Lawyers 641
as a journalist was a student but not an alumnus of the College. This
was Rean Estes Folk, who after serving as editor of other papers, in
1892 joined the staff of the Nashville Daily American. A fourth son
was Joseph Wingate Folk, not a student of Wake Forest, who in 1901-
02 won national renown by uncovering the corruption of municipal
government in St. Louis and by his vigorous and fearless prosecution
of the criminal officers.
In the class of 1852 were three who made law their profession. One
of these was Bedford Brown of Caswell County, who practiced his
profession in Person and Caswell counties. He was in the Confederate
States Army. Another was Joseph John Freeman of Bertie County. He
read law with W. H. N. Smith of Edenton, afterwards a justice of the
Supreme Court of North Carolina. After serving in the Civil War he
taught for some years in several States and in 1891 became a
merchant in New York City. The third was Benjamin James Lea, of
Caswell County. He moved to Tennessee and made his home at
Brownsville, and soon became prominent in his profession, and in
political affairs, being elected a member of the Tennessee Legislature.
In the Civil War he was Colonel of the Fifty-second Tennessee
Infantry. From 1878 to 1887 he was Attorney General; in July, 1890
he was made a Justice of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Another
member of this class, William Gaston Simmons, should perhaps be
mentioned here also, for after his graduation he prepared himself for
the profession of law, going to Chapel Hill, where he studied under
Judge William H. Battle and Honorable S. F. Phillips. But being
called to the professorship of chemistry and geology in his Alma
Mater he abandoned law for teaching.
Two of the four members of the class of 1853 became lawyers.
These were William Caswell Finch of Franklin County and Andrew
Jackson Rogers of Granville. Finch received his license as a lawyer
on December 30,1854, and practiced in his profession in the counties
of Franklin, Warren, and Halifax. He served in the Confederate States
Navy. After the War he located at Ringwood, Halifax County. Rogers
also returned to his native county, varying his practice of law with his
attention to. his plantation. He died
Previous Page Next Page