John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

The bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) online

. (page 21 of 83)
Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 21 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

department of McKendree College, under Henry H. Homer, from 1879 until


1882. He also studied mathematics, history, Latin and English and American
literature until his senior year, when he abandoned all work except his legal
studies, and was graduated, in the law department in 1882. During his colle-
giate course he also taught school three miles north of Lebanon, in the Emer-
ald Mound district, at the same time reading law and successfully passing the
examinations. In the spring of 1880 he had deliberately determined to make
the practice of law his life work, and in June, 1882, was admitted to the bar
upon examination before the supreme court at Springfield, after which he re-
ceived his diploma and degree from the law department of McKendree Col-

Immediately afterward Judge Sherman returned to Macomb, where he
has remained almost continuously since. His money was by this time ex-
hausted, and until August, 1882, he worked at day labor and at driving a team.
He then entered the law office of D. G. Tunnicliff, with whom he read law until
October. He then borrowed one hundred dollars from a college classmate and
entered into partnership with L. E. Vose. In 1890 D. G. Tunnicliff retired
(from practice and Judge Sherman became the senior member of the firm of
Sherman & Tunnicliffs, his partners being George D. and William W. Tuni-
cliff, the two sons of his former preceptor. His practice has been general and
he has been retained on many of the important suits that have been tried in the
district. In May, 1885, he was elected city attorney of Macomb, and in No-
vember, 1886, was elected judge of McDonough county, his term expiring in
December, 1890, when he declined a re-election. In politics he has always been
a Republican, and has been active in campaign work since 1884. In Novem-
ber, 1896, he was elected a member of the fortieth general assembly of Illinois
and was one of the most active and influential Republicans in the house. He
there explained his views on street-car legislation, May 27, 1897, the substance
of which was incorporated in the Allen bill, for which he voted on its final
passage. He has defended the law on its merits ever since the agitation began.
He was instrumental in securing the passage through the house of the jury
commission bill, recommended by the Chicago Bar Association, which is now
the law governing the selection of grand and petit jurors in Cook county. At
the special session of the legislature held in 1898 he was a member of the sub-
committee on revenue in the house and the joint conference committee of the
senate and house, and largely assisted in framing and passing the amendment
to the law for the assessment of property.

On the 27th of May, 1891, Judge Sherman married Miss Ella M. Crews in
Grove township, Jasper county, Illinois. The lady was the youngest daughter
of James L. Crews, one of the pioneers of that county, and was a schoolmate
of the Judge in their childhood days in southern Illinois. Her death occurred
June 16, 1893. In his social relations our subject is a member of Macomb
Lodge, No. 17, A. F. & A. M., of which he served as junior warden from 1890
until 1892; Morse Chapter,. No. 61, R. A. M.; Macomb Commandery, K. T.,
and the Oriental Consistory and Medinah Temple of Chicago. He also holds
a membership in Montrose Lodge, K. of P., of Macomb.


Robert Wilson McCartney, deceased, was one of the most highly esteemed
citizens of Massac county.* His parents, John McCartney and wife, nee Jean
Brown, were hardy, honest, industrious and intelligent Scotch people who em-
igrated to the Western Reserve in Ohio in 1838 or '9, and he was born near
Warren, in Johnson township, Trumbull county, that state, March 19, 1843.
When he had arrived at the age of six years his parents removed to Eastbrook,
Pennsylvania, and resided there until after the death of young Robert's moth-
er, which occurred when he was but ten years of age. From Eastbrook the
family soon moved to Youngstown, Ohio, and our subject secured steady em-
ployment in the woolen mills until the war broke out.

When the country called for brave defenders, although only eighteen
years of age, he enlisted as a private in the Sixth Ohio Cavalry and fought until
the surrender at Appomattox. At Gettysburg he was aid-de-camp to General
Sickles, and in a desperate charge the General lost his leg and the gallant aide
received a severe wound in the shoulder as he carried orders from General
Sickles to General Ellis, the latter also being slain; and an elegant monument
now marks the spot where he fell. In a desperately wounded condition he lay
helpless on that historic field of carnage and blood, for two days and nights
suffering untold agony. When found he was taken to the hospital at Harris-
burg, Pennsylvania, and after partial recovery he was placed in the invalid
corps and assigned to clerical duty in the office of provost marshal. As soon
as he recovered sufficiently to take the field, Governor Andrew G. Curtin, the
famous war governor of Pennsylvania, commissioned him captain of Company
I, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and at once sent him to the
front to join the Army of the Potomac. He participated in many of the hard-
fought battles of this campaign, sharing in the glory of Lee's surrender at
Appomattox and pas'sing through the magnificent grand review at Washing-
ton, to be later mustered out at Harrisburg. Going into the war in the prime
of youth after the last cloud had dispersed, he entered the arena of life with
a wrecked body but an unconquerable will.

During his boyhood days he attended the public schools, a,nd at the close
of the war entered Duff's Business College in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, gradu-
ating December 7, 1866. We next find him at Cleveland, Ohio, attending a
course of law lectures, upon the completion of which he came to Illinois to fur-
ther pursue his legal studies with his brother, John F. McCartney. In the
spring of 1868 he was admitted to the bar by Judge Olney, becoming a law
partner of his brother as well as associate editor of the Promulgator, a Repub-
lican newspaper founded by John F. McCartney, of which the Journal-Repub-
lican is the legal continuation.

For several years he was associated with William Towle in the operations
of the large Towle sawmills, which were later sold to Mr. Towle that he might
pursue the law, which was more congenial to his tastes. He early built an ele-
gant and substantial brick residence, followed by the erection of the commo-

* This sketch is contributed by Mr. O. J. Page, editor of the Journal-Republican.


dious Julian Hotel, still the leading hotel of the city, and at the time of its
erection far in advance of that period. The ideal of his life, however, was the
erection of a brick block to contain a public library and reading rooms. Shortly
before his death he accomplished this, his chief design, by erecting the beauti-
ful new Music Hall block, and in his will made provision for a free public
library whenever the city should take charge of the same. His widow and
executrix has labored assiduously to carry out his purpose, and a library of
about a thousand choice volumes has lately passed under control of Metropolis
as the R. W. McCartney Free Public Library. He was also the moving spirit
in the organization and successful operation of the First National Bank, which
became a substantial institution under his wise management.

In his social life he was a respected member of the Grand Army of the Re-
public, an honored Odd Fellow and a loyal Mason. In religious affiliations he
was a Methodist and served for years as trustee of that large and influential
congregation in Metropolis. The great respect in which he was held by these
fraternities was shown at his funeral, in which they all participated.

He always commanded the confidence and the esteem of his fellow men,
who evidenced their high appreciation of his sterling worth by electing him
city attorney of Metropolis, afterward county judge in 1873, in which capacity
he served for nine years, to be again honored by being chosen to represent a
loyal constituency in the general assembly of Illinois in 1882. In 1885 he was
chosen circuit judge of this judicial district, and could have been re-elected,
but failing health and extensive business interests forbade, and the marvelous
powers of Judge McCartney, who proved himself not only a hero in times of
war but also a hero in times of peace, is beautifully and succinctly expressed in
an article published in the Times Star of Cincinnati, Ohio, at the time of his
death, as follows:

The death of the Hon. R. W. McCartney at Metropolis. Illinois, closes a career
which is deserving of more than the two-line notice the dispatches give it. When scarcely
more than a boy Mr. McCartney entered the cavalry service and was severely wounded
at Gettysburg. The wound never properly healed and was followed by inflammatory
rheumatism and other disorders that made life a torture. For not one day in thirty-two
years was he free from pain. The condition would have sent an ordinary man to his
grave or a veteran to a soldiers' home, but young McCartney was made of other stuff.
He went to Metropolis, read law, got admitted to the bar, and worked up a large
practice extending to the supreme court of the United States. He was elected judge of
the southern district of Illinois, and the way seemed open to the supreme court of his
state had his physical disabilities permitted of such promotion. He found time from
his busy profession to enter other pursuits, managed a large sawmill, ran a local news-
paper, built a large hotel, became president of a bank, put up a city hall for public
entertainments and opened a circulating library for the use of his townsmen. All these
and many more things he did, or was doing when death finally stopped the wheeled
chair whose occupant had scarcely yet crossed the line of fifty years! The arch-enemy
he 'faced at Gettysburg won at last; but who shall say the heroism of the boy surpassed
the heroism of the man? His career is cut short; but surely it is enough to encourage
boys who enter the race of life handicapped, enough to shame men of robust health
who accomplish nothing and charge it to lack of opportunity.


"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

With all the suffering attending an invalid life and all the pressure of man-
ifold business obligations. Judge R. W. McCartney found time to enjoy the
serene and peaceful happiness of married life. On September 8, 1868, he mar-
ried Miss Mary Priestly, daughter of Professor Priestly. To them were born
two sons, William Priestly and John, the latter dying in infancy. Mrs.
McCartney crossed the "dark river" October 18, 1871, and March 19, 1873,
he was married to Miss Julia Scofield, the amiable daughter of Rev. Scofield,
an eminent minister of the Presbyterian church. From this union two children
were born, Robert W., deceased, and Jean E., who graduated at the Metropolis
high school as valedictorian of the class of 1894 and received her diploma from
the famous Western Female Seminary at Oxford, Ohio, June 7, 1898.

Against a broken and shattered constitution contracted in the defense of
his country's flag he loved so well, he fought a fight almost unsurpassed in the
annals of history and rose from simplicity to honored positions. In a wheel
chair and on the crutches he mastered the environments of life. In this condi-
tion a national bank received his guidance to success. In the forum of the
court he met antagonists of robust body who surrendered to his genius; on the
bench he grappled with knotty questions of the judiciary, and but one decision
was ever reversed; in the legislature of his chosen state he served with honor;
on the platform his voice in logic, purity and sublimity was heard with rapt
attention; and highest of all the fireside enjoyed the sacred blessings of his
congenial love until October 27, 1893, death closed his life so full of fruitfulness
and so worthy of emulation.

Frederick Randolph Young, one of the prominent members of the bar of
Massac county, and a sterling, esteemed citizen of Metropolis, has won distinc-
tion in his chosen profession, though but little more than two years have rolled
away since his admission to the bar of Illinois. Nor is he known alone in legal
circles, for he is equally prominent in public affairs, taking a commendable in-
terest in whatever is of moment to the community in which he dwells and at all
times doing his duty as a patriotic citizen of this great republic. In accord-
ance with what he believes to be the best policy for this government, he is an
earnest advocate of the principles of the Republican party, having given it his
allegiance since he received the right of franchise. In 1898 he was honored by
being made chairman of the Republican central committee of this county,
by which it may be seen that his influence is recognized as a power and factor in
the success of local politics.

In following the records of the life of our subject the writer of this brief
biography notes that he is one of the native sons of Massac county, his birth
having occurred at Brooklyn, April 11, 1871. His father, Dr. John D. Young,
a leading physician and surgeon of Brooklyn, has been engaged in the practice
of medicine for the pas_t twenty-eight years and has won more than a local
reputation for his skill. He is one of the honored heroes of the Civil war, in


which he suffered not only the hardships that fell to the lot of the ordinary
soldier, forced marches, privation, cold and hunger and the terror and stress of
battle, but was, moreover, one of the victims of Andersonville, with its untold
horrors. He entered the Federal service in July, 1862, and was captured by the
enemy at Guntown, Mississippi, after which he languished for six months in
Andersonville prison. When he returned to the north he took up the study of
medicine as soon as it was practicable, and in 1870 graduated at the Louisville
Medical College, since which time he has been actively engaged in practice. In
October, 1865, he married Miss Martha Lucy Calhoun, who was a native of
Weakley county, Tennessee, and was a second cousin of the Hon. John C. Cal-
houn. Dr. John D. Young is a native of Henry county, Tennessee, but for
nearly forty years he has been a resident of Illinois, as he became a citizen of
Johnson county in 1859. He has frequently been called upon to act in public
positions of responsibility and trust, and served as a member of the thirty-
second general assembly of this state.

Frederick Randolph Young possesses an excellent education and is a man
of broad views and wide information upon all subjects of local and national im-
portance. In his boyhood he attended the public schools and made such good
progress in his studies that he assumed the charge of a school when he was
very young for the position. He taught for three years with very fair success,
but, feeling the need of further mental training should he enter a professional
field of effort, as he desired to do, he entered Eureka College, in Woodford
county, Illinois, where he pursued the classical course for a period of two years. ,
The next two years he taught in the graded schools of Brooklyn, his native
town, and in the meantime began his initial studies in law. When he had com-
pleted his last term of school-teaching he went to the Wesleyan University at
Bloomington, and at the close of one term of work in the law department of the
institution he took an examination before the courts and was admitted to the
bar, this being in August, 1897. He was made a Master Mason the year that
Be attained his majority, in fact but two months after he had passed his anni-
versary, this honor rarely falling to one of that age. He has been the junior
warden of Farmers' Lodge No. 232, A. F. & A. M. for five years, and is royal
arch captain of Metropolitan Chapter No. 91, R. A. M. In 1804 the Order of
Knighthood was conferred upon him by Gethsemane Commandery, No. 41,
K. T., and for one year he served as captain-general in that commandery.

The marriage of Mr. Young and Miss Azalea A. Jones was solemnized
December 27, 1897. They have a very pleasant and attractive home, where they
dispense a gracious hospitality.

Captain John F. McCartney is a man who has risen by his own intrinsic
worth and merit to a high position in the respect of mankind, and the greater the
difficulties with which he has contended, the greater his triumph. There is
something inspiring in such a life record, a lesson for the young, ambitious
man just entering upon a discouraging pathway; a lesson for the man who has
failed, perhaps, to achieve the results at which he had heroically aimed; the
useful lesson that thorough perseverance, a brave heart and dauntless energy, when


added to even ordinary powers of mind and body, one may certainly accomplish
wonders, if not attain prosperity and affluence. The history of Captain Mc-
Cartney is the history of a man who put all obstacles under his feet and from a
humble position rose to an honored place in the community.

The sturdy, industrious, fearless spirit of a long line of Scottish ancestors
is present in the person of the Captain. He, too, is a native of the land of
Wallace, Bruce and Burns, his birth having occurred near the city of Glasgow,
April 22, 1835. His parents, John and Jane (Brown) McCartney, were natives
of Scotland, and came to the United States in 1840. They settled in Trumbull
county, Ohio, in which locality our subject spent his boyhood days. The father,
who was a so-called "dissenting" minister in his native land, removed to Law-
rence county, Pennsylvania, in his later years, and there passed the remainder of
his life.

The struggles of J. F. McCartney while he was endeavoring to gain an ed-
ucation were such as few children of the present day can imagine. He paid
his way, some of the time, by doing janitor work in the school building, and in
various ways he earned money, never being too proud to do hard, honest work
for honest pay. He attended school with the foster children of Benjamin and
Edward Wade, Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, and other men prominent in the
early history of the Buckeye state. He bought his time of his father from his
fourteenth year, paying for the same at the rate of fifty dollars a year until he
reached his majority. When he was eighteen he obtained a certificate to teach,
and was in charge of a school in western Pennsylvania, during his initial ex-
perience as a pedagogue. Later he attended Kingsville Academy in Ashtabula
county, Ohio, for instruction in certain branches in which he desired further
knowledge, and upon leaving there he resumed teaching, which he followed for
several winters, the rest of the year working upon farms at stipulated wages.

In 1855 fortune brought Captain McCartney to Illinois, and, as he had
but thirty-one cents in money, he accepted a position in a sawmill at Pulaski
Station, in Pulaski county, being employed there but a short time, however,
ere he was given an opportunity to teach a school in the neighborhood of the
town. After he had carried on school-teaching for a few terms he returned to
Ohio, and took an advanced course of study in the Vermillion Collegiate Insti-
tute, in Ashland county, same state, soon being given the chair of mathematics
in the institution.

At the breaking out of the great Civil war the Captain joined the One
Hundred and Thirty-first Illinois Volunteers at Metropolis, Illinois, and was
appointed regimental quartermaster of the same. Subsequently he was de-
tailed to the recruiting service and personally assisted in the enlistment of one
hundred and fifteen men during the winter of 1863-64. By the special order of
Secretary Stanton they were mustered in as Company D, Fifty-sixth Illinois
Volunteer Infantry, with him as captain. He went then with Sherman on the
march to the sea and on to Richmond, and in May, 1865, was sent in General
Herron's division in pursuit of Kirby Smith, then in Texas. He was honorably
discharged from the service in Little Rock, Arkansas, in July of the same year.


In 1861 he was admitted to the bar of Illinois, but did not engage in practice
until after his country had received the loyal tribute of several of the best years of
his young manhood. When duty no longer called him he quietly resumed his in-
terrupted plans as though nothing had happened in the meantime, and from
that time to the present has been assiduous in business. He began his profes-
sional career in Metropolis and has been actively associated with the upbuild-
ing and progress of this thriving little city. In 1867, upon the death of Hon.
G. W. Neely, he was commissioned to the vacated position of state's attorney
by Governor Oglesby, and in 1868 was elected for a full term. When he left
the office, in December/ 1872, he entered more vigorously than ever before into the
private practice of law, and continued thus solely occupied until 1894, when in-
creasing business interests largely forced his retirement from the bar.

In 1882 he aided in organizing the First National Bank of Metropolis, it
being incorporated at fifty thousand dollars. His brother, R. W., was presi-
dent, and in 1883 ne was elected president, and acted in that capacity for three
terms. In 1895, having sold his interest in the First National Bank, he founded
the State Bank, capitalized at fifty thousand dollars. He was elected president
of the new institution and is yet officiating in this responsible position. To
his genius and excellent financial management the success of these two repre-
sentative banking institutions is largely attributable. By energy and well ap-
plied effort he long ago became one of the wealthy land-owners of Massac
county, Illinois, as there he holds the .deeds to thirteen hundred and fifty acres
of fine, fertile farm land.

Fraternally, he is a charter member of the blue lodge, A. F. & A. M., of
Grand Chain, Pulaski county, and is a member of the Sons of Temperance.
Politically, he is now a Prohibitionist. Since 1858 he has been a valued mem-
ber of the Christian church, and for the past twenty-two years has been an elder
in the same. He is chairman of the eighth district Christian Mission board,
embracing the fourteen southern counties of Illinois. For a number of years he
was the editor and proprietor of a newspaper published in Metropolis, and in
1876 he aided in the organization of the "Farmers' Movement," which elected
Hon. Samuel Glasford to the lower house of representatives, the opponent being
Colonel Farrell.

In 1859 the Captain married Elizabeth McGee, a sister of the Hon. F. M.
McGee, late of Johnson county, Illinois, and of Judge McGee, of Pulaski coun-
ty, this state. Two children were born to our subject and wife, namely: Lizzie,
who married B. F. Stroud, now of Seattle, Washington ; and Professor M.
N., who is superintendent of the public schools of Vienna, Illinois. Their
mother died in September, 1864, and March i, 1866, Captain McCartney mar-
ried Minnie D. Lukens, by whom he has had eight children. Grace is the wife
of Hon. F. A. Trowsdall; Anna is Mrs. D. T. Stimpert; Hattie is the wife of
C. M. Fouts ; Carrie married Professor J. N. Weaver; Catherine is the assist-
ant cashier of the State Bank, of which her father is president; and Frank,
Fred and Hope, the younger ones, are at home.

Judge William Tell Hollenbeck, son of John Milton and Margaret (Neal)


Hollenbeck, was born on a farm in York township, Clark county, Illinois, Octo-
ber 18, 1861. His ancestors were Hollanders who came to America in the period
of the Revolutionary war, settling in the state of New York. His great-grand-
father, Lawrence Hollenbeck, left the state of New York in 1812 and traveling
down the Allegheny and Ohio rivers and up the Wabash river took up his abode
on Walnut prairie, Clark county, Illinois, in 1816. In connection with his sons
Lawrence, John, William and Jacob, he did a very large milling business and
shipped heavily down the rivers to New Orleans and other river points.

William's life was that of an ordinary farmer's boy of his time. He at-
tended the country school and was a diligent and apt pupil, and as years ad-
vanced and his labor became more valuable, his working time lengthened and his

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 21 of 83)