HON. WILLIAM G.W. GEIGER |
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.
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
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.