May 24, 1905
The damage suit of J. E. Webb vs. W. N. Farmer was decided in the district court at Ruston last week. Judge Dawkins rendering judgment in favor of Webb for the sum of $50 and cost of suit, the latter amounting to five times the sum of damages allowed, due to the great number of witnesses summoned in in the case. This suit grew out of the burning of Farmer’s gin house near Downsville come time last fall, Webb said to be accessory to the act on the confession of the negro arrested for the crime, who was alleged to have admitted that he received $10 from Webb as the price of sticking fire to the property. Webb through his attorneys, Barksdale & Barksdale, of Ruston, brought suit against Farmer for damages to his character in the sum of $10,000, charging him with being responsible for the defamatory report, and after a vigorous fight on both sides the case was decided as above slated, the expense falling on Farmer, as a consequence, amounting to between $300 and $400, aside from attorney’s fees.