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with his son to Europe in 1863, for a brief period
of rest; but even while absent he maintained his
connection with events at home by letter- to the
public press and to the clubs with which he was
in affiliation. After resigning his official position
he resumed private practice for several years.
When his son, Walter C. Larned, had been two
years at Harvard College he went to Cambridge.
Mass.. and was residing there when the great fire
of 1871 laid Chicago in ashes. He was a heavy
loser by this catastrophe but he seemed to think



88



l.loiiKAI'in OP [LLINOIS.



little of liis personal loss, his large h<;iri being
filled to overflowing with the profoundest pity tor

■ masses t" w bom the conflagration meanl
absolute ruin. Hurrying to Chicago he devoted
Mis entire time tor Beveral months to the aoble
and enduring work of the Relief and Aid Societj
proving one of its ablest and most useful mem
bere. Indeed, Mr. Larned drew »i |> the bill in-
corporating this society, and served as a i
of Bame until within a few years "f his death. He
was. wit! i II'- one oi the first mo^ ers

tor the establishment of the Chicago Public
Library, and likewise tor the introduction ol the
present water supply and the Bewage sj

In 1>7'J 7:; Mr. Larned again visit) I Eu
rope h iili his family. He wrote man} letters from
abroad tor the press, and even after his return to
America, although admonished bj ill health to
abandon active labors, he continued t<> write and
produced a " Life of Swedenborg " (still in manu-
script), and wrote many articles for thenewspa
pers and magazines. Mr. Larned possessed a
keen sense of the duties of citizenship, and not
only did he labor well in discharging th
he lived with a delicate regard tor the effect of
his example upon others. Alluding to his rela-
tions with the Citizens' Association of Chicago,
when in 1 - 7I and L875 it was set to do, with its un-
tried Btrength, a great political work, Mr. Franklin
MacVeagh, one of his associates in thai body,
said: "No co laborer of his in the work will ever
r< >r<r<-r the value his character lent to his service.
He had become so Bne a figure in our community

that his nominal i lection with the move ni

was itself an important aid; but to this he added
freely of his labor, his wisdom, his knowledge."
yer," Judge Henry \V. Blodgett, of Chi-
cago, bears testimony that "Mr. Larned was up
\<< the best standard "f his profession." The same

an further adds: "In the best sense of
the word he was a full measured man and citizen;
filling all the places of political, social and profes-
sional life with rare ability and a conscientious
zeal, and an earnest and manly purpose, which
made his influi i ago at the time w hen

such influence was most needed, a constant torce
in behalf of justice and good government." Not
withstanding the gravity "f nearly all of his labor
and his active sj mpathy for the unfortunate and
Buffering, trom whatever cause, Mr. Larned was a
marvel "f amiabilit) and cheerful]
perament was sunny and his Bpeech and manner
always bright and cordial. He was by nature
candid and generous ami was incapable of injus-



tice. Il^-was a man lit rare purity "f character.
The Righl [lev. Dr. B.S. Harri Episcopal Bishop
of Michigan, at one time bis pastor, said of him:
•• In all my (."'im.'* to and fro in this world's busy
caravansary, where so man] meet and part,] have
met no one whose friendship has been a richer
blessing I" me than that of Edwin Channing
Larned." Mr. Larned was married in 1849 t..
Miss Anne Prances, daughter "f the Hon. Albert
il ! ." ■ i Island, a lady who by natural
refinement, high culture and philanthropic motive

- ially lit ted to be the life pari i i
worthy and able a man as her husband. Their
familj consisted of four children, Walter Cran
ston, Pranci Greene, Julia and Edwin Channing.
Their home was an ideal one, "where absolute
purity and religion were made attractive by lib-
eral hospitality, the heartiest humor, the tendei
esl courtesy and the highest range of poetical
thought and culture." Mr, Larned died of an af
fection of the heart. His demise awakened a pro
found feeling of grief, not only in the city which
was the sceneof so much of his activity, but in
many distant parts of the country where he was
kimw n and honored. Appropriate notice of bis
death was taken in Chicago by a number of the

societies with which he had I n i nected.no

tablj bj the Historical Society, before which, on
December 16th, 1884, the Hon. B. B. Washburne,
president, in the chair, addresses on his life, char

i labors were delivered bj Major Daniel

(I Iwin, Bishop Harris. Judge Henry W. Blod

getl and Mr. Franklin Mar Veagh. '1
dresses, with other interesting matter touching
the life and labors of Mr. Larned, were published
in a memorial volume in 1886, and trom the pages
of that work have been derived many of I

itained in this biographical sketch, which may

fittingly close with an extract trom thei
eulog) of Major Goodwin, an early law partner of
the deceased:

"Twenty years have elapsed Bince my partner-
ship with Mr. Larned. If I had been called upon
at that time t" pronounce a eulogj upon his char-
acter and services it might have been though! by
Borne whose knowledge of him was limited, that
the sentiments expressed were colored by the
warm friendship engendered by daily courtesies
and mutual interests, and that the judgment was
blinded by t he t<»' near influi brilliant

lion. But the years which have passed
sinci then have brought many other brilliant and
able men upon the stage before the view; and.
take him all in all, I i i « in ('. Larned

as the peer of the best and noblest nun our era
has produced."




^-^/P^/yC ^



y f



BIOGRAPHY OP ILLINOIS.



Sq



VAN H. HIGGINS.

HON. VAX HOLLIS HIGGINS. one of the
oldest and most distinguished lawyers and business
men of Chicagi >, and for some years a judge of the
Superior Court of that city, was born in Genesee
county, N. Y., on February 20, 1821. His father,
David Higgins, a native of East Haddam, Conn.,
was a farmer, who in 1S14. seeking a new Held of
activity, emigrated to Cayuga county, N. Y„
later removing to Genesee county, but returning
to Cayuga county, where he died in 1S"27. His
mother, whose maiden name was Eunice Sackett,
was the daughter of William Sackett, and was
herself a native of Vermont. She was a sister of
the 1 !• 'ii. William A. Sackett, formerly a member
of Congress from Seneca county, N. Y.. and now
a resident of Saratoga. She died in 1847. The
subject of this sketch was the fifth of eighl sons.
His early education was obtained in the village
schools of Auburn and Seneca falls, and was as
thorough as the locality permitted. At the age of
twelve he made his how in the business world as a
clerk in the store of his eldest brother, at Seneca
Palls, N. Y. Without giving up his personal at-
tempts at self -improvement, he continued in this ca-
pacity until the close of hissixteenth yearwhen he
yielded to the irresistible fascination which drew
thousands of ambitious youths from the more
densely settled districts of the East to the newly-
opening Northwest, in which the eye of prophecy
already discerned the promise of empire. His
brother, A. D. Higgins, had been established in
Chicago since 1835, and was the proprietor of a
small but flourishing general store in that place,
then a thriving village of between four and the
thousand inhabitants. Here "Van." upon his ar-
rival in the summer of 1837, was duly installed as
assistant. By persistent study and reading he
qualified himself for teaching, and during the
winter of 1837-38 he had charge of a district
school in Vermillion county. 111. The ensuing
year was similarly divided, with profit to all con
cerneil. In the sprint; of 1839 young Higgins
went to St. Louis, then a rapidly growing city of
about 15,000 inhabitants, where his brother was
publishing a daily newspaper called the Missouri
Argus. After a year of general reportorial work
on this journal he engaged in commercial pur-
suits, and for a time conducted in St. Louis a
successful business on his own account. Not-
withstanding that the prospects were unusually
good in this venture, he deliberately sold out his
establishment to secure the necessary freedom to



devote his w hi ile time and attention to the stlld\

of law. for which from his early boyhood he had
entertained a more than sentimental fancy. When
he took this step he had just completed his twenty
first year. Removing to Iroquois county in the
spring of 1842, he devoted a few months to assidu-
ous legal study, at the expiration of which he was
admitted to the bar of that county and to practice
in all the other counties of the state. In 1845, after
a twelvemonth of active practice in Middleport, he
removed to ( ialena, 111., and in the following year
formed a partnership there with O. C. Pratt. Esq.,
afterwards a judge of the Supreme Court of
Oregon, and later a judge of one of the District
( 'oiirts of San Francisco. Cal. This partnership
was continued until 1849. While residing in
Galena, Mr. Higgins held, during two years, the

offi if city attorney. His prospects at the bar

were extremely promising at this place, but he
was cast in a mental mold that fitted him for a
larger and more varied Held of effort. Chicago
held out the greatest inducements to him, and in
1852 he returned to the city — the population of
which already exceeded 30,000 and established
himself in the practice of his profession, Within
a year after his arrival he had formed a partner
ship with the Hon. Corvdon Beckwith and 15. P.
strotlier. umler the style of Higgins, Beckwith &
Strother. Many cases, including a number of
the very tirst importance, were entrusted to this
firm, which in a short time became one of the
most prominent and successful in the city. From
his earliest entrance upon professional duties Mr.
Higgins had taken an earnest interest in politics,
but for some years lie did not feel at liberty to
neglect his practice to seek the honors or emolu
ments of office. About the time of the disintegra-
tion "f the ol.l parties lie had attained such a
degree of prominence at the bar that his fellow-
citizens naturally looked upon him as a leader.
In common with the mass of the intelligent citi
zens of the Northwest, he was opposed to tlic re-
peal of the Missouri Compromise and to the ex-
tension of slavery into free territory; and when the
Republican party was formed, in 1856, he became
one of its most active members. In 1S5S he was
nominated by his fellow-citizens of that party (or
the Illinois Legislature, and was elected. In this
body he distinguished himself by his manly and
patriotic course on all public questions, and made
his mark as a clear headed, broad minded and
impartial legislator. At tin- close of his term he
was honored by the nomination [or a judgeship of
the Superior Court of Chicago, and at the .ice






BIOGRAPm' OF ILLINOIS.



tion which fallowed was chosen to thai office bj a
which gave convincing evidence of the
popular belief in liis fitness far this high judicial
position. During the long and trying period of
the civil war Judge Biggins was conspicuous far
his zealous support of the Federal government.
Never far a moment during this bitter struggle
iliil he Falter in his allegiance or relax his efforts
in behalf of the Union cause. "A staunch friend
of Mr. Lincoln before his nomination," sins a
writer who speaks from intimate personal know I
edge, "after his election In- stood by him. ex
hibiting in his support tin- same patient common
idapt means to in. Is which
characterized our great President.*' Mis tabors
i mosl practical nal lire, and n ere "i ex
treme value all through tin- struggle, but espe
cially during tin- earlier days when excitement
and want of judgment hampered, ami in sonic

I, a great 'leal that was

done bj other equall) patriotic, but i
headed Union men. Judge Biggins was one of
thciirst in Chicago to appreciate the value of
I nion men. and he labored
unceasingly to eflfect it. Largel) to his patriotic
zeal was iluc the formation of the Union Defense
Committee of the citj ol Chicago, an organization

coniplished wonders in aiding t he Federal
government, and which lives in history side bj

side with the Union League, the Sanitary C

mission, and the other leading civilian bodiei
which contributed so greatly to secure the
strength and success of the Union arms. As a

ol the executive committee of the lirst
named ' Biggins mad

practical suggestions w Inch were at mice adopted.

In the greal work of recruiting, equipping

and transporting troops; in that of furnishing

supplies anil medicine; in that of aiding

uncled and c farting the bereaved, he

a i never be forgotti d 03 his
fellow citizens of Chicago. Through the untiring
services of himself ami his colleagues the city
was enabled to till its quota of troops substan
tially without a draft; and indeed the State ol
Illinois was likewise under heavy obligations to
them in the same direction. To their lasting

I may be said that their labors were inva

od noli partisan

spirit. In the autumn of 1865 Judge Biggins re
ugned In- seat upon the bench and resumed the
practice of law, forming a partnership with tin
Bon. Leonard Swett and Colonel Davii

style ol Biggins, Swett a Quigg. In



lsT-J. Judgi 1 1 i gii ha> ing been 1 li cted to the

presidencj of the Babcocb Manufactt

pany, dissolved his connection with thi

his new duties. These he discharged

without intermission until .Ian nary 1st, 1876, when

he retired from icipation in I

pam's a Hairs to accept the financial agenc} of the

Charter Oak Life Insurance Company for the
Western states. Since L880 Judge lliu-ins has

been president ol the Nat al Life Insurance

Company of the United States of America, the
only life insurance company in existence char
tcreil hy Congress. He has held the controlling in
ten 'st in the Rose Hill Cemeterj Co. since 1 -^Ti". Be
is the president of i he Fidelity Safe Deposit Com
pany of t Jhicago. I h- is a member i if t In I
Bar Association, the American Bar Association and

of the American Acadi mj ol Politit I Social

Science, lie hail I. ecu a member of I
Lodge of A. 0. P. Masons of Chicago since about
1855; a Knight Templar Tor about thirty years
ami has attained a thirtj second degree in the
Ancient Order of Scottish Kite Masoi
might he expected with oneol his genial nature lie
has found time for social duties and pleasures. He
is the president of the Byde Park Suburban Club
and a member of the Union League, the Wash

ingtoi Park Club and the K.-uw 1 Club. Be

has I n a member of the Chicago Historical So

cietj since its organization, having been one of the
charter members. Judge Biggins has become
widel] known asan inventor, and has secured sev
eral important patents on original inventions ami

improvements. He is a line theoretical, as well as

practical, mechanician ami his judgment upon the
merits of any new mechanical discover} is equal to

that of thi' besl pracl teal mechi • in the West.

Hi- love of mechanical pursuits absorbs no small
portion of his busj life. No estimate of the charac
1 1 i of Judge 1 1 il- in- won lil be either complete or
just unle-s it considered him in his three fold ca
pacity of citizen, lawyer and business man. •• First
ol all. as a citizen," to quote the Hon. Kmor\ A.
Storrs, "he is a man of great public spirit, ami
i iii feeling and character a typical Western man.

Prom the beginning Judge Biggins ha

with a \ isioii clearer than most men, ii"t "lily the

probabilities but the possibilities of thi

West; ami what a quarter of a century or more
ago he so clearly saw . ami what he -.. col

prophesied, he has diligentlj worked to realize''

.1 In nature with what has been happily

termed "a legal mind," his mentalit} is such that
the law alone seems to afford it the fullest intel-



BIOGRAPHY OF ILLINOIS.



91



lectual scope. A diligent student from the be-
ginning of his career, he has acquired an unusually
profound knowledge of statutory law, which a
well-disciplined memory places absolutelj at his
command. In the practice of law he was noted
for the great can- given to the preparation of his
cases. Prom his first appearance at the Chicago
bar down to the close of his active practice, he
maintained the reputation of being the equal of
the best of his colleagues in his mastery of
the law as well as statutorj enactments. There
was an ease and method in his pleadings which
gave them wonderful effectiveness and stamped
him as a master of his profession. When he was
elevated to the bench he found Ids painstaking,
methodical habits of the highest value. His
memory, likewise, proved of giant service. The
more complicated cases wen- easily unraveled.
decisions were quickly arrived at. and the busi-
aess of the court was disposed of with dignity and
yet with remarkable rapidity— all due to , -har-
ness of perception, habits of logical analysis and
familiarity with precedent, aided and completed bj
that judicial demeanor in which learning, impar
tiality and humane consideration of extenuating
circumstances are happily blended with a thorough
comprehension of the principles of law and a
scientious regard for the obligations of office. His
judgment was seldom at fault, his decisions rarely
reversed. Not the least valuable knowledge he
brought to his judicial position was his thorough
acquaintance with business, particularly in the
department of finance. His attitude toward the
younger members of the bar who practiced before
him. especially to those who were painstaking in
the preparation of their cases, was gently pater-
nal and always encouraging. In consequence,
leu of the judiciary had warmer friends among
the younger generation of lawyers of the city.
Set la- had no favorites ami justice in his court
was absolute. All. whatever their age or acquire-
ments, respected him. When he put off the
ermine to triumph in the world of business and
finance he still retained many of the judicial char-
acteristics. His personal appearance contributed
largely to this, for he was of a tall, commanding fig
ure. and bore in his countenance and air a certain
natural dignity which rested easily upon him.
The thinness an.l decision of character for which
lie is noted an- risible in his features, yet softened
by culture and great amiability of manner. In
the conduct of business he derived decided assist-
ance from his intimate knowledge of law in the
same way that his extended knowledge of busi-



ness had served him when he was acting in a
judicial capacity. In either case it was the ready
application of knowledge that proved of service.
and it is this ability on his part to at all times
command tic- resources of mind and experience
that makes him the virile factor he has proved in
every position and undertaking with which he
has been connected. It is in no w ise extravagant
praise to assert that .Judge Higgins is one of tin-
most honored of those who have labored to build
up and strengthen the city of Chicago, nor to
claim that the giant strides which the ■• wonder
citj of the West " has taken within the last de-
cade or two have been rendered possible by the
:l ( such men as he and his optimistic asso-
ciates of the antebellum period. The sagacity
andenergyof its merchants, the success of its

enterprises, the broad lines upon which all its 1 1

mercial and financial undertakings are projected
and carried out, had their origin in these courag
eous, far seeing and liberal-minded men. And it is
pleasant to record that the community in which
Judge Higgins resides is in no way backward in
recognizing these facts and in giving honor u here
honor is due. The private life of Judge Higgins

potless. F lof the pleasures of home

and of tin- retirement there possible, which per-
mitted him to gratify to the fullest his cultured
tastes, he has been an exemplary husband. His
.to whom he was married in 1847, was
Mrs. E.S.Alexander, of Jacksonville, Illinois. This
lady died in 1882. In 1883 he married his present
Wife, formerly -Miss Lena Isabel Morse, of San
Rafael, Cal., daughter of A. CM. use. Esq., of that
city.



J. RUSSELL JONES.

JOSEPH RUSSELL JONES was bornatCon-

neaut. Ashtabula comity. Ohio, on the 17th of
February. 18^3. His father. Joel Jones, was bom
at Hebron. Connecticut, May 14th. lT'.rJ. and after
marrying Miss Maria Dart, the daughter of Joseph
Dart, of Middle Haddam, Connecticut, removed
with his young family to Conneaut, Ohio, in 1S19.
Joel Jones was the sixth son of Captain Samuel
Jones of Hebron. Connecticut, who was an officer
in the French and Indian war. and also in the
Revolutionary war. The latter held two commis-
sions under George II. of England. He returned
from the wars and settled in Hebron, where he






[SI0GRAPH1 OP ILLINOIS.



married Mine Lydia Tarbox, by whom he had siv
sons and tour daughters. Nine of the ten lived i"
reach maturity. Samuel, the eldesl bod, was a
lawyer, and practiced his profession tor man)
years at Stockbridge, Mass. He was a man <>f fine
cultivation. In 1842 he published ;i treatise on
the "Right of Suffrage," which is. probably, the
.mis work of the kind ever published by an Ameri
can author. Prom another brother descended the
late Hon. Joel Jones, the first president
College, the late Samuel Jones, M. D., ol Phila
delphia, and Mathew Hal( Jones, of Eat
sylvania. Prom a third brother descended Hon.
A us. hi .1 president of the Republic of

Dexas. The family are now in possession "I a
letter written bj Captain Samuel Jones to his wife
;it Fori Edward, dated Augusl L8th L758 Om
hundred and ten years previous to the date pf this
letter, his ancestor, Captain John. Jones, sal al

Westminster as i of the judges of King I

1. Colonel John Jones married Henrietta Cathe-
rine, the sit. mil sister of t (liver Cromwel
and was put to death October 17th, L660, on the
restoration of Charles II. His son, Hon. William
Jones, survived him, and one year bel
father's death, married Miss Hannah Baton, then
of the parish of St. Andrews, Holden, Epenton.
He subsequently came to America with his father
in-law, the Hon. Theophilus Baton, flrsl < lovernor
of the colon] ol New Haven, Connecticut, where

pied the office of Deputy Governor for
Borne years, and died October 17th. 17(h;. Both
himself and wife are buried in New Haven, under
the same stone with Governor Baton. Prom the

g it will be seen that the subject of this
sketch is connected by direct descent with the
best blood of the puritan fathers, and came hon-
estly bj the virtues which have characterized and
adorned his private and official life. His father
died whin he was but an infant, leai
mother with a large family, and but Blender means
for their maintenance. At the age of thirteen,

i tnes was placed in a store at Conneaut,
his mother and other members of the family at
time remov ing to R ickton, \\ innebago
county, Illinois. This, his first clerkship, gave t.i
his employers great satisfaction. He remained
with them for two years, when he decided to follow
ins family, ami Beek his fortune in the west.
When the leading members of the Presbyterian
church were apprised of his determination to de
part from them, they endeavored to prevail upon
him to remain, offering to provide for his educa
lion for the ministry . He, however, declined their



generous offer, but not without sincere and grate-
fnl acknowledgements of their great kindness

ted towards him, and taking pai
board the schooner J. G. King, he made his tirst
landing at Chicago, on the 19th of August, L838.
proceeded to Rockton, when- he
remained with his family for the next two years.
rendering such Bervice to his mother as his tender
years and slight frame would permit. In l s i". he
went to Galena, then the largest and most floui
ishing city in the northwest, determined to better
his condition, but as his entire available capital

aly on.- dollar, his tirst app
>i] io 1 1 the scene of his future successes was not en
couraging. Hi accept at a very small

salary, a clerkship, which he Billed tor about Bix
months, after which he entered the employment
..f one of the leading merchants of Galena. Young

J s f. hi n.l in this assoeiat ion appreciative friend-
ship, agreeable surroundings, hearty encourage

I ample seope for his business talents and
ambition. Contact with enterprising spirits ..r



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