John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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movement calculated to prove of public benefit. As treasurer of the Henry
County Fair Association he labors to stimulate the industrial and agricultural
interest of the community.

In politics Mr. Turner has always adhered to the Jacksonian and Douglas
principles of the Democracy, and was a candidate of his party for state's attor-
ney of Stark county the same fall that he was admitted to the bar, but the great
strength of the Republican party in the county prevented his election. He is
now the Democratic candidate for county judge of Henry county and is sec-
retary of the Democratic county central committee. Socially, he is connected
with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He joined the lodge in Toulon
in 1886, passed through all the chairs and filled the position of past grand. For
eight years he was secretary of Cambridge Lodge, also deputy grand master,
and for several years past has been representative to the grand lodge. He is
chief patriarch of the Galva Encampment, and a chevalier of Canton Kewanee
and a member of Cambridge Rebekah Lodge, these including all departments
of the fraternity. He also belongs to several insurance organizations, includ-
ing the Home Forum, Knights of the Globe and Fraternal Tribunes.

Mr. Turner was married in Toulon, Illinois, June 6, 1889, to Miss Emma
E. Follett, daughter of Benjamin and Helen M. Follett. They have two
daughters: Helen Mari, born May 21, 1890; and Ruth Almira, born April 16,
1893. These charming and beautiful little girls are the life and light of the
household.

George E. Waite. In an analyzation of the life of any individual we must
take into consideration not only his environment and natural tendencies, but



812 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

also his hereditary tendencies. Fortunate is he who has back of him an hon-
orable ancestry, and Mr. Waite is favored in this regard. The Waite family
is of English origin and since an early day in American history the name has
been associated with many prominent events in the annals of our country. One
member of the family, residing in England, was, in the seventeenth century,
one of the regicide judges who tried and condemned to death King Charles I.
In the same century representatives of the name braved the dangers which
were incident to ocean voyages in those days and sought homes in America.
Many of their descendants have since distinguished themselves in high places
in public life and in business enterprises. The paternal grandfather of our
subject, realizing the injustice of the demands made by the British crown upon
the colonists, was among the first to protest and engaged in the first battle of
the American Revolution. Loyally he aided in the defense of the colonies and
his name is now inscribed on the roll of the patriots who brought independence
to the nation. The parents of Judge Waite were Tyler and Lucia Waite, and
he has two brothers, Henry A. and Dexter, now residing in Wardsboro, Ver-
mont.

In Stratton, Windham county, Vermont, George E. W T aite was born, and
amid the Green mountains he was reared upon his father's farm. To the com-
mon-school system he is indebted for the early educational privileges which he
received. Later he prepared for college and entered the Wesleyan University,
of Middletown, Connecticut, where he completed the four-years classical course
and was graduated with high honors in 1854.

In 1856 the Judge emigrated westward, locating in Geneseo, Illinois, where
he has since made his home. Shortly after his arrival in this state he began the
study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1859. In his profession he is rec-
ognized as a man of superior attainments and excellent legal ability. He was
early elected county judge of Henry county, in which capacity he served with
such faithfulness and impartiality that he was a third time nominated for the
office, but he declined to serve after the close of his second term, preferring the
private practice of law to the duties of the bench. His practice has always been
of an important nature and of considerable extent. He has met in forensic
combat the most brilliant members of the bar of central Illinois and has car-
ried off the laurels in many an ecounter of this kind. His trial of a case con-
sists not alone in strong arguments in the court room and acute examination
of witnesses, but indicates also most careful research and preparation before
the suit is presented before judge or jury. He is at all times logical, earnest
and forceful, and at times his utterances are colored by the most brilliant elo-
quence, the occasion exciting him to use of his best powers.

Judge Waite has always been a public-spirited citizen, deeply interested in
everything pertaining to the general welfare. His influence is strongly marked
on the public life arid much of the legislation bears the impress of his individ-
uality.' By Governor Yates he was commissioned colonel, and during the dark
days of the Civil war his energy and patriotism were unmistakable and mate-
rially advanced the Union cause. He was elected the first mayor of the city




Pub. Ca due'}'






THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 813

of Geneseo, served two terms and was progressive in support of many meas-
ures which proved of benefit to the municipality. In 1870 he was a member of
the constitutional convention which framed the present constitution of the
state, served on important committees and was largely instrumental in secur-
ing the eradication of various features of the constitution which had always
been baneful to the weal of the state. He has always been a stanch Repub-
lican in his political views and has frequently served on the county and state
committees. He labors most unselfishly for the good of his party, without
thought of self-aggrandizement,, does all in his power for the political advance-
ment of his friends, and in this connection a prominent politician who had
known him for thirty years said of him: "He is the most unselfish man I ever
met."

The Judge is a man of fine personal appearance, fully six feet in height,
well proportioned, and weighing one hundred and eighty pounds. He would
attract attention anywhere not merely by reason of his fine physique but also
on account of the strength and intellectual character of his countenance. In
conversation his voice is exceedingly mellow, rich and charming. He pos-
sesses an original, distinct personality, and though usually quiet and reserved,
he can be aroused to great strength of thought and action upon occasion which
calls for integrity, moral courage and true manhood. On such occasions his
oratory is brilliant and carries all before it. But the best thing in the life of
Judge Waite is that no man can justly say aught against his political or busi-
ness honor or of the purity of his private life.

On the 9th of May, 1859, Judge Waite was united in marriage to Miss
Hattie N. Wells, a native of Tolland, Connecticut, and a daughter of Benjamin
and Mary Wells. They have three daughters: Laura N., Hattie M. and
Ruth M.

Charles Dunham has been a member of the bar of Geneseo, Illinois, for
many years, and to-day enjoys an extensive and remunerative clientage, which
is his because the public, ever a discriminating factor, has passed favorable
judgment upon his ability to successfully handle the intricate and involved
questions of the law. He has long been identified with the interests of Illinois,
although he is a native son of Massachusetts, his birth having occurred in Sa-
voy, Berkshire county, of the old Bay state, January 24, 1840. His parents
were Charles Dunham and Ardelia, nee Jenks. In Lombard University, one
of the old and reliable institutions of learning of Illinois, located in Galesburg,
our subject completed his literary education, and shortly afterward began the
study of law in Geneseo, where he has since resided.

Admitted to the bar in 1862, he has since been constantly engaged in the
practice of both civil and criminal law, and has won high commendation by
his careful conduct of important litigation, his candor and fairness in the
presentation of cases and his zeal and earnestness as an advocate. He also has
some farming interests, which are a source of rest and recreation as well as
profit, serving to divert his mind from the arduous duties of the court-room.

In his political views Mr. Dunham has always been a Democrat, but does



8 14 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

not advocate the recently-prominent issue of free and unlimited coinage of
silver at the rate of sixteen to one. He was elected and served as a member
of the twenty-eighth general assembly of Illinois, was the champion of many
important measures brought before the house, and was a member of the com-
mittee that revised the statutes of 1874. Socially he is connected with the Iro-
quois Club and the Masonic fraternity. During a long residence in Geneseo
he has ever merited the respect of his fellow townsmen and enjoys their high
regard.

On the 3d of April, 1862, Mr. Dunham was united in marriage in Port
Byron, Illinois, to Miss Caroline Loring, and their only child, Edith, born
March 21, 1864, is the wife of W. H. Foster, her father's law partner.

William Horton Foster, of Geneseo, deserves more than passing mention
in this connection. Environments and inherited tendencies may have had
considerable to do with his choice of a profession ; but man is only endowed
with capacity to learn, and knowledge must be acquired through individual
effort ; therefore, though Mr. Foster may have had a natural predilection for
the law his prominence as a legal and commercial counselor is due entirely to
his study, close application, his thorough mastery of the principles of jurispru-
dence, his correctness in their application to points of inquiry and his devotion
to the interests of his patrons.

He was born in Montreal, Canada, June 5, 1863. His parents are Elijah
C. and Judith Ellen (Horton) Foster, the former now assistant attorney gen-
eral of the United States. The mother, Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, is hardly less
prominent as a lawyer and is now practicing in Washington, D. C., while in
reform, temperance and political work she has a national reputation. The
ancestral history of our subject connects him with the Warren family. His
great-grandfather was a nephew and namesake of General Warren, who fell
at the battle of Bunker Hill, and with that distinguished hero he fought in that
first important engagement of the Revolution.

His parents having removed to the west, William H. Foster acquired his
preliminary education in the public schools of Clinton, Iowa, and later pursued
a course in the Northwestern University, of Evanston, Illinois. While in col-
lege and throughout his entire life he has made a specialty of the study of his-
tory and political science and is widely and thoroughly informed on those mo-
mentous questions which have such an important bearing upon the policy of
our government. He pursued his professional course in the Albany Law
School, in which he was graduated in May, 1884. Immediately afterward he
came to Geneseo, Illinois, where he has since engaged in practice. In 1885
he formed a partnership with Charles Dunham, and the firm now occupies a
leading position among the practitioners of this section of the state.

In his political views Mr. Foster is an earnest Republican, but is not an
aspirant for office. He belongs to the Hamilton Club, of Chicago, composed
of the leading Republicans of that city; is a member of the Methodist Episco-
pal church, and is secretary of the Lay Association of the church for the Cen-
tral Illinois conference. He has carried his researches and investigation far



THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 815

and wide into the fields of history and of political and social science and is a
member of the American Historical Association, the American Academy of
Political and Social Science, the American Statistical Association and the
American Economic Association.

On the 2oth of May, 1885, Mr. Foster married Miss Edith Dunham, the
only child of his law partner, and they have one son, Warren Dunham, born
November 13, 1886. Mrs. Foster seems to have inherited the legal traits of
her father and ancestors, and is a lady of broad mental culture and refinement.



CHAPTER XLII.

THE BAR OF LA SALLE COUNTY.

LA SALLE COUNTY has had a bar of more than average ability. Its
size, wealth and number of large towns have combined to render it an
attractive field. Ottawa was for more than a third of a century the
location of the supreme court of Illinois, northern grand division, and the ap-
pellate, circuit, county and probate courts render Ottawa a busy place for attor-
neys and all who have use for their services. In the past her lawyers have
been foremost among her honored citizens. Although the record .contains no
long array of distinguished names, yet every one familiar with the county
knows that the members of the La Salle county bar have maintained an ex-
cellent reputation for character, honesty and diligence in business. Of course
the larger share have resided at Ottawa.

It is said that the first practitioner here was a young man named George
W. Forsythe, who came from Burlington county, New Jersey, in 1834. He
soon went south, and nothing is known of his subsequent history. Lorenzo
Leland was the second. Shortly after, in 1835, came Seth B. Farwell and
Adam Y. Smith. The former was first from New York, but came from Ohio
here. He was prosecuting attorney for a time. He afterward became a judge
in California. Smith came from New York, also was here three or four years
as a partner of Farwell, then went south. He acted as loan agent for the State
Bank. Thus it would seem that the first few lawyers did not thrive in this
place. Shortly after their departure several attorneys located here who became
afterward prominent in the history of the county, and from thenceforward
there has been no dearth of legal talent at Ottawa.

Lorenzo Leland, deceased, was for many years a distinguished member
of the bar of Ottawa and the contemporary and friend of the leading lawyers,
jurists and politicians of Illinois during the middle portion of the century. He
was born on a farm at Grafton, Massachusetts, in September, 1813. His father
owned a farm there, not far from Worcester, and was an energetic and pros-
perous agriculturist. The first ancestor of the Leland family of whom we have
record was the antiquarian of Henry VIII., of England, and the motto on the
Leland coat of arms was "Cui debeo fidus," which translated freely is, "faithful
to every trust." Among the early colonists of America were members of this
family, and several of the name served in the Revolutionary war, valiantly aid-
ing in the struggle for independence and liberty.

Lorenzo Leland was educated in the public schools and in an academy
near Worcester, Massachusetts, and studied law in the office of an attorney of
that city. He put into practice Horace Greeley's advice to young men and

816



THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 817

came west in 1834, locating in Peoria, Illinois. The following year he removed
to Ottawa, where he opened a law office and continued to practice his profes-
sion until 1842. In that year a chain of circumstances gave him other employ-
ment. Judge Ford, having been elected governor, resigned his position as
circuit judge, and J. D. Caton was elected to that office. At that time the
circuit-court judges appointed the clerks of their respective courts, and Judge
Caton chose Mr. Leland as clerk of the circuit court of La Salle county, of
which Ottawa is the county seat. He continued to fill that office until after the
adoption of the new constitution, in 1848, at which time the state was divided
into three grand divisions, in each of which the supreme court of the state held
its meetings, and Ottawa became the location of the supreme court for the
northern division. Mr. Leland then became a candidate for clerk of the su-
preme court for the northern grand division, and was duly elected in 1848 for
a term of six years. Twice re-elected, he held that office for a period of eigh-
teen years, probably the most important period in the history of the state, from
1848 until 1866. He thus became acquainted with the leading lawyers, espe-
cially of Chicago and the northern district, and was widely known in legal
circles.

In politics Mr. Leland was always a Democrat, a friend and ardent ad-
mirer of Stephen A. Douglas, whose political views he endorsed. His positions
as clerk of the circuit and supreme courts for twenty-four years brought him
into contact with the leading politicians, judges and lawyers of Illinois, and his
social and genial disposition made him hosts of friends.

Mr. Leland died in Ottawa, in August, 1881. He left two sons, both of
whom are graduates of Yale College. The elder, Cyrus Leland, has long been
a resident of Kansas, where he has served as regent of the State University,
judge of the district court, receiver of the State National Bank of Wichita and
in other important positions. Lorenzo Leland, Jr., the younger son, has been
a successful attorney of Ottawa for many years, is now president of the First
National Bank of that place and holds other positions of trust and promi-
nence.

In connection with the chapter upon the supreme court will be found a
sketch of Hon. T. Lyle Dickey, at one time a prominent member of the bar of
La Salle county.

John V. A. Hoes came from Kinderhook, New York, in 1836, and resided
in Ottawa forty-two years, dying in October, 1878. He was a nephew of Pres-
ident Van Buren. He was admitted to the bar in New York, but did not prac-
tice until after he had located at Ottawa. His first few months here were spent
as editor of a campaign paper published for a short time at Ottawa. After this
journal "died the death" he devoted himself to the law, and was so engaged
until about 1855. He then retired from active business. He was a man of
vigorous mind, and while not an office-seeker, was interested in politics in a
general way. He was probate justice from 1837 to 1843. His wife was Fanny
Reynolds, and they left a son and a daughter.

John C. Champlin came to Ottawa with his father in 1836, and except one
52



8i8 THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS.

term of four years as county judge, practiced law continuously until his death,
in 1873. He was crossing the railroad track at night, slipped and fell, and was
run over. His wife and daughter removed to Chicago. Judge Champlin was
an able lawyer, and had an excellent practice.

Henry G. Cotton was admitted to the bar here in 1839, and was a mem-
ber of the same about seven years, until his death, December 7, 1856. He
came here a ripe lawyer, and by his studious habits and close application he
made a steady and regular advance in the science of the law. In 1849 ne was
elected the first county judge of this county, which office he continued to hold
until his death. He discharged the duties of this high and responsible office with
very marked ability and uncommon satisfaction.

Judge Cotton, whilst he added dignity to the bench, inspired the people
who had business before him with unshaken confidence in his ability and in-
tegrity. He was unobtrusive, modest and retiring in his manners: and in all
his intercourse with the bar and the people he was just and blameless.

James Stout, a brother of Dr. Joseph Stout, came here from Ohio in
1845, having been admitted in that state. Though not formally admitted here
until 1849, ne practiced until 1860 at Ottawa, and was then appointed collector
of internal revenue at Boise City, Idaho. This office he held until Hayes's
administration.

William H. L. Wallace came to Ottawa in March, 1845, an d resided here
until the war, into which he entered and sacrificed himself at Shiloh.

P. K. Leland was admitted in 1851; practiced some years; was county
judge one term, and later engaged in banking at Seneca.

O. C. Gray was admitted in 1853 and practiced some twenty years; was a
partner of Washington Bushnell when he died. He was an excellent lawyer
and had a good practice.

Abraham Hoes, a brother of John V. A., came some time in the '405, and
was here perhaps fifteen years, until his death. He was one of the ablest law-
yers ever at Ottawa, and was a member of the constitutional convention of

1847-

Julius Avery came early in the '505; was a partner of Bushnell for a time,
and lived in Ottawa some twenty years. He was for a short time with his
brother George, in control of the Free Trader, in 1855. He was of moderate
caliber, as a lawyer, and rather intemperate in his habits.

Hon. Washington Bushnell was a resident of Ottawa for thirty-two years,
coming in 1853. and remaining until his death, in 1885. He was born Septem-
ber 26, 1827, in Madison county, New York. In 1837 his father, Stephen
Bushnell, moved to Kendall county, Illinois, settling in the neighborhood of
Lisbon. Here young Bushnell worked on the farm in summer, attending in
winter the local schools. In 1849 ne decided to adopt the legal profession, and
to that end entered the National Law School, at Poughkeepsie, New York,
where he graduated in 1853, was admitted to the bar in New York, and then at
once came to Ottawa, where he formed a partnership with O. C. Gray, one of
the leading attorneys at the time at the La Salle county bar. The firm soon



THE BENCH AND BAR OF ILLINOIS. 819

grew into note as one of the ablest in this part of the state, and Mr. Bushnell,
being soon after appointed city attorney, and then elected state's attorney, the
firm was strengthened by the addition as a partner of Julius Avery, another
brilliant young lawyer. In 1860 Mr. Bushnell was elected to the state senate,
in which he maintained a leading and influential position until 1864. In 1868
he was elected attorney general of the state, an office the duties of which he
discharged with signal ability for four years. In 1880 he was a candidate for
congress in this district, but did not receive the nomination, and after that
measurably withdrew from politics, though remaining, as he always had been,
an adherent of the Republican party, becoming apparently disgusted with pol-
itics, taking no such active part in the political contests of the day as was nat-
urally expected from a man of his wide influence and great ability. Instead,
he settled down quietly to his law practice, forming a partnership with Mr.
Bull, then with the late Judge Oilman, then with D. A. Cook, and at the time
of his death had Captain T. C. Fullerton for a law partner. His health for the
previous ten or twelve years, however, had at no time been robust, and it was
only on special occasions and when unusually aroused that he exhibited the
strength and force and fire of his more robust days. While yet a young man
he married Miss Phebe Charles, of Peru, who, with the six children a son
and five daughters that were born to them survive him. He accumulated
considerable property and left his family in comfortable circumstances.

He was a remarkable man in many ways, and largely composed of that
stuff of which great men are made. At all times an able and fluent speaker,
when roused he was .brilliant and forcible to a degree. Tall, and of command-
ing presence, with a voice full of strength and music, and a countenance ra-
diant with expression, few men could sway a jury or an audience as he could.
Socially he was^one of the most genial and companionable of men. Open-
hearted, generous almost to a fault, no movement, either in the direction of
some deserving charity or the general good, but found him a ready promoter
and a liberal contributor.

Dwight F. Cameron practiced here a few years, after being admitted in
1857. He was interested in the building of the Fox River Valley Railroad,
and soon after went to Chicago. He was possessed of a good mind, but did
not devote himself exclusively to legal practice.

George C. Campbell was admitted in 1858, and during his ten-years resi-
dence here became known as a railroad attorney. He went to Chicago, where
he died in the summer of 1885.

Frank J. Crawford was admitted in 1858, after he had been deputy in the
county clerk's office, and practiced a few years here. He also went to Chicago.
Samuel C. Walker, a son of George E., practiced a few years (admitted in
1861), and died of consumption. Ebenezer Lewis was admitted in 1861, and
two or three years later moved away. William E. Beck was admitted in 1861,
practiced for a time, was county treasurer one term, went west, and became a
supreme judge in Colorado.

Franklin F. Brower was admitted in 1862, after studying with B. C. Cook,



Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 30 of 83)