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Courts and Lawyers

of Indiana











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Courts and Lawyers

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Copyright, 1916,
Federal Publishing Co., Inc.


Chapter XIII^Attorney-Generals 389

Chapter XIV— Federal Courts of ludiiuia 403

Chapter XV— The New Bar 425

Chapter XVI— Indiana State Bar Association 456

Chapter XVII— Legal Education in Indiana 470

Chapter XVIII— Law Libraries 487

Chapter XIX— Statutory and Documentary Material of Indiana 491

Chapter XX— Legal Writers of Indiana 500

Chapter XXI— Present Judicial System 517

Chapter XXII— County Courts of Indiana 535



The office of attorney-general was created by the Legisla-
ture of the Northwest Territorj-, with the act of December 19,
1799. When the Xorth%vest Territorj- was divided by the act
of May 7, 1800, the newly organized Indiana tenitory adopted,
among other laws, the one pro^-iding for an attorney-general.
During the territorial period of Indiana (1800-1816) there
was no specific law adopted by the Governor and Judges or by
the Legislature pro\iding for an attorney-general, so it is
verj- e\ident that the four attorney-generals appointed be-
tween 1800 and 1816 held their office by virtue of the act of
Decembed 19, 1799.

The appointment of the first three of the attorney-gen-
erals during this period (1800-1816) is given in the Executive
Journal of Indiana Territoiy, but the appointment of Ehjah
Sparks, the last one to hold the office while Indiana was a ter-
ritorj-, is, for some reason, not mentioned in the Executive
Journal. It seems e^^dent that Sparks was so appointed, if
the Vincennes Western Sun, in its issue of August 21, 1813,
is to be believed. In this issue, the Western Sun makes a
statement that Sparks had been appointed by the President
of the United States and, if this is a fact, he must have re-
signed on or before September 18, 1814, since on that date he
v.as commissioned judge of the Third Judicial circuit of In-
diana Territoiy. The records in the secretaiw of state's office
do not disclose the appointment of Sparks, nor, in fact, of
any attorney-general after Thomas Randolph. The four at-
torney-generals of Indiana Territorj', with the dates of their
incumbency, are as follows:

390 Courts and Lawyers of Indiana

John Rice Jones January 29, 1801. resigned in 1S04.

Benjamin Parks August 4, 1804, resigned in 1808, when he was

made the Territorial Judge by the President of

the United States.
Thomas Randolph June 2, 1808, served until killed at the battle of

Tippecanoe, November 7, 1811.
Elijah Sparks August. lS1.3-September. 1814.


The Constitution of 1816 did not provide for an attorney-
general, but by the act of December 31, 1821, the office of at-
torney-general was established by the Legislature, the act
providing that he should be elected by joint ballot of both
houses of the General Assembly. The tenure was fixed at
three years and an annual salary of two hundred dollars was
provided for the office. Pursuant to this act, the Legislature
on the same day (December' 31, 1821), elected Harbin H.
Moore, of Corydon. The Revised Laws of 1824 lists the act of
December 31, 1821, but the Legislature which met in Indi-
anapolis in January, 1825, repealed the act providing for an
attorney-general. It was apparent that there was hardly a
sufficient amount of business to justify the maintenance of
an attorney-general, so it was provided (January 20, 1826),
that the prosecutor of the Fifth judicial circuit, which in-
cluded Maiion county, should "be compelled to superintend
and prosecute or defend on the part of the state, all pleas
whatsoever that may be appealed or brought up by writ of
error to the Supreme court." In other words, the prosecutor
of this judicial circuit became in effect the attorney-general
of the state. The prosecutors in 1831 were allowed one hun-
dred and fifty dollars per annum, while the prosecutor of the
Fifth judicial circuit was given an extra fifty dollars because
of his added duties as the attorney for the state. This same
provision was adopted in the Revised Statutes of 1838, and
again in 1843. In the Revised Statutes of 1843, the provision
for the prosecuting attorney of the Fifth judicial circuit in
his relation to the Supreme court is amplified into an article
of four sections. Since this is the last definite statement
under the old Constitution concerning the office, it seems per-

Attorney-Generals 391

tinent to insert in this connection the provision of this article
in full. It follows (Revised Statutes 1843, page 640) :

Sect. 100. It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney of the
judicial circuit of which the county of Marion shall form a part, to
appear, by virtue of his office, on behalf of the state of Indiana, as attor-
torney for the state, and superintend, prosecute and defend all
indictments, pleas, suits, matters, and proceedings whatsoever, which
may be appealed or brought into the Supreme Court by writ of error
or otherwise, in which the state is a real party, or has any interest.

Sect. 101. In any matter or suit specified in the preceding section,
the attorney who may have prosecuted or defended the same on the
part of the state in the court below, may. with the consent of the
Supreme Court, be associated with such attorney for the state, in the
prosecution or defence of such matter or suit, or he may, with the
consent of the attorney for the state in the Supreme Court, and with
leave of such court, have the sole management and control of such
ca.se; and then such attorney for the state shall be exonerated from
all further attention to the same.

Sect. 102. In case of the absence of the attorney for the state,
the Supreme Court may appoint an attorney to supply his place, who
shall receive such compensation therefor as to the court shall seem
reasonable, to be drawn from the state treasury on the allowance of
the court, and shall be deducted from the salai-y of such attorney for
the state, which he is authorized to receive for his services as such

Sect. 10.3. Such attorney for the state, whenever requested by the
govei-nor. secretary of state, treasurer of state or auditor of public
accounts, shall prepare drafts for contracts, obligations, and other in-
struments which may be wanted for the use of the state : he shall also,
when required by any of said officers, give opinions and instructions
upon any legal question which may arise in the performance of any
of the duties of any such officers.


The Constitution of 1851, like that of 1816, made no pro-
vision for the office of attorney-general, nor did the Legisla-
ture make any provision for the prosecutor of the circuit to
which Marion county was attached to handle the suits of the
state. The office of attorney-general came into existence as a
result of the act of February 1, 1855, the act providing that
it should be filled by the qualified voters of the state. The
General Assembly, on March 5, 1855, appointed James Morri-
son to fill the office until the next general election.

392 Courts and Lawyers of Indiana

The act of 1855 creating the office did not specify in detail
its duties and made no provision for the attorney-general to
submit a report. An act passed June 3, 1861, defined the
duties of the office, but it was still thought unnecessary to ask
the attorney-general to make a report to the governor or Leg-
islature. It was not until March 10, 1873, that the Legisla-
ture passed an act requiring the attorney-general to write
out his opinions and submit them to the governor. This act
provided that the attorney-general should give a written opin-
ion in certain cases and further required him to keep a record
of all the moneys collected by the office and make a report to
the secretary of state on November 1 of each year. An an-
nual report was required from 1873 until 1885, when, by the
act of April 13 of that year, the attorney-general was re-
quired to submit a biennial report only.

The following table shows in detail where the annual re-
ports of the attorney-general from 1873 to 1885 may be found :

1873 Documentary Journal, 1873— No. 4.

1874 Documentary Journal, 1874-75— No. 9.

1875 Documentary Journal, 1875 — No. 13.

1875-76_ -Documentary Journal, 1876-77— No. 8.
1877-78__None issued.

1879-80__Documentary Journal, 1880— No. 4.
1881-82_ .Pamphlet giving official opinions only.
1883-84_ .Documentary Journal, 1884— No. 6.

Since 1885 the biennial reports of the attorney-general
have been issued in a separate volume, although in some cases
they have been issued in two volumes.

The next legislative act touching the office of the attorney-
general was passed March 5, 1889. This act made the attor-
ney-general responsible for the prosecution and defense of all
suits instituted by or against the state and also required that
he represent the state in all criminal cases in the Supreme
and Appellate courts, and defend all suits brought against
the state officers.

The present salary of $7,500 per year was fixed by the act
of March 11, 1895, the same act specifying that the deputy
attorney-general should be paid $1,800 and the second deputy
attorney-general $2,400. The attorney-general, as well as both


^-l c^^

Attorney-Generals 393

of his deputies, was allowed actual traveling expenses when
traveling on business connected with the office. From the
creation of the office in 1855 until 1909, the attorney-general
was allowed fees in certain cases, buVby the act of March 4,
1909, the attorney-general was required to turn over
moneys collected by the office to the general treasury of the

There have been twenty-two attomey-generals since the
office was created in 1855 and it is to the credit of the voters
of the state that well qualified men have uniformly been
chosen to fill the office. A brief sketch of all the incumbents
of this office is given in the succeeding paragraphs.

James Morrison was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1796.
He came to this country with his parents when a boy and
settled at Bath, New York. He secured a limited elementary
education and studied law under William B. Rochester. When
admitted to the bar he moved to Indiana and located in
Charleston, Clark county, where he practiced for ten years.
In 1828 he was elected secretary of state and moved to India-
napolis. Later he was Circuit Judge, and was president of
the old State Bank for ten years. He was the first attorney-
general and served by appointment from March 5, 1855, to
December 17, 1856. He died on March 20, 1869.

Joseph Ewing McDonald, attorney-general of Indiana from
1856 to 1860, was born in Butler county, Ohio, August 29,
1819. His father died when he was an infant and his mother
later married John Kerr. The family moved to Montgomery
county, Indiana, in 1826 and it was here that McDonald re-
ceived such education as the public schools and Wabash Col-
lege afforded. As a youth he was apprenticed to a saddle-
maker and worked at the trade for six years. During this
time he read widely in the library of Dr. Isaac B. Camby and
laid the foundation for his future career. In 1840 he worked
on the old Wabash & Erie canal and during part of the same
year was a student at Asbury University at Greencastle. In
1842 he began to read law with Zebulon Baird at Lafayette
and the following year was admitted to the bar and at once
elected prosecuting attorney, being re-elected two years later
When thirty years of age he was elected to Congress and
served one term (1849-1851). In 1856 he was elected attor-

394 Courts and Lawyers of Indiana

ney-general of the state and was re-elected at the expiration
of liis first term. In 1859 he formed a partnership with
Addison L. Eoache, who had just resigned from a seat on the
Suprem.e bench. In 1864 McDonald made an unsuccessful
race for governor against Oliver P. Morton. The Legislature
elected him United States senator in 1875 to succeed Daniel
D. Pratt, but he was defeated six years later by Benjamin
Harrison. In the campaign of 1884 he was one of the promin-
ent candidates before the Democratic national convention, but
was defeated by Grover Cleveland. The last fifteen years of
his life he practiced law in Indianapolis in partnership with
John M. Butler. He died on June 21, 1891.

James G. Jones was born at Paris, Kentucky, July 3, 1814,
and came v/ith his parents to Vanderburg county, Indiana, in
1819, settling in Union township. His education was confined
to the subscription schools of his community. By dint of
hard woi'k he became a lawyer. He was county recorder and
also served as county surveyor. In 1840 he was city attorney
of Evansville, and at one time served as town trustee. He
was the first mayor of Evansville and in 1850 was I'e-elected
to a second term. In 1860 he was elected attorney-general,
but resigned in 1861 to become colonel of the Forty-second
Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Later he was provost
marshal of the state and head of the recruiting bureau. At
the close of the war he resumed the practice of law. In 1869
he was appointed by Governor Baker as judge of the Fifteenth
judicial circuit. His death occurred on April 5, 1872.

John Palmer Usher was bom in Brookfield, New York,
January 9, 1816. He came to Indiana when a young man,
studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1850 he was
elected to the Legislature and on November 10, 1861, was ap-
pointed attoraey-general to fill out the unexpired term of
James G. Jones. On March 20, 1862, he was appointed first
assistant secretary of the interior in Lincoln's cabinet, and on
the resignation of Caleb B. Smith, succeeded him as head of
the department on January 8, 1863, holding the office until he
resigned. May 15, 1865, to become attorney for the Union Pa-
cific Railroad. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April
13, 1889.

Attorney-Generals 395

John F. Kibbey was born in Richmond, Indiana, May 4,
1826, and was the son of John C. and Mary (Espy) Kibbey. He
received his rudimentary education under the instruction of
his father, and at the age of nineteen entered Miami University,
at Oxford, Ohio, where he remained three terms. In 1849 he
began the study of law under OHver P. Morton and was ad-
mitted to the bar in 1852, forming- a partnership with his pre-
ceptor, which relation continued until Morton was elected lieu-
tenant-governor of Indiana in 1860. While studying law Kibbey
served as surveyor of Wayne county and was re-elected to that
position, serving until 1856. On March 19, 1862, Kibbey was
appointed attorney-general of the state to fill the vacancy
caused by the resignation of John P. Usher and served until
November 3, 1862, when he was succeeded by Oscar B. Hord.
In 1863 Kibbey was appointed military commander of his con-
gressional district to raise volunteers for the war and provide
for their maintenance until mustered into the service of the
United States. In 1865 he was appointed judge of the Wayne
county Common Pleas court, and held the office by subsequent
re-election until 1873, when the court was abolished. In 1873
he was elected judge of the Circuit court of Wayne county and
served until 1885.

Oscar B. Hord was born at Maysville, Kentucky, August 31,
1829, and was the son of Francis T. Hord, a lawyer and judge
of a Kentucky Circuit court. Oscar B. Hord read law in his
father's office and, when twenty years of age, located at Greens-
burg, Indiana. In 1852 he was elected prosecuting attorney.
He formed a partnership with Colonel Gavin, of Greensburg,
and together they prepared "Gavin & Hord's Statutes". In
1862 he was elected attorney-general of the state and upon
retiring from the office in 1864 he formed a partnership in
Indianapolis with Thomas A. Hendricks and Samuel E.
Perkins. Later A. W. Hendricks and Conrad Baker were asso-
ciated with this firm. Hord died on January 15, 1888.

Delano Eccles Williamson was born in Florence, Boone
county, Kentucky, August 19, 1822, and was the son of Robert
and Lydia (Madden) Williamson. His parents moved to Cov-
ington, Kentucky, when he w^as a child, and in 1833 moved to
Vermilion county, Illinois, where he remained until his nine-
teenth year. He attended the district schools and in 1841

396 Courts and Lawyers of Indiana

went to Greencastle, Indiana, with the idea of entering college,
but changed his plans and went to Bowling Green, the county
seat of Clay county, to work in the county clerk's office.
There he remained for two years, studying law during his
leisure moments. Williamson returned to Greencastle in 1843,
where he continued his studies in the office of Eccles & Hanna
and soon afterward was admitted to the bar. Locating in
Clay county, he practiced until 1850, when he was elected to
the Legislature. He removed to Greencastle in 1853, and
ran for the Legislature on the Democratic ticket, but was de-
feated. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was a strong
Union man and allied himself with the Republican party. In
1864 he was elected attorney-general and held the office for
six years.

Bayless W. Hanna was born in Troy, Ohio, March 14, 1830.
He was the son of James and Nancy (Tilford) Hanna. In
1836 the family removed to Crawfordsville, Indiana, where
James Hanna became one of the founders of Wabash College,
in which institution his son was educated. After leaving
college in 1852, Hanna entered the law office of Joseph E.
McDonald and afterward studied under Wilson & McDonald.
On account of failing health, he went to Natchez, Mississippi,
where, after finishing his studies under Josiah Winchester, he
was examined and admitted to the bar in 1855. Returning
to Crawfordsville, he was elected prosecuting attorney in
1856. In 1857 he opened a law office and estabhshed his home
in Terre Haute. In 1862 he was elected to the lower house of
the Indiana Legislature ; in 1864 he went to the Senate, and in
1870 was elected attorney-general. Hanna served as attorney-
general from November 3, 1870, to November 6, 1872.

James C. Denny, attorney-general of Indiana from 1872 to
1874, was born in Knox county, Indiana, August 8, 1829. His
father came from Kentucky and his mother from Tennessee.
Denny was educated in the common schools of Knox county,
in private schools and at the Vincennes University. His
earlier years were spent on the farm, but when about twenty-
one he entered a store and clerked for four years. During
the last two years he read law at night, and then, as deputy
county clerk, he read law two years longer. Soon afterward
he was admitted to the bar and began practice with Samuel

Attorney-Generals 397

Judah. The partnership lasted six years. Denny became
judge of the Circuit and Common Pleas courts of Knox county
prior to his election as attorney-general of Indiana in 1872.

Clarence Augustus Buskirk was born at Friendship, Alle-
gany county, New York, November 8, 1842, and was the son
of Andrew C. and Diantha (Scott) Buskirk. He attended
Friendship Academy until seventeen years of age,, and after-
ward became a student in the University of Michigan. He
studied law in the office of Balch & Smiley, at Kalamazoo,
Michigan, attended a course of law lectures at Ann Arbor,
and was admitted to the bar in 186.5. Coming to Indiana in
1866. he located at Princeton. He was elected to the Legisla-
ture in 1872. In 1874 he w^as elected attorney-general and
was re-elected in 1876, occupying the office from November
6, 1874, to November 6, 1878. In recent years he has spent
considerable time as a lecturer for the Church of Christ,

Thomas Wheeler Woollen was born in Dorchester county,
Maryland, April 26, 1830, and was the son of Edward and
Anna (Wheeler) Woollen. He worked on his father's fami
until 1845, when he moved to Baltimore. In 1848 he came to
Indiana and located at Madison. He served as deputy county
clerk in Jefferson county and also as deputy treasurer. In
1856 he left Madison and entered the clerk's office at Vernon,
in Jennings county. Meantime he had been studying law
and, after a brief residence at Vemon, he moved to Franklin,
and, in connection with Jeptha D. New, opened a law office in
that city. In 1862 he was elected to the Legislature from
Johnson county, and in 1868 was elected judge of the Common
Pleas court, which office he held for two years, resigning to
take charge of the First National Bank, of Franklin. In 1870
he resumed the practice of law and in 1872 was re-elected
to the Legislature. In 1878 he was elected attorney-general
to succeed Clarence A. Buskirk, and served one teiTn.

Daniel Pratt Baldwin, attorney-general of Indiana from
1880 to 1882, was bom in Madison county. New York, in 1837.
He was educated in the public schools, Cazenovia Academy
and Madison University. He graduated from the Columbia
Law School in 1860. Shortly afterwards he moved to Logan-
sport and became a partner of his uncle, Daniel D. Pratt. In

398 Courts and Lawyers of Indiana

1870 Baldwin was elected to the vacancy in the court of Com-
mon Pleas, and later was re-elected. In 1877 Madison Uni-
versity confen-ed upon Judge Baldwin the honorary degree of
Doctor of Laws. During his whole life he was much inter-
ested in literature and wrote much in the form of newspaper
articles, letters and lectures. Judge Baldwin was an active
worker for the Republican party in every campaign from 1860
to 1892. In 1880 he was a candidate for Republican nomina-
tion for judge of the Supreme court, but was defeated. In
1892, after a misunderstanding with President Harrison, Bald-
win gave his support to the Democratic party, but later re-
turned to the Republican ranks. He died suddenly on Decem-
ber 13, 1908.

Francis T. Hord was born at Maysville, Kentucky, Novem-
ber 24, 1835, and was the son of Francis T. and Elizabeth S.
(Moss) Hord. He secured his education at the seminary of
Rand & Richeson, at Maysville, where he graduated in 1853,
and at once began the study of law with his father. He was
admitted to the bar in 1856 and the following year located at
Columbus, Indiana, where he opened a law office. In 1858 he
w^as elected prosecuting attorney and in 1860 was appointed
county attorney. In 1862 he was elected to the State Senate.
Hord was elected attorney-general in 1882 and was re-elected
in 1884. He was elected judge of the Ninth judicial circuit
in 1892 and served until 1904. He was a brother of Oscar
B. Hord, who was attorney-general from 1862 to 1864. He
died at Indianapolis, March 8, 1912.

Louis Theodore Michener was born near Connersville, In-
diana, December 21, 1848, and was the son of William and
Mary A. Michener. His educational training was limited to
the common schools of the county and one year at Brookville
College. He began the study of law in 1870 with James C.
Mcintosh, at Connersville. When admitted to the bar in 1871
he began to practice at Brookville and the same year was
appointed deputy district attorney for Franklin county, serv-
ing two years. In 1873 he removed to Winfield, Kansas,
where he remained one year, and then returned to Indiana
and located at Shelbyville, where he formed a partnership
with Thomas B. Adams. He was elected attorney-general in
1886 and was re-elected in 1888, serving two full terms. He

Attorney-Generals 399

has been a practicing attorney in Washington, D. C, for
several years.

Alonzo Greene Smith was bom in Meigs county, Ohio,
September 6, 1848. His education was obtained in the common
schools, supplemented with a partial course at Franklin Col-
lege, Ohio. In 1867 he came to Indiana and located at North
Vernon, where he was admitted to the bar two years later. In
1884 he was elected to the State Senate, and served in the
sessions of 1885 and 1887, being president of the Senate dur-
ing the latter session. Smith was elected attorney-general
in 1890 and was re-elected in 1892, serving from November
22, 1890, to November 21, 1894.

William A. Ketcham w^as born in Indianapolis in 1846,

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