By Ralphine Major
Those were the words our mother overheard one morning. We had stopped at a restaurant in Grainger County on our way to the annual Grainger County Tomato Festival. Some locals on the other side of the divider that separated our tables were evidently discussing an upcoming court case when one of them asked, “Who’s your lawyer?” I can imagine that scene taking place many times over the years. I can also imagine the same answer time and time again. Some visitors to the area may not have recognized the name. But, I did. Creed Daniel is Zane Daniel’s older brother, and Zane Daniel was one of the lawyers I worked for in the seventies.
There were lots of names to learn when I started working for Daniel & Duncan (Zane Daniel and John J. Duncan, Jr.). But I learned almost immediately who Creed was. Zane often talked about his family, and he talked about Creed a lot. I can still see Zane standing at the file cabinet pulling out a file and telling me about Creed. Zane had not been practicing law very long, and Creed was out of town. Creed had an upcoming court case, and Zane told me that he ended up settling the case for him. He called Creed and told him there was no need to rush back since the case had been settled.
I have learned much about the Grainger County native since I first met him the day he walked into the Daniel & Duncan law office looking for Zane. Creed and Zane both followed in their father’s footsteps. Their father, W. I. Daniel, was an attorney in Grainger County as well as County Judge. We lost Zane in 2006. I will share more in upcoming columns about Creed Daniel, the Grainger County lawyer who never strayed far from his roots. (To be continued).