November 1, 2019

Exploring the FCBA’s History

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Amelia M. Adams
Member, Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC

Exploring the FCBA’s History, Fayette County Bar Association’s The Lexington Lawyer magazine, at 3-4

The late Michael Crichton said, “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” As one of the leaves of the proverbial FCBA tree, when I became President, I was excited to delve into our archives to learn more about how our Association came to be. What a treasure trove we have!

The FCBA’s roots trace back to the law offices of W.C.P. Breckenridge and John Shelby at 21 East Short Street, where the first organizational meeting was held on March 9,  1887 “to organize the Bar and ‘set a schedule of minimum fees to be charged.’ At that time, “Lexington was a growing southern town of 25,216 people, with 38 lawyers, 42 saloons, 2 breweries, 5 distilleries, 36 doctors, 8 passenger trains daily, 6 newspapers, and 191 retail groceries of different types.”  Interestingly, “13 lawyers had their offices in the Courthouse,” where trials were held until it burned in 1897, and all other lawyers “but two had their offices on the north side of the first block of East Short Street.” The two were around the corner on North Upper.

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