The history of the Bar in Rutland county is coeval with that of
the State. It begins at a period when many changes had taken place in the
early habits of society; when the simplicity of the fathers had yielded
in a measure to the refinements consequent upon the increase of wealth
and population, and when the proceedings before the judicial tribunals
had become more technical and complex than in the early history of New
England. There were few if any lawyers who resided in this county previous
to the Revolution; but there were many individuals who attended the early
courts, who were not educated in the profession. They were commonly of
a class possessing, perhaps, some influence in their own neighborhoods,
with more or less aptitude for the transaction of ordinary business. They
were the forerunners at the local bar, and occupied the ground afterwards
monopolized by better educated men; some of them had a large business of
the more ordinary character. We would not speak lightly of these men; they
are not esteemed by all so highly as they ought to be; these lions had
no painters; they lived before the reports, and that was living too early
for their after fame; tradition cannot do them justice. But from the history
that has come down to us and from all that can be gathered in relation
to them, an opinion favorable to their professional merit acquires new
strength. These and other considerations tend to establish their right
to consideration. Their libraries were scantily furnished; and this very
scantiness led them to study the more intently the books they had ; to
be guided by what lights their own minds afforded ; and, in some instances,
doubtless, to more than supplying the place of authorities; it compelled
them to form the habit of relying largely upon their own resources.
Foremost in the bar of Rutland county stands the figure of Nathaniel
CHIPMAN. He was a descendant in the fourth generation from John CHIPMAN,
of Barnstable, Eng., who came to Massachusetts in 1630. Nathaniel's father
was a blacksmith and brought up his sons to arduous labor. At the age of
twenty years Nathaniel's mind was stored with wholesome qualities inspired
by the rigid Puritanical discipline of his home, and he entered upon a
course of classical studies with the minister of his parish, to fit himself
for Yale College, which he entered in 1773. He soon took a high position
in his classes, but before his senior year ended he left the institution
for the army of the Revolution. Enough is known of his military life to
give assurance that he performed its duties and suffered its hardships
with the patriotism that would be expected from such a man. He was made
a lieutenant in the service, and in October, 1778, reluctantly tendered
his resignation "on the sole ground that he could not longer remain in
the service without either becoming a beggar, or a debtor to an amount
that would embarrass and perhaps ruin him for life." The resignation was
accepted. In March, 1779, less than five months from his resignation, he
had finished his study for the bar, having been granted his degree from
Yale while in the army. He was admitted to the bar in Connecticut and then,
in April, 1779, repaired to his father's house, in Tinmouth. Here he entered
upon his practice, and that was his home for the greater part of his life.
His was the third admission to the bar of Vermont (June, 1779),
and his professional circuit embraced what are now the counties of Bennington,
Rutland, Windham and Windsor. From 1781 to 1785 he was State's attorney.
March 6, 1784, he was with Micah TOWNSEND as a committee to revise the
statutes of the State; in October of that year Isaac TICHNOR, Samuel KNIGHT
and Stephen R. BRADLEY were added to the committee. Their labors were admirably
performed. From October, 1784, to October, 1786, he was a representative
in the Legislature for Tinmouth. From December, 1786, to December, 1, 87,
he served as judge of the Supreme Court - the only lawyer on the bench,
and as chief justice from December, 1789, to December, 1791. He was, in
1789, made one of the commissioners to settle the long controversy between
Vermont and New York, and his influence and ability were largely instrumental
in closing the protracted controversy. In the appointment of Federal officers
for the State, President Washington selected Nathaniel CHIPMAN as judge
of the United States Court for the district of Vermont -- a life office,
but resigned by him in 1793. He resumed practice, accepting only very important
cases, and continued until 1796, when he was again elected chief justice
and was appointed on a committee to revise the statutes; this resulted
in the code of 1797, which was almost entirely the work of Mr. CHIPMAN.
Before his term as chief justice expired he was elected United States senator,
which office he held from March, 1798, to March, 1804. He exhibited his
modest nature and love of his adopted town, when he represented Tinmouth
in the Legislature in 1805, and continued in the office until 1811. In
March, 1813, hie was elected one of the council of censors. From December,
1813, to December, 1815, he again served as chief justice, which official
labor substantially closed his public life. In 1793 he published his Principles
of Government (afterwards extended and republished), and the first edition
of Reports and Dissertations. Other pamphlets and publications were issued
from his pen, all bearing evidence of his splendid intellectual endowments.
In 1816 he was appointed professor of law in Middlebury College, which
position he held nominally until his death. It has been written of him
that "he was great in almost all the best sorts of knowledge. Given a sound
body and mind, a taste fur reading and profound reflection, and a tenacious
memory to make his own forever all that his mind once grasped -- all the
rest was accomplished by persistent industry and a systematic course of
study, labor and recreation." He continued through life to read the Old
Testament in the Hebrew, the New Testament in the Greek, with Homer, Virgil
and other poets in Latin, calculating to go through the course once in
each year. This annual feat shows his great capacity for study. His political
life was of the purest and loftiest character, he being a Federalist of
the school of Washington. He died in Tinmouth February 15, 1843, and in
October, 1873, a monument was dedicated to his memory, at which ceremony
there was a large gathering of the bar and others to pay a tribute of respect
to one of the most eminent men of Vermont.
John A. GRAHAM was the first practicing attorney in Vermont. He
was born June 10, 1764, and in 1781 entered the office of Edward HINMAN,
in his native town of Southbury, Conn. In 1785 he was admitted to the bar
and removed to Rutland. He says in his own language, in a book published
by him in 1797, on the early history of Vermont: "I moved forward as well
as I could desire, in the different courts of the court of common pleas,
till the year 1790, when I was called to the bar of the Supreme Court of
the State. I practiced in this Court until June, 1792, when at the Circuit
court of the United States of America, for the district of Vermont, at
Bennington, I was called to the Bar of that Court, and admitted and sworn
as an attorney and counselor." In 1794 Mr. GRAHAM was given an appointment
on Governor Chittenden's staff with rank of lieutenant-colonel. In the
same year he was sent to Europe by the Episcopal Church of Vermont in the
interest of that church. He returned in the following year, but revisited
England soon afterward, and while there was given the title of Doctor of
Laws by the Royal College of Aberdeen, and there also he gave some of his
leisure to the writing of his book on Vermont. In 1800 he returned first
to Vermont for a year or two and then to New York, resumed the practice
of law and attained considerable success. He is credited with obtaining
a decision which resulted in legislation securing to all persons charged
with crime the right to interview with counsel, before being examined in
private by a magistrate, a practice then in vogue and often greatly abused.
For his argument in that case he received the congratulations of many eminent
men both in and out of the legal profession. He died on the 8th of August,
1841. His first wife was the daughter of Dr. HODGES, of Clarendon, and
his second wife was Margaret LORIMER, daughter of James LORIMER, of London.
He had a son by each of his wives.
Theophilus HERRINGTON [He commonly wrote to his name "Herrinton,"
and was probably the best authority as to how it should be spelled, although
it has generally been spelled with an "a."] was born in 1762, and became
a resident of Clarendon in early life. He never received a legal education,
and though admitted to the bar, practiced law but little. He, however,
attained a high reputation as a judge, and as representative of Clarendon
in the Assembly. In October, 1800, he was made chief judge of the
County Court of Rutland and twice re-elected. In October, 1803, he was
chosen one of the judges of the Supreme Court, and in the following month
was admitted to the bar. He remained on the bench until October, 1813,
and died in the succeeding month of that year. His name has become almost
immortal, perhaps, from the language attributed to him in response to a
master who had captured a slave in this State, and having produced good
evidence of his ownership, asked judge HERRINGTON what further testimony
he could demand; the reply being: "A bill of sale from God Almighty, sir."
Though rough and unpolished in his deportment, and without technical knowledge
of the law, he yet brought to his aid in his judicial labors a mind so
energetic and vigorous, a discrimination so acute, and such thorough investigation,
that he seldom failed to properly apply the laws.
Hon. Robert PIERPOINT was one of the most eminent of the Rutland
county bar. He was born at Litchfield, May 4, 1791, and was one of the
seven sons of David PIERPOINT. At seven years of age he was placed with
his uncle to live, at Manchester, Vt. His uncle kept a country inn and
the lad, although in feeble health, aided about the place for nine years
as far as lie was able. At sixteen he entered the office of Richard SKINNER
and began the study of law; there he remained until he reached his majority,
pursuing his studies with the utmost enthusiasm. In June, 1812, he was
admitted to the bar of Bennington county and in the same year came to Rutland
to live. Shortly afterward he was made deputy collector of the direct tax;
the office was one requiring tact, energy and ability, and he performed
its duties most satisfactorily. He represented Rutland in the Legislature
in 1819, 1823, 1857; was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1822
and 1828; member of the State Council from 1825 to 1830 inclusive, and
State senator from 1836 to 1839 inclusive; county clerk from 1820 to 1839;
judge of probate from 1831 to 1832; clerk of the House of Representatives
in 1832 and 1838; lieutenant-governor in 1848 and 1849. The degree of M.
A. was conferred on him by Middlebury College in 1826 and by the University
of Vermont in 1838. He was a judge of the Circuit Court under the old system
from 1850 to 1856, and held other honorary positions. His character has
been summed up in the words, "He was an able and good man." In his profession
he ranked high and was a formidable opponent. He died September 23, 1864,
aged seventy-three years.
Israel SMITH passed a portion of his professional career in this
county. He was born in Suffield, Conn., April 4, 1759, and graduated at
Yale College in 1781. He began practice of law at Rupert, Bennington county,
and was sent to the Legislature from that town four years. He was one of
the commission to establish the boundaries of this State and decide matters
connected with its admission to the Union. In 1791 he removed to Rutland
and in the fall of the same year was elected to Congress from the district
composed of towns west of the mountains, and re-elected in 1793 and 1795.
In 1797 he was elected chief justice of the Supreme Court. In 1801 he was
defeated as a candidate of the Republicans for governor, but elected to
Congress, and at the close of his term took his seat in the United States
Senate, to which he was elected the previous October. In October, 1807,
he was elected governor of the State. He died in Rutland December 2, 1810.
Solomon FOOT, one of Rutland's and Vermont's most distinguished
citizens and statesmen, was born in Cornwall, Addison county, November
19, 1802; graduated at Middlebury College in 1826. On leaving college he
became principal of Castleton Seminary, and held the same position again
in 1828, having in 1827 been a tutor in the University of Vermont, at Burlington.
He was professor in natural philosophy in the Vermont Academy of Medicine,
at Castleton, from 1828 to 1831. He read law with B. F. LANGDON and Reuben
R. THRALL, and was admitted to the Rutland county bar at the September
term, 1831, settled in Rutland and entered at once upon a successful practice,
especially as a jury advocate; he took great part in political affairs,
being a favorite and popular platform orator. His first marked public appearance
that gave him notoriety was as president of the monster Whig convention
at Burlington in 1840, at which ten thousand people convened, and his first
words uttered in his loud, melodious voice, have become memorable: "Men
of Vermont, come to order," which is said to have thrilled and hushed the
vast throng in a moment of time. He took a leading part in that campaign,
and from that time entered upon a successful political career. He was a
member of the Vermont Legislature in 1833, '35, '37, and '38, and was speaker
of the House in 1837, '38 and '47. In the State Constitutional Convention
of 1836 he was a prominent member; State's attorney from 1837 to 1842.
He was elected to Congress in 1843 and served until 1847, and was elected
United States Senator in 1850, and served until his death in 1866, making
a continuous public service of twenty years. He was president of the Senate
during a part of the Thirty-sixth and the whole of the Thirty-seventh Congress,
and his nomination for the vice-presidency was quite prominently canvassed
at Lincoln's first election. He made many elaborate speeches in the Senate,
and was conspicuous in the great Lecompton debate of 1858. He stood among
great war senators during the Rebellion, and was an associate and adviser
of President Lincoln. In 1854-55 he was president of the Brunswick and
Florida Railroad, and visited England, negotiated its bonds and purchased
the iron for the road. He died at Washington after a brief illness, March
28, 1866. A memorial funeral service was held in the Senate Chamber, after
which the remains were conveyed to Rutland, accompanied by a senatorial
committee, and deposited in the United States Court-room, where an impressive
scene occurred on the delivery of the remains to the people of Rutland,
in feeling addresses by Hon. Luke P. POLAND, his colleague in the Senate,
and Senator James R. DOOLITTLE, of Wisconsin, followed by an address of
acceptance on the part of the people by Hon. William T. NICHOLS. On the
day of the obsequies, citizens came from all parts of the State, making
the occasion one of the most impressive ever witnessed in Rutland. Public
services were held and a eulogy pronounced by Rev. Norman SEAVER, D.D.,
and the burial was made at Evergreen Cemetery, where a monument of granite
has been erected, taken from the same quarry from which the granite of
the Vermont State-House is built. He left his large library to the United
States Court of Vermont. He was twice married but left no children. The
annals of Vermont will hand down to coming generations the memory of few
more useful and distinguished citizens in public and national life, and
none who held his native State and the town of his residence in higher
regard and greater love.
Charles Kilbourne WILLIAMS, LL. D., was born in Cambridge, Mass.,
January 24, 1782. He was descended from along line of distinguished ancestors,
and a son of Rev. Samuel WILLIAMS, LL. D., an eminent clergyman, Hollis
professor in Harvard College, the first historian of Vermont and among
the early Congregational ministers of Rutland, and a grandson of the patriot
minister, Rev. John WILLIAMS, of Deerfield, Mass., who was carried into
captivity to Montreal, in February, 1704. His wife was murdered on the
way. The subject of this sketch graduated at Williams, studied law with
Cephas SMITH, jr., and was admitted to the bar at the March term of the
Rutland County Court, in 1803, and at once became eminent in his profession.
In 1812 he served one campaign on the northern frontier, and was afterwards
for many years major-general of the State militia. He represented Rutland
in the General Assembly in 1809-11, 1814-15, 1820-21, and again in 1849;
State's attorney in 1814-15. He was collector of customs for the district
of Vermont from 1825 to 1829. He was president of the Council of Censors
in 1848. His most distinguishing quality was as a jurist, and he was elected
a judge of the Supreme Court in 1822, and served until 1824, when he was
appointed collector and was re-elected again in 1829 to 1833, when he was
elected chief justice and held that position until his voluntary retirement
from the bench in 1846. Judge WILLIAMS was a lawyer of deep research and
popular manner, and a courteous and learned judge. The judicial opinions
reported are of great value to the profession, and his judicial history
is among the most eminent in the history of Vermont. He was governor in
1850 and '51, which was his last public office, and crowned a long and
useful service to the State. He was a devout member of the Episcopal Church
and was frequently a member of the diocesan and general conventions of
that denomination. He died suddenly at his home in Rutland, March 9, 1853.
He married Lucy Jane, the daughter of Hon. Chauncey LANGDON, of Castleton.
This family consisted of four daughters and three sons, Charles L., Chauncey
K., and Samuel, all of whom became lawyers, and a grandson, Charles K.
WILLIAMS, is now a member of the Rutland county bar.
Leonard Williams a brother of Charles K. Williams, was born in Bradford,
Mass., in 1775. Studied law with Daniel Chipman and was admitted to the
bar in 1795, and after a practice of a few years at Brandon and Rutland,
he was appointed a lieutenant in the United States army in 1799, and died
in the service in 1812, at the age of thirty-seven years.
Charles Langdon WILLIAMS was born in Rutland in 1821, graduated
at Williams College in 1839, studied law with his father, Charles K. WILLIAMS,
and was admitted to the bar in April, 1842. He settled at Brandon in 1844,
and remained there until 1848, and afterward resided in Rutland. He was
a lawyer of eminent attainments and learning, but he was cut off in his
useful career, by consumption and died March to, 1861, aged forty years.
A son, Charles K. WILLIAMS is the only member of this eminently legal family
now in practice. Mr. WILLIAMS was the author of the Statistics of the Rutland
County Bar, 1847, Revised Statutes of Vermont, 1851, and Vermont Supreme
Court Reports, volumes 27 to 29, of which he was reporter from 1855 to
Chauncey Kilborn WILLIAMS, was born in Rutland in 1838. Graduated
at Williams College, in 1859, studied law with his brother, Charles L.
WILLIAMS, and admitted to the bar. After a practice of a few years he removed
to Flint, Mich., where he was for several years a successful lawyer and
city judge. He returned to Rutland and was for a time editor of the Rutland
Herald, also of the Rutland Globe. He was a man of varied culture and historical
research, and a writer of great force and clearness. He was the author
of the Lives of the Governors of Vermont, and Centennial History of Rutland,
and was a frequent contributor of historical sketches to the press; was
a corresponding or honorary member of most of the historical societies
in this country and several in Europe. He died suddenly in Rutland.
Samuel WILLIAMS was born in Rutland, graduated at Williams College
and studied law with his brother, Charles L. WILLIAMS. Was admitted to
the bar and practiced for a time in Rutland. He was secretary of civil
and military affairs during the governorship of Frederick HOLBROOK in 1861-62,
also Governor SMITH in 1863-64, and proved a valuable war secretary. He
was for a few years treasurer of the Central Vermont Railroad. He was State
senator from Rutland county in 1874. He has retired from practice and now
resides in Philadelphia. He recently published a memoir of his father,
Charles K. WILLIAMS.
Edgar L. ORMSBEE, for twenty years or more a leading lawyer of Rutland,
was born in Shoreham in 1805. In early youth he manifested much originality
and precocity of mind. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1823, in
a class distinguished for its superior standing and scholarship, embracing
such men as Joseph BATTELL, the eminent patron of Yale College; Julian
G. BUEL, a talented lawyer; Hon. John S. CHIPMAN, Member of Congress; Rev.
Thomas J. CONANT, president of Madison University; Rev. E. B. SMITH, president
of New Hampshire Theological Institution ; Francis MARKOE, of the Diplomatic
Bureau, at Washington; Rev. L. L. TILDEN, long a minister at West Rutland
; Hon. Merritt CLARK, of Poultney, and Judge Harvey BUTTON, of Wallingford.
Among these men Mr. ORMSBEE was distinguished for general and classical
scholarship and natural talent. He read law with Hon. Rodney C. ROYCE and
at the Litchfield (Conn.) Law School and was admitted to the bar
in 1826. He quickly rose to a high position and retained it until his retirement
from practice. The only public office he held was that of State's attorney,
from 1845 to 1847. His manner was, unhappily, not such as to render him
very successful at nisi prius; his forte was before the Supreme Court.
He was argumentative, fond of metaphysical distinctions; his style clear,
pointed and suggestive, and his phraseology in the expression of his ideas
often showed the purest and most classical diction. In common cases his
angularity and rigidity of manner often diverted from the force of his
argument; but when his cause was one of sufficient importance to call forth
his best powers of mind, then would he arise in dignity and grace and pour
forth his thoughts in chaste and manly diction, in unsurpassed eloquence.
His wit was keen, his humor unbounded, his repartee always ready, and his
satire irresistible. Mr. ORMSBEE's perceptions were far-reaching and sometimes
prophetic. He was one of the first to conceive the feasibility of intercommunication
through Western Vermont with the Canadas and other localities, and entered
with voice and pen into zealous advocacy of the project; his efforts, against
much opposition, did very much to assure the railway system in which Rutland
county now shares. He died November 24, 1861, at the age of sixty-four
years. His widow still lives at an advanced age.
Moses STRONG was one of the early leading members of the Rutland
county bar. He was a son of John STRONG, of Addison county, and born in
Connecticut. He studied law and married a daughter of Daniel SMITH, in
Shoreham, as his first wife. He came to Rutland about 1810. He was elected
to the office of chief judge of the County Court and held other positions
of honor and responsibility. He died September 29, 1842.
De Witt Clinton CLARKE, son of Asahel CLARKE, was born in Granville,
N. Y., September 12, 1810. He entered the University of Vermont, but left
it without finishing his course, and subsequently graduated at Union College
He studied law with Hon. George R. DAVIS, of Troy, N. Y., and was admitted
to the Rutland county bar at the April term of 1842. He practiced law in
Brandon, where he was for a time in partnership with E. N. BRIGGS. He established
the Free Press at Burlington in 1846. In 1853 the paper passed from his
possession and he engaged with Governor Charles PAINE in the construction
of railroads in Texas. Later he established the Burlington Daily Times.
General CLARKE was a man of note; he held many offices of importance and
responsibility. In 1840 he was quartermaster-general of the State; secretary
of the Vermont Senate from 1840 to 1851; executive clerk of the United
States Senate from 1861 to 1869; member of the State Constitutional Convention
in 1857 and 1870, and secretary; presidential elector in 1860. He married
Caroline T. GARDNER, of Troy, N. Y., who died in 1866, without children.
General CLARKE died in September, 1870. He was a sparkling writer both
in prose and verse, and an influential editor. In conversation entertaining;
in official duties, competent, courteous and attentive. Few men had a wider
acquaintance, both with the men of his own State (for though not born in
Vermont, he was of Vermont parentage and a Vermonter through and through)
and among the public men of the country.
Anson A. NICHOLSON was born in Middletown in 1819. He studied law
with judge Harvey BUTTON, of Wallingford, and was admitted to the bar in
1843. He practiced first in Chester, Vt., where he married, and two or
three years later removed to Brandon, where he remained a number of years
in the enjoyment of a large practice. About the year 1864 he came to Rutland
and resided here the remainder of his life. His death occurred in 1877.
Mr. Nicholson was well educated in his profession, enjoyed the respect
of his fellow practitioners, and was especially proficient as an office
lawyer. The only public office he held was that of State's attorney (1857-58).
He was a fluent and gifted writer, both in prose and verse, and early in
life learned the printer's trade and at one time edited the Kalamazoo (Mich.)
Chief, when he was but twenty years of age.
Although Frederic Williams HOPKINS did not long engage in active
practice of his profession, still his eminent qualifications entitle him
to some brief mention. He was born in Pittsford September 15, 1806, and
died in Rutland January 21, 1874. He was a graduate of Middlebury College,
class of 1828, and studied law with Hon. Ambrose L. BROWN, who was his
brother-in-law. In 1831 he was admitted to the bar and practiced with considerable
success until 1839, when he gave up the profession forever. From 1833 to
1836 he was register of probate for the Rutland district, and at the time
he relinquished his practice was appointed clerk of the Supreme and County
Courts for this county. This office he filled until 1868, with the greatest
credit. He had a taste for military life and was made adjutant and inspector-general
in 1838, holding the office until 1852. He was a fluent writer of both
prose and verse and an eloquent speaker. His first wife was a daughter
of Thomas HOOKER, of Rutland, and his second a daughter of Zimri LAWRENCE,
William Douglas SMITH was a son of Hon. Israel SMITH; a graduate
of Middlebury College in 1804, and a member of the bar of the county. He
was appointed clerk of the House of Representatives of Vermont in 1809,
and continued in the position until his early death in 1822.
Colonel Jesse GOVE, a son of Nathaniel GOVE, was a prominent member
of the bar in his day. He was born in Bennington, February 20, 1783, and
fitted with Samuel WATSON, of Rutland. He read law with Cephas SMITH, jr.,
of Rutland, and was admitted to the bar of the county at the March term
of 1818. In 1809 he was appointed clerk of the United States District and
Circuit Courts for the district of Vermont and held the office till his
death. He was appointed postmaster of Rutland in 1841, and attained the
rank of colonel in the militia.
William PAGE was born at Charlestown, N. H., in 1779; graduated
at Yale College in 1797, and studied law with Daniel FARRAND and was admitted
to the Chittenden county bar in 1806, and retired from practice in 1825.
He became cashier of the Bank of Rutland, a position he occupied for nearly
a quarter of a century. He was secretary of the governor and Council from
1803 to 1807, and register of probate from 1815 to 1825. He died in 1850,
aged seventy years. His son, the late John B. PAGE, was governor of the
John L. FULLER, born in Massachusetts in 1798; studied law with
Charles K. WILLIAMS, and admitted to the bar in 1822, and in 1824 removed
to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1836 aged thirty-eight.
Darius CHIPMAN, born in Salisbury, Conn., in 1758; studied law with
Nathaniel CHIPMAN; admitted to the bar in 1781; represented Rutland in
1801; State's attorney in 1785; removed to New York city in 1816, where
he died, aged sixty-two years.
Ambrose Lincoln BROWN was born in Cheshire, Mass., October 25, 1795,
and fitted at Castleton Academy. He graduated from Middlebury College in
1816, and studied law with Hon. Charles K. WILLIAMS, LL. D., of Rutland,
practicing here from 1819 to 1837; from 1837 to 1841 engaged in papermaking
and book-selling, and a part of that time as editor of the Herald; after
1844 he followed civil engineering. He was judge of probate for the Rutland
district from 1832 to 1835 and in 1838-39; represented the town in the
Legislature in 1834-35; was assistant clerk of the House of Representatives
1841, and judge of Rutland County Court, 1844 to 1847.
James Tilson NICHOLS, born in 1803 and died in Sudbury, 1868; studied
with Hon. Solomon FOOT and Silas H. HODGES, of Rutland, and was admitted
in 1851; was assistant clerk of the House of Representatives in 1852; State's
attorney for Rutland county 1859-60; member of the Legislature 1861-63;
senator from Rutland county 1863-64; was a partner of Hon. Robert PIERPOINT
from 1857 to the death of the latter; went out as a private in the First
Vermont Regiment and was commissioned colonel of the Fourteenth Regiment,
in which capacity he served with honor.
Rodney C. ROYCE was born in Berkshire in 1800; studied law with
Chief Justice Stephen ROYCE, and admitted to the Franklin county bar in
1822; settled in practice at Rutland, and proved one of the most eminent
and brilliant members of the bar. He represented Rutland in the Legislature
in 1830-31 and '32, and was register of probate from 1825 to 1832. He died
in 1836, aged thirty-six years. His only living descendant, Edmund R. MORSE,
is now a member of the bar.
Nathan B. GRAHAM was born in Southbury, Conn., in 1768; studied
law with his brother, John A. GRAHAM, and was admitted to the bar in 1792.
He was a judge of the Rutland County Court in 1804, 1805 and 1806, and
State's attorney from 1807 to 1810, when he removed to New York and became
an eminent criminal lawyer. He died in 1830, aged sixty-two years.
Samuel WALKER, born in Massachusetts; graduated at Harvard College
1790; studied law with Nathaniel CHIPMAN; admitted to the bar in 1792,
and removed to Massachusetts in 1820.
Samuel PRENTISS; born about 1770; studied law with Nathaniel CHIPMAN;
admitted to the bar in 1792, and died in 1828, aged fifty-eight.
Phineas SMITH was born at Roxbury, Conn., in 1793; graduated at
Yale College in 1816; was educated at the Litchfield Law School in Connecticut,
and admitted to practice in Bennington county in 1819. He practiced law
successfully, and was a noted instructor, and the late judge Loyal C. KELLOGG
was one of the most eminent of his pupils. At one time having a large number
of young men reading with him, he made efforts to form a law-school in
Rutland. He died in 1836, aged forty-six years.
Horace POWERS was born in Pittsford in 1805; studied law with A.
L: BROWN; admitted to practice in 1843; retired from the profession after
a few years.
Calvin BARNES was born at Lanesboro, Mass., in 1794; studied law
with Moses STRONG and Rodney C. ROYCE, and was admitted to the bar in June,
1825, and removed to New York, where he died many years ago.
Edson ALLEN was born at Guilford in 1804; studied law with judge
Daniel KELLOGG; admitted in Windham county in 1835, and after a practice
of two years in Rutland removed to Ohio, and died a few years since.
George L. GALE, born at Lenox, Mass., in 1807; read law with Reuben
R. THRALL; admitted to the bar in September, 1831; removed to Michigan
in 1832, where he died many years ago.
Simeon WRIGHT was born about 1796; graduated at Brown University
in 1818; studied law with William Douglass SMITH; admitted to the bar in
June, 1819; practiced law a few years in Rutland and Pittsford and then
removed to Michigan in 1823, where he died in 18331 aged thirty-seven years.
Summer A. WEBBER was born in Rutland in 1795; studied law with Charles
K. WILLIAMS, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1825. He removed to Windsor
county in 1826, where he died a few years since.
Henry B. TOWSLEE was born in Pawlet in 1810; studied law with Reuben
R. THRALL, and was admitted to the bar April, 1832. Removed to Wisconsin
Cephas Smith was born in Suffield, Conn., in 1761; graduated at
Dartmouth College in 1788; studied law with Israel SMITH, and was admitted
to the bar in March, 1791. Died in 1815, aged fifty-four.
Leonard E. LATHROP, a native of Hebron, Conn., born in 1772; graduated
at Yale College, read law in Connecticut, and was admitted to the Rutland
county bar in November, 1806; removed to New York in 1834, where he died
in 1840, aged sixty-eight years.
Lewis ROYCE was born in Northfield in 1805; studied law with William
UPHAM at Montpelier, and was admitted to the Washington county bar in 1830;
removed to New York in 1838.
Chauncey ABBOTT, a native of Cornwall in 1816, graduated at Middlebury
College in 1836; studied law with E. F. HODGES, and admitted to the bar
in April, 1841; after practice of a few years removed to Wisconsin, and
has been a judge of the Supreme Court of that State.
Royal H. WALLER was born in Middlebury in 1804; studied law with
Rodney C. ROYCE, and was admitted to the bar in April, 1827. He removed
to New York in 1836, where he died many years since.
Nathan OSGOOD was a native of Sterling, Mass., in 1759; read law
without a tutor, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1803, and retired
from practice in 1820. He represented Rutland in 1796; county clerk from
1789 to 1805; register of probate from 1803 to 1810. He died in 1841 at
the age of eighty-two.
Nathaniel HAMLIN was born in Sharon, Connecticut, in 1777; studied
law with Cephas SMITH, and admitted to the bar at the March term, 1800.
He removed to Ohio in 1816.
Elias BUEL, born at Coventry, Conn., in 1770, admitted to the bar
in 1793, removed to Burlington in 1796, where he died in 1832, aged sixty-two
of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations &
Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men & Pioneers"
by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y.
Mason & Co., Publishers 1886
of Rutland County
by Karima, 2002