pub American Biographical Publishing Company.

The United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume online

. (page 122 of 125)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

gaged in farming until sixteen years of age, when he
commenced attending school, continuing for three
years, most of the time at a select school in Troy,
Davis county, to which county his father removed
in 1852.

Young Lambert read medicine at first with Dr.
D. A. Hurst, of Bloorafield, Davis county, then with
Dr. D. L. McGugin, of Keokuk. He graduated from
the medical college at Keokuk in February, 1859;



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



771



practiced for a time at Iconium, Appanoose county,
and in February, 1862, moved to Monroe county.

On the 22d of October, 1862. Dr. Lambert was
commissioned assistant surgeon of the 6th Iowa In-
fantry ; served in -that position until November, 1864,
when he was appointed surgeon of the same regi-
ment, and thus remained until the war closed, being
the last man of the regiment mustered out.

On leaving the service Dr. Lambert located at
Lancaster, Missouri ; remained there until October,
1867, when he returned to Albia, which has since
been his home and the scene of his eminent success
in business. He makes a specialty of surgery, prof-
iting by his discipline in the army, and he has an
extensive practice. He is surgeon for the Chicago,



Burlington and Quincy Railway Company, and is
well known far up and down this road. He has the
confidence of the people wherever known ; is blessed
with a vigorous mind and a disposition to feed it.

Dr. Lambert always votes the republican ticket,
and is as active in politics as his extensive practice
will permit him to be. He is a Royal Arch Mason.

In June, 1857, Miss Olive J. Benge, of Bloomfield,
Iowa, was joined in wedlock with Dr, Lambert, and
the fruit of their union has been seven children, all
living but two.

Dr. Lambert is a member of the Monroe County
Medical Society, of the Des Moines Valley Medical
Association, and of the State Medical Society, and
has an excellent standing in the fraternity.



HON. GEORGE G. WRIGHT,

DES MOINES.



GEORGE GROVER WRIGHT, late United
States senator, was the son of John Wright, a
mechanic, and Rachel Seaman, and was born in
Bloomington, Indiana, on the 24th of March, 1820.
The progenitor of the family in this country was a
native of Wales, and among the early settlers in
Pennsylvania. The Seamens were from England.

George G. was educated at the State University,
located in his native town, graduating in 1839. He
read law with an elder brother, the late Hon. Joseph
A. Wright, once governor of Indiana, and subse-
quently minister to Berlin, where he died in 1867.

The subject of this sketch was admitted to the bar
in 1840, and in November of the same year located
at Keosauqua, Van Buren county, Iowa, where he
commenced legal practice and continued it until his
removal to Des Moines, on the 20th of October,
1865. While law has been the profession of Sen-
ator Wright, and while he is now of the firm of
JWright, Gatch and Wright, he has had but little
time for practice for the last twenty years or more,
for he has been almost constantly in the service of
the state in some capacity, in the legislature, on the
bench or in the upper house of congress. In 1847
he was prosecuting attorney for Van Buren county ;
the next year he was elected to the state senate, and
served two terms, becoming the leader of that body
on the whig side. In 1853, when General George
W. Jones was elected United States senator, the
democrats of the state and the legislature being in
82



the majority, Mr. Wright received the vote of his
party for that office. In the winter of 1854-5 he
was elected chief-justice of Iowa. In 1859, when
the supreme judges were elected under the new con-
stitution, he refused to run for the office. In the
summer of the next year, however, on the death of
Judge Stockton, Governor Kirkwood appointed
Judge Wright to fill the vacancy, and at the next
general election the people sanctioned the gover-
nor's choice, Judge Wright filling out the unexpired
term of Judge Stockton, which ended on the 31st of
December, 1865. In the autumn previous the peo-
ple had reelected Judge Wright for a term of six
years ending on the 31st of December, 1871. He
left the bench on the ist of September, 1870, to oc-
cupy the office of United States senator, to which
he was elected by the general assembly on the i8th
of January, 1870. During the six years that he was
in congress he was on the committees on finance,
judiciary, claims, revision of the laws, and on civil
service and retrenchment. Part of this time he was
chairman of the committee on claims. While in
the senate he was an indefatigable worker, looking
at all times to the best interests of the state and of
his country.

Senator Wright declined to be a candidate for re-
election to the United States senate, much to the
regret of many thousand personal friends.

As may be inferred from what we have already
written. Senator Wright was originally a whig.



772



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



Against his protest his party ran him for the lower
house of congress in 1850, in a strong democratic
district, where the best he could do, and what he
did do, was to reduce the usual majority. He aided
in forming the republican party in Iowa, and it is to
his influence and that of a few other candid, con-
scientious and eloquent .speakers, that the party
owes, in a great measure, its strength in the state.

But while Senator Wright has been largely identi-
fied with the politics of Iowa for the last thirty years,
he has done much good service to the state in other
respects. From i860 to 1865 he was president of
the State Agricultural Society, and worked zealously
for the widening and strengthening of its influence.
His annual addresses delivered during those years
showed that he had given no inconsiderable atten-
tion to other subjects besides law and politics.

In the autumn of 1865 he and Judge C. C. Cole
organized, at Des Moines, the Iowa Law School,
which, three years later, was removed to Iowa City
and made a branch of the State University. In
educational matters generally he has taken a lively
interest; has done valuable work at sundry times on
the local school board, and is president of the board
of trustees of Simpson Centenary College, a Meth-
odist institution located at Indianola, Warren county.

He has long been connected with the Methodist
Episcopal church, and is one of its leading laymen
in Iowa. No man in the state, of any denomina-



tion, has a higher moral and religious standing. He
is a christian statesman of the noblest type.

Superior natural abilities, extensive l,egal learning
and a broad and liberal cu-lture, combined with rare
practical sagacity, have concurred to make him
prominent among the foremost lawyers and jurists
of the country. A ready and comprehensive grasp
of cases, with the quick discrimination and rapid
analysis with which he at once separates and seizes
upon the vital and material points, enable him as a
lawyer almost intuitively to comprehend the merits
and demerits of every cause or question presented
to him. As a judge, with unswerving integrity and
unyielding firmness, he invariably cut his way to
what seemed the very right of a case, regardless
alike of specious technicalities on the one hand and
false sentimentalism on the other, detecting at a
glance all chicanery and artifice, and quietly brush-
ing away all sophistries and fallacious reasonings.

The wife of Senator Wright he found in Iowa :
Miss Mary H. Dibble, of Van Buren county, daugh-
ter of Judge Thomas Dibble, formerly of New York.
They were married on the 19th of October, 1843,
and have had seven children, six of them yet living.
Thomas is married, and is one of his father's law
partners ; Craig also has a wife, and is an attorney
in Sioux City, Iowa; Mary is the wife of Frank H.
Peavy, of Sioux City ; the other three, Carroll, Lucia
H. and George G., are single.



HON. JAMES H. ROTHROCK,

TIPTON.



TAMES HARVEY ROTHROCK, now on the
J supreme bench of Iowa, is a native of Millroy,
Pennsylvania, and was born on the ist of June, 1829.
He is a son of Joseph Rothrock, a tanner and farmer,
and Sarah McKinney. The Rothrocks were Hugue-
nots, driven to Holland and came thence to the
United States in the early part of the colonial period.
The maternal great-grandfather of James H. was a
captain during the revolutionary war. Joseph Roth-
rock moved to Adams county, Ohio, when his son
was about nine years old, and there the latter was
reared on a farm and in a tan-yard. He fitted for
college at Felicity, Ohio ; entered Franklin College,
New Athens, and left at the commencement of the
junior year; read law with E. P. Evans, of West
Union, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar at Colum-



bus in February, 1853. He practiced six years in
Greenfield, Highland county, and one year at Hills-
boro, in the same county, and in July, i860, settled
in Tipton, Iowa. Here, after twb years' practice, he
enlisted in his country's service, going into the army
in August, 1862, as lieutenant-colonel of the 35th
Iowa Infantry. At the end of one year, owing to
disability, he was obliged to resign. Returning to
Tipton, he resumed practice and continued it until
January, 1867, when he went on the bench in the
eighth judicial district. He was reelected twice, and
during his third term, in February, 1876, he was ap-
pointed to the supreme bench in pursuance of an act
of the legislature increasing the number of judges of
the supreme court. He was elected by the people in
the autumn of the same year. As a jurist he is re-



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



m



markable for his strong common sense and practical
ideas. Probably no man has a nicer discrimination
between right and wrong. His experience for ten
years as nisi prius judge was an excellent preparatory
school for the supreme bench. His decisions made
while a district judge were the result of a clear head
and a cool judgment, and were rarely reversed.

While a resident of Ohio, in 1855, Judge Roth-
rock was elected prosecuting attorney for Highland
county, and served one term. He was a member of
the lower house of the general assembly of Iowa in
the regular session of 1862 and the war session of the
same year, enlisting at the close of the latter session.
Although a new man in the state in 1861, when he
was nominated for member of the legislature, that
nomination was made by acclamation. He had
stumped the county in the autumn before, the farm-
ers had become acquainted with him and he was
their first choice. He proved to be a wise and effi-
cient legislator.

The father of Judge Rothrock, a Presbyterian



elder for many years, and a man of strong religious
and humane feelings, was an abolitionist and a Bir-
ney man in 1844. Living in southern Ohio, he had
many opportunities to aid bondmen to escape, and
was always prompt to lend them a helping hand.
The son imbibed his father's political sentiments,
and in more than a hundred instances aided fugi-
tives in their flight from the cruel taskmaster. Judge
Rothrock voted the abolition ticket till the great
party of freedom arose and finally, with Abraham
Lincoln for a banner bearer, overthrew the slave
power.

On the i8th of October, 1855, Miss A. L. Foote,
of Granville, Ohio, was married to Judge Rothrock,
and has borne him three children, all yet living.

Judge Rothrock has long had a passion for agri-
cultural pursuits, and regards it as a noble occupa-
tion to improve land. He has a small farm adjoining
the city of Tipton, and two large farms farther west,
in Sac county. Financially, he has been moderately
successful.



HON. JOHN F. DILLON,

DAVENPORT.



JOHN F. DU^LON, judge of the United States
J circuit courts for the eighth judicial circuit, was
born in Washington county, New York, on the 25th
of December, 1831. His father was Thomas Dillon.
His paternal and maternal grandfathers were each
born in Ireland, and emigrated to this country at an
early age and settled in the State of New York, from
whence his father immigrated to Iowa.

In 1838, when he was little over seven years old,
his parents removed from Herkimer county, New
York, to Davenport, in the then territory of Iowa, in
which city he has resided constantly ever since. He
commenced the study of medicine at seventeen years
of age, under the direction of Egbert S. Barrows,
M. D., then the leading physician of Davenport. He
attended two courses of medical lectures at the
Keokuk Medical College, and graduated at the age
of twenty-one years. He entered upon the practice
of his profession, but finding, after a trial of a few
months, that it did not accord with his tastes, he
commenced reading law in the office where his sign
as a physician was displayed. He was licensed as an
attorney in Scott county, Iowa, in 1852, and at once
commenced the practice of his new profession. This



year he was elected prosecuting attorney for Scott
county. \

In 1858, when twenty-seven years of age, he was
elected by a majority greatly exceeding the majority
of his party as the republican candidate for judge of
the seventh judicial district of Iowa, a district then
composed of the four populous counties of Scott,
Muscatine, Jackson and Clinton. The first work he
did after his election was the giving of a close, crit-
ical study to all the then reported decisions of the
supreme court of the state. This resulted in the
preparation of his first legal work, "A Digest of the
Decisions of the Supreme Court of Iowa." In 1862
he was reelected without any opposition, the bar of
the district, without distinction of party, uniting in a
request to him to continue in the office. During the
year following his second election he was nominated
by the republican party of his state for one of the
judges of the supreme court, and was elected for a
term of six years, taking his seat on the ist of Janu-
ary, 1863. In 1869 he was unanimously renominated
and reelected for another term of six years without
any considerable opposition, but before he qualified
under his second election, and while still holding the



774



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONART.



office of chief justice of the supreme court, he was
nominated by the President and confirmed by the
senate as circuit judge of the United States for the
eighth judicial circuit, embracing the states of Min-
nesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Ar-
kansas, and recently, also, the newly admitted State
of Colorado.

During the time he was on the supreme bench of
the state he commenced collecting data for a work
on " Municipal Corporations," and having become
bound to the publishers to prepare the treatise, he
was compelled to write it out after his accession to
the federal bench. The work had an extraordinary
sale. The first edition of twenty-five hundred copies,
published in the year 1872, was exhausted in a few
months, and the second edition, expanded into two
volumes, is already nearly gone. The royalty to
Judge Dillon on the two editions was the sum of ten
thousand dollars. A third edition is already called
for, which is an abundant proof of its undiminished
popularity.

In 1872, seeing the necessity for the publication
of a first-class law journal in the valley of the Mis-
sissippi, he was instrumental in setting on foot the
publication of the " Central Law Journal," himself
sketching out the plan and for a time contributing
much of the material. Having given it a fair start,
and being unable longer to give it supervision, he



committed the management of it to its present ed-
itor, Seymour D. Thompson, Esq., of Saint Louis.

He has held thirteen terms of court every year for
the last six years in seven judicial districts and six
states. In addition to his other labors he has edited
and published three volumes of " Circuit Court Re-
ports," mostly his own opinions.

Judge Dillon's opinions on the supreme bench of
the state may be found in the twelve volumes of
" Iowa Reports," from the fifteenth to the twenty-
eighth volumes. During this period the judges
adopted and rigidly maintained the habit of consult-
ing thoroughly upon every case before the opinion
was written. These consultations extended to an
agreement upon the facts of the case, upon the judg-
ment to be rendered, and upon the grounds on which
the judgment should be placed. This system of vol-
untarily enforced discipline could not fail to be pro-
ductive of important results, and the decisions of the
supreme court of Iowa naturally acquired a high
standing throughout the Union and carried with
them at home the additional weight which attaches
to the understanding that an opinion of the court
was not merely the opinion of a single judge.

On the loth of November, 1853, Judge Dillon
married Miss Anna, daughter of the Hon. Hiram
Price, for many years member of congress for the
second district of Iowa.



JAMES HAWLEY,



OTTUMWA.



JAMES HAWLEY, the subject of this sketch, was
born on the 4th of June, 1803, at Albany, New
York, where he spent his early years and received a
good common-school education.

When thirty years old he engaged in the mercan-
tile business at Red Creek, Wayne county. New
York, where for five years he successfully carried on
the trade, and then removed to Lyons, in the same
county. In 1839 he was elected by the wliigs to the
office of county clerk. This oiifice he held for three
years, when failing health demanded a change of
climate, and he removed to Chillicothe, Ohio, where
he again entered the dry-goods business. After a
highly successful business career in the latter city
he was induced by some friends to locate in Wash-
ington county, Kentucky, where he again commenced
business, but, not meeting with the success antici-



pated, he, in 1848, started west on an exploring tour
to look up a point for a business location. He
decided on Ottumwa, Iowa, as the most favorable
place he visited, and thither he removed and com-
menced business in a small frame building. His
success was such that the second year of his stay
there he erected the first two-story brick building in
the Des Moines valley. On the arrival of his family
in Ottumwa, Mr. Hawley, not having a home ready,
was induced to move into and take charge of the
first hotel in the city. In the latter enterprise, as well
as in his mercantile pursuits, he was favored of for-
tune, conducting both hotel and store for several
years with marked success.

Mr. Hawley was, through life, a republican ; was
twice elected mayor of Ottumwa, and was president
of the First National Bank for about eighteen months.



THE UNITED STATES BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.



775



On the 2oth of September, 1831, Mr. Hawley was
united in wedlock to Miss Juliet Jones, of New York,
by whom he had three children, two sons and a
daughter. The eldest son is now dead.

The following extract from a paper published at
his old home in Lyons, New York, gives an account
of his death, and also the estimation in which he was
held by his fellow-men:

Council Chamber, Ottumwa, Iowa. October 26, 1872.

At a special meeting of council, held on Saturday evening, the ■. 6th_of
October the following re.solutions were introduced by the special commit-
tee. Messrs. Ballingall, Blake and Inskeep, appointed at the last meeting
of council to furnish resolutions on occasion of the death of James Haw-
ley. Mr. Ballingall took occasion to make some appropriate remarks con-
cerning the life and character of the deceased, after which the resolutions
were adopted by the unanimous vote of the council ;

Whereas, Intelligence has reached our city that our fellow-townsman,
James Hawley. died at Sal: Lake City on the 21st, therefore,

Resolved^ By the council of the city of Ottumwa, that in the sudden
deatii of our esteemed fellow-citizen and former mayor, James Hawlty,
the city has lost one of its most enterprising and honored citizens, who
for twenty-five years past has been prominently identified with its history
and best interests ; that while mayor of the city he discharged his duty
faithfully and well, and, whether noting in official ox private capacity, was
ever actuated by the highest considerations of justice, honor and truth.

Resolved, That for ourselves, and in behalf of the people of the city,
we tender to the family and friends of t^-e deceased our sympathy in their
severe and sudden bereavement, and mingle our sorrow with theirs.

Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the records of the
city, and that a copy be furnished the family of the deceased and also to
the several city papers. W. Ll. Orr, Mayor.

Attest ; G. F. Foster, City Clerk.

The subject of the foregoing resolutions was for some
tinrie a popular merchant at Red Creek, in this county.



Thirty-three years ago he was elected h\ the whigs of this
county to the office of clerk of the county, the duties of
which he discharged with ability for the term of three years.
He was a candidate for reelection, but failed for the reason
that the democratic party was in the majority in the county.
He ran considerably ahead of his ticket, and was defeated
\>y less than a hundred majority. After closing his business
here, and about the year 1844, he moved to the State of
Ohio, afterward to Kentucky, and finally, in the year 1S48,
he took up his residence at Ottumwa, in the State of Iowa,
where he spent the remainder of his life. Ottumwa, now a
city of some seven thousand inhabitants, was then a mere
hamlet. Here he at first pursued the business of a hotel-
keeper and a merchant, and later that of a merchant only, in
all which he was quite successful. He was for some time
president of the First National Bank of Ottumwa, and re-

j tired from business a few years since.

! Mr. Hawley was not a man of ponderous intellect, but
possessed what was more valuable, a well balanced mind.
He was a persevering, attentive, well judging, honest busi-
ness man, and of course was successful. He was an intelli-
gent, high-minded, liberal, patriotic citizen. In his deport-
ment he was dignified, modest, pleasant and kind. In his
domestic relations he was all that a husband and father
should be, and enjoyed the affections of wife and children as
such husbands and fathers are entitled to. He leaves a
widow, two sons, a daughter and several grandchildren to
mourn his departure. He died on the 21st of October last,
at Salt Lake City, while on his way with his wife and eld-
est son to California to spend the winter. His funeral was
attended at Ottumwa, on the 30th of October, by a large
concourse of people. Few have died leaving a purer name
or a larger circle of friends.



THOMAS C. McCALL,



NE VADA.



THOMAS CLIFTON McCALL, for more than
thirty years a resident of Iowa, is of revolu-
tionary stock, both grandsires participating in that
war. His father was wounded in the second war
with England, in the battle of McQuaggy, about the
time of Hall's surrender. Thomas C. was a son of
Samuel W. McCall and Ann Clifton, residing in Twin
township, Ross county, Ohio, at the time of the son's
birth, on the 4th of September, 1827. His father
was a farmer, in rather delicate health, and was in
office much of the time, being sheriff of Ross county
some time and a justice of the peace many years.
About 1836 the family moved to Canton, Fulton
county, Illinois, where the subject of this notice had
solid experience in agriculture, being obliged to work
very hard.

He attended a school taught by his father two
winters, and under that parent's instruction at home
received knowledge sufficient to enable him to teach.

In the spring of 1846, in his nineteenth year, Mr.
McCall came to Iowa, with an older brother, and
taught the first school ever kept east of Des Moines,
in Polk county. Teaching and farming were his



occupations until twenty-three years of age, when
he started in trade, being the pioneer merchant at
Rising Sun, and subsequently following the same
business at Des Moines in company with Mr. W. W.
Moore. At twenty-seven he went into the real-estate
business in the same city, removing to Nevada in
1858, still following the same occupation.

In 1861 Mr. McCall was elected to the lower
house of the general assembly, and served in the
regular and extra sessions of 1862. In the interim
he enlisted in the service of his country, going to
the front in the autumn of 1862 as quartermaster of
the 32d Iowa Infantry, with the commission of lieu-
tenant. The regiment was in the sixteenth army
corps, General A. J. Smith, commander, and he was
with it in the famous Meridian and Red river expe-