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TRACY, George Stone


Posted By: Marilyn Holmes
Date: 3/9/2018 at 15:33:38

A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Vol. 2 -1896

GEORGE STONE TRACY, County Attorney of Des Moines county, Iowa, was born and reared in Burlington and is a son of one of Burlington's pioneers, a man who for many years occupied a leading place among its best citizens.

Mr. Tracy's parents, Joshua and Antoinette (Stone) Tracy were natives of Ohio and New York respectively, and in their family were seven children, six of whom are living, vis.: Samuel K., general solicitor of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad; Ellen T., wife of Henry C. Garrett, cashier of Mert's National Bank; Lucy D., wife of W.P. Brady, general agent for the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad, at Cedar Rapids; George S., whose name heads this article; Sada A., wife of Dudley A. Tyne, a grain merchant of Chicago; and Frank J., billing clerk for the above mentioned railroad at Burlington. The honored father, Joshua Tracy, was, as already stated, a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Belmont county, July 12, 1925, on his father's frontier farm, his parents being among the early settlers of the Western Reserve where were spent the first nineteen years of his life. He was educated at Beverly college, Ohio, and in the institute of Prof. Samuel L. Howe, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and in 1846 came west to Iowa, and from 1850 until the time of his death, May 18, 1884, he made his home in Burlington. Here he was for years engaged in the practice of law, and was repeatedly honored by high official position. He was a City Solicitor in 1853; was a member of the State Legislature in 1854; was District Attorney from 1858 until 1869; was appointed District Judge to fill a vacancy in 1869; was elected to the same office the following year, and filled it until the spring of 1874, when he resigned; was the president of the Burlington and Southwestern Railroad for some years; later was general solicitor of the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad, and from 1880 president of the last named company. From a Burlington paper, published shortly after he died, we clip the following paragraph:

"Judge Tracy was universally admired for the many excellencies of his character, his integrity, generosity and geniality. A man whose word was as good as his bond, of the strictest integrity, conscientious and fearless in the discharge of that which he believed to be his duty; with a keen sense of justice and honor, Judge Tracy merited that high regard in which the people of Burlington have held him during his residence of thirty years in this city. Charitableness was one of the cardinal traits of his character and he was generous to a fault. Though strong in his prejudices, he entertained respect for the opinion of others. He was an affectionate husband, and at his home his friends were ever welcome. Every wish of the family was gratified and those who were his guess were the recipients of a lavish hospitality. He was a citizen that Burlington can ill afford to lose."

Mrs. Tracy is still living and resides with her sons at the old homestead. Her father, Col. Hiram A. Stone, was a native of Albany, New York, and belonged to the Knickerbocker stock. He came out to Iowa at an early day, locating near Washington, in Washington county, and was for years engaged in farming. Also at one time he served as County Sheriff. He died in middle life. Mrs. Tracy is a member of the Presbyterian Church, of which her honored husband also was for years a prominent and active member. From this brief glimpse of is parentage, we turn now to a personal sketch of the son, George S., who has chosen his father's profession and who has entered upon a career which promises to be one of great usefulness.

Mr. George S. Tracy was born in Burlington, October 27, 1861. His education was received in the schools of this city, at Burlington University, and at Notre Dame University in Indiana, he being a graduate of the last name institution with the class of 1881. Then he entered the law department at the State University of Iowa, and in June, 1883, was admitted to the bar. He began practicing in Burlington at once, has practiced here ever since, and has attained a professional standing of which many an older lawyer might be justly proud. He was appointed Deputy County Attorney January 5, 1891, under Judge James. D. Smythe, now District Judge, and in April, 1891, to the office of County Attorney, Judge Smythe having resigned when appointed to the District Bench. In the fall of 1891 he was elected to the office, and has since filled it most efficiently, having been twice re-elected, in 1892 and in 1894. He takes an active interest in political affairs, affiliating with the Democratic party. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church.


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