William C. Mentzer

    Judge William C. Mentzer, who is occupying the bench of the first Wyoming judicial district, to which position he was called in 1913 for a six years' term, was born near Warsaw, Indiana, October 13, 1867, a son of Cyrus and Nancy (Erb) Mentzer. The father was a farmer by occupation but has now passed away. The mother, however, is still living. In their family were three sons and two daughters, of whom William C. was the youngest.
    The family removed to Iowa during the early childhood of William C. Mentzer, who there pursued his education in the public schools of Pleasantville until after he had completed the high school course. He then entered Drake University in preparation for the bar and was graduated at Des Moines with the LL. B. degree as a member of the class of 1896. He also won the LL. B. degree from the University of Nebraska in 1895. He located for the practice of law in Knoxville, Iowa, in 1896 and there remained an active representative of the profession for twelve years, or until 1908. At the time of the Spanish-American war his spirit of loyalty and patriotism was aroused and he responded to the country's call for troops, becoming a second lieutenant of the Fifty-first-Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in which command he was promoted to the rank of captain and regimental adjutant. He saw active service in the Philippines and thus rendered valuable aid to his country. When his military assistance was no longer needed he returned to the United States.
    Mr. Mentzer then again took up his abode in Knoxville, Iowa, where he remained in active practice until 1908, when he removed westward to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and became a member of the firm of Donzelmann, Kinkead & Mentzer, which firm ranked with the most prominent attorneys of the west. Later he practiced as a member of the firm of Kinkead & Mentzer, enjoying a most liberal clientage. He has always been careful to conform his practice to a high standard of professional ethics, never seeking to lead the court astray in a matter of fact or law, nor endeavoring at any time to withhold from it the knowledge of any fact appearing in the records. He has ever treated the court with the studied courtesy that is its due and never has he indulged in malicious criticism of the jury because it arrived at a conclusion in the decision of a case different from that which he hoped to hear. Calm, dignified, self-controlled, he gives to his clients a service of great talent, unwearied industry and rare learning, but he never forgets that there are certain things due to the court, to his own self-respect and, above all, to justice and a righteous administration of the law which neither the zeal of an advocate nor the pleasure of success permit him to disregard.
    At times Mr. Mentzer has been called upon for important public service. He acted as clerk of the committee on military affairs in the national house of representatives at Washington in 1897 and 1898, save for the period of his active service in the Spanish-American war. In 1900 he was county attorney of Marion county, Iowa, and from 1900 until 1902 was city attorney of Knoxville, Iowa. Following his removal to Cheyenne he concentrated his attention upon the private practice of his profession until 1912, when he was elected judge of the first judicial district of Wyoming and has since sat upon the bench, his term of office extending to 1919.
    On the 18th of November, 1902, Mr. Mentzer was united in marriage to Miss Maude Gilson, of Knoxville, Iowa, and to them have been born two children, Frances and William C, Jr.
    Mr. Mentzer is a republican, always giving stalwart support to the party because of his firm belief in its principles. He belongs to Phi Delta Theta, a college fraternity, and to Phi Delta Phi, a legal fraternity. He has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite in Masonry, belonging to Wyoming Consistory. No. 1, at Cheyenne, and he is also connected with the Woodmen of the World. His religious faith is indicated in his membership in the Presbyterian church. He is fond of various phases of outdoor life, particularly of horseback riding and of golf, but has had few leisure hours in which to indulge his taste along those lines. His vacations are largely spent on his Wyoming ranch, where he engages in raising beef cattle. He has, however, felt that his law duties demand the greater part of his time and attention, and in this connection he has achieved high distinction which he well deserves.

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