Cedar County, Iowa

Source: “Progressive Men of Iowa”

      Hon. William G.W. Geiger, of Tipton, is well known throughout the state as a lawyer and politician. He possesses a fine judicial mind and great mental and physical activity. He is a native of Cedar County, born on the old homestead entered by his father, in time to be old enough to just remember the return of the boys in blue from the war of the rebellion. It was there the long winter evenings were spent in study; [p.308] there was laid the foundation for a classical education, and there were acquired the habits of industry, which have enabled him to become a man of affairs.
      In September, 1874, he entered college at Carthage, Ill., where he took the classical course, graduating in the spring of 1879, at the age of 22 years. At that time he received the degree of bachelor of arts, and three years later the honorary degree of master of arts. He was a member of Cicero Literary society during his college days, and as such earned considerable distinction. He commenced the study of law in the office of Wolf & Landt at Tipton in the fall of 1879, and was admitted to the bar the following year, after which he read law in the office of Blake & Hormel, at Cedar Rapids.
      In the fall of 1881 he opened an office in Tipton and laid the foundation for a successful professional and business career. His first fee in the practice of his profession was earned in defending one charged with a felony. He secured the discharge of his client on preliminary hearing. He now enjoys a practice that is second to none in his native county. In his fifteen years of practice he has covered all lines of court work and has had entrusted to his care many extensive and complicated cases wherein the responsibility was great, in all of which he has performed his duties to the satisfaction of all concerned. He has the confidence of the courts before which he is in almost constant practice, and is held in the highest esteem by his brothers in the profession.
      Mr. Geiger is a democrat and says he expects to affiliate with that party as long as its principles come nearest to his convictions, but only so long. He places party second to individual conviction. He has never held office nor sought political preferment, believing it the best policy to keep out of politics as far as possible until such a time as one has become independent as he cares to be financially.
      However, in 1888, when Cedar county was in the republican column, he was nominated for county attorney on the democratic ticket, and through loyalty to party permitted his name to go before the people. Although defeated, he reduced the republican majority to fourteen, running far ahead of his ticket. This splendid endorsement led to his nomination for judge of the Eighteenth judicial district in 1890, and again in 1896, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge William P. Wolf, but he was defeated in both instances by reason of the political complexion of that section.
      Mr. Geiger has been a diligent reader all his life and has traveled extensively. His father’s home was well supplied with good books and the family custom of reading aloud stimulated the taste for profitable reading. Mr. Geiger feels grateful to his parents for the correct ideas they gave him in his boyhood, and especially for teaching him habits of industry.
      Jacob Geiger, father of William, was a native of Germany. He came to this country when 8 years of age, and was given a college education, after which he learned the trade of currier and tanner. He located in Cedar county in 1853, and died there in 1894, owning the same old farm he had entered, though it had grown to 520 acres. He was a candidate for congress on the greenback ticket against Hiram Price.
      The mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth Lichtenwalter. She was born near Taneytown, Md.; came to Iowa in 1852, and here met and married Jacob Geiger. Of this marriage there are seven children living: Mrs. Anna E. Cravens, of Lake City, Minn.; W. G. W. Geiger, the subject of this sketch; Judge A. C T. Geiger, of Oberlin, Kan.; Mrs. H. Ruth Emahizer, of Oberlin, Kan.; Mrs. M. Alice Spielman, of Fairfield, Iowa; Etta I. Geiger and Jacob L. Geiger, who are now with their mother at Long Beach, Cal.

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