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

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.

Archibald Williams

[Archibald] Williams, [Cyrus] Walker and [R. S.] Blennerhassett were  non-residents, but the two former had about as much practice in Iowa as  in Illinois, where they lived, and Blennerhassett had considerable  practice in both Keokuk and Burlington, though he lived in St. Louis.  I  heard much of these men when I first came to Iowa; it is because of  this, their connection with many important cases and their wide practice  in this State, that I have been prompted to mention them in this  connection.  And O. H. Browning might be included, as he also frequently  came to our Court.  Of these Colonel Reid says:  

"Archibald Williams, O. H. Browning, and Cyrus Walker used frequently to  visit our courts, and were engaged in many cases, Williams and Browning  as land lawyers, old Cyrus Walker as a great criminal lawyer.  Williams  was one of the homeliest men I ever met.  His head was large, his hair  thin, and stood in every direction on his head.  He was tall, erect and   broad-chested.  He had no color in his complexion and his teeth were  large and looked as though double in front.  He was no orator, and spoke  with deliberation, but with great argumentative power, which he directed  to the strong points in a case, that he saw intuitively.  He had no  personal popularity, but was a great lawyer.  Browning, in his personal  makeup, was the reverse of Williams.  He was an extraordinary orator,  with no lack of words, with a silvery voice, handsome, pleasant face,  and as an advocate before a jury or addressing the court, he had much influence and great power."  

Elias H. Williams, I did not become acquainted with until after he  became one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the State.  We met at  one of its sessions as Dubuque, and soon established a friendly  acquaintance, as we were both reared in Connecticut and had many things  in common with that State.  He had been the Judge of the District Court  of the Tenth judicial District for a number of years, from 1858 until  1866, and in 1870 was appointed by Governor Merrill, Judge of the  Supreme Court to fill a vacancy.  He was a fine District Judge and would  probably have proved an able Supreme Judge had he remained on the bench,  for he was not only a finished scholar, but an able lawyer and jurist.   He stood very high with all the lawyers of his district, which was one  of the most important in the State.  

He was born at Ledyard, in the State of Connecticut, in 1819.  His  ancestors were among the most ardent patriots of the American  Revolution.  He belonged to a strong race and was a good representative  of it.  After receiving a thorough preliminary education, he entered  Yale College, from which he was graduated with the highest honors.  He  was subsequently a teacher for a few years - a portion of the time in  South Carolina, where he imbibed a strong feeling against the  institution of slavery.  He gained a thorough legal education, was  admitted to the bar, engaged for a time in the practice, and in 1846  came to Clayton County and settled at Garnavillo.  Here he entered upon  the practice of his profession, and in a comparatively short time  established a high reputation as both a scholar and a lawyer.  He was  stalwart in build and strong in constitution.  He had a frame and a will  of iron, coupled with an active and aggressive temperament.  He was fond  of manual exercise.  These qualities tended to relax his professional  labors sufficiently for him to engage in farming upon a large tract of  land which he entered near Garnavillo, and which he converted into a  beautiful and productive farm.  He did not scruple to labor, but  frequently joined his "hands" and worked shoulder to shoulder with them.   In this he took unbounded pleasure, but it did not result in withdrawing  him from the active practice of his profession.  He managed to  successfully operate both lines.  His career as a successful farmer did  not detract from his reputation as a lawyer of great ability.  

In 1851 he was elected the first County Judge under the new system of  County government.  Affairs were in a deplorable condition when he took  the office, but through his characteristic determination, the old and  outstanding debts were soon paid off by a just system of taxation, new  roads were made, new bridges built, and at the end of his term he  delivered the County Government to his successor in a redeemed and  prosperous condition, and returned to his farm honored and respected by  the people for his able management of their affairs.  In 1858 he was  elected and served as District Judge, and was later appointed Supreme  Judge, as before stated.  

In addition to his successful farming and legal practice, he actively  engaged in the promotion of railroad enterprises, and was the most  influential factor in securing the building of the Chicago, Milwaukee &  St. Paul Railroad through Clayton County, and the construction of the  road up the Valley of the Turkey River.  He was also at the head of the  Company that built the Iowa Eastern Railroad to Elkaker, and it is said,  furnished most of the means for that purpose.  

As before indicated, he was on the Supreme Bench but a short time,  resigning for more congenial pursuits.  He did not believe in long  opinions, and those he delivered while on the Supreme Bench are  strikingly brief.  He died in 1891.  His wife, whose maiden name was  Hannah Larabee, was a sister of Governor William Larabee.  

William Williams
Robert Williams  

... It was my good fortune to become acquainted with Judge [Joseph]  Williams [Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Iowa] when I was a young  man, more than fifty years ago.  The spirit of history, whether of  individuals or events, must be the spirit of truth, and in sketching him  now, it is my endeavor to draw as true and faithful a picture of him as  my poor ability and limited space will permit.  He was born in  Huntingdon, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, as were his brothers  William and Robert.  The first of these became Major William Williams -  a name as familiar as a household word in Iowa - who went with the  United States troops in 1850 to establish a fort where now stands the  city of Fort Dodge; who, after the troops removed, purchased the site  upon which that beautiful city was built, laid out the town, gave it the  name it now bears, and labored a quarter of a century in its upbuilding.   Through the deeply packed snow-drifts of the trackless prairies, and in  the face of the most difficult conditions, he led the troops that went  to the relief of the settlers at the time of the Indian massacre at  Spirit Lake, and was subsequently appointed by Governor Kirkwood to  defend that frontier of the State.  His daughter became the wife of  another distinguished Iowan, whose name is closely identified with the  history of the State, and whose services were invaluable in its  development and in the molding of its laws and institutions, that  splendid gentleman, John F. Duncombe, one of the strongest lawyers and  ablest men the State ever had.  

The other brother mentioned, Robert Williams, also removed from  Pennsylvania to Iowa in an early day and for many years was an honored  citizen of Muscatine, where he died some years ago.  From the daughters  and a son of Robert, still residing in Muscatine, and from the only  surviving child of Judge Williams, Mrs. William C. Brewster, of New  York, I learn, through the kindness of Judge W. F. Brannan, of  Muscatine, whose name and long judicial services are well known to Iowa  lawyers and whose high character is a perfect guaranty of the  reliability of the medium, that Joseph was born in 1801; that he was the  junior of William and the senior of Robert; that their father died in  1822, when Joseph was about twenty-one years of age, and that the latter  had lived at home and under the direction of his father until that time;  that the children were devotedly attached to the father and he to them,  and that Joseph was always distinguished for his kindness and  affection....  

James W. Woods

(Old Timber), and Those of Whom He Speaks.

It is difficult to write about this man; not because he was a deeply learned lawyer or finished scholar, for he was neither; and that is just what makes it difficult to write about one so widely known and talked about in his time. He was thoroughly identified with not only the early, but the mediaeval period of the Territory and State, for he lived and did some business until he was above four score years. He was born in New England, but removed while a young man to Virginia. He died in Hardin County, Iowa, in 1886, after seeing the State, in its process of development pass through several territorial conditions.

He ought to have been an actor, a comedian; he would doubtless have attained eminence in that line, for he had a keen sense of the ludicrous, and was sometimes insensibly ludicrous in himself. Aristophanes or Moliere would have been delighted with such a subject. He was highly convivial; he drank after the manner of the times but no immoderately; he told stories that made the hearers laugh, joked with friends without offending them, and always wore a cheerful face. He and the eccentric Judge McFarland were intimates, and played many pranks with each other. If he had been an English fox-hunting squire, he would have been what is termed a hard rider. He was, nevertheless, a useful man. He was a prime favorite with the pioneers and a serviceable factor in the adjustment of their affairs, into which he easily made his way. He was a typical pioneer lawyer, entering the wilderness before the Indians were out, and practicing on both the Illinois and Iowa sides of the Mississippi wherever white settlements had been made. He was suited to the times, had a wide practice, and faithfully served his clients.

While in some sense a politician, he was not an office seeker. He worked for the elevation of others rather than himself. Notwithstanding he enjoyed many public favors. He was one of the early Clerks of the Supreme Court, at one time Secretary of the Senate, at different times Prosecuting Attorney. His name never fails to appear among the little group of lawyers who were attendants at the earliest courts. He was the legal counselor of the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, and of his brother, Hyrum, and brought or accompanied their bodies from Carthage, where they were murdered, to Nauvoo. He received from the body of Joseph his personal effects and turned them over to his widow. He more than once did good service for the State; so conspicuously on one occasion, that Professor Parvin says in the narrative attached to the sketch of that gentleman, that Mr. Woods deserves a memorial at the hands of the Commonwealth. It was in respect to the establishment of the western boundary line of the State when it was seeking admission into the Union. The Constitutional Convention of 1844 made the Missouri River the western boundary, but Congress, when the Constitution thus fixing it was presented, curtailed it by cutting off about one-third of it on the western side bordering on that river, and sent the Constitution back to be ratified by the people. In defeating this proposed ratification, he did yeoman's service, on the stump and among the people to whom he was everywhere known, and with whom he was immensely popular by reason of his free and easy ways, his good fellowship, his perennial humor and unbounded generosity. He was a good mixer; a hale fellow well met. These qualities drew to him good audiences. They also enabled him to meet on friendly ground and talk the matter over with the people. The services he thus performed in assisting to defeat a measure that would have deprived Iowa of perhaps its most fertile portion - what is known as the Western Slope - and circumscribed its extent to inferior limits, were invaluable and deserve the remembrance of the State. He and his compeers had the efforts and influence of some prominent men to oppose. It was contended and largely believed that the excluded portion was not an important one, and that the failure to include it would prove of no great detriment, while, on the other hand, the defeat of the constitution tendered to the people for adoption, would indefinitely postpone the admission of Iowa as one of the States of the Union. It has also been said that the desire of certain ambitious men to secure political honors from the State was an incentive to their efforts to have the constitution adopted, and that the federal administration participated in this desire. This harsh judgment I am not disposed to confirm. It might be unjust.

His colleagues in this successful effort to defeat the Constitution thus limiting the boundary, were Edward Johnston, Shepherd Leffler, Frederic D. Mills (afterwards killed in the Mexican War), Enoch W. Eastman and Theodore S. Parvin. But Charles Aldrich, the late revered Curator of the State historical Department, in a sketch of Theodore S. Parvin which appeared in the October, 1901, Annals of Iowa, limits the co-operation in this effort to Enoch W. Eastman, Frederic D. Mills and T. S. Parvin and gives them all the praise, thus excluding Woods, Johnston and Leffler. In this, Mr. Aldrich committed an error - something very rare in him, and it is not singular that he did, but rather that he got so near the mark in respect to an occurrence of which no public record was made and which must be dependent on mere tradition or the testimony of witnesses contemporaneous with the event. Such a witness I have in the person of Mr. Parvin himself. Professor Parvin, in his narration to me, which will be made a part of his sketch, following this, thus states it:

["] Edward Johnston, James W. Woods, Shepherd Leffler, Frederic D. Mills and E. W. Eastman got together and agreed to canvass the Territory in opposition to the Constitution. They planned the canvass of the entire Territory, but it was too much for them, and they thought they had better confine themselves to the First District, which was at Burlington. They were opposing it on the ground of the boundary line. They were all Democrats - a Democratic Constitution and a Democratic Convention. Finding they had too much to do, they wanted to know if I would be willing to canvass the Second District, which embraced all the region commencing with Muscatine County, running up to Jackson and taking in Johnson, Iowa, and all the counties in that part of the State. I entered the canvass against the ratification of the Constitution, and when the vote was canvassed it was only beaten by 250. Woods canvassed the Southern District thoroughly and energetically. I have not a shadow of a doubt but that the constitution would have been adopted by a large majority if it had not been for these efforts. I canvassed the Second District alone, and these four other men canvassed the First District. ["]

Mr. Parvin states that the services of Mr. Woods were so valuable that, "The State of Iowa ought to make some recognition of his services and vote him a pension." * [* Mr. Woods at this time had come to be very old and in poor circumstances.]

Judge Mason, as we have seen, was of the impression that David Rorer and James W. Grimes were the only lawyers actually residing in Burlington when he went there in 1837, and that Mr. Woods did not come there to live until the following year. Mr. Woods says that he and W. W. Chapman had become residents there for quite a while before that, and as to which was the first actual resident lawyer there, lays between him and Chapman. However the question of actual location may be, it is beyond doubt that he and Chapman attended and practiced in the County Court in Des Moines County, at Burlington, when we were a part of Michigan Territory, upon the division of the Black Hawk Purchase by the Legislature of that Territory, and before we became a part of Wisconsin Territory. Mr. Woods was not only one of the twenty lawyers admitted at the first term of the Supreme Court at Burlington, but according to Professor Parvin who was present, he had and argued the only case before it at that term, which lasted only one day.

Since I have referred to Judge McFarland and his intimacy with Mr. Woods, I may as well say a word of him here, for fear time and space may not allow of it hereafter. When I came to Iowa in 1856, Judge McFarland and "Old Timber," the sobriquet of Mr. Woods, were frequently referred to by the old timers.

Judge McFarland was certainly a unique, and I might say, the most grotesque character that ever presided over an Iowa Court. I know nothing of his origin or bringing up, but one would judge that his early life had been amid the rough conditions of the frontier. It must be confessed that the drink habit was much in vogue among the early lawyers, and it would seem that Judge McFarland, at least at times, indulged pretty freely, and these was nothing half way about him. He was a very tall, stalwart, well-shaped man, with a beard as long and flowing as that of Aaron. He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention of 1856, and it is said that his striking appearance and manner attracted general attention. He was a man of decided ability and had it not been for the weakness referred to, would probably have distinguished himself. On the bench he usually presided with force and propriety, but sometimes showed the effects of the previous night's indulgence in ways that in these modern days would have invoked the public censure, if not impeachment or removal. He familiarly addressed the lawyers before him by their first name. Numerous anecdotes were told of him. I will relate two, one of which will illustrate the facetious qualities of Mr. Woods and the liberties he took with Judge McFarland, while both will illustrate phases of the Judge. In one case, Marcellus M. Crocker, afterwards one of the distinguished Generals in the Civil War, was on one side, Mr. Woods on the other. Woods filed a demurrer to the pleadings of Crocker's client, which, if sustained, would result in the abatement of the case. In arguing his point, Mr. Woods saw that the Judge was in a mood that would justify some liberties to be taken, and out of pure facetiousness, in the course of his argument, thus alluded to an imaginary case: "Your Honor will perhaps recollect having decided this point in my present favor by ruling against me when it was presented by Mr. Starr in the case of Brown vs. Smith at Burlington." The Judge pricked up his ears and, turning to Crocker said, "How to this, Marcellus? Let me see those pleadings." He looked at them and said, "Marcellus, Old Bass Wood has got you. I remember the case he has cited, and following the precedent I shall sustain his point."

The other incident was related at a Bar Supper some thirty-five years ago at Des Moines, at which I was present, by Judge J. C. Knapp, of Keosauqua, one of Iowa's ablest lawyers, and of whom I shall again speak. Judge Knapp said he was trying a case before judge McFarland, in which an aged father was endeavoring to have cancelled a deed made by him to his son, in consideration of the support promised him by the latter. The gravamen of the complaint was, that the son had failed in his promise and had mistreated his father. Judge Knapp was for the defense. In the course of the trial a witness testified that on a certain occasion the defendant shamefully abused his father and struck him a blow. Upon this, Judge McFarland, who had been seemingly drowsy, almost dozing, suddenly raised himself in his seat, and bending forward towards the defendant, exclaimed: "You strike your old father! You strike your old father! I'll show you not to strike your poor old father!" The effect on Judge Knapp can be imagined by anyone who knew him. He seized his hat and started for the door with the exclamation that he could be of no further use in the case. "Hold on, Baldy!" (Knapp was somewhat bald) "Hold on, Baldy," said the Judge. But Baldy did not hold on, he stalked in disgust from the court room. this is the greatest breach of judicial decorum that Judge McFarland is reported to have committed. But while it was flagrant and unpardonable, it nevertheless showed that he had an irresistible sense of natural justice and filial duty.

In 1882 I induced Mr. Woods to come from his home in Hardin County, Iowa, to Ottumwa, and tell me that he knew of the olden times. I comfortably quartered him at a hotel where he remained for some two or three weeks, and where I frequently visited him with a stenographer who took down the conversations that occurred between us. Prompted by my curiosity, I asked him a great variety of questions, the answers to some of which naturally enough took a wide range and introduced many matters of irrelevant, redundant, and sometimes private character that would not be fitting to relate. He was then upwards of eighty years of age, but his memory, especially in one so old, was remarkable. My previous conceptions of him were confirmed. He was reminiscent to a high degree, good-natured, cheerful as a boy. He was tall and rather slender, but well formed - I should say a little over six feet - a little, but not much, bent under the weight of his years; his pleasant face softened by kindly eyes, a little dimmed. As I looked upon him, and thought of his associates with the early conditions, the hardships through which he had passed, of the adverse winds that had blown upon him, of the earnings that he had strewn upon friends along the way, of the long course he had journeyed, of the shifting scenes he had witnessed, of his departed associates, of his boon companions in the homely carousals, who one after another had passed away, and that he was the last survivor of, and participant in, the earliest civilization in that part of Iowa, I felt a sort of veneration for him.

Instead of giving our colloquial interviews in the formal questions and answers asked and given, I have condensed the pertinent portions into narrative form which I now present:

["] I was born fifteen miles from Boston, removed to Virginia in 1824, and remained there until 1832, when I came West. I had studied law and been admitted to the bar in 1827. I reached Iowa in 1833 after the close of the Black Hawk War, and settled where Burlington now is. There were then not even log cabins.

["] I think W. w. Chapman was the first lawyer in Iowa. He was here when I first came out West. I met him at the first term of the County Court, held at Burlington in April, 1835. He was living in Hancock County, Illinois, and had married a daughter of Arthur Ingraham. He afterwards removed to and settled in Burlington. I really think that he was the first lawyer that settled in the State. Ingraham was an old farmer who had settled near Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. He came over and settled and Chapman came over afterwards. Ingraham had a large family. Chapman followed the old man over here.

["] Of course, I came to Burlington before Mr. Chapman, but I was backwards and forwards between Illinois and what is now Iowa, and I had no family at the time I came. I married afterwards. There is where Judge Mason had made his mistake. Mr. Chapman had a family and as I had none, I give him the precedence. * (* This narration of Mr. Woods was made some two years after that of Judge Mason which I took the liberty of submitting to the perusal of Mr. Woods.) I was a good deal in Illinois and I had practiced in what they call the Military tract and used to attend court from Pike County, Illinois Territory, as far north as they could go, where there were any inhabitants, up to Fulton County and Bureau. I was in Illinois perhaps half the time. I did not marry until 1836. I went back to Illinois and married and brought my wife over. I intended to make Burlington my home from the time I came there in 1833. I crossed the river by myself. Martin McCarver, Simpson S. White, Amasa Doolittle, Dr. Parker L. Shuff and Tom Duthrow were there. They were camped on the east bank of the river. Dr. Shuff was from Kentucky and was the first doctor there. Simpson S. White was a brother of Aaron. McCarver married a sister of Aaron White; so did Doolittle. They were all brothers-in-law except Dr. Shuff. The hills where Burlington now stands were covered with a heavy growth of timber, among which were a great number of large horse chestnut trees. It was a primeval forest. The men above mentioned built the first cabin. It was in what is now called Court Street, between Third and Fourth Streets. It stood right in Court Street. The first court was held in a log cabin north of where that cabin was built. That was several years after the first cabin I have mentioned was built. Under the Treaty we could not get possession until June, 1833, but the men I have mentioned, came over in April and built this cabin, and Captain Jesse Brown came up with a squad of men from Montrose and tore the cabin down and set the men back over the river for being in violation of the Treaty. After the soldiers returned, these men built a fart, crossed over and rebuilt the cabin. It was built of green buckeye; the soldiers tried to burn it down, but it would not burn. I subsequently bought the logs of the cabin and laid them down for walks to my out-buildings. I built my house on the lot where Ben Hall now lives. I preempted the lot and took possession some time in 1834. the act of Congress laying off the towns of Fort Madison, Burlington, Belleview, Dubuque and Mineral Point gave to settlers the right of preemption to lots and the towns were afterwards surveyed. There were several cabins in the neighborhood at the time. There were no Indians just there, but Black Hawk and his men were down on Devil Creek, and Wapello was at the village of Wapello in Louisa County with his Indians. There was a reservation of ten miles on the Iowa River and Wapello remained there for several years.

["] At the first court at Wapello in Louisa County, there were but two houses, one of which was occupied by Mr. Ingraham, the clerk, and the other by a man of the name of Dedrick, a discharged dragoon of the Black Hawk War, who kept a provision store. There was no place for the grand jury and they held their deliberations in a gully near the Iowa River. I was appointed Prosecuting Attorney. The jury sent the bailiff for me, and you know it is a rule that there should be no one present at the finding of an indictment except the members of the grand jury. I got upon the trunk of a tree and told them what I thought about the evidence, having been asked to do so. Thereupon Mr. Smith, the foreman of the grand jury, picked up a two-gallon jug and walked across the gully and said, "All that are in favor of finding this a true bill, come across the gully and take a drink of whiskey." But when he did this the conclusion reached was generally right. I drew up the indictment. There were no bills ignored that the foreman thus recommended.

["] At a Democratic political meeting, during a term of court at Knoxville, Scholte, the founder of the Holland Colony at Pella, suggested to Judge McFarland, who was present, that there were about one hundred Hollanders who desired to get their naturalization papers, and the Judge took the Clerk, the Sheriff and the records and repaired to Pella, fifteen miles distant, opened court and naturalized these one hundred Hollanders, and it was the first time that Marion County ever went Democratic, but the records were made to show that all of it was regularly done at Knoxville.

["] Here is an incident in connection with Dan Finch. Finch had probably been up all night of the day before. He was sitting in a seat with his feet on a chair and his hat on. He did not notice the call opening the Court, and Judge McFarland asked, "Who is that man with his hat on?" Finch said, "Your Honor, I am a Quaker." "Oh, is that so?" said the judge. Pretty soon Finch got up and went to another seat and sat down and took his hat off. Thereupon the Judge said, "Mr. Finch, a few moments ago you informed me that you were a Quaker. Put on your hat, Sir."

["] David Irvin was one of the first Territorial Judges after the organization of Wisconsin Territory. He was a Virginian. He was assigned to the first district west of the Mississippi River. He was about forth-five years of age; a genuine 'high-toned' gentleman; well informed upon all the current events of the day, even to horses, dogs and guns; at all times ready to attend to any fun. He could show a tailor how to cut and fashion a garment, a bootmaker how to make and fit a boot, a barber how to strop a razor; in fact, he could teach a housekeeper how to cook meals and make beds, and upon all occasions he imparted this knowledge. He was, withal, most profoundly impressed with the F. F. V.'s of that time. When upon the bench he was a fair and able jurist enough, but one of the most technical Judges it has been my fortune to meet in a constant attendance on the courts of more that fifty years. This anecdote was told about him: A man had an important case before him and having obtained a decree in his favor, was about leaving the court room when he met the Judge's dog and gave him a violent kick. This was too much for the Judge, and he directed the Clerk to make an entry setting aside the decree. Whether he ever reinstated it I don't know, but I presume he did after he cooled down. He was so strict and technical that upon one occasion when Washington County was organized and the county seat had been located a half mile from Gobles - the nearest house - at a place called Astoria, he would not hold court at the house, but rode out to where the town site was located, and improvised my buggy for the Judge's seat, and the Clerk used the top of the buggy for his desk. That was the first term of court in that County, and there were present: David Irvin, the Judge; Thomas Baker, the Clerk; Joseph Welch (or Welty), Sheriff; William W. Chapman, U. S. District Attorney, and myself. Hiram Bennet was Deputy Marshal, and fifteen residents constituted the grand jury. Upon the separation of Iowa from Wisconsin, Judge Irvin was assigned to a District in Wisconsin, and since that time I have lost sight of him.

["] The County seat of Johnson County was located four miles south of Iowa City, at a place called Napoleon. The first court was held at Stover's house - a double log cabin with a hall between. There was only one house there. Stovers occupied one room of it as a dwelling and Gilbert Davis used the other as an Indian trading station. A man by the name of Wallis was there from Linn County, held for horse stealing. S. C. Hastings was Prosecuting Attorney, and he and Judge Williams used the part of the building occupied by Gilbert Davis, and in the other room was the prisoner.

["] About the first court proceedings. At the close of the Black Hawk Was a military post was established below Montrose, and four companies of Dragoons were stationed there under the command of Colonel Phillip Kearney. Speaking of the military regulations of the Government, no one was permitted to keep or sell intoxicating liquors within four miles of the military station. Samuel and Joseph Briley had a place at Nashville, five miles south of the garrison and sold whisky to the Dragoons who were in the habit of visiting the place, and Colonel Kearney despatched a squad of men under Captain Jesse B. Brown to destroy the whisky. They found twenty gallons of whisky, some gin and brandy, with which they filled their canteens. Briley brought a suit against Brown for the value of the liquor, 125 dollars, and obtained judgment. This was the first judgment found and entered in a court of record in Iowa. It was while we were a part of Michigan Territory. I was the Attorney for the plaintiffs.

["] The country west of the Mississippi River, being organized and divided into the Counties of Des Moines and Dubuque, there was established a County Court, consisting of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices. The court was to be held twice a year and two of the judges constituted a Court for the transaction of business. The judges of the County Court for Des Moines County were William Morgan as Chief Justice; Young L. Hughes and Henry Walker as Associate Justices. William R. Ross was the Clerk. The first regular session of this Court was held in 1835 at Burlington in a log building on the corner of 3d and 4th Streets, east of the public square. This was in April, 1835. The attorneys present were W. W. Chapman, now of Oregon, Joseph B. Teas of Hancock County, Illinois, who afterwards died in Albia, Robert W. Williams, of Quincy, Illinois, and myself. Our modes of doing business were rather primitive. In a certain case I filed a demurrer to Chapman's petition. After the argument Chief Justice Morgan directed the Clerk to put the demurrer under the table, which consisted of a dry goods box, a receptacle for waste paper. The Court did not desire to decide the demurrer then and the Clerk did as he was directed. But when I came to argue the case to the jury I obtained the demurrer from the waste papers and argued it to the jury who were more considerate of it than the Judge, and gave me a verdict. Little regard was paid to the forms of law, and yet substantial justice was generally done. Associate Judge Hughes had a woman working for him by the name of Dobson. She desired a divorce and wanted me to get it for her. I inquired as to whether there had been any notice given to her husband. Judge Hughes said that about a month previous Dobson had come to see his wife, and that he (Judge Hughes) had told him that if he did not provide for his wife before court commenced, he would grant her a divorce. The Judge said Dobson had not done anything, and he asked Judge Morgan if he would sign a decree of divorce in the wife's favor, if I would prepare one. He said he would, and in accordance with the order of the Court I drew up a decree, and it was signed and became a part of the record. This beats the Chicago divorce proceedings.

["] Yes, I knew Cyrus Walker very well. He frequently came over to attend Court. He had a son, a rather tall boy, whom he settled at Fort Madison. He formed a sort of partnership with Judge Stockton and they took in the circuit of Des Moines, Lee, Jefferson, Van Buren and Henry Counties. Walker traveled around, and would go to see about his son at Fort Madison. His son did not remain there a great while. walker was an able lawyer. He stood at the head of the bar in Kankakee County, Illinois. He and Judge Logan, of Illinois, were from the same part of the country. Judge Logan was what you might call a singe-cat, with light hair and boyish face, but a better lawyer than even Cyrus Walker was. He and Walker were competitors in Kankakee. Logan staid at Rocheville and Walker at Macomb - no, I am mistaken, Logan was from Springfield, but practiced at Rocheville.

["] John C. Breckinridge, afterwards U. S. Senator from Kentucky, and Vice President of the United States, was at Burlington and practiced there for a while. He came from Kentucky to Burlington with Mr. Bullock. they remained about two years and then returned to Kentucky. Mr. Bullock's son, Thomas W. Bullock, was afterwards Governor of Kentucky, and he himself was elected Judge after he returned to Kentucky. I recollect traveling with Breckinridge from Burlington to Fairfield at the time Ross was tried for killing Bradstreet. Breckinridge and myself were there together. He must have come to Burlington about 1839. The Ross who killed Bradstreet was William W. Ross and no relation to Dr. William R. Ross. He was a brother of John Ross that kept the Ogden House at Council Bluffs, and a brother of Cap Ross, who killed Dr. Wright at a land sale in Ottumwa. Ross was from Virginia. His father was Register of the Land Office and succeeded Van Antwerp and Dodge in 1840. He was appointed Register of the Land Office by President Harrison. General Arthur Bridgeman married a sister of the Ross who killed Bradstreet. The difficulty between them grew out of some remark that Bradstreet had made about Bridgeman while Bridgeman was in St. Louis. Ross heard of it and, meeting Bradstreet at the post office, struck him with his riding whip. Bradstreet said, "I am not prepared for you now, but I will be." And he did prepare. He was boarding at the National Hotel on Jefferson Street between main and Third. His room was upon the corner between Main and Columbia Streets. He had two blocks to go to his boarding house. Our market was in the middle of Washington Street, just above Main between that and Third Street. The street was wide enough for passage on each side. There was a livery stable north of Washington Street. Bradstreet was a speculator and wealthy. While he was coming down from his room on the street, Ross was coming down from Washington Street, on the south side of the market, and they met midway on Washington Street, and commenced firing. It was difficult to tell who had fired first, but a man by the name of Taylor, a brother-in-law of Chapman, testified that he saw them meet, and saw Ross hold up his right arm while he had his pistol in his left hand, and saw a flash strike Ross under this arm, and that if there were two shots they were simultaneous. They continued firing and John Ross came out of an alley back of the livery stable mentioned, as soon as the firing commenced. They kept on firing for about half a block, Ross following Bradstreet up, and when they got to a little building by the post office Bradstreet stumbled and fell upon the platform right in front of the post office door and died almost immediately. There were nine bullets in Bradstreet and five in Ross. Ross was picked up for dead and taken to his father's house. It was thought that he was mortally wounded and it was a long time before he could be taken to the jail, where he was placed in an upper room. Cyrus Walker defended him, the case was tried at Fairfield and he was acquitted. *

["] (* Judge Henry C. Caldwell related to me some years ago a thrilling incident of this trial, of which I made a note at the time and which, as near as I can remember, was about in the following language: "The trial of Ross for the killing of Bradstreet, by reason of the circumstances, the character of the persons involved and the lawyers engaged, attracted a good deal of attention, and my father decided to make the journey to Fairfield and hear the arguments. I was only a boy of some eight or nine years of age, but he took me along with him, and I received impressions so vivid that they have lasted a lifetime. Cyrus Walker was for the defendant. I listened to his entire speech with great interest and to a certain part of it with great emotion. the pivotal point in the case was as to who had fired the first shot. Witnesses testified to circumstances pro and con, but nothing certain and the question was left in great doubt, when the mother of Ross was called as a witness and testified that she knew Bradstreet had fired the first shot, because she was perfectly familiar with the sound of William's pistol, she had heard it so often when he was shooting at the mark with others; that knowing what had happened, she did not want William to go out and when he did, she feared there might be a meeting between him and Bradstreet and was anxiously looking out and listening; that she heard the first shot, and screamed, fearing that William had been killed, but in an instant she heard another shot, and cried out, "No! William is defending himself, that is his pistol. I know it from the sound." Walker treated this circumstance as decisive of the disputed point, and illustrated it by this incident in his experience. He said that at an early period of Kentucky, the portion in which some families had settled was so unsatisfactory that they concluded to seek another location, and three men of the community were selected to go in quest of some more favorable situation. They went into the Indian Country. They did not return when expected, and when at the end of three years they had failed to do so, and no tidings of them were received, they were given up as having been slaughtered by the Indians. As a matter of fact, two of them had been, but the third, on account of the accuracy of his aim, had been spared by the Indians to shoot game for them, and had finally managed to escape and make his way homeward. He drew near his house in the night. He had retained his rifle, and when he got near he fired it. Whereupon his wife who heard it, jumped from her bed exclaiming, "Thank God! Thank God! Jesse is alive! I know it! I know it, for it is his rifle!" and rushed from the door into her husband's arm.)

["] I was the legal counsel of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the Mormon leaders. You ask me to relate the circumstances leading up to their murder. In June, 1844, while I was standing at the wharf at Burlington, a note was handed to me from Joe Smith requesting me to come to Nauvoo. I jumped aboard and went down. Joe and his brother Hyrum were concealed in a pawpaw thicket across the river in Lee County. I was piloted over in a boat by three men. When we reached the other side we found a couple of horses saddled and bridled all ready to go. We mounted and rode down the river for about three miles and then turned up a ravine, which we traversed for about three-quarters of a mile through a thicket and came to the camp of Joe and Hyrum Smith. There were about twenty other men with them. We held a consultation and concluded that Smith should return to Nauvoo, and that I should go to Governor Ford, of Illinois, and obtain a pledge from him that the Smiths should have a fair and impartial trial and that they should be protected from all bodily farm. A warrant had been issued on a charge of riot and for destroying the press of the "Nauvoo Expositor," a newspaper which had charged that Joe had been tampering with other men's wives. Joe was the Mayor of Nauvoo and the council passed an ordinance declaring the "Expositor" a nuisance and ordering its destruction. It was accordingly set fire to and burned up. I was in Nauvoo at the time and saw it. Thereupon the warrant was issued for their arrest. smith refused to be taken, declared martial law, and would let nobody go out or come in. Thereupon a large crowd of men collected about Carthage, the county seat, coming in from the surrounding counties. Governor Ford came and ordered out the militia, organized it and gave the command to Colonel Denin, sheriff of Hancock County. This was the state of affairs when Smith sent for me. I advised him to return to Nauvoo, as already stated, and disband his legion, and I went to Carthage, where I met the Governor and obtained from him the pledge of safety before referred to. I returned with it to where I had left Smith and we started on the following morning for Carthage. About nine miles out we met Captain Denin (or Dunn) with a company of cavalry and an order from Governor Ford for the surrender of the state arms which the legion had drawn under the state laws. Then I thought it unsafe for smith to go on. I also thought it would be unsafe for the Captain and his men to go to Nauvoo without the Smiths and the other leaders with him, as there were about twenty thousand Mormons at Nauvoo. Under these conditions it was agreed that Smith should go back to Nauvoo and assist in gathering the government arms that were to be given up or back to the State. On this being done, I was to report the fact to Governor Ford, and then the Smiths and the other prisoners were to surrender themselves under the pledge of safety and protection that had been given by Governor Ford. They accordingly went on to Nauvoo and carried out that part of the program by collecting the arms that were to be given up. There were four pieces of cannon, about one thousand stand of private arms, and at about twelve o'clock at night Captain Denin (or Dunn) reported with the arms and the defendants to the headquarters of the Governor at Carthage. I was there at the time, in an upper room fronting the street, talking with the Governor. Captain Denin (or Dunn) came up to the room where we were and reported. In a short time about five hundred of the soldiers encamped on the public square came rushing and clamoring for a sight of Joe and Hyrum Smith. The Governor promised that if they would retire to their quarters peaceably he would introduce them to the Smiths in the morning. These men belonged to the militia that had been organized by the Governor, as I have before stated, for the purpose of taking the Smiths. It was for the most part an organized mob. The McDonnough and Brown County men were rather quiet; the worst were the Adams and Hancock men. The next morning Captain Denin had the men drawn up on the public square by companies. He took Joe Smith on his right and Hyrum on his left. Denin introduced Joe and Hyrum to the heads, centers, and flanks of the companies - making three halts at each company. There were about fifteen hundred men there. When he got to where a portion of the companies were I felt a little squeamish myself. I was told afterwards that there were at least a hundred men loaded to shoot Joe Smith, but I was on his right and he was on Captain Denin's right. I was between Smith and the militia. I knew almost every man in the crowd, for I had been practicing law in those counties for years. They told me afterwards that but for me Joe would have never passed through the lines alive; they did not want to hurt me; I could name nearly every one of them. I was merely the attorney, but I felt good when I got back to the Governor's headquarters. We were three days justifying bail. The justice of the peace was really one of the leaders of the mob and he refused to accept bail as long as he could. Colonel Singleton was the attorney for the prosecution. I sent for Edward Johnstone to assist me and he sent his law partner, Hugh T. Reid. Before bail was accepted Chauncey Higbee and Doctor Foster filed an information charging the two Smiths with high treason and they were arrested on this charge, and the justice on his own motion continued the case for three days and ordered the men to jail. The next morning the Governor signified his intention of going to Nauvoo to search for counterfeit money. To this I objected. I was satisfied that as long as the Governor remained in Carthage the Smiths would be safe, and that as soon as he left there would be no safety. I so told him and asked him for a guard. He discharged the troops from McDonnough County and the other outside counties, and gave me the "Carthage Greys" as a guard. The justice of the peace I have referred to was the Captain, and more than one-half of the men were of the mob. But all I could do was to go with them. The jail was in the northwest corner of the town - rather in the outskirts and four or five hundred yards west of the court house. The Carthage Greys took up their quarters in the court house, and sent a guard of eight men to the jail. I went to see Joe in the jail and told him what I had done and that it was the best I could do. He wanted me to go to Nauvoo and have the Mormons there make preparations to receive the Governor. There were in the jail, Joe and Hyrum Smith, Taylor, and Richards. The last words Joseph Smith said to me were, "Woods, I want you to go and prepare my people, for I will never live to see another sun. They have determined to murder me, and I never expect to see you again. I have no doubt you have done the best you could for me." He proved to be a prophet, for he did not live to see another sun. I went to Nauvoo and the Governor arrived about two hours after I got there. He made a speech to the people and intended to remain a couple of days, but I discovered afterwards that he was alarmed. He told me he was going to return to Carthage. He went over to his room, and by the way, he kept the principal hotel in the city at that time. We went over there and took supper, and the Governor and his escort left about twilight for Carthage. When they had got about four miles on their way they were met by a Mr. Grant who was bringing the news of the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the Carthage jail. Grant came on to Nauvoo, arriving at my room about three o'clock in the morning and told me the news. I did not disturb anybody as I did not want to create excitement at that time. A little after daylight I received a letter from Governor Ford brought to me by a messenger, informing me of the murders and asking me to restrain the Mormons, and authorizing me to put the city in a condition to repel any mob, and if possible prevent the Mormons from leaving the city. I put a man on an old white horse and gave him a trumpet to sound. That was the way they called their meetings. In an hour I suppose there were ten thousand Mormons in the Temple Grove; I addressed them and got a pledge that they would not leave the city. Six hundred men were detailed by the marshal to prevent anyone from leaving or coming into the city. The city was about six miles square. After I received the letter from Governor Ford I conveyed to the widows of Joseph and Hyrum Smith the news of their husbands' death. I then mounted my horse and went to Carthage to have the bodies brought over to Nauvoo. It was supposed that John Taylor - afterwards president of the Mormon Church at Salt Lake City - had been fatally wounded in the struggle at the jail. I brought the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum back to Nauvoo. There was a great crowd to meet us formed in line said to have been two miles long. I took the bodies to the Mansion and delivered them to the family friends, and they were placed in state in the dining room of the Mansion, so that everyone could pass through and see them. I think it took about two hours for them to pass through. From an outside platform Hugh T. Reid, of Fort Madison, who had assisted me, and myself looked over the vast crowd that had assembled, spreading out in every direction almost as far as the eye could reach. There were at least twenty thousand people.

["] Now as to the details of the shooting. A little after six o'clock a mob of eighty men approached the Carthage jail from the northwest through a skirt of timber. Between the timber and the jail there was an open space perhaps half a mile wide. The jail was a stone structure of two stories fronting south. A door entered the hall on the west side; from this hall there was a stairway leading to rooms above. At the top of the stairway, on the right, was a door into the room occupied by the jailer's family. The jail yard was surrounded by a low fence and on the east side was a well with a low curb around it. Two windows were on the south and one on the east side, of the jail. The door to the room above referred to was in the northwest corner near the head of the stairs. As the crowd approached the jail and got inside of the fence, the guard of eight men discharged their pieces over the heads of the mob and fled to the court house. Then the mob commenced an indiscriminate discharge of firearms, a portion of them rushed up the stairs, and a portion surrounded the jail on the east and south and commenced firing. Those that had gone up the stairs broke in the door of the room that has been described, where they were met by Dr. Richards, who with a big cane struck down the guns as they were presented. He was a man of immense size and was Joe Smith's private secretary. There had been eight or ten Mormons in the jail, but they all left that morning except Richards and Taylor. While Richards stood at the door knocking down the guns with his heavy cane, bullets were flying in at the south and east windows. Joe Smith faced his assailants and fired five times upon them with his revolver, wounding as many men. After the sixth barrel of his revolver failed to go off, they rushed their guns through the door and he broke for the east window. As he raised it a ball struck him under the jaw and came out above the eye and another struck him under the right shoulder blade and went through and lodged in the works of his watch in his left vest pocket. There is where I found it. He was shot through the window from below. The effect of these shots caused him to fall out of the window. After he struck the ground he raised himself partly up with his back against the well curb referred to, and one of the mob run him through with his bayonet and twisted it off in his body. I counted thirty-six bullets in the wall of that upper room. Hyrum lay very nearly under the bed in the southeast corner of the room, dead with five bullets in his body. After the mob knew that the prophet was dead and Hyrum also, it dispersed. Dr. Richards, finding that there was still life in Taylor, who was lying on the north side of the room, picked him up and carried him into his cell, and there tore off his underclothes, dressed his wounds and he recovered.

["] I received the effects from the body of Joe Smith and turned them over to his widow upon her giving me the following receipt:

"Received, Nauvoo, Ill., July 2, 1844, of James W. Woods, $135.50 in gold and silver and the receipt for shroud, one gold finger ring, one pen and pencil case, one pen knife and case, one pair of tweezers, one silk and one leather purse, one small pocket wallet containing a note on John P. Green for $50, and the receipt of Heber C. Kimball for a note of hand on Ellen M. Saunders for one thousand dollars, as the property of Joseph Smith. (Signed) Emma Smith."

["] The place there was first called Venice, then Commerce and after the Mormons purchased it and the land around they named it Nauvoo. The temple was built on a bluff about three quarters of a mile from the river in a little grove. The temple was built of limestone taken out of the bluffs. It was a magnificent building, finely finished outside and in; it had two pulpits, one in the east end and one in the west end. The basement contained the baptismal font supported by twelve oxen carved in life size. The font was about sixty feet in diameter, about eight feet deep, and was supplied with water from a fountain in the building. The twelve oxen on which it rested were carved out of solid limestone rock, horns and all, and faced outward. They had the finest kind of English artisans among them who did this work. The Mormons did not leave there immediately after the death of Smith, and not until 1846. John Taylor came up with a portion of them and wintered on the ridge about fifteen miles below Eldora in Hardin County, and they came devilish near starving to death that winter. They did not have the Salt Lake destination in view before they started. They scattered about in different directions. A large body of them wintered in Garden Grove in Decatur County, a portion of them as I have said in Hardin County, some in Davis and Appanoose counties, a large body went to Council Bluffs, and to Gainesville. Polygamy was not publicly proclaimed as a feature of Mormonism while at Nauvoo, nor I think until after their settlement at Salt Lake, but it was said that Smith had introduced what was called Spiritual Wifedom, which consisted in a man having a wife to be known as his spiritual wife in addition to the ordinary one. Joe Smith was particular in his taste in regard to female beauty, and sought those who developed most fully both physically and intellectually; who would naturally attract the opposite sex. Most of the prominent and influential leaders, such as Orson Pratt, Parley Pratt, Isham Hyde, William J. Wilson, Higbee, Dr. Foster and several others possessed wives who, aside from Mormonism were beautiful, refined, well-educated ladies, and it was charged by "The Nauvoo Expositor," which was destroyed as I have related, that Smith selected or desired to select his spiritual wives from this class, and that is what caused the trouble. The husbands of the would-be spiritual wives were offended.

["] I do not think Joe Smith was at heart a bad or wicked man, and you could see from his face that he was not naturally an unkind one. But he was a born ruler and when he made up his mind, they all had to obey. He was, of course, an uncultured man that had never had the advantages of much education, but from somewhere he had inherited great ability. This, it appears to me, is shown by the fact that, claiming to be a prophet, he founded a new creed or sect which has survived the contempts and onslaughts of the whole world and spread itself nearly all over it. He was a fine looking man. He has a son named after him, Joseph Smith, Junior. *

["] (*(Note). Joseph Smith, Junior, now lives at Independence, near Kansas City, Missouri, and is the President and Head of the Reorganized Mormon Church. They are anti-polygamists. I have seen him often riding on the cars of the electric line between Kansas City and Independence, over a part of which I daily traveled, myself. He is a large, broad- shouldered, fine looking man, with an open, benevolent face, and would attract attention anywhere. He is personally liked and highly esteemed by everybody. He must be upwards of eighty years, according to Mr. Woods. The Mormon Church at Independence has a large following, and the Mormons constitute a large integral part of the population of that city and vicinity; and it must be said that they are exceptionally good citizens. They are industrious, thrifty, sober, law abiding, and attend strictly to their own business. They have control of one of the banks, carry on several industries and seem to have no paupers or criminals, and consequently, cut but little figure in the courts. Since the foregoing portion of the note was written, Joseph Smith has died in 1914, and is succeeded by his son, Frederick M. Smith as the head of the church.)

["] I want to say one word more about the Mormons. I think they have been over-abused. Of course, there were some wicked men among them. This would be but natural in a community of some twenty-four thousand people gathered from all parts - for Joseph Smith showed his sagacity by instituting, almost at the outset, a system of widespread proselyting. This and the sort of refuge offered, naturally drew adventurers, as well as religious enthusiasts, some of whom, as must be the case in every hastily organized community, were bad men. I think I can say from close personal observation that the rank and file of them were religious enthusiasts who truly believed in this newly revealed religion, and I think that among all the religions of the earth, that every religion is true to the followers who truly believe it. **

["] (** (Note). I have given thus at length this narrative of Mr. woods, respecting the Mormon episode, because it is closely interwoven with his life, because it is the best exposition by an eye-witness, that has been given of the stirring events leading to the final catastrophe, and because it corrects the prevailing impression that it was wholly due to the voluntary action of the outside public who had become incensed by crimes committed by the Mormons. As I read the lines and between them, such was not the case. Judge Mason, who word must be taken as a verity, says that after the execution of the murderers of Miller and Davenport, there were no crimes of moment committed by them, at least in Iowa, and that a sense of security prevailed. As I interpreted it, the fire was not kindled outside of, but within their lines, by the publications in the Nauvoo Expositor referred to, and internal enemies of Smith. this seems to be indicated by the fact that Dr. Foster and Higbee who are among the leaders mentioned by Mr. Woods as having beautiful wives, while Smith was before the magistrate at Carthage, fearing that the charge made might not be sufficient to hold him, filed the additional one of high treason, thus adding fresh fuel to the gathering storm that was already near the point of breaking. To sum it up: There were dissensions within; the newspaper publications referred to inflamed the public without; and the climax was reached in the destruction of the paper. If this had not been done, there would have been no riot, no flight, and none of the fatal consequences that followed in their wake.)

["] After a hard struggle Iowa City succeeded in getting the capital removed to that place from Burlington The first session of Territorial Legislature met there in the winter of 1840-41. There was only one hotel, kept by a man named Butler, capable of accommodating guests. The state house was a temporary frame build of two stories without any committee rooms. The lower story was occupied by the House of Representatives and the upper by the Council. There were two small rooms at the head of the stairs, neither of which was oven ten by twelve feet in dimension, one of which was appropriated by O. H. W. Stull, Secretary of the Territory, and the other by the Governor as his private office. I was then Secretary of the Territorial Council. The Council and House were made up of men who had settled the country. Dubuque sent up among others, Bainbridge and Verplank Van Antwerp, formerly receiver of the Burlington land office. For want of something better to do, they started a newspaper called the Iowa Capital Reporter. Bainbridge became involved in a quarrel with Van Antwerp and the latter challenged Bainbridge. They met in the Council room. Van drew a revolver but Bainbridge knocked him down and took the revolver from him. Bainbridge returned to Maryland and the last I heard of him, he was in Washington. In the Counsel were Edward Johnstone, of Lee County, brother Governor Johnstone, of Pennsylvania, and Governor Johnstone, of California, Gideon S. Bailey, of Van Buren County, S. C. Hastings, of Muscatine County, afterwards Chief Justice of Iowa, and later of the Supreme Court of California; Shepherd Leffler, of Des Moines County, who was one of our Congressmen after we became a State; George Greene, of Linn County, afterwards a Judge of the Supreme Court; Barker, of Scott County; William H. Wallace, of Henry County, afterwards a member of Congress from Oregon; Judge Coop, of Jefferson County; Captain Jesse B. Brown, of Lee County. To compare for a moment, salaries of then and now. That of the State Treasurer was $400 per annum, that of our Judges, $1,500.

["] At the organization of Butler County, Judge J. D. Thompson was the Presiding Judge of the District Court. There were present at the first term of court three attorneys, J. C. Fletcher and Mr. Brown, his partner, and M. M. Trumbull, afterwards a General in the Civil War, and later collector of Internal Revenue at Dubuque. He was also a member of the Legislature from Butler County. I was retained in most of the cases. The County was afterwards detached from Judge Thompson's district, and annexed to that of Judge Murdock. Judge Murdock was succeeded by Judge Elias Williams, of Clayton County, who was afterwards appointed one of the Judges of the Supreme Court.

["] We were attending court at Knoxville, with Judge McFarland on the bench. The court held over into the second week. They extinguished all the whisky there was in town the first week, except a little I had in my hand-trunk, which was made especially to prevent anyone breaking into it. I had it covered with calf-skin and a patent lock on it. Dan Finch called it my "whisky safe." I always carried a little along for the benefit of the judge. Judge Severs, Judge Knapp, D. O. Finch, Marcellus Crocker and other lawyers from abroad were there, and they got intensely dry and importuned me for what I had in my safe. As I wanted to keep a little for the Judge, I refused to let them have it. Judge McFarland occupied a lower room of the hotel. Judges Knapp and Seevers occupied an upper one together. I got up one morning and found my safe gone. I searched for and found it under Judges Knapp's and Seevers' bed, with the jaws of it very much bent. I picked up one of Knapp's boots and one of Judge Seevers' and took them out to the stable, got up on the hay mow and forked a place down for or five feet in one corner and put the boots in. When Knapp and Seevers got up they were each minus a boot and each had to but a new pair. They were very man - and so was I.

["] Governor Lucas was not a lawyer, nor was Governor Briggs. The latter had been Sheriff of Jackson County, a member of the Legislature from there, and was the first Governor of the State. Alfred Rich was a man of brilliant talents. He died early of consumption. Nearly all the lawyers of those days drank whisky, but only a few to hurtful excess. Judge Mason, Judge Williams, Mr. Grimes, Mr. Parvin, Mr. Rorer and some others were notable exceptions. Frederic D. Mills was a law partner of J. C. Hall and could have had the position of U. S. District Attorney, and went to Washington with a view of accepting the appointment, but when he got there, he became fired with the Mexican War spirit and accepted the position of Major in Colonel Morgan's Ohio Regiment. He was placed in command of a battalion and was killed at the battle of Churubusco. Captain, afterwards General Roberts, of the regular army, succeeded recovering his body. It was badly disfigured, but Captain Roberts was intimately acquainted with him and was able to recognize the body by some peculiar features of it. General Roberts lived at Fort Madison and afterwards moved to and died recently at Des Moines.

["] In 1844 we fought the Constitution narrowing the western boundary of the State. That boundary, as originally fixed, was much the same as now, but Congress under the impression that all west of Des Moines was an uninhabitable waste, reduced the western boundary, making it a short distance west of Des Moines and between there and Adel. Dodge, Mason, Henn, Clarke, Hall, Wilson and Jones all urged the adoption of the Constitution with the limited boundary. The Whigs had opposed it on the ground of introducing an elective Judiciary, which was new. Shepherd Leffler, T. S. Parvin, Frederic D. Mills, Enoch W. Eastman, Edward Johnston and myself got together and determined it would be a shame to come in with such a limited boundary, and we concluded to oppose it with might and main. We divided the State into three districts: Leffler, Eastman and Johnston took the lower, Mills and myself, the center, and Parvin the northern. We canvassed the Territory thoroughly. Mills and myself rode sixty days and made from one to four speeches a day. James Clark was Governor at the time and the last one of the Territory. He married a sister of A. C. Dodge and was a partner of Cyrus Jacobs at the time he was killed. He died with the Cholera at Burlington.

["] About the Missouri War. I think enough has been said by Judge Mason and along the line as to render anything from me, concerning that noisy, but bloodless contest unnecessary. Yes, I knew Lincoln Clark. We elected him to Congress. He was a man of fine ability. He was a near relative of General Lincoln, after whom he was named.

["] W. J. A. Bradford was the first Reporter of the Supreme Court. * (* Note - This is an error in one sense. Charles Weston was first appointed but very soon resigned to accept the position of United States District Attorney. He reported no cases.) He published in 1840 and 1841 three pamphlets of reports which were afterwards appended to and embraced in Morris' Reports. He was the son of that Bradford, who was for many years, Secretary of State of Massachusetts. He came to Burlington in 1836. He was an old bachelor of about forty-five or fifty years of age. He would weigh from 110 to 115 pounds and was about five feet and two or three inches in height, with a very small chin and nose. He was a walking encyclopedia of law and had read everything. He was succeeded by Easton Morris.

["] Judge Joseph Williams was a man weighing about one hundred and sixty to one hundred and eighty pounds, about five feet, ten and a half to eleven inches in height. He had a fair, rosy complexion, mild brown- gray eyes, and a good head of hair. He was an able and very versatile man. He was fond of music and could play upon almost any kind of an instrument. And he could sing. I have heard him sing many of the old Scotch songs.

["] S. c. Hastings was a man over six feet in height. He went to and became prominent in California.

["] Judge John F. Kinney was an Ohioan by birth. He was a fine looking man and possessed a great deal of personal magnetism. He made a good Judge of the Supreme Court. He was a candidate for U. S. Senator, but was not successful.

["] Henry W. Starr was a very able lawyer, and in all respects, a very brilliant man. He was very witty and liked a joke, as the following instance will show: Grimes and Starr were partners. Grimes was Governor and had written a letter to William L. Marcy, Secretary of the United States, with regard to Missouri River navigation and the Kansas troubles. Starr and myself happened to be at Hall's office, and Starr concluded to have some fun with Grimes by answering his communication in the name of Marcy; this he did and mailed the letter to Grimes. It was so completely done and so much like Marcy's peculiar style, that it completely deceived Grimes, and they had a good deal of amusement.

["] Delazon Smith - "Taylor's lost Minister to South America." He was so called by reason of the fact that when a recall was sent to him he evaded it for three years. He was a man of splendid talents and of such striking and amusing characteristics that he soon became known throughout the State. He was not a large but a well-built man, of rather full habit and fine physique. He resembled Augustus Hall (brother of J. C. Hall), though he was really not as able a man. Smith was a natural orator, very eloquent and very fluent and ready. He was a lawyer by profession and if he had devoted his attention to it he would have been very eminent in the law; but he was a natural politician, and a very aggressive one. He was a regular actor on the stump, always amusing and sometimes dramatic. He would sometimes quote from memory while speaking extracts from the speeches of Clay, Calhoun, Webster, Benton and others. His power of ridicule was great, as the following instance will illustrate: At the time Daniel Miller and William Thompson ("Black Bill") ran for Congress he was induced to become an independent democratic candidate. He made a speech at Montrose during the canvass. He said in dramatic style, "Send Bill Thompson to Congress! What of it! What then? He will sit there like a knot on a wet spruce log. Send Dan Miller to Congress! What of it? What then? He will be like a wet wick in a tallow candle. Send "Delusion" Smith to Congress! What of it What then? $2,500 mileage in his vest pocket. It is no longer "Delusion" Smith. It is the Honorable Delazon Smith, M. C. from Iowa, receiving gilt-edged notes from Dodge, Jones & Co. Plays hell! Turns up Jack!! Makes High, Low, Jack and the Game!!!" He acquired the two titles of "Delusion" and the "Lost Minister" by evading his recall.

["] Stephen Hempstead succeeded Ansel Briggs as Governor, and he made a good one. He was rather tall and spare, about my height and build; Judge hall passed me off for Governor Hempstead among the Quakers of Salem when we were there one time. He was tasteful in his attire, and generally wore a snuff-colored coat and white vest. I was intimately acquainted with him. He was a man of talents and a good jurist. He stood among the foremost. I think he was originally from Connecticut but came from Missouri to Iowa. He lived at Dubuque. He was very amiable and very popular with his party. He was altogether a very charming man. His brother was a member of Congress from Arkansas at one time.

["] There were two years after Iowa became a State in which we had no Senators in Congress, because the Whigs and "Possums" were not strong enough to elect and the Democrats would not combine. the "Possums" held the balance of power. The Possum Party grew out of the trouble over the title to land embraced in the Half Breed Tract. There were a hundred and ninety thousand acres, including the towns of Keokuk and Montrose. The Wisconsin territorial Legislature at the Belmont session had appointed three commissioners to partition and allot the shares. There were 101 shares, the most of which fell into the hands of New York speculators. Suit was brought by the New York claimants to recover the lots which in the meantime had become settled upon. The settlers claimed title, and the question became a political one. The settlers had a majority and were known as the "Possum Party." As before stated they held the balance of power and we had no Senators in 1846 to 1848, when A. C. Dodge and George Wallace Jones were elected.

["] James Morgan came to Burlington when Lucas was appointed Governor. He was a lawyer, but never practiced. He was a newspaper man. He first started the Burlington Telegraph. the first paper was the Burlington gazette. there was a paper published at Fort Madison called The Patriot. I had been publishing a paper there called the Echo of the Prairies. I sold my paper to Dr. Galland; he sold out to James G. Edwards, and Edwards moved the Patriot and the Echo of the Prairies presses to Burlington and established the Burlington Hawkeye. Morgan afterwards established the telegraph as above stated, but it later became merged in the Hawkeye. Morgan was a prominent politician. We sent him to the Legislature from Des Moines County several times. He was a very able editor. He never wrote long articles, but short, pungent paragraphs. He was quite a prominent figure in Democratic politics for some years, and had great influence. He died quite a good many years ago. He had sandy hair and florid complexion.

["] M. D. Browning came to Burlington in 1837. He was a man who had read well and was very original. He had a peculiar faculty of great honesty in appearance towards a court and jury - of apparent candor. He had the faculty of seizing the strong points of a case and hurling them, so to speak, at the jury. He was not a polished but a strong man. He was a tall, dark complexioned, grave appearing man. His eyes were rather large, dark and deeply set. Hs eyebrows heavy and black, his head rather large, high and somewhat bald. He was a brother of O. H. Browning, of Quincy, Lincoln's Attorney-General. He married a daughter of Judge Brown, of Kentucky.

["] Augustus Hall was a man of about five feet and ten inches in height, rather full in body, heavy in the shoulders. He had light almost sandy hair, very florid complexion and wore mutton chop whiskers. He was a man of fine culture, an eloquent and polished speaker and an able lawyer. He did not much resemble his brother, J. C. Hall, in appearance, the latter being a much larger man. But he was much more scholarly.

["] Judge Grant was going to hold court in Cedar County. He and some lawyers were jogging along on the way there. They were too slow for him. He told them he was going up to hold court and for them to hurry. They replied that they did not think there would be any court until they got there as they would be the only lawyers in attendance. The Judge spurred his horse and when he got to Tipton opened court (John P. Cook was the clerk of the court at that time) and called the docket. There was not a single attorney there to respond. Judge Grant said, "Adjourn court sine die," mounted his horse and rode off. He met the attorneys about three miles out and said to them, "There is no use of your going there, court is adjourned." And it was adjourned. This instance is, I think, very illustrative of the up and down character of Judge James Grant.

["] The following instance will throw some light on the way lawyers did: E. W. Eastman and a lawyer by the same of Thurston were partners. they were defending two men for passing counterfeit money. they had $160 in good money and $280 in counterfeit money and a shot gun to pay their attorneys with. They put the good money in one pile and the counterfeit and the shot gun in another, and Eastman gave Thurston his choice of piles for his share. Thurston took the shot gun and the counterfeit money, and passed every cent of it afterwards, to Eastman said. Thurston was a very brilliant lawyer. He went to Oregon, was sent to Congress, and was returned the second time but died on his way to Washington.

["] William Penn Clark was a candidate for Senator and held the balance of power; but James W. Grimes induced him to withdraw by having him appointed Reporter of the Supreme Court. Fitz Henry Warren at this time was opposing Mr. Grimes although a member of the same party.

["] Orson P. Hyde was a leading Mormon, a very able man and an eloquent speaker. I heard him preach and I think but few could excel him in some of his oratorical flights.

["] V. M. Pendleton came from Kentucky. He was a lawyer of considerable ability, but never engaged actively in practice. He married the daughter of a Dr. Chamberlain. At the breaking out of the Rebellion, he attempted to recruit a company for the Southern cause, but only succeeded in recruiting himself. He entered the army of the Southern Confederacy and was killed fighting for the lost cause.

["] George P. Stiles came to Iowa in an early day. I first met him in 1851. He was a large man with a fine physique and much magnetic influence. He was a good scholar, an able lawyer and a strong advocate. He ultimately settled at Council Bluffs. He was appointed in 1855 by President Pierce as one of the Supreme Judges of Utah. He subsequently went to Colorado and was twice Mayor of Denver.

["] Of Ben Samuels I will briefly say that he may be properly placed at the head of the bar of his time and has never been excelled as an orator or lawyer. He married a daughter of Dr. Mason, a highly refined lady. He had a brother in Jackson County who was also a lawyer. He married a daughter of Ballard Smith, who, for many years, represented the Greenbrier District of Virginia in Congress. Mrs. Samuels was a scholar of mine when I kept school in Virginia, and I remember her as a most lovely girl.

["] Platt Smith I knew well. When I first met him he was engaged in rafting lumber from the Pineries down the Mississippi River. He had some trouble with his crew, and called upon Ralph P. Lowe, of Muscatine, for advice; the result was Judge Lowe advised him to read law, which he did and was admitted to the bar, where he immediately took first rank. If he had been educated, I have no doubt he would have been the ablest lawyer and advocate in Iowa; as it was no one ever got away with him. He was a man of large frame, but rather rough and unsocial in his manners. He turned his attention to railroading in the latter part of his life and accumulated quite a fortune.

["] Bernhart Henn came to Iowa in 1838 from mineral Point, Wisconsin, with General A. C. Dodge as Clerk in the Register's office for the land district at Burlington of which Dodge was Register. He remained with Dodge until 1841, when he went into my office as a student at Burlington and was admitted to the bar in 1843. He never attained high rank at the bar. He had plenty of ability but no inclination for the profession. He was thoroughly acquainted with our public land system and was Register of the Land Office at Fairfield for a number of years and represented that district in Congress for several terms. He was a man of sound judgment and applied himself faithfully to the interests of his constituents while in Congress. His colleague was John P. Cook, of the Davenport District, who was a Whig. Henn was a Democrat. He was of medium size but of good personal appearance.

["] John R. Woods, my brother, came to Iowa in 1838 from Massachusetts and became the Clerk of General Verplank Van Antwerp, Receiver of the General Land Office at Burlington, and continued in that position until 1841. He then became a law student in my office, was admitted to the bar in 1842 and immediately commenced practice. He was elected Clerk of the County Commissioner's Court, and died in this position in August, 1844. He was a young man of great personal popularity, and gave promise of a brilliant career at the bar. ["]

The foregoing includes only the narrative drawn from the interviews I had with Mr. Woods, which were taken down at the time by my stenographer, as before stated. Subsequently and independently of this, I obtained from him additional valuable data in the form of letters, and written communications upon which I have frequently drawn in the course of my work. While he may have possibly made mistakes in minor details, in the main he will be found correct. Standing as he did, the last representative of his time, his statements come with vivid interest in respect to men he had intimately known and events of which he had been an eye-witness, and the only one left.

This kindly old man manifested the most lively interest in my work and aided me in every way possible. To him, my readers as well as myself, are greatly indebted. By reason of his great age, the breadth of his observation, his wonderful memory, his gifts as a raconteur, his cheerful nature, his kindly heart, he was certainly a most interesting character, that one might well wish to live alway. Blessed be his memory!

George G. Wright

I join these men [George G. Wright and Joseph C. Knapp] because they were very near to each other and associated as law partners for many years. Judge Wright was one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Iowa during most of the time I was its Reporter, and from this and other associations, I came to know him intimately. He died in 1896. For more than half a century his name had been a familiar one, intimately associated with the progress and current history of the State. The mature years of his long and busy life were devoted to its interests with a purpose as steadfast as it was heroic. He was not only one of the most widely known men of the commonwealth, but one of the most popular. He had been a favorite with the people throughout his entire career. The causes for this general popularity lay in his intrinsic character and make-up. In appearance and bearing, he was very attractive. He walked with a limp owing to a defective limb, but notwithstanding, his figure was good, his face classical, his countenance always beaming with good will. He loved the pioneers, the old settlers, and they were always at ease with each other. He delighted in the narration of early events; his memory was extraordinary and he was able to recognize and never failed to greet any man with whom he had had the least acquaintance. This faculty greatly facilitated the renewal and continuance of his early acquaintances. He frequently delivered addresses to and about men of the early period, and especially those related to Van Buren County. As instances, he delivered one before the Library Association of Keosauqua in 1856, and another before the Pioneer Law Maker's Association of Van Buren County, in 1872, in the course of which he went into the minutest details respecting the early settlements and settlers in that county - giving the names of the different pioneers, the dates of their coming, just where they settled, their course of life, and in many cases the names and dates of birth of their children. These narrations, like all his others, were interspersed with incidents and anecdotes which were interesting to know. These qualities brought and kept him very close to men of the early time and their descendants. He was exceedingly affable and always approachable to the humblest citizen. He had reflected deeply and comprehensively on the affairs of the world and was an excellent judge of human nature. He was so full of pleasantry and good nature that I do not believe anyone ever engaged in a conversation of any length with him without being told some apropros anecdote or incident that would provoke a smile and give a pleasant impression. It will be readily appreciated that these combined qualities made him greatly beloved by the people, and they were always ready to rally to his support. There was no office within their gift that he could not have obtained for the asking. Indeed, he did receive at their hands the highest honors of the State. For fifteen years he was a Judge, and a portion of the time Chief Justice of its Supreme Court; then its United States Senator. In respect to the latter position, he had a most formidable rival in the person of William B. Allison, who for so many years subsequently represented Iowa in the United States Senate with a distinction which rivaled that of any of his compeers in that body. The only objection I had to Judge Wright was the character of his handwriting, which was the most difficult chirography that I have ever beheld. In digesting his opinions, while preparing my head notes, I had often great difficulty in ascertaining what he had written. These opinions, too, were written in his best and most legible style and were not quite so bad as some of his more hastily prepared productions. He sent me many years ago for my use in this work, quite a lot of hastily written memoranda, which after repeated efforts to decipher, I gave up as impossible.

As a summary of his personal traits: In public affairs he was extremely cautious. He was not a bold and aggressive leader of men. His popularity was wholly due to other sources. His good humor and cheerfulness were perennial. His attractive person, his still more attractive, finely lineated face carried a ray of sunshine that enlivened all surroundings.

His manner was urbane and graceful, and "on his unembarrassed forehead, nature had written 'Gentleman.'" He was, in short, one of the most lovable of men; he drew everybody to him. As for myself, my affectionate veneration was such that I dedicated to him my "Digest of Supreme Court Decisions," published in the early seventies; and on the occasion of his death, made a plea for a statue to his memory in a communication addressed to and published in the Des Moines State Register of January 24, 1896.

As a Judge, he has had few equals and no superiors in the history of the Supreme Court of the State. His numerous decisions constitute one of the principal bases of its jurisprudence and will serve to perpetuate his judicial fame throughout all its future period. His associates on the bench were John F. Dillon, Ralph P. Lowe and Chester C. Cole, and it was this rare judicial array that principally contributed in giving to the Supreme Court of Iowa the distinction throughout the entire country of being one of the very strongest in the land. Among these it goes without saying, none was more conspicuous than Judge Wright. He possessed those four qualities which Socrates declares to be the requisites of a judge: To hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly, and to decide impartially. His published opinions are models of unaffected wisdom and force. With no attempt at learned display, they grasp with all the force of reason the naked points of controversy and trenchantly carry them to lucid conclusions. Nothing that I can say of him as a judge would furnish as reliable an estimate as that contained in the following letter of that great lawyer and judge, John F. Dillon, to the Pioneer Law Makers' Association, read at its reunion of 1898:

"I esteem it one of the felicities of my professional career that I was associated for six years with Judge Wright on the Supreme Court bench of the State of Iowa. It is scarcely necessary for me to express my opinion of his learning as a lawyer, and his merits as a judge. No difference of opinion on this subject, so far as I know, ever existed among the bar and the people of Iowa. The verdict of the bar on this subject is that, take him all in all, he had no equal among the state's chief justices of judges in her judicial history. Some of them may have had, in special and exceptional lines, superior gifts, or superior learning, but as I have just said, take him all in all, he easily stands conspicuous and foremost. To those who served on the bench with him, and to the bar who practiced during the period of his long connection with the court, the reasons for this are not difficult to find. I may refer to some of them briefly.

"First among these reasons may be mentioned his zeal and conscientiousness in the performance of his official duties. As Chief Justice he was always present; and, having control of the deliberations of the Court, would never consent to adjourn any term until every case which had been argued or submitted was considered. The period of my association with him was when there was no rule requiring the records and arguments to be printed. They were mostly in writing. Judge Wright was a rapid and most excellent reader; and his invariable habit during our consultations, in all cases submitted, was, first, to take up the argument of the appellant; read it; next the argument of the appellee; then any reply, referring to the record whenever necessary; then to insist on a full discussion and a vote. I believe I may safely affirm that no case was decided during these six years that I was on the bench without this 'formula' having been complied with. No case was assigned, previous to full consideration among the judges, for examination and an opinion by a single judge. I verily believe that the admitted excellence of the judgments of the judgments of the Supreme Court of Iowa during the period of Judge Wright's incumbency of the office of Chief Justice, is due to the course of procedure above mentioned.

"Another characteristic of Judge Wright was his intimate knowledge and memory of the legislation and course of decisions in the State. He was a living digest of these decisions. He carried in his memory every important case that had ever been decided, and thus kept the lines of judicial decision consistent.

"As a presiding officer he was without any equal. He had remarkable executive ability. He presided with dignity; maintained the utmost decorum in his court, and yet no member of the bar, I believe, ever felt that he was exacting, oppressive, or that he in any way encroached upon their legitimate rights and privileges. He had almost in perfection what I may call the 'judicial temperament.' He showed absolute impartiality, had great patience of research, and above all, a level- headed judgment, and strong, sure-footed common sense. Combining these merits and qualities with ample learning in his profession, it is no marvel that the bar of Iowa hold him and his memory in such deserved honor."

His miscellaneous reading had not been wide; his acquaintance with English or classic literature, slight. None of his compositions are adorned with decorative drapery. I do not think that in any of his writings can be found the employment of Latin or other foreign phrases, save in those terms and expressions which have been preserved in the law; but they are none the less forceful, and often traced in elevated lines.

His notions concerning the judicial office were of the highest order. Perfect independence of the judiciary was his ideal, and when a portion of the press joined in a denunciation of the judges, one of whom was Judge James G. Day, who united in the opinion of the Supreme Court, declaring what was known as the prohibition amendment to the Constitution void, it made him indignant, though he was not then on the bench. Stirred with this feeling, he wrote me the following letter, which clearly reveals his views on the subject:

" Des Moines, May 2, 1883.
Dear Stiles: As you value the independence of the judiciary, the integrity of courts and the good name of the State, I hope you will stand as a wall of fire against this most iniquitous clamor that four judges should be outraged and disgraced because they had the 'courage of their convictions.' I do not care about the case, nor the decision, nor how it was decided, but I do care, when it is proposed to appeal from the Court to State Conventions and town meetings. I know your views must be in accord with mine on this subject, and I only write that it may be made the more certain that Wapello County be truly represented. I do not propose that Judge Day shall go down before this unjust whirlwind.
Your friend ever, George G. Wright."

I feel privileged in saying that to this I made the following reply:

" Ottumwa, May 3, 1883.
Dear Judge: Yours relating to Judge Day is received. I cordially endorse its sentiment. To allow the slaughter of Judge Day for performing a duty in accordance with his conscience as a judge and which to have shrunk from would have been moral cowardice, will never do. In my judgment the clamor that certain newspapers have made against, and the opprobrium they have sought to throw upon the judiciary of our State, has done more to corrupt the political morals of our people than anything that has occurred in my time. I propose to stand by Judge Day, and I believe that is the general sentiment here."

Judge Wright was born in Bloomington, Indiana, 1820, and graduated from the University of that State in 1839. He studied law with his brother, Joseph A. Wright, who was at one time, Governor of Indiana, and afterwards United States Minister to Germany. He was admitted to the bar in 1840, and during that year came to and commenced the practice of his profession in Keosauqua. In 1844 he formed a partnership with J. C. Knapp, under the firm name of Wright & Knapp, which continued till his removal to Des Moines in 1865. In 1847 he became Prosecuting Attorney for Van Buren County; in 1848 he was elected to the State Senate and served in that capacity two terms; in the fall of 1850 he was nominated by the Whigs of that district for Congress, but it had a clear Democratic majority, and his opponent, Bernhart Henn, was elected. In 1853, when General George W. Jones was re-elected to the United States Senate, Wright was nominated by the Whig caucus and received the vote of the Whig members of the General Assembly. He was then but thirty-three years of age. In 1855 he was elected as one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the State and served until 1859, but declined a renomination. In the following summer, 1860, however, he was appointed by Governor Kirkwood to fill the vacancy on that bench, occasioned by the death of Judge Stockton. At the end of that term, he was re-elected for a term of six years from the first of January, 1866. In January, 1870, he was elected to the United States Senate for a full term commencing march 4, 1871, in consequence of which he resigned his place on the bench. In the Senate he served on the important committees of judiciary, finance, claims, the revision of the laws and on Civil service and retrenchment. In the performance of these duties, he won a high position in that distinguished body, but at the end of the term, absolutely declined a re-election. He was elected in 1860 President of the State Agricultural Society and served five years in that capacity.

While in Keosauqua, Henry C. Caldwell was added to the firm of Knapp & Wright. While in Des Moines, at the close of his term in the Senate, the judge became a member of the firm of Wright, Gatch & Wright, composed of himself, his son, Thomas S., and Colonel C. H. Gatch. In 1881 the firm was composed of Judge Wright, his sons, Thomas S. and Carroll Wright, and A. B. Cummins, afterward Governor and United States Senator. In the fall of 1865, after he had removed to Des Moines, he, with Judge C. C. Cole, established the first law school west of the Mississippi River. After the first year, Prof. W. G. Hammond, afterward Chancellor of the Law Department of the Washington University of St. Louis, accepted a position with them, giving his entire time to the school. In 1868 the law school was removed to Iowa City, and became the law department of the State University, Judges Wright and Cole becoming law lecturers of the department. He took great interest in this work; his last lecture before the department was in June, 1896, and in it he referred with pathetic eloquence to his co-workers of the past, who had been his associates in laying the foundations of the State. In 1879 he was elected a director in the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company. The State is not only indebted to him for wise decisions moulding its jurisprudence, but for introducing into its early laws beneficent measures that have been enduring. He prepared and introduced both the bills which passed into laws, abolishing imprisonment for debt, and the creation of homestead exemption.

Among the sons of Judge Wright were three who became eminent lawyers. Thomas S. Wright was General Counsel for the C. R. I. & P. Railway Company. He died suddenly, while on a visit to New York some years ago. Craig L. Wright went from Des Moines to Sioux City and formed a partnership with William L. Joy. This firm continued to be one of the strongest legal firms in that part of the State for many years. This son died at Los Angeles in 1915. Carroll Wright, who died many years ago, was the General Attorney from Iowa of the C. R. I. & P. Railway Company.