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utation of the Iowa court is largely away from home.

Notwithstanding the fact that there has been a g^eat deal of
hostile criticism of the Supreme Coui;t of Iowa, I believe it stands
as high in the opinion of the people as it ever did ; and I believe
that the courts generally, since the campaign of last year, stand
higher in the estimation of the American people than they ever
did before. I believe that the people not only indorsed the gold
standard, but that their indorsement of the courts of this country

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Iowa State Bar Association. ^^

was most ringing. . I have spoken of the courts as without repu-
tation at home, and it occurs to me that there is good reason for it.
The lawyer who wins a case is certain that it could not have been
decided any other way — there is no question about that — so
there is no credit given to the court. The lawyer who loses is
very certain the court never read his brief; or else it is so obtuse
that it could not see the controlling points at issue. (Applause.)

On yesterday I read a statement made by a gentleman who at
one time had some standing in this country, whose light, I am
glad to say (and I do not want you to understand me to say it in
a political sense) has been somewhat obscured since the last elec-
tion, by reason of the fact that he was ** snowed under" by at
least one hundred thousand votes, — this gentlemen said while in
New York, on the nation's natal day, in effect, ** that our higher
courts were engines of oppression, and were inimical to the liber-
ties of the individual.*' When I hear such rot as that, I care not
from whom it comes, I am going to refute it when I get an oppor-
tunity. (Applause.)

My friends, I would like to ask where would be the boasted
liberty of the individual, or of the community, as my friend
McConlogue has so well said, if it were not for the courts ? Did
you ever think of how carefully courts proceed, and how all mis-
takes are minimized as far as possible ?

They are organized to take from one roan and to give to another ;
but note how carefully do they proceed. In the majority of cases
twelve men must pass upon the facts. A trained mind sits and
directs the course of evidence, instructs as to the law, and after
verdict reviews everything, and all is gone over in the motion for
new trial. And after the motion for a new trial is overruled, and
I believe it generally is in most of the districts (laughter), the
right of appeal exists, and the case is brought before the Supreme
Court, which reviews all the evidence very carefully, and passes
upon the errors assigned. After the opinion of this court has
been rendered and reasons given therefor, then comes' that (inesti-
mable privilege of filing a petition for a rehearing. I know that
many think but little attention is paid to it, but I want to say to
you that when this petition is filed it meets with every careful
consideration. We sometimes make mistakes, and who does not ?

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56 Proceedings of the

But what I want to call your attention to is the improbability of
mistakes in court procedure ; and that the method of taking the
property out of one man's hand and putting it into that of another
is very carefully guarded.

Now, gentlemen, **the court of last resort" is somewhat like
the Rocky Mountains ; it is largely impersonal. When you think
of the Rocky Mountains you do not think of them as being com-
posed of a number of separate peaks, but as a great range skirting
the western border of our country. Yet, upon closer inspection,
we note some great peaks rising above and overshadowing their
fellows. And so in Iowa we have had some peaks in the Supreme
Court. First, I want to refer to that grand old man who recently
went before the Judge of Judges. A man of keen judgment, of
almost intuitional divination as to the right ; one of the great
chancellors of this country. It is not the time for an eulogy upon
the character of Judge Wright. I only point him out as one of
the great peaks in this range. And then I think of that other
suave, learned and erudite man. Judge Cole, of Des Moines, who
has such fine discrimination that ''he can easily a hair divide,
'twixt south and southwest side"; who has gained renown all
over this country. (Applause.)

And then there is that strong man, profound lawyer and able
author that Iowa has sent to New York ; 9 man whose fame is as
broad as the nations where the common law exists. I refer to
Judge Dillon, of New York. (Applause.)

Last, but not least, there is that man who has so recently volun-
tarily retired from the bench ; who resides in Cedar Rapids. A
man of good, common, hard sense ; who took his diploma from
the school of experience, and has risen to his present proud place
through honest and earnest endeavor ; a man who, I think, has
the best judgment upon important questions — intuitional judg-
ment, I might say — of any man with whom I ever came in con-
tect ; a man who is king among men. I refer to Judge Rothrock.

There are others ; but modesty forbids that I should speak of
any who now occupy the bench.

Gentlemen, these gatherings are good for the bar and they are
good for the bench. It is of advantage to the bench to be with

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you. The lawyers have very much to do in the administration of
justice. Indeed, you never hear of a great judge without think-
ing of some great lawyer behind him. You never think of Mar-
shall, Story or Shaw without remembering Pinckney, Wirt,
Webster, Choate, Mason, and other great advocates. These great
judges would never have gained renown without the assistance of
lawyers. Some one has said that the court shines by a sort of
reflected light. Did you ever stop to think of it, gentlemen, that
it is absolutely impossible for the Supreme Court of Iowa to con-
sider any case that may come before it without the help of counsel ?
An independent investigation would be utterly impossible ; conse-
quently, we must rely upon the help of counsel and give voice to
what they have said in their printed briefs.

Gentlemen, I am glad to be with you. I thank you for this
opportunity of speaking a few words. You know, generally our
speeches are either ** affirmed or reversed,*' and they come to you
on little 2x4 pieces of paper from the clerk ; but to-night that
rule docs not obtain. I am here as a lawyer. I am here to get
inspiration from you, and to go back to my work with more zest
and zeal, with the idea that I have been here with the ministers
of that department of government at whose altar we all worship
as priests of the good and the equal.



Mr, President and Gentlemen of the Bar Association of Iowa, —
It is with great hesitation that I assume to fill the place made
Vacant on your program by the unavoidable absence of that
splendid orator and profound lawyer, Hon. Thos. A. Cheshire,
of Bes Moines. . Those who know the Senator and his ability to
entertain will be vastly disappointed both because of his absence
and the substitution. I trust, when we meet next year, and he
has no political troubles on hand, you may enjoy hearing him,
and you may be sure of a rare treat.

But what can I say about law makers that will be new and
novel ? What can be said that has not been said by all sorts of
speakers and writers? Even the long-haired poet has had his

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say, and verses that would turn heaven into a place of disrepute
have filtered from his pen. Our newspapers that come to us,
daily and weekly, have ransacked the earth and scoured the
heavens for something new to say of law makers. Men of genius
have wasted their lives and sank into premature graves in an
endeavor to coin some new term to apply to law makers. When
success fails to attend a man's undertakings to the extent expected
he takes refuge behind loud blame of the law makers. That
sublime personality that owns a wife, a large family of children,
several dogs, a jack knife, and nothing else, could give valuable
points to the brightest statesmen hi America as to how our laws
should be made.

Some people imagine that opportunity makes the man, and that
brains, character and force are only handy attributes. A man
recently, and in the most profound manner, informed me that
opportunity alone had made that noblest specimen of the human
family that ever graced the world, Abraham Lincoln, and yet we
are not wont to class the harsh conditions that surrounded his life
as glittering opportunities. By the same line of reasoning, these
people believe that good laws are not the fruit of honest effort,
but the happening of chance.

When this disposition to abuse law makers prevails so com-
monly, perhaps we should not be surprised to find some traces of
the taint among those choice spirits that guide the destinies of
our justly celebrated household journals. I have known some
of these ** moulders of public sentiment '' to say harsh things of
me, but that did not worry me so much as did the fact that what
they said was true. I have known editors to write and print
articles about me which I knew to be untrue, and yet I loved
those editors. I tried to make myself believe the misstatements,
and sometimes very nearly succeeded. On the other hand, I have
had newspapers to write the truth about me, and how I hated
those editors. For the sake of human veracity, I am glad that
all is not false that seems to be, and that the newspapers of this
country serve a noble purpose when they keep dishonest officials
on the rack. Along the line of queer newspaper work, and to
show you how Iowa's late legislature is regarded in certain quar-
ters, I desire to submit an article for your consideration. The

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Iowa State Bar Association.


person who wrote it is evidently a lineal descendant of Ananias,
and possesses to a marked degree the family weakness. I take
this from the Chicago Chronicle of June 30th :


An issue of the campaign in Iowa — precipitated in the platform of the
late democratic state convention — involves the action of the legislature at
its regular session last winter and the call for an extra session to complete
its unfinished work and to repair its numerous blunders. The extra session
will commence to-morrow, July ist.

When the regular session was drawing toward its close it was found that
most, or at least many, of the acts embodied in the revision of the statutes
were fiill of errors, and that they could not be edited in such a way as to
fit them for publication. A joint committee of three members of the two
houses was appointed to serve during the recess to '* lick into shape " the
bungled, imperfect mass of legislation, and a special session was ordered
to ratify the work of the revising committee.

It was found also that inadequate revenue for state expenses had been
provided, and that accumulations of debt, increasing from year to year, had
amounted to |i, 000,000. There was no constitutional authority for this
debt. It was not the subject of a lawful contract. It was caused merely
by appropriations in excess of revenue — overdrawn accounts from year to
year— methodical deficits for which no provision had been made by suc-
cessive legislatures. Loose, if not bad and corrupt, financiering had pro-
duced this disastrous result.

The regular sessions of the Iowa legislature have a constitutional limit
of 100 days. All this time at the last session was frittered away. Much-
needed legislation was not accomplished. All that was done was slovenly
done — the fruit was a mass of botch work and a disgraceful example of
legislative sloth and incompetency.

Whether the special session, the same members in their seats, will do
any better, remains to be seen. A vast amount of imperfect work is to be
reviewed, changed and completed. Intelligent statutory form should be
given to masses of crude legislation unfit to appear on the statute books of
an enlightened state. It can last but thirty days, and if its labors are
incomplete at the end of that time another extra session will have to be
called. Iowa democrats see lots of fun and possible victory ahead !

Governor Tanner may persist in calling an extra session of the Illinois
legislature. But the circumstances are different. A state election occurs
in Iowa this year. Tanner will not have to confront the ballot box until
the year 1900.

I felt when I read that editorial, and I feel now, as was so
aptly expressed by that great humorist, Mark Twain, when some

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friend wrote him to ascertain if the report of his death was true.
Mark replied ** that the report was greatly exaggerated." Law
makers have been in the past, and will be in the future, a neces-
sary evil.

Splendid laws and great reforms have been secured to the people
because their representatives were honest and could not be cor-
rupted. If is safe to say that little of the good laws on our books
to-day became law without a stout resistance from selfish interests.
Scheming men with selfish interests involved know that the surest
way to have their schemes crystallized into law is to brand them
the ** people's measures,*' and then employ the subsidized press
to per\'ert public opinion. Wise indeed is the law maker, and
blessed are his people, who can cull these job lots from the good,
and thus stand between his people and irreparable harm. All
honor is due the law maker whose mistakes are those of the head
and not of the heart. He has earned the gratitude of his people
when he returns the trust without a breath of tarnish on his
administration of its duties. To such a man is due the credit
and honor of stemming the tide when selfish interests would turn
legislation into wrong channels. He sees the danger in bad leg-
islation, and assumes the responsibility of standing between it
and his people, even though the very ones he protects will abuse

My personal knowledge of law makers and law making, if
indeed I may ignore my early ejcperience with justices of the
peace, was gained by service in the Twenty-fifth and the three
sessions of the Twenty-sixth General Assemblies. In the history
of our State, perhaps the most remarkable session of our legisla-
ture is the one just brought to an end. It is too early to speak
of the value of its work ; that is a question for the future to try,
with the people for a jury. Whether its work was well or illy
done they will determine, and there exists no court that can dis-
turb its finding.

We are apt to confound reputation and character, and treat
them as interchangeable terms. They are never the same, though
one may grow out of the other. Reputation is our standing with
others, and may be distorted by circumstances over which we
have no control ; character is what we know ourselves to be. A

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Iowa State Bar Association. 6i

good man or a good legislator is more apt to have a good reputa-
tion than to be burdened with a bad one, but it is by no means
certain that he will escape the latter.

In reference to the extra session, I wish to say that no matter
how you find our work, of one thing I can assure you, that the
work was honestly, fearlessly and faithfully performed. Two long
sessions each day and committee work at night was the rule, and
all were faithfully attended to. Never was a responsibility more
keenly realized and earnestly met. It was the responsibility that
helped us to ignore the taunts of those that knew better than we
what to do, and enabled us to plod on until the revision of the
Code was an accomplished fact. The agony is over ; the Twenty-
sixth General Assembly is a thing of the past. Whatever of our
work is good stands to our credit ; whatever is bad to our dis-
credit. It is now history.

I find that with some people it is difficult to make them under-
stand that when a person is referred to as being a member of the
General Assembly it is not meant that he is an inmate of a peni-
tentiary. This mistake seems to be a common one, and in proof
of this I will close my remarks by reading a short homely poem.

The son of a Missouri farmer, having grown tired of the old
farm, against the wishes of his parents concluded to go west.
The father, finding nothing would keep the boy at home, poured
good advice into the lad*s ear until the train that was to carry him
away thundered into the station. The boy was made of the right
sort of metal, and in a few years was given a seat in the legisla-
ture. When he went to serve his term in Denver he wrote the
old man, and here is the havoc his letter created :

bill's in trouble.

IVe got a letter, parson, from my son away out west,

An' my ol' heart is heavy as an anvil in my breast,

To think the boy whose future I had once so proudly planned

Should wander from the path o' right and come to sich an end !

I told him when he left us, only three short years ago,

He*d find himself a-plowin' in a mighty crooked row —

He*d miss his father's counsels, an' his mother's prayers, too,

But he said the farm was hateful, an' he guessed he'd have to go.

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62 Proceedings op the

I know thar's big temptation for a youngster in the west,
But I believed our Billy had the courage to resist.
An' when he left I warned him o' the ever-waitin' snares
That lie like hidden sarpents in life's pathway everywheres ;
But Bill he promised faithful to be keerful, an' allowed
He'd build a reputation that^d make us mighty proud ;
But it seems as how my counsel sort o' faded from his mind,
An' now the boy'^ in trouble o* the very wustest kind !

His letters came so seldom that I somehow sort o' knowed
That Billy was a-trampin' on a mighty rocky road,
But never once imagined he would bow my head in shame,
An' in the dust'd waller his ol' daddy's honored name.
He writes from out in Denver, an' the story's mighty short —
I just can't tell his mother ; it'll crush her poor ol' heart !
An' so I reckoned, parson, you might break the news to her —
Bill's in the legislature, but he doesn't say what fur.

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Iowa State Bar Association. 63


The convention met pursuant to adjournment at 9:00 o'clock
A. M., President Henderson in the chair.


President Henderson, for the Executive Committee, stated that
there is nothing special to report.

Mr. J. C. Mabry, for the Committee on Grievances, submitted
the following report :

Hon. J. H. Henderson. President towa State Bar Association.

5V>, — Your Committee on Grievances beg leave to report that no com-
plaints or grievances have been made to, or filed with the committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Lewis Miles,
J. C. Mabry,
Wm. H. Baily,
Geo. a. Oliver.


Geo. F. Henry, Treasurer, in account with Iowa State Bar Association,

report for i896-'97.

July 29— Balance as shown in last report $ 568 50

To initiation fees and dues from the following members
of the Association :

July 29 — W.A.Park 300

A. P. McGuirk 3 00

W. C. Strock 3 00

J. C. Davis 3 00

E. F. Simmons 3 00

R. Wilson 3 00

C. O. Leegitt 3 00

C. D. Fullen 3 00

I. S. McKemey 3 00

H. C. Raney 300

T. M. Fee 3 00

LM. Cash 3 00

>uis Block 300

S. M. Ladd 3 00

C. P. Holmes 3 00

C. H. Hubbell 3 00

W. S. Stilhnan 3 00

F. W. Eichelberger 3 00

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64 Proceedings op the

P. L. Sever 3 00

W. C. Putnam 3 00

C. W. Jones 3 00

C. G. Saunders 3 00

kH. Preston 3 00

. C. Nichols 3 00

A- J. House 300

E. M. Warner 3 00

P. H. Judj^e 3 00

S. Darling 3 00

H. Durman 3 00

. B. Wolfe 3 00

P B. Wolfe 3 00

Milton Remley : 3 00

Thomas Brown 3 00

A. Claussen 300

H. VoUmer 300

W. H. Wilson 3 00

I. R. Tabor 3 00

R. B. Cook 3 00

M.J. Tobin 300

L. C. Mechem 3 00

E. M. Sharon 3 00

L. L. Delano 3 00

C. Longueville 300

H. McConlogue 3 00

;. H. Crocker 3 00

S. M. El wood . . 3 00

S. McPherson : 3 00

G. B. Phelps 3 00

Geo. C. Scott 3 00

Jesse F. Steve^on 3 00

C. C. Nourse 300

Aug. 5— R. C. Ficke 300

7— J. C. Burk 3 00

8 - J. J. Tolerton 300

Craig L. Wrig^ht 3 00

Charles Davison 3 00

June 10 — C. E. Albrook 3 00

C. M. Brooks 3 00

G.W.Lester 300

Nov. 9— C. C. Cole 3 00

Dec. 16— J. W. Bollinger 300

7— -J. H. Henderson 3 00


Mch. II — George F. Henry 3 00

13— Wm. Phillips 300

D. W. Higbee 300

A. E. Swisher 3 00

H. S. Winslow 300

Wm. H. Baily • 300

Z. A. Church 300

A. T. Bennett 3 00

R.F.Jordan 300

E. T. Morris 3 00

Tosiah Given 3 00

Wm. Connor 3 00

C. H. Gatch 3 00

C. L. Nourse 3 00

15 - F. A. Helsell 3 00

W. C. Rayburn 3 00

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Iowa State Bar Association. 65

N.T.Guernsey 300

George E. McCaughan 3 00

J. R. Bane 300

F. Heinz 300

S. F. Smith 3 00

C. H. Lewis 3 00

J. L. Stevens 3 00

A. B. Cummins 300

J. E. Mershon 3 00

J. P. Lyman 300

K.M.Haines 300

16— Lewis Miles 3 00

Chas C. Warren 3 co

C. A. Carpenter 3 00

W.W.Cardell 300

W. G. Harvison 3 00

S. R. Dyer 3 00

M. H. Allen 3 00

L. G. Kinne 300

L. L. Mosher 3 00

Geo. H. Carr 3 00

A. C. Parker 3 00

C. W. Johnson 3 00

24— G. W. Burnham 3 00

J-J-Ney 300

A. N. Bceye 3 00

F. T. Huehes 300

29— Joe A. Edwards 3 00

J. J. McCarthy 300

A. J. McCrary 300

J. L. Parish 3 00

Mch. 29 — Geo. W. Wakefield 3 00

Geo. Wambach 3 00

Apr. 10— J. A. Henderson 3 cx)

R. J. Williams 3 00

Chas. Baker 300

Perry D. Rose 300

Apr. 12— A. L. Beardsley 3 00

Apr. 5— H. S. Bradshaw 3 co

L. M. Byers 3 00

Apr. 29— E. S. Huston 6 00

Apr. 28 — N. E. Coffin 300

June 4 - T. B. Perry 3 00

H. F. Dale 3 00

Herring Chrisman 3 00

, uue 1 1— Thos. A. Cheshire 3 cx)

' une 15 — Walter Canaday 3 00

' fune 25-— Jas. O. Crosby 3 00

une 26— Geo. A. Oliver 3 00

uly I— Clifford P. Smith 3 00

T. B. Swan 3 00

W. W. Goodykoontz 3 00

C. H. Whitney 3 00

John T. Moffit 3 00

P. W. Burr 3 00

E.W. Puph 600

July 2— L. A. Reiley 3 00

J.C.Davis 300

Tuly 3— A. H. McVey 3 00

Joly 5— J.G.Day 300

July 6— T. G. Harper

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66 Procbbdings op the

F. Hamilton Bond 3 oo

D. V. Jackson 3 00

M.F.Edwards 300

E. L. Smalley 3 00

J. W. Doxsee 300

A. H. Burton 6 00

W. E. Fuller 3 00

Jesse F. Stevenson 3 00

James Allison 3 00

H. S. Bradshaw 300

Wesley Martin 3 00

Geo. A. Underwood 3 00

F. L. Holleran 3 00

J.E. Corlett 300

H. B. Holsman 3 00

John E. Orr 300

Sam S. Wrijjht 3 00

T. Howard Henry 3 00

July 7—- L. C. Mechem 3 00

G. L. Johnson 3 00

W. L. "Read 6 00

L. C. Blanchard 3 00

E. W. Weeks 3 00

M. J. Wade 3 00

A. T, Cooper 3 00

W. J. Roberts 3 00

$h07S 50


July 31-— Expenses, Judge Payne, V. i $ 50 75

Aug. I — Expenses, President, V. 2 68 12

Rent of hall at Davenport, V. 3 25 00

Jas. W. Bollinger, Secty. Acct., postage, V. 4 i 92

Thos. Thompson^ V. 5 i 70

Mossman & Volheun Co., V. 6 ^ 9 50

Aug. 4 — C. W. Jones, reporter, V. 7 15 00

Aug. 6— Birdsall & Fennall, banquet bill, V. 8 69 50

Printing for treasurer, K. Co., V, 7^ 2 10

Aug. II — F. B. Haddix, reporter, V. 9 21 00

Aug. 27— F. B. Haddix, V. 10 8 00

Dec. 8 — Rogers & Wells, printing proceedings, V. 1 1 385 50

Dec. 16— J. W. Bollinger, V. 12, expense and postage 4 65


Jan. 5 — Davenport Power & L. Co, V. ij 5 00

N. E. Coffin, Secty., postage ancl books, V. 14 15 54

N. E. Coffin, Secty., postage, etc., V. 15 15 15

Mch. 13— Postage, V. 16 5 00

Apr. 6— Printing for treasurer, V. 17 4 75

Apr. i2~N. E. Coffin, Secty., V. 19 40 20

June 28— N. E Coffin, Secty., V. 20 1500

Balance 32627

The Treasurer's report was read and adopted.

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Iowa State Bar Association. 67

The Auditing Committee, through Mr. W. L. Read, reported
that they had examined Treasurer's report and vouchers and
found everything satisfactory and correct.

Mr. Hknry : ** I might add to my formal report, what will
perhaps be of interest to the Association, to show something of
the standing on the books.

'* With repect to delinquencies, out of a total of three hundred
and twenty-nine names on the Treasurer's books there are but
thirty-two that show dues unpaid for two years, thirty-eight
that show dues unpaid for one year, making a total of seventy

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