The subject of this sketch has made a special study of corporation law, and his business,
which is very extensive, is largely confined to that branch of practice. Since 1877 he has been
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 805
general solicitor for the Chicago and Iowa Railway Company, and has represented various other
railway companies in some of the most important legal controversies which have arisen since 1873.
Mr. Kretzinger has a keen and logical mind, a tenacious memory and mental operations of
remarkable quickness and accuracy. He is full of resource, and fertile in invention, and possesses
a tireless energy, which renders him almost invincible, when once fairly aroused and thoroughly
interested. As a lawyer he possesses a powerful reason, comprehends the scope of a complicated
case with great clearness, and analyzes the legal propositions involved, with accuracy. As a
speaker, he is vigorous, logical and terse, and does not strive so much for ornate diction, or well
rounded periods, as to set forth succinctly, forcibly and clearly, the legal propositions upon which
he relies, and to arrange and present facts to which the legal principles involved are applied. Mr.
Kretzinger was married August 20, 1878, to Miss Clara J. Wilson, of Rock Island, and has one son.
HON. JOHN T. STUART.
JOHN T. STUART, senior member of the law firm of Stuart, Edwards and Brown, hails
from Kentucky, being born in Fayette county, near Lexington, November 10, 1807. He is of
sturdy Scotch-Irish descent, and a son of Rev. Robert Stuart, who went from Virginia to Lexing-
ton, Kentucky, where he taught the languages in Transylvania University, and where he married
a daughter of General Levi Todd. John was educated at Danville College, Kentucky, being a
graduate of the class of 1826, and studied law for two years under that eminent lawyer and jurist,
Judge Breck. In 1828 he came to Springfield, in those days a ten days' trip on horseback; and
here, as we learn from the '' History of Sangamon County," he found five lawyers, James Adams,
Thomas N. Neale, James Strode, Thomas Moffett and Jonathan H. Pugh, all since left for " that
undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns."
Subsequently such legal lights appeared here as Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Ste-
phen T. Logan, John M. Palmer, and in the court room Mr. Stuart was regarded as the peer of
any of them. He was born two years before Mr. Lincoln, and had the training of that great
statesman for the'bar, a noble work of which he may well be proud.
Our subject entered public life quite early, and has filled different positions, always with much
credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his political confreres. He was elected to the legislature
in 1832, and reelected in 1834, being in these days a whig, and an earnest advocate of internal im-
provements, then just looming up as an important question.
Mr. Stuart was defeated for congress by William L. May, in 1836, beat Stephen A. Douglas
for the same office in 1838, and was reelected in 1841, that great whig triumphal year, when Tip-
pecanoe songs had about as much influence as logic. In congress, during the session of 1841-42,
he secured an appropriation for the harbor at Chicago, an act for which he is still kindly remem-
bered by the people, particularly in northern Illinois. Mr. Stuart now withdrew awhile from
public life, but in 1849 we find him in the state senate, where he represented the counties of San-
gamon, Mason and Menard for four years.
The whig party was broken up in 1854, and Mr. Stuart supported Millard Fillmore on the
American ticket in 1856, and John Bell on the conservative ticket in 1860, but otherwise kept out
of politics till 1862, when he was elected to congress by the democrats and a few republicans, he
being opposed to what he considered the radical measures of the administration. He was an out
and out Union man, and favored the vigorous prosecution of the war, but thought the emancipa-
tion proclamation was unnecessary, and that the objects for which it was issued could be attained
in some other manner. That was Mr. Stuart's opinion then, but we believe that he has since
come to the conclusion that his old pupil and life-long personal friend, Mr. Lincoln, acted wisely
and for the best interests of the country.
Mr. Sluart was defeated for congress in 1864, and since that time has lived a very quiet life,
806 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONAKV.
attending to his law practice with great diligence. Says a writer who has known Mr. Stuart for
thirty or forty years: " His leading traits are sterling integrity, great forecast and strong will.
In the management of professional business he seeks first to understand his own side of the case,
and next to penetrate the designs of his adversary, in which he never fails. He keeps his own
batteries effectually masked, while those of the opposite side are closely scrutinized. He knows
their caliber and position completely. -It was this quality which made him so eminently success-
ful as a politician. Such were his adroitness and sagacity, that his adversaries could never com-
prehend how he could obtain a knowledge of their plans. Therefore they dubbed him 'Jerry
Mr. Stuart has been prominently identified with the railroad interest of Sangamon county from
their start, and has held various offices in connection with them, and has also served as president
of the Springfield City Railway Company, the Springfield Watch Company, and the Bettie Stuart
Board of Trustees. He was likewise one of the commissioners for building the new state house,
and chairman of .the executive committee of the Lincoln Monument Association, giving a great
deal of time to these latter enterprises, and also to local educational institutions. His whole heart
is in any cause which will to any extent benefit the community. In short, he has all the attributes
of a public-spirited, kind-hearted neighbor.
OWEN LOVEJOY was of New England stock, the son of a Congregational minister, Rev.
Daniel Lovejoy, and was born in Albion, Maine, January 7, 1811. He was a brother of
Elijah Lovejoy, who was killed at Alton, this state, in 1837, because he was the publisher of an
anti-slavery newspaper. He entered upon his theological studies at Alton, Illinois, with his
brother, in 1836; three years afterward, was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church at
Princeton, and held that charge nearly seventeen years. In 1854 he first entered upon public life
as a member of the lower house of the general assembly. Two years afterward he was elected to
congress, and by repeated reflections held a seat in that body until his demise in the city of
Brooklyn, New York, March 25, 1864, a little more than a year after Mr. Lincoln's proclamation
of emancipation had declared the slaves of the land free. Almost the first knowledge we have of
Mr. Lovejoy in this state, was as a bold and fearless denouncer of slavery, and he never ceased his
warfare against that infamous system until his strength and breath both gave way. His widow
is still living. His son, Owen Glendower, is a rising lawyer in Princeton. .
HON. BENJAMIN R. SHELDON.
BENJAMIN ROBBINS SHELDON, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Robbins) Sheldon, was
born in New Marlborough, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, in 1812. Both parents were
also natives of that state. His father was a lawyer and at one period a member of the legislature
and of the governor's council. Benjamin prepared for college at Stockbridge.and Lenox Acade-
mies, and was graduated at Williams College in 1830, being only eighteen years of age. He
read law in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, with'Hubbard and Rockwell, and was admitted to practice
1835, in which year, we believe, he came to Illinois. He practiced at Hennepin and subsequently
at Galena, until 1848, when he was elected to the old fourth circuit, and has been on the bench
from that date. The date of his election to the supreme bench was in 1870. Both as a lawyer
and a judge he is a man of fine discriminating powers; and his sense of fairness and right
between man and man is keen and truly exalted, as is acknowledged by all with whom he comes
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 807
in contact. His analytical powers are remarkably clear, and he is entirely dispassionate and
courageous, and follows his convictions instead of prejudice. No more honorable and strictly
honest man than Judge Sheldon wears the ermine in Illinois.
HON. SIMON P. SHOPE.
SIMON P. SHOPE is the judge of the judicial circuit which includes Fulton county. He is a
Buckeye by birth, and the light of this world first dawned upon him December 3, 1835, his
parents being Simon P. and Lucinda Shope. They were natives of Pennsylvania, and came to
this state in the youth of our subject, who was educated in the schools of Woodford county. He
taught school three winters, commencing at fifteen years of age, each term being six months in
length. In 1855 he commenced the study of law with Judge Powell, of Peoria, and was admitted
to the bar in 1856, settling in Lewiston in the same year. He made a brilliant record as an
attorney-at-law, and was sent to the legislature by his democratic constituents in 1862, serving
two -consecutive terms. He was elected judge in 1877; was reelected in 1879, and is still serving
on his second term. His ability as a jurist is unquestioned.
HON. GRANVILLE BARRERE.
- RANVILLE BARRERE is a son of John M. and Margaret (Morrow) Barrere, and was born
at Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, July n, 1831. His father was a native of Kentucky,
a merchant at Hillsboro, and died there in 1880. Granville was educated at Augusta College,
Kentucky, and Marietta College, Ohio; read law at Hillsboro with his uncle, Nelson Barrere;
was admitted to the bar at Chillicothe, Ohio, in the autumn of 1854; settled in Canton, in 1856,
and has been in practice here since that date. He is the leading lawyer practicing at the Fulton
county bar. He has great power in elucidating the strong points of a case and presenting them
in a clear light and forcible manner to the court and jury. He is a keen logician, cool and self-
possessed, and seldom disconcerted by the sudden presentation of unlooked-for authority. Mr.
Barrere was elected to the forty-third congress from the old ninth district in 1872, and served one
term, his politics being republican. Mr. Barrere has made a success financially as well as in other
respects in his profession. He identifies himself thoroughly with the interests of his adopted
home, working very hard in its behalf, and making a truly valuable citizen.
DANIEL J. AVERY.
THE subject of this sketch comes from New England parentage, and is a direct descendant
of John Alden and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden, whose memory has been immortalized in the
" Courtshi-p of Miles Standish." His parental ancestors were among the very earliest settlers of
Norwich, Connecticut. His father was Ebenezer W. Avery, and his mother Tryphenia T. (Davis)
Avery. The Averys were, during the revolutionary struggle, stanch rebels, and rendered their
country valuable service on many a well fought field. It is said that thirteen bearing the family
name, all brothers and cousins, fell in one battle, and were buried in one grave. His eldest
brother is Doctor Samuel J. Avery, of Chicago, and his youngest brother, born at Avon, Lake
county, Illinois, in 1849, is John A. Avery, now editor of the Lake county " Republican."
Daniel was born in Brandon, Vermont, December i, 1836. His father was an earnest friend
808 UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
of education, and would gather his own and his neighbors' children at his own home, and during
the evenings give them their early instructions. The celebrated Stephen A. Douglas was in those
days one of his pupils, and received his earliest instruction and the necessary flagellation at his
hands, in Brandon, Vermont.
In 1843, Ebenezer W. Avery, with his wife and family of seven children, of whom Daniel was
next the youngest, came west, by way of the Erie canal and the lakes. They landed in Racine,
Wisconsin, in October, and at once preempted a quarter section of land in which is now Avon, in
Lake county. Their nearest neighbor was three miles distant, and no schools in the town. Dan-
iel was present when the first school house was erected in his district. It was a log house, and
the neighbors each furnished his quota of logs to erect it. Daniel attended school until about
eighteen years old, working with his father on the farm summers, and going to school winters.
He studied the higher branches at home evenings, under paternal instruction, and furnished him-
self with books by selling quails, at twenty-five cents per dozen, which he caught during the
winter. At the age of eighteen he attended the village academy of Waukegan, then under the
management of Francis E. Clark, the present county judge of Lake county. There he remained
for six terms, preparing for college, but abandoned his purpose of pursuing a collegiate course,
and decided instead to fit himself for the legal profession. At the age of twenty he entered the
office of Hon. J. B. Bradwell, of Chicago, and became a member of Mr. Bradwell's family, and
worked for his board and washing. At the end of one year, however, he went to the law office of
Brown and Runyan, where he pursued his leeal studies until June 30, 1859, when he was admitted
to the bar. His examiners were Judges Beckwith, Judd and Peck. After his admission to the
bar, he practiced his profession until Jujy i, 1862, when he enlisted as a private, in the ii3th reg-
iment Illinois infantry, and October i, following, was promoted to second sergeant. He was in
the reserve corps at the battle of Chickasaw Bluff, December 29, 1862; fought in the battle of
Arkansas Post, January n, 1863. About January 22, he moved with Sherman's army down to
Young's Point, opposite Vicksburg, and awaited the cutting of a channel across that point by
command of General Grant. In December, 1862, he was accidently poisoned while temporarily
in the regiment's hospital, at Memphis, Tennessee, and in March, 1863, was sent to Lawson, gen-
eral at Saint Louis, and was honorably discharged from the service October 12, 1863. He imme-
diately returned to Chicago, and resumed the practice of law. In 1864 the firm of Runyan and
Avery was formed, which continued until 1867, when Mr. Comstock was admitted to it, and in
r869 Judge Loomis, who remained till 1873, when he retired and was followed by Mr. Runyan
soon afterward. The firm was then known as Avery and Comstock, which was dissolved in 1877.
Mr. Avery conducted the extensive chancery business during the whole history of the firm,
and acquired an enviable reputation in that line of business, and in December, 1880, was appointed
master in chancery of the superior court of Cook county, which office he now holds.
He has always been an active republican in politics, and served his party as chairman of the
Cook county republican central committee, and other useful positions, but has never aspired to
office, and never been a candidate before the people.
In 1866 he was made Master Mason, and for three years was master of Hesperia Lodge, No
411, and for the past eight years has filled the office of district deputy grand master for the sec-
ond district of Illinois. He was one of the thirteen members who constituted the masonic board
of relief organized after the great fire, and did his fellow citizens efficient service in that capacity.
In July, 1874, he assisted in the organization of the Northwestern Masonic Aid Association, and
was elected president, and has been successively elected to that position every year since. This
is one of the most successful cooperative benefit associations in the country. Its membership has
now reached more than 15,000, and it has disbursed in the eight years of its existence over $800,-
ooo to beneficiaries.
In 1867 Mr. Avery married Miss Mary Comstock, of Wilton, Saratoga county, New York, who
died January n, 1873, leaving two children. May 29, 1874, he married his present wife, who was
Miss Kate Ellis, of New York city.
UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. 809
Like many others, Mr. Avery allowed his better judgment to be controlled by his feelings, and
became surety for a friend. The venture failed, and in 1867 he lost everything except the confi-
dence and esteem of his fellow citizens.
In person Mr. Avery is substantially built, tall, well proportioned, and of commanding pres-
ence. In complexion he is a blonde, with a pleasing expression, very approachable, and a genial
companion. He is very proficient in his profession, and is regarded as a fluent speaker, and a
close, logical reasoner.
MYRON A. DECKER.
YRON A. DECKER was born February 21, 1837, in Livingston county, New York. His
ancestors on the paternal side belonged to an ancient and eminent family in Holland, a
branch of which, about the middle of the seventeenth century, emigrated from Amsterdam and
settled in New York, on the Hudson River, from which branch his father, Henry Decker, descend-
ed. In 1816 his father married, and settled in the Genesee Valley, in western New York, and was
largely engaged in agriculture, and ranked among the ablest and most highly respected citizens
in Livingston county. His mother, Martha (Mather) Decker, traced her descent through the
Connecticut branch of the Mather family to the Massachusetts branch, and to Increase and Cotton
Mather, whose history is a part of the early annals of New England.
His mother died when Myron was fourteen years of age, and his father removed to Lima,
where were located the Genesee College and Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, in order that his fam-
ily, of whom Myron was the youngest, might receive a liberal education at these popular institu-
tions. Here Myron pursued his studies till he was nineteen years of age, when he resolved, owing
to some financial embarrassments into which his father had fallen, to rely wholly upon himself,
and from that time till the completion of his literary and legal studies, he had to encounter and
overcome difficulties which invariably prove the best school for training a youth to habits of
sturdy self reliance and confidence so essential to success in after life.
In the spring of 1860, at the age of twenty-three, he was admitted to the practice of law by
the supreme court of New York, at the city of Auburn. He at once entered upon the practice of
law at Lima, and met with flattering success for nearly two years, when the war of the rebellion
began, and as legal business was generally suspended, he accepted a position which was tendered
him in the United States treasury at Washington, District of Columbia, where he remained till
the war closed. When he left the department he held the highest grade, and had charge of a
division. During this period he pursued, with untiring assiduity, further legal studies, and in
February, 1865, was, upon motion of Senator Howe, now postmaster general, admitted to practice
in the supreme court of the United States at Washington, District. of Columbia.
At the close of the war, and the general resumption of business, he resigned his position in
the treasury, inspired by a laudable ambition to establish himself in the profession of his choice,
and soon thereafter accepted a retainer to procure the setting aside of fraudulent titles procured
from the United States to some large and valuable tracts of pine land in northern Wisconsin, and
his success was such that he received numerous other retainers in the same line of business, which
kept him in constant service for more than three years in Wisconsin and Washington. District of
Columbia, and his success for his clients proved a financial success for himself.
Mr. Decker was married April 29, 1869, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Miss Kittie L. Knox,
daughter of Hon. Thomas M. Knox, deceased, formerly judge in the city of Watertown, Wiscon-
sin. Early in 1870 Mr. Decker removed to Chicago, and entered upon the practice of his profes-
sion, and soon, by his energy and ability, acquired a lucrative practice. In the great fire of 1871
his office and his library, with many valuable papers, were consumed. In 1873 Mr. Decker was
prostrated by the extreme heat while in Baltimore, and shortly after, in New York city, met with
an accident which caused internal injury. From these causes his nervous system, already severely
8lO UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
strained by the cares and anxieties of his large practice, was for the time completely prostrated,
and he was compelled to take a partner to meet the urgent demands of his increasing business.
He therefore associated with himself, in Chicago, Henry Decker, then of Lima, New York, and
the firm, under the name of Decker and Decker, continued for about two years, when Myron
found that it was absolutely imperative that he should have complete relaxation from all business
cares, and devote himself to the restoration of his health. He therefore surrendered his entire
business to Henry Decker, and passed three years in travel and recreation. In 1879 his health
was sufficiently restored to warrant his resuming the practice of his profession, and he again
opened his office in Chicago, where his ability and integrity being fully recognized, he at once
attracted to himself a large and lucrative practice, which he now enjoys.
Mr. Decker is an attorney of rare tact and sound judgment, fertile in resources and untiring
in energy. These qualities, united with marked financial ability, and an unusual skill in delicate
negotiations, cause his services to be in much request by corporations and large companies, to
which class of practice his time is mainly devoted. He is the owner of considerable improved
city property, and with the requisite attention given to its management, and to the interests of
some eastern capitalists, the care of whose investments is intrusted to him, Mr. Decker finds little
time for recreation.
In politics he is a stanch republican, but has ever confined himself strictly to his profession,
and whenever his name has been mentioned for any office or political preferment, has invariably
declined. Throughout all his business and professional engagements, involving frequently sums
of great magnitude, he has ever sustained the highest character for integrity, veracity and un-
COLONEL NATHAN M. KNAPP.
NE.of the most prominent men in Scott county for many years, was Nathan Morse Knapp,
who was born in Royalton, Vermont, March 4, 1815, and died at Winchester, October 4,
1879. He received an academic education, taught school for his support at the same period, and
in 1837 came to Naples, in this state. Here he resumed the occupation of teacher, and also
edited a newspaper. In the autumn of 1838 he moved to Jacksonville, Morgan county, and when
that county was divided, early in 1839, and the new county of Scott was formed, he settled in
Winchester, the shire town, and became county clerk. Meantime, he read law, and when the time
of service in that office had expired, he gave his whole attention to the legal profession, having
such associates at the bar as McConnell, Douglas and Lincoln. In 1847 he was elected a member
of the constitutional convention, and in 1850 to the legislature. He was a very active politician
in the Anti-Nebraska controversy, aided in forming the republican party, and was a delegate to
the Chicago convention, which nominated his life-long friend, Abraham Lincoln, for president.
Says the Winchester " Independent:" " When the rebellion broke out, his voice and pen were
conspicuously employed in sustaining the old flag which he loved. Early in 1863 Mr. Lincoln
appointed him a paymaster in the army, with the rank of major, which position he held till the
close of the war. He was in 1865 appointed by President Johnson collector of internal revenue
for this district, and continued in this office until its consolidation with that of United States
assessor. Millions of money passed through his hands, involving many long-standing accounts
and intricate calculations, without the loss of one cent.
Colonel Knapp was a man of superior mind; as a lawyer he was sagacious, discriminating,
and possessed, to an eminent degree, that faculty called common sense. He knew the law intui-
tively, and was governed more by general principles than a knowledge of precedents.
As a politician, he was among the first to aid in establishing the republican party, working