Pleas courts. The only important amendment to the act of 1881,
HISTORY OP KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 137
which defined the jurisdiction of the court, was passed thirty years
afterward (1911) to the following effect: "There shall be no distinc-
tion in pleading and practice between actions at law and suits in
equity; and there shall be but one form of action for the enforce-
ment or protection of private rights and the redress of private
wrongs, which shall be denominated a civil action. All courts which
are vested both in law and equity may, to the full extent of their
respective jurisdiction, administer legal and equitable remedies in
favor of either party, in one and the same suit, so that the legal and
equitable rights of the parties may be enforced and protected in one
The legislative act of June 17, 1852, divided the state into ten
judicial circuits. Besides Kosciusko County, the Tenth comprised
Adams, Wells, Whitley, Allen, Noble, DeKalb, LaGrange, Steuben
and Elkhart. Since that date, there have been more than 180
changes in the judicial circuits of Indiana ; or, putting the matter in
another way : ' ' There have been only five sessions of the Legislature
since 1852 in which a new circuit has not been organized, or one or
more old circuits reorganized. Politics has often played a prominent
part in the establishment of these circuits, and it has been said that
there have been times when some counties were not attached to" any
circuit for a short time."
Shifting op the County in the Circuits
The acts of the General Assembly which have specially affected
Kosciusko County have been these: Act of February 20, 1867, by
which the county was transferred from the Tenth to the Fourteenth
Circuit; March 6, 1873, by which the Common Pleas courts weire
abolished, and Kosciusko County transferred from the Fourteenth to
the Thirty-third Circuit and the act of ^larch 1, 1889, which made
the county coextensive with the Fifty-fourth Judicial Circuit, as it is
Judges op the Tenth Circuit
While Kosciusko County was in the Tenth Circuit, the following
served as judges of the court : E!za A. McMahaon, from October
12, 1852, until his resignation, August 15, 1855 ; James L. Worden,
who was appointed on the latter date and resigned Januaiy 18, 1858 ;
Reuben J. Dawson, who served by appointment from January to
October, 1858; Edward R. Wilson, circuit judge from October 26,
138 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
1858, to the same date in 1864, and Robert R. Lowry, from October
26, 1864, to February 20, 1867, when the county was transferred to
the Fourteenth Circuit.
James L. Worden
Hon. James L. Worden, who occupied the bench for nearly two
years and a half, was one of the ablest lawyers and judges who ever
served the cause of justice in Indiana. From the Circuit bench he
was elevated to the State Supreme Court which he honored and
graced for twenty-five years thereafter. Judge Worden was a res-
ident of Fort Wayne for about thirty-five years, that being his home
city at the time of his death. By birth he was a Massachusetts man
and by education, a product of Ohio. He practiced in the Buckeye
State for a number of years before (in 1844) he moved to Indiana.
He located at Fort Wayne in 1849 ; was prosecutor of the Tenth
judicial circuit in 1851-52, sei-ved as its judge in 1855-58, resigning
in January of the latter year to accept the justiceship of the Indiana
Supreme Court, to which he had been appointed by Governor Wil-
lard. Judge Worden was retained in that position by successive
elections of the democratic party until his retirement on December 1,
1882. His death occurred about eighteen months after his retire-
Judges op the Fourteenth Circuit
While Kosciusko County was in the Fourteenth Circuit, Hiram
S. Tousley and James I. Best presided â€” Judge Tousley, from Feb-
ruary 28, 1867, to October 30, 1872, and Judge Best from the latter
date until the passage of the act of March 6, 1873, when the Common
Pleas judges were legislated out of office and there was a general
rearrangement of judicial circuits.
In 1881 the Legislature passed an act designed to relieve the con-
gested docket of the State Supreme Court, creating for that purpose
five special commissioners, with two years' terms, who were appointed
by the justices of the Supreme Court. Judge William A. Woods
selected James I. Best as the commissioner for his district (the
Judges Elisha V. Long and Walter Olds
The following served Kosciusko County judicially, while it was
included in the Thirty-third Circuit : Elisha V. Long, March 17, 1873,
HISTORY OP KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 139
to October 22, 1885 ; Walter Olds, from the latter date until his res-
ignation on December 31, 1888; Joseph W. Adair, from December
31, 1888, to March 1, 1889. The act of the latter date made Kos-
ciusko County the sole county in the Fifty-fourth, where it has since
Judge Long had either practiced law or been engaged in the
newspaper business for fifteen years, when he ascended the bench.
He was a native Hoosier of Wayne County, and his father, also
Elisha, had been prominent in the development of the system of In-
ternal Improvements during 1836-40 â€” the period when not only
Indiana, but neighboring states, were also agitated over the systema-
tic promotion of canal and railroad schemes.
The son came to Kosciusko County, with other members of the
family, when a boy. He taught school at Leesburg and in Elkhart
County, received the benefit of a partial course at Fort Wayne Col-
lege, studied law at South Bend, and in 1857 was admitted to the
bar. In the following year he commenced practice at Warsaw in
partnership with his brother Moses J. Long, which continued until
1862, when he formed a partnership with Edgar Haymond, which
was dissolved three years afterwai"d.
Mr. Long's practice became quite extensive, but from 1860 to
1865 he edited the Warsaw Union as well as engaged in his regular
pi-ofessional work. In the latter year he moved to Anderson, where
he edited the Standard and also practiced law, but at the end of a
twelve-months' period he returned to Warsaw. He continued busily
and profitably engaged as a member of the bar until March, 1873,
when Governor Hendrick commissioned him as the Common Pleas
judge for the Thirty-third Circuit, to hold the office until the fall
election. In the succeeding October he was elected for the six-years'
term by a large majority, and in October, 1878, was re-elected for a
second term. His record on the bench was a natural continuation
of his previous professional record of ability and dependability.
Judge Olds resigned to become judge of the Indiana Supreme
Court, remaining on that bench until June 15, 1893. He then re-
signed to enter practice in Chicago, but in 1901 moved to Fort
Wayne. In both cities he has become widely known as a railroad and
a corporation lawyer.
Fifty-fourth Circuit Judges
Since Kosciusko has alone covered the Fifty-fourth Circuit, the
following have occupied its bench : James S. Frazer, March 1, 1889-
140 HISTOKY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
November 17, 1890; Edgar Haymond, November 17, 1890-November
17, 1896; Hiram S. Biggs, November 17, 1896-February 1, 1904;
L. W. Royse, February 1, 1904-November 17, 1908 ; Francis Bowser,
November 17, 1908 (term expires on November 17, 1920).
Judge James S. Feazer
Judge Prazer was a member of the bench and bar, and a public
man, of remarkable ability, with varied as well as solid talents. He
was a Pennsylvanian by birth, of Scotch parentage, and located in
Wayne County, Indiana, in his youth. He was admitted to the bar
before he had attained his majority and at once opened an office for
practice in Warsaw. That was in 1845. Two years afterward he
was elected to the lower house of the Legislature, serving in that body
in 1847, 1848 and 1854. From 1865 to 1871 he served on the State
Supreme bench, and in May of the latter year was appointed by
President Grant as one of the three commissioners to adjust the
claims between Great Britain and the United States arising out of
the Civil war. In line with the duties of that position he was called
to Washington, where he resided from 1873 to 1875.
In 1879 Judge Frazer was appointed a member of the Board of
Commissioners selected to revise and codify the laws of the state. As
stated, he served as Circuit judge of Kosciusko County for more than
eighteen months in 1889-90. He died at his home in Warsaw, Feb-
ruary 20, 1893.
Seven children were born to Judge Frazer and his wife (nee
Caroline Defrees). The eldest, William D. Frazer, is the prominent
lawyer and citizen of Warsaw, and the oldest of the six daughters.
Miss Harriet D. Frazer, is widely known as a court reporter and a
leader in ail the higher activities of her sex.
Judge Edgar Haymond was also an old Warsaw attorney, having
practiced at the county seat for over thirty years, when he was elected
circuit judge (in November, 1890).
Judge Lemuel W. Royse
Judge Lemuel W. Royse is a native of Kosciusko County, and was
born January 19, 1848. His fathei-, who was a son of the Granite
State, spent many years in Ohio as a preacher and a doer of Metho-
dism. The son received a smattering of book learning in the public
schools of Warsaw, but practically all his education has been secured
through his own systematic reading. He studied law under Judge
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 141
James S. Prazer, was admitted to the Kosciusko County bar in Sep-
tember, 1874, and in the following year began the practice of his
Judge Royse is therefore one of the veterans of the bar, measured
by length of active practice, and the nature of his public and judicial
services have further stamped his personality on the county. In
1876 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the Fifty-fourth Circuit
and served one term; was six j'ears mayor of Warsaw, 1885-91, and
was the congressman from the Thirteenth District for two terms
covering 1895-99. As stated, he occupied the Circuit bench in 1904-
08. In every position he has proved his mental ability and his moral
worth.â€” H. G. C.
Judge Francis E. Bowser
Francis E. Bowser, who succeeded Judge Royse to the Circuit
bench, is of the younger generation of lawyers. He is also a native
of the county; was admitted to the bar in 1885, and was associated
with Andrew 6. Wood for twenty-three years. Judge Bowser is
serving his second term which expires November 17, 1920.
The Probate Court and Its Judges
The thirteen years which in Kosciusko County covered the period
when probate matters were segregated from the jurisdiction of the
Circuit Court were marked by much statutorj' patchwork, which, in
the end, did not accomplish anything of consequence. Specifically,
that period covered the time from August 16, 1838, when Kosciusko's
first probate judge assumed office, until May 14, 1852, when the
Legislature abolished the court and transferred its functions to the
Common Pleas Court.
The pernicious practice of special legislation, which became com-
mon about 1840, rapidly undermined the Probate Court. In the
revision of 1843 the law organizing the court was somewhat simpli-
fied. The concurrent jurisdiction of the Circuit and Probate courts
were retained in all suits at law and equity, in all partitions of real
estate, in assignment of dower and a few other minor cases. The
court first taking cognizance of a case retained it. The right of
appeal was given to either the Circuit or Supreme Coui't, the usual
rules prevailing in such practice.
Fifteen laws of the General Assembly of 1845 dealt with the
same court ; twenty-two amendments were enacted in 1846 ; nineteen
142 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
in 1847 ; twenty-five in 1848 ; at least thirty-seven changes were made
in the law of 1849; and in 1850, under the shadow of the Constitu-
tional Convention, it was amended a time or two. ^Most of these
statutes were merely personal and meddlesome.
"It is hardly necessary to observe that no institution could live
on the chop-seas of such legislation," concludes Monks' history of the
Courts and Lawyers of Indiana. "By 1850 scarcely any resemblance
to a system of courts remained. Each in large measure was a special
court for the county in which it was located.
"The Probate Court does not even seem to have given much satis-
faction. The first report of the judicial committee to the Constitu-
tional Convention failed to provide for the Probate Court. Its duties
were turned over to the Circuit courts. This report made by John
Pettit, an eminent lawyer of Lafayette, provoked a long discussion
among the lawyers, in which may be read the histor.y of the Probate
courts during the twenty-one years of their existence."
"Enough has been given here to show that the leading lawyers
of Indiana, in 1850, considered the old Probate Court a failure. It
was not only a failure in itself, but a constant source of corruption
to public opinion.
"Nothing is more dangerous or costly to a community than mis-
information in regard to the law. This is what usually was obtained
at the Probate Court. Legal advice at this court could be had with-
out price, and this caused it to be in considerable favor with the
common people. When the opinions of the probate judge were over-
thrown in the upper courts, it was often attributed, not to the error
of the opinion, but to the smartness or trickery of the lawyers. The
whole misfortune can be traced to the attempt to be too economical
in county government."
The County's Prob.vte Judges
The probate judges of Kosciusko County, with the periods of
their service, were as follows: William B. Blaine, August 16. 1838
(resigned) ; Jacob Baker, June 16, 1842 (vice William B. Blaine) ;
Joseph Hall, August 10, 1842- July, 1843 (resigned) ; Clement B.
Simonson, July 25, 1845 (special election), vice Joseph Hall; John
Rogers, August 15, 1843 (resigned prior to August 7, 1850) ; William
C. Graves, August 7, 1850 (vice John Rogers, resigned) ; Jacob Felk-
ner, August 20, 1850.
In this list of probate judges, the only one of any special prom-
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 14:J
inence was William C. Graves, a sketch of whom has alreadj'
The Common Pleas Court and Judges
The Common Pleas courts, which were in operation from 1852 to
1873, inclusive, took over the probate business, as well as various
civil and criminal litigation from both the Circuit and the Justices'
courts; with the jurisdiction of the latter, however, there was little
Exactly how the lines were drawn has been concisely explained
in Doctor Monks' Covirts and Lawyei-s of Indiana, as follows:
"When the constitutional convention of 1850 decided to abolish
the Probate Court, the Common Pleas Court was planned to take
over all the probate business, as well as have jurisdiction of part of
the business formerlj^ intrusted to the Circuit Court. For this reason,
the Legislature, on May 14, 1852, organized a large number of Com-
mon Pleas courts, dividing the state into forty-four districts for
common pleas purposes. This meant that the state had more than
four times as many Common Pleas courts as Circuit courts.
"The same act abolished the old Probate court, which had been
in existence under the 1816 constitution, and transferred most of
the business of that court to the newly created Common Pleas Court.
It was given exclusive jurisdiction over all probate matters and had
original jurisdiction of all that class of offenses which did not amount
to a felony. One exception of this is to be noted â€” it did not, of
course, invade the jurisdiction of the justices-of-the-peace courts,
which had been given exclusive jurisdiction over certain kinds of
cases. The Common Pleas Court was given jurisdiction, under
definite restrictions, of certain felonies where the punishment could
not be death, but in no case was the intervention of the grand jury
"In all cases except for slander, libel, breach of marriage con-
tract, action on the official bond of any state or county officer, or
where title to real estate was in question, the Common Pleas Court
had concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court, where the sum,
or damages due or demanded, did not exceed $1,000, exclusive of
interests and costs and concurrent jurisdiction with the justices of
the peace where the amount involved did not exceed fifty dollars.
"When the court was first organized, appeals could be taken
from it to the Circuit Court, but that was changed by a legislative
act so that no appeal could be taken to that court. However, the
144 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
same act provided that appeals could be taken fi"oin the Common
Pleas Court to the Supreme Court of the state. From time to time
the jurisdiction of the Common Pleas Court was changed, in an effort
to make it a more useful and efficient adjunct of the state judiciary.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court and the sheriff of the county were
ex-oiBcio officers in their respective capacities for the Common Pleas
Courts of Conciliation
"The judge of the Common Pleas Court was ex-officio judge of
the Court of Conciliation. A Court of Conciliation was provided for
by the constitution of 1851. In pursuance with its provisions, the
Legislature passed an act, on June 12, 1852, establishing such courts
and authorized the judges of the Common Pleas courts to preside over
them. ' ' That judicial body was abolished by legislative act of Novem-
ber 30, 1865.
Common Pleas Court Abolished
"The Common Pleas Court was abolished by an act of the Legis-
lature approved ilay 6, 1873, and all the business formerly transacted
by it was transferred to the Circuit Court. As early as 1867 Crim-
inal courts had been established in a few counties in the state, and
in 1871 the Legislature provided for Superior courts in counties of
a certain population. The Legislature was of the opinion that with
the creation of these new courts it was a useless expenditure of money
to continue the Common Pleas Court. Accordingly, it was decided
to discontinue it and create new Circuit, Superior or Criminal courts
in those counties which had more business than they could handle.
Common Pleas Districts
"The act of March 14, 1852, establishing the Common Pleas Court,
divided the state into forty-four districts. The districts were not
numbered, and remained unchanged until the act of March 1, 1859.
The second act divided the state into twenty-one districts, but again
did not number them. The act of March 11, 1861, numbered them,
but made no change in the districts. Between 1861 and 1873, when
the court was aljolished, four new districts were created."
HISTORY OP KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 145
Common Pleas Judges foe the County
Following were the Common Pleas judges for Kosciusko County :
John L. Knight, 1852-56, resigned; George E. Gordon, January-
October, 1856 ; Joseph H. Matlock, 1856-60 ; Kline G. Shryock, 1860-62 ;
David D. Dykeman, 1862-65 ; Thomas C. Whiteside, 1865-70 ; Daniel
P. Baldwin, August-October, 1870 ; James H. Carpenter, 1870-73.
The Prosecuting Attorneys
The constitution of 1816 made no provision for a permanent
prosecuting attorney of either circuit or county. At first the presi-
dent .iudges appointed a prosecutor for each term of court, and from
1824 to 1843, under legislative enactment, the General Assembly
elected a prosecutor for each judicial circuit for a term of two years.
Then for four years that official was elected by the people, and in
January, 1847, the Legislature took a hand in the matter and decreed
that a prosecutor should be elected for each county in the state with
a three years' service.
To elect a prosecutor for each county proved to be too expensive
a procedure, and in 1849 there was a reversion to the plan of a
popular choice of a prosecutor for each judicial circuit, with the
exception of the fourth and eighth, the tenure of office to be three
The constitution of 1851 called for the election of a prosecutor
for each circuit, by vote of the i>eople, such office to be held for two
District Prosecuting Attorneys
While the Common Pleas courts were in existence, each of the dis-
tricts over which they had jurisdiction was provided with a prose-
cutor, known as the district prosecuting attorneys.
District prosecuting attorneys of Kosciusko County :
Joseph H. Matlock, 1852-55; resigned.
James Wallace, appointed July 14, 1855-56.
Moses F. Collins, 1856-58.
Walter Scott, 1858-59 ; resigned.
Elisha V. Long, 1859-60.
William DeHart, 1860 ; resigned.
W. W. Shuler, appointed December 22, 1860-61; resigned.
E. T. Dickey, appointed November 2, 1861-62.
146 HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY
Stewart T. McConnell, 1862-64.
John A. Farrell, 1864-66 ; resigned.
Dj'er B. McConnell, appointed March 14, 1866.
Horace S. Foot, 1866-68.
Jerome Q. Stratton, 1868-70.
Hiram G. Depuy, 1870-72.
H. B. Shively, 1872-73.
Circuit and County Prosecuting Attorneys
Keeping in mind the methods by which the prosecuting attorneys
of either the circuit or the county came into office, since the organiza-
tion of Kosciusko more than eighty years ago, the following list is
presented, and among the names will be found those of not a few
men who afterward rose to positions on the Circuit bench :
Joseph L. Jernegan â€” Appointed June 1, 1837 ; resigned August
15, 1838. Ninth Circuit.
John B. Nilesâ€” Appointed August 15, 1838-December 7, 1838.
William C. Hannaâ€” December 7, 1838-December 15, 1842.
E. M. Chamberlainâ€” December 15, 1842-September 19, 1843
Reuben L. Farnsworthâ€” September 19, 1843-September 19, 1845.
Johnson Horrell â€” Appointed September 19, 1845, but as he failed
to comply with the law and file his bond and oath of office with the
secretary of state, his commission was returned April 29, 1846 ;
Farnsworth remaining in office.
James Bradley â€” Appointed April 13, 1846 (vice Farnsworth, who
had moved from the state) ; served to August 25, 1846.
Joseph H. Matherâ€” Appointed August 25, 1846-August 25, 1848.
James S. Frazerâ€” August 28, 1851-October 12, 1852.
John M. Connellâ€” October 12, 1852-January 27, 1853. Tenth
Joseph Breckenridge â€” Appointed January 27, 1853 ; declined to
James L. Worden â€” Appointed February 17, 1853; resigned Feb-
ruary 1, 1854.
E. R. Wilsonâ€” Appointed February 1, 1854: resigned August 20,
Sandford J. Stoughtonâ€” August 20, 1856-December 6, 1858.
James M. Defrees â€” December 6, 1858 ; died in May, 1859.
John Colerickâ€” May 10, 1859-October 26, 1860.
Augustus A. Chapinâ€” October 26, 1860-November 3, 1862.
HISTORY OF KOSCIUSKO COUNTY 147
James H. Schellâ€” November 3, 1862-November 3, 1866.
Thomas W. Wilsonâ€” November 3, 1866-February 20, 1867.
Act of later date placed Kosciusko County in Fourteenth Circuit.
James H. Carpenterâ€” March 7, 1867-October 30, 1867.
Ezra D. Hartmanâ€” October 30, 1867-Oetober 24, 1870.
James McGrewâ€” October 24, 1870-May 20, 1872.
Leigh H. Haymondâ€” May 20, 1872-March 6, 1873.
The act of March 6, 1873, transferred Kosciusko County from the
Fourteenth to the Thirtj'-third Circuit.
Thomas I. Woodâ€” March 6, 1873-October 26, 1874 ; act of March
6, 1873, transferred Wood from the Ninth to the Thirty-third Circuit.
Perry 0. Jonesâ€” October 26, 1874-March 9, 1875. Transferred
to Forty-first Circuit.
James A. Campbellâ€” March 9, 1875-October 25, 1876.
Lemuel W. Royseâ€” October 24, 1876-October 24, 1878.
Michael Sickafooseâ€” November 17, 1882-November 17, 1884.
James W. Cookâ€” November 17, 1884-November 17, 1888.
George M. Rayâ€” November 17, 1888-November 17, 1890.
The act of March 1, 1889, placed Kosciusko in the Fifty-fourth
Circuit, where it remains ; also transferred Ray to the same circuit.
William H. Filer- November 17, 1890-November 17, 1894.
L. B. McKinleyâ€” November 17, 1894-November 17, 1896.
Melvin H. Summy â€” November 17, 1896-January 1, 1901.
Henry W. Graham â€” January 1. 1901-January 1, 1905.
John A. Sloane â€” January 1, 1905-January 1, 1907.
F. Wayne Anglin â€” January 1, 1907-January 1, 1909.
Hersehell V. Lehman â€” January 1, 1909-January 1, 1913.
F. Wayne Anglin â€” January 1, 1913-January 1, 1915.
Homer Longfellow â€” January 1, 1915 â€” (Present incumbent.)
The 'Squires of the County
In common with the other counties of limited population in the
state, Kosciusko is indebted to the justices of the peace, in almost
equal measure with the Circuit judges, for a fair and democratic
administration of justice. The small matters intimately affecting the