The Courts and Legal Profession of Iowa: Biographies

The following information is from "The Courts and Legal Profession of Iowa" beginning on page 572 of Vol I.

So far as can be ascertained, at the time of holding the first term of court in Clinton county no lawyers resided in the county. The first resident attorney, as reported upon the authority of Hon. A. R. Cotton, himself one of the earliest in the county, was Samuel R. Murray, who located in Camanche in 1840. He died at Dubuque in 1844, while in attendance upon the public land sales. J. S. Stowers came to DeWitt in 1844. He is still living at Wheatland, though not in active practice. Others soon followed.

William E. Leffingwell came from Muscatine county in 1845, and located in DeWitt. It is reported that for a time he lived on a farm near Elvira, which report is probably true. Mr. Leffingwell afterwards moved to Lyons, and later practiced in Chicago, but retained his residence in Lyons, where he died August 13, 1884. Judge Leffingwell was tall, erect, dark of hair, eyes and complexion. He was prominent in Masonic circles and a full lenth picture of him in full Masonic uniform is one of the ornaments of the consistory rooms in Lyons. He was a natural orator, and among the traditions of the Clinton county bar are the stories of his eloquence and legal victories. His fame as an orator and advocate soon became more than state-wide.

A. R. Cotton was admitted to practice by the district court of Clinton county, May, 1848. He lived first at DeWitt, then at Lyons, finally moving to Clinton. Though rather short of stature and slight of build, he was one of the intellectual giants of his time, which, with his unswerving integrity and fidelity to his clients' interests, soon brought him a large and lucrative practice. He was elected to congress from this, the Second district of Iowa, in 1870, and served two terms. He moved to California in 1883, where he has built up a large business, and is still hale and hearty and in active practice. In this connection an extract from a communication to the Lyons Mirror, written by Judge Chas. A. Pollack, of North Dakota district bench, residing in Fargo, upon reading in that paper an account of the death of Hon. Lyman A. Ellis, will be of interest.

"In 1864, when living at the county seat, DeWitt, I had occasion every day not only to see Mr. Ellis, but all the other attornesy who practiced at the bar. You will remember the court was presided over by that prince of judges, Judge John F. Dillon, then of Davenport, now of New York city. In those days there was Dillon on the bench, and at the bar Judge Cotton, the leading civil lawyer, with Leffingwell (W. E.), the most prominent defender of criminals (or innocent men I had better say, because most of the juries did what Leffingwell demanded), and Lyman A. Ellis as public prosecutor. Being only eleven years old then, I was not engaged on either side of the legal affrays, but was happy only when selling apples to judge, counsel, witnesses and jury alike.

"When either of those four gentlemen would 'get down to business' in their respective departments, the apple trade went completely out of my mind. In boyish fancy I thought them the greatest and most intellectual men on earth.

"Fortunate indeed is any community to have had in its formative period men at the bar and on the bench with such high professional aims as Judge Dillon and Messrs. Ellis, Leffingwell and Cotton. In saying this, one does not necessarily approve of every individual act of each--for they all had their faults--who does not?--but for sterling integrity, patient industry, faithfulness to their clients, love of keeping high the honor of the profession, and withal a fondness for our institutions and the government under which we live, they one and all were peers, and were outrivalled by no others.

"Whenever the history of the courts of Clinton county may be written, let there appear, with words of the highest praise, the names of Dillon, Ellis, Cotton, Leffingwell--two of whom have now entered the silent city of the dead."

Daniel W. Ellis was admitted in 1854. He was circuit judge for nine years. After retiring from the bench he removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he still resides.

Nathaniel A. Merrill was admitted May 15, 1856. He resided at DeWitt, was a member of the Iowa house of representatives, later state senator for one term, again a member of the house, and he died in December, 1896.

Isaac Baldwin was admitted in Massachusetts in 1853; in Iowa in 1856. He resided in Clinton until about 1900 when he removed to Chicago, where he still resides.

Joseph H. Flint was admitted in Maine in 1850, and in Iowa in 1856. He located in Lyons, removed to Clinton, and died September 21, 1891.

Jesse Stein was admitted in 1860, located at Wheatland, where he died. (Date unknown.)

A. J. Leffingwell was admitted in Muscatine in 1860. He was a brother of Wm. E. Leffingwell. He removed to Lyons in 1861; was the last judge of the circuit court; served a portion of a term as judge of the district court, and died in 1888.

Mrs. J. Ellen Foster was admitted in 1874. She resided in Clinton, and was the first woman in Iowa admitted to practice law, and the first to be admitted to the supreme court of any state. Mrs. Foster is now a resident of Washington, D. C., and her fame as a lecturer and temperance advocte has become national. (See Also: Judith Ellen Foster)

E. C. Foster was admitted in 1864; located in Clinton; removed to Washington, D. C., where he still resides.

Andrew Howatt was admitted in 1870; located in DeWitt; served one term as county attorney and one as district judge. He removed to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he has built up a large practice and still resides.

Chas. A. Smith was admitted in 1874. He located in Clinton, became United States internal revenue collector, and died in January, 1881.

I. R. Andrews was admitted in 1872; located in Clinton; removed in 1889 to Omaha, where he enjoyed a good practice, and died in 1905.

John I. Mullany was admitted in Dubuque in 1872. He came to Clinton, but returned to Dubuque, where he is now deputy clerk of the district court.

The foregoing is, of course, only a partial list of the more prominent of the earlier attorneys who practiced in the Clinton county courts. Among those who belonged to a later period and are still remembered as leaders at this bar, though now passed to the great beyond, are the following:

Eli Stillman Bailey, or, as he was familiarly known to his friends and associates, Major Bailey, was born in Kingsville, Ashtabula county, Ohio, July 22, 1827. He was the son of Rev. Jacob and Sybil Bailey, and the grandson of Colonel Silas Bailey, a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was for some years a student at Madison University, Hamilton, New York, but graduated in 1849 from Union College. In the fall of 1849 he entered the law office of James W. Nye, then judge of Madison county, afterwards governor of Neveda, and United States senator from that state. In 1855 he went to Syracuse, was admitted to the bar, and soon afterward entered the law firm of Forbes, Nye & Sedgwick in New York City. In 1856 he came to Clinton county and located at DeWitt. In 1857 he married Annie E. Sears of DeRuyter, New York. The marriage was an exceedingly happy one. Two daughters, Mary and Annie, were born to them. He was never so happy as when in the midst of his family. Conspicuous among his virtues, which were many, was his tender love. This endearing quality led him to preserve all the beautiful amenities of life in his home circle, which was a model of affection and courtesy. In 1860 he went to Janesville, Wisconsin, and formed a law partnership with his brother-in-law, I. C. Sloan, but when the loud clamor of war called for men, he entered the service of his country and was commissioned paymaster in the army with the rank of major. The rank of lieutenant-colonel by brevet was conferred upon him at the close of the war. In 1866, upon leaving the service, he returned to Iowa and settled at Clinton where, until his death, November 5, 1892, he continued to practice his practice his profession. From 1889 to 1892 he associated with him A. P. Barker, under the firm name of Bailey & Barker. he was eminently a corporation lawyer, and at the time of his death represented all of the railroads running into Clinton, as well as most of the important corporations of that city. He was president of the Merchant's National Bank, a director in the Clinton National, a 32nd degree Mason, and, with the exception of one year, was the president of the Wapsipinicon Club since its organization. As a lawyer he was one of the leaders of the bar of this county and ranked among the best in Iowa. His name will be found as counsel in many of the most important cases decided by our supreme court.

George B. Young was the son of Rev. ---- Young, a Presbyterian clergyman. he was admitted to practice in this county in 1862, and for a time resided in Camanche, afterwards moving to DeWitt, and later to Clinton, where he continued to reside and practice until his death, in July, 1893. He was county judge from 1866 to 1868, when that court was abolished and later served as district judge for three years, resigning to enter practice with Walter I. Hayes. He was not a trial lawyer, but early became one of the best examples of the modern business lawyer. As a result, he built up the largest practice in the line of commercial and business law ever held by any Clinton lawyer. He was for years the general Western attorney for Marshall Field & Co., and traveled from Michigan to Texas and California, looking after the larger interests of that great concern. He used to tell with much glee a story, not without morals, of one of his Texas experiences. A large dry goods dealer in that state had failed, owing Marshall Field & Co. about twenty thousand dollars, and Judge Young hastened to the scene of the wreck to do what he could to secure all, or a portion at least of that debt. He found that the failure was complete and hopeless. The debtor, however, Col. B. ----- we will call him, owned a magnificent hotel building, worth much more than Judge Young's claim, entirely unencumbered, in a fine suite of rooms of which he and his wife resided, thereby making it his homestead, exempt under the laws of that state. The Judge called upon the Colonel; told him his errand and was received with the utmost cordiality. "I am sorry, sah, very sorry, indeed for this calamity. Marshall Field & Co. were among my best friends and it cuts me to the quick, sah, to have them lose a penny through me." The Judge appreciated this fine sentiment and suggested that his principals did not need the money and that, with proper security at a very low rate of interest, he was prepared to give the Colonel any desired lenth of time. "But, sah," responded Colonel B -------, "You see I have no means, sah, of giving any security glad as I shall be to do so." Judge Young suggested the hotel as being unencumbered and ample. "That, sah," said the Colonel, "is by law my homestead, and to encumber that is impossible." After some further diplomatic talk the Judge became a little impatient and asked the Colonel how he could pose as an honest man and yet take advantage of a legal technicality and so withhold so valuable a property from his creditors, at which the Colonel indignantly responded, "Dam me, sah, Dam me, do you expect a man to be more honest THAN THE LAWS OF HIS COUNTRY?" a doctrine which apparently meets the approval of many citizens, from railroad and oil magnates and packers down.

Judge Young was an active member of the Presbyterian church, a 32nd degree Mason, very public spirited and, during his life, one of Clinton's most active and useful citizens.

Albert Russell McCoy was born at Fulton, Illinois, September 24, 1846. He was the son of James and Elizabeth McCoy. His father, "Judge McCoy" as he was widely and familiarly known throughout Northwestern Illinois, was a successful lwayer, a pioneer in Whiteside county and prominent in the business and political affairs of that part of the state. The schools of Fulton and Western Union College furnished an education for the son. He studied law in his father's office and was admitted to practice in 1869. While still a young man he was a controlling influence in politics, and served as a member of the board of commissioners of Whiteside county and was for two years its chairman. Afterwards he represented that county in the state legislature, being the younges member in the house. His father and brother were republicans, but he embraced the democratic faith, thus early in his career giving evidence of his independent mind and faithful adherence to his own convictions. In 1870 he was married to Miss Fanny A. Conger. To them was born one son, Russell B., now a practicing attorney at Clinton as a member of the firm of Ellis & McCoy, his partner being Frank W. Ellis, son of Lyman A. Ellis, with whom the subject of this sketch was in partnership for several years under the same firm name. He came to Clinton in 1875, and at once entered upon a general practice, which increased in size and importance until at the time of his death his firm undoubtedly did the largest business of any in Clinton county. He held the office of city solicitor of Clinton city, and for seven years, from February 23, 1888, to January 1, 1895, he was county attorney of Clinton county. He was offered by his brethren at the bar the appointment as judge of the district court, and could have had the nomination at the hands of his party as a candidate for congressional honors. He declined both, however, to cling to his practice as a lawyer. For a long time he was the law partner of Hon. Lyman A. Ellis, and later of his brother, Hon. W. J. McCoy. Early in 1895 he and his family first learned that he was the victim of the disease which finally caused his untimely demise. He then abandoned his practice and in the sunny south sought to regain his lost health. It was too late, however, and on the 30th of September, 1896, he crossed to join the immortals.

Mr. McCoy was unusually gifted as an advocate and orator. He was particularly brilliant at the forum, and when important criminal trials came on and he was incited to his best by worthy opponents, such as J. S. Darling, who was one of the leading defenders, the courthouse would be thronged with those drawn by the spell of his eloquence. With all his natural ability, however, he abated not one iota of any effort he deemed necessary to properly prepare his cases, and beyond doubt his untimely end was brought about by his unceasing devotion, day and night, to his professional duties. As is usual with great orators, Mr. McCoy possessed a fund of humor which he often used effectively. As an illustration: At one time he was employed by an eastern clergyman, who had been appointed by the Clinton county court guardian of the funds of a minor, to prepare and present for approval an annual report of such guardian. The business was all transacted by mail, and, after the report had been properly approved, Mr. McCoy, at the guardian's request, sent him his bill for the services rendered. The bill was quite moderate, but to the mind of the frugal clergyman it was somewhat large; so he promptly demurred to its size, closing his letter by the remark that he would suggest that hereafter in making out his bills the lawyers first consult the Scriptures, in which he would find the true rule for such matters. Mr. McCoy in due time replied that he had carefully read and considered the advice given, but not being very familiar with the book referred to, had given it to such study as his time permitted, and that the only text he had found which seemed to him to apply to the case in hand, was Luke X, 7, "The laborer is worthy of his hire." The fee was promptly remitted without further comment. As citizen and in his party counsels he wielded a wide influence, though he was not ambitious for political honors for himself. He numbered among his friends people in all walks of life.

Walter I. Hayes was born in Marshall, Michigan, on the 9th day of December, 1841, the son of Dr. Andrew L. and Clarissa Selden (Hart) Hayes. He died at the same place March 14, 1901. Few members of the Clinton county bar have attained so wide an acquaintance and reputation as he. He received his early education at a fine private school of his native town, and at the age of nineteen began the study of law in the office of Hughes & Wooley. He graduated from the law school at Ann Arbor in 1863. In 1866 he came to Clinton and entered into partnership with Nathaniel B. Baker, adjutant-general of Iowa. General Baker moved to Des Moines in about two years and Judge Hayes continued to practice alone until 1872, when he entered into partnership with Judge Geo. B. Young. This partnership continued until 1875, when Judge Hayes, having been recommended by the bar of the district, was appointed to the office of district judge by Governor C. C. Carpenter. This position he held until he was elected to congress in 1886. He served as congressman for three terms, and upon retiring resumed practice in co-partnership with his nephew, A. L. Schuyler. During his career he was city solicitor of the city of Clinton, for four terms, and in 1876 he was the democratic candidate for justice of the supreme court of Iowa. June 28, 1865, he married Frances Coan, daughter of W. F. Coan, founder of the Clinton National Bank. This firm was one of the leading and successful law firms of Clinton. At the time of his death it represented the C. M. & St. P. Ry. Co. there, and many other important interests. He was a director in the Merchant's National Bank.

Judge Hayes was a man of energy and of strong, decided character in whatever position he was placed. He achieved a wide success, had many friends, and there were few indeed who were not attracted by his genial kindness. He died of heart failure while on a visit to his old home, and was in active practice up to that time.

Lyman A. Ellis was born near Burlington, Vermont, March 7, 1833. The family home was on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, and in that locality he attended the district school and at the age of eighteen began teaching. In this way he was enabled to meet the expenses of an academic course in Bakersfield and Colchester, and to pursue a course of lectures in a law school in Vermont. He was admitted to the bar, and in 1855 came to Clinton, where he arose at once to prominence, and ever afterward, until he retired in 1902, maintained a place in the foremost ranks of the profession in this state. In 1861 he was elected district attorney of this judicial district, consisting then, as now, of Clinton, Scott, Muscatine and Jackson counties. In this office he became famous for his skill and eloquence as an advocate and trial lawyer, and was re-elected three times, holding the office for sixteen years, retiring in 1877. In 1893 he was elected to the state senate, served one term, and declined a re-nomination.

In his early practice Senator Ellis was associated with his brother, Daniel W. Ellis. Later he was in co-partnership with A. R. McCoy, under the firm name of Ellis & McCoy, and, after the dissolution of that firm, until his retirement, was engaged in practice with his son, Frank W. Ellis. For some little time before his demise he was in feeble health and did not appear in court, though he never lost interest in all that pertained to the profession. He died June 8, 1906.

As a lawyer Senator Ellis was a powerful advocate, well leaned in the law, and of great resources. As an orator he had few equals. Tall, spare, and commanding of stature, with a wonderful command of language, he would convulse an audience or jury with his quaint humor, the next moment melt them to tears with pathos, or rouse them to indignation by his fiery denunciations of wrong.

He was eminently a self-made man, and in the course of the making had acquired a manner of speaking and gesticulating which was very striking and peculiarly his own, and thereby hangs a story illustrative of his native and original humor. This story is told in a recent publication as being related by Secretary Shaw, who knew Senator Ellis well.

During the trial of a case in the distict court at Tipton, Cedar county, he was opposed by a young lawyer who had never met him before. The case was one in which the public were largely interested and the court room was crowded. Mr. Ellis was for the plaintiff and had the opening and closing to the jury. His young opponent realized the importance of winning his case, and was watchful for any means of making an impression. As the Senator made his opening address his young opponent watched him closely and thought his opportunity had come, so, during his answer, he would pull down his cuffs, stroke his chin, finger his collar and made gesture for gesture all of those characteristic movements with which those were accustomed to hear Mr. Ellis speak were so familiar. The young man was a good imitator and soon had the jurors and audience laughing at his antics; so he rushed on to his fate and sat down well pleased with himself. The Senator rose to reply and said, "The young man who has just preceded me has all the bearing and gestures of a cultured gentleman, but his ideas and language are those of an imbecile." A shout went up that nearly raised the roof. History does not give the result of the trial.

Senator Ellis was married November 12, 1856, to Miss Mary Buckley, who survives him. Of his six children, two are successful lawyers; one, Daniel B., of the firm of Rogers, Cuthbert & Ellis, of Denver, Colorado, the other Frank W., of Clinton; two are successful business men; the fifth, a physician; while the daughter, Gertrude M., is the wife of one of the prominent business men and financiers of Clinton, Garrett E. Lamb.

William C. Grohe was born at Jefferson county, New York, in 1849. His father's family came from Germany, settling in Northern New York in 1818, and his mother's family were from New York State. They came to Iowa in 1860. His education was had at the public schools and Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He read law with Ellis Bros., of Clinton, Iowa, for two years and was admitted to practice in 1872. The same year he began the practice of law at Lyons with Nathan Corning. This partnership continued for five years. In 1893 he joined partnership with his nephew, W. H. Childs, which continued until the death of Mr. Grohe in 1898. He was a republican and took active interest in politics all his life, but never held an office.

Edward S. James came to Clinton from Mechanicsville in 1891. He was then about thirty years of age. He had been in practice at that place for some years. He was a young man of more than usual brillancy, and soon acquired a practice here and was appointed by Judge Shiras referee in bankruptcy. He died in November, 1902.

The Clinton County bar, at present, is composed of about fifty-five lawyers, of whom, however, only about thirty-nine are in actual practice of their profession.

Charles W. Chase was born December 8, 1835, in London, New Hampshire. He attended the common schools at Groton, and took an academic course at New Hampton, and attended Dartmouth College two years, and left college in 1861 to go to the war. In 1862 he was admitted to the New Hampshire bar. He read law with Col. Thomas J. Whipple of Laconia, New Hampshire. Mr. Chase came to Clinton, Iowa, in 1865, and at once began the practice of law with Myron H. Tyrrell. This partnership lasted one year. After that he was alone in general practice.

Mr. Chase was Captain of Company G. 12th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry from 1862 until 1865. He was clerk of the court of Clinton county for four years and judge of the circuit court, second circuit, seventh district of Iowa, for four years; solicitor for the city of Clinton for two years; also mayor two years. In 1893 he formed a partnership with H. W. Seaman under the firm name of Chase & Seaman. He is president of the Weston Company; a director in the Anderson & Winter Manufacturing Company and in the City National Bank.

Patrick B. Wolfe was born in Chicago, Cook county, Illinois, October 7, 1849, the son of John R. and Hannora (Buckley) Wolfe. Both father and mother came from Ireland in 1848. The family came to Clinton county May 5, 1854. Patrick B. walked six miles to attend public schools of Clinton. He was two years at Christian Brothers' academy at La Salle, Illinois. He then took a two years' course at the State University of Iowa, and was admitted to the bar in 1870. He began to practice alone January, 1871, at DeWitt, Clinton county. Later for ten years he was in partnership with W. A. Colton. He continued there until May, 1891, when he removed his office to Clinton, leaving his family at DeWitt until October, 1893, when they moved to Clinton. Since resigning the office of district judge in 1904, he has formed a partnership with his son, John L., and they are doing a general law business. He was elected city attorney of DeWitt in 1874, and held the office for five or six years, until he resigned. In 1878, he was elected on the school board, remaining on same until he resigned in 1893. He was in the state senate in 1885, served until he resigned in 1891, when he had yet the last half of second term to serve. He was appointed judge of the district court November 15, 1891, by Horace Boies, and served until September, 1904, when he resigned, the appointment having been made through written request by practically every member of the bar in the seventh judicial district. He is a democrat.

Joseph S. Darling was born March 3, 1830, near St. Catherine's, Ontario. His father and mother settled in Jackson county, Iowa, in 1850. His education was in the common schools of Canada and under a private tutor, Donald McLeod, who died only a few years ago at the age of one hundred and four years. He was two years at Oberlin College, Ohio (1848-1849), and graduated from the State and National Law School, New York, in June, 1853, and was admitted in New York that year and in Iowa in 1854. He then opened an office at Sabula, Jackson county, Iowa. In 1858 he formed a partnership with D. F. Surr, at Bellevue, Iowa. This partnership continued until 1860. In 1870 Judge Darling removed to Clinton and opened an office and he has continued alone ever since in general practice. He was elected county judge of Jackson county in the fall of 1867, and served two years. He is a democrat in politics.

Since the foregoing was prepared Judge Darling has moved ot Lanoke, Ark., where he is now engaged in practice. As a scholarly, courteous gentleman, a persuasive orator and skillful advocate, he has had few equals and no superior at the Clinton county bar.

A. P. Barkerwas born in Chicago, Cook county, Illinois, December 15, 1854, and is a son of Lewis W. and Caroline (Squires) Barker. His parents had little means, and moved to Camanche, in this county, in 1869. His boyhood was passed in attending school and working in the saw mill of that place and on farms in its vicinity. He was educated in the public schools at Camanche, and the Iowa State College, graduating in 1876. He taught in the public schools of the county during vacations, and was for two years principal of the Camanche high school. He read law in the office of Hon. A. R. Cotton for two years, and was admitted to the bar in 1879. He was employed in the office of Judge G. B. Young for one year, and later officed with Major E. S. Bailey, from 1881 to 1887, engaged in practice for himself. He then went to Kansas and engaged in banking and law at Leoti for two years. He came back to Clinton in 1889, and was taken into partnership by Major Bailey, which partnership continued until that gentleman's death in 1892. He succeeded to the business of the firm, remaining along until 1897, when he formed a partnership with R. B. McCoy, which continued until June, 1902. At that time, the firm of Ellis & Ellis having been dissolved, Mr. F. W. Ellis became associated with them under the name of Barker, Ellis & McCoy. This partnership continued until Mr. Barker was appointed, by Governor Cummins, judge of the district court, September 1, 1904. He was re-elected in November of that year, and still occupies that position.

Halleck Wager Seaman was born at Clinton, Iowa, September, 26, 1860, and is a son of Richard S. and Emma (Carter) Seaman. He graduated from the public schools of Clinton and took a collegiate course at the State University of Iowa, graduating in 1881. He read law with Judge Geo. B. Young, and was admitted to the bar in 1882. In 1893 Mr. Seaman entered into partnership with Hon. Charles W. Chase, which still continues.

Mr. Seaman makes corporation law a specialty. He organizes corporations and finances business carried on by corporations. He has successfully financed and built several railways, and is now president of the Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota Railway Company, president of the Lorain and West Virginia road, and was president of the Ozark & Cherokee Central Railway during its construction period, and until sold to the Frisco System. He is a stockholder and director in the First National Bank at Telequah, and the City National at Clinton, Iowa.

William J. McCoy was born at Fulton, Illinois, July 13, 1844. His parents were James and Elizabeth (Russell) McCoy, who settled in Fulton, Illinois, about 1835. William attended the public schools at Fulton, and the Illinois College. He read law in his father's office, and took a course of two years at the Chicago Law School, and graduated in 1867. He was admitted in Illinois in 1867, and Iowa in 1891. He began the practice of law with his father in 1867, and remained with him for a number of years, and then went to Morrison, Illinois, county-seat of Whiteside county, for a short time; returned to Fulton, and was with his father until 1878. Returning to Morrison, he practiced law there until 1891 when he removed to Clinton and formed a partnership with his brother, A. R. McCoy, which lasted until death of the latter in 1896. He has been alone ever since in general practice. He was county judge of Whiteside county, Illinois, from 1882 to 1890, and city attorney of Clinton for six years. He is now the member of the Iowa Republican state central committee for the Second congressional district. He is a Mason, having taken all of the degrees but one.

Francis M. Fort was born in Jackson county, Iowa, November 9, 1848. He attended the common schools of Jackson county, and the academy at Maquoketa for a while. He then took a course at the State University at Iowa City, and graduated from Ann Arbor law school in 1871. He was admitted to the bar in Iowa in the fall of 1871. He read law a short time with Frank Amos, at Maquoketa, during vacation, while at college, the balance of the time teaching summer schools. After graduating from the law school he again entered the office of Mr. Amos as a partner. This partnership only continued a few months, as his health was very poor, and he went on a farm for a time. In 1872 he entered into partnership with Charles Rich at Maquoketa. Six months afterwards Mr. Rich died. He then continued alone in the practice of the law until 1886, when he moved to Sioux City, Iowa. He returned to Maquoketa in the fall of 1901 and formed partnership with his brother-in-law, D. A. Wynkoop, which continued one year. In 1902 he removed to Clinton. He was city attorney of Maquoketa two years.

A. Livingston Schuyler was born at Marshall, Michigan, in 1860. He came to Clinton in 1867; secured his common school education in that city, graduating from the high school. He then attended college at Ann Arbor, Michigan; returned to Clinton; studied law in the office of Major E. S. Bailey, and was admitted to practice in 1881. After spending a short time in the employ of Remy & Chumisero, well-known lawyers in Chicago, he returned to Clinton and in 188-, was elected clerk of the district and circuit courts, holding office for two terms. He was also postmaster of Clinton under Grover Cleveland's administration, and for several terms has been a member of the Clinton school board. After Judge Walter I. Hayes retired from the district bench, Mr. Schuyler entered into partnership with him, which partnership continued until Judge Haye's death. He is now alone in practice.

Frank W. Ellis was born May 4, 1876, at Clinton, Iowa, and is a son of Lyman A. and Mary (Buckley) Ellis. He pursued his early studies in the city of his birth, graduated at the high school, and afterward entered the State University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Later he read law with the firm of Ellis & McCoy; was admitted to practice in 1888, and in 1890 removed to Denver, Colorado, where he practiced for four years, having charge of much of the trial work of the large firm of Rogers, Cuthbert & Ellis. He then returned to Clinton, became associated with his father, under the firm name of Ellis & Ellis, with whom he remained until 1902, when, his father withdrawing from practice, the firm of Barker, Ellis & McCoy was formed, later becoming Ellis & McCoy, which is now one of the leading firms of the city. In 1899 he was married to Miss Celeste Ware. Mr. Ellis is a successful trial lawyer, inheriting his father's talent as an orator. Of late, however, he has devoted his legal talents to advising the numerous corporations of which he is counsel. Though actively interested in the success of the Republican party, he has declined to accept office. The only political position held by him being that of city solicitor of Clinton for one term.

Russell B. McCoy is the son of A. R. McCoy, and was born at Fulton, Illinois, in 1871. He graduated at the Clinton high school; attended Oberlin College at Oberlin, Ohio; studied law in the office of Ellis & McCoy; was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Iowa, in 1896; and remained in the office of Ellis & McCoy and McCoy Bros. until the latter firm was dissolved by the death of his father. In 1897 he entered into copartnership with A. P. Barker, under the firm name of Barker & McCoy. This firm became Barker, Ellis & McCoy in June, 1902, by the addition thereto of Mr. F. A. Ellis, and was changed to Ellis & McCoy by the appointment of Mr. Barker to the district bench, September 1, 1904, by Gov. Cummins.

Edmund C. Walsh was born in Davenport, Iowa, October 13, 1859, but during his early life he was taken by his parents to the farm in Clinton county. In 1867 the family removed to Clinton, where, in 1869, he completed the high school course. He then matriculated in the State University, in which he was graduated in 1881. He studied law with the Hon. A. R. Cotton, and, upon the removal of that gentleman to California, succeeded to his business. Later he became associated with L. F. Sutton, under the name of Walsh & Sutton, and still later organized the firm of Walsh Brothers, composed of himself and five brothers. His time, as well as that of the entire firm, five of whom are lawyers, is now largely devoted to looking after their own large corporate affairs.

Mark A. Walsh was born in Clinton county, Iowa, March 31, 1867. he attended the public schools, and completed his law course in the State University of Iowa with the class of 1889, in which year he was admitted to practice before the courts of Iowa and of the United States. Later he was admitted to the Illinois courts, and his time is now devoted almost entirely to corporation law. He is the second member of the firm Walsh Bros.

James W. Walsh was born in Clinton, Iowa, December 17, 1868. In June, 1887, he graduated from the Clinton high school. He read law at the State University graduating from that institution in 1889, and was admitted to practice his profession.

Charles H. Walsh was born March 7, 1871, graduated from the Clinton high school in June, 1890, and attended the Iowa State University and was later admitted to the Iowa bar.

Alfred E. Walsh was born January 24, 1874. He was educated at the public and high schools of Clinton, graduating from the latter in June, 1892, and from law department of the State University of Iowa in 1896; and admitted to practice in Illinois in October, 1899.

Eugene J. Walsh was born April 17, 1878. He graduated from the Clinton high school June, 1896, and from the law department of the State University of Iowa in 1900 and was admitted to the bar.

Samuel Crew Scott was born Clinton, Iowa, September 1, 1860. His parents were Walter and Anna J. (Crew) Scott. Both sides of the family are of English descent and came to the United States at an early day. Grandfather Scott fought in the war of 1812, and was united with the English "Dodd" family. The mother's family came to the United States about 1790, being descendantes of the English "Hargrave" family.

Samuel C. Scott graduated from the High School of Lyons City in the year 1879 with the highest honors of his class. Thereafter he took a collegiate course at the Iowa State College at Ames, from which institution he graduated with honors in 1883. He was admitted to the bar in June, 1884, when he opened a law office in Lyons, Iowa, and since which time he has been engaged in the practice of law. In 1890 he was united in marriage with Emma E. Manz. He was elected City Solicitor for the City Clinton in 1896 and filled that office for two years. He politics is republican.

Wickleffe A. Cotton was born at Austintown, Ohio. He came to Clinton county in 1844, was admitted to practice in 1867, and located in DeWitt, where he still resides in active practice. For ten years he was in partnership with Judge P. B. Wolfe, and for one term was state senator. He is a republican, very prominent in the politics of that party in the county, and one of its leading lawyers.

Aylett L. Pascal was born in Lyons, October 25, 1854. He graduated from the law department of the State University of Iowa with the class of 1878, and since that time has continuously practiced his profession in Clinton county, most of the time at DeWitt, where he is now located. He is a republican in politics, widely known throughout the state, actively interested in all public movements. For many years he was associated with D. Armentrout. He has recently taken into partnership with him his son, Aylett L., Jr., who was born at DeWitt, July 13, 1880 and graduated from the law department of Drake University, Des Moines, with the class of 1906.

Richard B. Wolfe was born in Clinton county, and is a brother of Judge P. B. Wolfe. He attended the common schools of the county and graduated at the DeWitt high school. In June, 1891, he graduated from the law department of the Iowa State University and was admitted to the bar of the state. He settled at DeWitt and is in the successful practice of his profession there.

Lyle F. Sutton, Clinton, Iowa, was born January 17, 1860, at Elk River, Iowa. His parents were Frank and Mary S. (Butler) Sutton. His education was had at the common schools of Clinton and the State University of Iowa, having graduated from the latter in 1880. He then attended the State University law school, graduating in 1884, and was admitted to the bar the same year. He began to practice law in Clinton on the 19th day of July, 1884, and has been in general practice ever since. He was city auditor and city clerk from 1885 to 1890. He is a republican, and always has taken an active part in Clinton county elections. For ten years he has been captain of Company E. old First (now Forty-ninth) regiment, Iowa National Guards.

Calvin H. George was born July 14, 1863, at Whiteside county, Illinois, and is a son of Daniel F. and Mary J. (Mitchell) George. His father's family settled in New Hampshire in an early day. His mother's family came from Ohio and settled in Illinois about 1843. His education was had at the district schools of Whiteside county, Illinois, and at Northern Indiana College, at Valparaiso, Indiana, and at Drake University, Des Moines. He read law with I. R. Andrews of Clinton and was admitted in 1887. He opened an office immediately after his admission and has continued alone ever since, doing a general law practice. He is a republican and generally active in politics. He was city attorney one term, 1894-1896, and county attorney three terms, 1896 to 1902.

George B. Phelps was born March 12, 1861, in Clinton county. His education was had at the common schools of Clinton, and the Iowa State Normal School. He read law with I. R. Andrews and R. R. Baldwin, and was admitted in October, 1889. He then opened an office in Clinton and is conducting a general practice, making commercial, real estate and probate law a specialty. He was county superintendent of schools 1886 to 1890, city attorney from March, 1890 to March, 1894. In politics he is a democrat.

William J. Keefe was born at Clinton, November 17, 1874; was educated at the public and high schools at Clinton; graduated from the University of Iowa in 1894; and was admitted that year. He opened an office in Clinton in July, 1894. He is a democrat, and was county attorney from 1902 to 1904. He was appointed by Judge Shiras United States commissioner of 1896; was Chairman of the Democratic county central committee in 1898 and 1899.

George F. Skinner was born at Ottawa, Illinois, May 25, 1857, a son of Charles and Ann (Burns) Skinner. His father came from England in 1852 and settled in Ottawa, Illinois. His mother's great-grandfather came to Boston from Scotland some three or four generations ago. He attended the public schools of Livingston county, Illinois, Grand Prana Academy, Illinois, Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, graduating in 1883. He studied law with J. P. Ferguson, Clarence, Iowa, four years, and was admitted in 1891. He then began practice of law in Clinton, June 1, 1891, and continued alone until 1893, when Mr. V. G. Coe became a partner, and they have been doing a general practice and real estate law since that time. He has never held an office, but is generally active in politics. He votes the republican ticket. The firm of which he is a member also does a very large and successful abstract of title business.

Victor G. Coe was born in Cedar county, Iowa, December 9, 1861. His parents were Herman G. and Catherine (McClurg) Coe, and they came to Iowa in 1852. Victor attended the common schools of Cedar county, and the high school of Clarence in that county. He took the law and collegiate courses at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1893, and was admitted to the bar. He then formed a partnership in the fall of 1893 with Geo. F. Skinner, at Clinton, under the firm name of Skinner & Coe, making a specialty of real estate and probate law. He is a republican, and active in politics; never sought office, but enjoys helping his friend to an election. He is a member of the school board.

Ernest L. Miller was born in Marshall county, April 7th, 1869. His parents were Samuel and Mary A. (Randall) Miller. He attended the public schools of Clinton, graduating from the high school. His legal education was had at Chicago College of Law and the Union College, graduating in 1892. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1892, and to the Iowa bar in 1893. He has been alone in the practice of his profession since that time. In politics he is a republican, and was elected county attorney in 1905. He still holds that office.

J. H. Walliker was born in Muscatine, Iowa, May 25, 1848. He came to Clinton November 19, 1855. He studied law two years at the University of Michigan where he graduated in 1870. He came to Clinton in 1871, where he has lived and practiced law most of the time since. He was elected sheriff for one term in 1873, and city attorney of Clinton, in 1876.

Arnold W. Walliker was born in Muscatine, Iowa, September 24, 1855, and is a son of Jacob H. and Anna M. (Lanfenback) Walliker. He attended the common schools of Peoria county, Ill., and the Clinton high school. He read law while on a farm three or four years during the winter months, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1882. Then he opened an office at Red Oak, Iowa. He then removed to Atlantic, Cass county, Iowa. He continued here until July, 1883, then came to Clinton and formed a partnership with his brother, J. H. Walliker, which continued until April, 1905. Since then he has been alone in the practice of his profession. He was mayor of Clinton in 1886.

William Kreim was born at Clinton, Iowa, January 28, 1860, and is a son of Henry and Mary C. (Meyers) Kreim. He attended the common schools of Clinton, and the high school one year. He studied law two years with A. R. McCoy, and then took one year course at the State University law department. He graduated and was admitted in June, 1883. He practiced at Clinton until the fall of 1887, when he was elected clerk of the district court, Clinton county. He served two terms until 1891, then commenced practice again, and has so continued in general practice since. In politics he is a democrat and always takes an active part in elections.

William H. Childs, Lyons, was born in Clinton county, January 13, 1869, and is a son of Henry and Climesia (Grohe) Childs. His early education was had at the public schools of Clinton county. He attended Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and Northern Indiana Law School at Valparaiso, Indiana, graduating in 1893. The same year he was admitted to practice in Indiana, and in Iowa the following year. He began to practice with his Uncle, W. C. Grohe, at Lyons, Iowa. This partnership continued until the death of Mr. Grohe in 1898. Since then he has been alone. He is a republican.

William H. Carroll was born in Scott county, Iowa, April 16, 1869. He attended the common schools of Scott county, and the Dixon, Illinois, Normal School, took a legal course at State University of Iowa, and was graduated and admitted in 1894. He then formed a partnership with his brother, R. A. Carroll, which still continues. He is chairman of the Democratic county central committee, and for two years was assistant county attorney of Clinton county.

Frank L. Holleran, Lyons, Ia., was born at Fulton, Illinois, May 4, 1869. He attended the public schools, and the Northern Illinois college, Fulton, and graduated in 1890. He graduated from the University of Michigan, law department, in 1891. He was admitted in Illinois in 1890, in Michigan in 1891, and Iowa in 1891. He opened an office July, 1891, at Lyons, Iowa, and has continued ever since in general practice. He is a democrat and takes an active part in all departments of politics. In 1896 and 1897 he filled the office of assistant county attorney, and he is a member of the school board. For eight years he was First Lieutenant, Company L, Iowa National Guards, until June, 1898, when he enlisted in the United States service.

John H. Dunnan was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 22, 1869, a son of John W. and Mary A. (Hogg) Dunnan. The family came to Clinton county, Iowa, about 1869. John attended the public schools of DeWitt, and took a two years' collegiate course at the Iowa State University, graduating from the law department in 1892, and was admitted and opened an office in Clinton, Iowa, that year, and has done a general law practice since that time. He is a democrat in politics and takes an active part, but has never held elective office. Was appointed by Judge Wolfe a member of the board of commissioners of insanity for Clinton county and still holds that office.

Louis E. Schmitt is a native of Wisconsin, being born June 29, 1872, in Iowa county, Wisconsin. His father and mother are of German extraction, with some French on the mother's side. His father came to the United States when a small boy and settled in Iowa county, Wisconsin, and his mother's family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Louis attended the public schools of Iowa county, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1895. Afterwards he went to the Iowa State Normal for special work; was admitted in 1900; came to Clinton, and has done a general law practice since. Is now city solicitor of Clinton.

William E. Russell was born in Bethany, West Virginia, in 1855. He came to Iowa in 1863, studied law with W. C. Grohe in Lyons, and was admitted to the bar in 1852. He resides in Clinton, where he is practicing his profession. He was city solicitor of Lyons for one year just prior to its consolidation with Clinton and city auditor of Clinton for the first term after such consolidation.

E. J. Blessington was born July 4, 1870, at Lyons, Iowa. He attended St. Joseph's College, Dubuque, and Notre Dame University, Indiana, graduating at the latter, in law, in 1890. He came to Clinton, and for five years was in the office of Ellis & McCoy. He practiced by himself for about ten years, and is now connected with the firm of Ellis & McCoy.

Riley W. Damon was born at Bridgeport, New York, December 11, 1854. In 1861 he came to Davenport, enlisted in Company B, 8th Iowa Infantry, and later in Company A, of the 18th, with which he remained until the close of the war. He read law with Captain U. A. Merrill, of DeWitt, and was admitted to the bar in 1869, settling at Calamus, where he has since resided and practiced his profession.

F. L. Sunderlin was born in Sunderlinville, Potter county, Pennsylvania, November 30, 1857, came to Iowa in 1863, studied law with T. E. Elwood at Maquoketa, and was admitted June 25th, 1879. He located at Delmar in 1887, where he practices his profession in addition to conducting the Delmar Journal.

R. C. Langan was born in DeWitt, Iowa, in 1873, took his collegiate course at Notre Dame University, and studied law at Georgetown, D. C., where he graduated with the degree of B. L. in 1896. He is a democrat and has been twice elected to the Iowa house of representatives, the first time in 1903.

John B. Ahrens, Lyons, was born at Bryant, Clinton county, Iowa, January 26, 1874. His parents were born in Germany and came to the United States in 1853, settling at Bryant. He attended the common and high schools of Lyons, and graduated from Drake University law department in 1897. He then opened an office at Denison, Iowa, in the fall of 1897, and remained there about nine months, when he removed to Lyons where he has ever since been in practice, giving the probate law strict attention. He is generally active in politics and votes the republican ticket. He has never held office and has not political aspirations.

Dale H. Shepard was born in Erie county, New York, November 6, 1863. His father was George Shepard, and his mother was Julia (Cook) Shepard, both of Scotch-Irish decent. Dale H's education was had in the public schools of Erie county, New York, and Albion Seminary, Marshall county, Iowa. He studied law with R. T. T. Spence, Lyons, Iowa, for eleven months, then with W. V. Allen, Madison county, Nebraska, for eight months. He was admitted in Nebraska June 6, 1887. He returned to Iowa from Nebraska in 1888, settling in Clinton in 1892. He has not been actively engaged in his profession since that time, but carries on the business of farm mortgages, stock and bonds. He is a democrat in politics.

William T. Oakes was born in Clinton, September 16, 1878. He studied in the Clinton parochial and public schools. He studied law in the law department of the State University of Iowa, where he graduated, and was admitted to the bar in 1903. He located in Clinton, and is now connected with the firm of Wolfe & Wolfe.

John L. Wolfe was born in DeWitt, July 31, 1879, attended the DeWitt and Clinton public schools, and later St. Mary's College, at St. Mary's, Kansas, receiving his B. A. degree. He then entered Georgetown University, Georgetown, D. C., where he took his M. A. degree, and in 1904 graduated in law. September 1, 1904, he entered the law firm of Wolfe & Wolfe, of which his father, Judge P. B. Wolfe, is the senior member, at Clinton.

Arthur L. Wessells was born at Macon City, Missouri, in 1873, came to Clinton county in 1876, was educated in the common schools, United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, and Cornell University, New York, where he took the degree of B. S. He graduated from the law department of the State University of Iowa in 1900. he located at Clinton the same year, forming with his brother, Alden V. E. Wessells, the firm of Wessells Bros.

Henry F. Bowers was born in Baltimore, Maryland, August 12, 1837, removing to Iowa in 1857. In 1863 he became deputy clerk of courts, then deputy county recorder, served two terms as recorder, and June 20, 1877, was admitted to the bar. He has ever since resided and practiced his profession in Clinton. Mr. Bowers is the founder of the American Protective Association, known as the A. P. A. He is a republican.

T. W. Hall was born in Clinton county in 1858, studied law with Walsh Bros., and was admitted in 1891. Located in Clinton.

T. R. Murray was born in 1864, studied law at the Northern Illinois College at Fulton, and was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1901. He is located in Clinton.


Source: Ebersole, E. Christian. (1907).The courts and legal profession of Iowa ..: Hon. Chester C. Cole, historian; Hon. E. C. Ebersole, editor ...Chicago, Ill.: H. C. Cooper, jr., & co..

See Also: Attorneys (from the 1879 history)