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CSU Archives

Slade, Swift, Pease, and Davidson Law Firm Collection (MC 162)


Organizational Note

According to the website of Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, P.C, their firm was founded in 1902 with the formation of a partnership between prominent Columbus lawyers, Lester C. Slade and Herman H. Swift, both members of families significant in the development of Columbus, Georgia.

At the time of the First World War, Mr. Swift was chairman of the Muscogee County Chapter of the Red Cross, the oldest chapter in the state. He was a member of the Georgia Legislature and later commissioned as a Major in the Judge Advocate Department of the U.S. army. He was president of the Georgia Bar Association. Among his clients was Franklin D. Roosevelt, while he was a lawyer practicing in New York City and seeking to be elected Governor of New York. After contracting infantile paralysis in 1921, Mr. Roosevelt came to the healing waters at Warm Springs, Georgia. He was so impressed with that facility that he formed and developed the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and chose Mr. Swift to be his lawyer in Georgia to accomplish the land acquisition and form the Foundation.

The firm continued under the name Slade and Swift until 1930 when it became Slade, Swift, Pease and Davidson and then Swift, Pease, Davidson and Chapman which ultimately became the first major firm in Georgia to become a professional corporation in 1971. In 1954, Swift, Pease, Davidson and Chapman constructed the first free standing law office in Columbus.

After the retirement of Mr. Slade, Mr. Swift continued the law firm, which at the time of his death in 1955, carried the name of Swift, Pease, Davidson and Chapman. The first new lawyer added was Harry Benning Pease, a descendant of General Henry L. Benning for whom Ft. Benning was named. Next came J.Q. Davidson, a graduate of Mercer University School of Law, Summa Cum Laude, with what was then the highest academic grade average. Mr. Davidson was a principal founder of Columbus State College (now Columbus State University) with a building on its campus named for him, and counted among his many clients, Cason J. Callaway, the founder and developer of Ida Cason Callaway Gardens. Mr. Joe Chapman, a member of the Columbus Real Estate Bar, also joined the firm. Later W.M. Page, a member of the Columbus newspaper publishing company family, joined the firm . Mr. Page took a leave of absence from the firm during World War II spending four years in North Africa, Italy and the Normandy Landing and with General George Patton in Europe before returning to practice law with the firm. In addition, Tom B. Slade, son of Mr. Slade, joined the firm as did Mr. Davidson's son-in-law, Lee H. Henkel, Jr., who later became Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service. Beginning in 1986 another of the firm's former partners, John T. Laney, III, served as the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Middle District of Georgia before becoming Chief Judge of that Court.

Building upon these auspicious beginnings, the firm's most significant event was the firm's merger with the Columbus firm of Sprouse, Tucker & Ford, giving rise to the firm's current name, Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of a yearbook dated 1931, but apparently containing property tax information covering from 1928 to 1932, as well as a typed statement titled Taxes due the City of Columbus [Ga.], as of June 1, 1933

1928-1933 1 box (.3 l.f.)


Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Slade, Swift, Pease and Davidson Law Firm Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Slade, Swift, Pease and Davidson Law Firm Collection (MC 162)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


Provenance

Unknown.


Box and Item List

Box 1

Item 1 – Year Book for 1931, 1928-1932

Item 2 – Statement of taxes due the City of Columbus as of June 1, 1933