John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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ceptions and making false records. He has twice served as city attorney of
Olney, filling that office from April, 1887, until April, 1891.

On the ist of May, 1890, in Arcola, Illinois, Mr. Lynch married Miss Edith
Bunch, daughter of T. M. Bunch. She is a lady of culture and refinement and
possesses considerable artistic ability, her paintings having elicited high praise.
Mr. Lynch has belonged to several secret societies but takes no active part there-
in. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, took an active part in preparing the
state for McKinley in 1894 and in carrying the convention for him in 1896, his
labors in that direction being most effective. He is honest and fearless, is firm
in support of his views, and with him friendship is inviolable. His opposition to


what he disapproves, his fidelity to those in whom he believes are among his
strong characteristics, and professionally and socially he ranks among Olney's
busy citizens.

W. L. Prettyman. The name of Prettyman is one that is inseparably con-
nected with the history of central Illinois since the pioneer epoch of the state,
and in professional and agricultural circles its representatives have conferred
honor and dignity upon the commonwealth. The Prettyman family was founded
in America by three brothers who took up their residence in Delaware and whose
descendants are now scattered throughout the Union. In March, 1831, one
branch of the family was established in Pekin, Illinois, by Lewis Prettyman, the
grandfather of our subject, who with his family came to the west and located on
a farm in Tazewell county. There Benjamin S. Prettyman, for many years one
of the most distinguished citizens of the state, was reared. Determining to enter
the legal profession, he read law in the office of Judge S. T. Logan, of Springfield,
Illinois, and in 1845, when twenty-six years of age, was admitted to the bar. He
then located in Pekin, where he continued in the practice of law with great suc-
cess until his death. He was regarded as the leading attorney of central Illinois
and was also a very extensive land-owner and wealthy man. He took a deep
interest in all that pertained to the development and progress of his section of
the state and was either a director or officer of every railroad company that ex-
tended its line to this city. Many movements that proved of public benefit bear
the impress of his strong individuality and superior business ability and his name
figures conspicuously on the judicial records of his district. He wedded Sarah
A. Haines, a representative of one of the oldest families of the locality. Her
people came from Ohio to Tazewell county, in 1828, and her father was at one
time the owner of the present town site of Pekin. Mr. Prettyman died on the
8th of April, 1896, and his wife passed away January 30, 1894.

William L. Prettyman, of this review, was born in Pekin, February 17, 1850,
and attended the common and high schools of the city. In 1865 he entered the
Highland Military School, of Worcester, Massachusetts, where he remained one
year, and in September, 1868, matriculated in the Douglas University, of Chi-
cago, where he continued his studies until January, 1870. In the months of va-
cation he engaged in farm work, his father owning and improving many farms,
having as high as fifty at one time. From an early age Mr. Prettyman superin-
tended that part of his father's property, manifesting special aptitude in business
affairs. He was also much in his father's law office, and when he left the school-
room it seemed but natural that, he should enter upon the study of law, continuing
his reading under his father's direction until his admission to the bar in 1871.
They were always associated in business until the father's death ; and the son,
like his honored sire, has been an important figure in judicial circles. Through-
out his professional career his office has been located in the same block where he
is now to be found, and for about thirty years he has been connected with all the
leading civil and criminal cases that have been tried in Tazewell county. He
has always been a close student of his profession, careful and painstaking in the
preparation of cases, and his success has resulted from his indefatigable labor


and ability. For the past five years Mr. Prettyman has engaged in loaning money
on real estate and is the financial agent for central Illinois for the Union Central
Life Insurance Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is retained as counsel by
many railroad companies having lines in Pekin, and is attorney for the Peoria,
St. Louis & Northern Railroad.

No man in Pekin has taken a more active and beneficial interest in the im-
provement and progress of the city than Mr. Prettyman, who lends his support to
every measure for the general good. He has been a friend of every movement
tending to better the agricultural conditions of the country, and has aided in
the organization of the various drainage districts to reclaim the swamp-lands and
make them cultivable. He is especially interested in the Mason and Tazewell
counties drainage district, whereby fifty thousand acres of swamp lands have
been reclaimed and to-day form part of the best farming lands in the state. He
is also connected with the Pekin and Lee Marsh drainage and levee district in
Peoria county, where twenty-five hundred acres have been reclaimed and im-
proved. He has been a delegate and a member of the executive committee of
the Illinois Valley Association in looking after the Chicago drainage canal.

In his political views Mr. Prettyman has always been a stalwart Democrat
and has been chairman of the Democratic county central committee, doing effect-
ive service for his party by his systematic organizing for campaign work. In
1896 he joined the "gold" Democratic movement and still adheres to the views
which he then held. In regard to the foreign policy he is in favor of holding all
islands and latids captured from Spain and thus extending the dominion of the
republic. He has always kept well informed on the issues of the day, yet has
never sought or desired political preferment and has held only two political po-
sitions. From 1876 until 1880 and again from 1884 until 1888 he was state's at-
torney for Tazewell county, and discharged his duties with marked ability. In
1873 he was elected alderman of the city of Pekin, and ten years later was again
chosen for that office. His military record consists of five years' service
1877-1882 as first lieutenant of Company G, Seventh Illinois National Guard.

On the 24th of July, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Prettyman was united
in marriage to Miss Fannie Vandevort, of that city, and they now have three
children : Fannie, born July 8, 1873 ; John B., born October 9, 1875 ; and Will-
iam S., born September 20, 1881. The family attend the Presbyterian church of
Pekin. Mr. Prettyman is a member of the Tazewell Club, the leading social
organization of central Illinois, and is always a leading spirit in all social func-
tions in the city. Prominent in legal, agricultural, business and political circles,
his high standing has not lifted him in his feelings above his fellow men. His
kindly spirit, genuine sympathy and companionable ways make him a social
favorite, and any one may lay claim to his regard whose career is an honorable

Hon. Francis E. Andrews, at the bar of Sterling, which includes many lead-
ing legal lights, occupies an honored and distinguished place. His practice has
grown steadily since the Centennial year, when he established an office here,
and his business is not confined to the county, nor indeed to the state, so ex-


tended has its range become. Possessing a well-trained, analytical mind, mathe-
matical precision of thought, an eloquent, forceful and convincing address, it is
not strange that he wields great power over judge and jury and rarely fails in
attaining the result for which he aims.

From both parents and a long line of honest, intelligent ancestors, strong of
mind and body, Mr. Andrews inherits many of his most noticeable characteristics.
His father, Robert C. Andrews, of Scotch-Irish extraction, came to Illinois from
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1838, and the mother, whose maiden name
was Rhoda Clark Kingsbury, was of the famous old New England Puritan stock,
and came to this state with her parents at an early day. The marriage of our
subject's parents was the first recorded marriage celebrated in the town of
Sterling, the date of the event being April 24, 1842.

The birth of F. E. Andrews took place upon the old homestead three miles
east of Sterling, January 13, 1849. He lived the usual life of a farmer lad, part
of his time being devoted to work and play and the remainder to the acquisition
of an education. For some time he was a pupil in the graded schools of Sterling
and the high school in Chicago, after which he pursued a course at Bryant &
Stratton's Business College in the last-mentioned city. His farm life had devel-
oped the robust physique which was one of his best gifts in life, and he has always
been able to stand bodily fatigue as few are able to do. From his boyhood he has
devoted much of his leisure to careful study of the sciences, history, mathematics
and kindred themes, as well as to general reading, and has thus kept his mind not
only abundantly stored with useful information but has also acquired the habit of
attentive observation, logical reasoning, the power of concentrating his thoughts
and balancing the pros and cons of every debated question. For two years prior
to reaching his majority he taught school with marked success and in the fall
of 1870 entered the employ of the government as head of a party of surveyors in
the Indian territory. He spent three years in the west in this work, half of that
period being engaged in establishing township and standard lines, and the rest
of the time being inspector of United States surveys. Peculiarly fitted by nature
and severe mental training for this responsible work, it is small wonder that he
attained the front rank as a surveyor.

Like his illustrious compatriots, Washington and Lincoln, Mr. Andrews de-
termined to become a lawyer as well as a surveyor, and in the autumn of 1873
he returned home and entered upon his legal studies with zeal. He was directed
in his reading by Dinsmoore & Stager, of Sterling, and in 1876 he was admitted
to the bar. With the exception of one year, when he was in business with his
brother, James D. Andrews, now of the Chicago bar, he has given his whole time
and attention to his law practice here, meeting with success from the very be-
ginning. For years he has stood as an authority upon the numerous and per-
plexing questions that have arisen under the laws for the drainage of the wet lands
of this state. The case of Kegwin et al. versus the commissioners was one in
which Mr. Andrews succeeded in getting the supreme court to define the extent
of the jurisdiction of a court of chancery to inquire into the legality of the organ-
ization of a corporation. His brief published in that case is characterized as


"concise, logical, conclusive." The limits of a sketch of this kind will not permit
extended mention of many of the notable cases with which he has been con-
nected, but some estimate of the high regard in which his ability is held may be
judged from the fact that he has been retained as leading counsel for the com-
plainants in the celebrated case of Hostetter, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where
seventeen million dollars are involved ; that he recently secured a judgment of
five thousand dollars damage against the Nebraska Undertakers' Association for
the boycotting of an undertaker who was not a member of that organization ; and
was employed on the celebrated case of Piefer versus the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company, at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, involving the rights of a leasing company
in the acquisition of lands by condemnation. In view of the varied and vastly im-
portant cases with which he has been connected he may fairly be classed among
the leading lawyers of the state.

As an engineer and surveyor his ideas are always practical and accepted as
correct. Within recent years he had charge of and constructed the largest drain-
age channel in the state, with the exception of the Chicago sanitary drainage
canal. The one referred to is ten miles long, fifty feet wide at the bottom and
one hundred and twelve feet across at the top, and thirty-two feet deep at the
deepest cut, near New Bedford, Illinois. The waters of Green river in the
northern part of Bureau county find an outlet through this ditch. Through his
efforts and genius the main trunk of the Illinois & Mississippi canal was lowered
eight feet at its summit and the feeder located at Sterling instead of at Dixon as
was formerly proposed.

The political creed of Mr. Andrews is practically summed up in these, his own
words : "The Declaration of Independence declares that all men are by nature
free and equal, and it is the duty of the government to keep them so. It is the
duty of law-makers to check those tendencies which conspire to divide the people
into classes of unequal social and financial standing and to prohibit those occupa-
tions and practices which debauch the public morals." He therefore opposes
trusts and monopolies and the encroachment of corporate greed upon the rights
of the people and is strongly opposed to the legalized liquor traffic. For these
reasons he left the ranks of the Republican party, with which he had been allied
from the time he had had the right of franchise, his belief being that that party's
influence is fostering those things. He therefore joined the ranks of the Pro-
hibition party, thus weakening the power of the Republicans, even though his
own party has no hope of national supremacy, while the two great political
parties of long standing hold the votes of the masses. He has always favored the
free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold on equal terms. He appreciates
the wisdom and logic of the great statesmen, Hamilton, Webster and Elaine, on
this question and deprecates the position taken by Cleveland and McKinley in
their effort to further degrade silver and destroy our monetary system. The mon-
etary question being the issue of the day, Mr. Andrews felt called upon in the con-
test of 1896 to take a stand in the matter, and accordingly went forth valiantly to
do battle for the principles in which he believes, joining the so-called "silverites."
As he has never been an office-seeker, he cannot be justly charged with pique or


spite toward any party; he simply votes as he honestly and earnestly believes.
His personal popularity and sincerity have won him hosts of friends and he has
frequently been honored by them in the bringing forward of his name for various
positions of trust. While he sided with the Republicans he held several offices,
with credit to himself and constituents, and when in the Prohibition ranks he was
a member of the state committee for three terms and of the executive committee,
at three state conventions of the party served on the committee on resolutions,
and was the acting member from Illinois of the same committee at the national
convention held in Indianapolis. In 1886 he was nominated for the county
judgeship ; two years later was nominated for the attorney-generalship of this
state, and was candidate for congressman at large in 1892. In the two years last
mentioned, 1888 and 1892, he made a magnificent canvass of the state in the
interest of the party whose cause he had espoused, receiving the high praise of
men of all parties for the earnest, able and honorable manner with which he pre-
sented his side of the question to the people. In the fall of 1898 he received
the nomination of the Democratic party for congressman in the tenth Illinois
district, and made an honorable and able canvass of the district, thereby reducing
the Republican plurality over five thousand votes.

In his religious belief Mr. Andrews is a man of strong convictions. He does
not believe in "churchianity" but in Christianity, so to speak ; that is, he thinks
that too much importance is placed upon forms and dogmas, in creeds and
rituals, and that too little attention is paid to the real essentials of Christian liv-
ing. He believes in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. He
was reared in the Presbyterian church and has long been identified with the
Methodist church, to which his wife also belongs.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews was solemnized March 16, 1876.
Mrs. Andrews, who was one of the belles of this city, is a charming, accomplished
lady, loved by all who know her. The eldest child of this worthy couple is Hugh
J., a young man of twenty years, and now chief clerk in the master mechanic's
office of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company at Eagle Grove, Iowa.
Francis E., Jr., is taking a literary and stenographic course at the Sterling Busi-
ness College. John S. and J. Willard, aged sixteen and seven, respectively, are
attending the public schools ; and Rodney D., aged four, is at home. The only
daughter, M. Florence, a bright, beautiful child, died October 14, 1895, aged
eleven years.

J. E. McPherran, of Sterling, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsyl-
vania, in 1835. His great-grandfather, on account of political troubles, emigrated
to America in the first half of the eighteenth century. His son, Andrew Mc-
Pherran, the grandfather of our subject, was born in 1752 and became a soldier
in a Pennsylvania regiment which went on the Canada expedition in 1775; he
then entered the Continental army and remained in the service until independence
was achieved. The parents of our subject were John and Elizabeth (Stewart)
McPherran, the former a farmer first, afterwards a contractor.

Mr. McPherran of this review acquired his academic education at Port Royal
and his collegiate in Jefferson College, of Pennsylvania, the latter institution being


the predecessor of the present Washington and Jefferson College. He pursued
the regular classical course, including the higher mathematics, the sciences and
philosophy and was graduated in 1857. He was especially fond of history and
the classics ; and this taste remains with him to the present. For two years after
his graduation he taught an academy and afterward read law in the old Chicago
University. In 1864 he opened an office for practice in Sterling, where he has
since remained continuously. Throughout his business life his energies have
been devoted almost exclusively to his profession.

In 1872 Mr. McPherran was elected the minority candidate to the state legis-
lature, and while serving in the assembly was chairman of the sub-committee
which drafted the bill that was passed regulating the tariff on freight and pas-
senger traffic. He was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the law,
in 1874, permitting persons charged with crime to testify in their own behalf.
With others he participated in the revision of the old statute laws and in framing
new laws adapted to the provisions of the constitution of 1870. He gave his
political support to the Democratic party until the Coliseum convention in Chi-
cago in 1896, and at the November election he gave his support to President

The home life of Mr. McPherran is indeed pleasant. He was married in
1865, in Macomb, Illinois, to Miss Sarah A. Withrow, daughter of William E.
Withrow, a native of Lewisburg, Virginia, and a graduate of Yale College, and of
Harriet nee Chase, of Cornish Flats, New Hampshire. To Mr. and Mrs. Mc-
Pherran have been born four children ; but their only daughter, Mabel, who was
graduated with the degree of Master of Arts, is now deceased. Their sons are
Edgar, a member of the bar, now at Marquette, Michigan ; and Ralph S. and
Charles C., expert chemists, are engaged in the iron industries in Milwaukee, Wis-
consin. All of the sons were educated in the University of Michigan.

Since 1857 Mr. McPherran has been a member of the Masonic fraternity, but
belongs to no other civic or political organization. While in college he belonged
to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, joining the same in 1854, when it had only about
twelve members. Its present membership is ten thousand. In his religious faith
he is a Presbyterian, and his wife and family are members of that church. As a
citizen Mr. McPherran has been especially active in support of all interests pro-
moting the educational welfare of Sterling. To this end he has been zealous
in the work of building up the public library of the city, and from its organization,
twenty years ago, has been president of the board of managers. Literature is to
him a source of recreation. He moves on, in "the even tenor of his way," un-
ostentatious, self-respecting, neither craving recognition from the public nor
evincing discontent that it comes not his way.

James Madison Fort is of a family of French origin, founded in America in
the year 1660. The grandfather of our subject, Benjamin Franklin Fort, emi-
grated with his family to Illinois in 1834 and took up his residence near Lacon,
Marshall county. Washington Dever Fort, the father of our subject, was
then a small lad. A native of French Grant, Scioto county, Ohio, he was reared
upon the frontier of Illinois, and followed farming as a life work. He married


Sir.or Sarah Foster, a native of Kentucky, and a daughter of Rev. John C.
Foster, a Methodist clergyman and farmer. At their home on Round Prairie,
near Lacon, on the 1st of July, 1846, James Madison Fort first opened his eyes
to the light of day. He is the second of thirteen children, of whom four brothers
and three sisters survive. Three of his brothers are lawyers, ex-Judge William
J. Fort, of Marshalltown, Iowa, Judge John F. Fort, of Bismarck, North Dakota,
and Greenberry L. Fort, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Charles T. the youngest,
is a farmer at Indianola, Iowa, where also resides Mrs. Medora E. Jones. An-
other sister, Mrs. Josephine V. Sweet, resides at Hiawatha, Kansas, and Mary A.
is a resident of Marshall county, Illinois. Mrs. Fort's only brother, Hon. W. L.
Ellwood, of Peoria, Illinois, is also a member of the bar.

Mr. Fort's early youth was spent on his father's farm and in attendance at-
the district schools of the neighborhood. At the age of thirteen years he de-
termined to make the practice of law his life work and from that time bent every
energy toward the accomplishment of that purpose. Of a studious nature, he
never sat down during the noon hour without a book or newspaper in his hands,
and throughout his life this love of knowledge has dominated his career and
become an important feature in his professional success. After leaving the com-
mon schools he spent some time in the Illinois Wesleyan University, and later
began reading law in the office of Fort, Boal & Laws, a well known firm of Lacon,
the senior partner being his uncle, Greenberry L. Fort, who won the brevet title
of brigadier general in the war of 1861-5.

James M. Fort was admitted to the bar October 18, 1869, and at once located
in Metamora, Illinois, which place then had no railroad. Desirous of having a
broader field of labor, he removed to Minonk, July 13, 1870, and has since made
his home in this city. He has continuously engaged in the practice of law, and
in addition to his efforts in that direction he was for a number of years editor and
proprietor of the Minonk Blade, which he purchased in July, 1873. It was the
only Republican paper in the county and its influence was widely felt in political
circles. After seventeen years of successful journalistic work, Mr. Ford sold the
paper to his son Arthur C. and his partner Mr. Hurtt, in 1894, and has since de-
voted his energies almost exclusively to his law practice. His capable business
management has brought him a handsome competence, and he has made ju-
dicious investments of his capital in real estate, owning about seven hundred
acres of valuable farm land besides other lands and city property.

On the i6th day of July, 1870, Mr. Fort married Miss Carrie Clark, the wed-
ding being celebrated at Round Prairie, Marshall county. Her mother was a
relative of Daniel Boone, the celebrated Kentucky pioneer. Of this marriage
were born four children: Flora Gertrude, who was born April 16, 1871, and

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 64 of 83)