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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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took Mr. Bissell's place and Burgess & Lewis were at the helm until
April, 1872, when Setii Lewis again took charge and continued until
January, 1873, when Morgan Bates assumed control as editor and pro-
prietor. Mr. Bates, during his stay in Marshall inaugurated several re-
forms, one in particular, which he advocated and finally carried through,
was an ordinance prohibiting cattle from running at large in the
streets. This provoked the enmity of a large number of people who
owned cows, but after they saw the good effects of the law, were strong
supporters of "Sir. Bates. In 1878 the property passed to the estate
of Seth Lewis, and was leased to 0. C. Tompkins. ]\Ir. Tompkins ran
the sheet two years, when W. R. Lewis and J. M. ]\Ioses took charge.
Mr. Moses retired in October, 1881, to become publisher of the Ex-
pounder, and Mr. Lewis continued as editor and publisher until 1892,
when he sold out to T. G. Stevenson, of Ionia. Mr. W. H. Arthur, who
had been associated with Mr. Lewis for a few years assumed charge
of the paper after ]Mr. Stevenson purchased it, and he continued to
have full control until 1896, when the paper passed into the hands of
W. J. Gregg and W. II. Arthur. During the time ilr. Stevenson was
the owner, he had other interests, which took his entire time, so that he
was in Marshall only occasionally and Mr. Arthur was given a free
hand to run the paper, according to his own dictation. The partner-
ship between Mr. Gregg and ilr. Arthur was a brief one, and in 1897
ilr. Gregg retired, having sold his interest to E. B. Stuart. ]\Ir. Arthur
was appointed postmaster in 1899, and soon after his appointment,
Howard E. Pratt, who was then living in Ypsilanti, became associated
with the paper as city editor. He continued in that capacity until De-
cember, 1901, when he purchased ]\Ir. Arthur's interest, and became
one of the publishers and editor. About this time the Statesman
Publishing Co., was formed, the incorporators being E. B. Stuart and
H. E. Pratt. These gentlemen continued to conduct the paper and a
large job printing business, until July, 1905, when Mr. Pratt retired,
having sold his interest to F. A. Stuart. In the summer of 1886, a daily
edition was started, but it lived only about a month and was discon-
tinued. In May. 1911, the Evening Statesman was launched and is
now being published along with the weekly. The stock of the States-
man Publishing Co., is owned equally by E. B. Stuart and F. A.
Stuart, but the latter does not give any of his time to the paper, so that
Mr. E. B. Stuart has full control and dictates the policy of the paper.



HISTORY OF CALIIOrX COrXTY l'71

When the daily edition was started, W. H. Arthur again associated
himself with the paper as editor; he retired after a few mouths.

Among tile early writers on the Expounder were Hon. Isaac K.
Crary, the founder of the school system in Michigan, Rev. Joliii D.
Pierce, D. Darwin Hughes and others, while J. 0. Balch and K. A.
Tenney were contrihutors to the colunnis of the Statcsnia)!.

The Jounial of Education was publislied in ^Marshall in 1838-40, and
had a genei-al circulation about the state, F. W. Shearman being editor.
The Trmpeniner Advocate was another paper that had an existense in
1841, Dr. O. C. Comstock l)eing editor.

The Family Journal, a literary paper, was published by Martin V.
Wagner in 1870-71, and later sold to S. S. Woods, of Newburg, X. Y.,
publisher of the Household Mofinzim .

August 13, 1879, the first number of the Daily Chionicle appeared,
with F. W. Houghton and Z. II. Deuison as editors and publishers. It
was a small four-page sheet, three columns to the page, the columns
being about twelve inches long. It was started as a morning paper,
but soon after changed to an afternoon sheet. A daily paper in a town
on 5,000 people was an unheard of proposition in those days, and the
wise ones predicted a short life for the Chronicle. While the field was
not a wide one, the publishers were not to be daunted by a few adverse
criticisms, and continued in the even tenor of their way, and soon
the Chronicle came to be recognized as one of the fixtures of the city,
and its opinions on matters in general were looked for at all times.
Messrs. Boughton & Denison continued to publish the paper until
1885, when Mr. Dennison retired and ]Mr. Boughton associated himself
with Samuel S. Lacey in the publication of the Chronicle and Expounder.
]\Ir. Lace.v retired a year later and Mr. Boughton was at the head of
both papers until April, 1888, when he sold out to J. ^M. JMoses. Mr.
Boughton went to Grand Rapids, where he became editorial writer on
the (Irand h'apids Press, a position which he held until his death, which
occurred in the sunnner of 1911. During the time the paper was under
the control of Boughton & Denison it was enlarged at different times,
until it became a five column folio, of the regulation size. After it
passed into the hands of ^Ir. Moses, he enlarged it first to a six column
folio, and later to a seven column folio. When the paper was first
started it was printed on a Universal .job press, the press being run by
foot power. After a few years a small Hoe cylinder press was installed,
and when it became necessary to enlarge to a seven colunni paper, a
large two revolution Campbell was purchased, and two years ago the
business of the paper had increased to such extent as to make the in-
stallation of a duplex jiress possible, and one was purchased of the
Duplex Printing Press Co., of Battle Creek, the Chronicle being the
first paper at the county seat to have a press that i)rints from a roll
and delivers papers printed and folded at the rate of 4,000 copies an
hour. The Chronicle was also the first paper in Marshall to install a
standard linotype, one of the latests models being put in in 1909. J.
M. Moses continued as the sole publisher until 1908, when his son. Frank
R. Moses, acquired an interest, and now looks after the business end of



272 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

the paper. In 1910 the name was changed to The Evening Chronicle,
and it is still known by that title.

The Calhoun County Democrat, published by Henry Banner, made its
appearance in 1890, but as the Democrats lost the national election that
year, the paper ceased to exist soon after the fall election.

The next paper to make its appearance was the Marshall News,
which started in March, 1898. George E. Willetts was editor and a
stock company, headed by A. C. Wisner, were publishers. The News
was started to help along the silver cause in the vicinity of the county
seat, as the fusion ticket, advocating the Bryan policy had been success-
ful in the county in 1896, and it was hoped to perpetuate the cause
in the county by the means of the News. In the fall of 1900, a daily edi-
tion was started, which is still in the field. J\Ir. Willetts continued at the
head of the paper until Januai-y, 1805, when it was sold to W. A. Lane
and D. W. Knickerbocker. A few months later ilr. Lane retired from
active duty and D. W. Knickerbocker became editor and publisher, the
paper being owned by him at the present time.

Marshall probably has the distinction of being the only city of less
than 5,000 population in the world with three daily newspapers.

In tlie early days a number of school papers were published, but
none of them survived any great length of time.

Lawyers of Marshall, Past and Present

By Herbert E. \yinsur

Hon. William II. lirown was born in Pomfort, near Norwich, New
London county. ( (iiiiicclirut, December 9, 1812. He was educated in
Plaintield Acadiuiy and in Yale College law school. He then went to
Utica, New York, where he continued his law studies and later came to
Marshall, where he was admitted to the bar in 1839. In 1854, Mr.
Brown was elected prosecuting attorney for Calhoun county and was
re-elected in 1856. He was assistant United States district attorney,
which office he held seven years. For a number of years after he came
to Marshall, Mr. Brown was the only attorney in the city. In later
years he was associated as partner with John VanArman, Robert Cross,
who was formerl}' a partner of Caleb Cushiug, and later was in partnei'-
ship with James B. Greenough. Mr. Brown was a noted character
in the legal history of Marshall ; a man of mai'ked personal appear-
ance, standing over six feet in height, and was eminently social and
genial in disposition. He was a man of letters and possessed one of
the largest private law libraries in Miciiigan. Mr. Brown was for a
long time president of the Calhoun County Bar Association and took
great pleasure in the progress and culture of the bar of the county.

Hon. J. Wright Gordon was born at Plainfield, Windora county,
Connecticut, in 1809. He was a noted politician and a gentleman of
thorough culture. He was a graduate of Harvard college and after
his graduation was for a time professor at Geneva, New York. While
in Geneva he studied law and was admitted to the bar in New York.
In 1835, j\Ir. Gordon established himself permanently in Marshall,



IIISTOKY OF CALIIOrX COIXTY 273

]\Iichigan. He was elected second lieutenant governor of Michigan and
after the election of Gov. Woodbridge to the United States Senate,
Mr. Gordon became acting governor. He accepted the consulship to
South America under President Taylor, hoping that the change of
climate would restore his failing health, but he died at his official post
in 1849. Sir. Gordon was a man of great natural ability and force
of character and won distinction as a lawyer, public speaker and poli-
tician. He was an active worker in the Whig party.

Hon. Benjamin F. Graves was probably mentioned in the list of
la\\Ters living at Battle Creek. He was circuit judge for a number
of years and presided over the court at JIarshall, but was a resident
of Battle Creek. He was elected to the supreme court of the state.

The Honorable George Woodruff was born in Bingbamton, New
York. July 4, 1807. He was the son of a farmer. He graduated from
Hobart college. New York, at the age of twenty-two. While in college
he was confirmed in the Episcopal church. After his marriage to Miss
Augusta Schuyler, he moved to Michigan in 1837. In 1846 he was
elected county judge, holding the office two terms, when the new constitu-
tion threw him out.

In 1866, he was elected circuit judge, having been previously ap-
pointed by the governor to fill vacancy in the circuit. At the expira-
tion of the term, he was re-elected by a large majority. Owing to his
advanced age, this was his last term. He was a great lover of the
classics ; a constant reader of the Latin and Greek authors.

He was a man of marked patriotism. All his boys went into the
army at the outbreak of the Civil war.

He died on the 13th of May. 1887. lacking but a few weeks of being
eighty years old.

In an obituary written at that time, he is described as "One of
the men who helped to lay the foundations of the state, and did nnu'li
to rear the splendid commonwealth in which we live." The obituary
further adds that "Judge Woodruff' was a patriot, a scholar, a highbred
gentleman. WHiile a man of stern integrity, he was a good friend and
neighbor, honored and loved by all who knew him."

Hon. Francis Willitt Shearman, one of the pioneers of the Marshall
and Calhoun county bar, was born in Vernon, Oneida county, New
York. June 20, 1817. He was graduated from Hamilton college in
1836 and came to ^Marshall almost immediately after his graduation,
and was admitted to the bar. In 1837, he entered the government
service under Hon. Henry Lawrence Schoolcraft, his uncle, then Indian
agent for the Northwest. In 1838, he was married to Caroline S.
Williams, the daughter of Stalham Williams, a prominent banker of
Utica, New York. Seven children blessed their union, two of whom
are now living. Lawrence Schoolcraft Shearman of Minneapolis, Minne-
sota, and 'Sirs. Frances C. Page, of Marshall.

In 1839. Sir. Shearman repaired to Washington on public business,
acting at the same time as Washington correspondent for the Detroit
Free Prcxx. in which capacity he won a national reputation as a public
wi-iter.

Upon the urgent solicitations of Hon. John D. Pierce, then super-



274 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

intendent of public instruction, I\Ir. Shearman returned to Marshall to
take up the duties of assistant superintendent of public instruction, and
the publication of the Journal of Education.

In 1840, Mr. Shearman became editor of the Democratic Expounder,
one of the leading Democratic journals of central Michigan, with the
principals of which party he was ever an unswerving and earnest sup-
porter.

As a writer, he was polished, forcible, independent and aggressive,
and as a public speaker he excelled.

In 1846, Mr. Shearman was elected associate justice of the county
court with Judge Hall of Battle Creek, which office he held until 1848.

In 1849 and again in 1851 he was elected to the office of superin-
tendent of public instruction for Michigan, and his services in this
office, as shown in his several annual reports, constitute a most noble
monument to the name and fame of Judge Shearman. The report for
year 1852, which was at that time the most comprehensive and valuable
work on our primary school system then extant, was widely sought
by other states, and quoted as authority upon this subject. It gave a
mighty impulse towards the adoption and perfection of the school system
both in Michigan, and in other states, and it is justly due to say that
during his superintendency Michigan's superior school system assumed
the efficiency which characterizes it today. In addition to above men-
tioned public service. Judge Shearman held the office of justice of
the peace for about thirty years.

Judge Shearman passed away at his home in Marshall, December
7, 1874.

Hon. Frank A. Hooker was a resident of the city of Charlotte, Eaton
county. He presided for three terms as circuit judge of the fifth judicial
circuit and held court at Mai-shall.

Hon. James A. Miner was born at Marshall, September 9, 1842.
After graduating from the Lyons Institute he commenced the study
of law in the office of Gov. Baker of Clinton, Iowa. On his return to
Marshall he resumed his studies in the law office of H. A. and L. G.
Noyes and later in the office of John C. Fitzgerald. He was admitted
to the bar in 1863. Mr. Miner was appointed United States commis-
sioner for the eastern district of Michigan, in 1868. In 1866, he was
elected circuit court commissioner and re-elected in 1868. In 1870 he
was elected prosecuting attorney and re-elected to that office in 1872.
In Januai-y, 1876, Mr. Miner formed a law partnership with Francis
A. Stace, now of Grand Rapids. He was appointed United States
judge for Utah and served until Utah was admitted to the Union. He
was then elected as one of the supreme court judges of LTtah and oc-
cupied that office for four years. Mr. Miner was possessed of remark-
able tenacity of purpose and executive ability of no common order.

D. Darwin Hughes was born in Camillus, New York, Febraary 1,
1823 and came to the state of IMiehigan in 1840. He was admitted
to the bar in Calhoun county in 1846 and commenced active practice of
his profession. The law firm of Hughes, "Wooley and Hayes was' for a
long time one of the strongest law firms in the state. Mr. Wooley
afterwards died and Mr. Hayes removed to the state of Iowa. From



HISTORY OP CALHOUN COUNTY 275

the time of coniiueucing active practice at Marshall until he removed
to the city of Grand Rapids, a number of years afterwards, his repu-
tation as a lawyer gradually extended until his entire time was devoted
to the trial of legal eases. At Grand Rapids he was at the head
of the well known linn of Hughes, O'Brien and Smiley and was for
a number of years general counsel for the Grand Rapids and Indiana
Railroad Company. It is said that his greatest strength was in the
argument of purely legal questions before the court. His arguments
were complete, graceful and strong. Upon the whole he was fully
entitled to rank as he did, as one of the ablest lawyers of the northwest.
He died on the 12th day of July, 1883, at Grand Rapids Micliigan.
For a more full report of this man see 51st Mich. Rep., page 25.

Hon. Thomas J. O'Brien was born July 3. 1842, on a farm in Jack-
son county. His parents were good old Irish stock and emigrated to
Michigan in 1837. IMr. O'Brien was educated in the district schools of
Jackson county and the high school of Marshall. He began the study
of law in his ISth year and completed his law studies in the University
of Michigan and was admitted to the bar in 1854, when he was twenty-one
years of age, and soon after entered into a law partnership with J. C.
Fitzgerald at ^Marshall, Michigan. This partnership was continued for
a number of years, when Mr. O'Brien removed to the city of Grand
Rapids and became a member of the firm of Hughes, 'Brien and Smiley,
consisting of D. Darwin Hughes. Thomas J. O'Brien and ^I. J. Smiley.
This copartnership continued until the death of Mr. Hughes. Mr.
O'Brien was then appointed general counsel for the Grand Rapids and
Indiana Railroad and remained such until President Roosevelt appointed
him minister to Denmark, and he has continued in the diplomatic service
since that time, serving very acceptably and successfully as minister to
Japan, and now as minister to Italy is residing at Rome. Mr. O'Brien's
career makes him one of the honored sons of Michigan, of whom we are
all justly proud.

Hon. Horace A. Noyes was born in Prescott, Chenango county, New
York, February 20, ISio. He completed his legal course at Perrington,
New York, in 1833 and was admitted to the bar in Rochester. He
practiced law for a time at Plymouth, Michigan, and later opened a
law office in Marshall, where he was a.ssociated with his brothers, Nathan
and Lucius and William H. Porter. In 1835, Mr. Noyes was elected to
the legislature and in 1844 elected probate judge of Calhoun county, serv-
ing twelve years. In 1857, Judge Noyes resumed his place at the bar and
was employed in many important cases. He was regarded as one of the
ablest legal advisers in the city. He possessed a genial disposition and
a large, unselfish nature. He died April 20, 1877.

Lucius G. Noyes was a brother of Horace A. Noyes and was in part-
nership with him up until his death, in 1864. Mr. Noyes was proprietor
of the Marshall Erpoitiuhr and for a number of years was its editor. He
possessed fine legal ability and was an indefatigable worker in attending
to the Inisiness of the law firm.

Hon. Philip T. VanZile lived in Charlotte, Michigan. He was judge
of the circuit court of the fifth judicial circuit for two teinis and pre-



276 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COFXTY

sided over the court at Marshall during that time. Judge VauZile is
now one of the circuit judges of the county of Wayne at Detroit.

Francis A. Stace was born in the Borough of Lewes, Sussex, England,
June 2, 1884. He devoted much of his time to reading law up until
1862, when he was admitted to the bar of Calhoun county. Mr. Stace
was elected justice of the peace, which position he held bj' re-election
for eight years. He was educated in the Church of England, but with his
mother joined the church of Rome in 1848. Pie became a citizen of the
United States in 1862. In politics Mr. Stace was a Democrat. He has
had great success as a lawyer, especially in chancery cases. He has
lately become the author of Stace 's Chancery Forms and Practice. Mr.
Stace is now engaged in the active practice of his profession at the city
of Grand Rapids.

Williana DeForrest Adams was born the 25th day of June, 1839,
in the township of Burlington, Calhoun county, Michigan. He was edu-
cated in the public schools of the township where he resided and the
high school at Coldwater. Later he attendeil Albion college. lie com-
menced the study of law in 1863, in the law office of Sidney Thomas in
Marshall, and afterwards completed his law studies in the office of
Hughes and Wooley. Mr. Adams was admitted to the bar on the 28th
day of November, 1869, and soon after his admission formed a law part-
nership with Sidney Thomas in Marshall and l)egan the practice of law.
Later he left that firm and formed a jiartnership with Ira E. Randall,
which continued for a short time. .Mr. .\il;iins continuing his practice
alone. In 1870, he was appointed dipulN cullcftor of revenvie of the third
district of Michigan. He was elected justice of the peace and circuit
court commissioner, which office he held three terms. In 1869 ]\Ir.
Adams was appointed United States commissioner for the sixth circuit
of the eastern district of Michigan, which office he held as long as he
lived. Mr. Adams was a mason and in polities a Republican. He was
a man of fine ajipearance and address and well read in the law. He was
leading counsel in the Perrin litigation.

Hon. Abner Pratt was born in Springfield, Otsego county. New York,
October 27, 1801. His educational advantages were very limited. He
read law in Batavia and afterward went to Rochester and commenced
the practice of law, where he remained until ls:;i). He came to Marshall
in 1839. Mr. Pratt was elected to the leui



Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 35 of 74)