CALL, Hon. Rhydon M.
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
III, page 245, 1923.
CALL, Hon. RHYDON M., who is presiding on the bench of the United States District Court of
the Southern District of Florida, has long held prestige as one of the representative legists
and jurists of his native state and after having made a splendid record as a member of the
bar of the City of Jacksonville he was appointed judge of the Circuit Court of the Fourth
Judicial Circuit, of which office he continued the incumbent, through four successive
appointments, for the long period of twenty-four years. On the 1st of April, 1913, he
was appointed to his present Federal office, which he has dignified by his distinguished
judicial ability, his sterling character and his admirable administration.
Judge CALL was born at Fernandina, judicial center and metropolis of Nassau County, Florida
on the 13th of January, 1858, and is a son of GEORGE W. and SARAH STARK (MAYS) the former
of whom was born in Kentucky and the latter in South Carolina, her death having occurred
within a few months after the birth of her only son, RHYDON M., the other two children having
been daughters. The father became one of the able members of the Florida bar, was engaged
in practice at Fernandina and Jacksonville and had developed a substantial and representative
professional business prior to the Civil war. When the great conflict between the states
of the North and the South was precipitated, he promptly subordinated all personal interests
to tender his aid in defense of the Confederate cause. He became captain of a company in
the Davis Light Infantry, and he won promotion to the office of major in the Second Florida
Regiment of Infantry, leading his command in many engagements, and finally meeting his death
in the battle of Seven Pines, in 1862.
Statements in the foregoing paragraph show that Judge CALL was doubly orphaned when he was
a child of but four years, but kinsfolk saw that he was given proper care and ample opportunities
in the period of his youth. After an excellent preliminary education along academic lines
he entered the law department of Washington & Lee University, at Lexington, Virginia, in
which fine old institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1878 and with the
degree of bachelor of Laws. In the same year he established himself in the practice of
his profession at Jacksonville, Florida, where he has since maintained his home and where
he has stood exponent of loyal and progressive citizenship. He proved his powers as a
vigorous and resourceful trial lawyer and well fortified counselor, and his long service
in judicial office has given him most comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the involved
science of jurisprudence. The first public office of which Judge CALL was the incumbent
was that of member of the City Council of Jacksonville, and he had built up a large and
representative law business when he was called to the bench of the Circuit Court. His
service in a judicial capacity has covered a period of virtually thirty years, and this
fact in itself offers most effective voucher for his judicial ability and his effective
service in the administration of justice. The Judge is a leader in the local councils
of the democratic party and is one of the honored and influential citizens of the fair
old city that has long represented his home.
In the year 1877 was solemnized the marriage of Judge CALL to Miss IDA HOLMES, whose death
occurred in 1891. Of this union were born three children, all of whom are deceased.