MUSCATINE COUNTY IOWA|
Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 466
submitted by Vicki Broughton, December 17, 2007
HON. D.C. RICHMAN WHO RANKED AMONG THE FOREMOST OF THE IA. BAR PASSES AWAY
SKETCH OF HIS NOTABLE CAREER
IDENTIFIED WITH MANY IMPORTANT CASES IN THE STATE, FEDERAL AND SUPREME COURTS – DISTINGUISHED FOR HIS LITERARY TALENTS AS WELL AS FOR LEGAL ABILITY – HIS CONNECTION WITH THREE OF OUR LOCAL BANKS – ITEMS
JUDGE D.C. RICHMAN DEAD
Hon. DeWitt Clinton Richman, late judge of the second circuit of the seventh judicial district of Iowa, an early settler of Muscatine, and father of Irving B. Richman, consul general to St. Gall, Switzerland under the last Cleveland administration, passed away in his 74th year on the 25th inst., after a lingering illness. The funeral will be held from the Congregational church Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock.
Judge Richman was born in Somerset, Perry county, Ohio, Sept. 1, 1826, and is a son of the Rev. Everet and Mary (Scott) Richman. The family of Richman is of Holland origin, the name originally being spelled “Ryckmann,” a style of orthography still preserved by one branch of the family. His great grandfather emigrated from Holland to America about the middle of the eighteenth century, and settled in New York city. When but three years of age, having lost his father, our subject removed with his mother to the town of Bensalem, Pa., where he attended school until attaining his twelfth year, when he engaged in farm work. The succeeding four years were spent in that vocation. At the age of sixteen he engaged as a merchant’s clerk in a store at Philadelphia; a year later he accepted a like position in a store at Trenton, N.J., where he remained until his eighteenth year, and in 1844 came west to seek his fortune. Coming directly to Muscatine, Iowa, he was employed in the wholesale grocery house of his elder brother, John Richman, then a prominent merchant. This brother was never married, and his death occurred in 1850. In 1846 DeWitt returned to Trenton and resumed his clerkship in the store, where he remained until 1853 when he again sought the west and became a permanent resident of Muscatine. He had previously taken up the study of law, and on coming the second time to this city entered the office of his brother, J. Scott Richman. He was admitted to the bar in 1855, and a partnership was then formed by the brothers under the firm name of Richman & Bro. An extensive and lucrative practice resulted from their joint efforts, and the connection was continued until 1863, when it was dissolved by the elder brother being appointed to the bench. DeWitt formed a partnership with J. Carskadden, under the firm name of Richman & Carskadden, who became distinguished as able jurists in the state and national courts. The connection was continued until 1878, when it was dissolved by the appointment of the senior partner to the bench. Judge Richman resigned in 1882 and formed a partnership with George M. Titus in the law, loan and real estate business, which connection terminated when the Judged went into partnership with his son, retiring from business when the latter was appointed consul general to St. Gall.
The history of the financial institutions of Muscatine shows that the Judge has been prominently identified with two of the leading banking houses of the city. He was an early stockholder and director of the Merchants’ Exchange Bank and served its successor, the first National Bank as director. He was the principal mover in the organization of the Muscatine Savings Bank, which institution is a prosperous one.
At Brooklyn, N.Y., on the 20th of September, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Berdine, who, with one son, Irving Berdine Richman, survive.
In politics Judge Richman was a Whig, republican, and in later years an independent. During the civil war he labored to encourage Army enlistments and to aid sick and disabled soldiers. He entered the field of politics but once, when he was a candidate for alderman in the Second ward, when he was defeated by the democratic candidate, John Dalber.
In his youth he was brought up under the auspices of the Methodist church, but as he grew older, he became liberal in his views and affiliated with the Universalists until 1868, since which date he acted in concert with his estimable wife and joined the Congregational church and became one of its deacons. He always took a warm interest in everything calculated to educate and improve the young.
As a lawyer Judge Richman has been identified with many important cases both in state and federal courts. His admission to the supreme court of the United States at Washington occurred in 1869. In the history of the Iowa bar his name is entitled to rank among the foremost. He distinguished himself not only for legal ability, but for his earnest and conscientious discharge of his duty to his clients and his high appreciation of his professional honor. While he made a success of his profession, his tastes led to the more peaceful and reflective fields of literature. A collection of his poems was published under the title of “The Talisman and Other Poems.” A complimentary commentator says that Mr. Richman in his creative modes had contributed largely to the republic of letters, the chaste rhetoric and thought of his muse being conspicuous in “The Talisman and Other Poems,” and notably in the epics he read before the alumni of Griswold College and the State University and in his public addresses. --- DAVENPORT’S LEVEE--
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