Cooper County’s first lawyer was called “Old Sarcasm” by friend and foe alike because of his sharp wit, his keen legal mind, and his outspokenness. He came from an area which produced governors and judges. When he was angry he was a firebrand. His indignation was expressed in the sharpest terms. But he was so respected that when he died at the age of 59 the Missouri Supreme Court passed a resolution to wear mourning for thirty days. The stories of Peyton Hayden, the sarcastic wit, the practical joker, the benefactor of young lawyers, are found in various references. Less available are specific indications of his capabilities as an attorney, but his name is often listed as representing clients before the Supreme Court of Missouri. That in itself is testimony to the regard in which he was held.
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