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Hon. S.H. Elbert


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/6/2001 at 11:03:49

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
Hon. S.H. Elbert, who served as Chief Justice of Iowa, is a citizen in whom the people of Van Buren County feel a deep interest for he was reared in their midst and is know personally to many of them. The Judge was born in Ohio, in 1833, and received liberal educational advantages, graduating form the Ohio University. In looking about him for a business, which he desired to make his life work, his choice fell upon the legal profession and he fitted himself for the practice of law by a thorough course of study in Dayton Ohio. He entered upon his life work in Nebraska and had been a resident of that State but a short time until the people recognizing his superior ability and fitness for leadership made him a member of the Legislative Council of the Territory in 1860. In April of 1862, he was appointed Secretary of Colorado Territory, which position he occupied for four years. On the expiration of that time he retired to private life and resumed the practice of the law, but it was not long before he was again called to public duty, being appointed Governor of the Territory in 1873. The following year he went to Europe and on his return in 1875 was elected to the Supreme Bench. This election as Chief Justice of Colorado was the highest tribute that could have been paid to any man, and as one of the papers said of him, “during the six years of his service he won high opinions because of his rigid regard for the dignity of the court.” Later he was again called to the same office and with the same fidelity and faithfulness, discharged his duty for several years, but at length resigned on account of failing health. In order to recuperate he made a trip to Europe, where he spent some time visiting the countries of the East, returning in the spring of 1890.
On June 21, 1865, Judge Elbert was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Evans daughter of George Evans of Denver. After a short married life of three years her death occurred and with their only child her remains were laid away in the cemetery of Denver.
In speaking of the character of Judge Elbert we cannot do better than quote from a sketch written of him in 1882. It said: “For Judge Elbert, as a man, we have the warmest admiration; but he is no politician and the honors conferred upon him have been the result of respect for his character rather than the outcome of political work. It is for this reason, doubtless, that he is less known personally throughout the State than others of our prominent men. He has the regard of the bar and in the fellowship of friends there is no more genial companion that he. A man of a strong character and of the most sterling integrity, he has on the Supreme Bench, fulfilled the duties to the satisfaction of the entire State. The reserve that has characterized him has caused him to be frequently misunderstood among those who met him but casually; but an hour spent with him in social chat soon removes this feeling of reserve. He is a good story teller and joins heartily in a laugh—two qualities which are the best proof of fine fellowship.”
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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