John M. (John McAuley) Palmer.

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Baker, who resided in Steuben county, New York, and during the war of the
Revolution fought for the independence of the nation. Richard Baker, the
father of the Judge, was a well-to-do farmer of Seneca county, Ohio, and his
wife was Fanny Wheeler, a daughter of Grattan H. Wheeler, of Steuben county,
New York.

Frank Baker spent his boyhood days in Ohio, and in 1861 was graduated in
the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, that state. He was graduated in
the Albany Law School in 1863, but in the meantime served his country for a few
months as a private of the Eighty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in which he
enlisted in 1862. He first opened a law office in Tiffin, Seneca county, Ohio,
where he engaged in general practice until 1873, and within that period served as
prosecuting attorney of the county.

In 1873 he removed to Chicago and practiced his profession until June, 1887,
when he was elected, on the Democratic ticket, to the office of judge of the circuit
court. In 1891 and again in 1897 he was re-elected. His record has been a
credit to himself and his services have been almost invaluable to the people. His
decisions have ever been free from any taint of partisanship and with very few ex-
ceptions have been sustained by the supreme court. Although he is a Democrat,
his impartial conduct was rewarded by the Republicans, who placed him on their
ticket for a third election.

On the loth of November, 1870, Judge Baker was married in London, Ohio,
and has two daughters, Ethel and Nora, the latter now the wife of Henry
Fowler of Springfield, Ohio. The Judge is a member of the Grand Army of the
Republic, of the Society of Colonial Wars, and of the Sons of the American
Revolution. He is exceedingly fond of active sports and is president of the Chi-
cago Bowling League.

John Sumner Runnells was born in New Hampshire and is descended from
Revolutionary stock, his great-grandfather having been the last survivor of the
battle of Bunker Hill.

Mr. Runnells entered Amherst College at the age of sixteen, and was grad-
uated in that institution, taking the highest honors in Greek, extemporaneous
speaking and debate, and began his law studies in Dover. In 1867 he removed
to Iowa and became private secretary to Governor Merrill. In 1869, by appoint-
ment of President Grant, he went to England in the consular service. Returning
to Iowa in 1871, he was admitted to the bar and entered upon the practice of his
profession in Des Moines. In 1875 he was elected reporter of the supreme court
of Iowa and edited eighteen volumes of the court's decisions. In 1881 he was,
by President Arthur, appointed United States district attorney for Iowa, and for
many years was a very prominent figure in the politics of that state, serving as


chairman of the state central committee in 1879-80, and as a delegate to the
Republican national convention in the latter year.

In 1887 Mr. Runnells removed to Chicago and very soon thereafter became
general counsel of Pullman's Palace Car Company, which position he still retains.
He is also general counsel of the Drainage Board and senior member of the law
firm of Runnells & Burry. While he has had large experience in corporation
law, being counsel for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Wabash, St. Louis
& Pacific and other railroad companies, the Western Union Telegraph and the
American Express Companies, his practice has by no means been confined to that
specialty. His practice in Iowa was of a general character, one very important
case involving the constitutionality of the prohibitory law in that state, which he
carried successfully through the state courts and ultimately won in the supreme
court of the United States; and his practice as senior member of the firm of
Runnells & Burry extends to all branches of the civil law.

Mr. Runnells is an entertaining, forceful and eloquent public speaker, one
whose grace of diction and ready command of language have charmed many
hearers. He is frequently called upon to deliver public addresses, having per-
formed such a service at the dedication of the Auditorium and at the annual
Grant banquet, in New York, in 1893. He is a valued member of the Chicago,
Union League, Union, Marquette, Literary and Fellowship Clubs and has been
president of the Marquette and Union. He is also a member of the University
Club, of New York. He is a man of pleasing personality, courteous, genial and
approachable, and in social as well as political circles occupies an eminent

Simeon P. Shope is to-day accounted one of the ablest members of the Cook
county bar and was one of the best judges who ever occupied a seat upon the
bench of Illinois. The legal profession demands a high order of ability, and
the judiciary, it is unnecessary to say, requires not only ability but a rare com-
bination of talent, learning, tact, patience and industry. The successful lawyer
and the competent judge must not only possess a comprehensive knowledge of
the science of jurisprudence in its various departments, but also must have a fund
of broad general information that will enable him to cope with the intricate ques-
tions involved and determine with accuracy the points of law, gleaned from vol-
uminous text-books and reports that apply to litigated interests. Such qualities
are characteristic of the professional record of Judge Shope. who after honorable
and conspicuous service on the bench is now engaging in an extensive private
practice in Chicago, where he is known as an eminent corporation lawyer.

Chauncey M. Depew, in one of his witty after-dinner speeches, made use
of a well known quotation in this manner: "Some men achieve greatness; some
men are born great, and some men are born in Ohio !" Judge Shope certainly
belongs to the first and last classes, having won a position of prominence at the
bar, while the Buckeye state was the place of his nativity. His natal day was
December 3, 1837, his parents being residents of Akron, that state, at. the time.
Two years later they came to Illinois, locating in Marseilles, and thus from his
third year the Judge has been a resident of the commonwealth with which his


interests are now allied. In the spring of 1850 the family removed to Ottawa,
iv here he obtained his early educational training, which was supplemented by
midy in the public schools of Woodford county and an academic course. He
was reared on his father's farm and from boyhood was familiar with the duties
and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. His first experience in the
business world came as an assistant to a railroad engineer ; but his tastes lay in
the direction of professional labors ; and under the direction of Judges Powell
and Purple, of Peoria, he took up the study of law, and was admitted to the bar
in 1856.

The same year Judge Shope removed to Lewistown, Fulton county, this
state, where he entered into partnership with Lewis W. Ross. He continued
in practice in that county until 1877, when he was elected judge of the tenth
judicial circuit, and he served in that capacity for two terms. Further judicial
honors awaited him in his election to the supreme bench of the state in 1885, for
a four-years term ; and in 1895, declining a re-election, he retired from office.

His mind is keenly analytical and comprehensive in its scope ; and his de-
votion to his profession, his diligence and superior ability have brought to him
a Success that is well deserved. On the bench his decisions were models of ju-
dicial soundness and particularly free from personal bias. He stands to-day as
one of the leading members of the bar that embraces some of the brightest minds
of the nation. During his service on the bench he continued his residence in
Lewistown, but in 1894 came to Chicago, where he has since resided. He is now
a member of the firm of Shope, Mathis, Barrett & Rogers, and is the general
attorney of the Suburban Railroad Company and several other important com-
panies, enjoying a large and lucrative practice. He is considered authority on
all matters pertaining to corporation law, and ranks among the most prominent
members of the bar of the state.

The Judge was married in 1858, and lost his wife in Florida, in 1881. At
her death she left two children, a son and daughter, who have now reached
their majority.

In politics Judge Shope may be termed a conservative Democrat, and al-
though he is a close student of the political situation of the country he has never
been an aspirant for office. In 1862 he was elected to the state legislature; but
aside from this he has never held office outside the line of his profession. He-
belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias,
and since 1868 has also been identified with the Masonic order, in which he has at-
tained the Knight Templar degrees. He is a man of fine personal appearance, of
dignified bearing yet genial manner, a profound lawyer and a gentleman of
scholarly culture whom to know is to honor and esteem.

Le Grand Winfield Perce was born in Buffalo, New York, June 19. 1836.
He was educated at Wesleyan College, Lima, New York, and attended the Al-
bany Law School, graduating in 1857. He was admitted to the bar by the
supreme court of New York and began the practice of his profession at Buffalo,
New York. In 1859 he removed to Chicago, where he established himself in
his profession in connection with the late Judge Evart Van Buren.


At the opening of the war of the Rebellion Mr. Perce offered his services to
Governor Yates. His offer was accepted, and he served with honor and ef-

After the close of the war Mr. Perce established himself in the practice of
law at Natchez, Mississippi. In 1867 he was appointed register in bankruptcy
for the southern district of Mississippi. He took an active interest in the recon-
struction of that state, and in 1868 was elected to congress, but the state not
having been readmitted into the Union, he did not take his seat. The next year,
however, Mississippi having in the meantime become a part of the Union, he was
elected to the forty-first congress, on the Republican ticket, and was re-elected
to the forty-second congress. In the latter congress he was appointed chairman
of the committee on education and labor, and, as such chairman, reported to the
house the first educational bill having reference to common schools ever passed
by either house of congress. Mr. Perce was also the recognized author of the
so-called "Ku Klux legislation" of 1872, and was active, as chairman of the
committee on education, in reorganizing and rehabilitating the educational in-
stitutions of the south. In 1873 tne College of William and Mary conferred upon
Mr. Perce the degree of Doctor of Laws.

In 1874 he again settled in Chicago, where he has since been engaged in
the practice of his profession. Of late years his practice has been almost exclu-
sively that of corporation law. In connection with his business he is president
of the Union Elevated Railroad Company, and interested in other street railroad
companies and enterprises.

November 14, 1867, Mr. Perce married Miss Sarah Murray Wallace. Mr.
Perce is a member of the Chicago Bar Association. He has taken an active in-
terest in the Grand Army of the Republic, and was for several years post com-
mander of U. S. Grant Post. He was a charter member and the first president of
the Veteran Union League ; he is a member of the Loyal Legion, the Union
League, the Church Club of Chicago, the Historical Society, and the Art Insti-
tute. He is a member of St. Chrysostom's Episcopal church. Notwithstanding
the constant demands of his practice upon his time, he is actively interested in
all questions of public importance.

Lemuel Covell Paine Freer was born September 18, 1813, at North East,
Dutchess county, New York. His father was a tanner, and young Freer worked
at the business in his earlier days. He had the usual advantages of the common
schools, which he improved and added to by a careful, persistent course of read-
ing. He also taught school, with the usual experiences of country school-
teachers, and for a time was clerk in a small country store. At the age of twenty-
two he married Esther Wickes Marble, who died after more than forty years of
married life. In 1836 he came west and settled in Chicago. After a short ex-
perience in trading, followed by a failure, he moved out upon a farm near Bour-
bonnais Grove, where he built a hl^use with his own hands. He underwent the
customary experience of pioneers in the west, and after a time returned to Chi-
cago and took up the study of the law in the office of Henry Brown. Almost at
the beginning of his study he began practice, taking justice cases, collections,


etc., until he had soon all the business to which he could attend. He formed a
partnership with Calvin De Wolf, afterward with the Hon. John M. Wilson, and
later with George A. Ingalls.

He was admitted to the bar of Illinois, July 9, 1840, and some years after-
ward was appointed master in chancery by Judge George Manierre, of the circuit
court, which office he held for a number of years. In the latter position it is said
he often performed the work of two men, frequently working late into the night
to keep up with the press of business. In those days stenographers were not
known, and all testimony taken before the master had to be recorded and his re-
ports written out in longhand, but his work was always satisfactory to courts
and lawyers ; and the great length of time he retained the position, and the
universal satisfaction given by him in the discharge of his duties, indicate how
ably he performed the requirements of the office.

Mr. Freer had for many years, aside from his duties as master, a large prac-
tice, mainly in real-estate law and questions of land titles. On account of his
extensive knowledge of early transactions in real estate and his wide experi-
ence, his opinion was generally regarded as conclusive without further ques-
tion. He excelled in cross-examination of witnesses, but, his practice being
mostly in real-estate matters, he did not become so prominent as a lawyer as he
might have if he had pursued other lines.

Aside from his law practice Mr. Freer, after a few years, was very fortunate
in business ; his high character for probity and honorable dealing, his personal
honesty and excellent judgment led him into the path of a successful career and
won for him prominent recognition by the leading business men of the city.

All through the anti-slavery agitation Mr. Freer was the foremost in the
counsels of the champions of human rights. He was well acquainted with Wen-
dell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Gerrit Smith, Parker Pillsbury, Salmon P.
Chase, Frederick Douglass, Henry Bibb and many other eminent abolitionists,
and his activity in the cause at one time led to a price being placed on his head by
one of the southern states. It is said that he was instrumental in securing the
escape of many slaves, and on one occasion chased a slave-catcher nearly across
the state.

His name is found as a signer'to the call for a public meeting to consider the
war situation, which was held January 5, 1861, one of the largest public meetings
ever held in Chicago, and he was among the first to add his name to the muster
roll of the famous regiment of Chicago Home Guards.

On March n, 1878, Mr. Freer married Miss Antoinette Whitlock, who sur-
vives him, having her home in Chicago.

In business life he was generous and helpful to those who were struggling for
a start, and frequently made sacrifices in enabling men to retain their property,
when an opposite course would have been more to his personal advantage. In
private life he was kind, genial and companionable, given much to books, and
always an entertaining conversationalist. For many years he was president of
the board of trustees of Rush Medical College, the annual meetings of which
bodv were held at his office.


Mr. Freer died at his home, on Michigan avenue, April 14, 1892, after an
illness of several weeks.

C. H. Donnelly, a member of the law firm of Pam, Donnelly & Glennon, of
Chicago, was born at Woodstock, Illinois, on the 22d of August, 1855, a son of
Neill Donnelly. He acquired his preliminary education in the public schools of
his native town and in 1871 was enrolled as a student of the Notre Dame Univer-
sity, of Indiana, in which institution he pursued a three-years course and was
graduated in 1874. He then took up the study of law in Woodstock in the office
of the firm of Slavin & Smith, and after careful and thorough preparation was
admitted to the bar in 1877. For twenty years he was a member of the Wood-
stock bar and his pronounced ability won him a large clientage. He was con-
nected with much of the important litigation heard in that section of the state.

In 1890 Mr. Donnelly was elected judge of the county court of McHenry
county, serving in that capacity until elected to the circuit bench of the seven-
teenth judicial circuit. In the latter office he remained until June, 1897, when
he resigned. In March of that year he formed a partnership with Max Pam,
under the firm name of Pam & Donnelly. On the ist of February, 1898, they
were joined by Mr. Glennon, under the firm style of Pam, Donnelly & Glennon.
His experience on the bench especially well qualifies him for the practice of law
and since coming to Chicago has won recognition of the public, gaining for him-
self a place at this celebrated bar.

The Judge is a Republican in politics, warmly interested in the success of his
party. He was married May 2, 1888, to Miss Nina C. Blakeslee, of Woodstock,

Edward O'Bryan, the present western counsel for the New York life Insur-
ance Company, is a western man by birth and training -and possesses the true
western spirit of progress and enterprise. He is a native of Fairfield, Iowa, born
February 24, 1864, and is a son of Thomas and Ellen (Rafferty) O'Bryan. His
parents, natives of Ireland, came to the United States about 1851, locating in
Massachusetts, whence in 1860 they removed to Iowa. The father died in the
latter state in 1891, but the mother still makes her home there.

Edward O'Bryan acquired his preliminary education in the public schools of
his native town, later attended Parsons College, of Fairfield, and subsequently
became a student in the law department of the Iowa State University, in which
institution he was graduated with the class of 1884. Soon afterward he went to
Wichita, Kansas, where for ten years he was engaged in the general practice of
his profession. Since his arrival in Chicago in 1896 he has been retained in the
important position of western counsel for the New York Life Insurance Com-
pany. He has ever been a close and accurate student of his profession and his
knowledge of the science of jurisprudence is comprehensive. Upon this he bases
his careful preparation of cases, and the suits he has won have gained for him
prestige in the profession.

In 1888 Mr. O'Bryan was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Kronert, of
Aberdeen, Washington. Socially he is connected with the Chicago Athletic
Association, and in his political affiliations he is a Democrat.


Adolf Kraus, one of the leading lawyers of the United States, was born in
Bohemia and in 1865 came to this country. He became a resident of Chicago
in 1871, and later, pursuing the study of law, passed an examination before the
supreme court at Ottawa, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1877.
Entering upon the practice of his chosen calling in this city, in 1881 he formed a
co-partnership with Levy Mayer, under the firm name of Kraus & Mayer.
Subsequently Judge Philip Stein was taken in as a member of the firm, the name
of Kraus, Mayer & Stein was adopted, and still later Judge Moran joined the

This company is now carrying on an extensive and successful law practice,
under the firm name of Moran, Kraus & Mayer. Mr. Kraus was corporation
counsel for the city of Chicago in 1893, was president of the Chicago school
board for the years 1883 and 1885, and was president of the Chicago civil-service
commission under Mayor Carter H. Harrison, Jr., until February 13, 1898, when
he resigned.

John Mayo Palmer was born in Carlinville, Illinois, March 10, 1848. He is
the son of General John M. and Melinda A. (Neeley) Palmer. Young Palmer,
preparatory to his collegiate course, attended the public schools of his native city.
He then entered Blackburn University, and subsequently Sliurtleff College,
Upper Alton, Illinois, where he remained four years. Desiring to be with his
father during the war, he left college before graduating, and never returned.
After the close of the war he read law with his father, and was admitted to the
bar in the summer of 1867. He then entered the law department of Harvard
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in June, 1868, graduated with the
degree of LL. B. He next returned home and commenced the practice of law in
Carlinville, where he remained until September, 1872, when he moved to Spring-
field and formed a partnership with his father, and continued an active member
of the Sangamon county bar until his removal to Chicago. During his legal
practice in Carlinville he served as city attorney one year. After his removal to
Springfield he served as a member of the city council, from 1874 to 1877. At
the general election in 1876, he was elected a. member of the Illinois legislature
by the Democratic party, with which he affiliates.

He removed to Chicago in 1892 and entered into a partnership with the late
Senator James R. Doolittle and Major E. B. Tolman. In the spring of 1893
he was appointed assistant corporation counsel of the city of Chicago, under the
administration of. the elder Mayor Harrison, and was appointed corporation
counsel of the city under the administration of Mayor Hopkins.

Mr. Palmer was married July 7, 1869, to Ellen Robertson, daughter of Dr.
W. A. and Nannette (Halliday) Robertson. Three children have resulted from
this union : John McAuley, born April 23, 1870, now a first lieutenant in the
regular army ; Robertson, born July 5, 1872, now a captain in the Eighth United
States Volunteer Infantry; and George Thomas, born March 2, 1875, now a
physician residing in Chicago.

Since his retirement from the office of corporation counsel Mr. Palmer has
engaged in the active practice of his profession, giving his attention largely to


matters connected with municipal administration, for which his experience as
corporation counsel eminently qualifies him.

George W. Kretzinger, general counsel of the Louisville, New Albany &
Chicago Railroad Company, has been in the successful practice of law in Chicago
for more than twenty years. He possesses remarkable vigor and versatility, and
would have attained eminence in any profession or occupation. Enlisting at the
age of fifteen years, he served during the entire war of the Rebellion, and be-
came distinguished for his bravery and daring. When admitted to the bar he
rose rapidly in his profession, and now ranks among the leading lawyers of
Chicago, and is especially learned and eminent in the law of corporations. He
possesses tireless industry, remarkable acumen, and is fertile in resources. As an
advocate he is logical, eloquent, and impressive.

Mr. Kretzinger has a keen sense of humor, and enlivens arguments and ad-
dresses with wit, and when occasion demands can use sarcasm and invective with
crushing force. A genial companion, a faithful friend, frank and courteous, Mr.
Kretzinger wins and retains the respect and warm regard of all who can appre-
ciate true friendship and manly qualities.

Robert Todd Lincoln, the only surviving son of President Abraham Lin-
coln, was born at Springfield, Illinois, August i, 1843. He was prepared for
college at Phillips Exeter Academy, graduated at Harvard College in 1864, and
shortly thereafter was made aide-de-camp on the staff of General Ulysses S.
Grant. At the close of the war he resumed the study of law, having quitted the
law department of Harvard College to enter the government's service, was ad-
mitted to the Illinois bar, and located permanently for the practice of his pro-
fession in Chicago. He here took rank among the best lawyers of the city. In

Online LibraryJohn M. (John McAuley) PalmerThe bench and the bar of Illinois : Historical and reminiscent (Volume v.2) → online text (page 79 of 83)