John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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Copyright, 1899,




HE first lawyer who located in Mount Vernon was Daniel E. Clement. He
came from Alton, Illinois, about 1838, but remained only a short time,
as there was but little business for him. Where he went from there the
<5- writer cannot say. What little business there was in the circuit court was trans-
- acted in those days by William J. Gatewood, Albert G. Caldwell, John A. Mc-
Clernand, William A. Stickney, who recently died in Chicago; James M. Warren,
of Elizabethtown; Snowden F. Hayes, afterward of Chicago, and Walter B.
^_ Scates, all of them of Shawneetown, and Hugh B. Montgomery, of Benton.
Walter B. Scates, afterward removed to this place (Mount Vernon), was judge
of the circuit court, a member of the constitutional convention of 1847, an( ^ Judge
of the supreme court. He removed to Chicago, and died there.

Downing Baugh was next to Clement, and had been postmaster as far back,
probably, as 1832, and was also justice of the peace and probate judge of the
county of Jefferson. He was also appointed circuit judge to fill the unexpired
term of the Hon. William A. Downing. About 1858 he moved to McGregor,
Iowa, and was elected judge of what was then called the district court. He died
there a few years ago.

Stephen G. Hicks was a cotemporary of Baugh, was a member of the legis-
lature, and in 1846 was captain of Company H, Third Regiment of Illinois Vol-
unteers from this county, in the war with Mexico. He was discharged in 1847
and returned to Mexico, as lieutenant-colonel of the Second Regiment of Illi-
' nois, and served until the end of the war. Previous to this service, however, he
was in the war with Black Hawk, from this county, as orderly sergeant of Cap-
tain James Bowman's company, Spy Battalion. In the war of the Rebellion he
was colonel of the Fortieth Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was
wounded in the shoulder, while serving therein. He died at Salem, Illinois,
about 1880.

Robert F. Wingate was here as a lawyer from about 1846 to 1859, when he
removed to St. Louis, Missouri, became a member of the legislature of that state
and afterward attorney-general. He died in that state a few years ago.

Richard S. Nelson, a noted chancery lawyer, came here from Metropolis
about 1850, and remained here in active practice till about 1864, when he re-
moved to Centralia, and while attending circuit court here died of apoplexy, in
August, 1865. Tazewell B. Tanner came here from St. Louis about 1846, as a
teacher. He studied law, entered the practice, was elected a member of the
legislature, also of the constitutional convention, became judge of the circuit
court, and died about 1882. James M. Pollock came here from Pennsylvania in



1857, entered the practice, was twice elected circuit judge, and died about 1892.

Thomas S. Casey was a native of Jefferson county, entered the practice here,
was prosecuting attorney for this judicial circuit, a member of both branches of
the legislature and judge of the circuit court. He removed to Springfield, Illi-
nois, about ten years since and died there some five years ago. He was a bril-
liant lawyer and an able jurist. He was also colonel of the One Hundred and
Tenth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in the war of the Rebellion.

Samuel K. Casey, an older brother of Thomas S., removed to this place from
Joliet about thirty years ago. He was born and reared in Jefferson county, how-
ever. He was warden of the Joliet penitentiary about 1863, a member of the
senate from this district about 1868, and died here about twenty years since.

Lewis F. Casey was a young attorney here about 1846. He was born in
this county, went as first lieutenant in Captain Hicks' company, from this county,
to Mexico, was elected to the legislature from Jefferson county, while there, re-
signed, and came home to take his seat. About 1850 he removed to Texas, en-
gaged in practice and during the late war of the Rebellion held a responsible
civil position in the Confederate government. At the close of the war he re-
turned to Illinois, located at Centralia and associated himself in the practice of
law with the Hon. Samuel L. Dwiglit, now one of the judges of the circuit court.
He died some four years since.

Judge Edmund D. Youngblood, of Mount Vernon, one of the judges in
the second judicial circuit of Illinois, is a native Illinoisan, born in Para-
dise Prairie, Perry county, this state, October 21, 1838, and is a son of
Isaiah and Electa (Jones) Youngblood, the former a native of Georgia and the
latter of Connecticut. They became residents of Illinois in territorial days, and
upon a farm in Perry county they reared their family of ten children, of whom
the judge was the ninth in order of birth. His education was acquired in the
country schools near his home and at an early age he began working as a farm
hand, being thus employed until his marriage.

He continued to reside upon a farm and engaged in the hard manual labor
connected therewith until twenty-seven years of age, when, determining to de-
vote his life to professional duties, he took up the study of law. In 1867, after
thorough preparation, he was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Harris-
burg, Saline county, Illinois, where he remained until 1871, when he moved to
Shawneetown, Illinois. In the latter city he enjoyed a fair practice and held a
number of public offices: first judge of the city court of Shawneetown; after-
ward state's attorney of Gallatin county for four years, master in chancery for
six years, and judge of the county court of Gallatin county for eight years, from
December, 1882, to December, 1890. In 1891 he was elected circuit judge, and
so ably did he fill this position that in 1897 he was re-elected for another term
of six years, thus by hard study and close application, step by step, rising higher
and higher. In 1893 he removed to Mount Vernon, Illinois, in order to have
better access to the supreme court library.

Judge Youngblood administers justice fairly and impartially, fully sustain-
ing the majesty of the law, which is the protector of all human rights and liber-


ties. He has gained distinctive preferment in his chosen calling by reason of his
strong mentality, his close study, his natural and acquired ability and his unas-
sailable devotion to what he believes to be right. His power as a lawyer is dem-
onstrated by the thoroughness of his mastery of the science of law, and the skill
and aptness with which he applies its principles to given cases. Beyond and
above all, he is a student of law, a student of humanity and a student of the
tendencies of the times in which he lives, and is therefore able to temper justice
with that higher and holier quality, mercy.

His prominence as a lawyer and jurist is due in a great part to his won-
derfully retentive memory, as well as his untiring industry and energy. Although
he is a man of the strongest political conviction, while on the bench no distinc-
tion is ever made by him between attorneys, litigants or officers on account of
their political opinions, and nothing makes him more indignant than to get the
impression that any one conceives the idea that politics could or would be con-
sidered by him on the bench, between persons interested in a suit. Judge Young-
blood has been a life-long Democrat, and believes so firmly in the principles of
that party that he never fails to cast a vote for any of its representatives, no mat-
ter how minor the position for which they were candidates. He has been known
to travel seventy-five miles in order to cast his vote for township officers. That
he has the confidence and regard of his party is shown by the fact of his election
to a number of important offices, and his re-election to the circuit bench was an
unmistakable evidence of appreciation of his ability and fidelity to the important
duties entrusted to his care.

His religious views are broad and liberal. Though he is not a member of
any church at this time, he is a firm believer in Christianity, and salvation through
faith in the life, suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He
is a member of the Masonic fraternity, holding his membership in Warren Lodge
No. 14, at Shawneetown, Illinois, and as a Royal Arch Mason in H. W. Hub-
bard Chapter, No. 160, in Mount Vernon, Illinois.

On the 23d of April, 1857, the Judge was united in marriage to Miss Eunice
M. Kinne, who was by birth a Pennsylvanian, mostly reared, however, and ed-
ucated in Vanderburg and Posey counties, Indiana, and at the time of their mar-
riage was engaged in school-teaching in Horse Prairie, Franklin county, Illinois.
Their only living child is Eva Y., now the wife of Dr. J. F. Barton, of Shawnee-
town, Illinois, and they have two children, Ethel and Edmund Y. The Judge
and his family enjoy the high regard of a large acquaintance and hold that en-
viable position in social circles which is ever accorded genuine worth and mental

Tazewell B. Tanner, deceased, for many years judge of the twenty-fourth
judicial circuit, was recognized as one of the most eminent and honored laWyers
and jurists of his section of the state. He was born in Danville, Virginia,
November 6, 1821, a son of Allen C. and Martha (Bates) Tanner. His father,
who was a representative of some of the oldest and best families of Virginia, fol-
lowed merchandising in the Old Dominion until 1824, when he emigrated to
Missouri and engaged in frontier trading. Judge Tanner accompanied his


parents to St. Louis, Missouri, and after completing his education in McKen-
dree College, of Lebanon, Illinois, engaged in teaching school for four years.
On the expiration of that period he went to California in search of gold, and
after remaining for one year on the Pacific slope returned to Illinois. Soon
afterward he was elected clerk of the circuit court of Jefferson county, a posi-
tion which he filled for two years, when he resigned. Subsequently he was
elected to the lower house of the state legislature, and in the following year con-
ducted the Jeffersonian, a journal intended to educate the people upon the ques-
tion as to the propriety of donating swamp lands to aid in the construction of
a railway, a mission which the paper ultimately accomplished.

In the meantime, Judge Tanner studied law under the direction of Will-
iam H. Bissell and Judge Scales, and also practiced while engaged in his jour-
nalistic work. At the expiration of fifteen months, however, he sold his in-
terest in the newspaper and devoted his attention exclusively to his profession,
which made very heavy demands on his time. He had a large and lucrative law
practice and with marked ability handled the interests entrusted to his care. In
1862 he was elected a member of the constitutional convention of the state and
proved one of its most active and efficient members. He served as chairman of
the committee on revision and adjustment, and while officiating in that capacity
elicited the praise and encomiums of all concerned, and was especially compli-
mented for the masterly manner in which bills were revised and adjusted, and
redeemed from bareness by the elegant language in which they were expressed.
In 1873 he was elected judge of the twenty-fourth judicial district, which posi-
tion he filled until his death, which occurred in 1881. He performed the func-
tions of his office with capability and dignity. His skill and judgment as a legal
practitioner and as an expounder and defender of the law were unimpeachable;
he enjoyed the confidence and respect of the entire bar, and was highly com-
mended for the fairness and soundness of his decisions. His political support
was always given the Democracy.

Judge Tanner was married May 22, 1851, to Sarah E. Anderson, daughter
of ex-Governor Anderson of Illinois, and his widow still survives him. At a
meeting called specially to take action on the death of Judge Tanner the follow-
ing resolutions were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, It has pleased the Almighty God to remove from our midst the Hon. Taze-
well B. Tanner, one of the oldest and most distinguished members of the bar of this portion
of the state; and

Whereas, It is meet and proper to commend the virtues and hold up to public view
the bright example of the worthy and illustrious members of the bar of this portion of
the state and of the profession everywhere; therefore be it

Resolved, That in the death of the late lamented Tazewell B. Tanner, the bar of
Jefferson county and the state of Illinois has lost one of its brightest and purest orna-
ments, the state a valuable and intelligent citizen, society one of its most deserving mem-
bers, his family a kind and affectionate husband and an indulgent father, and the com-
munity one who performed his duty and the whole of his duty in life.

Resolved, That we, the members of the bar of the city of Mount Vernon, tender to


the family of the deceased our heartfelt sympathies in this their sad and irreparable be-

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to the family of the de-
ceased, and also to the supreme court of the southern grand jurisdiction of this state and
the appellate court in the fourth district of Illinois and to the circuit and county courts,
and that a copy be furnished to the St. Louis and Mount Vernon papers for publication.

Charles H. Patton, the Nestor of the Mount Vernon bar and the leading
corporation lawyer of southern Illinois, has attained to an eminent position in
his chosen calling, and no citizen of the community is more highly respected
or more fully enjoys the confidence of the people and richly deserves the esteem
in which he is held. Honorable in business, loyal in citizenship, charitable in
thought, kindly in action, true to every trust confided to his care, his life is of
the highest type of American manhood.

Mr. Patton was born in Hartford county, Connecticut, near the city of
Hartford, May 9, 1834, and his ancestral history is one of close connection with
the annals of New England, for the family was founded in America by the Pil-
grim fathers who settled in Massachusetts in the early part of the seventeenth
century. The family was represented in the war of the Revolution, and the
grandfather of our subject, Seth W. Patton, served in the war of 1812. By trade
he was a shipbuilder and by the industrious prosecution of his business inter-
ests he accumulated a desirable fortune. A prominent and influential citizen, he
served as selectman of his town and spent his entire life in Connecticut, the ''land
of steady habits," where he died at the advanced age of eighty-three. His wife,
who in her maidenhood was Miss Warner, survived her husband three years and
was also eighty-six years of age at the time of her death.

The father of our subject, Eliphalet W. Patton, was also a shipbuilder and
a man of means. In 1835 he removed to Ashtabula county, Ohio, where he set-
tled on a farm and continued to reap a golden harvest from his labors. In 1860
he made a trip to Illinois and purchased land in Jefferson county, near Mount
Vernon, to which he removed and where he spent the remainder of his days.
For many years, while he lived in Ohio, he held the office of justice of the peace
and filled other positions of honor and trust, discharging his duties with marked
fidelity. He was a devoted member of the Christian church, whose life exem-
plified his belief, and in the faith of that denomination he passed to the home be-
yond at the age of seventy-four. He married Miss Ladora Ann Griswold, a native
of Massachusetts and a daughter of Clark Griswold, of Puritan ancestry. They
became the parents of six children, five sons and a daughter, namely : our sub-
ject, the eldest; Albert W., who has been for over twenty years master car-builder
for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad at Mount Vernon, Illinois, and at
Howell, Indiana; Arthur, who is a contractor and builder at Carmi, Illinois;
Byron, who died in Arkansas; Adelaide, deceased wife of Charles Kinney; Frank
E., who served as county treasurer of Jefferson county, and as city treasurer of
Mount Vernon, and is now cashier of the George W. Evans Bank of Mount

Charles H. Patton was reared amid rural scenes, his boyhood days being


passed on his father's farm, where he early became familiar with all the duties
that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He pursued his education in the Kings-
ville Academy in Ashtabula county, .Ohio, and afterward engaged in teaching
for eight years, both in common and select schools. He entered upon the study
of law under the direction of Judge Milton A. Leonard, of Pierpont, Ohio, and
later spent a year upon his father's farm in Jefferson county, Illinois, after which
he formed a partnership with Judge James M. Pollock, in 1862, for the practice
of law in Mount Vernon. During the war of the Rebellion he accepted the nom-
ination for county clerk and was elected to that office in 1865 for a four-years
term. He brought to the discharge of his official duties a fine business training
and excellent legal education, and during his incumbency completely revolution-
ized the business methods of the office, the reforms and improvements which he
introduced being still in use.

Since his retirement from that position, Mr. Patton has devoted his atten-
tion exclusively to his law practice. He avoids criminal cases and makes a spe-
cialty of chancery practice and corporation law, in which he now ranks as the
leading practitioner in those departments of jurisprudence in southern Illinois.
He is now attorney for the George W. Evans Bank, the Mount Vernon Building
& Loan Association, the general counsel for the Mount Vernon Car Works and
local attorney for the Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis Railroad, the Louisville
& Nashville and the Wabash, Chester & Western Railroads. He has had only
three law partners during his long identification with the Mount Vernon bar,
these being Judge James M. Pollock, Judge Thomas S. Casey and Albert Wat-
son, the latter Mr. Patton's first law student. He is thoroughly versed in his
favorite branches of the law, and his knowledge of the science of jurisprudence is
most profound; but his attention, as before stated, is mostly given to chancery
and corporation law, the intricate questions giving ample scope for the exercise
of his peculiarly powerful legal talents. All recognize his ability, his skill as a
practitioner, his knowledge of the law, his sound practical judgment and es-
pecially his absolute integrity. At all times and on all occasions he fully up-
holds the majesty of the law. In the court-room he has that calm demeanor
that arises from thorough familiarity with the points at issue and indicates a
reserve force which nothing can conquer. His love of justice and right is in-
herent, and with the intensity of a strong nature he abhors wrong and dissimu-
lation in the abstract, while possessing the broadest charity for the misguided

In 1854 Mr. Patton was united in marriage, in Ohio, to Miss Charlotte Shave,
an English lady who came to this country when twelve years of age. Mrs. Pat-
ton is a woman of commanding form, of broad and liberal mind; of generous im-
pulses, and while never forgetting the poor she is a born leader in the higher walks
of life. Four children have been born of this union: Dr. Fred W., a graduate of
the Miami Medical College, of Cincinnati, and a leading physician of St. Louis,
Missouri; Lulu L., now the wife of S. G. H. Taylor; Lillie W., wife of James G.
Nugent, of the firm of Nugent Brothers, of St. Louis, and Otto C.

Mr. Patton is a very prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and has


been a Knight Templar for more than twenty-five years, holding many import-
ant positions in that order. He was high priest of H. W. Hubbard Chapter,
R. A. M., and is grand captain of the host in the Grand Chapter of Illinois. In
the grand lodge he served for several years on the most important committees,
including that of. Masonic jurisprudence, and has been district deputy grand
master for several terms. Both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star,
and of the local lodge he is worthy patron, while Mrs. Patton is assistant worthy
patron. He is a charter member of the Knights of Honor, filling various offices
in the order and serving as representative to the grand lodge. For several years
he was trustee of the grand lodge, and is now one of the two representatives of
the Grand Lodge of Illinois in the Supreme Lodge of the United States. Mr.
Patton is a worthy exemplar of these noble fraternities, showing forth in his up-
right life the beneficent and uplifting principles upon which they are based.





THE first lawyer that ever came here to reside was Charles Jouett, who was
sent here as Indian agent in 1805. He was a native of Virginia, born in
1772, and the youngest of nine children. His father shared in Brad-
dock's defeat, and two of his brothers fought in the war of independence. He
studied law at Charlottesville, Virginia, and was appointed by Jefferson Indian
agent at Detroit, in 1802. April 2, 1805, he was appointed commissioner to
hold a treaty with the Wyandottes, Ottawas, and other Indians in northwestern
Ohio and what is now southeastern Michigan. The treaty was signed at Fort
Industry, on "the Miami of the Lake," now Maumee, July 4, 1805. The same
year he was appointed as Indian agent at Chicago, and on October 26, 1805,
assumed charge, by direction of the government, of the Sacs, Foxes, and Pot-
tawatomies. He was again appointed Indian agent for Chicago by President
Madison in 1815, and moved here with his family in that year. He is charged
with one thousand dollars salary as such agent on the books of the government
for 1816.

The next lawyer that took up his abode here was Russell E. Heacock.
He arrived in Chicago July 4, 1827. He at first took up his residence inside
of the inclosure of old Fort Dearborn. During the next year he removed to
a log cabin, which he purchased of one Peter Lampslett, situated about the
center of section 32, township 39, range 14, "about three-quarters of a mile
southeast of the lock at Bridgeport and about one mile south of Hardscrabble."
In 1830 he appears to have acted at one time as judge and at another time as a
clerk of election, and in 1831 was selected as one of the two commissioners to lay
out a road from Shelbyville to Chicago. He was licensed to keep a tavern
in his own residence at Hardscrabble, which was, we believe, near the present
site of the rolling mills at Bridgeport, and was one of the seven justices ap-
pointed for Cook county September 10, 1831. Under date of August 5, 1835,
we find him advertised as an attorney, and his name appears in the Chicago
directories as late as 1848. He was one of the four delegates from Cook county
to the constitutional convention of 1847, the others being Francis E. Sher-
man, Patrick Ballingall, and E. F. Colby.

The next lawyer that came here was Richard J. Hamilton, who, it is prob-
able, was the author of the well known phrase that "a public office is a public

* Revised by Charles E. Anthony.



trust," for he had great experience as a public officer, having filled almost every
local office extant in his day. On the organization of Cook county he turned
his eyes northward and was elected by the general assembly as the first probate
judge of Cook county, January 29, 1831. His friend, Judge Richard M. Young,
appointed him clerk of the Cook county circuit court, and Governor Reynolds
commissioned him a notary public and recorder. According to all accounts he
arrived in Chicago in the very early days of March, 1831, and was present at the

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 1 of 83)