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Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) online

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alleviations that are mercifully left me. No; I
am well content."

He still survives at the age of eighty-three, and

it is a little remarkable that the first lawyer in
Chicago to bring a case in a court of record is
still with us, with intellect unimpaired, when the
bar numbers more than three thousand.


the many fire-insurance agents with which
La Salle Street abounds, there is, perhaps,
no other man whose reputation for safe and con-
servative business methods has been more con-
sistently sustained than he whose name heads
this notice. His entire business training and
experience have been acquired in this city, and,
while the opportunities for speculation have been
abundant, and the chances for unusual profit have
seemed quite as alluring to him as to others, he
has conscientiously avoided all participation in
that hazardous and demoralizing field, confining
his attention to the regular channels of business,
and thereby maintaining his business credit and
securing the confidence and good- will of his asso-

Mr. Webster was born in Leeds, England, on
the agth of October, 1 846. His parents, John and
Mary (Holmes) Webster, were natives of York-
shire. John Webster was employed for some years
in the cloth-mills at Leeds, but being desirous of
procuring better opportunities for his growing
family, in 1853 he came to America. He located
in Chicago and secured employment with the Chi-
cago Gas Light and Coke Company, whose inter-
ests he continued to serve until his death, which
occurred in 1866, at the age of forty-two years.
He began as a laborer, but with such faithful-
ness and ability did he serve the interests of the
company that he was soon promoted to a more re-
munerative occupation, and at the time of his de-
mise was the assistant Secretary of the company.

His wife survived him but two years, passing
away at the age of forty-four. They were mem-
bers of the Second Baptist Church of Chicago,
and had formerly been connected with the Taber-
nacle Baptist Church.

Thomas H. Webster, with his mother and the
balance of the family, joined his father in Chica-
go in 1855. He is one of a family of thirteen
children, of whom but two others now survive.
Their names are Sarah H., Mrs. W. C. Corlies;
and Louisa L-, Mrs. R. M. Johnson, all of Chi-
cago. Thomas was educated in the public schools
of this city, and upon the death of his father as-
sumed the care of the family, supplying to its
members, as far as possible, the place of the de-
ceased parent. His first employment was in the
capacity of a clerk in a dry -goods store, where he
continued for about one year. Since the ist of
August, 1863, he has been consecutively connect-
ed with the business of fire underwriting. He be-
gan as office boy for the Chicago Firemen's In-
surance Company, but was soon appointed to a
clerkship, and about 1865 bcame the cashier of
the company. This position he filled until the
concern was annihilated by the great fire of 1871.
After that disaster, the affairs of the corporation
were placed in the hands of Hon. O. H. Horton,
as assignee, and this gentleman secured the serv-
ices of Mr. Webster as his assistant, his familiar-
ity with the affairs of the concern being of great
value in closing up its business.

Mr. Webster was afterwards successively con-
nected with the firms of Walker & Lowell, and



the Globe Insurance Company, continuing with
the latter concern until it went out of business in
1876. He then became a clerk for S. M. Moore,
with whom he soon after entered into partnership,
under the firm name of S. M. Moore & Com-
pany. Upon the retirement of the senior member
in 1886, this firm was succeeded by that of Web-
iter & Wiley, Mr. E. N. Wiley becoming the jun-
ior partner. In 1889 the latter firm was consol-
idated with that of H. de Roode & Company,
under the name of Webster, Wiley & de Roode.
On the first of November, 1894, Mr. de Roode re-
tired from the firm, since which time the business
has been conducted under the name of Webster,
Wiley & Company, Mr. C. P. Jennings having
become a third partner on January i, 1895.

Mr. Webster was married, September 13, 1881,
to Miss Anna Martindale, a native of Ohio, and
a daughter of Rev. Theodore D. Martindale, a

Methodist clergyman of that state. Mr. and Mrs.
Webster are the parents of two sons, Frank M.
and Ralph N. Mr. Webster is identified with the
Union League, Sunset and Metropolitan Clubs,
and L,exington Council of the National Union.
He is not an active participant in political strife,
but has all his life been a supporter of Republican

Having been the head of a family from the age
of twenty years, he has had few opportunities for
recreation, and finds his greatest pleasure in the
midst of the home circle. His business opera-
tions have been confined to the realm of fire un-
derwriting, and while others have in some in-
stances accumulated more wealth than he, the
substantial friendship and esteem of his colleagues
are his, and his record is one which causes no re-


leader in any profession in a city the size of
Chicago, means to be the possessor of large
intellect, of close application and happy fortune;
to be in the front rank of contemporary lawyers
in a metropolis whose courts decide as many
cases as the combined judiciary of all Great
Britain, is a mark of pre-eminence indeed. Such
pre-eminent distinction has been already noted
by the Muse of History in her vast temple of
fame, where, chiseled in conspicuous recent
strength, we read the sterling name of William
Charles Goudy.

Mr. Goudy was born near Cincinnati, Ohio
(but "across the line" in Indiana), on the isth
day of May, 1824, unto Robert and Jane ( Ainslie)
Goudy. His father was a native of North Ire-
land and of Scotch-Irish ancestry, of that virile

blood which has already played so thrilling a
part in American history on sea and land. The
name is spelled Goudie in Scotland, where the
poet Burns immortalized it in song in that stanza
of a poem wherein occurs the line, "Goudie, ter-
ror of the Whigs!" The family continues to hew
true to the block, for who ever heard of any
Goudy who was anything but a Democrat in
the United States? His mother, who was of
English birth, was residing in Pennsylvania when
taken to wife by Mr. Goudy 's father.

Robert Goudy was a carpenter in early life, later
changing, as do so many of our citizens, his calling
to printing, in which craft he was busied for some
years at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But when
the future Judge Goudy was a boy of ten years,
his father moved to Jacksonville, Illinois, a most
fortunate field, as afterwards developed, for all the



family. Here, in 1833, he began the publication
of Gaudy's Farmers' Almanac, the first annual
of its kind to be printed in the Northwest, which,
filling a greatly felt need, grew speedily into the
deserved prominence it maintained for the many
years during which it was a household word.
Later, he embarked in a newspaper of fair pro-
portions for that era; in which connection let it
not be overlooked that it was the first press to
call pointed attention to that rising young star,
Stephen A. Douglas. The son also did his share
of battling for this candidate during that heated
campaign when Douglas defeated Lincoln in the
memorable congressional contest.

The subject of this sketch graduated at the
Illinois College of Jacksonville in 1845, an alma
mater made proud time and again by the grand
deeds of her hero pupil, whom she has twice hon-
ored with her post-graduate degrees, namely,
Master of Arts and Doctor of Laws. Suffice to
say, that none of her myriad graduates ever won
such special favor more fairly than he of whom
we are writing.

While reading law thereafter, Mr. Goudy
taught school in Decatur. Later he went for a
time into the office of Stephen A. Logan, partner
of Lincoln. In 1847 he was admitted to the Bar
at Lewistown, Illinois, entering directly into
partnership with Hon. Hezekiah M. Weed, of
that place, where he rapidly rose in public notice
and favor. Taking an active part in politics, he
was partially rewarded in 1852 by being elected
States Attorney of the Tenth Judicial Circuit,
which position of trust he resigned in 1856; and
from 1857 to 1 86 1 was twice returned as State Sen-
ator for the Fulton-McDonough district. In 1859
fame and rapidly growing practice invited him
to Chicago, the great Western center, which, like
Athens of old, calls annually for its tribute of
talent and oratory from its outlying territory.
For about the next thirty-five years his reputa-
tion and his wealth grew with amazing rapidity,
until none throughout the entire Mississippi Val-
ley was better or more favorably known in his
profession than Judge Goudy. His learned skill
was demonstrated in the higher courts all over
this western county, from which, in frequent

triumphs, he went to more honorable laurels
achieved before that tribunal of dernier resort, the
Supreme Court of the United States. His specialty
was the law of real property, in which branch
of learning he was recognized as a leader all over
the vast domain his talents dominated; indeed,
there have been expressed on more than one oc-
casion sincere regrets that Judge Goudy left no
published work upon this broad field of judicature,
of especial application in the newer West, for
the guidance of future brothers. It would indeed
have been the labor of a legal giant, gigantically
performed. During all this later period, not a
volume of Illinois Reports, and they number into
the hundreds, but bears his name as attorney or
counsel in cases of gravest import and represent-
ing questions and corporations of greatest magni-

As illustrating the thoroughness with which
he worked and the minuteness of inquiry and
research to which he would voluntarily go, rather
than admit he was beaten or acknowledge there
was no redress (in his opinion) for his client,
we must digress sufficiently to call attention to
that case (the Kingsbury-Buckner), perhaps
most famous of all his many noted cases, which
involved the question of the fee of that splendid
piece of central real estate upon which now stands
the Ashland Building, the great law office re-
sort , corner of Randolph and Clark Streets, in
our city. This case long looked hopeless for the
party in whose interests Judge Goudy had been
retained. Conviction of the fact that the grantee,
who seemed to own the fee, was really a holder
for cestuis qui trust was sincerely entertained, but
in support of such hypothesis not a scintilla of
evidence seemed possible to be introduced. Early
and late, far and near, in and out of season, our
lawyer toiled to find some slight link, so vital to
support such a much-sought chain of title. In
short, almost at a standstill, sufficient proof was
at last unearthed from a letter written as casual
correspondance to a relative of the writer in the
Down East. This became the turning-point of
the case. For his services the Judge is said to
have been paid the largest fee known in the
West. How many thousands is not known, but



surely it was earned in such a manner as to be
gladly paid by a client who would have lived and
died in ignorant non-assertion of rights, but for
the untiring researches of his lawyer. L,et every
young attorney ponder well the significance of
the story; just such opportunities time and again
have made in an instant the name and fame
jf the energetic hero. The ability to win cases
is the crucial test of lawyers; and a still greater
test is the ability to effect a desirable compromise,
as the subject of this sketch often did; for exam-
ple, in the notable Wilbur F. Storey will case.

During the later years of his exceedingly active
career, the firm of which he was senior member
was styled Goudy, Green & Goudy, and for
a considerable period prior to his demise he was
chief counsel for the Chicago & Northwestern
Railway, in which position he had the excep-
tional fortune of holding his former private
clientage. It is worth recording that the reasons
for his being retained by that railway were
found in numerous suits brought against it by
Mr. Goudy for clients, who usually won.

Mr. Goudy married, August 22, 1849, a most
estimable and cultured lady, Miss Helen Judd,
of Canton, Illinois, a daughter of Solomon Judd,
quite a distinguished Abolitionist. His father was
Solomon Judd, Sr., of Westhampton, Massachu-
setts, coming of excellent ancestry, tracing back
to the pride of all Yankees, the "Mayflower" of
1620. Mrs. Goudy's mother was Eleanor Clark,
born of an old Northampton, Massachusetts,

Two children cheered their most happy wedded
life. Clara Goudy (an adopted daughter), born
in October, 1857, married, in 1887, Ira J. Geer,
of this city, a practicing lawyer of superior
repute, by whom she has one child, William
Jewett Geer. Judge Goudy left an only son,
William Judd Goudy, who was born in 1864,
for an extended sketch of whom vide other pages

Mrs. Goudy was born on the 2ist of November,
1821, at Otisco, Onondaga County, New York,
was educated at the Aurora Academy of that
State, after which she taught school for about
nine years. She then removed to Canton, Illinois,

where she had been teaching her own private
school for young ladies about two years at the
time Judge Goudy won her undying affections.
She survives her deeply mourned husband, and,
while not in perfect health, yet for her mature
age well preserved; and it is the earnest wish
of all her myriad friends and recipients of generous
benefactions that she may long continue in a
sphere of wisely contented usefulness. She is
unostentatiously conspicuous for her many works
of charity, formal recognition of which was made
some years since in her elevation to the position
of President of the Board of Managers of the Half
Orphan Asylum. Truly may it be said in sim-
ple, modest truth, her life has been a model for

The old Goudy homestead, one of the choicest,
most elegant of its time, was located in what has
since become a very public neighborhood, about
No. 1140 North Clark Street. In the early days
it stood in a magnificient grove of trees some
acres in extent, whose retirement received a con-
tinual benediction from the murmurs of the lake
near at hand. Later operations have subdivided
and covered with many dwellings this lovely
property. "And the place thereof shall know it
no more." Anticipating growing encroachment
upon that privacy in which Mr. Goudy so much
delighted, he finally built a solid, ornate mansion
of gray granite at No. 240 Goethe Street, than
which none of our citizens can boast of a more
complete or elegant home. In full view of the lake
(but a block distant), contiguous to a beautiful
private park, within easy access of business
haunts, and yet enjoying the stillness of a veritable
country seat, Judge Goudy with his wife there
found the oasis of existence, his seat of recupera-
tive rest, his scene of domestic bliss, for he was
emphatically, notwithstanding the grandeur and
publicity which cast a halo about his character,
a domestic man. Though a valued member of
the Union and Iroquois Clubs, he was not an
habitue of their inviting halls, save on rare special

In politics, like all his lineage, he was a sturdy
Democrat; not particularly aggressive, but full of
wise counsels and dictator of winning courses to



be pursued in accomplishing certain political
ends. His first vote was cast for Lewis Cass in
1 848 ; he had much to do with the nomination of
President Cleveland to his last term of office; and
might have passed away in occupation of the
most dignified seat of judicial honor within the
gift of our country, i. e. , the Supreme Bench of
the United States, had not his ever honorable
principles decided him to withdraw in favor of
his old friend, the present Chief Justice, M. W.
Fuller. He was at one time President of the
Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners, as he had
been among those most actively valuable in lay-
ing out the bounds and bringing into being that
most beautiful of all our resorts.

Judge Goudy was a "gentleman of the old
school," always courteous and scrupulously hon-
orable; the possessor of a frankly-bright, prepos-
sessing face, brimful of character. A very broad
forehead surmounted features all finely chiseled;
his figure was but of medium height and physical
weight, but capable of expressing great dignity
upon occasion. Though rather sickly in youth,
by abstemious habits he had grown for many
years to be quite robust, in which condition he
was maintained by studious attention to all his

habits, save that of work. In this, he reminds
one strongly of the great Csesar, who, sickly in
youth, by careful regimen grew to endure in-
credible labors. Indeed, it was from over appli-
cation, following too speedily a season of malady,
that Judge Goudy met his end April 27, 1893;
which found him suddenly, like the lightning
flash, seated in his chair by the office desk, whither
he had injudiciously repaired upon important
business. His tough, perennial thread of life,
which had been vexed and tugged at time and
again by his response to urgent demands, was
strained beyond endurance; it snapped, and the
heroic melody of a noble life became forever in-
stantly silent. He was buried under the auspices
of the Fourth Presbyterian Church, in which he
had always had a vital interest, and now sleeps the
peaceful sleep of the just in the family lot at Grace-
land Cemetery, which spot will long continue to be
marked by the dignified memorial now rising
over his remains.

He left a supremely honorable name. Out of the
many illustrious heroes found herein, none need
doubt that the memory of the greatest will not
survive that of Hon. William Charles Goudy.


business and social relations cause him to be
well known in Cook County, enjoys the dis-
tinction of being a native of Chicago, and repre-
sents one of its most esteemed pioneer families.
The house in which he was born stood at the
corner of Wabash Avenue and Randolph Street,
and the date of his advent was April 17, 1848.
His parents were John and Harriet Frink, an ap-
propriate notice of whom is given elsewhere in
this book.

Henry F. Frink was afforded excellent educa-

tional advantages, and at twenty years of age
graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts
from the Chicago University. It is needless to
add that his subsequent career has been such as
to reflect credit upon his Alma Mater. He began
the study of law in the office of Sleeper, Whiton
& Durham, and in 1872 was admitted to practice
by a committee composed of members of the Bar
appointed for the purpose of examining candi-
dates. Since that date he has been continuously
engaged in practice, making a specialty of real-
estate law and the examination of abstracts. His



ample experience and accurate knowledge of
these subjects are of great value to himself and
his clients, and cause his opinions to be received
with respectful attention by attorneys and officials
generally. He deals in city and suburban realty
to a considerable extent, and by the exercise of
foresight and discrimination in these operations
has accumulated a competence, which he endeav-
ors to invest in such a manner as to promote the
commercial interests of the community. In 1891
he organized the Austin State Bank, of which he
has ever since been the President, giving consid-
erable of his time and attention to its affairs. His
business of all kinds has been conducted in such
a manner as to secure the best results to his col-
leagues and at the same time to inspire the confi-
dence of the public in his judgment and integrity.
On the I4th of April, 1886, occurred the mar-
riage of Mr. Frink and Miss Louise Creote, a
most estimable lady and a daughter of Joseph
Creote, an early pioneer of Chicago. A daugh-
ter, Mildred, helps to brighten the home circle of
Mr. and Mrs. Frink. The former of this couple

adheres to the Episcopal faith, in the tenets of
which he was instructed in youth, while his wife
is a member of the Baptist Church at Austin,
where the family resides.

Socially, Mr. Frink is identified with the Royal
League and Athletic Clubs. While never an act-
ive politician, he is not unmindful of the duties
of citizenship, and usually casts his ballot in sup-
port of Republican principles.

Previous to the great Chicago fire he occupied
an office with W. D. Kerfoot at No. 95 Washing-
ton Street, and for a time subsequent to that dis-
aster he shared with that gentleman the historic
cabin in the street, which served them as a shel-
ter pending the rescue of their safe from the em-
bers and the erection of their new building. He
did duty as a member of the citizens' patrol guard
immediately after the great fire, a temporary ar-
rangement for the protection of homes and prop-
erty, which was instrumental in preventing a
great deal of the pillage and plundering to which
the city was exposed until the police force could
be re-organized.


flAMES M. ADSIT. To have been among
I the first in Chicago to engage in any honor-
(*/ able calling is quite sufficient to make such
a one a local historical personage for all time to
come, and so the career of James M. Adsit is
filled with unusual interest, because of the con-
spicuous fact that, apart from his being an excep-
tional character, he was among the first bankers
to enter upon a career of finance within the pres-
ent limits of Cook County.

Mr. Adsit was born February 5, 1809, in
Spencertown, Columbia County, New York, unto
Leonard and Frances Adsit {nee Davenport).
His father dying when the son was but six years
of age, he went to live and remain with his
grandfather Adsit, and after finishing the com-

mon-school education customary for those early
days, went for a time into employment in his
uncle Ira Davenport's store.

On April 2, 1838, he arrived in Chicago,
then a city of but a single year's standing, con-
sisting of only a few streets stragglingly built up;
and, as one of the earliest pioneers, founded a
private bank at Number 37 Clark Street in 1850,
having up to that time, from the date of his arri-
val, been engaged in loans and investments on
Lake Street. In 1856 he removed one door to
Number 39 Clark Street, where he remained un-
til the "Chicago Fire," at which time he had the
great misfortune to lose all of his personal papers
and books connected intimately with much of
Chicago's early history, whereby vanished forever



valuable data covering the development of the
city for its first three decades. But fortune was
his on that occasion to save the bulk of moneys
and securities in the vaults of his office, thereby
being able to reassure his depositors, many of
whom on days following came with woeful visage,
in expectation of news of- their hard-earned
means having gone up in flames.

Shortly after he had re-opened his banking busi-
ness at Number 422 Wabash Avenue for a few
months, he removed to a store on Wabash Avenue
a few doors from Congress, thence to the Ogden
Building, corner Lake and Clark Streets. He then
built at Number 41 Clark Street, where he contin-
ued in active life until 1881. At that date, owing
somewhat to failing health, he decided to merge his
corporation into the Chicago National Bank, of
which he became the first Vice- President, resign-
ing, however, in 1885, at which time he retired
from active life.

His shortsightedness, if indeed we are right to
so style the matter, was a lack of faith in the
future real-estate values of Chicago. Had a bold
course been adopted in this direction, it would
have resulted in the acquiring of an estate vast
indeed: but sufficient honor is his, in that he un-
swervingly carried out his financial life in strict

While ever a stanch Republican in politics,
Mr. Adsit was never prominent in public life, fig-
uring rather in the background on movements
which were to be carried out for the public weal.
In that sense he was always a most active and
useful member in aid of advances. Among the
institutions with which he was conspicuously as-
sociated was the Mechanics' Institute, of which

Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 18 of 111)