John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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

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member of the Kenwood Country Club and the Hamilton Clubs. His strict
conformity to the ethics of his profession has gained him the high regard of
bench and bar; his many companionable qualities have made him a social
favorite among his friends: and his genuine worth commands the respect of
all with whom he is brought in contact.

Thomas A. Moran, LL. D., dean of the Chicago College of Law, is one
of a few men and only a few who have attained such distinction in the higher
walks of life that all complimentary allusion to them would be entirely super-
fluous. Such have been his brilliant achievements at the bar and on the bench
that the public, without words of eulogy from the biographer, accords him
the place that he has worthily won in his profession; and so without intro-
ducing him to the readers of this volume, we proceed to chronicle the events
which mark his progress through life. His ancestors came from the Emerald
Isle, his father, Patrick Moran, a native of Ireland, having emigrated to
America in the early part of the century. For many years he was in business
in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the Judge was born October 7, 1839, spend-
ing the first seven years of his life in his native town. He then accompanied
his parents to Bristol, Kenosha county, Wisconsin, at that time a frontier re-
gion, but possessed of the spirit of enterprise and progress which has always
characterized this section of America. He became imbued with this spirit, and
though his time was largely occupied in the labors of developing and improv-
ing the new home farm, he availed himself of every opportunity for acquiring
an education, his advantages, however, being only such as the district schools
afforded. Books, however, were a source of continual delight to him and by
his eager perusal of all volumes that he could obtain he added greatly to his
store of knowledge. All this awakened in him a strong desire for better ad-
vantages, and for several terms he was a student in Liberty Academy, at Salem.
He then engaged in teaching school, and at the same time became an interested
and active member in the debating clubs which were then prevalent through
the district. Here he gave evidence of the superior oratorical ability which has
gained him distinction at the bar, and his readiness, his repartee and his logic
made him a worthy opponent of men many years his senior. His school-teach-
ing also supplied him with the means that enabled him to pursue a course of
law in the office of J. J. Pettit, of Kenosha, and later he continued his reading
under the direction of Judge I. W. Webster.

In i'862 Judge Moran returned to the farm and assumed its management,


on account of the illness of his father, who died that year, after which the family
sold the farm and removed to the city of Kenosha. In 1864 the mother died,
and in the fall of that year Judge Moran became a student in the Albany Law
School, at New York, where he was graduated in May, 1865, when he was
admitted to the bar. In November of the same year he came to Chicago and
entered upon his professional career. After practicing for a time in the office
of H. S. Monroe he became a member of the law firm of Schoff & Moran, and
subsequently formed the firm of Moran & English, who caused a change in
the firm style, by the admission of Mr. Wolf, under the name of Moran, Eng-
lish & Wolf, and this connection was maintained until the elevation of the senior
partner to the circuit bench of Cook county. While Judge Moran was ac-
knowledged by all to be a brilliant orator, he never depended upon this gift to
win his cause. He prepared his cases with the utmost care and precision and
fortified his evidence by law and precedent; he manifested the keenest discern-
ment, in the arrangement of facts, and gave to each its due weight and con-
sideration, never losing sight of the main issue upon which the decision always
turns, and thus he came before judge or jury ready to present his clients' in-
terests in the strongest possible way. His speech was clear, concise and logi-
cal, and his accuracy of expression, grace of diction and splendid oratorical
powers enriched and beautified his speech, making it most effective. During
the first fourteen years of his connection with the Chicago bar he handled a
greater number of cases than any other practitioner of Chicago, and the re-
nown which he gained led to his selection for judicial honors.

In the fall of 1879 he was elected to the circuit bench of Cook county for a
term of six years, was re-elected in 1885 and again in 1891. After having served
for seven years w r ith great distinction as judge of the circuit court, he was assigned
by the supreme court, in accordance with the statutory provision, to the judge-
ship of the appellate court of the first district of Illinois, and served in that posi-
tion until he resigned his office, in March, 1892. His record in that incum-
bency, in the estimation of the bar of northern Illinois, is not surpassed by any
other judge of that court. So uniformly were his opinions based upon the
soundest legal and equitable principles, so much in accordance were they with
the spirit of our institutions and civilization, and so logical, condensed and
correct were they, that often they were adopted as the language of the supreme
court. His experience as a judge embraced the common-law, chancery and crim-
inal branches of the court, in each of which he achieved honor and won the
commendation of the bar and the public. Always self-contained and self-poised,
of patient and courteous bearing, an attentive, careful and most respectful lis-
tener, even to the humblest pleader, he discharged his high functions without
ostentation and with conspicuous ability.

Upon resigning his position on the bench Judge Moran resumed the pri-
vate practice of law, and is now the senior member of the firm of Moran,
Krause & Mayer. His clientage is very extensive, his legal business is of a
most important character, and the reputation he has won ranks him second to
no member of the Chicago bar. As illustrating his standing as a lawyer, he


was selected by the attorney-general of Illinois to prepare the brief and make
the oral argument before the supreme court in what are known as the inherit-
ance-tax cases, in which he successfully maintained the validity of the law
against the contention of ex-President Harrison that it was unconstitutional.
While his fidelity to his clients' interests is proverbial, he never forgets that he
owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law, and he will not stoop to
win his cause by incorrect methods or by infringement upon the ethics of low

The Judge was married in 1868 to Miss Josephine Quinn, of Albany, New
York, and to them were born eight children: Alice, Thomas W., Margaret D.,
John P., Eugene, Josephine, Arthur and Kathryn.

Judge Moran is a member of the Sheridan Club, which he helped to or-
ganize, the Catholic Library Association, the Iroquois Club, the Columbus Club,
the Chicago Club, and the Chicago and State Bar Association. His political
support has always been ardently given the Democracy since the time when, a
mere lad, he espoused the cause of Stephen A. Douglas. He is regarded as
one of the leading members of his party in this city, and with pen, voice and in-
fluence, has increased its victories and lessened its defeats. In 1896 he declined
to support the sixteen-to-one silver party and took an active part in the organ-
ization of the National Democratic party.

George S. Willitts, late of Chicago, was born in Monroe, Monroe county,
Michigan, in 1857. a son of Hon. Edwin Willitts, who was a distinguished mem-
ber of the Michigan bar and represented his district in congress. In the com-
mon schools of his native town our subject acquired his primary education,
later attended the high school of Monroe, and was graduated in the normal
school and prepared for college in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He then entered the
State University at Ann Arbor and after four years of study completed the
classical course by his graduation as a member of the class of 1877. During this
time he also attended lectures in the law department of the university, and on
leaving school read law in his father's office until matriculating in the George-
town Law College, of the District of Columbia. Upon the completion of his
course there he returned to his father's office and was duly admitted to the bar.
His preparation had been comprehensive, thorough and accurate, and thus well
fitted for his chosen work he began practice and by reason of his marked abili-
ties soon won enviable distinction.

He continued a member of the bar of Monroe, Michigan, until 1879, when,
determining to seek a broader field for his labors, he came to Chicago. The
litigation with which Mr. Willitts was connected after his arrival in this city
indicates in no uncertain terms the quality of his talents and his fidelity to the
interests of his clients. He managed the business of large estates with credita-
ble skill and was connected with railroad and corporation litigation, involving
intricate problems of jurisprudence that he successfully solved. He also had a
large chancery and probate court practice in which he won eminent success.
His devotion to his clients' interests was proverbial, watching over them as if
they were- his own. He added to this characteristic of his practice the most care-


ful and diligent preparation of his cases, and facts and precedents fortified his
position until it was rendered almost impregnable. He won the commendation
and confidence of court, jury and fellow advocates, and his standing at the bar
was indeed an enviable one. Politically he was an ardent Republican.

In the autumn of 1898 he went to San Juan, Porto Rico, where his death
took place November 26, 1898.

Henry D. Estabrook, a member of the firm of Lowden, Estabrook & Davis,
of Chicago, is recognized as one of the most brilliant members of the Illinois
bar. He was born in Alden, New York, October 23, 1854, and is a son of the
late Hon. Experience and Caroline Augusta (Maxwell) Estabrook. His father
removed to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1854, and the son is therefore a true western
man, possessed of the enterprise and progressiveness which dominate this sec-
tion of the country. He attended the public schools of Omaha and afterward
spent a year or two in study in Washington University, at St. Louis. He en-
tered upon his business career in a journalistic field as reporter on the Omaha
Bee and Herald, but was not predestined to success in that line, for during
the first week of his engagement on the paper he involved its editor in a twenty-
thousand dollar lawsuit for libel! Had he cultivated his talent for music and
devoted his energies to the art, he might have won fame as a musician, and in
his earlier years he did give much time to public singing. He studied both
vocal and instrumental music through his youth, continuing it while in St.
Louis, where he took part as a soloist in the oratorios of Messiah and Sampson
with such singers as Clara Louise Kellogg and Stanley, the tenor. He deter-
mined however, upon the practice of law as a life work and pursued a thorough
course of study in the St. Louis Law School, in which institution he was grad-
uated with the class of 1876.

His career at the bar has been most commendable. In the year of his grad-
uation he was admitted to the bar in Omaha and licensed to practice in all the
state and federal courts. His associate in law practice at the time of his removal
to Chicago in 1895 was H. J. Davis, and the firm is now Lowden, Estabrook &
Davis. Mr. Estabrook's connection with the well known case of Thayer versus
Boyd, a contest for the governorship of Nebraska, brought him into national
prominence. This suit was entitled James E. Boyd, plaintiff in error, versus
the State of Nebraska, ex rel. John M. Thayer, defendant in error, and attracted
the attention of the legal profession throughout the country, owing to new and
important complications in the law of naturalization.

His oratorical power is not second to his legal ability; it rounds out and
makes a symmetrical and complete structure of the forceful presentation of facts
and law. On the platform his eloquence has held spellbound immense audi-
ences, and he is frequently chosen as the orator on occasions of great import-
ance throughout the country. He came to Chicago first in his capacity of
public speaker and before the Union League Club delivered one of the most
brilliant and eloquent orations ever heard in this city, his subject being the
Vengeance of the Flag. The Republican party counts him a valued addition
to its ranks.


On the 23d of October, 1879, Mr. Estabrook married Miss Clara C. Camp-
Bell, who was his schoolmate in the high school of Omaha, and is a daughter
of O. C. Campbell. They have one child, Blanche Deuel, who was born Jan-
uary I, 1881.

David B. Lyman is president of the Chicago Title and Trust Company;
but it is as a lawyer that he is best known to the people of Illinois. He came to
the United States from the Sandwich islands in early manhood to attend col-
lege and law school and then start upon his professional career. His parents
were representatives of the brave and reliable band of Pilgrims who settled New
England. His father, Rev. D. B. Lyman, was in his early life a resident of
New Hartford, Connecticut, and pursued his education in Williams College
and Andover Theological Seminary, of both of which institutions he was a
graduate. In 1831 he married Miss Sarah Joiner, of Royalton, Vermont, and as
a missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
sailed for the Sandwich islands, where he and his wife labored more than fifty
years for the cause of Christianity, their efforts in this direction being ended
only by death.

Mr. Lyman is a native of the beautiful and picturesque islands of the Pacific
that have so largely claimed the attention of our government during the past
few years. He was born at Hilo, Hawaii, March 27, 1840, and amid surround-
ings very different from those of most American youth, his childhood was
passed. He was fortunate in having the care and guidance of cultured Christian
parents, and it was under their direction that he acquired his early education.
He also unconsciously learned a lesson of the nobility of a life devoted to
humanity, a lesson that came to him daily in the devotion of his parents to
the evangelization, education and advancement of the people among whom they
lived. Nor was Mr. Lyman 's youth without its business training, for he held
several governmental positions, and was thus prepared for the active affairs
of life, at the same time, through the compensation received for his services, se-
curing the means which enabled him to continue his education in the United

It was in 1859 that he saw the fulfillment of a long cherished desire to pur-
sue a classical course of study. Sailing from Honolulu around Cape Horn,
he arrived at New Bedford, Massachusetts, in May, 1860, and in September of
that year he enrolled as a student of Yale College, in which institution he was
graduated in 1864 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Immediately afterward
he entered the Harvard Law School and on his graduation there was awarded
one of the two prizes for the best legal essays. In 1864 and 1865, during his
term of enrollment at Harvard, he was connected with the sanitary commis-
sions as hospital visitor and was in charge of the Fifth Corps Hospital of the
Army of the Potomac, also the Point of Rocks Hospital in Virginia. Later he
had supervision of the sanitary commission station for the forces concentrated
about Washington, D. C.

A few months after his admission to the bar Mr. Lyman came to Chicago,
where for two years he was a clerk in the office of Waite & Clark, remaining


with them until July i, 1869, when with Colonel Huntington W. Jackson he or-
ganized the firm of Lyman & Jackson, said to be the oldest law firm in the city
in point of continuous existence under one organization, at the time of its
dissolution in 1895. From the beginning Mr. Lyman's career at the bar has
been one of marked success. He is an untiring worker, preparing his cases with
the utmost precision, exhaustive in research, clear and concise in thought and
logical in argument, and such qualities predestined him for a foremost place in
his profession. The history of the cases with which he has been connected
would comprise a record of much of the important civil litigation that has been
heard in the courts of Cook county for almost thirty years, and yet his legal
business is somewhat peculiar in that much of it seldom finds its way into the
courts. Mr. Lyman may be said to be more of a counselor than an advocate,
and it has become known to the business community that he will not advise the
bringing of a suit except in strong cases, and this only when there is no remedy
save in litigation. While real-estate and corporation law has claimed much of
his attention, he is equally proficient in other branches of practice and is always
ready for attack or defense. A firm believer in the maxim that there is no
excellence without labor, he is noted for his untiring industry and his pains-
taking preparation and management of his cases, no less than for his ability
and learning in the law. The one class of cases which he refuses altogether is
that which comes under the general designation of criminal practice. Though
he has probably a higher reputation as an able and learned counselor than as
an advocate, his arguments carry more weight from the very honesty of his
character than those of some more eloquent but less trusted lawyers.

His political predilections connect him with the Republican party, and he
views all the issues of the day from the standpoint of the student and patriotic
citizen. Official preferment, however, has had no attraction for him, and he
has never held office save as a member of the school board of La Grange, which
position he has filled for nearly twenty-five years, laboring earnestly in behalf
of the cause of education. Largely through his efforts the Lyons township high
school was established after a four-years campaign, and after the project had
been repeatedly voted down. But so zealous was he as an advocate of the com-
mon-school system that each defeat only added to his earnestness, and he has
the satisfaction of seeing both the grammar and high schools at La Grange
ranking with the best of their class anywhere.

On the 5th of October, 1870, Mr. Lyman was united in marriage to Miss
Mary E. Cossitt, daughter of F. D. Cossitt, of Chicago. Of the children born
to Mr. and Mrs. Lyman two are living. Mr. Lyman occupies a prominent posi-
tion in social circles as a member of the Chicago, Union League, University and
Church Clubs. A membership in the Protestant Episcopal church is necessary
to render one eligible to membership in the Church Club, a fact which indi-
cates Mr. Lyman's connection with the religious world. He has served as presi-
dent of the Church Club, and was honored by the members of the Chicago Bar
Association by an election to its presidency in 1893.

Harvey B. Hurd arrived in Chicago more than half a century ago, a young


man, poor, friendless and with only a limited education to serve as the founda-
tion on which to rear the superstructure of a successful career. Nature, how-
ever, had endowed him with a strong mind, quick understanding and keen dis-
cernment, and questions of every nature, in the rapidly-developing city, awak-
ened his attention and earnest consideration. Close application to every duty,
combined with laudable ambition, also procured his advancement until the in-
digent youth of eighteen years became a man of great power and force in the
life of the city. His influence was not only felt at the bar and in the law-making
bodies 'of the state, but was strongly in evidence in the work of material im-
provement and progress which have made Chicago one of the wonders of the
world. To-day, though he has largely laid aside the cares of business life,
Harvey B. Hurd is still a potent factor in many of the city's leading interests,
and at the age of three score and ten, he stands crowned with the honor and
respect of all who know him in the metropolis which he helped to build.

Mr. Hurd is descended from English ancestry on the paternal side, of Irish-
Dutch on the mother's, but the Hurd family was established in New England
in early colonial days and is now represented in many parts of the Union. Our
subject was born in Huntington, Fairfield county, Connecticut, February 14,
1828, and on the ist of May, 1842, he left the home of his father, Alanson Hurd,
to make his own way in the world. Like the spring, his life seemed full of hope
and promise, for youth is ever sanguine of success. His entire wardrobe was
tied up in a pocket handkerchief, but though his outfit was small, his ambition
and determination were large, .and with a worthy purpose he began the search
for employment in Bridgeport, Connecticut, whither he had directed his steps.
He soon secured a situation as an apprentice in the office of the old Whig jour-
nal, the Bridgeport Standard, where he continued for two years. The printing
office has been called "the poor man's college," and it largely proved such to
Mr. Hurd, who added not a little to his fund of knowledge through the chan-
nels of his work, and also by reading and investigation in his leisure hours.
With a desire to gain a good education, he joined a company of ten young men
in the fall of 1844, and coming to Illinois entered Jubilee College in Peoria
county: but after about a year, owing to some misunderstanding with its prin-
cipal, Rev. Samuel Chase, he left that institution and went to Peoria, where he
sought employment in a printing-office. Failing to find work there, either in a
printing-office or elsewhere, he determined to come to Chicago, then a little
town, to which he journeyed in the old-time stage, reaching his destination on
the 7th of January, 1846.

Mr. Kurd's first connection with the business interests of this city was as
an employee in the office of the Evening Journal, then published by Wilson &
Greer. Later he worked on the Prairie Farmer, but regarded this merely as a
means to an end, for he had determined to enter the legal profession, and began
the study of law in the fall of 1847. in the office of Calvin De Wolf, under whose
direction he made such good progress that he was admitted to the bar in 1848.
He entered into partnership with Charles Haven, afterward state's attorney, and
later was associated in practice with Henry Sapp, who subsequently represented


the Joliet district in congress. From 1850 until 1854 he practiced in partner-
ship with Andrew J. Brown, and from 1860 until 1868 with Hon. Henry Booth.
In the last mentioned year he retired from active practice, but by no means from
active life. He has been a most conspicuous and valued factor in promoting
many of the leading interests that have produced the wonderful development
of the city.

The beautiful suburb of Evanston largely stands as a monument to the
enterprise and progressiveness of Mr. Hurd, who erected one of the first resi-
dences in that place. With wonderful foresight he predicted the development
of Chicago and early became interested in real-estate transactions. He and
his law partner, Andrew J. Brown, not only practiced at the bar but also did
an extensive and profitable real-estate business, and platted two hundred and
forty-eight acres of land, which they owned as a part of the village of Evanston.
Mr. Hurd then erected a home there, completed in 1855, and it is still quite in
keeping with the present style of residences in Chicago's most aristocratic sub-
urb. He was made the first president of the village board and has performed
much disinterested service in behalf of the town.

The extended and valued political service of Mr. Hurd has grown out of his
humane interest in all that concerns the welfare of city, state and nation, and
forms such an important part of his life work that it seems impossible to disas-
sociate the two. Realizing that the ballot is the voice of the people and that
only by enactment can the public express its approval of a measure and direct

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 24 of 83)