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Rockdale Historical Society to honor Clarence Vaughn

CONYERS - The public is invited to learn of the lasting imprints of a former Rockdale County leader during a tribute program next week.

The Historical Society will host a tribute to the late Judge Clarence Vaughn Jr. as part of the organization's quarterly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Olde Depot in Conyers.

"This man, I would say the majority of the people in the county either thought of him as some extremely wealthy human being, which he was ... or as a judge, which he was. But they never had contact with him as the warm human being as he was," said Jean Hambrick, Rockdale County Historical Society president. "So I thought by doing this we could capture a part of him that may not be revealed to the public."

Vaughn, a retired Superior Court judge and former state legislator, died in March 2007. He is most acclaimed for his hand in establishing a Rockdale judicial circuit in the 1980s, but he wore many hats and had a hand in helping many local organizations, so the tribute is deserving, according to Hambrick.

"I have put together a program with very short speeches beginning with his early life and growing up in Conyers," Hambrick said.

Longtime friend Harry Downs will speak during that part of the program.

"So that should be a fun time because it was quite different time when they were growing up in Conyers," Hambrick said.

Bill Lee will recount Vaughn's 22-year tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives, and Chief Superior Court Judge Sidney Nation is on the program to talk about Vaughn's time as the county's first Superior Court judge.

"At one time, just about every lawyer in the county started (out) in working at Vaughn & Barksdale," Hambrick said of Vaughn's former law firm.

The Georgia House of Representatives formally honored Vaughn for his "outstanding contributions to Georgia," in a 2007 resolution.

Among the speakers will also be two of Vaughn's grandchildren.

"All of this will be first-hand accounts," Hambrick said.

A few other people were selected to share highlights of Vaughn's life and Hambrick encouraged the public to come hear insights on the life and times of a man who loved Rockdale County.

"He was a wonderful, wonderful man," Hambrick said. "Not only a good judge, but he was a great man."