John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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opponent, who two years before had defeated Judge Payson for the same office.
In 1893, when the state was reapportioned, Mr. Wheeler's district was broken
up, and since then he has retired from active political life, though still an ardent
supporter of the Republican party. In 1896 he was a delegate to the Republican
national convention held at St. Louis, and as such cast his vote for Major William
McKinley for the presidential nomination.

While devoting his time largely to his profession, Mr. Wheeler has yet
found opportunity to establish a large stock farm of sixteen hundred acres in
northwestern Iowa, upon which he raises the finest breeds of cattle.

In 1874 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Wheeler and Miss Mary A.
Braley, a native of New York. To them have been born three sons, Lester W.,
Everett S. and Hamilton H. The subject of this review has been especially
helpful to young men whom he has observed to be of promising talents, justly
ambitious and systematically industrious, extending aid to them at a time when
it was particularly needed, and many a man now in the fullness of a successful
business career owes the deepest gratitude to the one who made that success

John Burrows Brown, who, for seven years, has practiced law at the bar of
Warren county, is one of its younger members, but is also regarded as one of
its abler practitioners. His birth occurred in North Stonington, Connecticut,
October 25, 1864, his parents being William Burrows and Phoebe Elizabeth
(Collins) Brown. In the public schools of Rock Falls, Illinois, he acquired his
elementary education, followed by a preparatory course in Knox Academy, of
Galesburg, and a classical course pursued in Knox College, of the same city.


He was graduated in the latter institution with the degree of Bachelor of Arts
in 1886, and three years later his alma mater conferred upon him the degree of
Master of Arts. On leaving college he accepted the position of principal of the
public schools of Stonington, Connecticut, in order that he might replenish his
diminished exchequer and prepare for a professional career at the bar. He
continued teaching for two years and during the second year read law under
the direction of Hadlai Hull, an attorney of New London, Connecticut, residing
in Stonington. In the autumn of 1888 he entered the Columbia Law School, of
New York, and during the year of his attendance at that institution performed
all the work of the senior year and reviewed the work of the junior year. In
May, 1889, he was admitted to the Illinois bar upon examination before the
appellate court, at Ottawa, and shortly afterward went to Minneapolis, Minne-
sota, where in the fall of 1889 he was admitted to the bar of Hennepin county
on motion. He practiced until the fall of 1891, being associated with Thomas
G. Frost, and then came to Warren county, Illinois, to look after the business
affairs of Truman Eldridge. Since that time he has been a leading figure at the
bar of Monmouth, and by his versatility, his strength in argument, his logical
reasoning and his correct citation of precedent and principle has shown himself
the peer of the ablest representatives of the profession. He was appointed master
in chancery of the circuit court in January, 1897, and has since held that po-

Mr. Brown was married in Roseville, June 5, 1890, to Miss Edna Bell Smith.
He is a member of the Congregational church of Roseville, and in the spring of
1898 was elected president of the board of education of township nine north,
range two west, of Warren county. His military record is confined to his service
as sergeant of the Knox College cadets in 1884, and as captain and adjutant
in 1885-6. In politics he has always been a stalwart Republican and in 1896 did
campaign work in support of President McKinley throughout Warren county.

Edward Y. Rice was born in Logan county, Kentucky, February 8, 1820,
and was the youngest of a family of eleven children. When he was about fifteen
years of age the family left Kentucky and came to Illinois, making a farm in what
is now Macoupin county. He remained on the farm, working industriously in
the spring, summer and fall, and studying assiduously in the district schools
through the winter seasons until twenty years of age, when he became a student
in Shurtleff College, at Alton, meeting the expenses of the course with money
earned in teaching. He pursued a three-years collegiate course, making rapid
progress in his studies, and then went to Carlinville, where in 1843 he entered the
office of John M. Palmer as a law student. General Palmer was at that time
just establishing himself in the practice of law, after having won an education by
hard work and close application. He had a warm feeling for his promising young
student, and in little more than a year took him into partnership, the student
having so well improved his time as to easily pass an examination for admission
to the bar. The country was new, population small and legal business not re-
markably remunerative in Macoupin county at that time, so in 1845 Judge Rice
removed to Hillsboro. When he located there he had but one suit of clothes


and three dollars in money. He soon established what was then considered a
good practice, and, as was the custom of the time, traveled the circuit, going
from county to county on horseback, carrying an old-fashioned pair of saddle-
bags with him.

His political career was long and honorable. He was a life-long Democrat
and very earnest and zealous in support of the party. In 1847 he was elected
recorder of Montgomery county. The following year he was elected to the
lower house of the state legislature from a district composed of the counties of
Bond, Clinton and Montgomery. Although one of the youngest members of
the body he ranked among the ablest. In 1849 ne was elected county judge.
During his term in that office the project of building the railroad known as the
Indianapolis & St. Louis began to take shape, and through Judge Rice's vigorous
efforts Montgomery subscribed fifty thousand dollars and .gained the road. A
new court-house was built in Hillsboro during the time he occupied the bench.
In 1853 ne was appointed master in chancery, and in 1857 was elected circuit
judge, in which position he served for three successive terms. He was elected
a member of the convention which, in 1870, framed the present constitution of
the state, and in the fall of the same year was elected to congress, from what was
then the tenth district, including the counties of Bond, Montgomery, Macoupin,
Calhoun, Greene, Scott and Jersey. He made a creditable record in congress,
but did not seek re-election. After leaving Washington he again took up his
residence in Hillsboro, remaining there until two years prior to his death, when
he removed to Springfield, but retained a partnership interest in a law practice
in Hillsboro.

He was a careful and conscientious judge, and during his service on the
bench had fewer decisions reversed on cases carried to the supreme court than
perhaps any other judge who served the same length of time in the state. While
occupying the bench his circuit embraced the ablest bar in the state, and on its
roll of names are to be found Abraham Lincoln, Stephen T. Logan, John T.
Stuart, John M. Palmer, Milton Hay, B. S. Edwards and a host of others of
less note. Judge Rice was also a very successful lawyer, being especially ef-
fective as a jury lawyer. Though not a fine orator, in the sense of possessing a
faculty for flowery figures and graceful flights of speech, he was singularly suc-
cessful in the art of persuasion and had the power of making his points clear and

In November, 1849, Judge Rice married Mrs. Susan R. Coudy, nee Allen,
and they became the parents of two children : Mrs. Amos Miller and James E. Y.
He was at the home of his daughter when his death occurred. On Friday
night, April 3, 1883, he made the closing address in an important criminal case,
delivering a very powerful speech. He then returned home and the next day
complained of feeling ill. His death occurred Monday, April i6th, resulting
from a violent attack of typhoid pneumonia. Judge Rice was prominent in his
religious and social life as well as at the bar. A hospitable host, sympathetic and
kind to those in distress, true in his affection for those who were numbered
among his friends, honest with himself and to his fellow men, upright in char-

HC.C....r Jr S C.


acter and conscientious in conduct, it was natural that he should be an earnest
Christian. In 1877 he became a member of the Presbyterian church of Hills-
boro and at once became active in church work. He was especially kind to young
men, particularly to young lawyers. The influence of his life is grand and noble.
The example it affords of duty well performed, of honors well deserved, of suc-
cess won in a struggle against the odds of poverty and meager advantages, is
one which is full of inspiration to young men. It shows the nobility, the power,
the worth of true manhood, and the reward of honest, persistent effort.

Lyman Lacey. The judiciary of Illinois had embraced many able and' emi-
nent members, among whom is Judge Lyman Lacey, of Havana, who for twenty-
four years served either as circuit or appellate judge, serving twenty years of
the time on the appellate bench. He was born May 9, 1832, at Dryden Four
Corners, Tompkins county, New York, at the celebrated mineral spring, then
owned by his father, John Lacey. The latter was a native of New Jersey, and
married Chloe Hurd, a native of New York. In 1836 he emigrated westward
with his family, locating in Macomb county, Michigan, near Rochester, whence
he removed the following year to Fulton county, Illinois, where he engaged in
farming in Pleasant township. He continued to reside on his farm from 1837
until his death, which occurred December 23, 1892, at which time he was nearly
eighty-nine years of age. His wife had preceded him into eternal life, her death
occurring in 1879.

Lyman Lacey worked on a farm until twenty years of age, until the fall of
1852, and no event of special importance affected the even routine of country
life. He was graduated in the Illinois College, at Jacksonville, with the class
of 1855, and afterward began the study of law in the office and under the direction
of Hon. Lewis W. Ross, of Lewistown, Illinois, later a member of congress. In
1856 Mr. Lacey was admitted to t"he bar, and in the fall of that year located
in Havana, where he engaged in the practice of his profession until his elevation
to the bench. In 1862 he was elected, on the Democratic ticket, to the lower
house of the state legislature, from the district comprising Mason and Menard
counties. This was the last Democratic assembly for many years, and Samuel
Buckmaster served as speaker. Chief Justice Fuller also was a member during
that session.

In June, 1873, Mr. Lacey was elected judge of the old seventeenth district,
comprising Mason, Menard, Logan and DeWitt counties. Four years later the
seventeenth and eighteenth districts were consolidated under the name of the
seventh judicial circuit, and Judge Lacey was appointed by the supreme court
as one of the three appellate judges of the third appellate or Springfield district.
The sessions of the court were held in the capital city, and his associates on
the bench were (). L. Davis, of Danville, and C. L. Higbee, of Pike. In June,
1879. ne was re-elected as one of the circuit judges of the seventh district, com-
prising the ten counties of Mason, Logan, DeWitt, Menard, Cass, Morgan,
Scott, Calhoun, Greene and Jersey, and was appointed by the supreme court one
of the appellate judges for the second district, holding court at Ottawa, where
his associates, until 1884, were George W. Pleasants, of Rock Island, and Na-


thaniel J. Pillsbury, of Pontiac. Judge Lacey was then on the bench with David
J. Baker, of Cairo, and William P. Welch, of Carlinville, from 1885 until 1887,
inclusive, and from 1888 until 1890 with Clark W. Upton, of Waukegan, and
C. B. Smith, of Champaign. From 1891 until 1895 the personnel of the bench
was Judge Lacey, Judge James H. Cartvvright, of Oregon, and Judge Oliver A.
Harker, of Carbondale, and from May, 1896, inclusive until Judge Lacey's re-
tirement, in June, 1897, his associates were J. D. Crabtree, of Dixon, and O. H.

For almost a quarter of a century Judge Lacey has served the people of
Illinois in a judicial capacity, and his just ruling and learned decisions ranked
him with the ablest representatives of the bench in the state. His knowledge
of the law is very comprehensive, his understanding of it very profound, and his
life history confers honor and dignity upon the state that has honored him.

On the gth of May, 1860, Judge Lacey married Miss Caroline A. Potter, of
Beardstown, Illinois, who died September 12, 1863; and on the igth of May,
1865, he wedded Martha A. Warner, of Havana. He has one son, Lyman, by
his first wife, and five children, Charles, Frank, Mattie, Edward and Alice G.,
by the second marriage. One child of the first and two of the second marriage
are deceased.

Edgar A. Wallace, for thirty years an active and leading member of the
bar of Havana, is now devoting his energies to the less arduous duties of man-
aging his extensive farming interests, and his partial retirement is well deserved.
While an active member of the bar he was an indefatigable worker, which, in
connection with his comprehensive understanding of the principles of juris-
prudence, made him one of the most able practitioners in this part of the state.
He came to Havana from New England, where his boyhood and youth were
passed. He was born in Antrim, New Hampshire, on the 7th of June, 1843,
his parents being John W. and Ann C. (Brackett) Wallace. Authentic record
tells that his great-grandfather, John Wallace, who was of Scotch-Irish lineage,
located with two of his brothers in Londonderry, New Hampshire, prior to the
Revolutionary war. He held many important offices and was greatly esteemed
by his friends and neighbors, who constantly sought his advice on matters of
personal moment. After his marriage the grandfather of our subject located
in Antrim, New Hampshire, and in connection with his farming operations car-
ried on a store and operated a sawmill. He married Polly Goff, daughter of
Major Goff, of Revolutionary fame, who was descended from the regicide Goff,
who signed the death warrant of Charles I., king of England. John W. Wallace
chose farming as his life occupation, and was honored and respected by all who
knew him. He was frequently solicited to accept office, but always declined,
preferring to devote his energies exclusively to his business interests. He mar-
ried Ann C. Brackett, daughter of James C. Brackett and granddaughter of
Captain Brackett. By her kind and gentle spirit she endeared herself to all
who knew her. To the poor and needy, to the sick and afflicted she was a true
friend, extending to them sympathy and material assistance. She was lovingly
and familiarly known through her neighborhood as "Aunt Ann," and she had


the high regard of young and old, rich and poor. She died in 1890, and Mr.
Wallace passed away in 1876.

In his native town Edgar Alphonso Wallace acquired his preliminary edu-
cation, which was supplemented by a course in Henniker Academy, at Henni-
ker, New Hampshire. He was reared on a New England farm, where his ex-
periences in boyhood were very similar to those of other farmer lads of the dis-
trict. Books were always a source of great pleasure to him, and he especially
delighted in biography. At school his favorite study was mathematics, and
these two boyish preferences indicated the analytical trend of his mind, an
attribute which was afterward to win him success at the bar. While still in school
he determined to make the practice of law his life work, and after his graduation
in Henniker Academy he began reading law in connection with his duties as a
school-teacher. For two terms he was engaged in educational work, and then
entered the law office of F. N. Blood, of Hillsborough, New Hampshire, who,
however, died about a year later. He then became a student in the Harvard
Law School, in which institution he was graduated in 1867. He next entered the
office of Hon. H. G. Parker, of Boston, and while with him was admitted to prac-
tice at the Massachusetts bar, upon an examination in open court, occupying
part of three days. The Judge afterward informed Mr. Parker that Mr. Wallace
stood the best examination of any one who had sought admission to the bar for
a long time.

Through the following summer Mr. Wallace remained with his parents
and assisted in the work of the home farm. He then determined to try his for-
tune in the west, believing that young men would have better opportunities there
than in the more thickly settled districts of the east, where competition was
greater. Accordingly, on the 4th of November, 1867, he arrived in Havana,
Illinois, and entered into a law partnership with Hon. Lyman Lacey, which con-
nection was maintained until Mr. Lacey was elected judge, in 1873. Mr. Wallace
then continued business alone until his constantly increasing practice made it
impossible for him to do all the work, and he was forced to take in a partner.
He was first associated with William Freeman and afterward with Major Hugh
Fullerton, and still later with Lyman Lacey, Jr., who had been a student in his
office. On the ist of January, 1897, he turned the general practice over to his
partner, in order to give his attention to the management of his farms, having
invested all his savings in farming lands. As a general practitioner he won prom-
inence at the bar and gained a very important and lucrative law business. He is
the author of what is known as the farm-drainage law, passed by the general
assembly in 1885. It has been the means of bringing hundreds of thousands of
acres of Illinois' best lands into cultivation, and has added millions to the wealth
of Illinois.

In other matters of business Mr. Wallace has met with gratifying success,
and his efforts have not only brought him wealth but have also added to the
material prosperity of central Illinois. He took an active part in securing what
is now the Havana branch of the Illinois Central Railroad, running from Cham-
paign to Havana, also the Springfield & Northwestern Railroad, which is now


the section of the Chicago, Peoria & St. Louis Railroad between Havana and
Springfield. Mr. Wallace was also the moving spirit in organizing, and was the
attorney for, the Mason and Tazewell special drainage district, also the central
special drainage district and others, whereby from seventy-five to one hundred
thousand acres of land have been brought under cultivation in Mason, Taze-
well and Menard counties. All this has proved of immense benefit to central
Illinois, and Mr. Wallace certainly deserves great credit for his efforts in that

On the 271)1 of December, 1869, Mr. Wallace was united in marriage to
Miss Gertrude E. Lightcap, the wedding being celebrated in Chicago. In poli-
tics he is a Democrat, but is opposed to the free coinage of silver, and was a
delegate to the Indianapolis convention, where he helped to nominate Generals
Palmer and Buckner for the offices of president and vice-president. He has never
been an office-seeker and has continually refused to become a candidate ; but
once, during his absence from home, he was nominated and elected, without his
knowledge, to the office of city attorney of Havana. The able manner in which
he discharged his duties showed that the confidence reposed in him was not
misplaced. Socially he is a prominent Mason and holds membership in Havana
Lodge, No. 88, F. & A. M., of which he is past master ; in Havana Chapter,
Xo. 86, R. A. M., of which he is past high priest; and Damascus Commandery,
Xo. 42, K. T., of which he is past eminent commander.

Judge Geo. W. Wall has been a notable figure at the bar of Illinois for nearly
forty years, and for a score of years occupied the bench with dignity and efficiency.
Here the fine powers of his mind have had full sway, and his keen, logical, an-
alytical judgment has won the unqualified praise and admiration of his peers. His
record for judicial impartiality and fairness is one rarely equaled and his opinion
on knotty points of law has been looked upon as final and authoritative.

The Judge, a resident of Du Quoin, Perry county, is a native of Chillicothe,
Ohio, his birth having occurred April 22, 1839. In 1840 his father, Dr. Geo. T.
Wall, removed with the family to Perry county and here, for a period of nearly
fifty years, practiced his profession, standing in the front rank as a physician. He
was a native of Rhode Island and was a graduate of the Berkshire Medical Col-
lege, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Wall died at Du Quoin January 7, 1892,
aged eighty-one years. His wife, the mother of the Judge, was formerly Miss
Maria H. Adams, a native of Connecticut. She died in March, 1848.

Having graduated in the classical department of the University of Michigan,
Mr. Wall commenced the study of law under the guidance of C. G. Simons,
a prominent lawyer of Cairo, Illinois, and later entered the Cincinnati Law
School, where he was graduated in the class of 1859. As was the practice at
that time, he submitted to an examination before a committee of lawyers ap-
pointed by a judge of the supreme court, and June 16, 1859, was duly admitted
to the bar of this state. Establishing an office, he advanced in his profession,
and in 1861 was elected a member of the constitutional convention which met
in i?62. From '1864 to 1868 he served as state's attorney of the third circuit.
He was elected a member of the constitutional convention of 1870 and assisted


in making the present state constitution. In August, 1877, he became judge of
the circuit court for the third circuit and for twenty years he occupied the judi-
cial chair. Eighteen years of this period he officiated in the appellate court,
six years in the fourth district, at Mount Vernon, and twelve years in the third
district, at Springfield. In November, 1897, he was appointed by the supreme
court a member of the state board of law examiners, and as such is still acting,
having been chosen as president of the board. In his political affiliations he
has always been a Democrat.

On the 291)1 of May, 1862, he was united in marriage to Celeste Nettleton,
a daughter of Gilbert Nettleton, and of their children five are still living.

James Madison Truitt is a lawyer who commands the respect both of the
bar and the general public. He was born on a farm in Trimble county, Ken-
tucky, on the 28th of February, 1842, and is a son of Samuel and Cynthia A.
(Carr) Truitt, who were natives of Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, but
were reared in Kentucky. In the comomn schools James M. Truitt began his
education, which was continued in Ilillsboro Academy and in McKendree
College, pursuing his studies in the latter institution for one term. During
the civil war he entered his country's service as a defender of the Union, en-
listing on the I4th of August, 1862, as a member of Company B, One Hundred
and Seventeenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in which he served until the cessa-
tion of hostilities and the restoration of peace. He participated in the Red
river campaign, the campaign against Mobile in 1865 and the battles of Nash-
ville and Tupelo, and, always faithful to his duty, followed the starry banner
until it was planted over the Confederate strongholds of the south.

In April, 1866, Mr. Truitt began reading law under the direction of Judge
Jesse J. Phillips, and in March, 1867, was admitted to the bar, after which he
formed a partnership with his former preceptor. This connection was con-
tinued for five years, or until the close of 1872, since which time Mr. Truitt
has been alone in practice, his clientage constantly increasing in volume and
importance. He has been retained as counsel either for the prosecution or de-
fense in a large number of the chief cases tried in his county, and that he is
regarded as a most skilled and talented lawyer is shown by the fact that he
received the nomination of the Republican party for supreme judge in 1897.

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 53 of 83)