THE BENCH AND BAR.
Personal Sketches of President Judges--Many Able and Distinguished Jurist Among Them--The Bar of Tioga County--A Brilliant Array of Legal Talent--The Tioga County Bar Association--John F. Donaldson, Prothonotary and Politician--A Sketch of His Career
The men who have filled the important and honorable office of president judge, since the organization of the first courts of Tioga county to the present time, have been men of marked ability as jurists and lawyers, and have, as a rule, been personally popular in the great body of the citizenship of the county.
HON. JOHN BANNISTER GIBSON, who presided at the opening of the first court in January, 1813, was a native of Cumberland (now Perry) county, Pennsylvania, where he was born November 8, 1780. He was a son of Col. George Gibson, who fell at St. Clair’s defeat in 1791. After receiving his preparatory education he entered Dickinson College and graduated therefrom in due season. He studied law under the direction of Hon. Thomas Duncan and was admitted to the bar in 1803. After practicing for a short time in Carlisle he removed to Beaver, where his father had at one time been engaged in military operations. Thence he went to Hagerstown, Maryland, and shortly afterward returned to Carlisle. In 1810 he was elected to the lower house of legislature, and was re-elected the following year. In July, 1812, he was appointed president judge of the Eleventh judicial district, and three years after was commissioned an associate justice of the Supreme Court. At the death of Chief Justice Tilghman, in 1827, he was appointed by the governor to succeed him. In 1838, at the date of the adoption of the Constitution, he resigned, but the governor immediately re-appointed him. By a change in the Constitution making the judiciary elective, his seat became vacant in 1851. During the same year he was elected an associate justice of the Supreme Court and remained on the bench to the close of his life.
When Judge Gibson presided over the first court of Tioga county he was a young man of scarcely thirty-three, but he had already seen much of public life and understood well the manners and customs of the frontier settlers. As a jurist he was recognized as one of the ablest of his time and his legal opinions are among the richest treasures of the country. He died in Philadelphia May 3, 1853, and was buried at Carlisle.
HON. THOMAS BURNSIDE, of Bellefonte, succeeded Judge Gibson. He, however, soon afterward resigned, appearing only during one term of court in Wellsboro.
HON. EDWARD HERRICK, the successor of Judge Burnside, was appointed by Governor Findley July 6, 1818. The judicial district was then known as the Thirteenth, and was composed of the counties of Bradford, Susquehanna and Tioga, to which were subsequently added Potter and McKean. Judge Herrick, who was of English descent, was born in Dutchess county, New York, October 26, 1787. After finishing his law studies with his brother at Zanesville, Ohio, he was admitted to the bar at Chillicothe, August 8, 1808, a few months before reaching his majority. He at once entered on the practice of his profession in Ohio, and was soon appointed district attorney for Licking, Know and Tuscarawas counties. In 1812 he was elected to the legislature from Licking county. He located at Athens, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, in 1813, because he had relatives living there, and engaged in his profession. He rose rapidly, became a representative man, and filled several positions of honor, among which was that of brigade inspector of the counties of Lycoming, Potter, McKean, Bradford and Tioga, by appointment of Governor Snyder in July, 1814. After a service of twenty-one years on the bench he retired February 27, 1839, the New Constitution having limited the judicial tenure. He was honored by having a township in Bradford, and one in Susquehanna county named for him. Judge Herrick died at Athens March 7, 1873, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.
JOHN NESBIT CONYNGHAM, of Wilkes-Barre, who came upon the bench in 1839, succeeded Judge Herrick. He was born in Philadelphia, December 17, 1798, graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 186, studied law in the office of Hon. J. R. Ingersoll, and upon being admitted to the bar settled in Wilkes-Barre in 1820. Judge Conyngham retired from the bench of Tioga county in February, 1849, but he served twenty years longer in the adjoining district. The circumstances of his death were peculiarly sad. In April, 1871, while on his way to visit a son in Mississippi, he fell under the wheels of a car, while stepping from a moving train, and had both his legs crushed below the knees, dying in two hours.
HON. HORACE WILLISTON, of Athens, Bradford county, was appointed to succeed Judge Conyngham, and he held the judgeship until the first Monday of December, 1851, when he went out by virtue of an amendment to the Constitution, adopted at the general election in 1850, making the judge elective.
HON. ROBERT GRAY WHITE was elected president judge in 1851, and re-elected in 1861, and was the first citizen of Tioga county to fill the office. That was the year in which the union took place of the Wilmot Proviso party, under the lead of David Wilmot, and those straight Democrats under the immediate lead of John F. Donaldson and Mr. White, both of Wellsboro—or rather the going over of those two gentlemen to the Wilmot Proviso party.
Previous to April 15, 1851, Tioga and Bradford counties were in the same judicial district, and Wilmot and White each wanted to be elected judge at the fall election. Here was a difficulty. White was afraid to run against Wilmot, and Wilmot was afraid to run against White. Something must be done to harmonize matters. Here was a chance for the political genius of Donaldson, and he was equal to the emergency. He proposed to "raft over three or four districts; leave Tioga in the Eighteenth, and make a new one with Bradford the principal county in it." The suggestion cut the Gordian knot and all parties were again happy. A bill was drawn by an expert, reported by the judiciary committee of the legislature, and passed with little opposition. By it Tioga, Potter, McKean and Elk formed the Eighteenth district; Bradford, Susquehanna and Sullivan the Twenty-seventh. Thus both White and Wilmot became judges. What could have been more neatly done? And the beauty of the operation was in the fact that neither the people nor the legislature knew anything about the object of the movement to create a new judicial district.
Robert Gray White, fourth child of James and Charlotte (Weitzel) White, was born January 21, 1807, near Georgetown, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania. His father was thrown from his wagon and killed sometime in 1812, leaving two sons and three daughters. His widow married Col. Hugh White, who had been an officer in the Revolutionary army. He was not known to be related to his predecessor, James White. Col. Hugh White was the son of Hugh White, of Dauphin county; was born in 1737, and settled in Pine Creek township, Lycoming (now Clinton) county, before the Revolution, and while the land yet belonged to the Indians. He was an active patriot during and after the war. His first wife was Margaret Allison, by whom he had six sons and one daughter. By the second marriage he had three sons and one daughter, viz: Isabella, George, John and Henry. The sons died in Williamsport, and Isabella (born February 13, 1815,) still survives, and is the wife of Col. James S. Allen, of Jersey Shore. Col. Hugh White was killed in 1822, on his Pine Creek farm, by being thrown from his horse.
Robert Gray White was educated under Rev. John H. Grier, in his classical school at Pine Creek, and at Jefferson College, Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he graduated A. B., in 1826. Choosing the law as his profession, he entered upon his studies with Hon. A. V. Parsons, Esq., of Jersey Shore. He afterwards removed to Meadville, and continued his studies, completing them in 1829 in the office of Hon. Henry Shippen, of Meadville, then president judge of the district which included Crawford, Warren and Erie counties. Having been admitted to the bar, he located in Wellsboro in the fall of 1829, and at once entered upon the practice of his profession. He was soon recognized as a man of marked ability, and took a position at the bar of Tioga county which he sustained throughout his active career. He served as deputy attorney general in 1830-31, and became intimately associated with every public interest in the county. he was elected delegate from Tioga and Potter counties in the Constitutional Convention of 1838, where he fully realized the highest expectations of his constituency.
It is due Judge White to say that, as a member of the Constitutional Convention, he opposed the clause in the Constitution which confined the right of suffrage to white citizens. Negroes in Pennsylvania always had this right till they were excluded by the Constitution of 1838.
Judge White was married November 13, 1839, to Sarah, daughter of William and Anna (Page) Bache, one of the oldest and most respected families of Wellsboro. Six children, three sons and three daughters, blessed the union.
He was treasurer of Tioga county in 1840-42, and was for a time extensively engaged in lumbering on Pine creek, in Delmar and Shippen townships, owning mills and valuable tracts of land. During his long service on the bench he won the respect and esteem of the people, the members of the bar of the district, and all with whom he came in contact. Several years before the close of his second term in 1871, the work of the district had so increased—and as he was in feeble health—an additional law judge was elected in May, 1865, in accordance with an act of the legislature, that honor falling on Hon. Henry W. Williams, of Wellsboro. The associate greatly relieved him and he served out his term. He retired and spent the closing years of his life at his comfortable home surrounded by his family. He died September 6, 1875.
Court was in session in Wellsboro when he died, and his death was formally announced from the bench by Judge Williams, when, on motion, court adjourned. A meeting of the bar was then held to take action in relation to his death. Judge Williams was called to the chair and Hon. Mortimer F. Elliott was appointed secretary. On motion of F. E. Smith a committee was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the great loss the bar and the country had sustained in the death of Judge White. In presenting the resolutions the chairman, Mr. Smith, made some appropriate and feeling remarks upon the character of the deceased. Among the resolutions was the following:
Resolved, That in Judge White we recognize what has been appropriately said to be "the noblest work of God"—an honest man. Honorable and high toned in all his thoughts and actions, as such he adorned the profession of his choice; upright and impartial as a judge, the judicial ermine was never soiled by his wearing it. Courteous, kind and liberal as a citizen and a parent, the world was made the better by his living in it."
HON. HENRY W. WILLIAMS, who was appointed additional law judge of the district in March, 1865, by Governor Curtin, succeeded Judge White as president judge, to which office he was elected in the autumn of 1871. At the close of his ten years’ term he was re-elected as his own successor, but before completing his second term he was appointed an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, August 19, 1887, vice Justice Mercur, deceased. The same year he was nominated and elected for a full term of twenty-one years, and commissioned December 22, 1887. His term will expire January 1, 1909.
Judge Williams was born July 30, 1830, in Harford, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, and was fitted for admission to Amherst College at Franklin Academy. At the age of twenty-two he commenced the study of law with Hon. E. B. Chase, of Montrose. In May, 1852, he located in Wellsboro, and resuming his law studies under Hon. John W. Guernsey, was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in January, 1854. The following year he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the State, and in 1856 to the United States district and circuit courts. Immediately upon his admission he took high rank and won distinction as an advocate, being a fluent, eloquent and logical speaker. In 1874 he was appointed one of the board of seven commissioners to revise the New Constitution, and he performed the part of the work assigned him with great care and ability.
Judge Williams is a member of the Presbyterian church and has always taken a deep interest in its affairs. In 1877 he was appointed one of the delegates to represent the church of the United States in the Pan-Presbyterian council at Edinburgh, Scotland, and he delivered an address before that able body which may be found in its printed proceedings. In 1881 he represented Pennsylvania in the International Sunday-school convention at Toronto, Canada, and was honored by being chosen one of the vice-presidents. For several years he has been one of the state executive committee of the Sunday School Association and of the Young Men’s Christian Association. He also takes much interest in Masonry, and on June 24, 1882, he delivered an address before the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons at Philadelphia, the occasion being the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its establishment. This address attracted much attention from the fraternity on account of its ability and the valuable information it imparted. Judge Williams is now Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
It is thus seen that while discharging the onerous duties which have devolved on him as president judge and associate justice of the Supreme Court of the State, he has found time to leave his impress on the church, Sunday school, Christian Association and Free Masonry. His position on the bench of the Supreme Court necessarily compels him to spend much of his time in Philadelphia, yet he maintains his home in Wellsboro, where he spends the summer months with his family. Judge Williams married Miss Sarah E. Nichols, a daughter of Judge Levi I. Nichols, and a member of one of the oldest and most prominent families of Wellsboro. The union has been blessed with two children, a son and a daughter, the former of whom is a practicing physician in Wellsboro. Throughout his long and active public career Judge Williams has retained the unbounded confidence of the people of Tioga county, among whom he has lived for more than forty years.
HON. STEPHEN FOWLER WILSON, the next president judge of the district, is one of the best known men in Tioga county. he is a native of Columbia township, Bradford county, where he was born September 4, 1821. His parents, George and Jane Wilson, were natives of Ireland, and he was the youngest of seven children. He labored on a farm until he was eighteen years of age, attending such schools as the neighborhood afforded in the winter time and subsequently the famous Wellsboro Academy, and in January, 1844, he was employed in that institution as an assistant for one term, "at the price and sum of $52, if employed the whole time in teaching, but if not employed but one-half of the time, then the price to be $10 per month!"
As early as 1842 he had commenced reading law under the direction of Hon. James Lowrey, one of the early teachers of the academy, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county, February 20, 1845. The committee on examination consisted of Hon. Robert G. White (afterward president judge), Hon. John C. Knox (subsequently attorney general of Pennsylvania and a judge of the Supreme Court) and Hon. John W. Guernsey, later state senator and a distinguished member of the bar. Judge Conyngham was then on the bench. Mr. Wilson at once entered upon the practice of his profession and soon afterwards formed a partnership with L. P. Williston. Several years afterwards he formed a co-partnership with Hon. James Lowrey, his preceptor, which existed until the latter removed to New Jersey in 1865. Afterwards Mr. Wilson formed a partnership with Hon. Jerome B. Niles, which continued until he was appointed additional law judge in 1871.
In the meantime Mr. Wilson had become active in politics. Prior to 1854 he acted with the Democratic party, but since that time he has been a pronounced Republican. In 1862 he was elected to the State Senate, representing the counties of Tioga, Potter, McKean and Warren, and served in that body a full term. In 1864, while still a member of the Senate, he was elected to Congress from the district composed of Tioga, Lycoming, Centre, Clinton and Potter counties, and was re-elected in 1866, thus serving four years. In 1864 he was a delegate to the republican National Convention at Baltimore which re-nominated President Lincoln. In 1871 he was appointed additional law judge to fill the vacancy caused by the election of Judge Williams to the office of president judge, and at the following election he was chosen as his own successor for a full term of ten years. In 1884 he was appointed by President Arthur an associate justice of the Supreme Court of New Mexico and served until July, 1885. Returning to Wellsboro he resumed practice, but in 1887 he was appointed president judge to succeed Judge Williams, who had been elected an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and sat upon the bench up to 1889.
For many years Judge Wilson has taken considerable interest in agriculture and was president of the Tioga County Agricultural Society in 1875. He has many personal friends throughout this section of the State and is noted for his kindly generosity and social qualities. Although he has remained a bachelor, he cannot be accused of being "crusty," but on the other hand is of an exceedingly jovial and cheerful disposition, and can relate and enjoy a good anecdote. Since retiring from the bench he has devoted his attention to the practice of the law, and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers of northern Pennsylvania.
In the hurry and bustle incident to a political and public career, Judge Wilson has not been unmindful of his earthly home. Within recent years he has erected a unique and substantial burial vault in the beautiful cemetery adjacent to the town. It is in the form of a log cabin, and is constructed of a peculiar gray stone obtained from Ohio. Looking through the door into the vault one sees the top of a sarcophagus, at the head of which stands a marble bust of the judge. The inscription on the marble slab covering the receptacle gives the name and date of birth with a blank for the insertion of the date of death. Underneath all is the strange sentence: "P.S.—Waiting for further orders!"
HON. JOHN INSCHO MITCHELL succeeded Judge Wilson as president judge of the Fourth judicial district, to which position he was elected in the fall of 1888, taking his seat in January, 1889. Judge Mitchell was born in Tioga township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, July 28, 1838. His grandfather, Richard Mitchell, married Ruby Keeney, of Hartford, Connecticut, whence they came to what is now Tioga county in 1792 and settled near the mouth of Mitchell’s creek, in Tioga township. On the maternal side Judge Mitchell is related to the Allens of Vermont, of whom the most celebrated was Col. Ethan Allen, of Ticonderoga fame. Four of the near relatives of his grandmother were Revolutionary soldiers, and one was an orderly of General Washington. His father, Thomas K. Mitchell, was born on the family homestead in Tioga county, and when he grew up he became a farmer, lumberman and a merchant.
The subject of this sketch worked on his father’s farm, studied in the common schools, and afterwards took a course in Bucknell University, Lewisburg, but did not graduate. He then taught school for a short time. During the War of the Rebellion he served as second lieutenant and captain of Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers. After his return home he studied law with Frederick E. Smith, of Tioga, and was admitted to the bar in 1864. In 1866 he located in Wellsboro and began the practice of his profession. In 1868 he was unanimously nominated for district attorney, was elected, and served three years. Fortune smiled propitiously upon him. Before the expiration of his term he was elected to the legislature, and served five consecutive years. During this period he never met with any opposition at the primaries, which shows the high esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens. In 1870 he became half owner of the Agitator, and assisted in editing it for one year.
On returning from the legislature he had determined to settle down at Wellsboro and resume his profession, but in 1876 a deadlock having occurred in securing a nominee for Congress at Williamsport, his name was proposed as a candidate on whom the factions could unite. The proposition met with favor and he was promptly nominated and elected to the Forty-fifth Congress. His district, known as the Sixteenth, was composed of the counties of Cameron, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Sullivan and Tioga. He was re-nominated and elected to the Forty-sixth congress, serving altogether four years with credit to himself and constituents.
Again he made preparations, as the expiration of his term drew near, in 1880, to retire to his home in Wellsboro. For nearly ten years he had been actively engaged in public life at Harrisburg and Washington, and he sighed for relief from the cares of office. But higher honors were in store for him. A deadlock had occurred in the selection of a United States Senator at Harrisburg, and after many fruitless attempts to select a caucus nominee, the name of Mr. Mitchell was proposed and accepted and harmony was at once restored. He was elected and served six years, from march 4, 1881, retiring in 1887. He had but a short period of rest until he was called to the bench. Few men have had a longer and more uninterrupted political career, or have held more high offices of trust and honor without great efforts to secure them. In nearly every instance the office sought the man, which is regarded as one of the highest marks of respect that can be shown an American citizen.
Judge Mitchell was married October 3, 1860, to Jeanette Baldwin, a daughter of Buel Baldwin, of Tioga township, to which union were born three children: Herbert B., George D., and Clara, wife of Fred W. Fleitz, an attorney of Scranton. Mrs. Mitchell died November 4, 1869. On February 18, 1871, Judge Mitchell was again married to Mary Alice Archer, daughter of Henry S. Archer, of Wellsboro. Five children have been born of this marriage, viz: Robert A., Louisa, Richard S., Edward R., and Thomas H. In religion, the family adhere to the Presbyterian faith. Judge Mitchell is a high-minded, pure and efficient judge, and is greatly respected by the people of his native county. no man has ever occupied the bench who has striven more earnestly to mete out impartial justice to all.
THE BAR OF TIOGA COUNTY.
At the time of the opening of the first court in Wellsboro there were no resident lawyers in the village. The only lawyers present, of whom we have any account, were Ethan Baldwin, Henry Wilson, Francis C. Campbell and Robert McClure. The last two were from Williamsport.
WILLIAM PATTON, the first resident lawyer, came soon after the opening of the first courts, and lived in a little log cabin which stood on the site of the present residence of Judge Williams. He was a son of Col. John Patton, of Revolutionary fame, and was born in Philadelphia, August 8, 1781, and there grew to manhood, studied law and married Henrietta Anthony. Sherman Day, in his "Historical Collections," has this to say concerning him:
Mr. Washburn, Mr. Elijah Putnam and Mr. Mallory settled at Covington "Corners" previous to 1806. Mr. Bloss and Mr. Hovey had settled about the year 1801 two miles below. Mr. Sackett also lived near the same place. The landed titles were for a long time in dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania claimants. When at last they were settled in favor of Pennsylvania, or "Pennamites" as the "Connecticut Boys" called them, Mr. William Patton came in as their agent and laid out the town, about the year 1822, and started a store and tavern.
Mr. Patton’s name appears first on the assessment list of Covington township for 1818. in 1823 he was assessed "27 town lots" in addition to other real and personal property. He came to Wellsboro more particularly in the interest of heavy land owners, representing among others Bartholomew & Patton, the latter, whose name was John Patton, presumably being his father. This firm owned large tracts of land in Tioga, Richmond and Covington townships. In 1818 Mr. Patton’s name appears as one of the trustees of the Wellsboro Academy, and in 1820 he was chosen vice-president of the board. He acted as deputy attorney general in 1819. His younger brother, John, was appointed prothonotary of Tioga county in 1821 and served three years. William served as his deputy, but died in 1823, before his brother’s term expired. In a note to the writer, Gen. John Patton, of Curwensville, a son of John Patton, says: "He died at Wellsboro in 1823; this information comes to me from my mother, she having carried me on horseback, when but six weeks old, to the funeral. The widow of William Patton married Capt. Samuel Clements, and died at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, in 1865. * * * I was born at Covington, January 6, 1823. William Patton acted as deputy prothonotary for my father." Josiah Emery, in his sketches of early settlers simply refers to William Patton as the man who "raised the first tomatoes in the county, and the only person who knew that mushrooms were fit to be eaten."
CLARENDON RATHBONE, was born at Sutton, Massachusetts, March 23, 1796. After the usual course of reading he was admitted to practice in the courts of Madison county, New York, May 9, 1820, and soon afterward settled in Lawrenceville. In December, 1821, he was admitted to the bar of Tioga county. in 1826 he was appointed deputy attorney general and was re-appointed in 1827 and 1828. Although the duties of this office required his presence in Wellsboro during the sessions of the courts, he retained his home and residence in Lawrenceville. He filled the office again in 1834. Besides attending to his law business, which was extensive for that time, he early became interested in public improvements, looking toward the development of the timber and mineral resources of Tioga county, and assisted largely in bringing about the passage of the act for the construction of the Chemung canal and the incorporation of the Tioga Navigation Company, which resulted in the building of the railroad from Corning to Blossburg in 1840. In that year he removed to Blossburg on account of his extensive business operations, where he continued to reside until his death, August 26, 1882, at the age of almost eighty-seven years. He was a man of high social and business standing, possessed excellent legal ability, and was noted for his courteous manners and gentlemanly deportment. As age crept upon him he was obliged to relinquish to a great extent his legal business, but he retained his standing in the courts of the county almost to the end of his long, active and honorable life.
HON. ELLIS LEWIS, who located in Wellsboro in 1824, was a native of York county, Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1798. About 1814 he was apprenticed to Theophilus Fenn, of Harrisburg, to learn the printing trade. About 1819 or 1820 he became dissatisfied and ran away, and his master, to comply with the law, offered a reward of six cents for his apprehension. It is needless to say that he was never called on to pay the reward. After leaving Harrisburg young Lewis found his way to Williamsport and soon associated himself with J. K. Torbert in the publication of the Lycoming Gazette. He afterwards read law with Espy Van Horn and was admitted to the bar September 2, 1822. In 1824 he came to Wellsboro and became a resident attorney of the village, taking up his abode in a primitive log house which stood on or near the site of the present residence of Hon. Horace B. Packer. The building was two stories and he had his office on the upper floor, which he reached by means of a ladder and then drew it up after him so that it would not be in the way in the room below. When a client or any one wishing to see him came, his wife called to him, and he let down the ladder, and the visitor ascended. He served as deputy attorney general in 1824-25.
In the latter part of 1825, in connection with his nephew, Rankin Lewis, he began the publication of the Tioga Pioneer, the first newspaper in the county. in 1828 he removed to Towanda. In 1832 he was elected to the legislature. On January 29, 1833, he was commissioned attorney general of Pennsylvania, and in October of that year Governor Wolf appointed him president judge of the judicial district composed of the counties of Lycoming, Northumberland, Union and Columbia, and he again took up his residence in Williamsport. This place seemed like home to him, for here he had married his wife, Josephine, daughter of Joseph J. Wallis. After serving ten years he was appointed president judge of the Lancaster district in January, 1843, and in 1851 he was elevated to the bench of the Supreme Court. On December 4, 1854, he was commissioned chief justice, which high position he held until November 17, 1857. He declined a renomination, retired to private life and died in Philadelphia March 19, 1871.
Many pleasant traditions of Judge Lewis during his residence in Wellsboro are handed down. By some he was regarded as the father of the bar. In the practice of those early days there were many pleasantries indulged in. the resident lawyers were not the only practitioners at the Tioga county bar. Horace Williston, of Athens, was generally at every court; so were Simon Kinney and Edward Overton and David Cash, of Towanda. Occasionally there was an attorney from Elmira and Williamsport, while A. V. Parsons, of Jersey Shore, was never absent till he became an office-holder. Those outside lawyers took the cream of the practice.
WILLIAM GARRETSON, one of the pioneer members of the bar, was born in Mount Pleasant, Ohio, October 13, 1801, when that place was just emerging from the wilderness. Removing to Alexandria, Virginia, he taught school there in 1820. In 1821 he came to Lewisburg, York county, Pennsylvania, and read medicine with Dr. Webster Lewis, a brother of Ellis Lewis, one of the first resident lawyers of Wellsboro. He came to Wellsboro in the summer of 1825, and was admitted to the bar September 13, of that year. In January, 1827, he removed to Tioga, where he opened an office and for some time, in connection with his practice, edited the Tioga Pioneer, after its removal to that village. He filled the office of deputy attorney general in 1829. In 1836 he was elected to the legislature and was re-elected in 1837. He stood shoulder to shoulder with Thaddeus Stevens in his great fight for the passage of the common school law, and rendered him valuable service in that cause. Mr. Garretson was one of the parties interested in the celebrated "Slave Hunt," and aided the fugitives in their fight for liberty. He became a prominent conductor on the "Underground Railroad," and assisted many a fugitive on his way to freedom. He was a warm personal friend of James Buchanan, and when the latter was appointed minister to Great Britain by President Pierce, he offered Mr. Garretson the position of secretary, which he declined. As they were of opposite political views, the tender of such an office was a very high compliment. In 1869 Mr. Garretson, received an appointment in the department of internal revenue, Washington, D. C., where he remained until his death, December 23, 1872. The bar of Tioga county held a meeting and passed suitable resolutions to his high character and worth which were inscribed in the court minutes. Mr. Garretson was a man of sterling integrity, decided opinions and positive convictions, and enjoyed the confidence of his contemporaries at the bar.
HON. JAMES LOWREY was born in Farmington, Connecticut, in 1802, and graduated from Yale College in the class of 1824, soon after which time he came to Wellsboro, and taught in the academy from November, 1824, to April, 1825, when he began the study of law under Ellis Lewis. He was admitted to practice in 1826, and became the partner of his preceptor. For nearly forty years Mr. Lowrey practiced law in Tioga county, removing in 1865 to Burlington, New Jersey. He was a gentleman of scholastic attainments, al lover and a student of the best literature and did much to stimulate the intellectual life of Wellsboro. Although not distinguished as an advocate, he was wise in counsel and enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. In 1835 he married Mary W. Morris, a daughter of Judge Samuel W. Morris, and a lady of culture and refinement. His home and his office were for years centers of attraction for the student and the lover of learning. It has been truthfully said of him that "his professional career was without a stain, and his private life equally spotless in its purity, and he was distinguished alike for his modesty and his learning, for his gentleness of heart and his clearness of head." He represented Tioga county in the legislature two years. Close application to business having undermined his health, he abandoned his profession, removed to New Jersey, and engaged in agriculture, hoping to recover his physical strength while devoting his time to light outdoor pursuits. But the change did not benefit his condition, and he died suddenly November 30, 1875, in the seventy-third year of his age.
After his death Mrs. Lowrey took up her residence for a time in Washington, D. C., and then removed to Pasadena, California, where she died August 23, 1896, aged eighty-three years. Mr. and Mrs. Lowrey’s surviving children are Anna Morris; Mary, wife of Hon. Henry Booth, of Chicago; Ellen M., wife of Frederick K. Wright, of Wellsboro, and Louisa, wife of Frank Foster, of St. Paul, Minnesota.
JOSIAH EMERY became well and widely known as an educator, scholar, lawyer and historical writer, and more than passing reference should be given to him. He was born in Canterbury, New Hampshire, November 30, 1801, and traced his ancestry back through six generations to Nathan Emery. The family was of Norman origin. He was the third of sixteen children born to Nathan and Betsy (McCrillis) Emery, and attended Kimball Union Academy, in his native State, until the age of nineteen, when he entered Dartmouth College. Here he remained until reaching his majority, and then followed teaching for six years. He was graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1828, in which year he came to Wellsboro, and took charge as principal of the academy. After his retirement from the Wellsboro Academy he was married February 12, 1830, to Julia Ann, daughter of Hon. John Beecher, of Tioga county, an old-time landlord, sheriff and member of the legislature.
Mr. Emery was admitted to the bar at Wellsboro in 1831. He served as district attorney of Tioga county and postmaster of Wellsboro; also as commissioner of bankruptcy, and of drafts during the war. In 1871 he removed to Williamsport, where he practiced his profession for a short time, when he retired. He always took a deep interest in literary work, and especially in the cause of education. He was for many years a trustee of the Wellsboro Academy, after retiring from it as teacher, and he wrote much on local topics. Through his industry in this line of work a great deal of early history relating to Wellsboro and Tioga county has been preserved.
During his residence in Williamsport he was a member of the school board for nine years, serving one term as president. He founded the public school library, and the Emery school building in that city was named in his honor, because of his devotion to the cause of education. The closing years of his long and industrious life were devoted to literary pursuits. He wrote much for the local press. One of his greatest efforts in the literary line was a manuscript history of earthquakes.
On July 24, 1871, Mr. Emery had the misfortune to lose his wife by death. He survived her almost twenty years, dying in Williamsport, April 26, 1891, at the ripe age of ninety years, four months and twenty-eight days. Both are buried in the cemetery at Wellsboro. Mr. and Mrs. Emery were the parents of eleven children, five sons and six daughters.
HON. JOHN WESLEY MAYNARD, who attained to great distinction in the legal profession, commenced his career in Tioga county. He was born May 18, 1806, at Springfield, Vermont. In 1823 his parents removed to Hamilton, New York, where he received an academic education. He commenced studying law in the office of William G. Angell and George C. Clyde, of Otsego county, where he spent three years, and in 1828 removed with his parents to Lawrenceville, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, where he practiced law until the spring of 1833, when he located in Tioga. In 1840 he removed to Williamsport, because it afforded a wider field. He became eminent at the bar of Lycoming county. In 1859 he was appointed assistant law judge at Pittsburg, and in 1862 he was elected president judge of the Third judicial district, composed of Northampton and Lehigh counties, where he remained for six years and then resigned and returned to Williamsport. After an experience of half a century he retired from practice and spent the remainder of his days in repose. He was a ripe scholar, and able lawyer and brilliant advocate. Judge Maynard was married three times. The second wife of Peter Herdic was a daughter by his second marriage. He died at Minnequa in 1885, at the ripe age of nearly seventy-nine years.
HON. JOHN W. GUERNSEY was born in Hudson, New York, January 28, 1811. When he was about four months old his parents removed to Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, and settled on a farm. His father died early, leaving a widow and eight children. At nine years of age young Guernsey was thrown entirely on his own resources, but possessing ambition and pluck, he managed to secure an education at the Montrose Academy. In 1831 he came to Wellsboro; commenced reading law under the direction of James Lowrey; was admitted in 1835, and opened an office at Tioga. In 1840 he was appointed United States marshal, and that year took the census of the entire county of Tioga, which gave a population of 15,498. In 1850 he removed to Wellsboro, where he resided until 1852, when he returned to Tioga. He served one term in the State Senate and two terms in the House. Although leading such an active public life, Mr. Guernsey did not neglect his practice, which embraced the counties of Tioga, Potter, McKean, Bradford and Lycoming. He devoted his principal attention to collections, and won a high record as an honest lawyer and a man of unquestioned integrity. To his watchful care was instructed the management of many estates, and he acquired a competency by the practice of his profession which he continued to prosecute until 1874, when advancing age admonished him to retire. His wife, Susan Marriott Morris, was a daughter of Judge Samuel Wells Morris, and brought to his home culture and refinement. He died at his residence in the borough of Tioga, November 29, 1882.
ALEXANDER S. BREWSTER was born in Bridgwater, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, April 7, 1812, a son of Jonah and Lovisa (Sprague) Brewster. He was educated in the common schools of his native town and at Montrose Academy, and when sixteen years of age began teaching school, which he followed about a year. He came with his father to Tioga in 1829, and clerked in the store until the spring of 1831, when he became a clerk in his father’s office at Wellsboro. During this period he read law under James Lowrey, was admitted to practice in February, 1835, and is to-day the oldest living member of the Tioga bar. Ten days after his admission he was appointed district attorney and filled the office three years. In 1839 he was appointed by Governor Porter prothonotary of the county, held the office one year, and was then elected a county auditor. He practiced his profession a few years and then secured the position of transcribing clerk in the legislature, in 1846, and served as such six years. He subsequently held the postmastership of Wellsboro, and has also filled the offices of councilman, burgess and poormaster. Though a staunch Democrat, and living in a community strongly Republican, ‘Squire Brewster has been elected seven successive terms as justice of the peace, each time without opposition, and at the close of his present term will have held the office thirty-five consecutive years. In the early thirties he was major of the First Battalion, One Hundred and Fifty-sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia, and took quite an active interest in local military affairs during that period. On December 3, 1843, Major Brewster married Mary Sophronia Smith, of Chenango county, New York, to which union have been born six children, viz: Mary E., Joseph W., Almira and James J., all of whom are dead; Mary S., wife of C. H. Roberts, of Tioga county, and Sarah E., wife of James E. Fish, of Wellsboro. ‘Squire Brewster’s family are connected with the Presbyterian church. Though never accumulating much of this world’s riches, he is held in high esteem by the people of Wellsboro, where he has lived for sixty-five years.
HON. LORENZO PARSONS WILLISTON, born at Binghamton, New York, August, 1815, died at his home in Wellsboro May 22, 1887. He received a good education and studied law under the direction of his father, Hon. Horace Williston (then of Athens), who served as president judge here a short time, by appointment, after the retirement of Judge Conyngham. After settling in Wellsboro he was associated for a short time with Hon. S. F. Wilson in the practice of the law. In 1856 he was elected a member of the lower house of the legislature and served in that body until 1860. President Lincoln appointed him United States judge in Dakota, and three years afterwards he was transferred to Montana. Returning home he settled at Towanda and practiced his profession there for three years, when he returned to Wellsboro, where he continued to reside until his death, the immediate cause of which was apoplexy. Judge Williston married Miss Martha A., daughter of Dr. John B. Murphey, one of the early physicians of Wellsboro. His widow, two sons and two daughters survive.
HON. JOHN C. KNOX, one of the most distinguished members of the Tioga county bar, was born in what is now the borough of Knoxville, February 18, 1817. He studied law with Judge Purple, of Lawrenceville, afterward a prominent jurist in Illinois, and with William Garretson, of Tioga, where he practiced a few years and then removed to Wellsboro. He rose rapidly in his chosen profession, and soon became one of the leading lawyers of the county. He served as deputy attorney general in 1840-42. In 1845 he was sent to the legislature and re-elected the next year, but before the expiration of his last year Governor Shunk appointed him judge of a judicial district in the western part of the State. Before his term expired he was nominated and elected an associate justice of the State Supreme Court. The routine work of the court proved too monotonous, and he resigned before the expiration of his term. In 1858 he was appointed attorney general of Pennsylvania, and at the close of his term he accepted the position of judge advocate in the United States army and held it till the close of the war. Settling in Philadelphia he soon took high rank as a lawyer, but in the midst of his busy practice he was stricken with paralysis of the brain and was forced to retire from the bar. He lingered for several years in a helpless condition and died at Wellsboro, August 26, 1880. As a lawyer he was able and brilliant, and would have attained to higher eminence in the profession if he had been permitted to reach the full maturity of his powers. He was an honor to the profession and the county that gave him birth, and his death was deeply mourned.
PARDON DAMON was an old-time member of the bar. He was born in Massachusetts in 1808. When a young man he came to this county, read law with John C. Knox, was admitted to the bar and located in practice at Lawrenceville. Much of his time was devoted to real estate business, and buying and selling land. He married Lois Lindsley and died in Lawrenceville, in 1872, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.
A. J. MONROE was born in Massachusetts, October 7, 1806; came to Tioga county in 1842; studied law with Hon. John C. Knox, at Lawrenceville, and was admitted to the bar in 1843. Locating at Knoxville he entered upon the practice of his profession. In 1849 he was appointed deputy attorney general, and he represented Tioga county in the legislature in 1850. In 1859 he removed to Monticello, Iowa, where he practiced his profession and held several offices of trust.
WILLIAM ADAMS was born in Tioga, Tioga county, March 24, 1816, a son of Capt. Lyman Adams, and grew to manhood in his native county. In 1831 he became an apprentice in the office of the Tioga Pioneer, then published by Rankin Lewis & Co. In 1838 he succeeded Dr. Cyrus Pratt as owner and editor of the paper, which then bore the name of Tioga Democrat. In 1840 he sold a half interest to John C. Knox and others, and the plant was removed to Lawrenceville and the name changed to Lawrence Sentinel. The next year he sold his remaining interest in the paper, returned to Tioga township and bought a farm on Mill creek, where for fourteen years he followed agriculture in connection with the practice of law. Mr. Adams was married, February 23, 1841, to Ruth Ann Daily, a daughter of John and Violetta (Niles) Daily, to which union two children were born: John Willard, an attorney of Mansfield, and William Erastus, who died on March 30, 1873, aged twenty-seven years, being at the time of his death collector of internal revenue for this district. In 1855 Mr. Adams removed to Mansfield, and in 1857 he was chosen a justice of the peace. With the exception of the years 1882 and 1883, when he was door-keeper of the State Senate at Harrisburg, he filled the office continuously up to May, 1895. From 1862 to 1877 he was in the mercantile business at Mansfield. Mrs. Adams died in that borough July 21, 1868. Her husband survived until August 11, 1895, dying at the ripe age of nearly eighty years. In politics he was a staunch Republican, and in religion a Methodist. He was also a member of Friendship Lodge, No. 247, F. & A. M. Besides serving as a justice of the peace he filled the office of councilman, assessor and school director, and was one of the useful and respected citizens of Mansfield.
JOHN N. BACHE, a son of William Bache, Sr., was born in Wellsboro, Tioga county, March 8, 1820, and was educated in the public schools of his native town. He commenced the study of law with his brother-in-law, Hon. Robert G. White, in 1841, and completed the usual legal course at Yale Law School, in New Haven, Connecticut. In the fall of 1843 he was admitted to the bar of Tioga county and is one of its oldest members now living. He personally knew and has a very clear recollection of many of the old-time lawyers who practiced at this bar. He devoted his attention chiefly to land titles and collections, as jury trials were generally distasteful to him. He served as deputy attorney general for about one year. in 1848 he was elected register and recorder, served one term, and was afterwards chosen a justice of the peace, but he soon resigned the office. Years ago, in connection with his brother William, he turned his attention to timber and coal lands and geological explorations. They first called the attention of the Fall Brook Coal Company to the lands now known as the Antrim Field, the development of which has added so much wealth and prosperity to the county. Mr. Bache was married at Seneca Falls, New York, September 1, 1847, to Sarah Stowell, a daughter of Hezekiah Stowell, one of the pioneer lumbermen of Tioga county. She was born in Bainbridge, New York, June 30, 1823, and came with her parents to Wellsboro in childhood. Six children were born of this marriage, three of whom grew to maturity, viz: Anna S., wife of A. A. Truman; Louisa M., wife of L. F. Truman, and Nellie, wife of F. W. Graves, all of whom are residents of Wellsboro. Mrs. Bache died at her home in that borough December 31, 1896, after a residence there of nearly half a century. In politics Mr. Bache was originally a Whig, but has been a Republican since the organization of that party. Although now retired from active business life, he is still recognized as one of Wellsboro’s most substantial citizens.
JULIUS SHERWOOD was one of the leading members of the bar forty years ago. He was born in what is now Schuyler county, New York, January 22, 1822, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county, December 17, 1844. From the time of his admission until the breaking out of the Rebellion, he continued to practice at Wellsboro. When Sumter was fired on he was one of the first men in Tioga county to take an active part in raising troops for the defense of the Union, and was elected captain of one of the two first companies organized at Wellsboro, on Monday, April 22, 1861. He filled the same position when his men were mustered in at Camp Curtin the following June, as Company H, Thirty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served until September, 1861, when he resigned. Mr. Sherwood died at Williamsport, July 7, 1875.
A. P. CONE was born in New Hampshire in 1820. When a young man he came to Elkland and settled. He read law under the direction of Hon. John C. Knox, at Lawrenceville, and was admitted in 1846. In addition to his law business, he became an active operator in real estate and a builder of houses and hotels. He built a large hotel in Wellsboro in 1869-70, which was named the Cone House, but is now known as the Coles House. He also built the Albermarle House at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, through which he suffered heavy losses. Mr. Cone died in 1871.
HON. JOHN W. RYON was born in Elkland, Tioga county, March 4, 1825, a son of Judge John Ryon, and grandson of John Ryon, both pioneers of the Cowanesque valley. He received an academical education at Millville, New York, and Wellsboro, Pennsylvania; read law with Hon. John C. Knox, at Wellsboro, and completed his studies with Hon. James Lowrey of the same place. He was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in 1846, and soon after opened an office at Lawrenceville. In 1850 he was elected, on the democratic ticket, district attorney, was re-elected at the expiration of his term, and filled the office six consecutive years, discharging his duties in a very satisfactory manner. Mr. Ryon was not only an able and safe counselor, but was recognized as a powerful advocate, and his practice extended to the adjoining counties of Potter, McKean and Bradford, where he met in legal combat the best lawyers of those sections. On the breaking out of the Rebellion he heartily supported the government, and did all in his power to encourage enlistments and raise troops for the defense of the flag. He was largely instrumental in raising Company A, of the famous Bucktails, and gave freely of his time and means towards that object. In 1861 he was appointed paymaster in the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, and held that position one year, during which time the Reserves were mustered into the United States service. In March, 1863, Mr. Ryon removed to Pottsville, Schuylkill county, where he has since resided. He represented the Thirteenth congressional district in Congress one term, and for the past thirty years he has been one of the leading lawyers of central and eastern Pennsylvania.
HON. CHARLES H. SEYMOUR was born in Bath, New York, June 21, 1820; studied law with Hon. John W. Guernsey, at Tioga, and was admitted to the bar in 1817. He was an active practitioner for many years and a recognized leader at the Tioga bar. In November, 1876, he was elected a state senator and represented his district with ability and fidelity four years. Before the close of his term he contracted a malarial disease which was the indirect cause of his death, at his home in the borough of Tioga, June 6, 1882, in his sixty-second year.
HON. HENRY SHERWOOD was one of the most prominent and successful members of the Tioga county bar for nearly half a century. He was a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, born October 9, 1813, and a son of Salmon and Phoebe (Burritt) Sherwood, of that place, where his paternal ancestor, Thomas Sherwood, settled in 1645. Henry was of the seventh generation from the founder of the American branch of the family. In 1817 he removed with his parents to the town of Catherine, in what is now Schuyler county, New York, where he spent his boyhood days on a farm. His education was obtained in the common schools, supplemented by a few terms at an academy. At the age of sixteen he began teaching, which he followed about a year, and then went to Columbus, Ohio, where he clerked in a general store a few years. He later resided in the South for several years, mostly in Louisiana and what is now the State of Texas. While there he was a soldier in the Texan army under General Houston, and when the independence of Texas was obtained he returned to Columbia, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, to which place his parents had removed. In 1840 he located in Knoxville, Tioga county, where he was a merchant and lumberman. Meeting with financial reverses, he entered the employ of Joel Parkhurst, of Elkland, for whom he clerked a few years.
Mr. Sherwood began the study of law in 1845, and in December, 1846, removed to Wellsboro and entered the law office of Hon. Robert G. White. He pursued his studies under Judge White until his admission to the bar, September 7, 1847, when he entered at once into active practice. With the passing years he built up a fine legal business and became widely known as a safe and successful lawyer. His courteous manners and pleasing address made him a favorite among the people, and for nearly half a century he was engaged in all of the important civil and criminal causes tried in Tioga county. His professional career was one of uninterrupted success. Possessing a strong constitution and great will power, his force and persevering industry swept aside every obstacle that came in his way. His perceptive faculties were of the keenest character and his knowledge of human nature enabled him to fathom men and their motives. Among the qualities that made Mr. Sherwood a successful lawyer and a formidable advocate, were his good judgment, ready appreciation of the strong points of his case and the weak points in the other side; his great industry in the thorough preparation of his case, never trusting to chance, but always possessing a clear understanding of it; while his good judgment of men and knowledge of how the grouping of facts would strike the court and jury, generally enabled him to make the most out of the cross-examination of the opposing witnesses. His indomitable courage never deserted him. When the tide seemed to be the strongest against his client he worked the harder, and his ingenuity and tact enabled him to get the best possible results out of desperate cases. He had wonderful capacity and inclination for work, and loved it more for the success he achieved than for the remuneration it brought him. His strongest characteristics, therefore, were industry, good judgment of men, tact and courage.
In the practice of his profession Mr. Sherwood was always ready to volunteer in the defense of the poor and unfortunate, and no person was ever turned from his office for want of money to pay fees. His zeal for his client was the same whether there was a good fee at the end of the case or not. He always made his client’s case his own and contested every point as if his personal interests were at stake. He loved his profession, and to him the keenest gratification of his life was at the close of a trial in which he had successfully defended and vindicated the rights of a client upon whom he felt a wrong had been sought to be perpetrated. Compensation with him, as with every true lawyer, was a matter of secondary consideration. His client’s interest was his first thought and his own remuneration a mere incident in the case. Mr. Sherwood was especially loved by the younger members of the bar for his uniform kindness and courtesy, being ever ready to extend to them a helping hand. Frequently called upon for advice, he gave it cheerfully, and there are members of Tioga county bar who will cherish his memory as long as they live. For more than forty years he continued in the active duties of his profession, winning a large practice and attaining a well-earned prominence at the bar. A few years ago the advancing infirmities of age compelled him to retire from active work, and he spent the sunset of an honorable, upright life in the quiet happiness of his home in Wellsboro, where he died November 10, 1896, having passed the ripe age of eighty-three years. At his death the court and bar adopted the following tribute to his memory:
Resolved, That by the death of Henry Sherwood, who for a half a century was an active member of the bar and one of the leading lawyers of Pennsylvania, the court and bar of Tioga county in deep sorrow recognize the loss of a profound jurist and an able advocate, a patriotic statesman, an agreeable, companionable gentleman, a noble and generous private citizen, a kind husband and an indulgent and affectionate father.
Aside from his profession, Mr. Sherwood always took a lively interest in whatever had a tendency to develop the resources of the county and advance its industrial prosperity. He was a prime mover in the organization of the Tioga County Agricultural Society, in 1854, and was its president in 1859, when he introduced Horace Greeley to the large audience gathered to hear that distinguished journalist, whom he had engaged to deliver an address to the society. Mr. Sherwood was also untiring in his efforts to secure the construction of the railroad from Wellsboro to Lawrenceville, now the Corning, Cowanesque and Antrim section of the Fall Brook, and served as president of the company from its organization until the completion of the road in 1872. He strongly advocated the building of the Jersey Shore and Pine Creek railroad, now a part of the Fall Brook system, was a director of the company until the road was finished, and president of the same from its organization up to the time of his death. He was also a director in the Fall Brook Railroad Company.
When the Civil War broke out Mr. Sherwood gave an unswerving and loyal support to the Union cause, and during its continuance aided liberally in sending men to the front and in stirring up an intense spirit of patriotism among the people. Throughout his long and active career he was always a staunch Democrat, and was the candidate of his party for Congress in this district three times, in 1856, 1870 and 1872. In 1870 he defeated William H. Armstrong, of Williamsport, the Republican nominee, by a majority of twenty-seven votes, wiping out Mr. Armstrong’s previous majority of 2,028 much to the surprise of his opponent, thus proving his popularity among the people of the district. His course in Congress was creditable to himself and constituents. He also represented the district several times in state and national conventions and always gave his best efforts towards the success of his party.
Mr. Sherwood was twice married. In February, 1843, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah M. Allen, of Cortland county, New York. She died August 17, 1871, leaving one son, Walter, now a well-known lawyer of Wellsboro. Two years later he married Levancia Allen, a sister of his first wife, who survives him. An ardent lover of nature, Mr. Sherwood had the deepest affection for every living thing, and took great pleasure in the companionship of the domestic pets which always found a warm welcome in his home. He also loved the green fields, the woods and the flowers, and was in fact a good type of one of Nature’s noblemen.
FREDERICK E. SMITH was born at Amherst, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, November 15, 1822, and removed with his parents at an early age to Marion, New York, where he was prepared for college at the Marion Collegiate Institute. In July, 1844, he graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York. During the ensuing year he was principal of Wolcott Academy, Wolcott, New York, and afterward the academy at Clyde. He began the study of law with Hon. Chauncey F. Clark, of Wolcott. In 1846 he removed to Tioga and completed his studies under Hon. John W. Guernsey, of that place. He was admitted to the Tioga county bar in 1849, to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1852, and to the United States courts in 1865. In 1849 he formed a co-partnership with Hon. Charles H. Seymour, of Tioga, which continued until 1853. He was married, June 14, 1853, to Stella F. Bigelow, of Tioga, youngest daughter of Judge Levi Bigelow. In 1856 he was a presidential elector on the Fremont ticket, and in 1860 was an elector on the Lincoln ticket. He was an ardent supporter of the Union cause, and an earnest friend of the soldier during the Civil War. In 1865 he was appointed a United States commissioner, holding that office until his death. In 1867 he was appointed United States register in bankruptcy for the Eighteenth (now the Sixteenth) district, serving until the repeal of the law. In June, 1879, he became one of the founders of the banking house of Pomeroy Brothers & F. E. Smith, at Blossburg, with which he was connected until his death, at his home in Tioga, October 8, 1889. He was prominent as a Mason and an Odd Fellow, and was one of the trustees of Union College, Schenectady, New York. Mr. Smith was an able and successful lawyer, and had a well-deserved reputation for uprightness and integrity.
THOMAS ALLEN was born in Kennebunk, York county, Maine, December 11, 1817, and was educated in the common schools of his native town. In 1841 he came to Tioga county and located at Elkland, where he was engaged in the saddle and harness business for seven years. He then studied law under Hon. John C. Knox and was admitted to the bar in September, 1851. He opened a law office in Wellsboro with A. P. Cone, and practiced his profession until January, 1865, when he entered the county commissioners’ office as clerk and served in that capacity ten years. In 1874 he was elected county treasurer, and served one term, after which he resumed his law practice, continuing until 1892, when he retired on account of ill health, but is still a resident of Wellsboro.
HON. BUTLER B. STRANG was one of the most distinguished and brilliant members of the Tioga bar. Born in Greenwood, Steuben county, New York, March 16, 1829, the son of a Methodist minister, he came with his father to Westfield, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, in 1840, where he was reared to manhood. He studied law with A. J. Monroe, of Knoxville, and was admitted to the bar in 1852. Four years later he was elected district attorney, in which office he displayed those legal talents which in later years placed him in the front rank of his profession. He served in the legislature in 1861-62, and from 1868 to 1871. He was chairman of the judiciary general committee two sessions, and of the ways and means one session, and was speaker of the House in 1870. He served in the Senate from 1873 to 1876. During that period he was chairman of the judiciary general committee two sessions, chairman of the finance committee two sessions, and speaker of the Senate in 1874, the last regular speaker of that body under the old constitution. Mr. Strang was a member of the first committee which visited Washington, in conjunction with the committee of council from Philadelphia, to initiate the Centennial Exhibition and bring it to the attention of Congress. He was also chairman of the legislative centennial committee appointed to assist in the erection and care of the Pennsylvania buildings, but resigned the position to Senator Jones, of Philadelphia. As chairman of the commission appointed by Governor Hartranft to devise a code for the government of cities, he made an elaborate report, accompanied by a bill, but it was never adopted in full. After leaving the scenes of his greatest triumphs at Harrisburg, Senator Strang was appointed United States marshal for the Territory of Dakota, but after a short term of service, impaired health compelled him to resign the office in 1882. Returning to his home in Westfield, he retired from active politics and devoted his attention to professional work and the gratification of his highly cultivated literary tastes.
During his public life of nearly twenty years, few men in the Commonwealth exerted a greater influence or commanded a higher regard in his own party and respect from the leading men among the opposition than Butler B. Strang. Endowed with a clear intellect and a dignified presence, possessing a wide knowledge of parliamentary law and usages, and being an able and effective debater, he was recognized Republican leader of the House and Senate. Schooled in the adversities of pioneer life, he knew the wants of his constituents, and he did not hesitate to battle for them. Few men could express their views more lucidly, and few were gifted with the power of making a more incisive or convincing argument. He was for many years one of the leading members of the Tioga bar and was counsel in many important suits. Owing to this life of great activity and the mental strain to which he was constantly subjected, his health, never the best, broke down completely, his mind gave way, and on the morning of May 10, 1884, while laboring under great mental aberration, he placed the muzzle of a revolver to his right temple, pulled the trigger, and all was over in an instant! His death caused a profound sensation, and there was sincere mourning among the people of the county, as he was one of the brightest, most aggressive and brilliant of the many adopted sons of Tioga.
CHARLES O. BOWMAN was born in Westfield, march 6, 1825, and was educated in the common schools and the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary. He read law under Hon. Robert G. White, of Wellsboro, and was admitted to practice September 8, 1852. After his admission he located in Knoxville. In 1862 he was elected a member of the legislature. He removed to Corry in 1865, and in 1869 was elected to the legislature from Erie county, and in 1872 was a member of the Constitutional Convention. He is now a member of the bar of Erie county.
COL. ROBERT T. WOOD was born in Laurence township, Otsego county, New York, February 2, 1830, and is a son of John T. Wood. He was educated at Millville Academy, Orleans county, and Wilson College, Niagara county, New York. In 1850 he began the study of law with Hon. James Lowrey, of Wellsboro, Tioga county, and was admitted to the bar in 1853, and to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1869. He located at Elkland, where, with the exception of six years spent in what is now South Dakota, and the time he was in the army, he has continued to practice his profession since his admission to the bar. In August, 1861, he raised Company I, Second Pennsylvania Cavalry, and went to the front as captain of his company. On October 4, 1862, he resigned his commission, by reason of disability. But not contented to remain idle while the nation’s life was in danger, he re-enlisted, July 6, 1864, raised Company H, Two Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, and again went to the front as captain of that company. On March 25, 1865, he was promoted to the rank of major, and was mustered out of service June 7, 1865, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was wounded in front of Petersburg, April 2, 1865. For six years he was district attorney of Bon Homme county, in what is now South Dakota. On December 10, 1851, he married Mary E. Culver, a daughter of Leander and Dolly (Bottum) Culver, of Elkland, and has two children, Leander and Jennie. Colonel Wood is a staunch Republican, was clerk of the House of Representatives in 1869, 1870 and 1871, and has always taken a deep interest in the success of his party. From 1878 to 1880 he edited the Elkland Journal, conducting it as a Republican paper. He has been commander of J. Edgar Parkhurst Post, No. 581, G. A. R., of Elkland, five successive terms, and is a member of the Masonic order and the I. O. O. F. In religious faith he adheres to the Presbyterian church.
AUGUSTUS STREETER was born December 12, 1823, in the township of Shippen, on Pine creek. He received an academical education, studied law with A. J. Monroe, and was admitted to the bar in December, 1854. He was a fellow-student with Butler B. Strang, but unlike him, never went into politics and never held any official position. His first case in court was in 1855, when he and Strang defended a man charged with arson, who was acquitted. Singular to relate after an active service of twenty-seven years, Mr. Streeter’s last case was that of the same man charged with killing his son. He was indicted for murder, but was acquitted and discharged. Mr. Streeter died in the spring of 1883, aged sixty years.
HENRY ALLEN was born in Smithfield, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1823, and was the third son of Ezra Allen, who came to Pennsylvania from Halifax, Vermont, in 1819. He was of the sixth generation from James and Anna Allen, who came probably from Scotland, and settled in Dedham, now Medfield, Massachusetts, in 1639, the line of descent being as follows: Joseph, youngest son of James and Anna Allen; Nehemiah, youngest son of Joseph; David, sixth son of Nehemiah; David, Jr., first son of David; Ezra, second son of David, Jr., and Henry, third son of Ezra. The subject of this sketch studied law in Cherry, Luzerne county, under Judge Dietrick, and in Smithfield, Bradford county, under Judge Bullock, and was admitted to the Bradford county bar in 1854. He soon after came to Mansfield, Tioga county, where he continued in the practice of his profession, and filled the office of district attorney from December, 1859 to December, 1862. In March, 1860, he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and in 1870 to the United States district court. He was a law clerk in the office of the internal revenue department at Washington, D. C., from September, 1864, to October, 1865, when he resigned on account of ill health. In 1869 he was appointed notary public and held the office during the remainder of his life. On October 25, 1846, Mr. Allen married Elizabeth Fralic, a daughter of Benjamin Fralic, of Richmond township. She died January 9, 1862. He was again married March 25, 1863, to Jean M. Butts, a daughter of Lorin and Harriet Butts, of Mansfield. Her parents were natives of Canterbury, Connecticut, and came to Mansfield in 1832. Mrs. Allen became the mother of one daughter, Fredrika Bremer, now the wife of George A. Clark, of Mansfield. Mr. Allen died January 4, 1888, aged sixty-four years, and his wife May 12, 1896, aged seventy-two years. In politics, he was a Republican, and in religion a member of the Baptist church. He was also connected with the Masonic order, in which he was a Knight Templar. Mr. Allen was zealous, painstaking, industrious and persevering in behalf of his clients, and occupied a prominent place in his profession. He was the first burgess of Mansfield, was at different times a member of the school board, and was prominently identified with the borough’s history.
SAMUEL E. KIRKENDALL was born in Barton, Tioga county, New York, march 29, 1834, a son of Henry P. Kirkendall, and was eight years old when his parents came to Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. He attended the common schools in the winter, and worked at farming and lumbering in the summer, until he was sixteen years old. He then went to a private school for about a year, and finally entered the Lawrenceville Academy, which he attended about two years. When only nineteen years of age he received a certificate authorizing him to teach in the common schools, and he taught until 1857. He then commenced the study of law with Kasson Parkhurst, of Lawrenceville, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in 1859. In 1860 he located at Millerton, where he followed teaching for thirteen years, and then began the practice of his profession, to which he has since devoted his attention. Mr. Kirkendall married Jerusha Tillinghast, a daughter of Charles Tillinghast, of Jackson township, Tioga county, whose father was a captain in the Continental army, and whose grandfather was Gen. John Lamb, of Revolutionary fame. Mrs. Kirkendall died October 3, 1895. She was the mother of four children, viz: Arthur, Ella May, Pratt and Franz Joseph. Of these, Pratt, now a student at Mansfield State Normal School, is the only survivor. In politics, Mr. Kirkendall is an ardent Democrat, and has been the nominee of his party on several occasions for important offices, among them that of president judge. He is one of the oldest members of the Tioga county bar, and has also been admitted to the United States district and circuit courts for the Eastern district of Pennsylvania.
WALLACE PULASKI RYON, son of Judge John Ryon, was born in Elkland, July 18, 1836, and was educated in the Lawrenceville Academy, Lawrenceville; Lima College, New York, and Dickinson Seminary, Williamsport. He studied under the private tutorship of Rev. Sidney Mills. He read law with his brother, Hon. John W. Ryon, now of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and was admitted to the Tioga county bar in 1861. He then clerked for his brother, John W., who was paymaster in the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, and in the spring of 1862 located at Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, and practiced one year. He next removed to Pottsville and practiced with his brother, John W., until 1879. From 1869 to 1872 he was cashier of the Pennsylvania National Bank, of Pottsville, and in 1873 president of the Merchants’ Exchange Bank of the same place. From 1879 to 1882 he was connected with the coal and iron business in Philadelphia. In the latter year he returned to the old homestead in Lawrenceville, and has since devoted his attention to farming and the practice of law.
GEORGE W. RYON, a well-known lawyer and banker of Shamokin, was born in Elkland, Tioga county, April 30, 1839, a son of George L. Ryon, now a resident of Lawrence township. He read law in the office of his uncle, Judge James Ryon, then practicing at Tamaqua, Schuylkill county, was admitted to the bar of that county September 10, 1861, and soon after opened an office at Lawrenceville. In 1869 he located in Shamokin, where he has since continued in the active duties of his profession and won prominence at the bar of Northumberland county.
HON. JEROME B. NILES is one of the prominent and best-known members of the Tioga bar. He was born at Niles Valley, Tioga county, September 25, 1834, and is the only child of Aaron Niles by his marriage to Mrs. Betsey Kilbourne, widow of John Kilbourne and daughter of Rufus Butler. His youth was spent on his father’s farm at Niles Valley, and he attended the common schools of the neighborhood until the fall of 1856, when he entered Union Academy, at Knoxville, where he remained a year. In the fall of 1858 and 1859 he taught the district school at Wellsboro. He finished reading law under the direction of Hon. Henry Sherwood, and was admitted to the bar at the September term of 1861. After filling several minor offices he was, at the session of the Pennsylvania legislature of 1862, appointed message clerk to the House. This was the beginning of his political career. In the spring of 1862 he was appointed mercantile appraiser of Tioga county, and in the fall of the same year he was elected district attorney and was re-elected in 1865. He filled the office very acceptably for six years. In 1864 he was again message clerk of the lower house of the legislature. In the meantime he had taken up his residence permanently in Wellsboro and entered into a law partnership with Stephen F. Wilson, which relation continued until the latter went upon the bench. In 1868 he was elected a member of the legislature and re-elected in 1869 without opposition. At this time Tioga county was only entitled to one member in the House, and as much important legislation was demanded a great deal of work necessarily devolved on him. It was during these sessions that a strenuous effort was made to dismember Tioga by taking away a portion of her territory to assist in forming a new county to be called Minnequa. Mr. Niles took an active part against the movement and contributed largely to its defeat. The act incorporating the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railroad Company was passed during the session of 1870, and received his ardent support upon the unanimous vote of his constituents. In 1872 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention from the district composed of Cameron, McKean, Tioga and Potter counties. He took a prominent part in the proceedings of that body, and was the author of the article relating to the formation of new counties. In 1880 he was again elected a member of the House, and in the ensuing session took a prominent position as a legislator. He developed great aptitude for leadership and took a conspicuous stand in the movement which culminated in the election of Hon. John I. Mitchell, of Tioga county, as United States Senator. Mr. Niles was re-elected a member of the House in 1882, and in view of the creditable reputation he had made during his several terms in that body, he became the nominee of the Republican caucus for speaker. As, however, the Democrats had a majority, he was defeated for election. In 1883 he was nominated by the Republicans for auditor general of Pennsylvania, and was elected. His term began on the first Monday of May, 1884, and his three years’ administration of the office was marked by no deviation from the excellent record he had made in the public positions he had previously filled. The Philadelphia Times, in an article on "Lawyers of the State," published February 16, 1896, refers to General Niles’ term as auditor general in the following language:
Upon the proper administration of the office the revenues of the State largely depended, and no incumbent of the position ever made a more earnest or more successful effort to give the State the utmost revenue possible under the laws. The law of 1885, making realized the capital pay its fair share of the taxes, was in large part framed in his office. During his term the funds for ordinary expenses and for redeeming two and a half millions of the funded debt and the purchase of three and a half millions of government 4s for the sinking fund were provided. The annual reports of Auditor General Niles were model state papers, and his last annual report contains a statement covering banks and banking which attracted much attention and excited comment on its publication. During his term he suggested many reforms, recommended the repeal of defective laws and, as before stated, was largely instrumental in the framing of the law of 1885, by which the taxable basis of money capital was augmented one hundred and fifty per cent.
In 1890 he received nearly the entire vote of Tioga county for the Republican congressional nomination in the Sixteenth district, but the nomination as given to Clinton county. In 1892 this county again sent him to the legislature, and at the session of 1893 he introduced the bill to equalize taxation and was prominent in putting it in proper shape and advocating its passage. He was re-elected in 1894 and was an active participant in the debates of the long session of 1895, and strongly advocated the passage of the apportionment bills. In addition to his long legislative career, General Niles has devoted unremitting attention to his large legal practice. For many years he was counsel for the county commissioners. He also represents large real estate interests, prominent among them being the Dent and Bingham estates, and the Pennsylvania Joint Land and Lumber Company. He has a well fitted office in Wellsboro, which is filled with a large and valuable library.
General Niles was married July 18, 1858, to Phoebe Ann Toles, a daughter of Ransler Toles, and has three children: Aaron R., Alfred J., and Anna. The family are Presbyterians, and Mr. Niles is a K. T. in the Masonic order, and also a member of the I. O. O. F.
HON. MORTIMER F. ELLIOTT, eldest son of Col. N. A. Elliott, of Mansfield, was born at Cherry Flats, Tioga county, September 24, 1840, and was educated in the common schools and at Alfred University, in Allegany county, New York. On his return from school he commenced the study of law under Hon. James Lowrey and Hon. Stephen F. Wilson, of Wellsboro, and was admitted to the bar June 2, 1862. At the time of his admission the Tioga bar possessed a strong array of able lawyers, but not in the least daunted he opened an office and entered the legal arena. His close application to business and his power as an advocate before a jury soon won for him a wide reputation and a large practice. Such a favorable impression did he make upon the people of the county, that he was selected as the Democratic candidate for president judge in 1871, and ran against Hon. Henry W. Williams. Although the Republican majority was large, he reduced it several thousand votes and gave Judge Williams a close race for the office. In 1872 he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention and served with credit in that distinguished body. At the Democratic State Convention of 1882 he was nominated for congressman-at-large, much against his will, and even after his name had been withdrawn by his order; but the times seemed to require his acceptance and he yielded to the popular demand of his party. He made the race and was elected, and served in the Forty-eighth Congress with great credit to himself and the State at large. In 1890 he was nominated by his party for Congress, to represent the Sixteenth district, and, though the district was largely Republican, he came within fifty-one votes of defeating A. C. Hopkins, his Republican opponent. Soon after this he accepted a position as attorney for the Standard Oil Company, since which time his headquarters have been at Oil City, Pennsylvania, though he also spends a portion of his time at the office of the company in New York City.
Mr. Elliott possessed marked natural ability for the profession of the law, which has been highly trained and developed by many years of rigid application and successful practice. He has pursued its study with devotion and has attained a prominent place in the legal area of his native State. While a resident of Wellsboro his practice extended into many of the adjoining counties, where his great strength as an advocate, both in criminal and civil cases, was fully recognized by his contemporaries. To the logical faculty, he adds the persuasive, and is equally strong at the counsel table and in the trial room. His arguments are terse and epigrammatic, or discursive, as the cause and occasion may seem to require, and whether addressed to the court or jury, are strong, clear and convincing. As a lawyer, his strongest traits of character are his honesty, persistent industry and capacity for work; his sound knowledge of the law; his good judgment of men and facts; his great tact and power as an advocate before the jury, and his logical presentation of a legal proposition to the court. A client who secures the services of Mr. Elliott never gets a half-hearted support. When he enters into a legal contest all his energies are given to the cause of his client, and when he wins a victory he never clamors for extreme measures against the defeated side. He is considered by his old associates at the bar of Tioga county, as one of the best all-round lawyers in Pennsylvania. Mr. Elliott married Miss Sarah J. Merrick, a daughter of Israel Merrick, Jr., and sister of Major George W. Merrick, of Wellsboro. Though naturally proud of the high place he has attained and the success he has won in his chosen profession, he is nevertheless the same plain, unpretentious and affable gentleman as before. Mr. Elliott is one of the most popular citizens of his native county, and his success and eminence as a lawyer are referred to with pride by the companions of his boyhood days.
NORMAN H. RYAN, spelled by the other members of the family "Ryon," was born in Lawrence township, Tioga county, December 1, 1839, a son of Samuel Ryon, a sketch of whom appears in this work. He was educated in the commons schools and at Lawrenceville Academy, subsequently took a collegiate preparatory course at Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, Lima, New York, and spent three years at Genesee College, where he won the prize for the best declamation. In 1860 he graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in full classical course, which completed his education. Returning to Tioga county he began the study of law with Lowrey & Wilson, of Wellsboro, later studied with Hon. John W. Guernsey, of Tioga, and was admitted to the bar April 4, 1863. In December, 1864, he located in practice at Amboy, Lee county, Illinois, where he continued in the active duties of his profession until the spring of 1878. During this period he filled the offices of city attorney and prosecuting attorney of the city court of Amboy. From 1870 to 1872 he served in the Illinois legislature from the Eighty-fifth district, the first after the adoption of the new constitution, which codified and remodeled the laws of the State. In 1872 he was presidential elector, on the Republican ticket, of the Fourth congressional district of Illinois, and stumped the district for his party. For eight years he represented that district in the State Republican committee. In the spring of 1878 he removed to Bloomington, Illinois, and practiced there until the spring of 1882, fighting his way to a front place at the bar. The malarial climate of Illinois seriously affected his health and he returned to his old home in Lawrenceville, where he remained a few years recuperating his shattered constitution. During this time he familiarized himself with the laws and practices of Pennsylvania and then located in Wellsboro, where he has since enjoyed a lucrative practice. Mr. Ryan was married August 16, 1865, to Elizabeth McIntyre, of Elbridge, New York, and has two children, Stella M. and Frank W.
JEFFERSON HARRISON, a native of Wellsboro, was born July 24, 1838. His father, William Harrison, came from New Jersey to Wellsboro in 1833. Mr. Harrison received his education in the common schools and the "Old Academy," so fondly remembered by the older inhabitants of the borough. He read law under the direction of Hon. Henry Sherwood, commencing in 1862, and was admitted to the bar in 1864. He at once entered on his profession, which he has followed up to the present time. He is secretary and treasurer of the Wellsboro Water Company and takes a deep interest in that important public improvement. He has also been connected with the Pine Creek Railway Company for many years, and in January, 1897, succeeded the late Hon. Henry Sherwood as president of that company.
CLARK W. BEACH was born in Dryden, New York, June 29, 1829. He studied law under Hon. Henry Sherwood and was admitted to practice in 1865. He located at Westfield, wehre he has since practiced his profession.
FRANK W. CLARK was born in Richmond township, Tioga county, August 21, 1839, a son of Elijah Pincheon and Fanny (Fitzgerald) Clark, and grandson of Elijah and Lydia (Mixter) Clark. He was reared in his native township, and received his education in the public schools of Mansfield, Wellsboro High School, and Mansfield Classical Seminary. He spent the summer of 1863 in the west with his invalid brother, Daniel E., remaining with him until his death. In the early part of 1864 he commenced the study of law under Hon. Henry Sherwood, of Wellsboro, with whom he remained two years. Upon his admission to the bar, in 1866, he located in Mansfield, where he has since resided and practiced his profession. Mr. Clark was married September 9, 1875, to Lelia S. Cole, a daughter of Alston J. and Mary B. (Adams) Cole, of Mansfield, who has borne him two children, viz: Fanny and Julia Genevieve. In politics, Mr. Clark is a Democrat, and has been quite active in promoting the interests of his party. He has served as chairman and secretary of the Democratic county committee for several years, and has been the nominee for his party for the legislature, and twice for district attorney. He has filled various municipal offices, has been a trustee of the State Normal School, and for the past three years has been borough attorney and secretary of the council. He is also president of the Mansfield Hook and Ladder Company. In religion he is a Presbyterian. Mr. Clark is not only a prominent and successful lawyer, but one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens of Mansfield.
JOHN WILLARD ADAMS, only living child of William and Ruth Ann Adams, and grandson of Capt. Lyman Adams, was born in Tioga township, Tioga county, February 8, 1843, and was about twelve years old when his parents removed to Mansfield. He received a good education, studied law with his father and the late Henry Allen, and was admitted to practice in November, 1867. Mr. Adams was married April 27, 1868, to Marian A. Vincent, who has borne him three children, viz: Ruth O., Edna Lou, and Edith, who died in infancy. Ruth graduated at the State Normal School in the class of 1889, and Edna in that of 1893. Ruth married Arthur G. Brown, of Elmira, New York, and has one son, John Willard Adams, born January 6, 1892. In politics Mr. Adams is a Republican, and takes an active interest in public affairs. He is a stockholder in, and has been a trustee of, the State Normal School and has always been a friend of education. During the past twenty-nine years he has built up a lucrative practice, has been quite successful in his profession, and is one of the leading members of the bar of his native county.
WALTER SHERWOOD was born in Knoxville, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, November 21, 1843, and is the only child of the late Hon. Henry Sherwood, for many years one of the best known citizens of Tioga county. His parents removed to Wellsboro when Walter was three years old, where he received a common school and academical education. He taught the primary department in the Wellsboro Academy one year, and was then made principal of the Wellsboro High School, which position he filled one year. During this time he studied law in his father’s office, and at the end of his first year as principal of the High School he gave up that position and devoted his entire attention to the study of the legal profession. He was admitted to practice in 1867, acted as clerk for his father for two years and was then taken into partnership, the firm being known as Henry Sherwood & Son. They did a very large business up to the fall of 1888, when his father retired from the active duties of the profession and the present firm of Sherwood & Owlett was then formed. Mr. Sherwood was married March 23, 1870, to Juliet E. Nichols, a daughter of Judge Levi I. and Sarah J. (Brown) Nichols, to which union have been born three children, viz: Harry N., a member of the bar; Anna J., and Allen. The family are members of the Protestant Episcopal church; and Mr. Sherwood is connected with the I. O. O. F. Politically, he has always been a Democrat, and has given his earnest support to the measures and principles of that party. He has served in the borough council sixteen years, and as burgess four years. He is also a director of the Pine Creek Railway Company. Mr. Sherwood is one of the best informed men in Tioga county on all matters pertaining to its history. He possesses a remarkable memory, and has freely given much valuable information in the preparation of this work. Kind, courteous and obliging at all times, he is held in high esteem by the best people of the community.
HON. CHARLES TUBBS was born in Elkland township (now Osceola), Tioga county, Pennsylvania, July 11, 1843, and is a son of James and Anna (Gleason) Tubbs. He early evinced a taste for learning, which was gratified in the common schools of the district. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Union Academy, then under the principalship of s. B. Price, and he subsequently studied at the same institution under Prof. A. r. Wightman. In 1860 he taught school at Osceola, Union Academy and Mill Creek, and for a short time in 1861 at Wellsboro Academy. He then entered Alfred University, and in 1863 was admitted to Union College, Schenectady, from which he was graduated in the classical course in July, 1864. In 1865 he entered the law department of Michigan University, Ann Harbor, from which he was graduated in March, 1867. Returning home he was admitted to the bar of Tioga county, and in connection with his other business affairs, has since practiced his profession at Osceola. In March, 1896, he was admitted to the United States district court.
Having a taste for politics, Mr. Tubbs served as transcribing clerk of the House of Representatives, Harrisburg, during the session of 1869, and took an active part in caucuses, conventions and elections of the Republican party. In 1876 and 1878 he was presiding officer of the Republican county convention, and in 1878 and 1880 he stumped the county for his party. In the latter year he was nominated without opposition as one of the representatives of Tioga county in the legislature and was elected. During the session of 1881 he served upon the judiciary, elections, federal relations and judicial apportionment committees, and was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the commissions on prisons. He was re-elected to the House in 1882, thus serving two terms in that body. In 1879, 1883 and 1891 he represented Tioga county in the Republican State Conventions, and for many years has been a prominent factor in the local councils of his party.
Since 1888 Mr. Tubbs has been a director of the Wellsborough National Bank; has served as a trustee of the State Hospital at Blossburg, by appointment of the governor, since 1890, and since 1892 has been president of the Cowanesque Valley Agricultural Society. On October 22, 1879, he was married to Sylvina Bacon, a daughter of Ard Hoyt and Lucinda (Murdock) Bacon, and has one son, Warren. In 1891 Mr. Tubbs was admitted a member of the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution. In 1894 he made a tour of Europe with his family, and when Lycoming county celebrated her centennial, in July, 1895, he was invited as one of the speakers on that occasion, and delivered an historical oration relating to the northwestern part of her original territory. Mr. Tubbs has a decided taste for local history and genealogy, and has collected one of the largest and most valuable historical private libraries in Pennsylvania. His published works are the histories of Deerfield, Knoxville and Osceola, in 1883; "Osceola in the War of the Rebellion," published in 1885, and "Lycoming Centennial," in 1896.
JOHN C. HORTON was born at Spring Mills, Allegany county, New York, April 1, 1843. He was educated at Spring Mills Academy in his native county, Lewisville Academy, Potter county, and Union Academy, Tioga county. He read law one year with George W. Ryon at Lawrenceville, finished his studies with Hon. Charles H. Seymour at Tioga, and was admitted to the bar at Wellsboro in August, 1868. He located in Blossburg. He was a notary public from 1870 to 1876, and served several years as clerk of the borough council.
DAVID CAMERON was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to Pennsylvania with his parents in 1848, when he was about ten years of age. The family settled at Blossburg, Tioga county, where David worked in the mines with his father and later in the Morris Run mines. He was educated in the common schools, subsequently spent one year at Wellsboro Academy and two years at Mansfield State Normal. While a student in the latter institution he taught mathematics, and also taught the schools of Morris Run, Fall Brook and Mitchell’s Creek, and was principal of the graded school in Tioga two years. In course of time he entered the law office of F. E. Smith, at Tioga, and was admitted to the bar in 1868. While attending school and reading law he also worked in the mines at intervals, doing the last work in that line in 1865. In 1871 he located in Wellsboro, entering into partnership with Hon. John I. Mitchell in the practice of law. This relationship continued until January 1, 1889, when Mr. Mitchell became president judge. Mr. Cameron was appointed assistant United States attorney for the Western district of Pennsylvania, by Hon. B. H. Brewster, attorney general of the United States, April 1, 1882, and held the office until October 12, 1888. He was re-appointed September 1, 1890, and served until October, 1893. Mr. Cameron was married October 5, 1865, to Emily A. Mitchell, a daughter of Thomas K. Mitchell, of Mitchell’s Creek, and grand-daughter of Richard Mitchell, who settled at that point in 1792. Four sons and two daughters have blessed this union, all of whom are living. In politics, Mr. Cameron has always been an ardent supporter of the Republican party.
MAJOR GEORGE W. MERRICK was born in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, March 27, 1838, and is a son of Israel Merrick, Jr., and grandson of Israel Merrick, Sr., pioneers of Wellsboro. He spent his boyhood days in his native place, and was attending school when the Civil War broke out. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted as a private in Company H, Sixth Pennsylvania Reserve, and served with it in the battle of Drainsville, the Peninsular Campaign and Second Bull Run. In 1862 he was discharged on account of ill health. Before he had fairly recovered he recruited a company for the First Battalion Pennsylvania Volunteers, six months’ men, was chosen captain of the company and went to the front. At the expiration of his term he recruited a company for the three years’ service, which was mustered in as Company A, of the One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was subsequently commissioned major and joined the army at Cold Harbor. Major Merrick was in command of the regiment in the desperate assault on Fort Hell, at Petersburg, Virginia, June 18, 1864, and received a gunshot wound in the right knee, rendering amputation of the leg necessary. This disabled him for further military duty and he retired from the service. Returning home he commenced reading law with Hon. Henry W. Williams, completed his studies under W. H. Smith, Esq., and was admitted to the bar in February, 1869. Major Merrick was appointed postmaster of Wellsboro, January 27, 1869, a few days before his admission to practice, and held the office over thirteen years, resigning June 14, 1882, to accept the nomination of the Independent Republicans for secretary of internal affairs. He opened an office in Wellsboro for the practice of his profession, and has since won a leading place at the bar as an honest, able and successful lawyer. In the famous case of Charlotte Howell, charged with poisoning Elizabeth Knapp, Major Merrick was the defendant’s principal attorney. After a very exciting trial, lasting twenty days, she was acquitted, mainly through the able and skillful defense made for her by her counsel. In politics he has been an ardent Republican since casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Believing in the open self-rule of the party, he has taken no part in party management, but in public discussions of principles and policies he has been active and influential. Major Merrick was married in November, 1868, to Miss Ione Butterworth, a niece of David Wilmot. Of four children born to them, one daughter, Louise Wilmot Merrick, survives.
HON. WILLIAM A. STONE, a son of Israel Stone, was born in Delmar township, Tioga county, April 18, 1846, and was reared on his father’s farm in Delmar. In the history of Mrs. Stone we have a striking illustration of the possibilities of American youth. When the war broke out he enlisted at the age of seventeen in Company A, One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was mustered out in 1865 as a second lieutenant. He was ambitious for an education, but did not have sufficient means. Professor Allen, principal of the Mansfield State Normal School, afforded him the opportunity, and he graduated with high honor in 1868. In October of the same year he was chosen principal of the Wellsboro Academy and taught that school two terms, receiving a salary of "$66.66 and the tuition bills." While engaged in teaching he commenced reading law under the direction of Hon. Stephen F. Wilson and Hon. Jerome B. Niles, and was admitted to the bar in August, 1870. In 1872 he was appointed transcribing clerk in the House of Representatives, Harrisburg. In 1874 he was a candidate for district attorney of Tioga county, and received 3,000 votes out of 3,500 cast, but resigned at the close of 1876 and removed to Allegheny for the purpose of seeking a broader professional field. In January, 1877, when he located in Allegheny, he was comparatively unknown, but good fortune favored him and it was not long until he had a very fair clientage and had been engaged in the trial of several important suits. Soon after this he was appointed United States jury commissioner. In 1880 he was appointed by President Hayes United States district attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. After serving four years he was re-appointed by President Arthur. During the gubernatorial campaign of 1886, notwithstanding President Cleveland’s instructions to office holders, Mr. Stone took the stump for General Beaver and made speeches in the counties bordering on Allegheny. For doing this the President removed him, October 17, 1886, for "pernicious activity." This removal attracted national attention and evoked much discussion. Mr. Stone resumed his law practice and gave it close attention until June, 1890, when he was nominated for Congress in the Twenty-third district. He was elected; has been re-elected twice in succession, and is the present representative from that district. He is the tallest member of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, standing six feet and four inches, and is also one of its ablest members. His genial disposition has won for him a host of warm friends, who regard him as one of the coming men of Pennsylvania.
JAMES HUNTINGTON BOSARD was born in Osceola, Tioga county, April 21, 1845, and spent his boyhood days in his native place. During his youth he was employed on the farm and in his father’s brickyard. He received his primary education in the common schools of the village, later attended the Wellsboro and Union Academies, and graduated from the Mansfield State Normal School in 1866. He taught school a few years, during which time he was principal of the Addison Academy, and also taught a select school in Osceola. In 1867 he became a law student in the office of Hon. Mortimer F. Elliott, of Wellsboro, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in August, 1870. Entering into partnership with his preceptor, he remained with him until 1875, after which he practiced at Wellsboro by himself for a few years. In 1879 he removed to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he still resides and is actively engaged in the duties of his profession. In 1872 Mr. Bosard married Rebecca Merrick Faulkner, of Erie county, Pennsylvania.
AUGUSTUS REDFIELD was born November 6, 1826, in the town of Cato, Cayuga county, New York, and was educated at Moravia in that State. He enlisted and served through the entire War of the Rebellion. Locating in Wellsboro, he studied law under the direction of Major George W. Merrick, and was admitted to the bar August 28, 1871. Settling in Lawrenceville, he became editor of the Herald of that place. He now resides in Covington. He has served several terms as a justice of the peace.
CHARLES L. PECK was born in Farmington township, and received his education in the common schools and at Union Academy and Osceola High School. He studied law with Hon. Mortimer F. Elliott, was admitted to the bar and practiced at Knoxville from 1872 to 1876.
JAMES V. LEACH, a member of the bar, founded the Westfield Index, April 17, 1873, but owning to poor health he suspended publication July 8, 1874, and died in the early part of 1875.
HON. HORACE B. PACKER is a native of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, and is the only living child of Dr. Nelson Packer. He was reared in his native town and obtained his education in Wellsboro Academy and Alfred University, New York. He studied law with Wilson & Niles, and was admitted to practice August 26, 1873. Since his admission to the bar he has continued in the active duties of his profession. In 1876 he was appointed district attorney, on petition of every member of the bar, to succeed Hon. William A. Stone, resigned, and in 1877 he was elected as his own successor, filling the office four years. From early manhood Mr. Packer evinced a deep interest in politics and for many years he has been one of the leaders of the Republican party in Tioga county. In the fall of 1884 he was elected to the legislature and was re-elected in 1886, serving the sessions of 1885 and 1887. In 1888 he was elected to the Senate, from the Twenty-fifth senatorial district, composed of the counties of Tioga, Potter and McKean, and served in that body four years. While in the House Mr. Packer was chairman of the congressional committee and is the author of the present apportionment law. He framed and introduced the bill, which subsequently became a law, providing for cottage hospitals in the bituminous coal regions of the State. He is also the author of the civil procedure bill, which became a law in 1887. During his terms in both the House and Senate, he took a prominent and active part in behalf of educational matters. In 1894 he was the choice of his party in Tioga and Lycoming counties for Congress, but after a long struggle and failure of a majority of the conferees to agree on a candidate, Mr. Packer withdrew from the contest on behalf of harmony and the good of his party. In 1896 he was again a candidate for Congress, and after a hard fight won the nomination. He was elected by a plurality of 6,391, carrying every county in the district, his plurality in Tioga being 5,018—the largest this county ever gave for a congressional candidate. Mr. Packer has presided at two state conventions and is one of the best known Republicans in northern Pennsylvania.
JOHN WILLIAM MATHER was born in Dundee, Yates county, New York, November 5, 1847, a son of James H. and Lydia (Dean) Mather, natives of New York, who came to this county in the fall of 1860 and settled in Lawrenceville, where the father was engaged in the manufacture of fanning mills for twenty years. In 1880 he removed to Wellsboro, where he died in July, 1885. His widow is still a resident of Wellsboro. The subject of this sketch was educated in the public schools of Lawrenceville and under Rev. Sidney Mills, a private tutor. He later attended the State Normal School at Mansfield, graduated from that institution in the class of 1871, and subsequently taught school for several terms. Mr. Mather read law with Elliott & Bosard, of Wellsboro, and was admitted the bar of Tioga county August 26, 1873. In 1878 he was admitted to practice in the adjoining counties, and in May, 1881, to the Supreme Court of the State. Mr. Mather has since been engaged in the active duties of his profession and is one of the well-known lawyers of Wellsboro. He has always given an unwavering support to the Republican party, and in 1883 he was appointed deputy United States marshal of the Western district of Pennsylvania, and served until May, 1885. In 1886 he was elected district attorney and filled that office one term. In December, 1892, United States Attorney General W. W. Miller appointed him to a position in the department of justice at Washington, which he filled until the change of administration. Since 1878 Mr. Mather has been secretary of the Farmers’ Agricultural Society of Tioga county, and he is also a member of the Wellsboro Manufacturing and Building Company. On October 27, 1875, he married Mary Houghton, a daughter of Ferris Houghton, whose father was one of the pioneers of Delmar township. Four children have been born to this union: Maude, George W., Stella and James H.
EZRA BENEDICT YOUNG was born in Springfield township, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, October 24, 1846, and was educated in the common schools, the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute, at Towanda, and the State Normal School, at Mansfield, from which he graduated in 1868. After teaching three years in Bradford and Juniata counties, he entered the law office of Hon. John I. Mitchell, of Wellsboro, as a law student, teaching school in the meantime. In April, 1874, he was admitted to the bar. He has, however, devoted but little time to practice, being interested in other business enterprises.
LAUREN H. TUTTLE was born in the borough of Tioga, March 29, 1848. He was educated in the common schools and at Starkey Seminary, Yates county, New York. He studied law with Frederick E. Smith and Charles H. Seymour, of Tioga, and was admitted to the bar in 1874. He opened an office in Tioga and practiced until about 1885, when he removed to Addison, New York.
F. E. WATROUS, son of James and B. A. Watrous, both natives of Connecticut, was born in Windsor, Broome county, New York, April 4, 1851, and is one of eight children, viz: John, who died in 1856, aged sixteen years; Henry, a resident of Gaines township; F. E., the subject of this sketch; Arthur, a resident of Forest Grove, Oregon; Charles, who died in 1863; Sarah, wife of Jesse Locke, of Wellsboro; Jennie, deceased wife of J. H. Wood, of Gaines township, and Emma A., wife of H. M. Foote, an attorney of Washington, D. C. In 1851 Mr. Watrous’ parents removed to Tioga county, Pennsylvania, and settled on Elk run, in Gaines township, where his father still resides, being now eighty-five years of age. His mother died in 1882, aged sixty-eight years. Mr. Watrous was reared to manhood in Gaines township, and was educated in the common schools, the State Normal School at Mansfield, and the commercial college at Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1873 he began the study of law at Knoxville, under the preceptorship of Hon. Mortimer F. Elliott. The following year he came to Wellsboro and entered Mr. Elliott’s office, where he continued in studies until his admission to the bar in January, 1876. In 1879 he became a partner of Mr. Elliott, the firm becoming Elliott & Watrous. This partnership still exists, although, owing to Mr. Elliott’s constant absence from the borough in the discharge of his duties as attorney for the Standard Oil Company, the business of the firm is practically attended to by Mr. Watrous. On March 24, 1876, Mr. Watrous married Fanny Shore, a daughter of Daniel and Rebecca Shore, of Knoxville. They have an adopted daughter, Margaret. In politics Mr. Watrous is a Republican. Though loyal to and interested in the success of the principles of the party, he has never held office. He is a member of Ossea Lodge, No. 317, F. & A. M., and of Tyagaghton Commandery, No. 28, K. T. Mr. Watrous practices in the state and United States courts. His inclination being in the direction of civil, rather than criminal practice, he has confined himself to the former, and has achieved a well-earned reputation as a careful, methodical and painstaking attorney, especially in intricate commercial cases and in the settlement of estates. Equipped with a good legal mind, he has by unremitting study and hard work risen to a prominent and honorable place as a member of the bar of Tioga county.
HENRY M. FOOTE was born in Chenango county, New York, in 1846, and was educated in the common schools and Wellsboro Academy. His father, Dr. Ira A. Foote, was the first homeopathic physician to locate in Wellsboro, where he practiced from 1849 to 1851, when he removed to Carpenterville, New York. In 1864, while a student in the academy, Henry M. enlisted in the One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers at the organization of that regiment, and remained in service until the close of the war. On his return home he read law with Hon. John I. Mitchell and David Cameron, and was admitted to the bar February 1, 1876. He opened an office in Wellsboro and began the practice of his profession. In 1880 he was elected district attorney and served a term of three years with credit. In 1884 he was elected to the legislature, and was re-elected in 1886. In 1889 he was appointed an assistant attorney in the department of justice under Attorney General Miller and served in that capacity up to 1893. He has since continued to practice in Washington, but retains his residence in Wellsboro.
T. C. SANDERS was born in the town of Clarksville, Allegheny county, New York. He spent about five years in the university at Alfred in his native county and graduated in 1861. He served the first two years of the rebellion in the army, and when he returned he located at Westfield in 1863. After studying law he was admitted to the bar of Tioga county, February 2, 1876, and in 1879 entered into partnership with Hon. Butler B. Strang, and that relation continued until the death of the latter. Soon after this Mr. Sanders removed to Dakota.
HENRY W. ROLAND, deceased, was born in Delmar township, December 7, 1848, and was reared on a farm. He was educated in the common schools and Wellsboro Academy. He read law with Hon. William A. Stone and was admitted at Wellsboro at the August term, 1876. In October following he opened a law and insurance office in Blossburg. He frequently served as borough clerk, and in 1880 he was appointed United States census marshal.
JOHN ORMEROD was a member of the bar in 1877, and had an office at Knoxville. He came from Potter county, but returned to Coudersport in 1881, where he is still practicing his profession.
JOHN S. RYON, only son of Harris T. Ryon, was born in Nelson township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, January 4, 1847, and was educated in the Osceola High School and the State Normal School at Mansfield. He began the study of law in 1875 with Major George W. Merrick, of Wellsboro, and was admitted to the Tioga county bar in the spring of 1877. He located in Elkland, where he has since resided and practiced his profession, being also identified with a number of business enterprises in that borough. In 1881 he was admitted to the Potter county bar; to the United States court in 1886, and to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1894. On January 13, 1869, he married Maria Hollis, a daughter of William and Maria Hollis, of Steuben county, new York, and has two children, Emma and Harry. Mr. Ryon is a staunch Democrat, and in 1884 was a candidate for representative and ran several hundred votes ahead of his ticket. In 1886 he was appointed postmaster of Elkland by President Cleveland, and held that office three years. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and also of the I. O. O. F., and is recognized as one of the progressive citizens of Elkland.
DARIUS L. DEANE, a son of Erastus P. Deane, was born in Delmar township, Tioga county, January 22, 1840. He was reared upon the homestead farm, and received a common school, academical and commercial college education. He afterwards studied and practiced surveying with his father, also assisted in the farm duties, until 1863, when he enlisted in Company A, First Battalion, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and later enlisted in Company K, Two Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. He participated in the recapture of Fort Steadman and the capture of Petersburg, where he was severely wounded. After shattering his left arm near the shoulder, the bullet lodged in the left breast, and amputation of the arm resulted. Mr. Deane was honorably discharged June 23, 1865, with the rank of sergeant major, and returned to his home in Tioga county. in the fall of 1866 he was elected register and recorder of the county, was re-elected in 1869, and again in 1872, filling that position nine consecutive years. In 1876 he commenced the study of law with Elliott & Watrous, of Wellsboro, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in the fall of 1878, since which time he has practiced his profession and followed surveying. Mr. Deane was married December 14, 1869, to Barbara L. Sturrock, a daughter of David and Jane Sturrock, of Wellsboro, and has had one son, Arthur W., who died when seven years of age. They afterwards adopted Allen B., a son of Jerome and Mary Bowers, of Horseheads, New York. Politically, Mr. Deane is a Republican, and besides his three terms as register and recorder, he has filled the offices of school director, burgess and assessor one term each, and has served three terms in the council. He is a member of George Cook Post, No. 315, G. A. R., and both he and wife are adherents of the Presbyterian church.
S. FOWLER CHANNELL was born in Canton, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, November 21, 1848, and is a son of William T. and Sarah J. (Wright) Channell, the former a native of New Hampshire, and the latter of Bradford county. They reared a family of five children, named as follows: S. Fowler; Mary J., wife of C. O. Rockwell, of Roaring Branch; Dudley B., a physician of Washington; Frank J., of Canton, Bradford county, and Leon S., a lawyer of Mansfield, Tioga county. The parents are residents of Canton, Bradford county, where his father is engaged in farming. The subject of this sketch obtained a good education in the public schools of Bradford county, later clerked four years in a dry goods store in Canton, and then spent two years at Lafayette College. In the autumn of 1877 he commenced the study of law in the office of Hon. Henry Sherwood, of Wellsboro, and was admitted to the bar in January, 1880. He immediately opened an office in Wellsboro for the practice of his profession, and continued alone until 1884, when he formed a partnership with H. M. Foote, which existed until the fall of 1889, at which time Mr. Foote removed to Washington, D. C. Mr. Channell was married September 19, 1888, to Lizzie M. Fairman, and has one son, Malcolm F. The family attend the Presbyterian church. In politics, Mr. Channell is one of the most active Republicans in the county. From 1884 to 1887 he was the legal adviser for the county commissioners, and for four years was secretary of the school board, and was president of the same body for two years. In February, 1897, he was elected burgess of Wellsboro. He enjoys a good law practice, which he has gradually built up during the past seventeen years.
H. L. BALDWIN was born September 29, 1845, at Medina, Ohio, and was educated at Franklin Industrial Institute, Cooperstown, New York, and at the State Normal School at Mansfield. From 1871 to 1878 he taught school at Lawrenceville and Tioga. After reading law under the preceptorship of Frederick E. Smith, of the latter place, he was admitted to the bar in 1880. He located at Tioga, where he is still practicing his profession.
JOHN T. GEAR was born at Pittsford, Monroe county, New York, October 4, 1854, and is a son of John and Mary A. (White) Gear, natives of England. His parents came to the United States about 1844, and located in Monroe county, New York, where his father had charge of the hot houses of Daniel Iles, a prominent florist of that county, for several years. He later engaged in farming near Friendship, Allegany county, New York, where he still resides, practically retired, though overseeing the duties of the farm. The subject of this sketch received an academical education at Friendship, New York. In 1879 he began the study of law in the office of L. H. Cobb, Esq., of Coudersport, and was admitted to the Potter county bar in June, 1881, and to the bar of Tioga county at the December term of the same year. In 1881 he located at Knoxville, Tioga county, where he has since been engaged in the active duties of his profession. Mr. Gear was married September 14, 1877, to Eva Darling, a daughter of Thaddeus and Amelia (Nelson) Darling, of Allegheny township, Potter county, Pennsylvania, and has one son, T. Fay. In politics, Mr. Gear is a Republican, takes an active interest in political affairs, and has held various local offices in Knoxville, including two terms as burgess of the borough.
ROBERT KENNEDY YOUNG, eldest son of Hon. Hugh Young, the well-known bank examiner, was born in Wellsboro, June 14, 1861. He was educated in the schools of his native town and at a private school in Concord, New Hampshire. Returning home he read law with major George W. Merrick, and was admitted to the bar in August, 1884. Soon after his admission he visited Europe and spent some time in England, Ireland, Scotland and France. He remained for a period at Killlyleagh, County Down, Ireland, the birthplace of his father, engaged in visiting relatives. On his return to Wellsboro Mr. Young resumed his professional duties and has since become well known over the county as a member of the law firm of Merrick & Young. Mr. Young was married October 23, 1890, to Emma Van Mater, of Red Bank, New Jersey. In politics he is a Republican. In October, 1890, he was appointed a justice of the peace to fill a vacancy, and the following spring he was elected for a full term. He resigned in the spring of 1896, and was subsequently chosen as one of the Republican candidates for the legislature, to which he was elected by a handsome majority. Mr. Young was one of the five original promoters and first directors of the Wellsborough Electric Company and has acted as counsel and business manager of the enterprise since its inception.
ALFRED JONES SHATTUCK was born in Corning, New York, October 2, 1859, a son of Levi H. and Sarah (Pack) Shattuck, who came to Tioga county in 1866 and located in Blossburg. After obtaining a common school education, Alfred J. entered the State Normal School at Mansfield, graduating from that institution in1877, and from Lafayette College in 1881. He then accepted a position as paymaster on the Arnot and Pine Creek railroad, which he occupied a year and a half. In the fall of 1882 he entered the law office of Elliott & Watrous, of Wellsboro, and after diligent study he was admitted to practice August 26, 1884, and opened his present office January 1, 1885. Mr. Shattuck is a staunch Republican, and was elected borough clerk in March, 1859, which position he has filled continuously up to the present. He has been a notary public since March 11, 1885, and was chairman of the Republican county committee for the year 1891. On January 6, 1886, Mr. Shattuck married Emma M. Purple, a daughter of E. J. and Rachel A. Purple, and has one son, Levi H.
AARON R. NILES, eldest son of Gen. Jerome B. Niles, was born in Middlebury township, October 3, 1860. He received his education in the High School of Wellsboro, and then spent a year at Lafayette College. He read law under the direction of his father, and was admitted to the bar in 1884. Mr. Niles married a daughter of the late Gov. Thomas L. Young, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He resides in Wellsboro and is associated with his father in the practice of his profession. In March, 1897, Mr. Niles was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Cottage State Hospital, at Blossburg.
B. M. POTTER, a son of Jerome B. Potter, was born at Cherry Flats, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, April 23, 1862, and was educated in the Wellsboro High School, from which he graduated in 1876, and Cook Academy, Havana, New York, graduating in 1879. In 1882 he began studying law under Jerome B. Niles, and completed his studies with Mitchell & Cameron. He was admitted to practice in 1884. From 1891 to 1894 he resided and practiced in Washington, D. C., since which time he has pursued his profession in Wellsboro. He was elected a justice of the peace in February, 1896.
HARVEY B. LEACH is the only child of Myron and Emeline (Colgrove) Leach, and was born in Chatham township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1860. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Harvey leach, was one of the early settlers and pioneer physicians of Chatham township. He located at Shortsville early in the thirties, and practiced medicine until his death in 1862. His practice was an extensive one, both in Tioga and Potter counties, and he was recognized as one of the leading physicians of this section of Pennsylvania. Myron Leach died October 18, 1895. His widow resides on the homestead farm in Chatham township. Harvey B. passed the first twenty years of his life on the old homestead. During this period he received the rudiments of an English education in the common schools and gained a practical knowledge of agriculture by assisting in the work of the farm. In the summer of 1880 he went to Monroe county, New York, and worked several months on a farm. During the winter of 1880-81 he attended the Wellsboro Academy. In September, 1881, he became a student of the State Normal School, at Mansfield, from which he graduated in the spring of 1883. He taught the graded school at Little Marsh during the winter months. In the summer of 1884 he began the study of law in the office of Henry Sherwood & Son, of Wellsboro. He was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1886, and immediately began practice by entering into partnership with Harvey Blackburn, of Wellsboro, the firm being Blackburn & Leach. At the end of six months the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent, and September 20, 1886, Mr. leach removed to Blossburg and began practice for himself. In the intervening years, by close application and successful work in the courts, he has built up a lucrative practice, and achieved deserved recognition at the bar of Tioga county. in November, 1889, he was elected district attorney, and acceptable discharged the duties of that office for three years. He has also served as a member of Blossburg school board. In March, 1897, he returned to Wellsboro, where he expects to find a wider field for the prosecution of his profession. Mr. Leach was married November 16, 1886, to Irene L. Wheeler, a daughter of Julius C. and Emily E. Wheeler, of Wellsboro. To this union three children have been born, viz: Earl, Myrtle, deceased, and Walter. In politics Mr. Leach is an ardent Republican, and has labored earnestly for the success of the principles and doctrines of that party.
HON. WALTER T. MERRICK, a son of Jacob B. Merrick, a grandson of Isaac Merrick and great grandson of Israel Merrick, Sr., was born in Charleston township, Tioga county, June 12, 1859. During the residence of his parents in the various places where his father practiced dentistry, Walter T. attended the public schools. He graduated from Grammar school, No. 2, Elmira, New York, in 1876, and subsequently took a course at the Elmira Free Academy, and the State Normal School at Mansfield. After his father’s death he adopted dentistry as his profession, removing to Blossburg and practicing there with his brother, D. O. Merrick. In 1881 he went to Tioga and began reading law in the office of Charles H. Seymour, but his studies were interrupted by the death of his preceptor, and he embarked in the real estate business, in which he continued until 1885. From February, 1884, to October, 1885, he filled the secretaryship of Tioga borough. In the latter year he went to Wellsboro and there resumed the reading of law in the office of Merrick & Young. He was admitted to the bar in 1886, and immediately returned to Blossburg and began the practice of his profession. In 1892 he received the Republican nomination for the legislature, and was elected to that position, leading the ticket, and was re-elected in 1894. During the last session of the legislature, he served on the following important committees: Appropriations, agriculture, congressional apportionment, corporation, and education, and was recognized as an able and efficient member in the committee room, and one of the leaders on the floor of the House. Mr. Merrick served in the Republican State Convention of 1894, voted for Hastings for governor, and seconded the nomination of Jack Robinson for lieutenant governor. Though a comparatively young man, Mr. Merrick is recognized as one of the leading spirits of the Republican party in Tioga county. Believing in the principles of his party, he has worked earnestly to secure their success at the polls. As a legislator he has endeavored to serve not only the people of his county, but of the entire State, and that the popularity he enjoys is not confined to Tioga county was manifested in April, 1896, when he received the nomination for state senator without opposition in his native county. The following August, at the fourth meeting of the senatorial conference, at Coudersport, he was unanimously nominated, and on November 3d was elected by a gratifying majority.
HENRY A. ASHTON was born in Livingston county, New York, August 27, 1860, and is the youngest son of Norman A. Ashton. He was four years old when his parents came to Tioga county, and he obtained his education in the common district school of Chatham township, graded school of Elkland, and the public school of Wellsboro. He taught a term of school and then entered the store of Justus Dearman, of Knoxville, Pennsylvania, after whose death he clerked for Albert Dearman until April, 1883, when he opened a store at Little Marsh, in partnership with C. E. Philbrick, which continued until the following September. His partner’s interest was then purchased by Joseph H. Ferris, and the firm of Ashton & Ferris continued until 1885, when Mr. Ferris was elected sheriff of Tioga county. The store was then sold and our subject began the study of law with Peck & Scovill, of Coudersport. He was admitted to the bar in September, 1887, and to the Tioga county bar in December following, since which time he has been located at Knoxville. Mr. Ashton was married May 22, 1883, to Minnie L. Hopkins, a daughter of Chester and Mary E. (Blackman) Hopkins, of Knoxville, and has one son, Chester H. He is one of the leading Democrats of his locality, and in 1889 was the nominee of his party for district attorney, and received a full party vote. On October 31, 1893, he was appointed by President Cleveland postmaster of Knoxville, which office he still holds, but also continues the practice of law. He has served as assessor of Knoxville for six years, auditor three years, and town clerk and borough counsel for eight years. Mr. Ashton has been a member of the Democratic county committee for several years, was chairman of that body in 1895 and 1896, and still holds the position.
W. L. SHEARER, the editor of the Republican Advocate, Wellsboro, was admitted to practice in 1886. After practicing a few months he engaged in the newspaper business to which he has since devoted his entire attention.
JAMES H. MATSON, a son of Edwin Matson, Sr., of Delmar, was admitted to the bar May 4, 1880, practiced in Wellsboro for a period, and was district attorney three years. He was also associated with W. L. Shearer in the publication of the Republican Advocate, of which he was editor from 1886 to 1891. He died in New Haven, Connecticut, March 14, 1897.
D. C. HARROWER, a son of Hon. G. T. Harrower, of Lawrenceville, was admitted November 30, 1887, and practiced in Lawrenceville until 1894, when he removed to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
EDWARD HOWLAND OWLETT, youngest son of Gilbert B. Owlett, Sr., was born in Chatham township, Tioga county, November 22, 1859. His early life was passed upon his father’s farm, and his primary education was obtained in the neighboring district school. Later he spent a year at the State Normal School, Mansfield, and was graduated from the Central State Normal School, at Lock Haven, in 1883. The three succeeding years were spent in teaching, after which he went to Wellsboro and entered the office of Hon. Henry Sherwood & Son, as a law student. He was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in April, 1888, and in December, of the same year, formed the present partnership of Sherwood & Owlett. Mr. Owlett was married September 8, 1891, to Miss Ida Wells, a daughter of Charles E. Wells, of Ulster, Pennsylvania, and has two children, Gilbert M. and Cora. In politics, he is a Republican, was elected to the office of district attorney in 1892, and filled the position a full term of three years. He is one of the well-known and popular members of the bar, and the firm of Sherwood & Owlett enjoys a good practice and an honorable place among the legal fraternity.
FREDERICK BIGELOW SMITH was born in Tioga borough, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, April 3, 1863. He was educated in the High School, Tioga; Kinney and Cascidilla preparatory schools, Ithaca, New York, and Cornell University. He studied law in Tioga under his father, Frederick E. Smith, entered the law department of Columbia College, New York City, in 1886, and graduated in 1888, with the degree of A. B. He was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in 1888, and the State Supreme Court in 1893. In October, 1889, he began the practice of his profession in Tioga, where he still resides. Mr. Smith is a Republican in politics and is popular with the people of the county. In November, 1896, he was elected one of the representatives of the county in the state legislature.
ANDREW B. DUNSMORE was born in Morris Run, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, January 4, 1866, and is the seventh in a family of thirteen children, eight of whom are living. His father, John Dunsmore, a native of Carnbrae, Lanarkshire, Scotland, came to Tioga county, Pennsylvania, in 1852, where he married Janet Baird. He followed his previous occupation of a coal miner, and was superintendent of mines at Arnot, Tioga county, for the Blossburg Coal Company, from its organization until 1876, when he purchased a farm in Covington township and followed agriculture four years. He then accepted the position of general superintendent for the Bloomington Mining Company, at Glen Richey, Pennsylvania, where he died March 30, 1895. Andrew B. was educated in the common schools of Blossburg, later attended the State Normal School at Mansfield, and graduated in the class of 1884. The following year he took a scientific course in the same institution. He next served eighteen months as principal of the Arnot public schools, and then spent two years on his father’s farm. In the winter of 1887 he entered the law office of Mitchell & Cameron, of Wellsboro, where he applied himself diligently to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in November, 1889. He practiced with David Cameron until the fall of 1893, when he opened his present office. Mr. Dunsmore was married May 17, 1894, to Miss Sadie E. Ball, of Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Politically, he is a Republican, and was a delegate to the Republican State Convention in 1893, and the State Republican League the same year. In 1894 he was chairman of the Republican county committee, and is one of the most active workers in the party. In November, 1895, Mr. Dunsmore was elected district attorney without opposition, and is now filling that office.
FRANK H. ROCKWELL was born at Cherry Flats, Tioga county, march 3, 1865, and is the only son of Silas S. Rockwell. He was educated in the public schools of his native township and the Wellsboro High School, and later taught for several terms in Tioga county. In the fall of 1889 he entered the law office of Elliott & Watrous, was admitted to practice in January, 1891, and opened an office in Wellsboro, where he has since devoted his attention to his professional duties. On November 18, 1891, he was appointed a notary public, and still acts in that capacity. Mr. Rockwell married Lucy B. Bailey, a daughter of J. M. Bailey, of Charleston township, Tioga county, and has two children, Emory B. and Lora M. Mr. and Mrs. Rockwell are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics, he is a Republican.
ALFRED J. NILES, second son of Gen. Jerome B. Niles, is a native of Wellsboro, and was born November 27, 1866. After receiving his preparatory education in the schools of his native town, he commenced reading law in his father’s office. He was graduated from Harvard Law School in 1891, and admitted to the bar in 1892. Receiving the appointment of assistant state bank examiner under Colonel Gilkeson, he located in Pittsburg in 1894. In November, 1895, he was appointed assistant solicitor for Pittsburg, and is now a resident of that city.
JOHN H. PUTNAM, son of Jonas G. and Sophia Putnam, was born in Essex county, New York, November 28, 1847, and was two years old when his parents settled in Tioga. Here he grew to maturity and received a good English education, studied law under Hon. John W. Guernsey, of Tioga, and was admitted to the bar of Tioga county in 1892. He at once commenced practice, opening an office in Tioga borough, and has since built up a lucrative business. In 1871 Mr. Putnam married Sophia Guernsey, a daughter of Hon. John W. and Susan Marriott (Morris) Guernsey. Her father was a well-known citizen of Tioga, and her mother was a daughter of Judge Samuel Wells Morris, a pioneer of Wellsboro. In politics, Mr. Putnam is a staunch Republican, and has served as secretary of the borough of Tioga, and also as a justice of the peace from 1885 to 1890. He is a member of Tioga River Lodge, No. 797, I. O. O. F. Both he and his wife are adherents of St. Andrew’s Protestant Episcopal church, and he is recognized as one of the representative citizens of the borough.
CHARLES N. KIMBALL was born September 20, 1872, in Parkville, Platte county, Missouri. He received his education in the common schools, when he commenced reading law under the direction of Elliott & Watrous, Wellsboro, in August, 1891, and was admitted to the bar March 30, 1893. Mr. Kimball was twenty years and six months old when he was admitted to practice, and so far as known is the youngest man ever admitted to the bar of Tioga county. He has temporarily given up practice and is now attending college.
H. F. MARSH, a previous member of the bar, has recently given up journalism and returned to Wellsboro, where he is associated with Elliott & Watrous in the practice of law.
LEON SEWELL CHANNELL was born in Canton, Pennsylvania, May 23, 1868. He graduated from the Canton High School in 1890, came to Wellsboro, read law with his brother, S. F. Channell, and was admitted to practice in June, 1893. In February, 1895, he located in Mansfield, where he has since practiced his profession.
DOUGLAS H. GRIFFIN came from Canton in April, 1895, and formed a partnership with Leon S. Channell, at Mansfield, which continued until Mr. Griffin’s death, from accidental shooting, in October of the same year. He was a bright and promising young lawyer.
LEON B. FERRY was born in Middlebury township, Tioga county, Pennsylvania, August 3, 1867, and was educated in the common schools and the State Normal School at Mansfield. In 1893 he began studying law under Elliott & Watrous, and was admitted to practice in June, 1895. His office is with S. F. Channell, Wellsboro.
ERNEST W. GLECKLER, who was admitted in April, 1895, practiced for about six months. Assuming the duties of cashier of the Wellsborough National Bank, he has given his entire time to them, to the exclusion of the law.
HARRY N. SHERWOOD, son of Walter Sherwood, and grandson of the late Hon. Henry Sherwood, was born in Wellsboro, January 1, 1871, and was educated in the Wellsboro High School. In 1890 he entered the office of Sherwood & Owlett as a clerk, and in 1894 became a law student in the same office. In May, 1896, he was admitted to practice, thus giving, until the death of his grandfather, three generations of the Sherwood family living representatives in the Tioga county bar.
WILLIAM M. KEHLER was born in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1864, and was educated at Williamsport Commercial College, graduating in 1882, and the State Normal School at Mansfield, from which he graduated in June, 1893. In April, 1894, he became a law student in the office of Sherwood & Owlett, Wellsboro, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1896.
CHARLES L. FELLOWS was born June 14, 1871, in Canton, Pennsylvania, and was educated in the common and in the high schools of his native town. He also took a course in the commercial college at Elmira. After reading law with J. W. Stone, of Canton, he was admitted to the Bradford county bar February 10, 1896. On November 7, 1896, he formed a partnership with Hon. Walter T. Merrick, of Blossburg, and on the 24th of the same month was admitted to the Tioga county bar.
CHARLES H. CORNELIUS, who was admitted to practice December 24, 1896, is the youngest member of the Tioga county bar. He is a son of the late Joseph Cornelius, of Elkland, and prepared himself for admission in the office of Merrick & Young, making an excellent record as a student.
In addition to the foregoing, the following named persons have been admitted to practice in Tioga county: Newell F. Higgins, who came from Chenango county, New York, practiced in Lawrenceville from 1829 to 1831, and then removed to Williamsport. Norman H. Purple, a student of Higgins, practiced in Lawrenceville until 1837, removed to Peoria, Illinois, and was afterward elected to the circuit court bench. E. W. Hazard, the first lawyer to locate in Mansfield, was there before 1840, and remained several years. Victor A. Elliott began practice in Mansfield, but removed to Denver, Colorado, where he has since served on the circuit court bench and on the bench of the Supreme Court. A. J. Webster practiced in Mansfield from 1870 to 1873, and B. J. Coskey from 1890 to 1894. Daniel W. Baldwin, a rising young lawyer, was admitted to the bar April 5, 1886, and practices his profession at Westfield, as does John T. McNeil, who is also a justice of the peace in that borough. W. H. Smith, a former member of the bar, is a practicing attorney in Hastings, Nebraska. J. C. Strang, who served as judge at Larned, Kansas, and is now a resident of Takoma, Washington, and James H. Shaw, now a resident of Canton, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, were formerly members of the Tioga county bar.
The following named persons, though admitted to the bar, did not engage in active practice: Robert C. Simpson, deceased, of Wellsboro; Charles L. Pattison, deceased, of Elkland; Simon B. Elliott, formerly of Mansfield, and Hugh Young, the veteran bank examiner.
The following are the names of the present members of the Tioga county bar: J. W. Adams, Thomas Allen, Henry A. Ashton, John N. Bache, D. W. Baldwin, H. L. Baldwin, Clark W. Beach, A. S. Brewster, David Cameron, Leon S. Channell, S. F. Channell, F. W. Clark, Charles H. Cornelius, D. L. Deane, A. B. Dunsmore, Mortimer F. Elliott, Charles L. Fellows, Leon B. Ferry, H. M. Foote, Ernest W. Gleckler, John T. Gear, Jefferson Harrison, Charles N. Kimball, S. E. Kirkendall, William M. Kehler, Harvey B. Leach, H. F. Marsh, J. W. Mather, John T. McNeil, George W. Merrick, Walter T. Merrick, Jerome B. Niles, Aaron R. Niles, Alfred J. Niles, Edward H. Owlett, Horace B. Packer, Burt M. Potter, John H. Putnam, A. Redfield, Frank H. Rockwell, Norman H. Ryan, John S. Ryon, Wallace P. Ryon, Frank D. Selph, Alfred J. Shattuck, W. L. Shearer, Walter Sherwood, Harry N. Sherwood, F. B. Smith, Charles Tubbs, Stephen F. Wilson, R. T. Wood, Ezra B. Young and Hugh Young.
THE TIOGA COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION.
During the early part of the January term, 1882, a movement was inaugurated among the members of the bar having for its outcome the organization and incorporation of an association to embrace within its membership the practicing attorneys of the county. A committee, consisting of Hon. Henry Sherwood, Frederick E. Smith, and Robert C. Simpson, was appointed to consider and report upon the matter. The report, which in due time was submitted, is, except the formal introduction, as follows:
It would bring the members of the court and bar into closer and more intimate personal relations, and thereby soften down the asperities of practice and create a kinder and more courteous bearing and consideration of each toward the others. Greater attainments in legal knowledge and a higher standard of professional ethics should be the primary object, but incidentally there might be the promotion of social enjoyment. We assume that the lawyer who is faithful to his clients, attentive to his practice, and diligent in season and out of season, has the right to a day for himself occasionally, when he may throw off the harness, kick off his clients, and let himself loose, if he chooses. The members of the bar, if they work together in the court room, have the right to play together, if they desire to.
The association was organized, and on February 6, 1882, duly incorporated, with the following officers and members: Henry Sherwood, president; Mortimer F. Elliott, vice-president; Frederick E. Smith, secretary; Horace B. Packer, treasurer, and Henry Allen, R. C. Simpson and A. S. Brewster, directors. The meetings of the association are held in the library room at the court house. The annual dues are $3.00, the fund thus derived being used to defray expenses and purchase books. The library is well supplied with standard legal works and court reports, and is being added to constantly.
JOHN F. DONALDSON, PROTHONOTARY AND POLICTICIAN.
The history of the bench and bar of Tioga county would be incomplete without appropriate mention of John F. Donaldson, so long connected with the courts in an official capacity. He was born in Danville, Pennsylvania, in 1805; learned the printer’s trade there; came to Wellsboro in 1827, and worked in the office of the Phoenix and other papers for several years. He was sent to Wellsboro by Tunison Coryell, of Williamsport (who was then publishing the Lycoming Gazette), in response to a request of Judge Morris, Benjamin B. Smith, and others, who, having purchased a press and materials, were about to start a paper in the place of the Pioneer, and wanted a competent man to take charge of it. He proved a faithful and valuable man.
Joseph Ritner was elected governor in 1835, and in January, 1836, he appointed Mr. Donaldson prothonotary and clerk of the several courts. When Governor Porter came into office he removed Donaldson and appointed A. S. Brewster to succeed him. But under the Constitution of 1838 the office had been made elective, and at the October election of 1839 Mr. Donaldson was elected, and on the first of December he entered upon his duties, and continued to hold the office by re-election every three years till the general election in 1872, when he was beaten by Gen. Robert C. Cox.
Mr. Donaldson, it will be seen held the office one term by appointment, and was elected eleven times, making thirty-six years of service, thirty-three of which were in one unbroken chain. He held the office, therefore, longer than any other man in the county since its organization. Counting his services as a subordinate clerk, he was for more than fifty years identified with the legal history of the county, and on account of his obliging and genial disposition, his memory is still fondly cherished by those who were brought into contact with him.
Josiah Emery, who knew him throughout his entire official career, informs us that almost every other man holding so good an office so long would have become rich. But he succeeded in making a living, and that was all. It is no discredit to his memory to say that he went out of office poor. He ought to have become rich. Let us see if we can tell why he did not.
He never refused to enter a judgment or issue a process, except in some few extreme cases, because the fees were not paid. His office was an office of general credit. Any man could have credit for fees if he asked for it. It was the same with regard to state taxes on writs, or entry of judgments—taxes that became a charge against him personally as soon as the entry was made. These fifty-cent taxes and these bills for fees were individually small, and individuals who were accommodated by the credit did not deem them of much account, and many of them forgot to pay—forgot, may be, that they owed tax or fee. "They are not much, if I do not pay. I have done him a good many favors, have electioneered for him, have helped to elect him, and I don’t think he expects me to pay," they would reason with themselves. He had thousands of such friends; and it is true they did electioneer for him, helped elect him, and it may be that it was by an interchange of these little favors he was kept so long in office.
But it was not wholly by these small individual sums that he lost. There were instances where fees and taxes accumulated until they became large in amount, with the tacit if not express agreement that they were to balance certain claims against him, which understanding was repudiated when too late to collect on his part. Mr. Donaldson was always ready to accommodate by the loan of small sums of money which he could never reasonably expect to be paid. It is believed that no man ever asked him to go his bail or to endorse for him that was refused. The fact is, he was always everybody’s friend, and had almost everybody’s friendship in the county, and the result was he was just the man in those last thirty-three years no other man in the county could beat, either by a nominating convention or at an election.
If any man will examine the docket for the many years he was prothonotary and take an account of unpaid fees and taxes, he will find still enough unpaid to have made the veteran comparatively rich in his old age had they been paid up. A lawyer once had occasion to look them up and was surprised at the amount. The auditor general had stated his account and found a considerable sum due from him to the State. Mr. Donaldson claimed that it was wrong and asked for a re-statement. This the auditor general refused, though Mr. Donaldson produced a receipt for some $700 hat had not been credited; but as the amount had not been paid to the attorney general of the State, and not paid over by him to the treasurer, the auditor general refused to allow it, though admitting that it was rightfully chargeable to the State, alleging that to credit it would be charging it to the treasurer, who had never received it. A full statement of his account, including unpaid fees and this receipt of the attorney general, was made out and shown to the auditor general. It was laid before the legislature, and a law was passed ordering a re-settlement of his account; and when it was so settled and all errors corrected and proper allowances made, the amount found due was promptly paid.
From the foregoing statement it is very clear that Mr. Donaldson was not a very good business man, as the world generally understands that term, however good an officer he may have been; and it is pretty evident, too, that the course he pursued, showing his lack of business qualifications, helped very much to keep him for so long period in office.
Mr. Donaldson had at times been a very zealous temperance man. He was one of the originators of the "Sheep Skin," an association that caused, for a time, a very large falling off in the receipts of the liquor dealers. At that time the temperance question was an important element in politics. He was an anti-Mason in Ritner’s time, always at heart an anti-slavery man, and at one time a strong anti-Wilmot man, but when the wave was at its height, and he and Judge White in danger of being washed out to sea, they both, like prudent men, deserted their own craft, went aboard the Wilmot schooner and saved their political lives.
In those days it was generally conceded that Mr. Donaldson was the shrewdest political manager in Tioga county. He seemed to know, by a kind of mental mathematical calculation, just how each step would affect the final result. He knew, too, exactly how the nomination of Mr. B or Mr. C or Mr. D—one or all—would accord with his political obligations, having in view all the while the main chance. This is not said of him disparagingly. His occupancy of a position on the bench Tioga county afterwards was a fit recognition of his services as the recording officer of the court for so long a time. He continued to serve as associate judge until his death, which occurred very unexpectedly, February 12, 1880, when he had reached the advanced age of seventy-five years. Distinguished throughout his long public career for his urbanity and generosity, his death was sincerely mourned by hundreds of old friends not only in the county of Tioga, but throughout northern Pennsylvania.