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

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birth to a daughter, who died in 1841 ; the mother
followed her to the grave in June, 1842. In Janu-



ary, 1844, he was married to Ada C. Hubbard, who
had immigrated from Windsor, Vermont, to Scott
county, Iowa; she died in June, 1846, leaving an
infant daughter, who survived her mother one year.
On the loth of June, 1848, he was married to his
present wife, Elizabeth Brown Leonard, who was
born on the 21st of December, 1825, in the town of
Griswold, New London county, Connecticut. Her
parAts were James and Betsy K. (Brown) Leonard,
who immigrated to Iowa in the autumn of 1 838, being
eight weeks in making the journey, and crossing the
" father of waters " on a bridge of ice on the 12th of
December. Her father was subsequently a member
of the Iowa legislature, and died suddenly in 1845,
while serving in that capacity. Mrs. Grant is a lady
of rare personal beauty and of high intellectual
attainments. Judge Grant and his wife are childless,
but they have for many years devoted much of their
time and fortune to the care and education of chil-
dren of their relatives, having had as many as seven-
teen under their control and management, and are
prouder of them than many parents. They have
thus made to society good returns for the large
estate which their industry and prudence have
accumulated during a life of activity and usefulness.
On the loth of June, 1873, the judge and Mrs.
Grant celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of
their marriage, their "silver wedding." The occa-
sion was made memorable by one of the most sump-
tuous entertainments and most gorgeous display of
wealth and fashion which the city of Davenport had
previously witnessed. Not only were the 61ite of .the
locality present, including the Scott county bar and
the judges of the United States courts, but the

" aristocracy " from the surrounding county and
adjacent states, and also a large contingent from the
judge's native state, including several of his college
classmates. A prominent feature of the ceremonies,
which consisted largely of speeches and congratula-
tions, was an address from the Scott county bar,
accompanied by a massive silver set. The follow-
ing is the address :

Davenport, June lo, 1873.
Hon. James Grant, — Dear Sir: Your brethren of the
Scott county bar, uniting with your many other friends in
the congratulations appropriate to this occasion, avail them-
selves of the opportunity it affords to ask your abceptance
of a slight testimonial of their warm regard and esteem for
you, and of their appreciation of the many kindnesses and
courtesies which you, so many years their senior at the bar,
have constantly extended to your junior brethren. They
can hope for nothing more than that this little tribute,
viewed as a sincere expression of the kind feelings of your
brothers in the profession, may afford you the same pleas-
ure in its reception as they feel in offering it.

That you and your amiable and excellent wife may enjoy
together many, more years of happiness, is the sincere wish
of your friends and brothers.

C. E. Putnam, H. R. Claussen,

Jno. N. Rogers, Wm. T. Dittoe,

Abner Davison, IP""* *-"■ ^'^^s,

Geo. E. Hubbell, D. H. Twomey,

S. E. Brown, James T. Lane, ■

John Acklev, J. D. Campbell,

John W. Thompson, J. W. Stewart,
J. H. Murphy, J. W. Green,

E. E. Cook, John N. Crawford,

J. Scott Richman, Joseph A. Crawford,
Herman Block, Wm.'K. White,

Ernest Claussen, Ludwig Bruning,

H. M. Martin, J. Howard Henry,

J. H. Melville, Foster & Gabbert.

In politics, the judge has always favored the demo-
cratic party.

He is not a member of any church, though assent-
ing to the Christian religion.

His habits are most exemplary. His influence
has always been on the side of law and order,'
morality and industry.



AMONG the leading educators of the United
States, in the department of the law, stands
William Gardiner Hammond, LL.D., chancellor of
the law department of the Iowa State University.
He was born at Newport, Rhode Island, on the 3d
of May, 1829. His parents were William G. and
Sarah Tillinghast (Bull) Hammond, the former a
lawyer and a graduate of Brown University in 1821,
and of a family settled in Narragansett since the end
of the seventeenth century, who practiced in New-
port, and was surveyor of customs there from 1829

to 1847; died in 1858. The latter a daughter of
Henry Bull, of Newport, Rhode Island, of a family
settled there since the purchase of the island from
the Indians in 1638. The founder of the family in
that state was the Quaker governor of Rhode Island
mentioned by Bancroft in connection with the rising
against the tyranny of Andros. Both father and
mother were descended on the maternal side from
the Huguenot family of Tillinghasts founded by the
Calvinist minister. Pardon Tillinghast. His mother
also descended from the noted Baptist preacher.



Obadiah Holmes ; and on both sides his ancestors
are identified with the history of Rhode Island and
freedom of religious opinions. William prepared
for college under the private instructions of his
father and of Rev. Thacher Thayer, D.D., a Con-
gregational minister. He graduated at Amherst in
the class of 1849, taking Latin salutatory, to which
an English oration was added as a special compli-
ment. President Julius H. Seelye, M.C., was a
member, of the class. Seelye, Hammond, Henry
Lobdell, missionary to Mosul, and William J. Rolfe,
the editor of Shakspeare, were intimate friends, and
formed, with a very few others, a club for mutual
criticism and study, which was kept up through the
college course, and had a very decided influence on
the character, habits of thought and studies of all
its members. He was also one of the editors of the
college magazine, " The Indicator." He studied
law in Brooklyn, New York, from 1849 to 1851, with
Hon. S. E. Johnson, and went into partnership with
him as soon as admitted to the bar in May, 1851.
He practiced law in Brooklyn and New York city
until 1856; was republican candidate for county
judge of Kings county in 1855.

In 1856 he went to Europe for the purpose of
travel and study, and also with a view to improving
the health of his wife, who was threatened with dis-
ease of the lungs. He traveled through England,
Ireland, France, Germany and Italy, spending a
winter in the latter country and nearly a year at
Heidelberg in Germany, pursuing the study of civil
law and comparative jurisprudence. He returned
from Europe in the fall of 1858 to find all that he
had accumulated by years of successful practice
swept away by the crisis of 1857-8.

After spending some months in his native place
he removed to Iowa in December, 1859. He
reached Iowa a perfect stranger to all its people,
with less than three dollars in his pocket, and went
to work in an engineering party on- the small branch
of railroad now known as the Dubuque Southwest-
ern, beginning with a position as rear chainman at
one dollar per day, and working his way up through
all positions as a railroad engineer, till in about fif-
teen months he became chief engineer of a new
railroad enterprise, for which he had just made the
preliminary surveys when the further building of
railroads was stopped by the war. He then acted
for a year as professor of languages in Bowen Colle-
giate Institute, at Hopkinton, and spent one winter
as principal of the Anamosa city schools.

In 1863 he resumed the practice of law at An-
amosa, and in 1866 removed to Des Moines, where
he practiced till 1868. While at Des Moines he
became associated with Judges G. G. Wright and
C. C. Cole, of the Iowa supreme court, in the con-
duct of the Iowa Law School, a private enterprise
started by the two judges in 1866. In 1868 this
school was transferred to Iowa City and became the
law department of the State University. The same
faculty was retained, but Mr. Hammond removed
to Iowa City and took chief charge of the school.
From that time its growth was rapid and steady, and
its reputation has been constantly extending. At
first he was th-e only resident professor, the two
judges lecturing for eight weeks each during the
year. There are now two resident professors, who
give all their time to the school, three other profess-
ors attending a portion of each year, and four regu-
lar lecturers. The average attendance is about one
hundred yearly, and the annual number of gradu- ■
ates sixty to seventy. The course still consists of a
single year, but an (optional) second year has al-
ready been added, and it is the purpose of the re-
gents to make the course one of two full years.
The entire course of study is directed by Mr. Ham-
mond, who teaches himself from fifteen to eighteen
hours weekly, and devotes his entire time to the
supervision of the law department, of which he is

While practicing at Anamosa in 1865 and 1866
he prepared and published a " Digest of Iowa Re-
ports," being a continuation of the work begun by
Judge John F. Dillon in i86o. The two volumes of
" Dillon and Hammond's Digest " were long in high
favor with the profession, but are now superseded
by the later work of Messrs. Withrow and Stiles.
In 1867 he originated the "Western Jurist," a well-
known legal periodical published at Des Moines,
and was its editor-in-chief until the summer of 1870.
Since that time his contributions to other legal peri-
odicals have been numerous. He has also pub-
lished several synopses of his lectures in the law
schools for the use of his students. For some years
he has been a vice-president and an active member
of the American Social Science Association, and
read papers on legal education at the meetings of
that body in Detroit, May, 1875, and in Saratoga,
September, 1876. Other publications, articles from
his pen, appeared in " Putnam's " and " Harper's "
magazines in 1855 and 1856; in the "Continental
Magazine" and "Round Table," 1863 and 1864;



introduction to American edition of " Sander's
Justinian," Chicago, 1875. There have also been
published a number of lectures and addresses, sep-
arately printed for private distribution.

In 1871 Mr. Hammond was appointed one of the
three commissioners to revise and codify the la,ws
of Iowa under an act passed by the legislature of
1870, his associates being Hon. W. H. Seevers, the
present chief-justice of lo'wa, and Hon. W. J.
Knight, late mayor of Dubuque. The result of
their labor may be found in the present code of
Iowa, adopted by the legislature at the session of
1873. He received the degree of LL.D. from Iowa
College, at Grinnell, in 1870, and from Amherst Col-
lege, Massachusetts, in 1877.

In religious views, he is an Episcopalian, and be-
longs .to the " broad church."

Mr. Hammond was educated in the democratic
school of politics, but left that party in 1854 and
took an active part in the formation of the repub-
lican party, and with it he has since acted, though
of late taking no active part in partisan matters.

He was twice married: '\ri 1852 to Lydia B. Tor-

rey, daughter of Hon. Joseph W. Torrey, formerly a
distinguished lawyer of Detroit, Michigan; in 1865
to Juliet M. Roberts, daughter of the late Rev.
William L. Roberts, D.D., of Hopkinton, Iowa.
They have one child living, a daughter (Juliet)
seven years old.

Mr. Hammond is gifted with a strong constitu-
tion, which alone could have borne him through the
labors of his past life and sustained him through
trials that would have discouraged a less energetic
man. In personal appearance, he is above the me-
dium height ; in manner, grave and dignified ; a
man of sterling worth, generous and genial, liberal
in his sentiments and social in his nature. As an
instructor, he is characterized by independent
thought and logical reasoning, and in the position
he fills has the happy faculty of inspiring his stu-
dents and infusing into them his own enthusiasm,
and by his manly and dignified demeanor does not
fail to command their esteem. He is very favorably
known throughout the country, and bids fair to
stand in high places among the foremost of the legal



OF all the professions none affords greater op-
portunity for the development of native
ability than the law; for here one is led into the
investigation of subjects most vital to the interests
of his fellows, and may, if he will, become versed in
the grandest questions of his country and state. A
fair proof of this statement is seen in the successful
career of Austin Adams. He was born at Andover,
Windsor county, Vermont, on the 24th of May, 1826,
and is the son of Jerry Adams and Dorcas nee Austin,
both natives of New England. He commenced life
as a farmer boy, being trained to habits of economy
and industry, qualities which have been invaluable
to him in all his subsequent life.

After closing his studies in the common schools,
he, in his fourteenth year, entered Black River
Academy, to complete his preparatory studies, and
in his nineteenth year entered the sophomore class
of Dartmouth College, at Hanover, New Hampshire,
from which he graduated in due course. Of a
studious disposition, he had, from boyhood, inclined
to the legal profession, and his desire for it was

increased by frequently attending the courts and
listening to the arguments of the advocates. After
leaving college he accepted the situation of principal
of the academy at West Randolph, Vermont, era-
ploying his leisure in studying law. Afterward he
for a short time attended the Harvard Law School,
and was admitted to practice at Windsor, Vermont,
in January, 1854, being examined by the Hon. Jacob
Collamer, since United States senator, and before
that time postmaster-general in Taylor's cabinet.

After his admission to the bar he formed a part-
nership with ex-Governor Coolidge, which, however,
continued but a short time. The State of Iowa
being fast settled up, he, in the fall of 1854, joined
the western tide of emigration and settled in Du-
buque, and being pleased with the location and
prospects of the place, determined to make it his
future home. Engaging at once in his profession,
he Soon built up a remunerative practice, and in-
spired in his fellow-citizens confidence in his ability,
wisdom and honor, and was strongly urged by them
to enter political life ; and notwithstanding his mod-

^fCcJ{^cI^ ty^^yt-a^c.^



est preference to avoid the perplexities of public life
and live in retirement, he was, in October, 1875,
elected judge of the supreme court of Iowa for a
term of six years.

Politically, he has always been identified with the
republican party, but has taken no active interest,
more than to perform his duties as a citizen. He
has been for some years a regent of the State Uni-
versity of Iowa, and in his own city was for a time
president of the board of education.

He was formerly a member of the Congregational

church, but with thought and study became more
liberal in his views, and is now a Unitarian.

He was married in 1857, to Miss Mary Newbury,
a daughter of Rev. Samuel Newbury, a Presbyterian
clergyman. As a judge, he has gained a wide popu-
larity, being known as a man who enters with his
whole soul into whatever he engages, and to this
may be attributed his success. Personally, Judge
Adams has many rare qualities, and by his upright
course of life, his manly independence of character,
has made for himself an enviable reputation.



PROMINENT among the citizens who have
passed the ordeal of a pioneer life in the west,
and whose early struggles well deserve a place in
these memorials, is the subject of this sketch, John
McDowell Burrows, who was born in the city of
New York, on the 8th of May, 1814. His parents
were David and Anna (Mulford) Burrows, natives
of Elizabethtown, New Jersey. The ancestors of
the family on both sides came from England four
generations ago and settled in New Jersey, where
many of their descendants still remain.

In the course of events it fell to the lot of the
mother of our subject to educate and support a
family of eight children. She was a woman noted
among her friends for her piety, remarkable energy
and devotion to her children. Her life was fragrant
of good deeds and holy living, and her memory is
a treasured keepsake with her family and all who
knew her.

At the age of fourteen John removed with the
family to Cincinnati, Ohio. After the usual primary
education it was resolved by his pious mother and
an uncle, Stephen Burrows, that he should be-
come a minister of the gospel, and with this end in
view he was sent, at the age of seventeen years, to
Lane Seminary, Ohio. However, after remaining in
that institution about two years, he became con-
vinced that he lacked several essential elements of
success in that profession, and accordingly aban-
doned his purpose. This closed his educational
career, and his mother sent him to learn the trade
of wood turner, at which he continued till the fall of
of 1838. He made and sold furniture to western
merchants along the Mississippi river, and consigned

on commission to others. In the spring of 1837 he
made a trip to St. Louis and the upper Mississippi,
to look after his business interests. His ardent and
energetic mind was soon awakened on beholding
the beauty and magnitude of the Mississippi valley;
he seemed to comprehend at once the prospects for
the future of this promising land, and decided on
removing hither. There were others in Cincinnati
at that time turning their attention in the same direc-
tion, and accordingly, in the spring of 1839, in com-
pany with John Owens, Wm. S. Collins and Mr.
Ganet, he removed to Davenport. Three of the
gentlemen who then accompanied him are still liv-
ing, honored citizens of Davenport, — the first named,
John Owens, died at Davenport on the 27th of Sep-
tember, 1876. Mr. Owens and our subject made
the trip together in a one-horse buggy, and occupied
ten and a half days in the journey. Davenport was
at that time in the territory of Wisconsin. They
purchased a claim of eighty acres, long known as
the Owens and Burrows tract, a part of which is
still owned by our subject, and upon it his beautiful
dwelling now stands, amid grounds tastefully laid
out, covered with vineyards, shrubbery and the
choicest fruits, planted by his own hands. They
also, as was the custom in those days, took each of
them a " claim " of three hundred and twenty acres
of prairie land. This claim was the entire section,
seventeen, lying back of West Davenport on Duck
Creek. They drew lots for choice of halves, divid-
ing the section north and south. Mr. Burrows drew
the east half, nearest, the town. In order to secure
the claim against being "jumped," they employed a
man to plow five furrows around the entire tract, at



a cost of fifteen dollars. Some two years after this,
when the land was brought into market and offered
for sale, these two speculators held a consultation
as to the entry of the land at government price, —
whether the prospects would warrant such an in-
vestment. Upon mature deliberation Mr. Owens
abandoned his at once ; while Mr. Burrows gave his
half to a Dr. Hall, on his refunding the fifteen dol-
lars paid for the breaking. Alas for the shortness
of human vision ! The same land soon after sold
for one hundred dollars per acre.

During the first year Mr. Burrows cultivated seven
acres of his forty-acre homestead, and also rented a
small tract that had been broken on the Dubuque
road, near Duck Creek. Here he labored faithfully
the first season, and succeeded in raising a crop,
walking to and from his work with his little tin
dinner-pail, eating his lonely meal on the banks of
the creek. At that time tlie "herd law" was un-
known in Iowa, and a little before harvest the cattle
of " the town " broke in and destroyed his entire
crop. With winter approaching the prospect looked
dreary enough, but his energies and ambition were
ever adequate to the emergency. With fresh thought
and new courage he began building a storehouse in
the town, and in the spring of 1840, in partnership
with R. M. Prettyman, a former clerk, began busi-
ness as a merchant in a little frame house on Front
street, under the firm name of Burrows and Pretty-
man. ' They began on a small scale, selling goods
on commission for Cincinnati houses; and in the
fall of 1840, there being for the first time a surplus
of wheat in the county, they purchased and shipped
wheat to the east, Mr. Burrows buying and shipping
the first bushel that ever left the county. This was
the beginning of the produce business in Davenport,
a business into which, in later years, he entered very
largely. Nearly all produce at that day was shipped
up the river, for the supply of military posts and the
Indian trade. He also bought and packed the first
pork that was ever sold in Davenport. This he took,
in 1841, with the hams and shoulders, to Prairie
du Chien, and sold to Rice and Dawsman, Indian
traders, receiving his pay in the only currency then
known — -silver dollars and half-dollars, with a little
gold coin. The amount formed a large and heavy
package, and as he had neither trunk nor valise —
such conveniences not being in general use in those
days — it proved both burdensome and annoying.
His business concluded, he found that there was no
boat for Davenport for several days, but by travel-

ing some twelve miles across the country and cross-
ing the Wisconsin river he would reach a place where
the stage passed. Burdened with several packages,
into which, for convenience, he had divided his coin,
he set out on his^ homeward journey, and after ex-
periencing much difficulty in crossing, in an Indian
canoe, the Wisconsin river, which was much swollen,
he arrived at the stage station to find that it had
left. Nothing daunted at this disappointment, he
at once determined to pursue his way on foot to
Dubuque. It was late in the afternoon and the
country was very sparsely settled, but when nearly
dark he came to a small farm house. His load had
become very heavy and his weary limbs sought rest,
but where to deposit his treasure for the night was
his greatest trouble. He feared robbery but wanted
shelter, which was cheerfully accorded him, such as
it was, by the proprietor of the hut. At supper three
dark-visaged, unshaven men appeared at the table,
whose presence much excited the already anxious
and burdened mind of our subject. He had removed
a portion of his coin from his pocket to his hat, which
he kept close by his side. The dim light of the
cabin but partially revealed the outlines of the com-
pany with whom he was destined to spend the night,
and robbery and murder were uppermost in his
thoughts. All were seated, and the divine blessing
in the name of Jesus Christ was invoked upon the
frugal meal, when a heavy weight rolled from his
heart, greater than that he had carried through the
day, — he was beneath the roof of a disciple of Christ.
His supper was eaten with a keen relish, and his
sleep was sweet and refreshing. In the morning at
an early hour he pursued his way, and reached Du-
buque at ten o'clock the night following, traveling
the whole distance of seventy-five miles, on foot, in
twenty-eight hours. Such were the difficulties and
dangers incident to a pioneer merchant and trader
of that not very distant day. Thus he progressed
steadily, and from 1845 till i860 the firm of Burrows
and Prettyman, of which he was the senior member,
was second to but few in the west in the extent of
its operations and in the character and standing of
its credit.

In 1847 the firm began the manufacture of flour,
which was an undertaking of no ordinary kind in
that day, and was entered upon with many fears, but
with stout hearts. They erected the largest and
most perfect mill of its kind in the west, and for ten
years manufactured five hundred barrels of flour
daily. In the year 1855 they made eighty thousand



barrels of flour, grinding four hundred thousand
bushels of wheat. In this year their transactions
amounted to over seven hundred thousand dollars.
They also conducted a large pork-packing establish-
ment, and during the above-named period bought

Online Librarypub American Biographical Publishing CompanyThe United States biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self made men. Iowa volume → online text (page 7 of 125)