By Mark R. Ellis
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Additional info for Law and Order in Buffalo Bill's Country: Legal Culture and Community on the Great Plains, 1867-1910
Later he became a leading attorney in North Platte. By June 1867 the end of the transcontinental line moved on to Julesburg in present-day Colorado. Julesburg became the next of a series of “hell on wheels” towns, while North Platte resembled a deserted ghost town. When the construction crews moved on, so too did the saloonkeepers, prostitutes, gamblers, and traveling salesmen. Only the railroad employees in the newly constructed shops at North Platte, the soldiers at the post, and a few businessmen and ranchers remained.
At the April term of district court a new grand jury—this time legally impaneled—reviewed the same evidence and indicted Burley for a second time. A new judge, Samuel Maxwell, now presided over the Third Judicial District. Again the court appointed counsel at the county’s expense, and to no one’s surprise both Brown and Hinman represented Burley. Burley’s defense State of Nebraska v. John Burley 15 lawyers once again went to work, ﬁling papers to quash the indictment, postpone the proceedings, and gain a change of venue.
Judge Crounse opened the district court session by admitting out-of-town lawyers C. P. Hall and Adolpheus Burges to the bar. 16 The court then turned to Burley’s murder trial. Unable to afford counsel, Burley ﬁled a legal document with the court known as an “indigent afﬁdavit,” which allowed Judge Crounse to appoint counsel—at the expense of the county—for the defendant. This was not an unusual practice. 17 The court even allowed some defendants to select their own attorney. Michael Fillion, on trial for murder in 1876, ﬁled an indigent afﬁdavit and asked the court to appoint C.