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Arch Ferrell

Courtesy of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
A Brilliant Lawyer
Arch Ferrell was from Seale, born into a well established family of lawyers. Ferrell served as a captain in the army during WWII. Upon his return to Russell County he was appointed circuit solicitor by Governor Jim Folsom. Ferrell was known as a brilliant lawyer.He was also known to have a drinking problem and sharp temper.

A Violent Temper
In 1953 he broke the jaw of one of his close friends, Jimmie Putnam. A woman in the RBA Auxiliary said that Ferrell would call her home and threaten her without identifying himself. She knew him and recognized his voice.

Position of Power
Ferrell bragged about his involvement in the Phenix City rackets, claiming that he was in charge of it all. With his position as solicitor he had the power to prosecute or excuse anyone he wanted to. Ferrell would advise Shepherd, Matthews and other gamblers on numerous matters.

Vote Fraud
Following the primary election in May 1954, Ferrell and Attorney General Si Garrett changed the numbers on a recapitulation sheet provided by Lamar Reid, giving Albert Patterson's opponent Lee Porter extra votes. In June Ferrell was indicted by the Jefferson County grand jury on vote fraud. He was acquitted.

Murder Acquittal
When Albert Patterson was murdered in Phenix City upon being named the Democratic nominee for attorney general, Ferrell worked with Chief Deputy Sheriff Albert Fuller to find the murderers. After several weeks of no reported leads, the acting attorney general Bernard Sykes removed Ferrell from the murder investigation. Eventually, Solicitor Ferrell, Chief Deputy Sheriff Albert Fuller and Attorney General Si Garrett were all indicted for the murder of Albert Patterson. Fuller was convicted. Ferrell, who had been acquitted of vote fraud in Jefferson County, was acquitted of murder in Russell County.

Albert Fuller
Albert Patterson
Hugh Bentley

John Patterson
Arch Ferrell
Si Garrett
Hoyt Shepherd



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Copyright December 3, 2002.
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