McFarland Family History
John Alexander McFarland (1881-1950)
Joe McFarland's father was sworn as a lawyer in 1905
and went on to be a renowned criminal defense lawyer.
The Scottish
Sample Chapters

John Alexander McFarland This chapter is about Joe McFarland's father, John Alexander McFarland. Alex had one older sister, Mattie McFarland by their mother, Adeline Campbell. At the time of Adeline's death on August 22, 1881, little Alex was only four months old. Alex and Mattie were raised by their stepmother. Charity had a long life and would see all of Alex's children born and almost grown. She died in 1934 when Alex was 51 years of age and Joe McFarland was 21.

Alex was determined to be a lawyer and he passed the Mississippi State Bar Examination in Raleigh, Mississippi, in 1905. At the time of Alex's admission to the bar in Smith County, he was only 24 years of age.

On May 1, 1908, he married Jo Blanche Lovitt. From then until March 24, 1950, Blanche remained faithfully married to her one and only husband. In 1913, the star of this book, Joe Alex McFarland, was born to make it a family of five. Three Kids

Alex and his father were two of the organizational members of the Bay Springs Presbyterian Church, which was organized on May 31, 1908. He was elected as one of the two deacons at that time. In 1925, he was installed as one of the three ruling elders.

1929 was not a good year for the McFarlands. While Alex had his first grandbaby that year, he also experienced the crash of the stock market. This led to a time of little work and no money for legal fees.

Normally Alex was a very quiet and reserved man, and he rarely lost his temper. Two well known stories from the McFarland family are listed in the book as an exception to this rule: the "cow milking" story and the "Roman candle" story.

John Alexander McFarland

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The chapter develops the state-wide reputation that Alex had and shows why Alex was such a respected member of the State Bar. As can be seen in the book, Alex was a very hard-nosed attorney. Even if he found himself in a courtroom against his young son, Joe, he would not "soft-pedal" him. A well known example of this family clash was the famous murder trial that took place in Paulding in the late 1930's. The book goes into detail about the "trick" that Joe tried to play on Alex to assist the State with the prosecution.

There is no doubt that the reason for the great confidence of the public in Alex McFarland was his well-deserved reputation for integrity and honesty. As you look back on his ancestors observed in the prior chapters of the book, you can see where Joe McFarland's father obtained these virtues.