2019.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library, 2019.
Material processing has involved removing smudge and dust from contents of docket book. Pages including front and back covers were scanned according to their original order. An online index was also created for this item. Loose materials such as warrants, executions, and other notes have been housed separately for preservation purposes.
- Guide to the District 11, Montgomery County, Magistrate's Docket Book
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- Joshua Negron
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