The Richland County – Shelby Chapter
Of The Ohio Genealogical Society

- - - INDUSTRIES - - -

SKILES & SKILES


A Firm of Shelby Lawyers Famous Throughout the Length
and Breadth of the Land.
_____________________________________

Railroad Cases Their Specialty

March 11, 1898

With a national reputation for their legal abilities and remarkable
achievements in winning cases of far-reaching importance, especially
to employees of powerful corporations, the Skiles Brothers reflect credit
at once upon themselves and the town in which they have fought their
way from even local obscurity to widespread fame. They are without
exaggeration or the least attempt to magnify their accomplishments at the
bar, brilliant examples of what intellectual force, allied with literally stubborn
determination to conquer apparently insurmountable obstacles in the path
of success, can do in this latter-day age of keen competition and rivalry.

The Skiles Brothers are the oldest firm in name and continuous activity
Shelby possesses, next to them coming Seltzer & Steele, merchants. They
have been over 20 years practicing law and still occupy the same office in
which they made their humble start in life. Intensely self-made men, they
have been engaged in fighting cases in nearly all the courts of the country
from the Supreme court down to the lowest, and their victories have been
phenomenal. So that whenever some case turns up that is particularly difficult,
no matter in what city or town, or how distant from Shelby, Skiles & Skiles
are more likely to be called upon than any other legal firm to take hold of it.

This is especially so in railroad accident cases. It’s safe to say, that Skiles
& Skiles are easily the most popular lawyers in the country among railroad
employees, for they have gone into the courts time and time again with cases
that seemed hopeless, on account of the iron-clad rules adopted by the
companies to protect themselves against paying damages for the accidents
that so often happen to men who are employed in both freight and passenger
service. A recent instance is to hand. At Elyria, O., on March 9th a jury in the
Common Pleas Court rendered a verdict of $8,500 in favor of Chas. Hudson
against the Big Four railway for damages he received in 1896 while acting as
brakeman for the company. This was a very hard case to handle, for a technical
point was involved that established a precedent, and the result affected every
railroad man in the United States. Hudson was not in his place of duty,
according to the book of rules, at the time of the accident, and the company
of course hoped to win without trouble. But the court held that so long as the
injuries he received were not the direct result of his being in another part of
the train than his assigned position when the accident happened, or in other
words through his own contributory negligence, he was entitled to damages.
Hence the verdict. The case lasted four days, and was a fierce forensic battle,
in which the Big Four’s great Indianapolis counsel was pitted against our
Shelby attorneys. Hudson sued for $50,000. This is one of innumerable
examples of success that Skiles Brothers have scored during their long career.

W.W. Skiles is president of the Citizens’ bank, president of the Shelby
Electric company, a director in the Shelby Water company, a director in
the Shelby Steel Tube company and a stockholder in the Shelby Cycle
Manufacturing company.

G.M. Skiles is vice-president of the Shelby Electric company, vice president
of the Shelby Water company, director in the Citizens’ bank, and director
in the Cycle Works.


Article contributed by Ruby Bonecutter

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