The best way not to forget someone is to keep telling stories about them. Here's one of Byron Crawford's with a legal underpinning:
Attorney Edwin L. Cohen of Louisville gave me the item in hopes that readers would enjoy it, and apparently you have. It seems that when the Paducah, Tennessee and Alabama Railroad was built through Marshall, Calloway and other Western Kentucky and West Tennessee counties, it traversed an almost unbroken forest and vast grazing lands teeming with cattle, hogs and other livestock, a great number of which were killed by trains, causing the railroad no end of trouble.
There was, at that time, a young attorney in Murray named Burrell B. Linn, a smooth-spoken, diplomatic and friendly chap, with a flair for getting along with farmers. Linn was retained as a claim agent for the railroad.
It is recorded that, back in the 1890s, when a train ran over and killed six people, he settled the entire claim out of court for $150 per person.
But at last he met his match, when a train struck a Tennessee farmer's pet bull. The following is said to be an exact copy of a letter the farmer wrote to the vice president of the railroad:
This is the third letter I have writ you in regardst to my clame for enjury of my spotted bull, a pet of my fambly, which we named Daniel Webster, but which we called Buster for short.
I already told you twisct that yure trane hit my bull a-tween Holler Rock Junction and the second mile post comen this way. No reply from you except you sent me a blank to fill out -- and dam the blank. A Filerdelphia lawyer could not fill hit out.
As I said before frum whare the trane hit the bull it carried him a right smart peace beyond that pint. I tole you plane that the injine tore offen a peace of his hide averagen eight inches from his under lip then sorto zagonal over his shoulder and back, and then down his left side clear under to his nable on below part of his body.
The trane wheel also stripped off part of his hind hufes smack and smooth maken his fet very tender and sore so he can not walk good without me and my boy Joe holden him up with a pole when he travils to pond for water which is only about two rods off from where he is.
Before this axident he was a very threatening beast and mighty cantankerous. Since then he has a sad look and bawls most of the time, princepally at night disturbing us considerable. He don't eat scarcely anything except some dry meal because his jaws is mighty sore.
Tow of my nebors who I do not speak to say they will swar that this bull was struck by lighteen but they are a dam lie. He was hit by yure payoff speshial trane which come through my field a gallahooten at midnight of Mch. of the 20 with its whissle a screamen like hell.
Now if nothin was hitten by this trane why was it screamen like hell? You can't answer. Neither can they. Nor nobody.
Now lissen right clost. Me and Henry Hefferman has aprazed this bull of value at $eighteen dollars and six bits and he is as we say beyond doubtless a totle loss. Henry says he aint never saw sich damage to a bull in his day and time, and neither have I and my boy Joe says the same and we all say he will never be any more use for a bull hardly not even for befe.
So take notice of this. This is writ on Friday and maled on North bound trane. Onlessen I receve check in full . . . by a Thursday next I heard some people say that sum spikes are agoing to git loost from the rales of yure rode which will cause the rales to spred out when yure passenger trane number 104 cums along.
Then thar will be some big hedlines in the paducky papers saying that sum coches went into the barpit in my feld, that a injineer and farman were kilt and hurten sum passengers right bad and maybe yure dam conductor Aleck Fulton will get a leg broke or both legs and I don't give a dam for that either.
Further and more to that you nede not send that Pot bellied burl Linn yure clame agt. down here to settle with me and maybe talk me out of the whole buseness with honey words and honey words don't git no bakon at Stagners store over at Holler Rock Junction.
So you better send on the check as I advice you for I aint in no state of mind to be talked to or have my word disputen nor written you leters which don't git no answer.
P. S. Jest a slite hint. Effen you think you will git this case in Judge Harewoods cote you are offen your nut. Him and yure clame agt. is as thick as theves and I wuld sware him offen the bench in a minute for I seen him and yure clame agt. a playing pich trumps in Shorty Dugans sody warter place for sody warter they said but I guess it were for sumpin stronger for Shortys place aint nothen more or less than a salune and Shorty hisself saw this game if he will stick to what he said, which I very much doubt as burds of a fether always floch together in the cote house and I don't mean maybe.
Git that and git it good for you cant mess with me no longer.
The farmer got his check on the next train by special delivery, and claim agent Linn was later quoted as saying that if there had been air mail in those day, the check would have arrived within the hour.