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John Benjamin Guerry

John Benjamin Guerry, 1933-1940


JOHN B. GUERRY served on the Georgia Court of Appeals January 1, 1933, until May 16, 1940. He was born at Georgetown, Georgia, on August 31, 1882, and died May 16, 1940.

He graduated from Mercer University in 1905 with a B.S. degree and in 1907 with a B.L. degree from the Law School of that college.

He was married on June 24, 1908, to Ophelia Smith. They had four children. See the memorial dated May 12, 1941, in 64 Georgia Appeal Reports, pages 883-892.

He was elected Solicitor of Quitman County City Court. He moved to Montezuma, Georgia, in 1908 and opened his law office. He served as Solicitor of the City Court of Oglethorpe for 13 years. He served as chairman of the executive committee of the Georgia Bar Association. He was a member of the American Bar Association and the American Law Institute. He served as chairman of the Montezuma Board of Education for 25 years; was a Deacon of the First Baptist Church for 30 years; teacher of men's Bible class at his church for 27 years; served on the Board of Trustees of Mercer University for 20 years and was chairman of the Endowment Committee.

At his memorial, praise was heaped upon Judge Guerry by many friends. "He was a scholarly man. Not many men know the history of this nation better than he, especially of the conflict between the North and South. He was conversant with the finest that literature contains. He loved law, his chosen profession, and had a clearer and more discriminating mind in its interpretation than we often find." Others said: "Temperate in his life, he carefully avoided all habits that would undermine his physical or mental powers... He entered into the prosecution of his duties as Judge of this Court with a tireless energy and with an indomitable will to do his work quickly and well. He perhaps prepared for the submission to this Court the cases allotted to him in a shorter period of time than any other Judge." He believed all citizens deserved "a speedy administration of Justice.”