Among the prominent attorneys of Greene county, of the present day, there are the following gentlemen: H. C. Withers, J. R. Ward, John G. Henderson, S. F. Corrington, H. H. Montgomery, E. A. Doolittle, Leander R. Lakin, in Carrollton; W. M. Ward, in Greenfield; M. Meyerstein, and T. R. Henshaw, in White Hall, and Patterson & Starkey, D. F. King and Duncan C. McIver, in Roodhouse.
JAMES R. WARD, one of the most able and leading attorneys of this congressional district, is a son of McKinley and Eliza A. (Jones) Ward. He was born on a farm in Madison county, Ill., May 7, 1852, where he grew to manhood, laboring upon the farm, and received his early education. In 1867 and 1868 he attended the Lincoln University, and later at Jacksonville, where in June, 1873, he graduated from the Illinois College at that place. He then proceeded to Columbia, Missouri, and began a course of law studies under Philemon Bliss, who at one time was chief justice of the supreme court of that state. He was admitted to the bar in the state of Illinois at Mt. Vernon, in June, 1874, and was licensed to practice by the supreme court of Missouri, at St. Louis, June 21, of the same year. On September 23, following, he located at Carrollton and here first began the practice of his profession. In November, 1876 he was elected state's attorney for Greene county, by a greater vote and majority than was cast in the county for the president, Samuel J. Tilden. His business now increased so rapidly in civil cases that at the expiration of his term as state's attorney he declined to be a candidate for re-election and supported D. F. King for that position, the latter having been a law student of Mr. Ward's. During this term of office, however, he established the reputation of being an able and successful prosecutor of criminals, rarely losing a case, and since that time he has been retained to defend nearly all of the important cases of that character in this county. He has been engaged as counsel in the most important civil cases arising since he began the practice of his profession. His earnest and faithful efforts for his clients, his careful and adroit management of a case, his knowledge of men which he utilizes in the selection of juries, have in civil and criminal cases secured victories for his clients. Possessing a thorough knowledge of the law, a retentive memory and uniformly giving to every case, regardless of the amount involved, or the wealth or poverty of his client, a thorough and exhaustive examination and preparation, have characterized his eminent success as a lawyer and given him the appellation of "the poor man's lawyer friend."