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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 279~


Hon. L. L. Ainsworth


Hon. Lucian L. Ainsworth, attorney-at-law and the senior member of the law firm of Ainsworth & Hobson, of West Union, is a native of New York, his birth having occurred in New Woodstock, on June 21, 1831. His parents , Parmenas and Kezia (Webber) Ainsworth, both of whom were also born in New Woodstock and were of English descent. The Ainsworth family were founded in America by emigrants from England in the early Colonial days. Abiel Ainsworth, grandfather of our subject, was a  lineal descendant of one of the family who settled in Connecticut. He was born in that State, and in his youth removed to New Woodstock, Madison County, N. Y., with his parents. His father was a soldier in the War of the Revolution and died a prisoner on board as English man-of-war.


Mr. Ainsworth's father was born in 1808, and is living at the ripe old age of eighty-two, his residence being in his native town of New Woodstock. His wife, the mother of our subject, was born in 1811,  and died in 1847, at the age of thirty-six years. She was descended from an old Massachusetts family of English origin, who had settled in the colony of Massachusetts prior to the War of the Revolution, whence some of its members had removed to New Woodstock in an early day. There were four children, two sons and to daughters in the family of Mr. and Ms. Ainsworth, of whom Lucian L. is the eldest; Lucretia is now the wife of Henry Judd, of Cazenovia, N. Y.; Walter C. married Nora Davis and resides in Breckenridge, Minn.; and Harriet C., the youngest, is the wife of Augustus Judd, also a resident of Cazenovia. Several years after the death of his wife, Mr. Ainsworth married again, his second union being with Miss Amanda Carpenter, and by that marriage was born a daughter, Ella K., now Mrs. Frank Soule, of Cazenovia, N. Y.

The subject of this sketch received his primary education in the public schools of his native town and later attended the Onedia Conference Seminary of Cazenovia. He fitted himself for his profession in the office of Miner & Sloan, attorneys of De Ruyter, N. Y., and was admitted to the bar in Madison County, N.Y., in 1854.  Thinking the West would furnish better opportunities for a young man just embarking upon his business career, in the spring of 1855 he made his way to the Mississippi Valley and located in Belvedere, Ill., where he became a member of the law firm of Beckwith & Ainsworth. After a few months however he crossed to the western side of the Father of Waters, locating in West Union, Iowa, in August. Opening an office December following he embarked in the practice of his profession, which he continued alone until March, 1856, when he formed a law partnership with Judge C. A. Newcomb, under the firm name of Newcomb & Ainsworth which connection continued until 1859, when the Judge retired. In the fall of 1860, he formed a law partnership with C. H. Millar under the name of Ainsworth & Millar.


In the meantime both entered the army, Mr. Ainsworth enlisting in the volunteer service in the late war, raised a company and was commissioned on January 31, 1863, as Captain of Company C, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, under Col. Wilson. The regiment was ordered to the West against the Indians. The command left the mouth of the Big Cheyenne, August 21, 1863, and on the 3rd of September, participated in the battle of White Stone Hill. Company C, under command of Capt. L. L. Ainsworth, was one of four companies that were detailed as a scouting party. They advanced and discovered a large body of Indians at White Stone Hill, whom they held in parley until notice had been sent the command and the main body of troops had come up. The official report states that upon the Sixth Iowa Cavalry devolved the ask of surrounding the Indians and driving them in. The red men, after retreating a distance, took advantage of the increasing darkness, turned and opened fire on their pursuers, which was returned with terrible effect. Daekness prevented following up the advantage and the soldiers camped on the battlefield. Under cover of night the Idians stole away leaving their course strewn for miles with provisions, packs, robes and ponies. Col. Wilson reported very flatteringly of the behavior of the Iowa officers and men in their first battle. On July 28, 1864, the Sixth Iowa took part in the engagement with the Indians at Tahkahokuta, where the Indians were driven out with considerable loss. The regiment participated in several other engagements and skirmishes with the redskins in Western Dakota, and at length was mustered out in Sioux City, Iowa, October 17, 1865.


On his return from the army, Capt. Ainsworth resumed the practice of his profession in West Union in practice of his profession in West Union in partnership with Mr. C. H. Millar, his former partner, which continued until 1873, and on February 16, 1875, formed the existing partnership with A. N. Hobson.  In politics, the Captain is a Democrat. He was elected Senator to the Iowa Legislature in 1859, serving four years and took part in two regular and two extra sessions and served on the Judiciary and Railway Committees, doing good service in each, especially on the former that had in charge the revision of the laws. In 1871, he was elected a Representative of the fourteenth General Assembly and served one term.  He was appointed on the Judiciary Committee and aided in preparing the Iowa Code of laws that was adopted in the session of 1873.  The following year he was elected to Congress from the Fourth Iowa District and during his term of service was a member of the Committees on Post-offices, Post-roads and Private Land Claims. At the succeeding election he declined a re-nomination. Mr. Ainsworth has been actively identified with the educational interests of the city and has served several years as a member of the Board of Education.


t was in West Union on December 8, 1859, that the Captain led to the marriage altar Miss Margaret McCool, who was born in Louisburg, Pa., November 20, 1833, and is a daughter of Joseph and Eleanor (Nevins) McCool. She came with her parents to Illinois in 1839, locating in Freeport; subsequently she came to West Union on a visit to her sister and it was here they first met. She is a woman of superior natural ability and force of character. She received a liberal education and her reading has been varied and extensive. In the domestic relations, Mrs. Ainsworth is known as a devoted wife and mother, whose patient tenderness, wise counsels and unswerving love have kept the atmosphere of the home circle healthful and cheering.  Six children, four sons and two daughters have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Ainsworth and five are now living: James W., who married Jennie Archer and resides in Colmar, Iowa, is employed in the railway mail service; Kittie A., is the wife of Fred W. White, a druggist of Clermont, Iowa; Charles Gray died at the age of two years; Porter Lester, who wedded Annie Dersham, is a law student; Willard Joseph is a student of the Upper Iowa University; and Fred Lee, the youngest, is reading medicine.


Capt. Ainsworth is a member of West Union Lodge, No. 69, A. F. & A. M.  ; of McGregor Chapter, R. A. M.; and of Langridge Commandery, No. 47, K. T. He was now been a member of the Fayette County bar for thirty-five years and with one exception is the eldest member in years of practice. Judge Rogers began practice two months prior to his arrival.  Mr. Ainsworth is a man of acknowledged superior ability, the peer of any lawyer in the Northeastern, Iowa, and the practice of the firm of which he is now the senior member is extensive in both State and Federal Courts. In manner he is affable and genial and is devoted to his family and friends while professionally he takes rank among the leaders of the Iowa bar.



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