Muscatine County Iowa

Here is what the abbreviations in the bios stand for: far: farm; Co.: company or county; dir: dealer; IVA: Iowa Volunteer Artillery; IVC: Iowa Volunteer Cavalry; IVI: Iowa Volunteer Infantry; P.O.: Post Office; S. or Sec.: section; and st.: street.

Source: History of Muscatine County Iowa, Biographical Section, 1879, page 615

DE WITT C. RICHMAN, Judge of the Circuit Court of Scott and Muscatine Counties; is a native of Somerset, Perry Co., Ohio, and was born Sept. 1, 1826, and is the seventh child of Evert and Mary Scott Richman, natives of Pennsylvania; he was named after Gov. De Witt Clinton, an intimate friend of his father; his father was a Methodist minister and died when De Witt was only 3 years of age; leaving the care of a family of seven children upon his mother; her watchful care of her children was unceasing, and her widowed life was apparently planned and lived for the great purpose of so rearing her children that they might be prepared for honorable and useful lives; De Witt C. was educated in the public schools of Buck Co., Penn., to which place his mother removed soon after his father's death; he was very fond of books, particularly of history; from the age of 12 to 16 years, he worked on a farm in Bucks Co., except a short time in a store in Philadelphia; he also served one year as a clerk in a store in Trenton, N. J.; at the age 18, he came to Muscatine and entered the grocery store of his brother. John W. Richman, and remained two years, and returned to Trenton, N. J., and resumed his clerkship and remained there until 1853, when he returned to Muscatine to pursue the study of law in the office of his brother, J. Scott Richman, and was admitted to the bar the following year; he was subsequently admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Iowa, and, in March, 1869 was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States; in 1855, he became a partner of his brother, J. Scott Richman, which continued until December, 1863, when the latter accepted a seat on the Bench of the District Court, whereupon our subject formed a copartnership with Mr. J. Carskaddan, which continued until June 1, 1878, when he was appointed by the Governor Judge of the Circuit Court of Scott and Muscatine Counties, and to which position he was subsequently elected and still holds with honor of himself and his constituents; though naturally averse to litigation, it has been his lot to be engaged in some of the most important and hotly contested suits arising in his district, among which may be mentioned the special railroad tax cases growing out of the special tax voted in aid of the Muscatine Western Railroad in 1871, the collection of which was strongly resisted by many taxpayers; the State vs. Mori, for the murder of Dr. C. Hershe in 1864; the State vs. Prosser, for the murder of Silas Ferry; Cole vs. Cole, a leading divorce suit; Arzt vs. Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, an action for personal injuries; Musser vs. Hershey and Brewster vs. Hershey, concerning riparian rights, in the District and Circuit Courts of the State; Finlay vs. Brewster and cases of bonds of the City of Muscatine issued to the Mississippi & Missouri Railroad Co., in the United States Circuit and Supreme Courts. In politics our subject was raised a Whig, and, on the expiration of that party, he united with the Republican, to which he still adheres, though he has never sought office; during the war, he was among the stanchest supporters of the Government. While living in Trenton, N. J., Judge Richman made the acquaintance of Miss Mary Berdine, and they were married in Brooklyn N. Y., on the 1st of September, 1855; she is a daughter of Jacob C. and Matilda Berdine, both natives of New Jersey and still living in Davenport, Iowa; they are of Revolutionary ancestry; they have had two children born to them--the eldest, Scott Clinton, born in 1856, lived but two weeks; the other, Irving Berdine, born on the 17th of October, 1861, is quite a student, developing a taste for the profession of his father. Judge Richman and his wife are both consistent members of the Congregational Church; he is very active as a Sabbath-school worker and was for five years President of the Sabbath-School Association of the county, and was also President of the Young Men's Christian Association and is actively identified with the best interests of the city and county in which he lives.

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