John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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served as city attorney, and was subsequently chosen from this district to the
state senate. For a number of years he had been much of the time in Wash-
ington territory and Oregon, where he has considerable property, and had be-
come prominent in connection with territorial affairs. Mr. Canfield died in
Oregon in 1891.

Among the earlier lawyers in Aurora we find H. C. Kelly occupying the
field in July, 1848, and he had probably been here for some time at that date.
W. C. Taylor and R. G. Montony had their cards in the local papers in 1850,
the former on the west side and the latter on the east side of the river. Judge
Richard G. Montony, one of the most careful and painstaking lawyers who
ever made Kane county his home, has resided in Aurora since 1846, and been
engaged in practice since 1849. He is a native of New Jersey. He came to
Chicago September i, 1845; taught school at Newark the following winter,
and located at Aurora in May, 1846. He read law with O. D. Day, and was
admitted to the bar in June, 1849. In 1858 he was city attorney of Aurora.
From 1873 to 1886 he had an office in Chicago.

D. W. Poindexter was practicing in Aurora in the beginning of 1855, as
was also N. J. Smith, who had but lately arrived from Worcester county, Mas-
sachusetts. A. B. Fuller was practicing in the place in the spring of the same
year. In the summer of 1858 we find William R. Parker and Daniel Eastman
on the list. The latter had temporarily relinquished the medical profession and
turned his attention in a successful manner to the law. Mr. Parker was a gifted
lawyer and somewhat of a politician, becoming a prominent and greatly es-
teemed citizen, and at one time representing the district in the state legislature.
He died January 5, 1859, aged about forty years.

In 1859 the newspaper files show additional attorneys in Aurora, in the
persons of C. J. Metzner, John W. Ray, L. R. Wagner and E. A. Prichard.
George W. Grow came some time previous to 1860. In December, 1847, Messrs.
Champlin & Dodge (John C. Champlin, of Ottawa, and A. R. Dodge, of Au-
rora), announced through the columns of the Beacon that they were ready to
practice law in the counties of Kane, Kendall, DeKalb and McHenry.


Hon. Albert J. Hopkins is a native of DeKalb county, Illinois, and a grad-
uate (1870) of Hillsdale (Michigan) College. In August, .1870, he came to Au-
rora, and began the study of law with C. J. Metzner, at that time one of the lead-
ing members of the Kane county bar. In September, 1871, Mr. Hopkins was
admitted to practice by the supreme court of Illinois, and a year later in all the
United States courts. He was elected state's attorney for Kane county in 1872,
and made a splendid record, the beginning of the career which has placed him
at the head of the criminal lawyers of the county. He enjoys an extensive and
increasing practice, and the well known firm of Hopkins, Aldrich & Thatcher
Has acknowledged leadership among the professional firms of northern Illinois.
In 1885 Mr. Hopkins was elected to congress from the fifth district of Illinois,
to fill out the unexpired term of Hon. Reuben Ellwood, deceased, of Sycamore.
He was re-elected for the full term in the fall of 1886, and has made an excellent
record during his stay at the national capital, and has been continuously elected
since and is still in congress.

N. J. Aldrich studied law at Aurora with Mr. O. Southworth, and took a
two years' course at Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating in 1876. He was ad-
mitted to the bar the same year at Mount Vernon, Illinois, and commenced
practice at Aurora with A. J: Hopkins, in 1878.

Frank H. Thatcher was graduated in the East Aurora high school in 1877,
and in the Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois, in the class of 1881,
receiving the degree of Ph. B. In 1883 that institution conferred upon him also
the honorary degree of Ph. M. Mr. Thatcher studied law for two years with
Hopkins & Aldrich, was admitted to the bar in May, 1883, upon examination
by Judge Upton, of the appellate court, and has been a member of the firm of
Hopkins, Aldrich & Thatcher since 1884. He is president of the Young Men's
Republican Club, of Aurora, and has been recently appointed by Judge Peter
Grosscup register in bankruptcy. He is one of the ablest members of the Kane
county bar.

William George was graduated in the West Aurora high school in 1879,
and took a collegiate course in the University of Iowa. He studied law in Chi-
cago, and at the same time took a full course in the Union College of Law in
that city, receiving the degree of LL. B. He was graduated at that institution
and admitted to the bar, at Ottawa, in June, 1885, and is now practicing in Au-
rora. For two years he was associated with the firm of Hopkins, Aldrich &

Fayette D. Winslow, a native of Kane county, and a graduate of the West
Aurora high school, is also a graduate of Sterling College, at Beloit, Wisconsin,
and the Columbia Law School, in New York city. He was admitted to practice
in December, 1883, and in June, 1884, opened an office in Aurora, in company
with Frank G. Hanchett. Frank G. Hanchett also is a graduate of the West
Aurora high school. In 1882 he was graduated with high honors in the Uni-
versity of Chicago, and took a thorough law course at Iowa City, Iowa, grad-
uating in 1883. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1884, and has since been


engaged in practice at Aurora. He was elected state's attorney in 1888, and
served with marked distinction.

Charles L. Allen, of Sterling, Colorado, was formerly a resident of Aurora,
and numbered among the able young lawyers of that city. He was at one time
city attorney. J. P. Cass, John C. Murphy and A. J. King were all examined and
admitted to the bar in September, 1882, before the appellate court. Mr. Cass
studied law with Judge Parks and A. G. McDole. He opened an office in Octo-
ber, 1882, since when he has been engaged in practice. In 1884-5 ne served as
alderman from what was then the fifth ward of Aurora. He was in partnership
with Judge Parks for a short time; was a member of the public library board,
and second lieutenant of Company D, Third Regiment, Illinois National Guards.
Early in 1888 Mr. Cass removed to the Pacific coast. Mr. Murphy became as-
sistant United States attorney for Dakota territory, and Mr. King, who was for
a time in company with M. O. Southworth, is now prospering in the law, loan
and real-estate business at Oberlin, Kansas.

Russell P. Goodwin studied law with Judge Cody, at Naperville, and M. O.
Southworth at Aurora, and was admitted to the bar January 17, 1879, since
when he has been engaged in practice at Aurora. He has served as public ad-
ministrator for Kane county and city attorney of Aurora, and is now serving his
second term as >udge of the county courts of Aurora and Elgin.

Thomas B. Swan studied law at Indiana, Pennsylvania, and was there ad-
mitted to practice in the fall of 1878. He had been previously graduated at
Washington and Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. He practiced a few months at
Blairsville, in that state, and in 1879 came to Aurora, where he still resides, and
where, for most of the time, he has held a notary public's commission.

A. E. Searles studied law at St. Albans, Vermont, where he was admitted
to the bar in 1842. After practicing about twelve years at Sheldon, in the
same county, he was located in practice at St. Albans until 1858, when he re-
moved to Aurora, where he continued in active practice. He was several times
city attorney of Aurora, and was in partnership with R. G. Montony until the
latter was elected judge of the city court. They had an office in Chicago in
1873-4. Mr. Searles died several years ago. Osborn A. Holcomb read law over
two years with A. E. Searles, and was admitted to practice in December, 1885.
He is now engaged in practice at Aurora.

N. F. Nichols came to Aurora in September, 1857, fresh from the Wesleyan
University at Middletown, Connecticut, where he had just been graduated. He
taught school several years; read law with J. H. Mayborne, at Geneva, and S.
W. Brown, at Aurora; was admitted to the bar in 1865; began practice at Au-
rora, in partnership with S. W. Brown, about 1867, and still continues. Mr.
Nichols was several times city attorney of Aurora, and previously superintend-
ent of schools in Kane county.

D. M. Clapsaddle, who died at Huron, Dakota, in 1886, was in practice in
Aurora for a few years, and for a time in partnership with N. F. Nichols. Ran-
dall Cassem, an able lawyer, for some years in practice at Yorkville, Illinois,
removed to Aurora in the fall of 1887.


Frederick Brown was admitted to the bar in 1853, at Ravenna, Ohio. After
practicing a year and a half he came west and located at Pecatonica, Illinois,
where he practiced five years. He was appointed postmaster in April, 1 86 1,
upon the recommendation of Hon. E. B. Washburne, and held the position over
twelve years. During the time he served four years in the army, leaving the
office in charge of his wife. Resigning the postmastership in 1873, he came to
Aurora, where he continues in the practice of his profession. He was once a
justice of the peace at Pecatonica, but resigned. He has held a similar office at
Aurora, has been school trustee, etc.

Samuel Alschuler, of Aurora, is a son of Jacob and Caroline Alschuler, who
in early life left their native Bavaria and crossed the Atlantic to America, becom-
ing residents of Chicago, Illinois, where, on the 2oth of November, 1859, Samuel
Alschuler was born. He acquired his education in the public schools, complet-
ing it by a course in the high school of Aurora, whither his parents had removed
in 1861. For a short time after putting aside his school-books he engaged in
clerking, but in 1878 became a student in a law office and was admitted to the
bar in 1880. The following year he opened an office and began the practice of
law in Aurora, continuing alone in business until 1890, when he entered into
partnership with Hon. J. C. Murphy, under the firm name of Alschuler & Mur-
phy, a connection that has since been continued with mutual pleasure and profit.
His practice has been general and he has represented important interests of this

In his political views Mr. Alschuler is a Democrat, and was the nominee
of his party for congress in 1892, but was defeated. The following year he was
appointed by Governor Altgeld state claims commissioner, and served in that
capacity for nearly four years. In 1896 he was elected to the state legislature
and served in the fortieth assembly and the special session, and in November,
1898, was again elected. He is well informed on the issues of the day and is
very loyal in his advocacy of the measures of his party.

He belongs to a number of clubs and societies, but takes no very active part
in them. His time is largely devoted to his professional duties, which are never
neglected for other thin'gs, and this fidelity to the interests entrusted to his care
is certainly one of the strong elements in his success.

Charles I. McNett read law at Ottawa, Illinois, and was admitted before the
appellate court in December, 1881. Since December, 1882, he has been a resi-
dent in Aurora. He is now master in chancery of the circuit court. Asa G. Mc-
Dole, born in Sugar Grove township, Kane county, was the first white male
child whose birth occurred within that township, the date being June 12, 1836.
Beginning in 1858, he studied law a year with Judge Parks, at Aurora, and in
1859-60 attended for six months the first term of the law school at Ann Arbor,
Michigan. He was examined for admission to the bar in the fall of 1860, at
Chicago, by Ebenezer Peck, and was duly admitted in January, 1861, after
which he was in practice at Aurora. He was city attorney of Aurora from April,
1862, to April, 1864, and again from April, 1879, to April, 1882. He revised the
ordinances of the city in 1863, and was for a time master in chancery of the


Aurora city court. Mr. McDole died several years ago. George W. Grove was
a practicing attorney at Aurora when Mr. McDole entered the professional field,
but subsequently removed from the city and is now deceased.

M. O. Southworth studied law in 1864-5 w i tn DeWolf & Pinckney, at Dix-
on, Illinois, and in 1869-70 at the University of Michigan, where he was grad-
uated in the spring of 1871. He began business at Aurora the same spring, and
in 1873 entered into partnership with Sewell W. Brown, who is universally men-
tioned as one of the most upright citizens Aurora ever possessed. Since Mr.
Brown's death Mr. Southworth has practiced mostly alone. He was city attor-
ney of Aurora several terms, and in 1882 a candidate for the position of county
judge. He was elected county judge in 1894 and re-elected in 1898.

Hon. C. D. F. Smith, at present a resident of Aurora, practices mostly in
Chicago, and is in all respects an excellent lawyer. He has held the position of
judge of the Aurora city court and also that of county judge of Kane county.
Hon. F. M. Annis, of Aurora, is a lawyer of fine repute, and was at one time
judge of the Aurora city court.

Marcus White, now retired from practice, is a resident of Aurora, and one
of the pioneers of the county. Ira S. Smith, formerly a resident practitioner,
has removed from the city. L. W. Rood resides in Aurora, but has an office in
Chicago. E. D. Northam, formerly one of the proprietors of the Aurora Daily
News, is a regular practitioner, having been for a time connected with the legal
department of the Chicago & N,orth western Railway. He was, in 1887, ap-
pointed official stenographer of the Kane county circuit court. J. D. Fox came
to Kane county in 1857, and soon after commenced the study of law, continuing
the same until 1863, when he enlisted in the army. After his return he resumed
his studies in the office of his old preceptor, and was admitted to the bar in

A list of lawyers in Kane county in 1858 shows the following to have been
then in practice: At Aurora James G. Barr, O. M. Bates (law student), S. W.
Brown, O. D. Day, S. N. Dickinson, B. F. Fridley, A. C. Gibson, John Little
(law student), Charles J. Metzner, R. G. Montony, William R. Parker, Samuel
Parker (law student), B. F. Parks, E. A. Pritchard, A. E. Searles, N. J. Smith,
James Van Allen (law student), L. R. Wagner. At Batavia Judge Samuel D.
Lockwood, Thomas C. Moore, Charles Wheaton. At Elgin John Calvert, F.
Colby, Edmund Gifford, A. B. Phiney. At Geneva Judge Isaac G. Wilson,
Augustus M. Herrington, J. H. Mayborne, W. B. Plato. At Lodi Station (now
Maple Park) William J. Brown, who was also postmaster. At St. Charles
Alonzo H. Barry, Judge William D. Barry, D. L. Eastman, John F. Farnsworth,
J. H. Ferguson, S. S. Jones.

There have doubtless been many others in practice in the county, at various
periods, whose names are not here recorded, but it is impossible to make a com-
plete record, and the foregoing chapter is submitted for whatever of value it may

The personnel of the present bar of Kane county is as follows : Aurora

Charles Wheaton, R. G. Montony, N. F. Nichols, A. C. Little, A. J. Hopkins,


F. M. Annis, M. O. Southworth, Frederick Brown, R. P. Goodwin, N. J. Al-
drich, L. W. Rood, Frank H. Thatcher, Samuel Alschuler, Theo. Worcester, F.

G. Hanchett, Thomas B. Swan, J. C. Murphy, J. D. Fox, Charles I. McNett,

F. D. Winslow, William George, J. M. Raymond, S. N. Hoover, P. Y. Smith,
J. I. Montgomery, John F. Galvin, Eben Beaupre, O. A. Holcomb, John F.
Golden, Frank G. Plain, Randall Cassem, J. J. O'Connor, W. K. Dillon, G. C.
VanOsdel, George Avery, R. B. Scott, Nelson L. Rood, Lee Mighell, Freder-
ick A. Dolph, W. J. Tyers, J. S. Sears, T. K. Long, A. M. Beaupre, John Kelley.
Batavia Charles H. More, James O. McClellan, H. N. Jones. Elgin R. N.
Botsford, A. H. Barry, J. W. Ranstead, E. C. Lovell, D. B. Sherwood, T. J.
Rushton, Ezra Rue, Isaac H. Warren, Charles Hopson, John A. Russell, C. E.
Botsford, J. H. Williams, John Powers, Jr., Robert G. Earley, James F. Flynn,
Eugene Clifford, W. H. Wing, Robert S. Egan, J. H. Becker, C. H. Fisher, J.

G. Spillard, R. D. Hollembeak, W. W. Baldwin, Henry J. Hartz, A. G. Waite,
Frank E. Shopen, J. L. Healy, Elwood E. Kenyon, J. M. Manley, Ernest C.
Luther, Oscar Jones, J. P. Mann, Frank W. Joslyn, W. H. Wilcox, George H.
McDonald, C. F. Irwin, Charles H. Wayne, A. T. Lewis, Sylvanus Wilcox, Fred
Shultz, John Brown, James Coleman, James J. Kirby, Charles L. Abbott. El-
burn W. R. S. Hunter, W. S. Hunter. Geneva William J. Brown, A. P.
West. St. Charles Charles A. Miller, J. Frank Richmond, T. E. Ryan, H. G.
Hempstead, George F. Ross, Charles H. Glos.



JOHN M. LANSDEX is a practitioner of law at Cairo. His parents, Abner
Wayne and Mary Miller Lansden, came from Wilson county, Tennessee, to
Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1835. His mother's parents, Thomas and
Mary Green Gallaher, had come to Illinois from Roane county, Tennessee, in
1833. The two families resided in the Island Grove neighborhood and very near
the village of Berlin. He was born there the I2th of February, 1836. In 1841
his parents removed to a farm near a village then called Lebanon, but afterward
and now called Loami. He worked on the farm, and in the f?ll and winter at-
tended the village and district schools. He prepared for college at Virginia,
Cass county, Illinois, and September 15, 1858, entered the freshman class of
Cumberland University, Lebanon, Wilson county, Tennessee. Being somewhat
in advance of his class in most of their studies, he was able to prepare and recite
the lessons of both the freshman and sophomore classes, and at the beginning
of his second year was admitted to the junior class. By close application and
study he reached and maintained, in his class of forty members, the third place
in mathematics and the second place in all other branches. Owing to the dis-
turbed condition of the country following the election of Mr. Lincoln to the
presidency and the probable early suspension of all college work, he left Leb-
anon and came to Jacksonville and entered the senior class of Illinois College,
and there graduated June 20, 1861. His studies at trjcse institutions were those
usually prescribed for the classical course in most colleges.

After leaving college he engaged in teaching in Menard and Sangamon
counties, and subsequently took charge of the public schools in Centralia. In
1864 he entered the Albany Law School, of Albany University, Xew York,
where he graduated May 25, 1865. He was admitted to the practice there and
in Illinois in that year, and went to Cairo in 1866, where he began the practice
which he has continued uninterruptedly to the present time. He was a member
first of the firm of Olney, McKeaig & Lansden, and afterward of the firm of
Omelveny & Lansden, the senior member of which was the Hon. Harvey K. S.
Omelveny, who subsequently removed to Los Angeles. In 1874 he formed a
partnership with the Hon. David L. Linegar, which continued nearly to the time
of the latter's death, in 1885. The Hon. John H. Mulkey and they, prior to the
former's election to the supreme bench, were associated together for a time un-
der the firm name of Mulkey, Lincgar & Lansden. In 1887 he and Angus Leek
formed the present firm of Lansden & Leek.

His practice has been chiefly of a general nature, in the state and federal



courts in Illinois, and for some years past also in Missouri and Kentucky. He
was admitted to practice in the United States supreme court a few years ago.
He has confined himself very closely to his profession ; has taken little part in
politics; has held no offices except those of city attorney, mayor and treasurer
of schools. He has acted, for the most part, with the Democratic party, but is
strongly inclined to independence. While admitting that parties are indispen-
sable in a free government, he believes they serve their best and highest pur-
poses when independent thinking and voting receive their greatest encourage-

His choice of the law was not unmixed with aspirations of a political na-
ture; for, after the age of seventeen, the most interesting reading to him was
that which related to the past and current political history of the country. But
a better acquaintance with the law and with politics has shown him, he says,
that if he possesses any special qualification for either it is not for the latter.
Moreover, his observation is that while work and study will accomplish great re-
sults, there are, for the legal profession, certain special qualifications about which
young men may wisely make inquiry before choosing between that and other
professions or occupations.

He was married September 25, 1867, to Effie Wyeth Smith, a daughter of
the late David A. Smith, of Jacksonville. They have six children, David
Smith, Mary Gallaher, Effie Allan, Emma Louise, John McMurray and Mar-
garet Lansden, all of them except John graduates of the Cairo high school;
David, also of Princeton, class of 1891 ; Mary, of the Southern Illinois Normal,
class of 1890, and John, of the Rose Polytechnic Institute, Terre Haute, class
of 1898. David has been with him in the practice since 1894.

He has belonged to no secret society except the college Greek letter society
of Alpha Delta Phi, Cumberland Chapter, 1861.

The Lansdens and Gallahers are Scotch-Irish people. Their ancestors
landed at Philadelphia early in 1700, the former going probably to eastern New
Jersey, thence, prior to 1760, to Rowan county, North Carolina, thence to Ten-
nessee in 1807, and thence to Illinois in 1835; while the Gallahers went first
to western Pennsylvania, thence, about the year 1785, to east Tennessee, and in
1833 to Illinois. (In Roosevelt's Winning of the West is an interesting and full
account of these movements of early settlers southward and then westward.)
Hi's great grandfather, Thomas Lansden, was born in Ireland; his great grand-
mother, Ann Lansden, was born in Philadelphia about 1731. She was a daugh-
ter of Richard King, who was born in Dublin in 1705, and had landed at Phila-
delphia in 1728. The Kings were kinsmen of the Barkleys and Kers, Scotch
colonists who had settled in eastern New Jersey in 1680-1685. They went from
the Raritan country to Rowan county, North Carolina, about the year 1758.
(Some of these facts have been obtained from a short history of the King family,
prepared by the Rev. Richard H. King, a graduate of Princeton, class of 1786.)

His grandparents, Robert and Susannah Lansden, were born in Rowan
county, North Carolina, he in 1760 and she in 1766. They were married in
1786. His father, Abner Wayne Lansden, was born in Iredell county, formerly


a part of Rowan, October i, 1794. His mother, Mary Miller Lansden, was born
in Roane county, east Tennessee, February 12, 1809. They were married at
her father's, in that county, January 29, 1829, and resided in Wilson county,
Tennessee, until 1835, when they came to Illinois. She died at her home in San-
gamon county September 3, 1843, in her thirty-fifth year, and he near Marshall,
Missouri, September 8, 1875, in his eighty-first year.

His great grandfather, James Gallaher, came to east Tennessee very soon
after the treaty of peace in 1783. His grandfather, Thomas Gallaher, was born
February 19, 1764, and his grandmother July 6, 1769. Her name was Mary
Green, and they were married October 9, 1787. They were friends of General
Jackson for many years. Long before he became general and while judge of
the supreme court he frequently visited their house in east Tennessee.

The families mentioned have been Presbyterians for many generations.
Three of his uncles James, Allen and William G. Gallaher were ministers, and
his father and two of his father's brothers James K. and Hugh B. Lansden
were also ministers, his father for more than fifty years. James Gallaher was for
a time chaplain of the house of representatives at Washington.

Some of the Gallahers were in the siege of Londonderry in 1689. His
grandfather, Robert Lansden, was a soldier of the Revolution. His father and
an uncle, Thomas D. Lansden, were under Jackson in the Creek Indian war,
which came to an end with the battle of the "Horse-shoe'' in March, 1814, at

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 44 of 83)