Recollections and Sketches of Notable Lawyers...Iowa - 1915 - E

1915 Index

Recollections and Sketches of Notable Lawyers and Public Men of Early Iowa
by Edward H. Stiles. Des Moines: Homestead Publishing Co., 1915.


Unless noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

James B. Edmonds and Charles Ransom

I have no data concerning their nativity or early life.  They belonged to what may be termed the second generation of lawyers in Iowa, for Judge Fairall says, as will be seen from the preceding sketch, that the "going out of Fulsom, Templin and Penn Clarke, closed the first set of lawyers at the Johnson County bar.  Then came the second set, Edmonds, Ransom, Rush Clarke, Boal and myself."  Judge Fairall also says that Rush Clarke, Boal, Edmonds and Ransoms were about his own age.  From this it is quite apparent that Edmonds and Ransoms were about the same age as Fairall, and came to Iowa City about the same time.

After their coming, Edmonds and Ransom formed a partnership, which continued for many years, and did a wide and lucrative business.  They were both highly cultured gentlemen; both possessed literary attainments, and they were both distinguished as lawyers of great ability, and such became their reputation throughout the State.  The partnership continued until the removal of Mr. Edmonds to Washington, about 1879 or 1880.

The fine abilities of Mr. Edmonds were duly recognized in Washington.  He was appointed one of the Commissioners for the management of the municipal affairs of that City, and his professional career there was highly successful.  It is said that he acquired a fortune.  Mr. Ransom died in a few years after the removal of Mr. Edmonds to Washington, and the latter died in that City in the early nineties.

They were different in their personality as I recollect them of forty years ago.  Mr. Edmonds was rather slender, dark haired, and dark eyed; a keen, alert, nervous-looking man.  Mr. Ransom was rather heavy set, well rounded in person, with a fresh and healthy complexion; mild, gentle, and prepossessing in disposition and manners.