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

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.

Damon N. Sprague, I knew personally. He was a most agreeable gentleman. He was very companionable and very pleasing. He was, in fact, a general favorite among his acquaintances. He was also a lawyer of high repute in that part of the State. He died in 1902. He had been a widely practicing lawyer in southeastern Iowa for forty-five years. He represented Des Moines and Louisa County in the Seventh General Assembly. In 1870 he was elected District Attorney of the Burlington District and ably served in that capacity for four years. He removed from Wapello to Burlington, but at what date, I am unable to say. He was born at Cooperstown, New York, in 1832, and died at Richland Springs in that State. His remains were brought to Wapello for interment.

Frances Springer 
Edward H. Thomas

Frances Springer and Edward H. Thomas - Autobiography and Recollections of the Early Bar

Francis Springer was one of the most important factors, both in laying the foundations and building the framework of Iowa. He and Edward H. Thomas were the first lawyers in Louisa County, where they located at Wapello in 1838. In 1840 he was elected to the Territorial Council of the Legislative Assembly; in 1846, to the Senate of the First General Assembly in the State organization; in 1854, Prosecuting Attorney; in 1855, District Judge; in 1856, a delegate to the first Republican National Convention; in 1857, to the Constitutional Convention of which he was made the President; in 1858, re-elected District judge and served in that position for eleven years. To go back, in 1851, he was appointed Register of the United States Land Office at Fairfield, and after the termination of his Judgeship, in 1869, Collector of Internal Revenue. He was, I think, one of the most striking historical characters in Iowa history.

This is another case in which, happily, the subject is seen telling much of his own story, rather than the biographer. The following autobiographical sketch was furnished me by Judge Springer for the simple purpose of giving memoranda from which to prepare a sketch. But it is so compact, clean, and I may add, so historically interesting in itself that I have concluded to present it nearly in its entirety:

["] I am a native of the State of Maine, born in 1811. My father, Nathaniel Springer, was of Swedish descent and of patriotic stock. His father, Captain Nathaniel Springer, of Bath, Maine, was captain of an artillery company in the Revolution and was killed while in the service. My father was a shipwright by occupation, and for some years in the early part of this century was engaged in a prosperous business, constructing sea-going vessels at the seaport town of Bath.

["] Circumstances separated me when a lad of eleven years from my relatives. When leaving home I went to live with father's family in Strafford County, New Hampshire. They had no children, so I became a sort of adopted son, and was treated by them with affectionate kindness during the ten years that I made my home with them. During these years the facilities I had for education were limited chiefly to the winter district school, where were taught the regulation branches of "reading, writing and ciphering," with a class in geography and grammar. In the intervals of school and of work I received some instruction occasionally from friends. In my eighteenth year I attended a fall term of the Rochester Academy, at the close of which I received from the preceptor a certificate of qualification for teaching school. That winter I taught a country school at $10 a month, boarding around among the families of the pupils. Among the scholars were some girls and boys older, and the boys larger, than I. The nest year I attended another term of the Academy, and taught another country school the winter following. Afterwards, in the succeeding two years, I taught village schools, pursuing my studies by myself, in the interval reciting to learned friends, one of whom was a physician, Doctor Jeremiah Dow; another was Preceptor Ingersoll, late of Rochester Academy, and then student-at-law in the law office of Daniel Goodenow, of Alfred, Maine.

["] In the year 1833, I had returned to Maine, and the nest year commenced to read law in the office of William Goodenow in Portland. During the course of may law studies I served at odd times as assistant editor on The Portland Courier, whose editor and proprietor was Seba Smith, author of the celebrated "Jack Downing" Letters. I was admitted to the bar at Portland in the year 1838. I then had a desire to adopt in advance the advice of Mr. Greeley, "Go west, young man, and grow up with the country."

["] For some years a warm friendship had subsisted between Edward H. Thomas and myself. In age I was his senior by nearly two years. He was a graduate of Bowdoin College; he read law at Portland in the law office of Stephen Longfellow, father of H. W. Longfellow, America's gifted poet. My friend Thomas had been admitted to the bar a year or two in advance of me. He, too, had a touch of the western fever. We had arranged to go together to try our fortunes in the far West, whose western limit appeared then to be the State of Illinois. We started together on our pilgrimage from Portland in October, 1838, traveling by steamboat to Boston; thence by rail and steamboat to New York; thence by rail to Harrisburg; thence by canal boat to Pittsburg - except our transit over the Allegheny Mountains, which was by rail, a stationary engine taking us up on one side and letting us down on the other - from Pittsburg by steamer to St. Louis; thence by stage to Jacksonville; thence by open wagon to Burlington, Iowa. We were some seven weeks on our journey, including a day or two stops at several towns and the sand- bar delays on the Ohio river. Our steamer was three weeks making the trip from Pittsburg to Saint Louis. We spent a pleasant week at the college in Jacksonville with some student friends. We met while there a brother of Henry Clay, residing at Jacksonville, who quite naturally felt proud of his brother "Harry," as the foremost statesman of the South, if not of the country. We were equipped with letters of introduction, among others to Daniel Webster, of Boston, Ogden Hoffman and James Brooks, of New York, Judge Bellamy Storer and Gen. W. H. Harrison, of Cincinnati, and George D. Prentice, the gifted journalist of Louisville. Mr. Webster had not long before visited Illinois, where he had acquired some interest in connection with a friend resident in that State. Mr. Webster was kind enough to give us a letter to him. Our objective point when we started from Portland was Illinois. Iowa had hardly been heard of so far east at that early day. At Cincinnati by the advice of judge Storer we changed our distination from Illinois to Iowa. We reached Burlington on Sunday, the 21st day of December, 1838. The territory of Iowa had been organized in July of that year, having previously been a part of the jurisdiction of Michigan, and afterward of Wisconsin. These changes of jurisdiction are curiously illustrated by an anecdote told of James W. Woods. He is reported to have said that he had one child born in Michigan, another in Wisconsin and another in Iowa, and yet all three were born in the same house in Burlington! At Burlington we were guests of a hotel kept by Mrs. Parrott, whose beautiful black-eyed daughter afterwards became the wife of Shepherd Leffler. The first Legislature of the Territory of Iowa was then in session in the building known as the Old Zion Church. Our advent was followed on the night of our arrival by an extemporaneous reception held in a new unfinished frame building, where were gathered a jolly crowd of members of the bar and others; where music, song and wit abounded, and where my friend Thomas's musical and social talents were welcomed as an acquisition. We stopped in Burlington about one week, making the acquaintance of many prominent men, members of the bar and of the legislative and executive departments of the Territorial Government, and others from the different counties. From the County of Louisa, we met James M. Clark, member of the Legislative Council, William L. Toole, member of the House, Daniel Brewer, one of the Clerks, and Samuel M. Kirkpatrick, an intelligent "high private." We were several times in Judge Charles Mason's court, and in each branch of the legislative department, and of course paid our respects to the executive department, at the head of which was Governor Robert Lucas.

["] The first legislative assembly of Iowa was a fine looking body of men. They would compare favorably with any legislative assembly Iowa has since had. Gen. Jesse Brown, of the County of Lee, tall - six feet six - dignified, graceful and courteous, was President of the Council. Colonel William H. Wallace, of Henry County, was Speaker of the House; impressive in person, manner and voice, he was a model presiding officer. When I first entered the House, James W. Grimes, one of the members from Des Moines County, had the floor addressing the House on some question of interest. Though probably the youngest member, he was listened to with marked attention, giving promise then of the eminence as a lawyer and statesman which awaited him later.

["] In December, 1838, Burlington had a population of some 400 or 500 (Chicago at that time had about 5,000 - St. Louis 12,000); only two brick buildings were then to be seen in the town, one a small one-story building built by David Rorer for his law office, the other a two-story structure on Front Street occupied by Bridgman & Partridge, the principal merchants at that time.

["] As a result of the information we gathered in a week's sojourn in Burlington, we concluded to locate in Louisa County; so in the afternoon of Saturday, the 27th day of December, we left Burlington for Wapello, kindly escorted by Mr. Kirkpatrick, who was on horseback, while Hr. Thomas and I for private reasons took it afoot. That evening we made Burkhardts Point, about twelve miles from Burlington, where we slept soundly in one of the rooms of a double log cabin, so well ventilated that we could se the stars, as we lay in the bed, through the unplasterd or unmudded spaces between the logs. In the afternoon of the next day, Sunday, we reached Wapello and met a settlers' welcome. But few families were then there, and some three or four unfinished frame houses. Wapello at that time consisted of three towns, on paper at least, named Upper, Middle, and Lower Wapello. The location of the county seat in march, 1839, and the subsequent entry of the S. E. quarter of Section 27 by the county as the site of the county seat, had the effect of consolidating the three embryo towns into one. There were several other towns laid out in the county with more or less hopeful future prospects. The county had a population of about 1,200.

["] Our early courts in the county were held in log cabins. The sessions of the grand jury were held at first in an adjacent ravine. Mr. Thomas and I were the first resident lawyers in the county. At our first term of court, held in 1839, we were engaged in some forty cases. Of lawyers from other counties attending our early court, I recall the names of Alfred Rich, Hugh T. Reid and Philip Viele, of Lee, David Rorer, M. D. Browning, W. W. Chapman, James W. Woods, James W. Grimes, and Henry Starr, of Des Moines, Stephen Whicher, Ralph P. Lowe, William G. Woodward and Jacob Butler, of Muscatine - all able lawyers and prominent men. One would have to go far indeed to find an abler bar.

["] Louisa County was then in the Second Judicial District, Presided over by Judge Joseph Williams, of Muscatine. He and my friend, Edward H. Thomas, were the life and center of attraction of the social circles of evenings when on court circuits, both being adepts in vocal and instrumental music. The Judge was at home on almost any instrument, banjo, drum, fife, as well as on instruments of a higher grade. Mr. Thomas' specialty, though he was good on other instruments, was the flute, on which he had few equals anywhere. The Judge's gift as a comedian would keep a crowd in a roar - as a ventriloquist he would sometimes "astonish the natives." He was withal a consistent member of the Methodist Church, and a warm friend of temperance. His kindness and respect shown to the younger members of the bar of his court were notable and appreciated.

["] Perhaps I may allude to a catastrophe that befell a party of bachelors at Wapello in 1839 at their first and last experience at bach- keeping. In the spring of that year the party, consisting of John W. Brookbank, a talented young doctor from the Hoosier State, Edward H. Thomas and I, in order to improve, if might be, our board accommodations, undertook a bach-keeping experiment. Our house was a log cabin of the regular pattern, with a large fireplace in one end opening into a chimney of like dimensions constructed of sticks and clay or mud, the sticks laid crosswise, a bar of iron for a crane, with hooks for suspending our pots and kettles. Our pantry and larder being furnished as well as might be, we launched our bachelor craft, and sailed along quite independent and happy in our success, until a melancholy day in November, "the saddest of the year," overtook us with a violent rain storm; the wind blew and the rain poured all night. In the morning the storm still continuing, we had got our breakfast on to cook, when all of a sudden down came our chimney, pots, kettles, breakfast and all into one common ruin; and thus ended our bachelor experience.

["] In the Legislative Council District composed of the counties of Louisa and Washington and the country west, at a mass meeting of Whigs held at Wapello in the summer of 1840, I was nominated as a candidate without opposition and at the election chosen. The seat of government having been transferred to Iowa City, the Fourth Legislative Assembly convened there, December 2, 1841. At the general election of 1842, I was re-elected from the same district a member of the Fifth and Sixth Legislative Assemblies, in both of which I served. The Sixth adjourned February 16, 1844. Governor John Chambers, of Kentucky, had been appointed by Genearl Harrison in 1841. Our social and official relations during his term of service were pleasant and agreeable to me. I was shown by him much personal consideration. As an instance, I may state that during a session of the Legilative Council in February, 1844, I had recommended my friend Thomas for appointment to the office of District Attorney for the middle judicial district of the Territory. William g. Woodward, of Muscatine, was an applicant for the appointment, strongly endorsed and highly thought of by the Governor and by all who knew him. Another office to be filled by the appointment was that of commissioner to superintend the erection of the new Capitol. The name of my father-in-law, Judge Colman, among others, had been spoken of for the place. I had not recommended him. At a morning session of the Council one day, without a previous word to me, Governor Chambers came into the council chamber, and coming to my seat laid on my desk a paper containing the appointment of both, as a compliment to me, which I of course greatly appreciated.

["] The first state election was held October 26, 1846, at which I was elected a member of the Senate of the First General Assembly of the State, for a term of two or four years as the drawing in the classification of members as the beginning of the session should determine. I drew the term for your years. The first session convened at Iowa City, November 30, 1846, adjourned February 25, 1847, convened again in extra session January 3, 1848, and adjourned the 25th of the same month. The Second General Assembly convened December 4, 1848, and adjourned January 15, 1849. No other extra session was held in the remainder of my term of service.

["] In the summer of 1849, and again in that of 1850, I was appointed special agent of the Post Office Department, charged with the duty of visiting the post offices of Wisconsin, collecting the government money in those offices and transferring it to St. Louis, which occupied me several weeks in each of those years.

["] In May, 1851, I was appointed by President Fillmore Register of the United States Land Office at Fairfield, Iowa, and served until May, 1853, after which in November following I removed with my family back to Wapello, remaining in Wapello a year or two. I thence removed to Columbus City township for the twofold purpose of improving my health (which had become somewhat impaired by confinement to official duty) by more outdoor exercise, and of indulging a partiality I had for farming by opening farms on some lands I owned near the town of Columbus City.

["] In 1854 I was elected to the office of Prosecuting Attorney for the county, and on the death of Wright Williams become ex-officio County Judge, to which office I was elected in 1855. In 1856 I was appointed one of the delegates of Iowa to the first National Convention of the Republican party held at Philadelphia, in June of that year. That Convention was a notable gathering of earnest, patriotic men. The keynote of the Convention was struck by Henry S. Lane in a specimen of western eloquence with which on taking the chair he electrified and thrilled it. General Fitz Henry Warren was a member, and of course chairman of our delegation. I was one of the vice presidents. An event connected with the Convention of, as I think, great significance to the country, though but little perhaps thought of and less spoken of since, occurred in its proceedings. The nomination of Freement was a foregone conclusion. But who was to be the candidate for Vice President? The Illinois delegation, headed by Washburne, of Galena, proposed and earnestly advocated the name of Abraham Lincoln. How fortunate for the country that the friends of Mr. Lincoln failed to nominate him for second place on a ticket destined to defeat, the effect of which might not have been afterwards overcome.

["] Curiously enough an episode at the hotel where we stopped occurred personal to Henry Wilson and me. When we were introduced and he had learned my name, "Are you," he asked, "the Francis Springer who once taught a school in the town of Farmington, New Hampshire, which I attended as a pupil about the year 1831?" "Yes," I said, "and I have some recollection of a pupil by your name."

["] In the autumn of the same year, at a general rally of the Republicans of the county near Columbus City, I was proposed as a candidate to represent the county in the Constitutional Convention to be held at Iowa City in January, 1857, and was elected at the November election, 1856. The convention, composed of thirty-six members, convened at Iowa City January 25th, and adjourned March 5, 1857. The caucus of Republican members for nominating officers was held the night preceding the day of meeting of the Convention. Circumstances made me late in reaching the city, as I think, not until after the caucus had been held. I do not know that I knew of its action until the next morning, when I was informed of my nomination for President of the Convention. It was a position unsought and unsolicited by me. My impression is that the vote of the caucus was a unit in favor of my nomination, no other member having been proposed. the election of the nominees for the several official positions occurred on the second day, the Republican members voting for me, the Democratic for judge J. C. Hall.

["] In 1858, I was elected to the office of Judge of the District Court of the First Judicial District for a term of four years, and took my seat on the bench at Burlington at the January term, 1859. To this office I was re-elected in 1862, and again in 1866, and served in it until November, 1869, when I resigned to take the office of collector of internal revenue for the first collection district of Iowa, made vacant by the resignation of General Belknap to become Secretary of War in President Grant's Cabinet. In this office I served until the autumn of 1876, when I was most willingly relegated to the rank of "high private."

["] In December, 1842, I was married to Miss Nancy R. Colman, daughter of Hon. John M. Colman, of Iowa City, a native of Kentucky, her mother a native of Ireland. She was born at Terre Haute, Indiana, January 8, 1825, and died of pneumonia at Cimarron, New Mexico, November 12, 1874, while on a visit to her son Frank. By our union eight children were born, six sons and two daughters. Two of the sons first born died in infancy, and a little daughter at the age of two years. The fourth son, Warren C. Springer, was drowned in the Iowa river, March 28, 1872, at the age of nineteen. Of the remaining children, Frank and Charles are lawyers residing in New Mexico; Arthur is a lawyer at Fort Worth, Texas; and the daughter, Nellie, is the wife of Hilton M. Letts, and resides at the family homestead near Columbus Junction, Iowa. ["]

Before the receipt of the foregoing autobiographical matter, desiring to obtain from judge Springer some data for the present work, I wrote to him for that purpose and from him received the following response:

["] Columbus Junction, Iowa, July 2, 1885.

["] Hon. Edward H Stiles, Ottumwa, Iowa.

["] My dear Sir: Thanks for a copy of the circular with your note on the back of it. I beg to send you herewith for "what they are worth" some notes for a response to a sentiment concerning the early bar of this county, from which you possibly may glean an item for your book. I send you also a copy of the State Register, Des Moines. On the first page are some pleasant (to my friends) words said of me on the occasion of the reunion, at that city, of the surviving members of the Constitutional Convention of 1857, in January, 1882. On the third page is a brief biographical sketch of several members including me. At your convenience, when through with the use of them, I would like to have them returned, the paper and the notes.

["] With true regard and wishing you the abundant success which I doubt not you will deserve and have, I am,

["] Very truly yours,

["] Francis Springer

["] P. S. The address of Edward H. Thomas is 145 Danforth Street, Portland, Maine. He has had the misfortune to be blind for some years past. He has a good memory, and if applied to, I dare say, could give you some perhaps interesting reminiscences of early times. I expect to visit him in a few weeks, but too late for your purpose. A copy of your circular with a brief note would do as well. ["]

The following is a condensation of the manuscript referred to in his letter:

["] The resident members of the pioneer bar of this county were not many, and so, I take it, the words "pioneer members of the bar of Louisa County" may be allowed to include members of the bar not residents of the county but who were in the habit of practicing in our courts.

["] The courts of Iowa had been established when I came to the country in 1838. Besides justices of the peace and probate courts, our judiciary was limited to three Judges, each assigned to a district composed of about one-third of the Territory, and the three composing the Supreme Court. As the country was sparsely populated in those days, members of the bar traveled the circuit more then than now, going round with the Judges and practicing in the different counties.

["] Of those practicing in the courts of this county and not residing in it, the names of Hastings, Woodward, Whicher, Lowe and Burler, of Muscatine; Grimes, the two Starrs, Rorer, Browning, Chapman and Woods, of Burlington, occur to me; and less frequently attending our courts, were Carleton and Bates, of Iowa City; Learned, Mills and Hall, of Burlington; and Viele, Reid and Rich, of Fort Madison. These were all men of note and some of them of much distinction. ["]

(Here follow brief notices of the men just referred to, but inasmuch as sketches of most of them will be found elsewhere in this volume, the notices referred to are omitted:)

["] Of the pioneer resident members of the bar of this county, Edward H. Thomas and I may be said to have been the first settlers. Mr. Thomas and I came here in December, 1838, as stated. After a residence and practice of some twelve years here, Mr. Thomas was attracted to Burlington, where he engaged in the business of banking, as a member of the banking house of Green, Thomas & Co. Though he had no great taste for the law, he yet succeeded well in his practice here. Generous, genial, full of kindness and charity towards everybody, I may say that few of his contemporaries knew him but to love him, or will now hear his name mentioned without a desire to praise it. He had considerable taste for lterature, and was no mean poet, upon occasion.

["] The next accession to the resident bar, I believe, were our well- known fellow citizens, John Bird and B. F. Wright - not so well known here now - Noffsinger, Amos Harris, and later our distinguished friend, D. N. Sprague. Harris did not stay long, but he has since become eminent as a lawyer and prominent citizen in the County of Appanoose. He was a member from that county of the Constitutional Convention of 1857. As a whole the pioneer bar of our county was a pleasant one, possessing much of the true esprit de corps, harmonious, high-minded, honorable in its relations with each other and with the court, true to its obligations to clients, and yet loyal and true also to the principles of justice and right, "ever ready to defend the poor or oppressed, and always awake to the public interest." In the courts of this county, I do not remember an instance of personal quarrel or altercation among members of the bar. ["]

Although Judge Springer had not received a classical or collegiate education, it is quite apparent from references in some of his writings, that he had decided literary inclinations and that he had read extensively.

Of John Bird, mentioned by Judge Springer, "Old Timber," James W. Woods, says:

["] I think he came from Ohio. He was a fair lawyer who made up for brilliancy by hard study and close application. His education had been only ordinary, but people reposed great confidence in his honesty and his opinions were much sought after. He was at one time a partner of Francis Springer. He represented his district in the legislature and beat his opponent Fitz Henry Warren as the floating representative from Louisa and Des Moines counties.

["] Judge Springer's son, Frank, became a distinguished lawyer at Las Vegas, New Mexico. He was the legal representative of the Maxwell Land Grant Company, and afterward for many years of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, in New Mexico. His son, Charles, also became lawyer of note there, and his son, Arthur, at Fort Worth, Texas.

Edward H. Stiles, being the author of this work, deems it preferable to make no mention of himself, further than has been incidentally done in the progress of this work, for the purpose of showing his familiarity with the subjects, concerning which he writes.

He may, however, be pardoned for reproducing the footnote, which the Curator of the Historical Department of Iowa, was kind enough to attach as such to Stiles' sketch of judge john f. Dillon, appearing in volume nine of the Annals of Iowa, April, 1909, number.*


* Edward H. Stiles commenced the practice of his profession at the city of Ottumwa, where he resided for a period of nearly thirty years and was during that time a leading member of the Iowa bar. In 1859 he was chosen City Counselor. In 1861, County attorney. He was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives for the session of 1864, and t the State Senate in the autumn of 1865. He served in the regular session of 1866, but in the autumn of that year he resigned the Senatorship, to accept the position of Reporter of the Supreme Court of the state. He served in this position until 1875. His Reports fill sixteen octavo volumes. He also prepared and published in four volumes a Digest of the Decisions of the Supreme Court of Iowa from the earliest territorial period. He was the Republican candidate for Congress in General Weaver's district, the Sixth Iowa, then a Democratic stronghold, in 1883, and come within a few votes of election. He was the attorney of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, and of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company, for twenty years in the Ottumwa district. In 1886 he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he has since practiced his profession, and is a leading member of that bar. He was the Republican candidate for Circuit Judge in 1892, and since November of that year has been Master in Chancery of the United States Circuit Court for the Western Division of the Western District of Missouri. In 1881 at the request of the Judges of the Supreme Court, he commenced to gather material for biographical sketches of lawyers and leading public men of early Iowa. He is now engaged in utilizing the materials thus compiled, the result f which we are authorized to say he expects in the near future before the public in book form.

JOHN T. STONEMAN was born in Chautauqua County , New York , in 1831. He received an academical preparatory education, then entered Williams College , from which he graduated. His legal education was acquired by reading law with a distinguished lawyer of Covington , Kentucky , and at the Albany Law School . He located at McGregor, in 1856, where he practiced with great success until his removal to Cedar Rapids in 1882. He was a finished scholar and one of the most distinguished lawyers of the State. He was of English and New England extraction, and a brother of George Stoneman, a highly distinguished General of the Civil War.

He had a remarkably fine presence, a command of choice language, and to his profound learning as a lawyer, were joined the gifts of a polished orator. In 1876 I happened to be in the State Senate while he was addressing that body. My acquaintance with him was so slight that I did not at first recognize him, but my attention was drawn to him by his noble bearing and the elegance of his address.

In politics, he was originally a Whig, and after that, allied himself with the Democratic party. He was the first Recorder of the City of McGregor , being elected in 1857, and in 1863 was elected its Mayor. In the presidential campaign of 1868 he was on the Democratic ticket as one of the candidates for presidential elector. In 1870 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress in the Third District, against W. J. Donnan. In the same year he received the full Democratic vote of the Thirteenth General Assembly, for the United States Senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James W. Grimes. In 1872 he was again the Democratic candidate for Congress, against Mr. Donnan, and greatly reduced the previous Republican majority. In 1875 he was elected to the State Senate and served in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth General Assemblies. His superior abilities made him competent to fill any office within the gift of the people, and he would doubtless, have been more highly honored had not his party, through nearly all the years, been in a hopeless minority.

Judge Charles T. Granger, in speaking of him, thus writes me:

"John T. Stoneman was one of the prominent early lawyers of Clayton County and a good one. He excelled as an advocate and his legal acquirements were excellent."

His career in Cedar Rapids fully sustained his previous standing and reputation as a lawyer. In his latter years he was Judge of the Supreme Court of that City for some time.