Source: from reprint of "Clarke County History", Lewis Pub., Chicago, 1886. p. 209.
The first court was held at Osceola in 1854 by Judge Townsend. Every neighborhood seemed anxious to bring something before the new tribunal, and one of the first cases was between Alfred Rhodes and his son-in-law John Campbell, both of Liberty Township. They had traded horses, and each accused the other of lying. Then each sued the other for slander. This was in a justice's court- 'Squire Miller's. Then it was necessary to transfer the scene of war to the Circuit Court, before which the whole neighborhood was summoned as witnesses.
William Campbell, an uncle of the John Campbell concerned in the suit, testified and then the other side decided to impeach "old lyin' Bill Campbell." Al. Stacy was first called up, and swore that Bill Campbell had a bad reputation for veracity. Another neighbor testified in the same strain, and then another. To the fourth witness, John Lambert, was then put the usual question:
"How is Mr. Campbell regarded in your neighborhood as to truthfulness, etc.?"
"Oh," drawled he, "I guess he's about an average of the neighborhood!"
This, in connection with the preceding testimony as to Campbell's lack of reliability, was considered an excellent joke on "the neighborhood," and was well remembered through the county for a long time. The jury in this case gave Campbell one cent, and Rhodes 62 1/2 cents, each to pay costs.
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