John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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For a long term of years twelve or more he was the sheriff of his own county
(Woodford), and after his removal to Pulaski county, Illinois, was one of its
county commissioners for one term. He cast his lot with the residents of Mound
City as early as 1859, and here his chief business was dealing in real-estate.

Henry G. Carter's boyhood passed pleasantly and quietly in the county of
his nativity. It was his privilege to acquire a better education than fell to the
lot of many of his youthful associates, for he attended private schools and also
for a period was a student in an academy in Versailles, Kentucky. Later he
taught school for one term in his native county, after which he devoted himself
assiduously to the mastery of law, his preceptor being Hon. John K. Goodloe, of
Versailles. In 1861 the young man was admitted to the bar in Louisville, having
previously completed the required course of study in the law school of that city.
His ambitious plans for the future were just then rudely broken in upon by the
firing upon Fort Sumter, and his patriotic .ardor led him to abandon all else and
enlist in the defense of the stars and stripes. He accompanied the Eleventh Illi-
nois Cavalry Volunteers to Arkansas and the west, as clerk to the quartermaster,
in which capacity he served for about one year. Returning home, he then ap-
plied for admission to the Illinois bar and established an office for practice in
Mound City. For about twenty years he has been a member of the Knights of
Honor and for about one decade has been identified with the Knights of Pythias.
Religiously he is a Baptist.

The marriage of Mr. Carter and Miss Maggie Brown was solemnized in St.
Louis, Missouri, in 1870. Mrs. Carter was summoned to the silent land in 1880,
and left three children to mourn the loss of a fond, devoted mother. Fred, the
youngest child, died in January, 1897; and of the others, Harry is still living with
his father, and Charlotte is married and living at Mayfield, Kentucky.

Lewis Marion Bradley has been engaged in the practice of law in Mound
City for the past seventeen years, and has built up an extensive and profitable
business. In his profession, in society and in political circles he ranks deservedly
high, and all who know him and have been associated with him in any manner
have naught but good to say of him and express only the kindest wishes for his

The parents of our subject were James Hughes and Rutha Jane Bradley.
The father was a farmer for the greater part of his life, and possessed the confi-
dence and genuine regard of his acquaintances and neighbors. Though he stud-
ied law and was admitted to the bar he did not practice to any extent. However,
he found that his knowledge of the law was often of great use in his business af-
fairs and while he was officiating in the position of county judge and other local
offices. In April, 1862, he enlisted in the Union army and served faithfully until
the close of the war, being mustered out in July, 1865. He died at his old home
in Jackson county, Illinois, in August, 1888, and is survived by his widow, whose
home is in De Soto, this state.



Lewis M. Bradley, of this article, was born near the village of Murphysboro,
Jackson county, October 14, 1852, and after he had attended the common schools
of his neighborhood for a few years he went to the Southern Illinois State Nor-
mal, at Carbondale. Having had an earnest desire for several years to become a
lawyer he finally realized his wishes and in June, 1880, was graduated in the legal
department of the Washington University at St. Louis, Missouri, known as the
Saint Louis Law School. He was admitted to practice in the courts of Missouri,
Illinois, and the federal courts, and early in 1881 opened an office in Murphys-
boro. Feeling the need of a wider field of usefulness he came to Mound City and
in the fall of 1881 went into partnership with Judge J. P. Robarts. This busi-
ness connection continued in force up to June, 1887, since which time our subject
has been alone in practice. He has had a series of cases in the federal courts at
Springfield, defending railroad-aid bond suits, resulting in appeals to the United
States circuit court of appeals in Chicago and the United States supreme court.
In some instances he has laid down principles of law that were never passed
upon before in the supreme court of this state, and of course especial interest at-
taches to such cases. His first case in a court of record was of a kind which he
has never since had occasion to try as an attorney. It involved the right of a
grantee of a husband in the wife's real estate, where the marriage had been cele-
brated under the law and statutes prior to the passage of the law of descent that
gave one-half of the wife's or husband's lands in fee simple to the survivor, when
there were no children or their descendants living at the time of the wife's death,
she having died after said statute of descent had taken effect. Another case
which Mr. Bradley took to the supreme court was one involving the competency
of the wife or husband of a devisee in a will or devise as a witness to the instru-
ment attesting it. There were decisions on both sides of the question in other
states, but in Illinois there was no precedent.

Mr. Bradley is president of the First State Bank of Mound City, is vice-
president of the Mound City Building & Loan Association, and is a director in
both concerns and legal adviser for the same. He is retained as counsel for
the Mound City Furniture' Company and local attorney for the Illinois Central
and the Mississippi Valley Marine Railway & Dock Company. In politics he is
a Republican. April 7, 1883, Mr. Bradley was elected to fill a vacancy in the
office of state's attorney of Pulaski county, and so well met the arduous responsi-
bilities of that position that he was honored by being re-elected in 1884, 1888,
1892 and 1896. Thus he is now serving his fifth successive term in this office.
Owing, perhaps, to the fact that this county is situated near the mouth of the
Ohio river, and a certain rough element of society is therefore brought into this
region, there is usually a large criminal docket at each term of the circuit court,
and Mr. Bradley has about all the work that he can well handle. In October,
1897, when the court was in session, there were twenty convictions for felonies,
and no verdict returned by the jury of "Not guilty." Though this is more than
the usual number of convictions at one sitting of the court it frequently happens
that there are no acquittals during a whole session of the court.

In 1893 Mr. Bradley was elected as a member of the city council and is now


serving his third term in this office. During the period of his connection with
that honorable body many notable improvements have been instituted, and fore-
most among those advocating such works as are beneficial to the community
stands our subject. The electric-lighting system has been inaugurated ; the city
telephone exchange established and regularly operated ; the branch of the Illinois
Central Railroad, with regular passenger-train service, has been carried into
effective working order ; the levees near the city raised and strengthened ; sev-
eral miles of graveled and graded roads constructed in the place and vicinity,
and other material improvements of various kinds might be mentioned. For
eight years, from 1888 to 1896, Mr. Bradley was secretary of the Republican
congressional committee and in the. last-named year became chairman of said
committee. In 1898 he was re-elected to this trustworthy place, his term of
service in this capacity to run until 1900. He is a valued member of the Illinois
Bar Association. In his religious views Mr. Bradley is a Congregationalist.

October 3, 1889, occurred the marriage of Mr. Bradley and Mary E. Wil-
liamson, the ceremony which united their destinies being performed at the house
of a mutual friend in Chicago. The young people had become acquainted while
they were students in the university at Carbondale, Illinois. Miss Williamson
was a successful teacher, having taught schools in Du Quoin and Idaho, and at
the time of her marriage was returning to the University of Michigan, whence
she had been sent to take charge of a school in North Dakota. To the mar-
riage of Mr. and Mrs. Bradley two children have been born, namely : Lucile,
April 25, 1892; and Lloyd, May 3', 1895.



WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM. Of all the learned professions the
practice of law requires a greater versatility of talents, a greater variety
of dominant natural gifts and admits of higher possibilities in the line of
public and political prominence than any other to which man may direct thought
for the purpose of acquiring specific expertness and distinction. There is abso-
lutely no limit to the development of the professional genius, which, throughout
all the historic past, has directed the destiny of nations and the intricate govern-
ment of mankind. No man can become a great statesman or diplomat without
first becoming familiar with law, because a luminous and comprehensive knowl-
edge of the law is indispensable to all the subtle problems of statecraft and to all
the complicated technicalities of sociology. So necessary are extraordinary
gifts to great distinction in the practice of law that comparatively few acquire a
reputation that lives beyond their own generation, and many are unknown be-
yond the confines of their own states. Also the qualities of mind and character
which reveal the distinguished lawyer are almost identical with the endowments
necessary to the eminent politician, the diplomat and the statesman, from which
fact it naturally follows that nearly all our great political leaders, diplomats and
legislators have made a profound study of the principles of law and equity.
Judge Gresham, on whom the nation bestowed some of her choicest honors,
attained even in early life great distinction in the law, and his marked ability in
this direction was undoubtedly the cause of his selection for the prominent posi-
tion which he later filled in connection with the administration of our govern-
ment. The road which led from the humble Indiana farmstead to the national
capital was one in which effort was crowned with distinguished honors.

In pioneer days the Gresham family was established in the Hoosier state.
The grandfather, George Gresham, was born near Petersburg, Virginia, Octo-
ber 9, 1776, and after attaining to mature years wedded Mary, daughter of Dennis
Pennington, his neighbor, who, like himself, was of English descent. In his
youth he accompanied Mr. Pennington to Mercer county, Kentucky, where the
marriage was celebrated in 1801. In 1809 Peter Gresham crossed the Ohio
river into the territory of Indiana and secured a large tract of land on Little
Indiana creek, where the town of Lanesville now stands. There his eldest son,
William Gresham, who was born in Kentucky, September 17, 1802, spent his
youth and became both a cabinet-maker and farmer. He was said to have been a
very handsome man, with genial manner and extremely popular. He took
great interest in the militia and was chosen colonel. In November, 1825, he



married Sarah Davis, a daughter of John Davis, who was of Scotch-Irish descent
and was also one of the pioneers of Indiana. In 1833 Colonel Gresham, although
a Whig residing in a strong Democratic county, was elected by an almost unani-
mous vote to the office of sheriff, and in 1834, while attempting to arrest a noted
desperado, received a wound which resulted fatally. His widow, one of the
noble pioneer women of the Hoosier state, reared her family and still remains
on the old homestead there.

Thus at the early age of two years Walter Q. Gresham was left fatherless.
He was born March 17, 1832, on the farm near Lanesville, and there he was
carefully reared by his mother, early becoming familiar with all the duties that
fall to the lot of the agriculturist. His early educational privileges were few.
He attended the district school through several winter terms, and thereby was
awakened in him a strong desire to acquire an advanced education. His ambi-
tion was to enter Corydon Seminary, and when sixteen years of age he saw the
fulfillment of his hopes. His brother Ben returning from the Mexican war at
that time, relieved him of the farm duties, and left him free to accept the offer
of Samuel Wright, then county auditor and a friend of the family, who allowed
Judge Gresham to work in his office and thus pay his board while pursuing a two-
years course in Corydon Seminary. He also spent the school year of 1851-2 in
the State University, at Bloomington, Indiana. He determined to select as his
calling for life the greatest of the learned professions. Law had an indescribable
enchantment for him and his alert imagination at an early date in his career swept
the possibilities of the profession and gave him views of pre-eminence which no
occupation yielded.

Securing a position as deputy county clerk, in order to defray his expenses,
at the same time he took up the study of law under the direction of Judge William
Porter, a well known jurist of southern Indiana, who recognized the possibilities
of the young man and greatly encouraged and aided him, at the same time hold-
ing him to his studies with an unrelenting hand. He compelled the most rigidly
perfect and regular recitation, so that the next three years of work by day and
study by night was a training to which Judge Gresham often attributed his suc-
cess. In May, 1854, at the age of twenty-two, he was admitted to the bar and
entered into partnership with Thomas C. Slaughter, who afterward became cir-
cuit judge. In those days politics and the law became inseparable. Their readi-
ness in speaking naturally led the attorneys to express their views on the mo-
mentous questions which were then agitating the whole people, for the slavery
issue was before the public in the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and in 1855 the Re-
publican party became an active factor in politics. In the year of his admission
to the bar he was nominated by the anti-Nebraska-bill people for prosecuting at-
torney in the district composed of the counties of Harrison, Crawford and
Orange, and won a majority in Harrison county, but lost in the others. His
partner was the candidate for congress against W. H. English, and although de-
feated gave his opponent the hardest fight he ever experienced. During that
campaign Mr. Gresham, with Judge Slaughter, stumped the entire district.
In 1856 Mr. Gresham went upon the stump in support of John C. Fremont, its


first presidential candidate, arguing his case so straightforwardly that his county,
Harrison, gave more Republican votes than all the rest of the district between
Evansville and New Albany.

Mr. Gresham showed the same argumentative style in his law practice, in
which he was steadily winning advancement. His logical reasoning and clear
deductions carried weight with court and jury and he won many important suits.
His careers as a lawyer and statesman are from that time on almost inseparable.
He continually advanced to a foremost position at the bar and at the same time
divided his energies between his profession and his public duties as a leader of
political forces, for the making of the laws and their execution seemed equally
important to him. In 1860 he was nominated by the Republicans of Harrison
county to represent the district in the state legislature and overcame a Demo-
cratic majority of five hundred. His course as chairman of the committee on
military affairs in the general assembly so won the admiration of Governor
Morton by the way he put the militia on almost a war footing that he appointed
him lieutenant colonel of the Thirty-eighth Indiana Regiment when the civil
war was inaugurated. After the adjournment of the legislature in 1861 he ex-
pected to enter into partnership with David Macy for the practice of law in In-
dianapolis ; Mr. Macy had an extensive practice ; but the offer of the lieutenant-
colonelcy took Mr. Gresham to the front. The troops crossed the Ohio river to
Louisville, September 17, 1861, to join General Sherman in resisting the invasion
of Kentucky by the Confederates under Buckner and Bragg. Lieutenant Colonel
Gresham remained with the Thirty-eighth until January, 1862, when he returned
to New Albany, Indiana, and took command of the Fifty-third Indiana Infantry,
with which he immediately joined General Grant's forces on the Cumberland

When Grant advanced up the Tennessee, Colonel Gresham and his men
were ordered to Savannah. After participating in the siege of Corinth and the
battle of La Grange, they made expeditions south of the Memphis & Charleston
Railway, and on joining Grant's army in northern Mississippi were soon sta-
tioned in Memphis, where they remained until 1863. They joined Grant's army
at Vicksburg, and on the recommendation of that commander and of General
Sherman, Colonel Gresham was appointed brigadier general and given command
of the Natchez post, and later the district. His wise management won the ad-
miration of both army and enemy. In the spring of 1864 he was placed in com-
mand of the Seventeenth Corps, Army of the Tennessee, commanded by General
McPherson, and in the battle of Kenesaw mountain, and all the Atlanta campaign
until July 20, and in the battle of Leggett's Hill, General Gresham was a most
intimate friend of General McPherson. On the day mentioned General Gresham
was seriously wounded, and while he was proceeding by slow ambulance stages
to the railway station General McPherson was killed. For a year our subject
was confined to his bed, and when he was again able to move about, on crutches,
he resumed the practice of law in partnership with Judge Butler and his son,
N. C. Butler, in New Albany, Indiana.

In 1866 and 1868 he was the candidate for congress against M. C. Kerr,


afterward speaker of the national house of representatives. In both campaigns
they had joint discussions all over the district, but Mr. Gresham could not over-
come the strong Democratic majority of the county. About this time, however,
Mr. Gresham was made financial agent of Indiana, and in 1869 General Grant
offered him the appointment of the New Orleans collectorship. This he refused,
as he did also the president's appointment to the position of district attorney of
Indiana, but in December, 1869, he was prevailed upon by General Grant to
accept the office of United States district judge for Indiana. He was then only
thirty-seven years of age and the appointment was a high honor but well de-
served. "During the next thirteen years his court became one of the most em-
inent in the country because of the notable litigation, the remarkable dispatch of
business and the excellence of its decisions. Although he was not active in
politics, the Judge was well known to the leaders of the country, and President
Garfield and Mr. Elaine both wished him in the cabinet, but circumstances pre-
vented. The decease of both General Garfield and Postmaster-General Howe,
led to President Arthur's appointment of him to succeed Mr. Howe in April,
1882. A notable and characteristic event of his term in that office was the ex-
clusion of that powerful monopoly, the Louisiana lottery, from the mails. On the
death of Secretary Folger Judge Gresham was given the treasury portfolio, but
in October, 1884, near the close of President Arthur's term, he resigned from
the cabinet, where, although one of the youngest members, he was one of the
president's most trusted advisers.

As Mr. Arthur had taken him from the bench, to become a member of his
cabinet, he soon found the opportunity to restore him to a still higher place in a
judicial capacity. This was the office of United States circuit judge at Chicago,
made vacant by the decease of Judge Drummond in December of that year.
During the next nine years in this eminent court, Judge Gresham became one of
the most prominent members of the national judiciary. He proved himself a
great judge by the way in which he pierced through the cumbersome mass of
technicalities and precedents that tend to gather round and confuse legal prac-
tice. His mastery in this respect and the fearless impartiality with which he
seemed unconscious of any difference between clients made him formidable to
clients or their attorneys who brought unjust motives and purposes to present
before his court. Many cases proved him to be one of the foremost jurists of his
time. Among them probably the most notable was the celebrated Wabash
Railway case. This grew out of the consolidation of over five thousand miles
of railway into the Wabash, Pacific & St. Louis Railway Company, in May, 1884,
with Jay Gould, Russell Sage, Sidney Dillon, and Solon Humphreys among the
directors. This was a very involved and technical case. The roads were cov-
ered with mortgages three deep in some cases, and it was an effort connected
with the foreclosure of junior mortgages that threatened the rights of the older
mortgages and the minority bondholders that precipitated a struggle. The min-
ority called on Judge Gresham to replace the receivers who were apparently too
partial to the "purchasing committee," who had bought the system at the fore-
closure sale. The people's interest in the case consisted in seeing that the


minority rights be respected and the pressure of great railway magnates resisted.
Judge Gresham held that the minority rights should not be violated and ordered
a new receiver. This required the greatest courage and won for Judge Gresham
a confidence over all America that he was not only a great but a just judge. He
may be distinguished as a master of great principles, rather than as a merely
learned judge.

His sympathy with the great independent movement in politics in recent
years was in keeping with his independent course throughout his career, and
this, combined with his fearlessness, won the admiration of President Cleveland,
who in his second term, beginning in 1893, tendered Judge Gresham the highest
position in his cabinet, that of secretary of state, the American premier. Death
came to him while in that office and ended a career as useful as it was honorable.
His brilliant intellectual endowments, his versatile genius, his broad knowledge,
his ready adaptability, his fidelity to duty, all combined to make him one of the
most eminent men that the country has produced, and the characteristics of Judge
Gresham as a man, aside from his professional and public life, were such as to
commend him to the confidence and highest regard of all. He never forgot a
friend, and as he mounted steadily higher one hand was ever reaching down in
aid of those less fortunate. He stands forth as one of the central figures on the
pages of our national history, and his name will go down to coming generations
clothed with that honor and glory which are the natural tribute to personal worth
and splendid achievement.

Ninian Edwards, the most prominent and probably the ablest statesman of
the early west, a judge, governor, United States senator, etc., is styled by
some historians the "father of Illinois," as Lewis Cass was of Michigan. Mr.
Edwards was a native of Montgomery county, Maryland, where he was born in
March, 1775. His father, Benjamin Edwards, was the son of Hayden Edwards,
of Stafford county, Virginia, who married Penelope Sandford and had four sons
and several daughters. The latter emigrated with his family to Kentucky before
the close of the last century, where they lived honorable, virtuous and Christian
lives. The parents had been brought up in the English branch of the Episcopal
church of Virginia, but afterward became members of the Baptist church. They
both died at the advanced age of ninety years. Benjamin Edwards during life
devoted himself in part to agriculture and in part to merchandising, both of which
he conducted with industry and irreproachable integrity. He was a great reader
and student, especially of political history, and a great admirer of the eminent
ancients of Greece and Rome, holding up the most noble examples of their good
sense and heroism as criterions for the youth of his day. While residing in
Montgomery county, Maryland, he represented that division of the state in the

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 73 of 83)