Henry Green Lear* - 1859/1929
Article from the Shreveport (LA) Times, dated September 4, 1914.
INTERESTING CIVIL SUIT ON DOCKET - SON SEEKS TO HAVE MOTHER INTERDICTED AND GET POSSESSION OF HER PROPERTY - DEFENDANT AN OLD SLAVE - DENIES THAT SHE IS MENTALLY UNBALANCED AND DECLARES THAT SON IS TRYING TO FRAUDULENTLY GET POSSESSION OF HER PROPERTY - INTERESTING DISCLOSURES IN PETITION OF DEFENDANT
One of the interesting suits coming up for consideration at the next term of the civil section of the district court, is that of Henry G. Lear against Elizabeth Barnhill, his mother, wherein the plaintiff seeks to have the defendant interdicted and secure the control of her money and property, which it is said, amounts to about $15,000. Both parties are negroes, Lear being about 55 years old and his mother about 80. Wise, Randolph, Rendall & Freyer represent the plaintiff, and Mabry & Foster will appear for the defendant. In his petition Lear alleges that his mother has lost her mind and is therefore unable to administer her affairs, and he fears that she may be defrauded of her property unless he is put in possession of it and allowed to handle it for her.
In her answer to the petition of Lear, his mother denies that she is mentally unbalanced or in any manner a subject for interdiction. She admits that she is the mother of Lear, but says that he is the illegitimate son of a white father, and born at a time when marriage was prohibited between members of the Caucasian and negro races.
Lear was born, her petition recites, in 1859, in Macon County, Missouri. Defendant came to Louisiana in 1861 with the Barnhill family, her son having been sold before her departure to a Dr. Tiffin. After the war she says she wrote to Missouri and inquired about her son. About the time he reached his majority, she says, he came to Louisiana, settling in Natchitoches parish, but at no time ever living with her or in any manner helping her to acquire her present property. She further sets up that in 1912 she attempted to adopt Lear as her son by notarial act, and she now finds that said adoption is without effect in law for the reason that the law prohibits the adoption of illegitimate children.
Under the law parties bringing interdiction suits must stand in damages if they fail to make good their allegations, and in the event of Lear's failure to have his mother interdicted, suit will be filed against him to recover damages for losses his mother has sustained by reason of the suit against her. It is also understood that suit to recover two lots given to Lear after his adoption will be filed. Lear, it is said, owns considerable property.
note:* Henry Green Lear married Martha Hamlin