John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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Adams, who located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1628, removing thence to
Ipswich, Massachusetts, about 1642. One of his descendants, after serving in
the French and Indian war, became one of the first settlers of New Ipswich,
New Hampshire, where Benjamin Franklin Adams, the father of our subject,
was born. Thinking to take advantage of the opportunities furnished by the
new and growing west, the last mentioned came to Chicago in 1835 and made
judicious investments in real estate in and near this city, but it was not until
1853 that he made a permanent location here.

George E. Adams therefore spent his early boyhood days in his native
state, accompanying his parents to Illinois when a youth of fifteen. He at-
tended Phillips Academy at Exeter, now recognized as one of the leading
schools in this country for young men, and then matriculated in Harvard Col-
lege, where he was graduated with the class of 1860. Determining upon the
practice of law as a life work he then entered the Dane Law School, in which
he was graduated in the class of 1865. During the war he manifested his
loyalty to the Union cause by entering the army as a member of Battery A,
Illinois Artillery, and in times of peace he has ever been a citizen whose deep
interest in the welfare of his nation has been manifest in his untiring efforts to
promote the general good.

Locating in Chicago in 1865, he opened a law office and gradually built
up a good practice in a class of litigation that demanded superior ability and
understanding of the principles of jurisprudence. He is a man of thoughtful,
earnest nature, a close reasoner, an analytical thinker; and these qualities
combined to bring him an enviable success at a bar numbering many brilliant


members. The questions which concern the public welfare, those which affect
the relations of our own country and foreign nations and the governmental
policy, have all been matters of deep interest to Mr. Adams, and his advanced
views on many questions and his acknowledged fitness for leadership have led
to his selection for legislative and congressional honors. As a Republican he
took his seat in the state senate of Illinois in i&8i, and has been elected to con-
gress for four consecutive terms, serving in the forty-eighth, forty-ninth, fif-
tieth and fifty-first congresses. During his official residence in Washington,
he served as a member of the committee on banking and currency and on the
judiciary committee. He is a statesman, but in no sense of the word a poli-
tician. He gives to all political questions the same careful considerations that
mark his law practice and is thus well fitted for leadership in the realm of politi-
cal thought and action.

Mr. Adams is also deeply interested in the cause of education and is a
member of the board of overseers of Harvard College, a trustee of the New-
berry Library, a trustee of the Field Columbian Museum, president of the
Chicago Orchestra Association, and a member of the Chicago Board of Edu-
cation. He was married in 1871 to Miss Adele Foster, and the family residence
on Belden avenue is the center of a cultured society circle.

Daniel J. Schuyler has been for a third of a century a member of the Chi-
cago bar, and his name and reputation are far-reaching, like that, of the city.
His life has been one of untiring activity, and has been crowned with a degree
of success attained by comparatively few men who enter the legal profession.
His history is closely interwoven with that of the judiciary of Illinois, for during
thirty-four years he has been prominently connected with much of the import-
ant litigation of his district.

Daniel J. Schuyler was born on a farm in New York, near the town of
Amsterdam, February 16, 1839, a son of John Jacob and Sally A. (Davis) Schuy-
ler. A contemporary biographer has said: "Among the old Knickerbocker
families known to fame through history, song and legend, none are more justly
celebrated than that of the Schuyler race. Over two centuries and a half ago
Philip Pieterson Van Schuyler, the first of the name in this country, was among
the Dutch immigrants who, leaving their native Holland, settled where the city
of Albany, New York, now stands. The Schuylers took a very prominent part
in the conduct of colonial affairs. When Albany became an incorporated city
in 1686, the first mayor of the town was a Schuyler, who continued in office
eight years, and was afterward president of the king's council in New York,
acting governor, a member of the New York assembly and commissioner of
Indian affairs. General Philip Schuyler also rendered important service to the
nation and endeared his name to every true American by his actions in the
struggle for independence, being conspicuous as a soldier and as a statesman
during the revolutionary period. A general in the field, a member of the Con-
tinental congress, and afterward United States senator from New York, he
was noted for his bravery and devotion to the cause of liberty, and did much to
lay the solid foundations of our great republic. He has been styled 'the father

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of the canal system of the United States,' for his life-long advocacy of the de-
velopment of the resources of the country through a skillfully planned system
of internal improvements."

One branch of the Schuyler family, descendants of the noted colonist,
Philip Pieterson Van Schuyler, located in New Jersey just before the Revolu-
tion, and it is to this branch that our subject belongs. He was born on the
farm which had been located by his great-grandfather, and from his father he
inherited the sturdy physique, the industry, the integrity and force of character
of the Schuylers, and from his mother a correspondingly healthy, vigorous and
active intellect. His education was begun in the common schools near his
home, and in early boyhood he manifested marked delight in literature, es-
pecially in history, travel and biography, and the works of Irving and Pres-
cott's Conquest of Mexico were among his favorite volumes. He also essayed
literature, and his essays and poems were frequently published in the village
newspaper. When still a young man he also displayed considerable oratorical
ability and delivered a thrilling address on John Brown's crusade against slav-
ery shortly after the death of the abolition martyr. He eagerly embraced every
opportunity that enabled him to gain advancement in educational lines, and
at the age of seventeen pursued a six-months course of study in an academy at
Princeton, New York. After an interval of work on the home farm he then
resumed his education in an academy in Amsterdam, followed by study in
Franklin, Delaware county, New York.. He next matriculated in Union Col-
lege, Schenectady, that state, where he remained until 1861. His choice of a
profession was not hastily made, and the years have proven its wisdom. The
analytical trend of his mind led him to take up the study of law, and as a
student he entered the office of Francis Kernan, of Utica, New York, one of the
most distinguished and able lawyers of the country, under whose direction Mr.
Schuyler continued his reading until January, 1864, when he was admitted to
the bar.

He wisely chose the rapidly growing city of Chicago as the scene of his pro-
fessional labors, and at once came to Illinois, where he has now practiced with
marked success for nearly thirty-four years. To a comprehensive and accurate
knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence he added those indispensable char-
acteristics of the successful lawyer, industry, zeal and untiring devotion to the
interests of his clients. The public soon passed favorable judgment upon him,
and with the passing years his reputation has grown steadily brighter. He prac-
ticed alone for several years and then, in 1872, formed a partnership with Judge
George Gardiner, an association that was maintained until 1879, when the latter
was elected one of the judges of the superior court. Mr. Schuyler then entered
into partnership with C. E. Kremer, and the firm of Schuyler & Kremer has
since occupied a foremost place at the Chicago bar, where are found some of
the brightest legal minds of the nation. The senior member has always given
his attention to general practice, and is regarded as one of the foremost trial
lawyers of the state, while the junior member makes a specialty of admiralty law.
Mr. Schuyler, however, has devoted himself largely to commercial, corporation


and fire-insurance law, and in the domain of the last named his opinions are
regarded by insurance men as authority. In this branch of jurisprudence it has
been his fortune to meet with satisfactory success, both in the argument of ques-
tions of law before the court, and the trial of cases before juries, many of which
suits have involved large amounts and intricate questions both of law and fact.
His keen power of analysis enables him to arrive readily at the strong points in
a case, and his logical mind at once arranges points of evidence in natural se-
quence, gaining thereby an added strength in their presentation to court or jury.
His oratorical ability is also manifested with telling effect on certain occasions,
and his clearness of thought and expression seldom fail to gain the desired point.

In 1865 Mr. Schuyler was united in marriage to Miss Mary J. Byford, sec-
ond daughter of Dr. William H. Byford, one of the most eminent physicians of
Chicago, and to them were born four children, two of whom are living. About
two years ago Mr. Schuyler, with other descendants of the Hollanders in this
city, organized the Holland society, of which he has since been an active mem-
ber, and is now vice-president. The object and purpose of this society is the
perpetuation of the good feeling between the descendants of the Hollanders in
this country and the land of their ancestors, and also to make known to these
men the fact that the Hollanders in former times contributed largely to the
foundation of the liberty and independence of this country, and many of their
forms and customs were adopted not only by our English forefathers and
brought to this country by them, but were and have been also instrumental in
building up and perpetuating the institutions and privileges which we to-day
enjoy. Mr. Schuyler has always manifested a deep interest in political questions
and has stanchly supported the measures of the Republican party. He is a mem-
ber of the Hamilton Club, and is a citizen whose public spirit has been manifest
in the loyal support which he has given to all interests for the general good dur-
ing his thirty-four years' residence in Chicago.

Adlai Thomas Ewing.- "Biography," said Carlyle, "is the most universally
profitable and interesting of all studies." The purpose of biography is not merely
to preserve a written record of individuals; it has a higher purpose, in furnishing
to the young of this and future generations examples worthy of emulation, to
set before them lessons of conduct, to awaken in them desire for honorable suc-
cess and to inspire them with the thought that man controls his own destiny and
makes of his life what he will. For this reason biography should treat of the
lives of those whose worth, socially, morally and intellectually, commands the
respect of the public, to the exclusion of all others. It is the possession ot such
qualities that makes Mr. Ewing deserving of biographic honors among the rep-
resentative men of Illinois.

Born on the 5th of February, 1846, in Bloomington, Illinois, Mr. Ewing is a
son of John Wallis and Maria McLelland (Stevenson) Ewing, who were of
Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father died when the son was only nine years of
age. The mother was a grand-niece of Dr. Ephraim Brevard, the author of the
Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which was the first formal and public
renunciation of British authority by American colonists. The mother, by the


death of her husband, was left alone to care for her family, consisting of five sons
and one daughter. With untiring devotion she ministered to her children and
sought above all else to instill into them noble principles which would lead to
the development of honorable characters. Mr. Ewing, of this review, gratefully
attributes much of his success to his mother's careful guidance. When fifteen
years of age he became a teacher in a country school near Bloomington. Later
he continued his own education in the State Normal University of Illinois, near
Bloomington, and took up the study of law under the direction of his brotner,
Hon. James S. Ewing, being admitted to the bar in 1868.

The same year Mr. Ewing went to Chicago and in that city, with its great
competition, soon won a name and place for himself among the able lawyers at
the bar. His knowledge of law is comprehensive, accurate and thorough, and
his devotion to his clients' interests is marked. He seems amply equipped in all
those things which go to make up the successful jurist and retains a distinct-
ively representative clientage. His energy and capability are by no means con-
fined to the law, however, for he is a man of large public spirit, whose influence
is in evidence in many matters of great public moment.

Upon the recommendation of Governor Joseph W. Fifer, he was appointed
by President Harrison one of the United States commissioners for Illinois to the
World's Columbian Exposition, and at the request of Hon. James G. Elaine, sec-
retary of state, called to order the first meeting of that distinguished body. He
was also a member of the committee on permanent organization, of the execu-
tive committee, and of the committees on fine arts and ceremonies. He secured
the establishment of the Twelfth street boulevard, completing the excellent boule-
vard system connecting the West Side parks, and he has also been an earnest
worker in behalf of the drainage canal, the Civic Federation and the civil service
reform. He advocates by his approval, and oftentimes his active co-operation,
all measures for the public good and never fails to respond to the call of public

On the 4th of December, 1879, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Ewing
and Miss Kate Hyde, of Buffalo, New York, and they now have four children,
three sons and a daughter. The family are favorably known in social circles and
Mr. Ewing is a valued member of the Iroquois Club, having been one of its or-
ganizers, while for three successive years he served as its president.

Alfred D. Eddy. It has been said that "there is always room at the top,"
and every man of ambition has some more or less definite hope that he is on the
way to that lofty elevation. But the many never gain it, because, instead of tak-
ing the laborious ascent, they try to find some easier way, and thus the years
are dissipated in an endeavor that will yield little result. Earnest effort, unflag-
ging perseverance and determined and honorable purpose, these point out the
way to that success which is only gained "at the top," and in that way Alfred
D. Eddy has walked, gradually mounting higher and higher, until he has long
since left the ranks of the many to stand among the successful few in the depart-
ment of law which has claimed his time and attention. That new entity arisen
to make legal relations more complicated than ever before, the corporation, has


demanded more of the highest legal talent than any other department of legal
practice, and it is in that line that Mr. Eddy has won marked prestige.

Born in Bellona, New York, June 3, 1846, he is a great-grandson of Samuel
Eddy, one of the Revolutionary heroes, who did valiant service for his country in
the battles of Saratoga, Whitemarsh, Valley Forge and Monmouth. Samuel
Eddy died at Williamson, New York. The parents of our subject were Rev.
Alfred and Catherine H. (Wilcox) Eddy. The father devoted forty years of his
life to the work of the Presbyterian ministry, and during the civil war served as
chaplain of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, which was commanded by Judge T.
Lyle Dickey. He died in Niles, Michigan, in 1883, and his wife passed away, in
the same town, in 1893.

Alfred D. Eddy was educated in the public schools of Illinois, to which
state his parents removed in 1856. On the completion of his preliminary studies,
he attended the Chicago University, and thus with a broad general knowledge,
which is one of the requisites of the successful lawyer, he entered upon the prep-
aration for his chosen profession, and was graduated in the Union College of
Law in 1879. The previous year, however, he had been admitted to the bar,
and for twenty years has been actively engaged in practice. Although he is well
versed in all departments of the law, he has gradually dropped all other branches
for that of corporation law, whose complicated and intricate interests demand
legal ability of the highest order. He now holds the responsible position of coun-
sel in Chicago for the Standard Oil Company, doing business throughout the
entire northwest; is counsel for H. A. Christy & Company, and for other im-
portant corporations.

Mr. Eddy has been a resident of Chicago since 1863. In May, 1864, he
offered his services to his country, and although only seventeen years of age,
he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry,
serving for six months, when, his time having expired, he was mustered out.

On the 7th of October, 1869, he married Miss Caroline H. Silvey, of Chi-
cago, and they now have two children. They are members of the Plymouth
Congregational church, Chicago, and Mr. Eddy belongs to the Chicago Bar As-
sociation and the Chicago Athletic Association. In politics he is a Republican,
but the important duties of a large law practice prevent him from taking an active
part in political affairs.



THE circuit court of Fulton county held its first term, according to the rec-
ords of that court, April 26, 1824. The county commissioners' court se-
lected grand and petit juries July 5, 1823, to serve at the October term of
the circuit court of that year; but there are no records of a court being held at
that time, or during that year. In making inquiries in order to harmonize the
two records if possible, we asked an old settler about it. He said that "either the
judge had the ague or too many of the jurymen had moved away; there wasn't
enough to hold court." It must be remembered that in those days jurymen were
not as plentiful as they are now. Every settler for miles around was either on
the grand or petit jury, or being engaged as defendant, prosecutor or witness in
a trial, and great difficulty was experienced in finding a sufficient number to sit
upon the juries. When it was found that more jurymen were needed, it was the
task of days to subpoena them.

The first grand jury for the first term of the circuit court was composed of
the following pioneers: Ossian M. Ross, foreman; John Wolcott, David Galla-
tin, Jeremiah Smith, Elijah Putman, Urban Ryalds, Hazael Putrnan, Reuben
Fenner, William Clark, Stephen Chase, James Johnson, Roswell Tyrrell, Thomas
Evelancl, Lyman Tracy, Theodore Sergeant, Roswell B. Fenner, Joseph Ogee
and Robert Grumb. John Reynolds was the first judge. Although a member
of the supreme court, he did circuit duty. The members of the supreme court
held court throughout the state. Judge Reynolds was afterward governor. The
Judge appointed Hugh R. Coulter as clerk.

The first case upon the docket was an "appeal from a justice's judgment,"
but as to the nature of the trial the records are silent. It was a case between
Elias P. Avery and John Totten, and was dismissed by the judge, each party
paying his own cost.

Grand and petit juries were selected for the October term, 1824, but no
judge came; consequently no court was held. We suppose there were no urgent
cases on the docket. Indeed, the greatest number of trials for several years were
for assault and battery. It is an undisputable fact that the pioneers "would fight.

Among others of the early judges who presided in this circuit, there may
be mentioned, in addition to Judges Reynolds and Sawyer, the following: Rich-
ard M. Young, James H. Ralston, Peter Lott, Stephen A. Douglas, Jesse B.
Thomas, Norman H. Purple, William A. Minshall, Onias C. Skinner, Pinckney
H. Walker, John S. Bailey, Chauncey L. Higbee and Simeon P. Shope, names
honored in the history of the state.

The first practicing attorney in the county was E. T. Warren, who came



from Maine and located at Lewistown in 1824, retaining his residence here for a
period of four years.

Hugh R. Coulter was admitted to the bar of the county in 1825. He was
prominently concerned in the organization of the county, in 1823, and in start-
ing its governmental machinery. He was the first incumbent of the office of
county clerk. He engaged in school-teaching, but never practiced his profession
here. He eventually removed to Wisconsin, where he served as county judge of
Grant county, and there he died.

John P. Boice came to Lewistown from New England about the year 1835.
In 1841 he was here associated in practice with John David. He was a good
lawyer, but not particularly strong as an advocate. He was a prominent Whig
politician. He eventually removed to Henry, Marshall county, where his death
occurred. He served as probate justice two or three terms in Fulton county.
Stephen H. Pitkin came to Lewistown from Ohio about 1839, reading law and
being admitted to the bar in this county. He served at one time as probate jus-
tice, and returned to Ohio about 1858.

Hon. William Elliott came from Philadelphia and settled in Lewistown prior
to 1839. He served as state's attorney in this county from 1839 until 1848.
He was esteemed as a worthy man and able lawyer. He served in the
Black Hawk war and was quartermaster in the Fourth Illinois Regiment through-
out the Mexican war. He returned to Lewistown and continued in practice here
until about 1856, when he removed to a farm in Peoria county, where he died
in February, 1871,

Lewis W. Ross, who was the eldest son of Ossian M. Ross, one of the
pioneer settlers of Illinois, was born in Seneca Falls, New York, December 8,
1812. When a lad of eight years he moved with his father to Illinois, and set-
tled in the unbroken wilderness of Fulton county, where he resided from 1839
until his death, which occurred October 29, 1895.

Mr. Ross received his early education in the common schools of the coun-
try, and subsequently attended Jacksonville College for three years. He had
a taste for jurisprudence, and in 1835 he commenced the study of law, with
Josiah Lamborn, at Jacksonville, Illinois. In the winter of 1836-7 he went to
Vandalia, then the state capital, and when the legislature was organized, be
was appointed a clerk of one of the committees. While performing his duties in
the assembly he received the news of his father's death, in January, 1837, and
he immediately set out on his return home. He borrowed a horse, and made
his way across the wild and sparsely settled country as rapidly as possible, and
at the end of two weeks, arrived at his journey's end, at Havana, Illinois. He
resided in Havana until 1839, when he moved to Lewistown and formed a part-
nership with J. P. Boice for the practice of law.

In 1846 Mr. Ross enlisted for service in the Mexican war, and served as
captain of Company K, Fourth Illinois Infantry, commanded by Colonel E.
D. Baker. He continued in the service until June, 1847, when he received an
honorable discharge. He returned to Lewistown and resumed the practice of
law, and his time was devoted to the interests of an extensive clientage.


For over forty years Mr. Ross took an important part in the politics of
the state. When a young man he was in sympathy with the Whigs, but, being
a student and deep thinker, he became a Democrat, and adhered to that party
ever afterward. He was a powerful speaker and debater, and during the cam-
paign of 1860, when he was the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor,
he made speeches in every county in the state. In 1862 he was elected to con-
gress and entered upon his distinguished career as a statesman.

He served three terms in congress, and was one of the acknowledged
leaders of that body. He was repeatedly selected to represent the party in
state and national conventions. He was a delegate to the Charleston and Balti-

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 59 of 83)