A Great History

Pictured above from left to right - Roy D. Campbell, Jr. 1913-2000 – – Fred C. DeLong, Jr. 1933- 1993 - The Greenville law firm, Campbell DeLong, LLP, celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2011.

Founded in 1861 as Dixon & Percy, in Greenville, Washington County, Mississippi, the firm has continued to this time through successor partners. According to the current managing partner, Lawrence D. Wade, it is believed to be one of the oldest Mississippi law firms in continuous succession.

W.A. Percy and Judge Richard L. Dixon were the firm’s founders at the time when Holt Collier the Civil War was beginning. Shortly after the war ended, a notable case tried by W.A. Percy was his successful defense of the legendary Holt Collier who was charged with the murder of a federal officer. Collier, formerly a slave who became a solider in the Confederate Army, was tried by a military court martial at Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1867. Percy’s advocacy secured a defense verdict for his client. Collier later became famous for guiding President Theodore Roosevelt on the 1902 “Teddy Bear” hunt in Mississippi.

W.A. Percy continued practicing law with Judge William Yerger in Greenville into the late nineteenth century, having been joined by his son LeRoy Percy, and others. Percy, in addition to practicing law, served as a United States Senator representing Mississippi. LeRoy Percy’s son, William Alexander Percy, who had served in France as an Army officer in World War I, also joined his father’s firm. Both Percys campaigned extensively and publicly against Ku Klux Klan activity in Washington County during the early twentieth century. William Alexander Percy was also a writer, well known for his book, Lanterns on the Levee, and various works of poetry.

After his father’s death, William Alexander Percy and Hazlewood Farish named the firm Percy & Farish. Following William Alexander Percy’s death, the firm became Farish & Keady in 1940 with the addition of William C. Keady, who quickly earned a reputation as an able trial lawyer. In 1957, the firm added Roy D. Campbell, Jr. and in 1962, Fred C. Delong, Jr, and the firm’s name became Keady, Campbell & DeLong. The three partners were well known, not only for their courtroom skills but also for their representations of individuals and business interests in matters other than litigation. In 1968, William Keady was confirmed as a United State District Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi where he served with distinction during a time when Mississippi dealt with