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Floyd County >> 1882 Index

History of Floyd County, Iowa
Chicago: Inter-state Publishing Co., 1882.

The Bar of the Present
submitted by Kathy Gerkins


George F. Boulton Page 404

Of the firm Boulton & Boulton, attorneys, Charles City, was born in Columbus, N. J., Feb. 8, 1836, and soon after his birth his parents removed to Mount Union, Ohio, where he attended school until his thirteenth year. The family then went to Marshall County, Ind., settling upon a farm. George pursued his studies there and at Warsaw and Plymouth, Ind., until 1858, when he went to Bourbon and began the study of law with the Hon. James O. Parks. In the fall of 1859 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Marshal County, Ind., holding the position until March 25, 1861. He then enlisted in the first company organized in Marshal County, his name being second on the enlistment roll. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant of this company, but was never ordered into service. He farmed and practiced law in Marshall County until the fall of 1863 then entered the law department of the university at Ann Arbor, Mich., and one year later came to Charles City, Iowa. In September 1864, he was admitted to the Iowa bar, and has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession here since. He formed a partnership with R. G. Reiniger in 1866, which continued two years and in 1881 the present firm of Boulton & Boulton was established.

Mr. Boulton married Miss Sarah Updike at Bourbon, Ind., Jun 27, 1861; she was born in Chautauqua County, N. Y., and was a daughter of William and Mercy (Loveless) Updike. Mr. and Mrs. Bourbon are members of the Methodist church and have two daughters, viz.: Jennie E. L., born Aug. 20, 1864, and Mercy L., born Dec. 20, 1869. Mr. Boulton is one of the charter members of the U. A. S. Fraternity, and Iowa Good Templars; he took an active part in the canvass of the constitutional amendment prohibiting the sale and manufacture of intoxicating liquors. In politics was a Fremont boy and has been a strong supporter of the Republican party ever since.

Z. D. Boulton Pages 404 – 405

Senior member of the law firm of Boulton & Boulton, Charles City, is a native of Burlington County, N. J., born near Pemberton, on April 22, 1813. His parents were William and Mary Boulton, nee Dobbins, natives of New Jersey. They had a family of eleven children, and were members of the M. E. church. William Boulton was first married to Mary Gilbert by whom he had four children. Mrs. Boulton was the widow of William Jones by whom she had two children. Z. D. was the second son by the second marriage and his boyhood was passed on his father’s farm in New Jersey. When fifteen years of age he went to Philadelphia, Pa., where he served an apprenticeship to a boot and shoe manufacturer there. In 1836 he went to Mount Union, Ohio, and worked at his trade and farming until 1849, when he settled on a farm in Marshall County, Ind. He removed from there to Bourbon, Indiana in 1857, and embarked in the mercantile business. He was admitted to the Indian bar and practiced there until August 1881, when he came to Charles City and the present partnership, with son George F., was formed. Mr. and Mrs. Boulton have a family of six children – G. F.: Mary, wife of A. J. Bair, of Warsaw, Ind.; T. R., a carpenter and contractor of Warsaw; B. E., a farmer residing near Howard, Kansas; William H., druggist at Silver Lake, Ind., and J. B., a stone mason at Bourbon, Ind. The law firm of Boulton & Boulton is one of the most popular in the city and they are known throughout the county as gentlemen of superior legal ability.

J. S. Bradley Pages 406 – 407

City Clerk and Justice of the Peace, and formerly an attorney, was born June 10, 1843, in Paris, Edgar Co., Ill., a son of Andrew and Minerva (Stratton) Bradley; he enlisted in August 1862, in the United States army, in Company C., Seventy-Ninth Illinois Infantry, and served three years, when the war closed. The principal battles in which he was engaged were Stone River, Chickamauga and Mission Ridge. During the last year of the war he organized an independent company for the defense of East Tennessee, of which he was elected Captain. Sept. 14, 1870, in Paris, Ill., he married Susie M., daughter of Rev. S. S. Newell, of that place. Of their two children, Teddie and Neddie, the latter is living. In his younger days, Mr. Bradley attended Edgar Academy a short time, read law at Paris, and graduated at the law department of Michigan University; also attended the literary course of that institution a short time, reading law at Paris, and graduated at the law department of Michigan University; also attended the literary course of that institution a short time. He came to Charles City in 1871 and commenced the practice of law; but in the fall of that year he was elected Justice of the Peace; there being on vacancy for that office at the time, he was re-elected in the fall of 1872, since which time he has held tat office. He was elected City Clerk in the spring of 1875, and since that time he has also had that office. He is also United States Commissioner. He is a Freemason, a member of the A. O. U. W., and of the Congregational church. Mrs. Bradley is also a member of that church.

Porter W. Burr Page 402

City attorney of Charles City, was born in Mercer, Somerset Co., Mane, Feb. 1, 1852. His parents were L. N. and Mary B. (Wiley) Burr, natives of Maine. In early life his father was a merchant and also engaged in running a starch manufactory and tannery. He is now living at Davenport, Iowa engaged in the life-insurance business. He and wife are members of the Congregational church, and have had a family of three sons – Milton B., one of the missing at the battle of Baton Rouge, La., L. N., Jr., who died at Davenport, and Porter W., subject of this sketch. He attended school in Farmington, Maine until fifteen when he came with his parents to Davenport, and in 1872 graduated from Griswold College, and in 1873 from the Iowa State Law School. He read law in Lincoln, Nebraska one year, then came to Nora Springs, Floyd County, where he practiced law with his father-in-law, the late Hon. W. P. Gaylord, under the firm name of Gaylord & Burr, until January 1877. In the fall of 1876 he was elected Clerk of Courts of Floyd County, and held that office until January 1881 when he opened his present law office, and in March 1881 was elected Mayor of Charles City, and in March 1882 City Attorney of Charles City. He married Miss B. V. Gaylord, April 17, 1876. She was born in Rock Grove Township, Floyd County, and was a daughter of Hon. W. P. Gaylord and Sarah E. (Slater) Gaylord, old settlers of Floyd County. Mrs. Burr is a member of the Episcopal church. They have one daughter, Viz.: Mary E., born Feb. 14, 1880. Mr. Burr is a member of Granite Rock Lodge, Nora Springs, I. O. O. F., and A. O. W. W., of Charles City Lodge, No. 158, and of the Iowa Legion of Honor, also a member of the Board of School Directors for Charles City – independent district. In politics, he is a Republican, Mr. Burr is one of the prominent members of the Floyd County bar.

A. G. Case Pages 409 – 410

President of the First National Bank in Charles City, is also a member of the present bar of Floyd County.

Col. Anson O. Doolittle Pages 408 – 409

Residing on his farm in St. Charles Township, is a native of New York, and was born at Warsaw, Wyoming County, July 8, 1841. His father, Senator James R. Doolittle, late Senator from Wisconsin, is a native of New York, where he was born in January 1815. Senator Doolittle graduated from the Geneva College and studied law in Rochester, and was afterward admitted to the New York bar. He married Mary L. Culting, in Wyoming Co., New York; she died September 1879; she and husband had a family of four sons and two daughters. Col. A. O. Doolittle, the subject of this sketch, was the second son. He attended the High School of Warsaw, New York, until nine years of age, when he removed with his parents to Racine, Wis., and attended the high school until fifteen years of age, when he entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Minn., for two years; he then attended the Columbia College at Washington, D. C., for one year; then read law in the office of Judge Lyon, now one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. After studying law with Judge Lyon for eighteen months, he took a course of lectures at Ann Arbor, Mich., until April 1861, when under the call of the President for soldiers, he, with a number of others, formed themselves into a company, and became members of Co. D, Second Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers. Col. Doolittle was elected First Lieutenant, and remained with the company until July 1861, when he was transferred to the regular service as Second Lieutenant of First U. S. Cavalry, and in 1864 was appointed Colonel of the Thirty-Second Wisconsin Infantry.
In September 1864, he resigned and returned to Racine, Wis., and was soon admitted to the Wisconsin bar and began to practice law at Fond du Lac. Some months after, he took charge of Governor Lucius Fairchild’s office at Madison, Wis., for six months, then was appointed an officer in the Custom House Department at New York City, remaining there three years, when he came to Charles City and purchased his present farm. Here he has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits.
Col. Doolittle married Miss Bessie Jones, at Racine, Wis., Feb. 16, 1862; she was born in New York State, and was a daughter of Horatio Jones. Mrs. Doolittle is a member of the Episcopal church, and she and husband have six children, viz.: Kate, Henry J. (attending school at Racine, Wis.), Mary, Julia, Bessie and Charley Doolittle.

In politics, Colonel Doolittle has always been a strong supporter of the Democratic party.

De Witt C. Duncan Page 405

Ex-mayor of Charles City, is a native of the Cherokee Nation, Georgia, and where the city of Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, now stands; was born Feb. 27, 1829; his parents were John and Elizabeth (Abercrombie) Duncan, natives of Georgia, and members of the M. E. church; they had seven sons and four daughters. D. W. C., the subject of this sketch was the fifty son; when five years of age he removed with his parents to the Indian Nation, where he lived on a farm with his father until 1857, then went to Dartmouth College, New Hampshire where he graduated in July 1861. He then went to Beloit, Wis., and married Miss Hellen P. Rosencrans, Dec. 21, 1862; she was born in Wisconsin and was a daughter of John and Mary (Johnson) Rosencrans. In 1864 he came to Clarksville, Butler County, Iowa where he remained two rears, reading law, and in January 1866, came to Charles City, where he has practiced law ever since. He and wife are members of the Congregationalist church. Mr. Duncan was elected Mayor of Charles City, and held that office one year; has held that of Justice of the Peace a number of years. In politics he is a Republican and voted the amendment prohibiting the sale and manufacture of alcohol. His is one of the leading members of Floyd County bar, with which he has been identified since January 1866.

Charles D. Ellis Page 403

Of Ellis & Ellis, attorneys of Charles City, is a native of New York and was born at Rome, Oneida County, April 28, 1850. His parents were Charles P. and Sara A. (Johnson) Ellis; father was born Dec. 19, 1810, and was the son of Daniel and Eliza (Knapp) Ellis; was a farmer and lumberman; he and wife were members of the Baptist church, and had three sons and one daughter; the sons are – Adelbert E., of Ellis & Ellis, attorneys, Charles City; Frank W., resides in Charles City and Charles D., the subject of this sketch. He attended the Rome Academy and Whitestown Seminary until seventeen years of age, when he came with his parents to Charles City, and remained one winter; then went to Madison, Wis., and attended the State University one year; thence to Adrian, Mich., and engaged in the grocery business one year, then began to read law with the firm of Eldridge and Walker during 1871 and 1872. He came to Charles City, and read law with Starr & Patterson until September 1873, when he was admitted to the bar. He then opened a law office in Charles City, and has been constantly engaged in the practice ever since. In 1878 he formed his present partnership with his brother. Mr. Ellis married Miss Flora A. Wilbur, Sept. 16, 1874; she was born in Otsego County, N. Y., and was a daughter of Hervey and Angeline (Moore) Wilber. Mrs. Ellis is a member of the Congregational church. They have had two daughters and one son; viz.: Ida M., born June 8, 1875; Katy R., born May 31, 1879, and Melvin N., born July 14, 1881. Mr. Ellis is one of the leading members of Floyd County bar, with which he has been identified since July 1867. In politics he is a Republican, and has always been a supporter of that party. His family are of Welsh and English descent.

Adelbert E. Ellis Pages 403 – 404

Of Ellis & Ellis, was born in Rome, N. Y., Jan. 21, 1848. He attended school until nineteen years of age, when he came to Charles City, and remained a short time; then returned to Whitestown Seminary two years, graduating from this seminary; then went to Adrian, Mich., where he and his brother engaged in the grocery business until 1871. He then returned to Charles City, and engaged in the hardware business until 1874, then read law with his brother until 1878. He was then admitted to the bar, and formed his present partnership. He married Miss Mary Waterman, of Westmoreland, N. Y., September 1871; she died July 23. 1875. He married Miss Belle Saxton at Charles City, April 14, 1877; she died September 1881. Mr. Ellis is also one of the leading members of Floyd County bar, and in politics is a Republican.

T. A. Hand Pages 401 – 402

Attorney at law, a member of the firm of Hand & Spriggs, of Charles City, Iowa, was born near Albany, New York. His parents were Lemuel P. Hand, of Albany and Mary S. Eddy, of Pittstown, New York. The family consisted of four sons and one daughter, the subject of this sketch being the eldest child, and they removed from Albany to Chicago, Illinois in 1848. In 1856 T. A. Hand came to Charles City, Iowa and entered upon a course in “the art preservative” in the Intelligencer newspaper office, then owned by Hildreth & Carver, and continued to work in that office until 1862, when he commenced the study of law at Charles City in the office of G. G. & R. G. Reiniger. In June 1863, he left Charles City and went to Leavenworth, Kansas, and worked at the case as a compositor in the office of the Leavenworth Conservative, but in September of that year went to the Territory of Arizona and published the Arizona Miner at Prescott, the then capital of the Territory, until the spring of 1865, when he returned to Charles City, Iowa and in 1866 re-commenced his law studies in the office of R. G. Reiniger, and was admitted to practice in 1871. He was married to Mary Cheney in 1869, and they have one child, a daughter, now (1882) about five years old.

A. M. Harrison Page 407

Of the firm Starr & Harrison, attorneys at law, was born in Venango County, Pa., Nov. 5, 1847, the son of Charles and Catherine (DeWitt) Harrison, the former a native of New Jersey, and the latter of New York State. In 1865 the family removed to Fredonia, N. Y., where Mr. Harrison graduated at the Fredonia Academy. Early in the spring of 1870 Mr. Harrison graduated in the law department of the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor, and directly afterward was admitted to the bar. He then came to Charles City, where he commenced the practice of his profession, at first alone, and then as assistant for Starr & Patterson, until 1873 when he was admitted into partnership, which relation he has since sustained. He has served as City Attorney three terms, the last of which expired last March (1882). In August 1873, Mr. Harrison married Miss Lizzie Chapin, daughter of Charles and Calista E. (Gage) Chapin. She is a native of Chautauqua County, N. Y. Their children are Gage M. and Martin E.

S. P. Leland Pages 405 – 406

Attorney, was born in 1839 in Huntsburg, Ohio. After attending the Orwell and Kirkland Academies, he finished in Hiram College under the presidency of Garfield. He married Miss Carrie Weeks in 1862; was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1863, from which time he about equally divided his time between the pursuit of literary studies and practicing in the courts of Chicago until 1867, when he came to Nashua, Iowa. There, for a time, diligently laid the foundation, in closer application to the law, for the reputation he has since won as an attorney.

Desiring to live in a county seat, he moved to Charles City, Floyd County, where he confined himself wholly to his profession until 1877, when he commenced lecturing. His gift of oratory and his attainments were soon recognized by the lecture associations throughout the country, and there is not another lecturer whose services are in greater demand than his. He has twice visited Europe, thus enriching and enlarging his repertory of lectures with several descriptions of customs, scenes and art, as he saw them while traveling. In 1864 Mr. Leland published a book of poems. The hard, realistic demand of the law drove the muses away, but a listener to one of his descriptions can easily see that he has wooed them back again.

The titles of his present lectures are,: “The Words We Use;” “A Visit to Rome:” “A Visit to Pompeii;” “A Trip over the Alps:” “The Grindstone:” “England and the Irish People:” “World Making:” “ Factors of Life;” and: “Land of Burns and Scott.” The multitudinous press notices warrant the strong language used above in regard to Mr. Leland’s ability.

Jay C. McConkey Pages 407 – 408

Was born in Walworth Co., Wis. July 29, 1848. His parents, Jacob J. McConkey and Nancy T. (Fowle) McConkey, moved to McHenry Co., Ill., in the year 1850, where they resided until March 185_, when his father died. In the fall of 1854, his mother came to Delaware Co., Iowa, where she lived till May 1856; then came to Mitchell County, where she has since resided. Mr. McConkey has one brother living, who now resides in Bremer County. After he came to Iowa he lived on the farm until the fall of 1866, working summers and going to school winters, till the fall of 186_, when he went to Osage Iowa, and there attended the seminary for about four years, then taught school a part of the time. In the winter of 1873, he went to Iowa City, and attended the law department of the State University; after taking the two years’ course he received the diploma, which gave him the authority to practice in the Supreme Court of Iowa. In December 1875, he married Lucy U. Charles, of Colorado Springs, Co.; remained till the spring of 1876, then came to Charles City, where he has since been practicing law.

Samuel B. Starr Page 401

Of the firm of Starr & Harrison, has been actively connected with the legal profession of Charles City since October 1855, and is the oldest member now living of the Floyd County bar. A son of Chauncey and Nancy Starr, nee Arnold, of New York, he was born in Brownville, Jefferson County, that State, on Jan. 17, 1824. His father died in 1832, his mother in 1828, having been the parents of five children. Samuel B. attended school at Brownville until sixteen and was then matriculated in Block River Institute at Watertown, New York, where he remained three years. He began the study of his chosen profession in Watertown, and also taught school there until Jan. 15, 1847, when he was admitted to the New York bar at Albany. He practiced in New York, in partnership with other gentlemen, and conducted this business and prosecuted his profession until the winter of ’49, when, drawn thither by the current then prevailing, he went with a party to the gold fields of California, remained two hears and cleared $2,500. He returned to Orleans and resumed his business and practice. He was married there to Adeline Hughes in May 1855. She was born in Orleans, a daughter of Daniel and Ruth Hughes. Of two sons born of this marriage one is living, S. H., who is engaged in the boot and shoe trade in this city. In October 1855, Mr. Starr came to Charles City, where he has successfully prosecuted his profession since. He held the office of County Prosecuting Attorney from 1856 to 1859, and has been City Attorney. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. fraternity, St. Charles Lodge, No. 141. In politics he was first a Jackson Democrat, then a Free-soiler, and since the organization of the Republican party, has been one of its strongest supporters.

As an illustration of the serio-comical side of human morality, we copy from the Intelligencer of May 23, 1867, a description of a case or two undergoing trial at the District Court then in session: “The opening case was a ‘calf’ case – Wilkins vs. Curry. Mr. Wilkins claims that he purchased a calf, brought it home, and his daughter fed it on ‘pancakes’ until the grass grew, then turned it out, after which the calf was lost on the prairie. It was subsequently found with Mr. Curry’s cattle. Mr. Wilkins replevined it; hence the lawsuit. The calf in question will certainly make a valuable cow, if it lives. It was subjected to the most rigid examination by the lawyers, especially about the ‘flanks’ and ‘neck’. So nicely was the ‘critter’ examined, that an estimate was given of white hairs contained in a spot about the size of an old copper cent, which numbered about eighteen, with the presumption that at least a dozen had been pulled out. The case, after occupying nearly and entire day, was given to the jury, who after a couple of hours returned, when the foreman stated they were unable to agree. The Judge looked somewhat astonished, and the audience smiled. The jury were then discharged.

“Following the calf case, came the ‘pig’ case, which as been tried before, The pig in question is dead, but the parties claiming to own him are determined to law it over his remains. No doubt the pig died from excessive grief at being the cause of so much trouble and expense. The lawyers dwelt on the merits of the defunct porker with great ability. There was one particular spot on the pig'’ back that grew small as the pig grew large, finally vanished, and did not return until the day he died. The case was finally given to the jury, who after an absence of two hours returned to the court room and state that they were unable to agree. The Judge sent them back again. They wrangled and log rolled all night, and the next morning they again stated that they could not agree. The Judge then discharged them. During the night the jury had a jolly time playing checkers and indulging in other amusements. One of the twelve, being quite an artist, sketched the picture of the hog in question on the wall of the room with the spot on his back. This artist, being a P. D. (printer’s devil), and an eloquent young man, lectured to the half asleep jury on the horrors of trichinae, nevertheless, the jury could not be convinced that pork was not valuable. Some were in favor of dividing the hog between the plaintiff and the defendant; but when they full understood that the pig was happy in everlasting rest, the eloquence of the lecturer on porkers, the exhortations of hungry men whose vitals were gnawing at their very conscience, the happy snores of heavy sleepers, the honor involved in a judicious and fair verdict, were not enough to recompense the jury for wasting time and knowledge on a dead hog. The most intricate of all the questions which puzzled the jury was, when the pig ceased to be a pig and became a hog.

“The business brought before the court during the entire term did not amount to much. The value represented in the five jury cases would not sum up $100. Still the plaintiffs and defendants fought the issues with as much determination as if there had been thousands of dollars involved. The expense to the county is very large.”