Program on crusading lawyer at Courthouse Square

Walter Morrow Nelson, a crusading Berrien County lawyer shown here in 1912, will be the subject of a talk at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the History Center at Courthouse Square in Berrien Springs.

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien County Historical Association invites the public to a talk about Walter Morrow Nelson, know as “The Most Popular Prisoner in the County Jail,” at 2:30 p.m. Sunday with Carrie Sharlow, at 313 N. Cass Street in Berrien Springs. Admission is free.

Not long after passing the bar exam, Nelson was involved in several cases with the Israelite House of David. It began when John W. Hansel sued founder Benjamin Purnell for $80,000, followed by the Bamford sisters filing suit against Purnell for sexual assault, and finally a one-man grand jury investigation. Due to disagreements between Nelson and the judge on the Bamford case and the findings of the investigation, Nelson, found in contempt of the court, was sentenced to thirty days in jail.