John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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two daughters: Oscar Fletcher, born September 22, 1869; Grace May, born


May 22, 1875; Archie Elaine, born July 3, 1877; Arthur G., born July 5, 1879;
and Laura O., born December 6, 1881. Mrs. Cochran is a native of Pickaway
county, Ohio, and her parents removed to the Buckeye state from near Philippi,
West Virginia.

Judge Cochran continues his relationship with his old comrades of the war
through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, and that he stands
high in their regard is shown by the fact that he was chosen department com-
mander of the Illinois department in 1896 and 1897. Since 1868 he has been a
member of the Masonic fraternity, and has attained the Knight Templar degree.
He has served as master of the blue lodge and high priest of the chapter, and
is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Since 1866 he has
been a member of the Methodist church. The history of his life is in many re-
spects well worthy of emulation. Deprived of advantages which most boys en-
joyed, by dint of his own force of character, straightforward purpose and un-
flinching honor in the affairs of life, he advanced to the highest elective position
in the law-making body of the commonwealth, has been elevated to judicial hon-
ors and to the highest office within the gift of the "boys in blue." Merit alone
wins such distinction, and such a record needs not the complimentary comment
of the historian, as it speaks for itself.

John R. Eden is one of the pioneer lawyers of Illinois, having practiced at
its bar for almost half a century. He was born in Bath county, Kentucky, Febru-
ary i, 1826, and represents one of the old and prominent families of his native
state. His grandfather, Jeremiah Eden, was of English descent, and in the be-
ginning of the nineteenth century removed with his family from Maryland to
Kentucky. John Paul Eden, the father of our subject, was born in Baltimore,
Maryland, and was a farmer in moderate circumstances. ' He married Catherine
Cann, whose people removed from Virginia to Kentucky at an early period in
the settlement of the latter state. The wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Eden occurred
in Kentucky in 1819, and in 1831 they removed to Rush county, Indiana, where
the father died in 1835. In their family were six children, of whom John Rice is
the third in order of birth. In 1852 the mother with her living children, four in
number, accompanied by their families, removed to Illinois, locating in Moultrie
county. Her death occurred in this state in 1870.

John Rice Eden spent his childhood in the usual manner of farmer lads.
His privileges and advantages were few, for he was forced to aid his widowed
mother in the support of her family. He attended such schools as existed in
Rush county, Indiana, fifty or sixty years ago and made the most of his oppor-
tunities. The school was held for three or four months in the cold season, but
the teachers were often but poorly prepared for their work, and only the rudi-
mentary branches of learning were taught. In the months of vacation his time
was largely occupied with the labors of the farm, clearing the heavily timbered
land, planting crops and tending them until the season of harvest. It was his
desire to pursue a collegiate course, but his limited means forbade that. He
read eagerly everything that he could obtain, was especially fond of history and
biography, and two of his special favorites when a boy were \Veems' Life of


Washington and a history of the life of Francis Marion. After leaving school
Mr. Eden began teaching, which profession he followed through the fall and
winter months for six or seven years, his energies being devoted to agricultural
pursuits in the summer.

In the spring of 1850 he began the study of law in the office of Bigger &
Logan, then the leading law firm in Rushville, Indiana, and with them continued
his reading two years. In April, 1852, he came to Illinois, and in June of that
year was admitted to the bar, since which time he has been engaged in active
practice. He located in Shelbyville, Illinois, but in August, 1853, removed to
Sullivan, where he has since made his home, with the exception of a period of two
years, commencing January i, 1870, which he passed in Decatur, Illinois. In
the old days his experiences were those of the pioneer lawyer, who rode the cir-
cuit, going from county-seat to county-seat as the judge convened court in the
various places. Many of the present day would deem those early experiences
hardships, but though the people were not able to entertain guests in accordance
with the standard of to-day, they were hospitable and kindly. His contempora-
ries of those times were Abraham Lincoln, U. F. Linder, O. B. Ficklin and
Charles Constable ; and David Davis was on the bench at the time Mr. Eden
began practice.

The first public office that he held was that of state's attorney for the sev-
enteenth judicial circuit, consisting of the counties of Macon, Piatt, Moultrie,
Shelby, Christian, Montgomery, Bond, Fayette and EfEngham. He was elected
in 1856 and filled the position four years. In November, 1862, he was elected to
the thirty-eighth congress and served on the committees on accounts and Revo-
lutionary claims. This term covered the last two years of the war, and he was
therefore connected with the important legislation of that period. In 1872 he
was elected to the forty-third congress, from the fifteenth district, and served on
the committees on claims and freedmen's affairs. In 1874 he was re-elected,
and served as chairman of the committee on war claims and on the special com-
mittee to investigate the presidential election in South Carolina. As chairman
of the former he devoted much time to the consideration of the many claims
which were pressing upon congress ; and the consideration of many of these,
growing out of the war, provoked heated and at times angry debate. Again
elected to congress in 1876, in the forty-fifth congress, he again served as chair-
man of the committee on war claims. For the fifth time, in 1886, he was elected
to congress, from the seventeenth district, and served on the committees on ju-
diciary, on the election of president and vice-president and on the special com-
mittee to investigate the Pan-Electric Telephone Company. He took part in the
framing and consideration of the bill pjoviding, in case of the death or disability
of the president, for the presidential succession, and the bill providing the mode
of ascertaining and counting the vote for the election of president and vice-presi-
dent. Mr. Eden has also served, by appointment of Governor Altgeld, as one
of the commissioners for the Northwestern Hospital for the Insane. Since cast-
ing his first presidential vote he has been a stalwart Democrat, and was nominee
for governor in 1868. He has taken an active part in every political canvass


since 1856, and is recognized as one of the most prominent representatives of
his party in the state.

On the 7th of August, 1856, Mr. Eden was united in marriage, in Sullivan,
to Roxana Meeker, daughter of Ambrose Meeker, a highly respected farmer
who died many years ago. She has one brother still living, Judge J. Meeker, a
lawyer of Sullivan. Mrs. Eden died in 1888. By their union were born five
children, yet living. There are two married daughters ; two who are not mar-
ried, and who reside with their father ; and one son, Walter, who makes his home
in Sullivan, and is his father's law partner.

Such in brief is the record of one who has been an important factor in the
history of Illinois for forty-six years. Prominent in professional circles and a
leader in political interests, he has had a marked influence on public affairs and
is classed among those representative citizens who have conferred honor and
dignity upon the commonwealth.

Judge Robert Bell, of Mount Carmel, was born in Lawrence county, Illinois,
in 1829. His paternal grandfather, Robert Bell, was a native of Ireland and
came to America in childhood. At the age of sixteen he joined the Continental
army and served for seven years in the struggle that brought independence to
the nation, being present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown. In
1818 he emigrated from his Virginia home and located in Illinois, which that year
was admitted to the Union. His death occurred in Wabash county, in 1837.
His son, Hiram Bell, the father of the Judge, was born in Rockbridge county,
Virginia, and with his father came to Illinois. He was a surveyor and took an
active part in the early development of this section of the state. For thirty-six
successive years, from 1824 until December, 1860, he served as clerk of the circuit
court of Wabash county and for thirty years was also clerk of the county court.
He also served as brigadier-general of militia. He married Elizabeth Buchanan,
a native of Gallatin county, Kentucky, who came to Illinois in 1819. His death
occurred in 1867, and his wife passed away in 1885. She was a daughter of Vic-
tor Buchanan, a native of Pennsylvania and a cousin of James Buchanan, presi-
dent of the United States. He emigrated to Kentucky and thence to Lawrence
county, Illinois, in 1819, following farming in the latter state until his death, in


Judge Bell completed his literary education by a classical course in the select
schools of Mount Carmel, Illinois, and then entered the law department of the
Indiana University, at Bloomington, where he was graduated in 1855. In the
meantime, however, he had engaged in journalistic labors. He was editor of the
Mount Carmel Register before attaining his majority, and in 1851-2, in con-
nection with his elder brother, Victor S. Bell, owned and edited the same paper.
Prior to entering the law school he also studied law in the office of that brother,
who was an attorney and was a member of the Illinois legislature from 1852 until
1854. He afterward practiced his profession in Chicago and in Washington, D.
C., and died in New Orleans, in 1867.

After his graduation Robert Bell opened a law office in Fairfield, Illinois,
where he practiced until 1857, when he returned to Mount Carmel, and entered


into partnership with Judge E. B. Green in 1864, the connection continuing un-
interruptedly for twenty-six years, at the end of which time Judge Green was ap-
pointed chief justice of Oklahoma by President Harrison, in 1890. During the
quarter of a century in which the firm of Bell & Green practiced in Mount Car-
mel, they enjoyed a most extensive practice and were connected with the greater
part of the important litigation heard in the courts of the district. Judge Bell
still has a large clientage and in the conduct of his cases displays a profound
knowledge of law. He is resourceful in the trial of a case in the court-room, is
never surprised by an unexpected attack, and is especially strong in argument,
his logic being supplemented by a splendid oratorical ability that never fails to
leave its impress upon the minds of those whom he would influence. He was
appointed county judge of Wabash county in 1869 by Governor Palmer to fill a
vacancy, and was elected to that office in 1894 by a majority of nearly four hun-

Judge Bell has also been connected with a number of business enterprises
which have materially advanced the growth and prosperity of his section of the
state. He was president of the Illinois Southern Railroad Company until its
line was merged into that of the Cairo & Vincennes Railroad, in 1867. He was
also president of the Illinois division of the St. Louis, Mount Carmel & New
Albany, now the Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis (Air Line) Railroad, and
while president secured the construction of that section of the road between
Princeton, Indiana, and Albion, Illinois, including the bridge over the Wabash

The Judge has long been a prominent factor in the political interests of the
state, and from 1878 until 1882 was a member of the Republican state central
committee for the state at large. In 1878 he was the Republican candidate for
congress in the nineteenth district. In 1876 he was sent to California by the
United States treasury department as a special revenue agent to investigate
alleged frauds in the revenue districts of the Pacific coast, and in 1881 was ap-
pointed by President Garfield a commissioner to examine a section of the At-
lantic & Pacific Railroad, in New Mexico. He is widely known to the political
leaders of the state, and his opinions carry weight in the councils of his party.
Socially he is connected with the Masonic fraternity. In 1857 he was made a
Mason in Fairfield Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and for two years served as worshipful
master of Mount Carmel Lodge. He was also made a Knight Templar in Gorin
Commandery, of Olney, Illinois, in 1880.

On the 1 7th of November, 1858, in Madison, Connecticut, Judge Bell mar-
ried Miss Sara E. Shepard, daughter of Rev. Samuel N. Shepard, a Congrega-
tional minister who for thirty years prior to his death was pastor of the second
largest church in that state. His father, Rev. Dr. Shepard, of Lenox, Massa-
chusetts, and the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Bell, Rev. Dr. Brace, of Hartford,
Connecticut, were eminent Congregational ministers. Mrs. Bell was born in
Madison, Connecticut, and was educated in New Haven, Hartford, and at
Maplewood Seminary, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She is a niece of Rev. Dr.


John Todd, the author. The Judge and his wife have three children, Collins
Shepard, Edward Green and Bertine.

Judge Bell is a man of wide general information, his reading having covered
most of the standard works of all ages. His artistic literary taste is shown in
several short poems which he has written and which have been published in the
leading newspapers of the United States. His reputation as an orator extends
far and wide, and has made his services in great demand. He is called "the
silver-tongued orator of the Wabash" and his stirring addresses, delivered many
times on Independence and Decoration days have strongly moved his auditors by
their lofty thought and pure patriotism.

Judge Silas Z, Landes, a practitioner at the bar of Mount Carmel, was born
May 15, 1842, in Augusta county, Virginia, of which place his parents, John and
Delilah (Skelton) Landes, were also natives. In his early youth, during the
winter months, he attended a subscription school which was held in Harmony
school-house on Naked creek, in Augusta county. When fourteen years of age
he accompanied his parents on their removal to Edgar county, Illinois, where he
continued his education at the common schools in the winter months. Later he
was a student in the academy in Paris, Illinois, for ten months, but did not gradu-
ate. His youth, between the ages of thirteen and twenty years, was one of hard
toil. He assisted his father, who was a tenant farmer, in cultivating and gather-
ing the crops in summer, and in the winter months engaged in' teaching.

In 1861 Judge Landes began the study of law in the office of Amos Green,
of Paris, Illinois, and when he had mastered many of the principles of jurispru-
dence, upon examination was admitted to the bar, in 1863. In May of the follow-
ing year he opened an office in Mount Carmel, where he has since remained, en-
joying a good general practice. Steadily his clientage increased until his busi-
ness had assumed extensive proportions, bringing him many of the most im-
portant litigated interests that came within the jurisdiction of the courts of his
district. In 1872 he was elected state's attorney, in 1876 was re-elected and
again in 1880, filling the position for twelve consecutive years in a most accepta-
ble and satisfactory manner. In the year of his retirement from that office he
was elected to represent his district in the forty-ninth congress, and in 1886 was
elected to the fiftieth congress. In 1891 he was elected to the circuit bench of
the second judicial district for a term of six years, and his fair and impartial rul-
ing, combined with his correct application of legal principles to the points in evi-
dence, won him the respect of the bar and the public. On his retirement from
the bench he resumed the practice of law and has been very successful in retaining
a large clientele. Gathering therefrom a fair competence, he has made judicious
investments in real estate and now owns some valuable property.

Judge Landes was married October 31, 1865, to Clara A. Sears, daughter of
Dr. Paul and Eliza J. Sears. They have two children, Mrs. Pauline S. Eichhorn
and Bernard S. The latter attained his majority July 31, 1898. He graduated
at the College of the Christian Brothers of St. Louis, Missouri, with highest
honors, in June, 1896, and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, while in June,
1898, the degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by the same institu-


tion. He is now a student in the Bloomington Law College. In politics the
Judge is a Democrat, and in religious belief is a Roman Catholic, having united
with that church in 1886. His great energy in his profession and prudence and
economy in business affairs have brought him a competence, and he is now situ-
ated so that he can enjoy many of the pleasures which life affords.

Charles A. McLaughlin is numbered among the progressive lawyers of Mon-
mouth, where his ability has gained him a distinctively representative clientage.
In times of peace the American citizen goes quietly about his daily tasks, intent
on gaining that success to which a laudable ambition incites him, but when the
tocsin of war sounds, the loyal sons of the land respond to the call and rally
around the starry banner, sacrificing all the interests of business life on the altar
of their country. Such has been the history of many thousands of our best citi-
zens from the signing of the Declaration of Independence till the flag was planted
on the heights of San Juan. Such was the history of Charles A. McLaughlin
when the destruction of the Union was threatened.

Born in Montgomery, Ohio, October 4, 1841, he is a son of James M. and
Thyrsa B. (Holmes) McLaughlin, who were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. His
father was born in Ohio, his mother in Pennsylvania, and his grandparents
came from the north of Ireland, but owing to the early death of his parents he has
little record of his ancestry. His father was a man of strong intellectuality, who
devoted his life to educational work, and served at different times as president
of the female seminaries at Falmouth and Versailles, Kentucky.

Charles McLaughlin was only about a year old when his parents came to
Kentucky and he was reared in the famous "blue-grass region." Early left an
orphan, he was largely dependent upon his own resources for a livelihood, but in
spite of these difficulties he acquired a good common-school education and was
just entering on a college course when the war broke out. His military career
is one of which he may be justly proud. He was a member of Company K, of
the famous Fourth Kentucky Infantry, and volunteered July 3, 1861, but was
not mustered into the service until September 9, following. The Fourth Ken-
tucky was one of the three regiments which President Lincoln authorized Lieu-
tenant William Nelson, of the navy, to raise in that state. Owing to the peculiar
political conditions then existing in Kentucky, the enrollment was made very
quietly, and the troops were requested not to rendezvous until after the legislative
election which occurred on the first Monday in August. Mr. McLaughlin was
mustered in as sergeant of Company K, and in the organization of the regiment
was made quartermaster sergeant. He was mustered out August 17, 1865. His
military history would be the record of that gallant regiment of Kentucky fight-
ers, of whom Colonel Thomas Speed, in his "Union Regiments of Kentucky,"
says : "The Fourth Kentucky Infantry served something over four years.
Proud of its record, it never changed its organization to the Fourth Kentucky
Veteran Infantry. It was never on post duty and never on detached duty, but
always actively in the field. The Fourth Kentucky Infantry, first and last, had
more men in it than any other Kentucky regiment : it never failed to receive the
commendation of its commanders. Every officer holding a commission at date


of muster out, except the colonel and lieutenant colonel, had risen from the

When the war was over C. A. McLaughlin received an honorable discharge
and soon went to McCloud county, Minnesota. He remained there but a short
time, however, going to Hardin county, Iowa, where he engaged in the lumber
business from 1867 until 1869. He then sold out and removed to northeastern
Missouri, where he engaged in dealing in live stock until 1877. In that year he
began reading law and was admitted to the bar in Missouri in 1880. He prac-
ticed in that state until 1886, when he came to Illinois and was admitted to prac-
tice at the bar of this state. He has since been a member of the legal profession
in Monmouth and has gained a large clientage. He is not an office-seeker but
was honored by election to the office of state's attorney, which position he rilled
from 1892 to 1896 with great credit to himself and satisfaction to the public, his
administration being characterized by the unbiased performance of his duties. In
politics he is an ardent Republican and stands high in the councils of his party.

Mr. McLaughlin has been twice married. In Newark, Missouri, March 26,
1866, he wedded Miss Mary L. Sinnock, who died in September, 1875, leaving a
son, Samuel M. On the 315! of March, 1877, Mr. McLaughlin wedded Rosie
E. Hoffman and they have a daughter, Lottie. Mr. McLaughlin belongs to sev-
eral benevolent fraternities. He joined the Masons about 1869, and became a
charter member of A. C. Harding Post, No. 127, G. A. R., of Roseville, his
association with that organization dating from 1881. He also at one time be-
longed to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has held all the offices
in these various societies. Socially he is a very congenial man, kind and cour-
teous in his treatment of all, and has gathered about him a host of friends. He
is much devoted to his profession and well merits his reputation of being a very
successful and competent lawyer.

Stephen Richey Moore, lawyer, was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 22,
1832, and is a son of William and Mary (Richey) Moore. His father was born
in the north of Ireland in 1791, and was brought to America by his grand-
parents when three years old. They landed at Philadelphia, crossed the moun-
tains by a military trail to Pittsburg- or rather the place where that city now
stands ; there they constructed a flatboat on which they floated down the Ohio
river to Fort Washington now Cincinnati- two years after the fort was built,
and were among the pioneer settlers in that region. His mother was born in
Kentucky, of Scotch-Irish parentage also, her father and mother having em-
igrated to America early in the present century, and made a home in the wilds
of Kentucky. The ancestors of both families fled from Scotland during the per-
secution of the Covenanters in the seventeenth century, and found an asylum in
Ireland, where many of their descendants are now among the first families of
that country. His parents were married in 1816, and settled on a farm which is
now within the limits of Cincinnati, where they resided during the remainder of
their lives. They were earnest and active Methodists all their days, and their
house was the home for the itinerant minister ; while in their daily walk they


exemplified all the graces and virtues of the. Christian character. His mother
died in 1849, an d his father in 1871.

It was the wish of his pious mother that our subject should be educated
for the Christian ministry ; but his own inclinations were for the legal profession.
In short, he cannot remember a time when he did not desire to be a lawyer, and
while yet a child Blackstone and Kent were his constant companions. During
his boyhood he attended the common schools presided over by the ordinary Irish
teacher, and in 1851 entered Farmer's College, near Cincinnati, from which he
graduated with honors in 1856, taking, in addition to the regular curriculum of
studies, a full course of law the president of the college, Dr. Isaac J. Allen,

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 51 of 83)