Source: REGISTER OF OLD SETTLERS , BOOK One, page 483-b2 & 483-b3
submitted by Ronna Thuman, December 12, 2007


Muscatine Furnished a Goodly Share of Them.


An Interesting Report Made by Judge S. H. Fairall at Request of State
Association—Those Who Practiced 20 Years or More Prior to 1858—Names Old-
Time Lawyers and Illustrious Citizens.

Pioneer Lawyers of Iowa.

At the last meeting of the Iowa Pioneer Lawmakers’ association, Judge S. H. Fairall, of Iowa City, was asked to prepare a list of the pioneer lawyers of the state. He has complied with the request and will soon submit a report which will be of much interest and of great historical value. The pioneers are construed to be those who had practiced twenty or more years in the state prior to 1858. The report of Judge Fairall follows.

    Judge Fairall’s Report.

    The men and women who settled the territories and states in the valleys of the Mississippi, and of its tributaries, were of a high type of American manhood and womanhood, as they are mostly the descendants of the patriots of the revolution, whose life blood baptized a hundred battlefields, and whose hardships and sufferings in the struggle for independence hallowed the hills where many of them died.

    Among these settlers were hunters, farmers, mechanics, teachers, lawyers and doctors, who brought to their new homes those products of Anglo-Saxon civilization, churches, schools, township and county organizations, and courts of justice, which make a nation strong and great.

    In their respective spheres all contributed to the creation of commonwealths which are the pride and strength of the nation.

    To the pioneer attorneys was properly entrusted the preparation of organic acts, the framing of constitutons and the molding and interpretation of statutes. They were the priests in the temple of justice, who kept brightly burning the vestal fire of truth, and who preserved those principles which secured to them and posterity the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    From the pioneer attorneys sprang presidents, Jackson and Lincoln, and judges, legislators, state and federal officers, statesmen and soldiers.

    The pioneer attorneys of Iowa came up ti the full measure in worth and intellectual vigor with the pioneer lawyers of other states. They were men of exalted moral character, and though but few of them had enjoyed the benefits of more than a common school education, the most of them possessed well-balanced minds, and were broad, liberal and progressive.

    It was my fortune when I came to Iowa forty-six years ago, to have met most of those who had practiced in the early days in the supreme court, then held in Iowa City, and but few of whom are now alive.

    They welcomed to the profession the beginners in every possible way, and were not particular as to the length of time that an applicant for adimssion to the bar had devoted to the study of the law. They sized a man up, and if they believed that he was honest and industrious they gave him the hand of fellowship.

    As illustrating their kindness, permit me to relate the following personal incident: When I had been in the state a few months, I met that grand old man, J. C. Hall, of Burlington, formerly of the supreme bench. He took an interest in me, asked me how long I had been reading law as it was then called, and whether I intended to become an attorney. I told him that I had read a few law books, but was not prepared to apply for admission. To my surprise a few days afterwards the supreme court announced as a committee to examine me as to my qualifications for admission, consisting of Judge Hall, Hon. James M. (afterwards Judge) ..ove, and Samuel T. Marshall, Esq.

    After a few questions I was excused by the committee with the remark that they would report soon. That same day Judge Hall handed me a paper signed by the whole committee, recommending my admission as a practicing attorney, saying in his good-natured, brusque way: “Young man, that paper does not make a lawyer of you by a d—d sight,” which I afterwards found to be true.

    I have classified as the pioneer attorneys of Iowa those who practiced in the territory and state from 1837 to 1858: for about this latter year the old attorneys began to drop out, and another generation to come in, and this second generation mostly passed away and been succeeded by the third generation.

    The bar has not suffered by these changes; the high standard of the old bar has not only been maintained, but as it increased in numbers it has grown in luster and strength.

    That the names of these pioneers may become a part of the annals, by the publication of these proceedings under the auspices of the state, herewith present, by counties, a list of the greater part of them, obtained after considerable time and labor, to-wit:

    Lee—D. F. Miller, H. T. Reid, C. W. Walker, Sam F. Miller, Edward Johnson, Chas. Reeves, S. T. Marshall, Geo. C. Dixon, J. W. Rankin, J. B. Beck, T. W. Claggett, J. M. Love, H. Scott Hiwell, Turner & Edwards, J. C. McFarland, Judge Casey, T. F. Enster, Henry Strong, R. H. Gillmire, John H. Craig, John W. Noble, Judge Russell, A. T. Walling, W. W. Belknap, J. P. Hornis, J. William Fulton, Gen. S. R. Curtis.

    Des Moines—Charels Mason, David Rorer, Jas. W. Grimes, H. W. and W. H. Starr, J. C. Hall, M. D. Browning, Chas. Phelps, L. D. Stockton, J. Traey, C. Ben Darwin, Ben J. Hall, J. W. Woods, Thomas W. Newman, George Frazee, C. B. Harringotn, J. C. Breckenridge, ex-vice president who was city solicitor of Burlington in 1843.

    Louisa—Francis Springer, J. S. Hurley, John Bird Tatlock, D. N. Sprague, E. H. Thomas.

    Muscatine—S. Whicher, W. G. Woodward, S. C. Hastings, Jos. Williams, R. P. Lowe, T. S. Parvin, J. Scott Richman, Jacob Butler, D. C. Cloud, Henry O’Conner, J. Carskaddan, E. H. Thayer, Thomas Hanna.

    Scott—G. C. R. Mitchell, James Grant, E. Cook, W. A. J. Lindley, George S. C. Dow, Austin Corbin, D. Shorey, J. B. Leake, Jas. T. Lane, John N. Rogers, Abner Davidson, Charles Putnam, Geo. E. Hubbell, Samuel Brown, James Armstrong, John Thompson, James Thorlington, J. W. Stewart, John C. Bell.

    Clinton—W. E. Leffingwell, A. R. Cotton, J. C. Polley, N. A. Merrill, J. S. Darling, L. A. Ellis, J. H. Flint, E. S. Hart.

    Jackson—D. F. Spurr, J. D. Booth, L. Clark, P. B. Bradley, J. B. Booth, Wm. Graham, W. A. McGinnis, Chas. Rich, J. W. Rich, J. W. Jenkins, J. S. Darling.

    Dubuque—Thos. Wilson, D. S. Wilson, Geo. Green, Jas Crawford, Timothy Davis, C. Hempstead, L. A. Thomas, Platt Smith, Ben N. Samuels, F. E. Bissell, W. T. Barker, Jas. Burt, George S. ightingale, Smith, McKinley & Poor, H. A. Wiltse, Trip & Pollard, S. Adams, Austin Adams.

    Clayton—Reuben Noble, E. Odell, Samuel Murdock, Thos. Updegraff, E. Price, J. O. Crosby, E. H. Williams, Judge Granger.

    Allamakee—Samuel Kinne.

    Winneshick—E. E. Cooley, L. D. Bulis, Judge Willet.

    Fayette—L. L. Ainsworth, W. H. McClintock, Milo McGlathery.

    Delaware—A. E. House.

    Jones—Jos. Mann, W. J. Henry, S. Heean & McCarn, Thomas Pierce.

    Cedar—J. P. Cook, W. H. Tuthill, S. A. Bissell, J. L. Fyan, H. c. Platt, Wells Spicer, John Huber, John Swineford.

    Linn—I. N. Whittlam, I. M. Preston, Isaac Cook, N. W. Isbell, W. G. Thompson, N. M. Hubbard, R. D. Stevens, J. B. Young, A. S. Belt, Wm. Smyth, Jno. David, John Mitchell, J. J. Childs, T. J. Dudley, D. M. McIntosh, E. N. Bates, L. H. Webster.

    Johnson—Curtis Bates, C. R. Harrison, J. P. Carlton, W. C. Regan, Wm. Gilbert, M. Reno, H. P. Downey, Asa Calkins, A. S. Sweet, Peter H. Paterson, E. Morris, Gilman Folsom, James Harlan, W. Penn Clarke, J. D. Templin, L. B. Patterson, Levi Robinson, W. E. Miller, Geo. W. Clark, Rush Clark, S. H. Fairall, J. H. Bradley, H. D. McKey, J. B. Edmunds, C. T. Ransom, S. J. Kirkwood.

    Washington—Norman Evanson, A. H. Patterson, W. & H. Schofield, J. F. Henderson, J. F. McJunkins.

    Henry—G. W. & J. B. teas, A Litspeich, George H. Shuffleton, William Thompson, W. H. Wallace, J. T. Morton, Leroy Palmer, H. Ambler, R. L. Clarke.

    Jefferson—Slagle & Anderson, Chas. Negus, Caleb Baldwin, Judge Olney, S. Clinton, James Craig, James F. Wilson, M. A. McCoid, D. P. Stubbs.

    Wapello —H. B. Hendershott, Geo. May.

    Van Buren—S. W. Summers, …. Humphries, A. Hall, Geo. G. Wright, J. C. Knapp, H. c. Caldwell.

    Appanoose—Amos Harris, George Porter.

    Davis—S. G. McAchren, D. P. Palmer, H. H. Trimble, M. H. Jones, S. S. Caruthers, William S. Ficklin, Harvey Dunlary, Israel Kisler, Amos Steckels, J. M. Newcomb, J. L. Young, W. J. Hamilton, James Ellison, James Baker, James B. Weaver.

    Monroe —T. B. Perry, Judge Townsend.

    Wayne —J. W. Freeland.

    Decatur —John W. Harvey, Francis and Stephen Varga.

    Adams —F. M. Davis.

    Madison —J. F. Leonard.

    Mills —D. H. Solomon.

    Fremont —Rector & Harvey, Lingenfelter & Kelsey.

    Mahaska —W. H. & J. A. Seivers, Crookham & Fisher, ………., Wm. Loughrodge, ………………., A. Rice, N. E. Curtis.

    Keokuk —Judge Harned, George D. Woodin.

    Marion —J. E. Neal, Wm. M. Stone.

    Jasper —W. B. Sloan.

    Warren —P. G. Gad Bryan, Louis Todhunter.

    Polk —P. M. Cassiday, R. T. Tiderick, Barlow Granger, J. E. Jewitt, D. O. Finch, J. N. L. Ellwood, C. C. Nourse, T. E. Brown, M. M. Crocker, W. W. Phillips, S. V. White, John A. Kasson, T. S. Withrow, M. D. McHenry, W. H. McHenry, ………Folsom.

    Boone —John A. Hull.

    Story —J. S. Frazier.

    Webster —John F. Duncombe.

    Hamilton —D. C. Chase.

    Greene —J. J. Russell.

    Woodbury —Judge Pendleton, O. C. Treadway, A. W. Hubbard.

    Pottawattamie —C. E. Stone, A. V. Larimer, Judge James, L. W. Ross, I. W. Ross, L. W. Babbitt.

    Monona —Addison Oliver.

    Hardin —W. J. Moir, H. L. Huff.

    Benton —Shane & McCartney.

    Ringgold —J. W. Kelly.

    Iowa —John Miller, H. M. Martin, Jerry Murphy, R. B. Broff.

    Tama —C. Walter Jackson.

    Marshall —Timothy Brown, H. E. J. Boardman, W. P. Hepburn.

    Jasper —A. K. Lufkin.

    Clark —W. B. Tallman.

    Bremer —J. B. Kyle, P. V. Swan, W. P. Harmon, H. A. Miles, G. C. Wright, G. W. Wright, J. E. Burke.

    Many of these pioneer attorneys have filled positions of honor and trust, both state and federal.

    Federal—Courts, supreme, 1; circuit and district, 5; secretaries of treasury, 1; of interior, 2; of war, 1; ambassador, 1; solicitors of department, 5; senators, 5; rouse of representatives, 15; district attorneys, 10.

    State—Governors, 4; judges, supreme court, 15; district, 37; circuit, 5; attorney generals, 6; senators, 18; house, 37.

    Comparatively few of the pioneer attorneys are now living, and soon not one will be left.

    My theme is a sad but sweet one. It takes us back to the springtime of life, when, “with hopes and fears, and amidst smiles and tears,” in the then far west, in a new country, we began the battle of life, for homes, loved ones and for place and position.

    While there may be a tinge of sadness in the souls of the pioneer attorneys, as by one by one they cross the river, yet they go with a consciousness that they contributed fully their part to the foundation and upbuilding of a state which ranks high in the sisterhood of states, where those who are to follow will enjoy the blessing of free government and of happy homes, so long as they cherish and preserve those principles which insure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, on which was founded by the fathers the union of the states.

    As the pioneers have prayed, may those who come after us pray for

    “A union of lakes,
    A union of lands,
    A union which nothing can sever;
    A union of hearts,
    A union of hands,
    The American union forever.”

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