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Ira Carlisle

Ira Carlisle, 1952-1963


IRA CARLISLE served on the Georgia Court of Appeals 1952-1963. He was born in Thomas County, Georgia, on June 10, 1885. He died in Thomasville on December 31, 1973.

He was educated in the public schools of Thomas County and attended Stanley's Business College in Thomasville, and read law in the office of R. C. Bell while operating his farm in Grady County. Judge Bell later served on both Georgia Appellate Courts. Carlisle was admitted to the Bar in 1911.

He married Mamie Drew in 1904. They had four children -Oze, Edwin, Ralph, and Maurise. Edwin and Ralph both served as judges, Edwin as City Court Judge in Cairo, and Ralph as State Court Judge in DeKalb County. See the memorial dated January 7,1975, in 130 Georgia Appeals Reports, pages XXIX-XLIV, for details as to family, history, and other data.

He practiced law in Cairo for many years; was Solicitor of Cairo City Court for eight years; Judge of the latter court for seven years; member of the House of Representatives from Grady County for two years; State Senator for four years; served on the Board of Stewards of Cairo Methodist Church for many years; was appointed Judge Emeritus upon retirement from the Court of Appeals.

It has been said about him: "He was a strict constructionist and believed absolutely in the law as a guiding force and final arbiter in determining the relationships and settling the disputes of the citizens." He possessed "the courage of his convictions and when the time came for him to stand and be counted he was not one to flinch."

As to philosophy, "He believed that truth was eternal; not changing or varying with time but static like a year without seasons...He realized human intelligence is not broad enough to grasp the vastness of the being of God and that truth is not limited only to what can be understood." He was noted for his memory by Chief Justice H. E. Nichols: "I sincerely believe he could recite from memory almost the entire Ga. Code Ann. He was blessed with the greatest power of recall 1 have ever known."