JAMES P. STARR, attorney-at-law, now at Fairfield, grew
up and had his early associations with the legal profession in Van Buren County,
where his father was also an honored and respected lawyer.
Mr. Starr has lived most of his life in Iowa, but was
born in Missouri, November 3, 1869. The Starr family is of Quaker ancestry and
were identified with the early settlement of Pennsylvania. The records of the
family go back to the time of John Starr, who lived at Old Castle, County Meath,
Ireland. All his sons and daughters came to America between the years 1674 and
1697 and located in Pennsylvania. Moses Starr was one of the first settlers in
Berks County, Pennsylvania, and was the first representative from that county to
the Provincial Assembly.
Robert H. Starr, father of James P., was born in Berks
County, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1840. He was visiting his sister in Illinois
when he enlisted in Company K of the Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry for service
as a Union soldier, and continued his military career until honorably discharged
on January 6, 1865, in consequence of a gun shot wound in the right leg. His leg
had to be amputated. On December 25, 1865, Robert H. Starr married Mary C.
Smith, also a native of Berks County, Pennsylvania, where she was born April 4,
1846. Both the Starr and Smith families had moved out to northeastern Missouri
before the Civil war. Robert H. Starr made his home in Clark County, Missouri,
until 1874, when he moved to Iowa and settled at Keosauqua in Van Buren County.
While living in Clark County, Missouri, he was elected county officer and while
in that office took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1874. He
qualified for practice in Iowa in 1875, and gained a fine reputation as lawyer,
particularly in the civil practice. He kept up his professional work until
almost the time of his death in 1901. In 1906 his widow retuned to her old home
in Clark County, Missouri. Robert H. Starr served two terms of mayor of
Keosauqua. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
James P. Starr was one of ten children. He was five
years old when his parents came to Iowa, and he grew up in Van Buren County,
attending public schools and the law department of the University of Iowa. He
was admitted to the bar in 1892, and at once became associated with his father
in practice at Keosauqua. For four years, 1893-97, he was deputy clerk of Van
Buren County, but with that exception he was associated with his father until
the latter's death and then formed a partnership with J.C. Calhoun. The firm of
Starr & Calhoun constituted an able firm in Van Buren County until December,
1906, when Mr. Starr dissolved the partnership and moved to Fairfield. Here for
over twenty years he has engaged in general law practice and has won the most
substantial honors of his profession. He was appointed mayor of Fairfield on the
resignation of Dr. J.F. Clark in October, 1910, and in March, 1911, was elected
for the full term in that office. Mr. Starr is a member of the Christian Church
and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
He married March 3, 1893, Miss Chloe Fellows, of
Keosauqua, daughter of S.D. and Ann (Bowen) Fellows. Her people were among the
pioneer families of Van Buren County. Mr. and Mrs. Starr have four children,
Helen M., Keo. F., Io M and James Carlton.
JO STIDGER STONG is one of the active younger
members of the Van Buren County bar, rapidly making a reputation for himself in
his chosen profession, and his work is in keeping with the brilliancy shown
during his school and university career.
Mr. Stong was born at Pittsburg, Iowa, September, 12, 1903.
His father, Ben J. Stong, a prominent Keosauqua business man, was born in
Kilbourne, Iowa, attended common schools and the Birmingham Academy, and has
given his active life to merchandising. He owns a general store at Keosauqua. He
is a member of the Masonic fraternity and a Democrat. Ben J. Stong married Ada E
Duffield, of Pittsburg, Iowa, and their three children are Jo Stidger, Phillip
D., of New York City, and Benton J., of Nashville, Tennessee.
Jo Stidger Stong was educated in the public schools of
Keosauqua, graduating from high school in 1921. While in high school he played
on the basketball team. For a time he was with the county engineer of Van Buren
County, and in the fall of 1921 entered Drake University at Des Moines. For two
years he was a student in the liberal arts department and three years in the law
school, graduating LL. B. in 1926. He made his own way through university,
having employment in one of the university departments and during vacations
worked in the county engineer's office ,and the state highway commission. He
stood high in his studies and also took a part in student activities, being a
member of the track team, manager of the football team, and was a member of the
Delta Theta Phi fraternity.
Mr. Stong has been a member of the law firm of McBeth & Stong
at Keosauqua since July 5, 1926, and has settled gracefully into the work and
responsibilities of a responsible attorney. He is a member of the District of
Iowa State Bar Associations, is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, is a
Republican and a member of the Congregational Church.
He married, July 15, 1926, Miss Eleanore L. Rowley, member of
an old prominent family of Keosauqua.
ERNEST BRUCE STILLMAN is a native of Northern Iowa, and
since 1913 has been a member of the bar at Clear Lake. He is a scholarly lawyer,
enjoys a large practice, and has worked individually and with many organizations
in the promotion of matters for the general welfare.
Mr. Stillman was born on a farm north of Emmetsburg, Iowa,
June 15, 1887, son of Linus P. and Mary G. (Phipps) Stillman. The Stillmans as a
family came from England to America in Colonial times, and several
representatives of the name were soldiers in the Revolution. Mr. Stillman's two
sisters are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Linus P.
Stillman, his father, was born in 1845, and came out to Iowa when a young man,
settling near Waukon in Allamakee County. He was a school teacher and later a
farmer, and at all times was actuated by high and patriotic ideals. In October,
1862, he enlisted in the First Iowa Cavalry, for service in the Union army, but
most of his time was taken up with duties on the frontier, watching the Indians
in the Black hills district of Dakota under General Polk. His brother John was
the first Iowa man to enlist for service in the Civil War, and was killed in
action, and his body was the first to be brought home and buried in Iowa soil.
Linus P. Stillman was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He died April
6, 1887, about two months before the birth of his son Ernest B. The widowed
mother is still living at Emmetsburg. The older children were: Linus P.; Laura
G.; the wife of W.R. Schroder; Roxy F.; wife of Charles E. Ellison; Mae T., the
wife of W.H. Mortling; and Charles J.
Ernest Bruce Stillman grew up on a farm and attended country
schools. He was graduated from the Emmetsburg High School in 1906, and from 1907
to 1911 pursued the liberal arts course work in the law department, form which
he graduated LL. B. in 1913, and in the fall of the same year he located at
Clear Lake. During his fifteen years at Clear Lake he has carried on a general
practice, handling corporation, real estate and other matters but has avoided
all criminal cases.
Mr. Stillman has allied himself with many organizations that
present the better community ideals. He is a past secretary and a past president
of the Rotary Club, is a Royal Arch Mason and a past patron and member of the
Eastern Star, a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of
Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, the Mason City Country Club and Clear Lake
Country Club. He is a past president of the Cerro Gordo County Bar Association
and a member of the County, Iowa State and American Bar Associations, also a
member of the Acacia fraternity of his alma mater. He is on the board of the
Methodist Episcopal Church and is a former superintendent of the Sunday School.
He has been secretary of the Republican state central committee, is a former
city attorney and city clerk, and during the World war was chairman of the
Liberty Loan drives, chairman of the four minute speakers, and a member of the
War Council. He is a past president of the Clear Lake Commercial Club.
Mr. Stillman married April 15, 1915, Miss Tressa E. Heath, of
Clear Lake, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James B. Heath. Her father, who was a
farmer and early settler in Cerro Gordo County, died in 1921, and her mother in
1911. Mrs. Stillman has a brother, Harry C. Heath, and a sister, Maude, wife of