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The Courts and Legal Profession of Iowa.
Volume I.

by Hon. Chester C. Cole, Historian.
Hon. E. C. Ebersale, Editor.
Published in Chicago, Ill.: H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1907, pages 662-665.

Brown Divider Bar



The first election, after being set off as a separate county, was on September 14, 1854, when township officers only were elected. County officers were elected in August, 1855. Wm. Phillips was the first county judge, S. G. Crumley the first clerk, N. S. Daniels the first prosecuting attorney, Isaac D. Crumley the first sheriff. The first term of court was held by Judge C. J. McFarland in May, 1856. It was a number of years, not until about 1866, that a newspaper was printed in the county. A. J. Cain was county judge in 1855-6; L. McCurdy in 1857; Thos. T. Morris, 1857-59; Wm. Shriner, 1860; W. H. Price, 1861-67; Thomas Elwood, 1868-69. The office was abolished at this time. Levi Thompson was clerk of the court in 1855-56; Robert Haney in 1856; Amos Basom, 1857-58; Noah Titus, 1858; John Monroe, 1859-60; T. B. Aldrich, 1861-62; Wm. Gilley, 1863-66; Wm. H. Price, 1867-68; John K. Deal, 1869-72; E. M. Betzer, 1873-74; Wm. Lynch, 1875-84; and J. N. Powers, 1885. L. McCurdy was prosecuting attorney in 1855-57, and then the office was abolished.

The Sixth judicial district was created in February, 1851, and then included thirty counties. February 9, 1853, the Seventh district was formed by taking nineteen counties, including Carroll from the Sixth. March 13, 1857, Buncome (now Lyon), Buena Vista, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickson, Ida, Monona, O'Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sac, Sioux and Woodbury counties were made the Twelfth district.

The constitution of 1857 went into effect January 1, 1858, and under this Adair, Audubon, Carroll, Dallas, Greene, Guthrie, Madison, Warren and Polk counties formed the Fifth district. April 18, 1872, the Thirteenth district was formed of the counties of Audubon, Cass, Carroll, Crawford, Fremont, Greene, Mills, Pottawattamie and Shelby. The judges of the district including Carroll county have been Samuel H. Riddle, 1853-57; M. F. Moon, 1857; John H. Gray, 1858-65; C. C. Nourse, 1865-66; Hugh W. Maxwell, 1866-72; J. R. Reed, 1873-83; C. F. Loofborough, 1883-86. Under the law that went into effect in January, 1887, J. P. Connor and J. H. Macombe became judges of the Sixteenth district, including six counties--Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Crawford, Carroll & Greene. The judges of the Sixteenth judicial district are Hon. F. M. Powers and Hon. Z. A. Church.

Judge Zala A. Church was born May 28, 1852, in Dayton county, Wisconsin. He had good educational advantages, attending the common schools and seminary at Evansville, Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin University to the sophomore year. He read law with Welch & Botkin at Madison, Wisconsin, and in 1876 was graduated from the law department of the University of Wisconsin, where he was under the instructions of Hon. William F. Vilas and Judge Philip L. Spooner. He was admitted to the bar of the Wisconsin district and supreme courts and the district court of the United States June 20, 1876. He settled in Jefferson in 1878, and was the first county attorney of Greene county, and served two terms of two years each. His practice, general in character, embraced all branches of the law and involved many cases of local note and importance in which he achieved gratifying success. He served as county recorder to fill a vacancy; was presidential elector for Iowa on Harrison and Reid ticket, and in 1894 was elected judge of the Sixteenth judicial district of Iowa for a term of four years, and re-elected for a second term ending January 1, 1903. At the November election, 1906, he was again elected judge for four years.

James A. Henderson was born in Johnson county, Iowa, August 3, 1862. He was reared on a farm until sixteen years old, near Shueyville in said county. He then went to Linn county, from thence to Jefferson. He was educated in common country schools, Jefferson academy and the law department of the State University of Iowa, from which he graduated June 17, 1890, and was on that date admitted before the supreme court and the United States courts for the Southern district of Iowa at Keokuk. He located for practice at Jefferson, Iowa, July 15, 1890. In 1895 he formed a copartnership with Perry D. Ross, under the name of Ross & Henderson. This continued until May 1, 1901, since which time he has been alone in the practice at Jefferson. He is a so-called progressive republican. He was deputy clerk of the district and circuit courts, 1879-83; clerk of the district court of Greene county four years, 1885-88; township clerk, justice of the peace, city solicitor, member of the city council and trustee of the public library. He has also served a a member of the executive committee of the State Bar Association.

Isaac D. Howard was born in Massachusetts in 1834, and is one of the oldest practitioners at the Greene county bar. Mr. Howard received his education at the Shelburne Falls (Mass.) academy. In 1853 he came to Iowa, settling first in Boone county, and taught school, until elected clerk of the district court of Greene county, which position he held for eight years. In the meantime he studied law, by himself, and on April 10, 1869, at Jefferson, Iowa, he was admitted to practice, before the district and circuit courts; March 17, 1874, at Council Bluffs, before the Iowa state supreme court. He began the practice of his profession at Jefferson, where he has since resided.


The attorneys of Greene county are as follows: Judge Z. A. Church, G. S. Toliver, Clark & Bossert, P. P. Pitcher, T. A. Mugan, Wilson & Albert, Will H. Adams, W. W. Turner, J. A. Henderson, Owen Lovejoy, J. M. Forbes, Howard & Howard, R. C. Head, S. J. Sayers, and Gallaher & Graham.

Transcribed by Cheryl Siebrass November, 2017 from The Courts and Legal Profession of Iowa, Volume II,
by Hon. Chester C. Cole, Historian. Hon. E. C. Ebersale, Editor. Published in Chicago, Ill.: H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1907, pp. 662-665.

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