G. (Gaston) Maspero.

The twentieth century bench and bar of Pennsylvania .. (Volume v.2) online

. (page 84 of 92)
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plication brought him ample reward, and in
a few years he was in possession of a good
practice and occupied a commanding posi-
tion at the bar. From 1830 to 1843 he gave
his whole attention to the practice of law. By
his careful labor, zeal and energy he built
up a large practice in Armstrong, Clarion,
Jefferson and Indiana counties and had ac-
cumulated a comi:)etency. He was connected
with nearly all the important litigation in
this large territory during his days as a prac-
titioner and Avas recognized as one of the
ablest lawj'ers of the western Pennsylvania

Judge Buffington from his early nmnhood
took an active interest in political affairs.
In 1831 he was a delegate to the national
convention of the anti-I\Iasonic party, and
voted for William Wirt, its nominee. He
was nominated several times for the state
senate and house of representatives, but his
party, being largely in the minority, he was
defeated. In 1840 he associated himself with
the Whigs. He took an active part in the
election of General Harrison and was elected
a presidential elector. In the fall of 1843
he was elected to Congress on tlie Whig
ticket and was re-elected in 1844.

Governor Johnston, a personal friend, ap-
pointed I\Ir. Buffington president jmlge of
the Eighteenth district in 1849. The dis-
trict was composed at that time of Clarion,
Elk, Jeffo'son and Venango counties. In
18.j2 the Whigs nominated him f(u- a. judge-
ship in the Supreme court, but in the general
overthrow of the party he was defeated.
That same year President Fillmoi'c tendered
him the office of chief justice of Utah terri-
toiy, but its great distance from the cen-
ters of civilization led him to decline the po-
sition. In 1855 Governor Pollock appointed
him president judge of the "old Tenth "'judi-
cial district. In the fall of 1856 he was elect-
ed ]u-csident judge of this district and served



the full term often years. In 1866 lie Avas
re-elected for another term of ten years. The
Tenth district was composed of Armstrong,
Indiana and AV/estmoreland counties. The
increasing;' business of this busy district made
the position of judge one of hard and con-
stant labor. After forty-six years' connec-
tion with the bench and bar Judge Buffing-
tou retired to privat(? life, leaving a record of
his work in the Pennsylvania Reports as a
thorough and industrious lawyer and an up-
right, tV;irless, studious and profound jiirist.
He died suddeidj' on February 2. 1872. He
lay down to rest in the afternoon and was
found in the peaceful sleep of death. For
many years he was a member and vestryman
in St. Paul's Episcopal church. He was a
liberal contributor to the church and to all
mattei's relating to the public advancement.
He was a great friend of young men, and
there are those in practice who still cherish
his kindly assistance and advice as pleasant
things Avhich came into their lives. The fol-
lowing tribute by Governor William F. John-
.ston gives an idea of the man : "To speak of
Judge Bufifington's career as a lawyer would
be a history of the judicial contests in this
section of the state for more than a quarter
of a century. He had a large practice in
Armstrong, Jeiferson, Clarion and Indiana
counties, the courts of which counties he
regularly attended. It was a pleasure to be
with him either as assistant or oppossing
counsel in any of these counties."

Jackson Boggs, one of the home judges of
Armstrong count}', was born in Plum town-
ship, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, on
April 7, 1818. His earlier years were spent
on the farm in Allegheny county and Kiski-
minetas township, Armstrong county. He
had an abiding love for pastoi,'al pursuits,
during his professional and official career,
;ind took pleasure in his fine farm opposite
Kittanning. He acquired a fair English edu-
cation and made a specialty of surveying,
which lie practiced extensively duriog his

student and earlier lawyer days. He fol-
lowed teaching during his J'oung manhood,
having taught in Pittsburgh, in various sec-
tions of Armstrong county, including the
l)ublic school in Kittanning borough. Those
who were under his instruction bear witness
to his faithfulness as a zealous and indus-
trious instructor. He began the study of law
in the fall of 1843 in the office of Hon. Dar-
win Phelps. Having completed the full ser-
vice of reading, he was admitted to the bar
in September, 1845. Shortly after his ad-
mission he was married to Miss Phoebe J.

He began practicing, and in the course of
his career acquired an extensive and re-
munerative practice. His associates testify
that he was careful, laborious and thorough
in his preparation of cases and an uncom-
promising contestant in the trial of them.
He was in partnership for a few years with
John K. Calhoun. He was appointed deputy
surveyor general for Armstrong county in
the early part of his professional life and
filled the position with credit for several
years. In 1874 in a very bitter triangular
contest he was elected president judge of
Ai'mstrong county and ran ahead of his
ticket. Politically he was a stanch Demo-
crat and had a strong following, not only in
his own party, but at large as well. In the
discharge of his judicial duties he was care-
ful and painstaking. Naturally a strong
jiavtisan, his constant endeavor was to be a
correct and impartial judge. He was anx-
ious to be right, and examined all questions
thoroughly before rendering an opinion, with
the result that few of his opinions were re-
vei'sed by the Supreme court. Judge Boggs
did not live to serve his term. Under the
weight of physical ailment, great suffering
and failing health he worked bravely on, and
died rather suddenly in April, 1879. Jackson
Hoggs was a strong man, large and rough-
bewn in his build, sturdy in character, dem-
ocratic in his manner and methods, con-



stant in his friendship, strong in his dislikes,
intense iu his partisanship, he was, withal, a
kindly liearted man and was recognized as
a man of the people. As a lawyer, while he
commanded a large practice and acquired
considerable proj^erty, he was not a mouej'-
maker and did not know how to charge. It
mattered not to him whether a client had a
fee or not. He was more of an advocate
than eoimselor. He was inclined to brush
narrow technical questions aside and stand
on the broad (juestion of right and wrong.
He was a fair and fearless fighter. His ex-
tensive acquaintance and knowledge of men,
with his rough eloquence, and strong per-
sonality, made him a factor to be reckoned
with in the trial of the cases, wherein he ap-

John V. Painter was a son of Joseph Paint-
er, D. D., for many years pastor of the Pres-
byterian church of Kittanning. The family
came from Bucks county. John V. Painter
was born in Williamsport. Pa., ilay 25, 1829.
In 1831 his father and family came to Kit-
tanning, where they resided for many years.
He was educated in the old Kittanning acad-
eni}'. At an early age he was placed in mer-
cantile pursuits. He was married to iliss
Sarah J. Crawford. He engaged in the busi-
ness of storekeeping for several years in Kit-
tanning, hut this not being as successful as
desired he abandoned it and took up the
study of law in the office of Larry S. Cant-
well. He was admitted to the bar in Septem-
ber, 1861. He was appointed deputy dis-
trict attorney in September, 1862. On the
retirement of Judge Logan Governor Hant-
ranft appointed Mr. Painter president judge
of the Third judicial district, composed of
Armstrong county, in April, 187-1, and he oc-
cupied the bench until the first JMondaj' of
January, 1875. He was a candiate for the
office, but was defeated in the fall election.

Judge Painter was a warm, steadfast
fiiend, endowed with various fine qualities
of heart and mind, generous impulses and a

laudable ambition. He was actuated by
proper motives and was faithful to his clients
and fair to his fellow lawyers. Coming to the
bar somewhat late in life, he did not acquire
as large a practice or reach as prominent a
position as some, but he was recognized as a
shrewd and careful practitioner.

James Brown Neale was the first native
judge of Armstrong county. He was born
and reared in Kittanning. He was mainly
educated at home. "With the exception of a
short time in Pittsburgh and Germany, his
life was spent in his native county, so that
he is, out and out, a product of the native
soil. Pie comes of energetic Irish stock, be-
ing connected with the Brown family, a fam-
ily that has done much in the development of
Armstrong county. James B. Neale began
his career at an early age and had to rely
chiefly upon his own exertions. He began a
mercantile career in the store of Bro^\^l,
Floyd & Co., manufacturers of iron, and
merchants in Kittanning. He Avas trained
iu the keeping of accounts and business man-
agement and took charge of the firm's whole-
sale business in Pittsburgh. He continued
as manager there until 1858, when he con-
cluded to study law, and entered the office of
Golden & Fulton, at that time prominent law-
yers in Kittanning. The breaking out of the
war interfered with his .studies someivhat,
Imt he was admitted to practice in March,
1862. In 1861 he enrolled in Captain Cant-
well's Company I of the "three months" men
and was elected third lieutenant. The new
military formation discontinued the office
of third lieutenant, and IMr. Neale, for suffi-
cient reasons, resigned and was discharged,
with honorable mention, by his superior offi-
cers. Later he enrolled in Captain Calhoun's
company and was attached to the Twenty-
.second Pennsylvania Re^nment infantry. Tie
became quartermaster of this Regiment and
served until late in 1862, when he was dis-
charged from the service. Retiring from the
army, he completed his studies and was ad-



niittpd to the bar. He formed a partnership
with Edward" S^ Golden and entered into the
active pi'aetice of law. This firm built up a
wide reputation and a large practice. It was
engaijed in all the important litigation in the
county during its existence and probably
had the largest practice ever acquired in the
history of the bar. The firm continued until
1871, when jMr. Neale went to Europe and
spent a year iii the University of Leipsie. In
1873 he returned to Kittanning and resumed
the practice of law independently and was at
once successful. In 1879 he Avas appointed
president judge of the county courts to fill
the vacancy caused by the death of Judge
Boggs. He was elected at the fall election
of tluit year on the Republican ticket and
filled the full term of ten years as president'
judge. At the expiration of the term he re-
sumed practice with his nephew, John H.
Painter, the firm being Neale & Painter.

Judge Neale has been successful in busi-
ness matters as well as in the law and on the
bench. He is interested in a ntimber of en-
terprises, in manufacturing and in oil pro-
duction. He was largely instrumental in
founding the i\Ierehants' National bank of
Kittanning, which, under his direction as
president, has been unusually successful. He
is a memlier of the Episcopal church. His
first vote was cast foi- the Uepuljlican ticket.
He has been a stanch and consistent mem-
ber of the party ever since. He was ap-
pointed commissioner for the state of Wis-
{•onsin in Pennsylvania by Governor Ran-
dall. He is a member of the state bar associa-
tion, also of the United States bar. He holds
a iiicmbci'sliip in tlu' Sons of the Revolution
and in the (irand Army of the Republic. As
a lawyer Judge Neale for years lias been rec-
ognized as one of the leaders at the bar. He
is of a very enei-getic temperament and has
been a hard and thoi'ougli worker. When
lie IiikI a ipicslidii to examine it was his phui
to exhaust it. Vt>ry aiixious and ambitious
to be right, no labor was too arduous, so long

as he could thereby reach the correct con-
clusion. From his business experience, be-
fore he entered the law, the commercial side
of the practice appealed to him the strongest.
He made quite a reputation as a business
lawyer and became the adviser of his clients
not only in law but in their investments as
well. He is said to have handled more money
of clients than any other member of the bar.
As a practitioner he was frank and zealous.
He rather scorned narrow technicalities and
seemed to enjoy a contest on the merits.
While always kind and courteous to his fel-
low law.yers, he was unyielding in the inter-
ests of his clients. He is of a poetic and lit-
erarj^ temperament, has always been a great
reader and is recognized as one of the versa-
tile men at the bar. With a lively imagina-
tion, M'ide vocabulary and forceful diction
and address, he is equally strong with the
pen or tongue. As a judge his hard-working
habits and great desire to be right led him
to investigate every question closely. So
thorough was his Avork in this respect that
his record in the Supreme court is among the
best of the common pleas judges in the state.
He was quick to grasp the real qiiestion in
a case and prompt to decide. He was not
bound by narrow rules, was in no sense a
case lawyer, but would work out conclusions
fi-om general jn-incii^les. as instanced by his
o[iiiiion in the celebi-ated case of Karns and
Tannei'. As a citizen Judge Neale took an
interest in all public ali'airs. Being a fine
spealicr, he was in constsint demand to make
addresses on public occasions. He was a
forceful political speaker and did much
worlv for his party. He is kind hearted and
generous. He has always had a helping hand
for the deserving and was liberal of his
nirans with those in distress. He was a gen-
erous giver to all public affaii's and his pri-
vate charities have been luimerous. During
the yeai's he owned and edited the "Free
Press"' he gave his i'(>aders some very credit-
able work in prose and verse, which showed

'^47u^ Cy yf<^ aX^ ,



the wide range of his tnleut. Of late years,
owing- to failing- healtli and increasing' coni-
niercial interests, lie has rather abandoned
active practice and gives his attention to the
bank and liis jn-ivate affairs.

Calvin Rayburn comes of Scotch-Irish
stock. He is a native of Armstrong county
and was liorn in Xorth Buffalo township on
Octoliei- 25. 1850. His earlier years were
spent on the farm. His education was se-
cured at the common schools, teaching coun-
try schools and thi-ough a classical course at
Pi-inceton college. He .studied law in the
ofHce of Hon. (ieorge A. Jenks at Brookville
antl w;is admitted to the bar there. Shortly
after liis admission he opened an office in
Kittanning and was soon in the midst of an
active practice. In politics he is a Democrat.
He took an active interest in his party, and,
being- a pleasant and jicrsuasive speaker, was
in great demand at liis party meetings. In
this way he made a very wide acquaintance
in the county and secured a large personal
following. He was elected a delegate to the
national Democratic convention that nomi-
nated Grover Cleveland the first time. He
was the nominee of his party for the office
of president judge in 1889; was elected at
the general election aiitJ- filled the office for
ten years from the first ilonday of January,
1890. Judge Kayburn is perhaps the most
genial man at the bar. He is possessed of
tliat indescribable element in his personality
that attracts and holds friends. This, coupled
with his wide acquaintance, makes him a
pojjular man with the people, as well as
a dangerous opponent in politics and at the
bar. While not as aggressive in his manner
and methods as some other members of the
bar, he is yet a potent factor in politics, and
before a jury. Well educated, well read,
well grounded in the principles of law, his
success is probably due more to his genial
])ci-sonality. His career on the bench was
marked liy an abiding common sense, which
generalh- reached correct conclusions. As a

judge he was patient and coui-teous in his
treatment of the mendiers of the bar, and
honest and imjiartial in disposing of the in-
tei-ests of litigants who came before him. At
])resent he is the Democratic nominee for
judge of the Superior court. After retiring
from tlie bench he resumed active practice,
and is now associated with Samuel II. ^Ic-
Cain. the firm being Kayburn & jMcCain.

Willis Dalzell Patton was born in Alle-
gheny City, Pa., January 13, 1853. His fath-
er tlyiiig, his mother, a daughter of Hon.
Philip Mechliug of Kittanning, during his
l>oylio()d took up her residence at the old
liomestead. He secured a good English edu-
cation in the schools of the town at that time.
At an early age he began to make his own
way and acted as bookkeeper for several
Imsiness firms. While acting as clerk and
deputy for Sheriff' ^Montgomery he acquired
an extended acquaintance with the county
and its jieople. In performing the duties of
this position his attention was particularly
drawn to legal matters and he determined
to study law. W^ith that promptness which
has characterized his life, he secured a clerk-
ship in the office of Hon. EdM'ard S. Golden.
While attending to routine business there he
pursued his legal studies. The large and
vai-ied practice of that offlee gave him an op-
portunity to become thoroughly grounded
ill tlie details of practice, as well as in the
]uiiiciples of law. He was admitted to the
bar in September, 1876, and entered into
jnirtnership with his preceptor in 1877. This
j)artnershi]) continued until the latter part
of 1879. In 1880 .Air. Patton entered upon
an independent practice, which ciuitinued
until he was elevated to the bench. In 1899
he was the Republican nominee for president
judge and was elected at the fall election of
that year. He has been on the bench since
January, 1900, and at present presides at the
i-ounly courts.

Judge Patton was eminently successful as
a jiractitioner and bids fai^' to be equally so




as a jurist. His traiuing as bookkeeper, to
habits of exactness, witli his uatural orderly
tendeiK'ios, made liiin very methodical and
exact in earing for tlie business which came
to him. This, with his unceasing toil, gave
him a reputation for thoroughness, which at-
ti-acted a large clientage. Judge Patton is
possessed, in a marlced degree, of four ele-
ments which go to make a well-rounded
lawyer— calm, discriminating judgment, un-
tiring industry, i)atient persistence and good
common sense. He is a very modest man,
and, though not a jiowerful speaker, as the
word goes, was yet a strong jury lawyer. His
arguments were tliorougli, logical and ana-
lytical, and, measured by results, were often
the more effective. -Judge Patton carried his
habits of industry on the bench. "While
he gives every case a patient hearing, he
clears the trial lists with promptness and
dispatch. AVhile he was in active practice
the law practically absorbed his whole atten-
tion. He was not inclined to take up much
outside business. His ])ractiee was a valua-
ble one, and through judicious investments
he became possessed of ample means. Since
going upon the bench he has given more at-
tention to general business matters. He Avas
largely instriunental in establishing the
Armstrong County 'J'iMist conqiany, of which
he is president.

Horatio N. Lee was liorn in Butler county,
Pennsylvania, on May 8, 1811. He was of
English descent. His father and uncle were
among the pioneer settlers of western Penn-
sylvania. His early years were spent on the
fai'm. His early education was received at
home at the bands of his pai'ents and uncle,
who i)repared him for college. He entered
Washington and Jett'ei'son college and was
graduated in 183.3. He studied law in the
office of lion. John Bredin, in Butler, and
was admitted to ])i"ictice in 1835. He settled
in Kittanning tlie sanie yenr ami at onc(>
commenced active practice. He resided in
Kittnnnipg until his death SepteiDber 4,

1887. In 1851 he entered into partnership
Avitli Edward S. Golden. The firm continued
until the fall of 1855, when on account of
failing heajtli 'Sly. Lee withdrew and retired
from active practice. Early in his career he
1)egan dealing in real estate and by his good
judgment and wise investments had secured
(|uite a competene.y by the time he retired
from practice. After his retirement he gave
his attention to his private att'airs. Though
not in practice, he took an active interest in
legal att'airs and was a frequent visitor at the
sessions of court.

His contem]ioraries testify that ]Mr. Lee
was an exceptionally able lawyer. His ex-
|)eiience as a lawyer was such as produced
thoroughness in the study and originality in
the ai)plication of legal principles. In his
day, text-books were few and reports scarce.
Lawyers then were necessarily elementary
lawyers. IMr. Lee became thoroughly
grounded in elementary principles and had
singular clearness of memory and judgment
as to legal remedies, almost to the end of
liis life, lie was frequently consulted by
younger law.yers on knottj' questions, and
took pleasure in setting them right. He was
noted for his industry, fidelity and thorough-
ness. He was cautious in forming his con-
clusions, exhaustive in preparing his cases
,'iiid confident and aggressive in their trial.
lie was noted as a trial lawyer. Mr. Lee was
among the last of that class of lawyers that
made precedents and molded the practice in
Pennsylvania. He held and j)racticed the
sti'icti'st principles in j)rofessit)nal and busi-
ness life and made small allowance for those
who ft'll from his own strict standard. Mr.
Lee was a large man, somewhat stern and
au.stere in mamiei' and diguifieil in bearing,
lie A\as a sirikiiig figure wherevei' lie went.
Sti-ong ol' Noice, foi-ceful of gest-ure, clear in
expression and positive of statement, he was
acknowledgi'd ii niosl I'oi-midable advocate.

John Gilpin \\as horn in the borough of
Killaniiing. I'a,, in 184:), His father, Dr.




Jolm Gilpin, whose name was a household
word ill this county, was of Englisli stock
that originally settled in 3Iaryland. His
mother M'as Jliss ]\lontieth, daughter of an
li'ishman, and one of the early settlers of
Kittauniug. From boyhood I\Ir. Gilpin was
intended for tlie law. His father having
ample means, gave him a liberal educatioii
with that in view. Born to riches during
the preparatory period of his life, he had un-
usiud advantages and was free from the dis-
tracting care of providing each day's sub-
stance. He pursued the full course of the
Philadelphia Law school at that day, and
receivetl his practical i:)rofessional lessons
from Colonel Biddle, one of the profound,
accomplished and erudite lawj'ers of the
state. With a mind well garnished with le-
gal Icnowledge and trained to methodical
habits, he was admitted to the bar in Decem-
ber. 1861. antl settled down to the practice
of law in his native town. In the beginning
of his professional life he fully realized that
integrity, close application to business, la-
borious, persistent and intelligent industry
were the only sure elements in the achieve-
ment of success and distinction in the law.
During his pi-ofessional career he followed
this theory with inflexible fidelity. He was
known as one of the hardest workers at the
l)ar, and, although possessed of large wealth,
frequently endangered his health in his zeal-
ous labors for his clients. Coming to the
bar splendidly equipped, it is not surprising
that he should succeed, but success did not
come by leaps and bounds. He had his time
of waiting and his disappointments. Like
most lawyers, he had to work to win his way
to the coveted goal. This he did with un-
usual faithfulness. He labored early and
late with incessant zeal, with the result that
at the age of forty-four he was well in the
front ranks of the prominent and successful
lawyeis of western Pennsylvania. While he
had a comprehensive grasp of elementery
priiicij)les, JMr. Gilpin was, perhaps, the most

technical lawyer at the bar. Thoroughly
versed in all the details of practice, he was
quick to see and take advantage of any de-
fects in his opponents' papers or pleadings.
His t)wu pajiers were models of neatness and
comjileteness. In the trial of cases he was
always alert, quick to ob.ject and prompt to

Online LibraryG. (Gaston) MasperoThe twentieth century bench and bar of Pennsylvania .. (Volume v.2) → online text (page 84 of 92)