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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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John Gibson, vice-president; D. K. Trim-
mer, secretary; W. H. Sitler, treasurer; and



James W. Latimer, William C. Chapman,
Henry L. Fisher, Levi Maish and John Gib-
son, committee of censors. The present offi-
cers, elected December 12, 1881, are Will-
iam C. Chapman, president; James Kell,
vice president; the secretary, treasurer and
committee of censors being the same.

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS.

The following is a list of the district attor-
neys of York County after the office was
made elective:

James E. Buchanan, elected, 1850; Thomas-
A. Ziegle, appointed, 1851; Richard P. Wil-
ton, elected, 1853; William C. Chapman,
elected, 1856: John W. Bittenger, elected,
1862; David F. Williams,_ elected, 1868;
Arthur N. Green, elected, 18 / 1 ; John Black-
ford, elected, 1874; John W. Heller, elected,
1877; Edward D. Ziegler, elected, 1880;
George W. McElroy, elected, 1883.

Before the election of district attorneys
by the people under the act of 1850, the
indictments were drawn and prosecutions on
behalf of the commonwealth were conducted
by deputies appointed for that purpose.
The name of the attorney-general of the
commonwealth was signed to all indictments.
There is therefore no record of these depu-
ties in this county. But among them were
George A. Barnitz and William H. Kurte,
Esqs., just previous to 1850.

The following list consists of all the attor-
neys admitted to practice in the courts of
York County since their foundation to the
present date. In 1749, a number of attorneys
from other counties were present to assist in
the opening of the Hrst court, only five of
whom are known. Though the admissions
were frequent from that time on, yet not until
1755 was an attorney admitted with the inten-
tion of practicing here in York. For five years
this attorney. Samuel Johnston, was, as has
been said, the York bar; now the bar has
more than fifty members. Many of the fol-
lowing admissions are of those who came
here to try a single case or so, and who, of
course, were never considered members of
the bar. Among these are men of distinc-
tion, such as James Buchanan, Thaddeus
Stevens, Molton C. Rogers. Jasper Yates.
George Fisher, Daniel Smyser. Frederick M.
Watts and Samuel Hepburn. There are
some in the list who practiced here for a
while, but now are practicing in other courts
or are in office. Those marked with a star
are the present members of the bar.

William Peters. John Lawrence, George
Ross, David Stout, John Renshaw, 1749;
Edward Shippen, John Mather, Jr., April 30,,



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY.



]



1/51; Samuel Morris, Joseph Galloway, July
30. 1751; Hugh Bay, January 28. 1752;
Thomas Olway. William Parr. April 25, 1753;
David Henderson, July 29, 1755; Samuel
Johnson, October 28. 1755; James Bisset,
January 23, 1759; William Atlee, July 24,
1759.
William McClay and James Smith. April

28. 1760 ; Lindsay Coates. January 29.
1765; James Reed. April 30, 1765; Jasper
Yates, May 29, 1765; Andrew Allen, Alex
Wilcox, Henry Eleves, Richard Peters, Jr.,
Stephen Porter. James Sayre, July 23, 1765;
Robert Gilbraith, William Sweeney, Edward
Riddle, October 22, 1765; James Wilson,
October 27, 1767; Jacob Moor, Thomas Hood,
January 24. 1769 ; Jacob Rush, Stephen
Watte. Col. Caspar Witzall. Christian Hoake,
April 25, 1769; Thomas Hartley, July 25,
1769.

John Hubley. July 24,1770; James Liikens,
David Grier, David Espy, April 23, 1771;
Andrew Scott, July 23. 1771; Peter Zachariah
Loyd, April 28, 1772; Andrew Ross, July 28,
1/(2; George Ross, Jr., John Reily, Robert
Buchanan, July 27, 1773; John Stedman,
John McGill, October 26. 1773; Thomas
Smith, Charles Stedman, David McMecken,
January 25. 1774; Jasper Ewing, October 25,
1774; William Barton, April 25, 1775; James
Wilson, Col. Thomas Hartley, January 26,
1779; Maj. John Clark, April 27, 1779;
George Noarth, Col. William Bradford, July
27, 1779.

Stephen Chambers, April 24, 1781; James
Hamilton, April 24, 1781; Col. Robert Mc-
Gaw, July 24, 1781: Stephen Porter, July
23, 1782; Thomas Smith, April 29, 1783;
John Lawrence, July 29, 1783; Matthew
McAlister, July 29. 1783; John Wilkes Kit-
tera, October 28, 1783; James Riddle, Janu-
ary 25, 1785; Jacob Hubley, January 25,
1785; Ross Thompson, April 26, 1785; An-
drew Danlap, October 25, 1785; Joseph
Hubley, October 25, 1785; James Carson,
January 24, 1786; William Montgomery,
April 25, 1786; Peter Huffnagle, April 25,
1786; John Joseph Henry, April 25, 1786;
John Woods, April 25, 1786; John Caldwell,
July 25,1786; James Hopkins, Charles Smith,
April 26, 1787 ; James Campbell, July

29, 1788; George Fisher, July 29, 1788;
John Lukens. Januaiy 27. 1789; Ralph
Bowie, July 28, 1789; Thomas Nisbit, July
29, 1789; John Moore, July 30, 1789; Mat-
thias Barton, July 30. 1789.

John Montgomery, April 26, 1790; James
Kelley, July 27, 1790; David Waltz, Octo-
ber 26, 1/90; James Orbison, January 25,
1791; Samuel Riddle, January 26, 1791;



John Smith, January 26, 1791; Charles Hall,
April 6, 1791; George Smith, April 6, 1791;
Matthias Slough, March 7, 1792; David
Moore, June 5, 1792; Jacob Carpenter, June
5, 1792; John Ross, June 6, 1792; Samuel
I Roberts, June 6, 1792; William Barber, March
! 2, 1793; William Ross, June 3, 1793; John
Shippen, December 2, 1793; Charles William
Hartley, December 2, 1793; Thomas Elder,
December 2, 1793; David Cassat, March 4,
1794; Parker Campbell, June 2, n94; Sam-
uel Scott Gilbraith, June 2, 1/94; James
Smith, September 7, 1795; Thomas Baily,
September 7, 1795; Thomas B. Zantzinger,
September 4, 1797; Robert Hays, December
' 4, 1797; Joseph Miller, March 5, 1798.

Charles Hare, June 5, 1800 ; Richard

Brooks, June 5, 1800; Andrew Buchanan,

' June IS, 1801; James Dobbins, June 19,

j 1801; John Strohman, February 19, 1805;

I John McConaghy, February 18, 1806.

I Bushnell Carter, April 3, 1810; Charles

I A. Barnitz, April 2, 1811; Henry Shippen,

November 5, 1811; John Gardner, August 4,

1812; Jasper Slaymaker, October 21, 1814;

: John Blanchard, March 31, 1815; Samuel

I Bacon, April 30, 1815; James Merrill. No-

1 vember 3, 1815; Molton C. Rodgers, March

' 26, 1816; Edward Coleman, March 26, 1816;

j Samuel Merrill, October 29, 1816; Thaddeus

I Stevens, November 4, 1816; Edwin A.White,

! December 17,1816; Daniel Raymond, January

j 6, 1817; Colin Cooke, April 9, 1817; Isaac

Fisher, July 28. 1817; William Gemmill,

I April 6, 1818; MichaelW. Ash, May 12,1818;

William H. Brown, May 11, 1818; John

! Wright, August 9, 1818.

James Lewis, August 1, 1820; Daniel Dur-
kee, P. J., October 30, 1820; William C.
' Frazer, October 30, 1820; Thomas Kelley,
i October 31, 1820; Webster Lewis, December
28, 1820; Walter Franklin, Jr., January 2,
1821; Joseph C. Cohen, January 4, 1822;
Jacob A. Fisher, March 28, 1822; Charles B.
Penrose, July 21, 1822; John Evans, August

3, 1822; Calvin Mason, August 5, 1822;
I Henry C. Campbell, August 8, 1822; Charles
I Worthington, August 28, 1822; George W.

, Kline, August 29, 1822; John S. Wharton,
September 16, 1822; John Bowie, November

4, 1822; Emanuel C. Reigard, November 5,
1822; James Findlay, January 7, 1823; Henry
H. Cassat, April 7, 1823; Samuel M. Barnitz,
April 7, 1823; Edward Chapin, April 9,
1823; F. M. Wadsworth, April 15, 1823;
George W. Harris, August 6, 1823; John

, Smith, November 3, 1823; James Anderson,
November 3, 1823; Richard Porter, February

! 17, 1824; Xerxes Cushman, July 27, 1824;
William C. Carter, August 4, 1824; George



BENCH AND BAR.



A. Barnitz, November 16, 1824; Bobert S.
King. August 1, 1825; William Miller, i
August 10, 1825: Morgan Ash, May, 9, 1826;
James Buchanan, August 21, 1826; David |
F. Lammot, April 2, 1827; George Heckert, j
May 14, 1827; William B. Donaldson, No-
vember 7, 1827; William H. Kurtz, January
7, 1828; Ellis Lewis, C. J., January 10,
1828; James Kelley, March 3, 1828; Miner
T. Leavenworth. August 9, 1828; *Robert J.
Fisher, P. J., November 4, 1828; Benjamin
Champaeys, November 4, 1828; Thomas C.
Hambly, April 7, 1829.

Robert J/i. Lee, August 8, 1832; William
W. Haly, September 4, 1832; Ebenezer Me- j
Ilvaine, October 15, 1832; Benjamin Rush, ;
January 9, 1833: Daniel M. Smyser, August j

7, 1833; John L, Mayer, February 20, 1834; :
John J. Allen, April 7, 1834; E. P. Brad- j
tord, April 11, 1834; Albert C. Ramsay, No- '
vember 3, 1834; James V. Cooper, November

3, 1835; Andrew G. Miller, November 3,
1835; John Williamson, December 28, 1835;
Willim R. Morris, January 8, 1836; R. N.
Martin, March 29, 1836; George W. Nabb,
March 29, 1836; J. H. Carter, May 2, 1836;
H. P. Hepburn, May 11, 1836; John G.
Campbell, May 17, 1836; Thomas Q. Walsh,
October 31, 1836; David G. Barnitz, January
2, 1838; Thomas C^ McDowell, Januarv 5,
1838; Frederick E. Baily, January 15, 1838;
Moses McLean, February 21, 1838; Herman
Alricks, September 19, 1838.

Frederick M. Watts, February 17, 1840;
John Shelly, May 13, 1840; William Bond, I
August 3, 1840; James Vanhorn, August 3,
1840; Jacob S. Stable, December 8, 1840; j
James E. Buchanan, May 3, 1841; Theodore '
H. Cremer, August 3, 1841; Jacob F. Welsh,
November 1, 1841; Charles W. Hepburn,
April 4, 1842; John W. Magnau, April 4,
1842; Benedict D. Potts, April 6, 1842;
William Garretson, April 18, 1842; Joseph
A. Clay, August 2, 1842; Thomas E. Coch
ran, December 6, 1842; James Fox, January
2, 1843; Montgomery P. Shaw, May 2, 1843,
Joseph M. Palmer, December 20, 1843;
Thomas P. Potts, March 18, 1844; D. Stew-
art Elliott, August 6, 1844; John F. Hous-
ton, December 1 /, 1844; *Vincent K. Keesey,
December 17, 1844; Henry Y. Slaymaker,
March 21, 1845; Michael Gallagher, August

4, 1845; Frederick S. Gossler, August 12,
1845; Robert G. McCreary, August 12, 1845;
Franklin Wright, Januarv 5, 1846; Charles
Dennes. February 5, 1846; Philip Gossler;
August 3, 1846; James J. E. NaiUe, April

8, 1847; *William C. Chapman, August 2,
1847; *Charles B. Wallace, February 14,
1849; William D. Gobrecht, March 3, 1849; I



William H. Welsh, November 5, 1849; John
A. Hiestand, November 14, 1849; Bartram'
A. Sheffer, November 16, 1849.

Hugh M. North, April 22, 1850; Nathan L.
Atwood, May 28, 1850; Josiah F. Rosen -
miller, Mav 28, 1850; Richard P. Wilton,
May 28, 1850; Thomas A. Zeigler, May 28,
1850; David McConaughy, August 26, 1850;
Samuel H. Taggert, January 8, 1851;
Coleman Yellott, January 8, 1851; Samuel
Hepburn, April 28, 1851; Erastus H. Weiser,
June 3, 1851;* John Gibson, J., September 30,
1851; Edward Cham.pneys, November 7, 1851 ;
Horace S. Weiser, December 2, 1851; John
A. Fisher, February. 23, 1852; T. J. Sloan,
August 27, 1852; William L. Schley, Janu-
ary, 5, 1853: *Henry L. Fisher, August 22,
1853; John C. Kunkle. August 23, 1853; David
PurdyHays, August 24, ,1853 : H. ClayAlleman,
December 2, 1854; John S. Detwiler, January
1, 1855; James A. Grayson, January 1, 1855;
James Raymond, January 3, 1855; Alfred E.
Lewis, April 28, 1855; Wilson Roily. Au-
gust 27, 1855; J. B. Amweg Februarv 12,
1856; William Galligher, August 25, 1856;
John M. Bonham, February 23, 1857; John
F. Spangler, February 23, 1857; John H.
Fritz, August 28, 1857: Michael F. Mulgrew,
January 8, 1858;*Arthur N. Green, January
27, 1858; Oscar K. Harris, April 28, 1858;
William Hay, November 1, 1858; William H
Miller, November 4, 1858; Robert L. Muench,
November 4, 1858; Joseph W. Fisher, De-
cember 9, 1858;HeuryW.Spangler, March 15,
1859; Horace Bonham, April 29, 1859;* James
W. Latimer, July 5, 1859; *George Fisher,
August 22, 1859; Robert Gibson, August 22,
1859; William E. McLaughlin, August 22,
1859. *David J. Williams, August 22, 1859;
Henry W. Bellman, August 26, 1859.

Charles W. Webster, January 2, 1860;
David Mumma, April 27, 1860; George S.
Latimer, August 27, i860; Robert McCach-
ren, August 30, 1860: *John W. Bittenger,
August 31, 1860; O. E. Shannon, October 3,
1860; Samuel Vandersloot, November 7, 1860;
J. Sellman Shipley, February 4, 1861; *Si-
las H. Forry, May' 28, 1861; Hon. Jeremiah
S. Black, August 27, 1861; Chauncey F.
Black, August 27, 1861; *Martin S. Eichel-
berger, November 4, 1861; * James Kell,
January 10, 1862; William A. Sponsler,
January 28, 1862; Robert Palethorp, March
18, 1862; A. H. Hood, May 2, 1862; James
F.'Shunk, August 25, 1862; J. Frank Seiss,
August 37, 1862; John M. Bailey, August
29, 1862; John W. Johnston, December 15,
1862; James H, Smith, November 30, 1863;
Lewis L. McArthur, March 18, 1864; Lewis
M. Blackford, April 25, 1864; *Levi Maish,



438



HISTORY or YORK COUISTTY.



August 24, 1864; *James B. Zeigler, August
24, 1864; Archibald T. Patterson, December
13, 1864; *George W. McElroy, December
20, 1864; R. M. Russel, January 3, 1865;
Oliver P. Hach, January 30, 1865; Robert
D. Norman, January, 30, 1865; *John
W. Heller, February 13. 1865; *Pere
L. Wickes, P. L. J. "May 29, 1866; Henry
Black, July 10, 1866; *Hugh W. McCall,
August 27, 1866; Leander H. Myers, August
27, 1866; Howard Q. Kevwortb, August 30,
1866: A. J. Herr, November 6. 1866; *Ed-
ward \Y. Spangler, March 4, 186 <; A. H.
Chase, April 11; 1867; *George W. Heiges,
April 22, 1867; Aaron May, September 2,
1867; William L. Boyd, January 27, 1868;
Michael Gallagher, February 11, 1868;
*Hugh H. McClune, March 18, 1868;
Franklin M. Sprague, March 18, 1868; J. L.
Himes, June 4, 186S; *Hiram S. McNair,
November 4, 1868; *Edward D. Zeigler, No-
vember, 4, 1868; James A.Weakley,March 17,
1869; Robert J. Fisher, Jr., June 1. 1869;
•»Frank Geise, July 13, 1869; E. Key Buch- ;
anan, November, 10. 1869.

Hon. James M. Buchanan, August 22,
1870; John Blackford, August 22,_1S70; Ovid
F. Johnson, August 23. ISlO; James
McSherry, April 26, 1871; A. N. Brice, De-
cember 14, IS / 1 ; *Edward Chapin, August 26,
1872; *Nevin M. Wanner, August 26, 1872;
Hon. John D. Stiles, November 19, 18(2;
*Eli Z. Strine, February 24, 1873; W. J.
Shearer. June 3, 1873; D. Bigler Bailey,
August 25, 1873; *W. F. Bay Stewart, Nov- j
ember 3. 1873; Lyman D. Gilbert, December [
9, 1873;' W. Scott Campbell, June 2, 1874; :
W. T. Bishop, June 8. 1874; Rufus W. Apple- i
garth, October 19, 1874; *Daniftl K. Trim-
mer, October 23, 1874; Samuel V. Redifer,
October 28, 1874; George Northrop, Decem-
ber 1, 1874; William H. Kain, August 21,
1875; H. H. Winter, August 21, 1875; Mor- ;
ris B. Jones, September 30. 1875; *George
B. Cole, December 29, 1875; Luther J.
Kraber, March 13, 1876: George W. G. Wad-
dell, April 13, 1876; John H. Weiss, June 1,
1876; Thomas J. Davis. November 17, 18(6;
*Horace Keesey, December 13, 1876; *Charles
M. Wolf, May 14. 1877; Samuel Hepburn,
Jr., July 23, 1877; J. H. Frenauff, Septem-
ber 24, 1877; J. W. Simon ton, November 23,
1877; *John M. Young, November 23, 1877:
*W. H. Sitler, December 12, 1877; Frank H
Ward, January 9, 18/8; Frank E. Beltz-
hoover, January 22, 1878; William S. Kenny,
March 30, 1878; Andrew C. Deveney, Sep-
tember 16, 1878; *E. D. Bentzel, September
20. 1878; James H. Gable, September 20,
1878: Gen. James L. Reynolds, December 9,



1878; Newton Lefever, April 14, 1879; *Sam-
uel C. Frey, June 30, 1879; *Richard E.
Cochran, September 15, 1879; *Smyser Wil-
liams, September 15, 1879; *George W.
Gross, September 26, 1879; Oliver Sidwell,
October 14, 1879; C. B. Kauffman, October
17, 1879; *Frank Smyser, October 27, 1879;
John H. Shopp, November 17. 1879; W. A.
Scott, Januarv 7, 1880; Edward F. Amig.
March 8, 1880; *Henry C. Niles, June 14,
1880; *Davis G. Ziegler. August 16, 1880;
* Jacob L. Zeigler. September 20, 1880;
*Theodore W. Noedel, September 20, 1880,

John L. Long, March 7. 1881; Philip J.
Rau, May 26, 1881; Leroy J. Wolf, July 6,
1881; A. F. Bole, July 6, 1881; William
Henry Smith, September 5, 1881; John B.
McPherson, September 7, 1881; Samuel H.
Reynolds, October 19, 1881; *George W.
Heck, December 15, 1881; *Alfred S. Niles.
December 30, 1881; Edward J. Cox, January
9, 1882; F. Carroll Brewster, January 24,
1882; W. M. Den, March 7, 1882; Henry
Newsham, April 24, 1882; B. F. Junkin,
May 1, 1882;*GeorgeE. Neff, July 13, 1882;
Robert Snodgrass, August 28, 18S2; Charles
F. Haines, August 29, 1882; *William A.
Miller, October 7, 1882; Lyman D. Gilbert.
October 7, 1882; *N. Sargent Ross, October
24, 1882; Edward Stair, July 9, 1883; Ed-
ward Harvey, October 9, 1883; Joseph W.
Parker, November 8, 1883; James H. McCon-
key, February 28. 1884; J. Frank Snyder,
March 26, 1884; *Edwin S. Frey, May 26.
1884; George J. Beuner, May 29. 1884:
*George S. Schmidt, June 30, 1884; *John
F. Kell. July 14, 1884: *William J. Fulton,
August 25, 1884; *Joseph R. Strawbridge,
August 25, 1884; William Penn Lloyd,
August, 1868; David Wills, date unrecorded.

The biographies of the bench and bar have
been arranged according to the three classes
of president judges, associate .judges and at-
tornies, and in each class in chronological
order. Many who deserve much more than a
mere mention are not here, for only a few of
the representative men of each class could be-
taken.

PRESIDENT JUDGES.

HON. WILLIAM AUGUSTUS ATLEE.

Hon. William Augustus Atlee was born at
Philadelphia, July 1, 1735. He moved to
Lancaster at a very early age, and was ad-
mitted to the Lancaster bar in 1758 and to
the York bar the nest year, on the 24th of
July. Mr. Atlee practised in Lancaster
until August 16, 1777, when he was ap-
pointed a judge of the Supreme Court of



BENCH AND BAR.



439



Pennsylvania. In 1791, under the new con-
stitution, he was appointed president judge
of the Second District. The first court held
by him in York County was on the 31st of
October of that year. In 1739, Judge Atlee
contracted the yellow fever in Philadelphia
while attending court, and died at his seat
near Wright's ferry on the Susquehanna on
the 19th of September. He is described "as
a prominent citizen and an active and lead-
ing Whig during the Revolution." The high
positions he held sufficiently indicate his
character.

HON. JOHN .JOSEPH HENRY.

John Joseph Henry, son of William
Henry, Esq., was born at Lancaster, Peun.,
on November 4, 1758. At the age of four-
teen, he became an apprentice to a gun-
smith. When the Eevolution began Mr. ;
Henry joined the army, being only sixteen
years old. At the storming of Quebec he
was captured by the British and after a
long imprisonment was released. Return-
ing to Lancaster, he was confined to his
house for two years by an illness occasioned
by this imprisonment. Afterward for four
years he was clerk in the office of John Hab-
ley, prothonotary of Lancaster. In 1785
Mr. Henry was admitted to the bar, having
studied with Stephen Chambers, and in
December, 1793, was appointed president
judge of the Second District to succeed
Judge Atlee. Judge Henry, on December
10, 1810, petitioned the legislatiu-e to grant
him some compensation for his services and
suffering during the Revolutionary war. In
answer, that body, on April 2, 1811, granted
him the sum of $1600. He had the January
previous resigned his commission as judge.
He died in his native town on April 22,
1811.

HON. WALTER FRANKLIN.

Walter Franklin was born in the city of
New York, in February, 1773. His father,
having during his minority removed to
Philadelphia, he there studied law and was
admitted to the bar, in April, 179-4. He was
appointed attorney-general of Pennsylvania
in January, 1809, which office he held until
January, 1811, wlien he was appointed presi-
dent judge of the courts of common pleas
of the Second Judicial District of Pennsyl-
vania, which then comprised the counties of
Lancaster, York and Dauphin, to which
were afterward added Cumberland and Leb-
anon. He continued in this office until his
death, which took place in February, 1838.
He was distinguished for his eminent integ-



rity and his superior attainments as a jurist,
for the clearness of his conceptions and the
strength and vigor of his mind. His dignity
of manner and uniform correctness of de-
portment sprang from religious principle,
and he was emphatically, in the highest
sense, a Christian gentleman.*

HON, DANIEL DURKEE.f

Judge Durkee was of English descent, the
family coming to America early in the eigh-
teenth century and settling in Windham,
Conn, Here his great grandfather, Nathaniel
Durkee, was married August 21, 1727, and
from there his son, Timothy (Judge Durkee's
grandfather), removed to Vermont while
that State was yet a wilderness. His mater-
nal grandfather, Elisha Eix, also went from
Connecticut to Vermont about the same time,
both families settling in the valley of White
River, In their journey of about two hun-
dred miles, they were guided by marked trees.
They settled on adjoining farms, granted by
the government of New York, then claiming
jurisdiction over the territory. The families
were united by the marriage of Heman, the
eldest son of Timothy Durkee, to Susan,
daughter of Elisha Rix. Heman succeeded
to the Durkee farm, and both farms have
remained in possession of members of the
family until recently. Situated in the town-
ship of Royalton, they adjoin South Royal-
ton, a thriving village and railroad center.
Here Daniel Durkee, the subject of this
sketch, was born on August 27, 1791, His
father's death occurring when he was but a
boy, the years of his early manhood were
spent in the home and on the farm of his
mother. He married April 8, 1813, Mary,
daughter of Capt, John Wright, of Norwich,
Vt, A few years after his marriage he com-
menced the study of law with Judge Jacob
CoUamer, of Royalton (afterward United
States senator from Vermont and postmaster
general), and Judge Hutchinson, of Wood-
stock, Vt. He was admitted to the bar in
Chelsea, Orange Co., Vt., June 12, 1818,
and opened an office in Williamstown, in the
same county. Desirous of settling in Penn-
sylvania, he left Williamstown the following
December, and came to Lebanon, Penn., tak-
ing an office just vacated by his brother-in-
law, John Wright, Esq., who had removed
to York. Some months later, illness in his
family compelling Mr. Wright to return to
New England, Judge Durkee came to York,
where he continued to reside until his death.

*This memoir is by his distinguished son, Hon. T. E.
Franklin, in Mombert's History of Lancaster County.
fBy James W. Latimer, Esq.



440



HISTORY OF YORK COUNT V.



At that time, Lebanon was thoroughly Ger-
man. So universally was that language
spoken there, that there was but one family
in the town vvith whom the Durkee family
could communicate in the English tongue,
while in York there was a large English ele-
ment, though the German was almost univer-
sally spoken in the surrounding country.
Without any knowledge of that language, he
soon became a popular lawyer with the Ger-
man population and a successful practition-
er. Pennsylvania thenceforth became the
State of his adoption. Bat he was ever loyal
to New England and his native home, which
continued to be the home of his mother until
her death in 1852. It was his "Mecca." He
never failed to go there annually (in the thir-
ty-sis years of his life in Pennsylvania), tak-
ing his family or several members of it with
him in each alternate year. The New Eng-
land festival, "Thanksgiving," was always
observed in his home, the appointment of the
governor of Vermont being regarded, until
in later years it became a national appoint-
ment. Judge- Durkee was admitted to the
bar of York County in 1820. In 1832 he
was elected to the legislature. In 1833 he
was appointed by Gov. Wolf judge of the
district court. In 1835, the district court
having been abolished, he was appointed
president judge of the nineteenth judicial
district, composed of the counties of York
and Adams. He held the office for ten years,
when, at the expiration of his term, he was
succeeded by Judge Irwin. On the resigna-
tion of the latter in 1849, Judge Durkee was
again appointed to the president judgeship
by Gov. Johnson, and held the office until
1851, when, the judgeship having been by a
constitutional amendment made elective,
Judge Fisher was chosen to succeed him.

He then resumed the practice of his pro-
fession, which he continued to the time of
his death. He died November 23, 1854, aged
sixty-lhree years and three months. Thus,
for nearly half the entire period of his resi-
dence in Pennsylvania, Judge Durkee held
the office of president judge. On the bench.
Judge Durkee was careful and painstaking
and showed great discrimination in separating
fi-om the mass of less important matters, the
real points involved in the cases brought be-



Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 90 of 218)