James H. Lockwood was the pioneer lawyer in Crawford county, he having settled in Prairie du Chien, Sept. 16, 1816, though he did not engage in the practice of law till several years later, being employed in mercantile business in the meantime. He was not only the first to practice law in Crawford county, but the first to be admitted to the bar and the first to practice the profession within the limits of what is now the State of Wisconsin.
In his auto-biographical writings, Lockwood says that Judge Doty held a term of court in Crawford county, in May, 1824. In speaking of his first legal experiences, he further says: "As there were then no attorneys here, and Judge Doty, learning that I had at one time studied law, and had relinquished the profession for mercantile pursuits, suggested that I had better resume the practice of law, and kindly tendered me the use of his library and any instructions I might require, in order to refresh my studies. Not being extensively engaged in business at this time, I availed myself of Judge Doty's suggestions, and studied hard all the following winter and spring. I commenced the practice of the profession, and attended the courts of Brown and Mackinaw, and found no attorneys in Brown. But, he says he found several at Mackinaw, whom he names, and among them Henry S. Baird, who did not move from Mackinaw to Green Bay until September, 1824, and was admitted to practice in Brown county district court on the 4th of October following, that being the first day of the term. Mr. Lockwood, therefore, was not only the first lawyer in the territory now included in Wisconsin, but was the first to practice within what are now the limits of the State."
The subject of this sketch was a native of Peru, Clinton Co., N. Y., and was born Dec. 7, 1793. He came to Mackinaw in the summer of 1815. He went to Green Bay in July, 1816, and came to Prairie du Chien two months later. He filled the office of justice of the peace for a number of years. In the year 1831, he was appointed associate justice of the county court of Crawford county, and held the office until the court was abrogated. He died Aug. 24, 1857.
The early years of Mr. Lockwood's life being passed on a farm, he did not enjoy the advantages of a classical education, but his great innate abilities largely compensated for his lack of scholastic training, so that he was a man of marked characteristics and extraordinary intellectual power. Judge Lockwood's wife, Mrs. Sarah Ann Lockwood, was born June 12, 1803, and died Feb. 12, 1877.
Thomas Pendleton Burnett, one of the very early practicing attorneys in Crawford county, was born in Pittsylvania Co., Va., Sept. 3, 1800. In his early childhood his parents moved to Kentucky, where he was reared on a farm, with very meagre opportunities for obtaining an education. But having a taste and aspirations for the law he improved every facility to study, and in spite of poverty and lack of tutors, he acquired an academic education, read law, was admitted to the bar, and engaged in the practice of his profession in Paris, Ky., where he was elected and served as district attorney. Mr. Burnett took an active part in politics during the presidential campaign between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, on the side of "Old Hickory." President Jackson afterwards recognized his services by appointing him sub-Indian agent, under the agency of J. M. Street, at Prairie du Chien, his appointment, dating Oct. 15, 1829. He arrived and entered upon the duties of his position in June, 1830, at a salary of $500 a year. Besides doing most of the active work of the agency he did something in the law practice, by permission.
In 1834 he severed his connected with the agency and devoted himself entirely to his profession. In January, 1835, he was appointed district attorney for the counties of Crawford, Iowa, Dubuque and Des Moines, but resigned the office the following September. In October, 1835, Mr. Burnett was elected a member of the Territorial Council of Michigan territory, which was to meet at Green Bay, and was chosen its president.
Upon the organization of Wisconsin territory in 1836, Mr. Burnett was appointed district attorney for Crawford county, which he promptly declined upon the receipt of his commission, in December, 1836. On the 29th of the same month he married Lucia M. Brunson, and the next spring moved to Cassville, Grant county. Upon the organization of the territorial supreme court Mr. Burnett was made reporter, and published his first report in 1841. He was elected to the General Assembly from Grant county in 1844; was chosen a member of the first convention, and during its session was summoned home to the bedside of his dying mother and his sick wife. He made the trip, eighty five miles, in a lumber wagon, in a day and night. His mother died November 1. The fatigue and exposure of the twenty-four hours' ride proved too much for Mr. Burnett, and he was taken violently ill, and he breathed his last on Nov. 5, 1846. His wife soon followed him only living three hours after his death. As a lawyer, Wisconsin has furnished few peers of Thomas Pendleton Burnett. He possessed a broad, analytical mind, and devoted his large capabilities and energies assiduously to his profession. He first mastered his case, and then presented it with a clearness and logical force that carried conviction with his arguments.
James B. Dallam came to Prairie du Chien in 1827. He had been reading law before he came to Crawford county, but had not been admitted to the bar. He engaged in clerking for a sutler in Fort Crawford, after his arrival in Prairie du Chien, and subsequently was sutler in Capt. Dead's company. He went to Florida and was killed there by the Indians.
O. B. Thomas is the oldest member of the bar of Crawford county, now resident of the county, having been in practice here twenty-six years. Mr. Thomas is the son of John and Caroline C. Thomas, and was born in Bennington Co., Vt., Aug. 21, 1832. He came to Prairie du Chien when four years of age (1836) in company with his parents. He received his literary education at the common schools, and then took a regular course at the National Law School, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and graduated in 1856. He returned to Prairie du Chien, and entered upon the practice of his profession in 1857. He raised a company for the late war and was commissioned captain of company D. 31st regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served three years. During this time he was with his company and regiment in all battles participated in by them. He was elected district attorney of Crawford county, in an early day, was re-elected and served several terms. He was elected as a republican to represent Crawford county in the State Legislature and served during the years 1862-5-7. He was a presidential elector on the republican ticket in 1872. He was elected to the State senate for the term of 1880-1, and served on important committees, was admitted to the supreme court of the State in 1860, and to the United States courts the same year. He has an extensive practice throughout the State, and is justly ranked as one of the leading attorneys of Wisconsin. In 1876, he formed a law partnership with Mr. C. S. Fuller, at Prairie du Chien, under the firm name of Thomas & Fuller, which has been continued to the present time. Mr. Thomas was married at Prairie du Chien in June, 1875 to Sarah, daughter of Samuel Rosencrantz. Mrs. Thomas is a native of Grant county, Wisconsin. They have two children --- John, aged four years, and Carrie, aged two years.
Charles Learned located in Prairie du Chien and commenced the practice of law in 1838. After continuing in active practice a number of years, was appointed county judge, in which capacity he officiated eight years. After retiring from office he resumed his profession, and some years later removed to Dubuque, Iowa, and died there.
P. R. Brace settled in Prairie du Chien about 1839. He engaged in the practice of law a number of years in Crawford county, and subsequently removed up north, somewhere in Minnesota, where he died not long after.
D. G. Fenton settled in Prairie du Chien in 1840 and commenced the practice of law. Several years afterwards he was elected clerk of the United States district and circuit territorial court, and held the office a number of years. He was subsequently elected county judge to succeed Learned. At the expiration of his first term he was re-elected, and died while in office.
Leander Leclerc was a French Canadian, who came from the Dominion and settled in Prairie du Chien in 1842. He brought a stock of goods with him, and engaged in the mercantile business several years after his arrival. Having a partiality for the legal profession he read law, and served a number of years as justice of the peace. In 1852 he was elected sheriff of Crawford county, serving one term of two years. Subsequently he devoted his attention to the practice of law. Mr. Leclerc was not a great lawyer, but he was a man of great industry and energy and worked into quite an extensive practice, especially in the lower courts. He married before leaving Canada, and had a family of three daughters and one son. He died Sept. 14, 1872.
Wiram Knowlton, one of Wisconsin's eminent lawyers practiced first in Grant county, then in Crawford. In the chapter of this history entitled "The Courts --- Past and Present," will be found a more extended biographical notice of Judge Knowlton.
Buel E. Hutchinson, who held a prominent place in the bar of Crawford county for fifteen years, is a native of Jefferson Co., N. Y., born Nov. 26, 1829. He received an academic education, studied law and came west, settling in Prairie du Chien, Wis., in 1848, where he pursued the practice of his profession until he removed to Madison, in 1863, save while in the Legislature and in the army. He was elected district attorney for Crawford county in 1857 for the term of two years. He was elected to the General Assembly of Wisconsin in 1857 and to the State Senate from the thirtieth district in 1860-1.
In August, 1861, Mr. Hutchinson entered the army as commissary, with the rank of captain, and remained in the service with Gen's. Curtis and Steele's commands until September, 1863. Since that time he has resided in Madison; and, in 1879, represented the capital county in the Legislature, being elected by a large majority over two competitors, a democrat and a greenbacker. He is now (1884) receiver in the land office at Aberdeen, Dak.
Willard Merrill arrived in Crawford county in 1856, and in July of that year settled down to the practice of law as a partner of Buel E. Hutchinson. Mr. Merrill was born at Rome, N. Y., Jan. 16, 1831. He was graduated from Amherst College, in Massachusetts, in 1854, and studied law at the Poughkeepsie law school. He was admitted to practice in the supreme court at Watertown, April 1, 1856. He came to Prairie du Chien shortly afterward, and during the succeeding four years struggled manfully to place himself among the prominent attorneys of Crawford county. In April, 1860, he removed to Janesville, Wis., and opened a law office, where he continued to practice until his removal to Milwaukee in Jan. 1873. He was a member of the lower branch of the State Legislature in 1871. In the fall of 1870, and after his election to the Assembly, he was appointment a member of the joint-Legislative committee, whose duty it was to visit and examine into the condition of the penal and benevolent institutions of the State. In the spring of 1871, he was appointed a member of the State board of charities and reform, which position he satisfactorily filled until 1874, when business matters prevented the proper discharge of his duties on the board, and he resigned. On Jan. 1, 1868, he had formed a law partnership with Hon. J. B. Cassoday, now associate justice on the bench of the supreme court. This partnership continued until his removal to Milwaukee in January, 1873. He then accepted the position of secretary to the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, which office he filled until his promotion, in December, 1881, to the position of superintendent of the agencies. In the summer of 1880 Mr. Merrill was elected president of the Amherst College Allumni Association, and presided at their annual meeting during commencement week, on the 30th of June, 1880. He is at present a trustee of Ripon College, of Wisconsin, also filling similar positions on the official board of the Milwaukee Female College and the University of Milwaukee, the latter of which is struggling to rise from its inceptive limits. Mr. Merrill has been a member of the Presbyterian denomination for the past thirty years, and politically is a radical republican. While practicing at the bar, his legal talents were unquestioned, and as an advocate he was able and meritorious. His gentlemanly qualifications endear him to a host of friends, and, to use his own expression, "my life has been uneventful, but very pleasant."
Hiram A. Wright was admitted to the bar of Crawford county, after examination, on May 6, 1851.
Benjamin Bull came from Grant Co., Wis., and settled in Prairie du Chien in 1852, at once engaging in the practice of law. He was actively connected with the bar of Crawford county a quarter of a century. Mr. Bull was a native of Virginia, born in Harper's Ferry, Jan. 1, 1798. He came with his parents to Xenia, Ohio, was there educated, and read law and was admitted to the bar. In 1824, he went to Martinsville, Ind., and remained there until 1848, most of the time in active practice. He took somewhat of an active part in politics as a member of the old whig party, and held several local offices among which was probate judge. Coming west, he settled a few months in Mineral Point, then went to Grant county, practised law as a partner with Col. A. Cobb, while there, and from thence removed to Prairie du Chien. Mr. Bull was elected to the State senate from this district in 1865, and served two years in that body. He continued to ply himself to his profession until his death, Jan. 23, 1879. He married Miss Elenor Garrison, in Indiana. They were the parents of ten children, four of whom are residents of Crawford county.
Daniel H. Johnson located in Prairie du Chien about 1845, a young man fresh from an Illinois college, and engaged in teaching school, and studying law in the meantime. When prepared to pass an examination he was admitted to the bar in Crawford county, and commenced the practice of law. Some time previous to 1854 he began writing articles for the columns of the Prairie du Chien Courier, and in that year he purchased an interest in the paper, and assumed the editorship of it during his connection with it, which only continued a year or two. He carried on the practice of his profession at the same time and, being a man of remarkably retentive memory and extraordinary innate ability, he soon attained a prominent place in the bar of the county. In 1860-61 he was a member of the General Assembly from Crawford county, and during the war was appointed assistant attorney general of Wisconsin. Mr. Johnson moved to Milwaukee soon after the war closed, where he still resides and pursues his profession. He has filled several city offices, among them city attorney, and represented that city in the Legislature in 1867-8 and in 1870-1. He ranks among the first lawyers of the State.
Jeremiah N. Kast was admitted to practice as an attorney in 1878, and resides at Bell Center. He has been a resident of Haney township since 1832. He was born in Medina Co., Ohio, Dec. 2, 1834. He moved with his father, Chancy Kast, to Scott township, Feb. 8, 1850. He enlisted Aug. 18, 1862, in company D, 31st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served until December, 1863, when he was discharged for disability. He was severely injured while in the war, losing three fingers of his left hand. Mr. Kast has been twice chairman of the township board, and has served fifteen years as justice of the peace. In 1868 he turned his attention to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar at Prairie du Chien in 1878. He has been engaged in practice since that time. Mr. Kast has been married three times. His first wife was Elendar Jane Webb, to whom he was married March 23, 1853. She was a daughter of Peter M. Webb, and born in Illinois in 1834. She died June 20, 1874. His second wife was Mary L. Stantorf, also born in Illinois, in 1856. She died Oct. 30, 1878. His present wife was Emily Brickner, born in Haney township, in 1856. Mr. Kast had twelve children by his first wife; two by his second marriage, and a son and daughter by his present wife.
Andrew C. Phillips came from Maine, his native State, to Prairie du Chien, in about 1855, and practiced in the courts of Crawford county until 1857, when he returned to Maine, after which he was appointed United States consul to Fort Erie, Canada. He since came west again, and now lives in Sioux Falls, Dak.
John Johnston settled in Prairie du Chien, and practiced law several years along in the fifties. He was a man of fine education and abilities, but of a modest and retiring disposition, which operated somewhat against his success as a lawyer. He moved south somewhere in Illinois, and report says he abandoned the law and entered the ministry.
Walter R. Bullock, a nephew of Gen. J. C. Breckenridge, came from Kentucky to Prairie du Chien in 1856, and, entering into partnership with D. H. Johnson and B. T. Hunt, under the firm name of Johnson, Bullock & Hunt, opened a law office. He continued in practice until 1860, when he went south and entered the confederate army and was made an aid-de-camp on Gen. Breckenridge's military staff. After the close of the war he settled in the city of Baltimore, and there practiced law till his death, which occurred several years ago.
A. V. Blair, a New York State man, located in Prairie du Chien in the practice of law about 1856, and remained there some five years. He was a very fluent talker, but only a fair lawyer. Prior to the beginning of the war he moved away, and from the best information obtainable went off south. Sometime along in the fifties, while he was practicing law in Prairie du Chien, a band of river pirates traveled up and down the Mississippi, having their own boats, robbing and pillaging the towns along its course. Among the places visited by the marauders was Prairie du Chien, where considerable property was stolen. The citizens of the place, and other towns in the vicinity to which the thieves had paid nocturnal visits, were greatly excited and indignant over the matter, and banding together for the purpose, hunted down and arrested some twenty-five of the supposed members of the gang of outlaws. The prisoners were brought to Prairie du Chien. An impromptu court was organized, a jury summoned, and they were tried; and, although there was no evidence showing the guilt of the prisoners, about a dozen of the most suspicious characters among them were convicted, on general principles, and sentenced by the court to castigation of from five to twenty-five blows upon their naked backs, and to have their heads shaved. The verdict of the mock court was promptly executed by the excited mob, which numbered nearly 1,000 men. One desperate fellow of the gang of culprits swore he would burn the town of Prairie du Chien, and would wreak his vengeance upon the citizens. Mr. Blair had been prominent in the whole transaction, and acted as attorney for the prosecution in the trial. He treasured up the threat of the desperado, and so firmly believed it would be carried out, that he repeatedly told Mr. O. B. Thomas and others he was almost afraid to go out upon the streets after nightfall, lest he should be assassinated. Mr. Thomas, who has a keen appreciation of a good joke, thought he would test Mr. Blair's courage. Their offices, in which they slept, joined, and one dark night, quite late, Mr. Thomas slipped out of the back door and procuring a heavy billet of wood, slammed it against Blair's rear door, shouting at the same time, in disguised voice to Blair, to come forth; that he had come to be avenged for his punishment received at the hands of the mob in which he --- Blair --- was so prominent an actor, and the next breath began to give orders to his imaginary comrades to surround the building. Blair was so terribly frightened that notwithstanding he had two loaded guns in his room for self protection, as he had boasted, he bounded out of bed with a scream, and, without stopping to investigate or to even put on a single additional article of clothing, rushed out of the front door and down stairs, and, hatless, pantless and shoeless ran for dear life, never halting till he reached the residence of Mr. Thomas' father, several blocks distant. There he related his blood-curdling experience and hair-breadth escape from the midnight assassins. The senior Thomas dressed himself, and, arming themselves to the teeth, he and Blair returned to investigate the whereabouts of the would-be murderers. Meantime young Thomas quietly returned to his room, and when aroused by his father and Blair from a feigned sound sleep, he affected great surprise at what had passed, and sympathized deeply with the victim of the burglarious attack. Thomas never let the joke out until after Blair left the place.
B. T. Hunt was a native of Ohio, and though a man of limited education, he possessed great natural powers and resources which earned for him a high rank as a lawyer. As an advocate his arguments were logical and convincing, and his eloquence, which was of the Tom Corwin style, captivating and irresistible. Mr. Hunt came to Prairie du Chien, and began the practice of law, as a member of the firm of Johnson, Bullock, & Hunt, in 1857, and after remaining three years, he removed to Elkader, Clayton Co., Iowa, in 1860. He was there elected circuit judge, and filled the office one term, after which he resumed the legal profession until his death, several years ago.
Rufus King located in Prairie du Chien and began the practice of law in the courts of Crawford county in 1857, and continued until the War of the Rebellion broke out. He then entered the army as quartermaster of the 31st regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving through the war. Soon after returning home, he went to Chicago, and is still practicing his profession in that city. Mr. King is an amiable gentleman and a lawyer of clever ability.
Edward Lowry, who was one of the most brilliant lawyers ever connected with the bar of Crawford county, was a native of Vermont, from whence he emigrated to Wisconsin and settled in Lancaster, where he engaged in the practice of law some ten or twelve years, at the end of which time he removed to Prairie du Chien, about 1860. After practicing his profession some three or four years, he recruited a company of volunteers and went into the army as its captain. While in the service he contracted a disease from the effect of which he died soon after coming home. His family now reside in Lancaster, Wis., where one of his sons is engaged in the law practice.
Daniel Webster settled here in 1860. He was born Sept. 4, 1844, in McGrawville, Cortland Co., N. Y., and is the son of Mansel and Lucinda Webster. In 1851 he removed with his parents to Galena, Ill., where he spent his boyhood days. In 1857 he went to Allamakee Co., Iowa, where he began the study of law. In 1860 he came to Prairie du Chien, pursuing his studies there. He enlisted in May, 1864, in company C, 134th regiment Illinois Volunteers, 100 day service, and served the term of enlistment. On his return from the war Mr. Webster resumed his law studies, being admitted, in 1868, to practice in the circuit court of Crawford Co., Wis., in 1871 to the district and circuit courts of Iowa, and, in 1882, to the supreme court of Wisconsin. In 1876 Mr. Webster formed a partnership with his brother, M. M. Webster, for the practice of law, which partnership continued until the death of his brother, which occurred Oct. 16, 1881. Mr. Webster has since continued the practice alone. He was elected police justice of the city of Prairie du Chien in 1880 and 1881, being re-elected in 1883. Mr. Webster was married April 13, 1871, to Maggie, daughter of William Dunlap, born in Pittsburgh, Penn. They have had four children, three of whom are living --- Gertrude, aged eleven years; Maud, aged five years; and Daniel Jr. Edith died in infancy.
L. F. S. Viele came in 1862. He is a son of Stephen S. and Caroline Mary (Lum) Viele, and was born in Seneca Falls, N. Y. He received his education at Seneca Falls academy and at Hamilton College, and was preceptor of Seneca Falls academy. He studied law in his father's office, at Seneca Falls, and on admission to the bar entered into partnership with him in the practice of law. Mr. Viele went to Boscobel, Wis., in February, 1862, where he opened a law office, continuing in practice until October of that year at which time he came to Prairie du Chien, and established himself in practice at this place. He was elected district attorney of Crawford county in the fall of 1862, and served from January, 1863, to January, 1865. In April, 1865, he was elected justice of the peace, being re-elected each term since and having served in that capacity eighteen years. The greater part of that time he has held the offices of notary, circuit court commissioner, and United States court commissioner. In 1867, in addition to his legal business, he accepted the agency of certain insurance companies, both fire and life, and has worked up an extensive business in both, and is a thorough business man in every sense of the term.
Dealton Tichnor lived and practiced law in the justice's courts in Lynxville, in Crawford county, but never practiced in the higher courts. He went into the army during the late war, and died there.
William Dutcher located in Prairie du Chien, in the practice of law, in 1863, and was an active member of the Crawford county bar for about twelve years. During his residence here he filled a number of local offices; was elected district attorney to fill a vacancy, and re-elected for a full term. He moved to Boscobel, Grant county, a number of years ago, where he is still practising law as a member of the firm of Brooks & Dutcher. Mr. Dutcher is a fine lawyer, and a very genial, companionable man. He possesses such a keen sense of the ludicrous and his mental composition so bubbles over with humor, that he never loses an opportunity to play a joke on his best friend, not even allowing his own family to escape. His co-practitioners at the bar relate many very laughable anecdotes of contests of wit, in which his antagonist generally came out second best.
Joseph Wilcox came to Prairie du Chien about 1865, and practiced law two or three years, and was elected district attorney, but resigned and moved away before his term of office expired, because of charges of corruption in office. He subsequently settled somewhere in Iowa.
David Noggle moved to Prairie du Chien from Janesville, Wis., in 1865, and practiced law in Crawford county two years, at the end of which time he removed back to Janesville, and was soon after appointed United States district judge of the territory of Idaho. His health failed under the exposure of frontier life and the duties of his office, and he resigned, and returned to Janesville, but he never rallied, and died with softening of the brain a year or two after coming back to Wisconsin. Judge Noggle possessed a large and powerful physique and a massive brain; and, although he had but a limited literary education, he was a brilliant orator and a very able advocate. He was a man of strong impulses and decided convictions, and hence was a steadfast friend and a bitter enemy.
Peter Doyle was born at Myshall, county Carlow, Ireland, Dec. 8, 1844. When he was six years old his parents came to the State of Wisconsin and settled at Franklin, Milwaukee county, his father engaging at first in farming and afterward in mercantile pursuits. He also held several local offices. Mr. Doyle's first lessons were received at home; and at the common school in Franklin he acquired a knowledge of the ordinary English branches. Subsequently he pursued a collegiate course. He spent a short time in the office of the clerk of the United States district court in Milwaukee, and in 1863 entered in the law office of Butler & Cottrill in that city, intending to make law his profession. Having spent about two years in the study of law, Mr. Doyle taught school for a short time in Milwaukee, and then, having been offered an acceptable position in a railway office at Prairie du Chien, removed to that place in July, 1865, with the intention of remaining there for awhile and then resuming legal studies. Business arrangements at Prairie du Chien, however, proving satisfactory, he continued there until his election as secretary of State in 1873.
In the spring of 1872 the subject of this sketch was nominated by the democratic city convention as first mayor of the city of Prairie du Chien, but he declined to accept, not desiring to enter political life. In the fall of the same year he was elected to the Assembly from Crawford county, and in the Legislature of 1873 took an active part in the discussion of many of the important measures of the session. In September of the same year he was nominated for the position of secretary of State by the reform convention held in Milwaukee, and was elected at the ensuing election. In November, 1875, he was re-elected.
The Milwaukee News, one of the leading papers of the State, in refering to his re-election, and the manner in which he had performed the duties of his office, used the following language. "No man has ever occupied the department of the secretary of the State, who has displayed a better knowledge of its duties, or greater ability and honesty in their discharge, than have characterized the Hon. Peter Doyle. Though comparatively a young man, being but a little over thirty years of age, he shows a maturity and wisdom in his action upon public affairs which give the impression of his being a much older man than he really is; and his official conduct has the discretion, the dignity and sobriety which belong to advanced years. He is a thorough man of business, a well read lawyer, and a scholar of ripe acquirements. He is really one of the ablest men in public life in the State. His reports and the part which he has taken in the administration of the State finances are evidences of the thorough fitness and great capacity which he brought into the office. The rigor with which he discharges all the duties which the law places upon him, and the laborious care which he bestows on not only the larger, but the minor details of business, are such as have not been surpassed even by the most industrious and experienced of his predecessors.
Politically, Mr. Doyle is a democrat, but is liberal in his views, making party interests subordinate to those of the State and country. He first engaged actively in political affairs after the nomination of Horace Greeley for the presidency in 1872, and worked untiringly in his behalf. He favors the largest degree of personal liberty consistent with the welfare of society, and is strenuously opposed to interference by the State in matters pertaining to individual right or private conscience.
In religion, Mr. Doyle is a Catholic, this having been the faith of his parents.
Mr. Doyle is upward of six feet in height, of well developed form, and is capable of enduring much physical and mental labor. He is dignified in appearance and deportment, but is modest and unassuming, and has a high appreciation of real merit. He deliberates carefully and acts with promptness, energy and decision. Sincere and honest in his convictions, and earnest in the advocacy of his principles, he looks only to that which he believes to be right, disregarding mere expediency. He is a forcible writer and speaker, is clear in his views, logical in argument, and classical in style. He is fond of poetry, and is familiar with many of the works of the English and German poets, as well as the ancient classical authors. He appreciates highly the society of literary friends, and devotes his leisure hours mainly to literary pursuits. He is unmarried." Mr. Doyle, though a resident of Prairie du Chien since 1865, and a member of the Wisconsin bar has never been an active practitioner in the profession.
Andrew Huntington came to Prairie du Chien in 1865, and forming a partnership with David Noggle, began the practice of law. After two years of active connection with the Crawford county bar, he left here, and after some changes finally settled in Green Bay, and is there practicing his profession. Mr. Huntington is an estimable gentleman and a brilliant lawyer, ranking among the first of the bar in the State.
Thomas L. Redlon settled at Belle Center, Crawford county, and commenced the practice of law immediately after the close of the late civil war, he having been in the United States service. He remained and practiced some eight or ten years.
Myron Mansel Webster, was a New York State man, born in McGrawville, Jan. 18, 1836, where he received his early education. In youth he came west and studied law with H. B. McGinnis, at Galena, Ill., and was admitted to the bar at the district court in Allamakee, Iowa, in July 1857, and later to the supreme court of Iowa. After ten years of active practice in Allamakee, Mr. Webster moved to Prairie du Chien, arriving Nov. 1, 1867. He was soon after admitted to the bar of Crawford county, and to practice in the State and United States courts. He devoted himself studiously to his profession until his death in October, 1881. In professional life Mr. Webster was a pains-taking, energetic and conscientious attorney, and was one of the ablest and brightest lawyers ever connected with the Crawford county bar. Socially and in business life he was a man of irreproachable character, and hence commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him. At a meeting of the Crawford county bar, held for the purpose, soon after his decease, resolutions were passed embodying very flattering encomiums on his life and character. These were spread upon the court records and publish-in the local press.
S. S. Ferrell was admitted to the bar of Crawford county, in 1871, on examination by a committee consisting of Wm. Dutcher, O. B. Thomas and G. C. Hazleton. Mr. Ferrell read law in Iowa county. He has never practiced his profession. His biography will be found in another chapter. He resides in Marietta.
J. N. Kast was born in Medina Co., Ohio, Dec. 2, 1833. He was educated in the place of his birth. Mr. Kast was admitted to the bar in Crawford county at the November term of the circuit court, 1871, and has practiced in the courts of this county, Grant, Richland, Vernon and Iowa counties. He resides at Belle Center.
Hon. Charles S. Fuller, county judge of Crawford county, and a member of the firm of Thomas & Fuller, attorneys at law, is the son of Charles and Celestia Fuller. He was born in Crawford Co., Penn., June 30, 1849. When four years of age he came to Wisconsin with his parents, locating in Dane county. He was educated at the State University at Madison, and graduated from the law department in June, 1875. He soon after came to Prairie du Chien, and after six months' practice formed a law partnership with O. B. Thomas, one of the leading lawyers of the State, under the firm name of Thomas & Fuller. This connection has continued for seven years. Thomas & Fuller have a practice extending throughout the State and in the higher courts. Mr. Fuller is the present efficient superintendent of city schools, having been elected to that office in July, 1883. He was married in Windsor, Dane Co., Wis., June 19, 1877, to Clara, daughter of Edward Espenett. She was born in Alton, Ill. They have three children, two boys and one girl --- Ada S., Herbert S. and Charles E. On Sept. 1, 1883, Mr. Fuller was appointed by Gov. Rusk county judge of Crawford county, to succeed Judge Ira B. Brunson, deceased, and now occupies that position.
J. B. Walton, of Wheatville, is an Englishman by nativity, born in Birmingham in 1826, and there received a common school education. After emigrating to this country he studied law in Madison, Wis.; was admitted to the bar in the circuit court of Crawford county in 1877, in Prairie du Chien. In 1868 and 1869 he held the office of county surveyor in Crawford county. In 1876 and 1877 he served as deputy clerk of the circuit court, and in 1877 filled the office of court commissioner.
Alpheus E. Frank studied law and was admitted to the bar in Crawford county in 1875. He opened a law office in Prairie du Chien and commenced practice. The following fall he was elected district attorney and served one term of two years. Soon after his retirement from that office he moved to Deadwood, Dak., where he still resides, engaged in the practice of his profession.
George Mills, son of ex-Judge Joseph T. Mills, of Lancaster, Wis., located in Prairie du Chien about 1875. He was an active member of the Crawford county bar until 1880, and then went to Lake City, Col., where he is pursuing his profession.
William H. Evans, district attorney of Crawford county, has resided here since 1877. He is a native of Petersburg, Va., born Nov. 3, 1842, and the son of Joseph and Mary (Hall) Evans. His father was a mechanic, and, in pursuit of more favorable locations for business, changed his residence from time to time to several of the larger cities in the south and west. William H. received a common school education, and in 1860 came to Clayton, Crawford Co., Wis. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in company D, 31st Wisconsin Infantry. He received a gunshot wound in a skirmish before Atlanta, July 30, 1864, but continued in the service until the expiration of his term of enlistment. He began the study of law at Clayton, Wis., and was admitted to the bar in the circuit court at Prairie du Chien, in May, 1873. He practiced law at Clayton with marked success until January, 1877, when, having been elected district attorney at the preceding election, he removed to Prairie du Chien, the better to discharge the duties of his office. Mr. Evans has been elected to the same office three times since, and is now serving his fourth term. He was elected, on the democratic ticket, to represent Crawford county in the General Assembly of 1873-4. He has won his way into the front ranks of his profession in the county, and now enjoys a lucrative practice. Mr. Evans was married in May, 1867, at Rising Sun, Wis., to Mary J., daughter of Michael and Catharine Flannagan. She was born in Ireland, emigrating to the United States, with her parents, in childhood. Mr. and Mrs. Evans have seven children, five sons and two daughters --- Joseph P., William M., Frederick J., Mary E., Francis, Catharine E. and Charles P.
G. L. Miller, attorney at law and collection agent, De Soto, Wis., was born in Steuben Co., Ind., March 28, 1848. He completed his literary education at the Wisconsin State University; read law and was admitted to the bar in1877, since which time he has been practicing in Crawford and Vernon counties. Mr. Miller was elected county superintendent of schools of Crawford county in 1876, serving two years. In 1882 he was elected sergeant-at-arms of the house in the Wisconsin General Assembly.
T. B. Ward is a resident of Soldier's Grove, Clayton town, and has been engaged in the law practice since May, 1878, which was the date of his admission to the bar, by Judge Cothren, in Prairie du Chien. Mr. Ward was elected justice of the peace in 1877, and chosen town clerk in 1878. He was born in Rockford, Ill., Sept. 8, 1853.
S. C. McClure, of the town of Eastman, has been admitted to the bar of Crawford county; so, also, M. E. Norris, of the city of Prairie du Chien.
Prof. Thomas Nyhan practiced law in Prairie du Chien for some time; but afterward removed out of the county.
Charles H. Speck, register of deeds of Crawford county, is the son of Frederick and Louisa Speck, and was born Oct. 9, 1854, in Milwaukee, Wis. He came with his parents to Crawford county in 1860, who settled in Eastman township, where Charles H. was reared on a farm. In 1876, while feeding a threshing machine, his right arm was drawn into the cylinder and crushed nearly to the elbow, causing amputation of the arm. In 1878 he engaged in the insurance business, also dealing in farm machinery. He was elected town clerk of Eastman, and served three years. In the fall of 1880, Mr. Speck was elected for the term beginning Jan. 1, 1881, to his present office, and being re-elected in the fall of 1882, is now serving his second term. Mr. Speck was married in Eastman, Oct. 1, 1878, to Charlotte, daughter of Mark Ingle, born in Canada. They have two children --- Benjamin F. and Ettie L.
Alexander M. Beach, sheriff of Crawford Co., Wis., is the son of Justus and Salina (Borah) Beach, and was born Oct. 1, 1834, in Wayne Co., Ill. He was reared on a farm. When twenty years of age he came to Wisconsin, spending three years in various localities in the State; after which he settled on a farm in Eastman township, this county, and engaged in farming. In 1861 he enlisted as a private in company F, 8th regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, known as the "Live Eagle" regiment. He was promoted to first sergeant of his company, serving three years and one month. During that time he engaged in all the battles and skirmishes in which his regiment took part, including twelve battles and twenty-five minor engagements and skirmishes. His service was in the western army under Gen's. Grant and Sherman. On his return from the army Mr. Beach resumed farming at the old place, in Eastman town, continuing until 1868, when he sold out and engaged in merchandizing at Eastman. In the fall of 1882 he was elected sheriff of Crawford county, and moved to Prairie du Chien, entering upon the duties of his office Jan. 1, 1883. On Jan. 1st, 1884, he became a partner in the printing and publishing business of the Prairie du Chien Union, by purchase of the business interest of Mr. T. W. Lacy. Mr. Beach was married Sept. 28, 1858, to Angeline, daughter of John Ellis. She is a native of Maine. They have had three children --- E. J., Nettie and H. Walter.
Aaron Denio, clerk of Crawford county, and son of Aaron and Sarah (Fitzgerald) Denio, was born Jan. 9, 1825, in Grand Isle Co., Vt. When twelve years of age he removed with his parents to St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., where he was brought up on a farm. He pursued the occupation of a farmer in the summer, and taught school during the winter months, until 1855, when he removed to Prairie du Chien, Wis. He was here employed as a teacher, and subsequently as a clerk in a forwarding and commission house. Mr. Denio enlisted Aug. 11, 1862, in company D, 31st regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Before leaving the State, he was appointed commissary sergeant, and was subsequently made quarter-master sergeant, serving three years. On his return from the war he was employed for three years and a half as clerk in the county treasurer's office. In 1870 he was elected county treasurer, re-elected in 1872 and 1874, defeated in 1876 and again elected in 1878, serving 1879 and 1880. In 1882 he was elected to the office he now holds, for the term of 1883 and 1884. Mr. Denio, although a republican in politics, has been elected in a democratic county with very flattering majorities. He was married in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., Jan. 8, 1853, to Melinda Fitzgerald. Two children were born to them --- Mary Adell and William A. Mrs. Denio died in April, 1875. Mr. Denio married, Dec. 1, 1879, in Franklin county, Mrs. Salena A. Matthews, widow of Andrew Matthews, and daughter of Francis Nevin. Mrs. Denio was born in St. Lawrence Co., N. Y.
Henry Otto, treasurer of Crawford county, and mayor of the city of Prairie du Chien, was born in Rhine-province, Bavaria, Feb. 27, 1831. He is the son of Peter and Sarah Otto, being educated in Bavaria, and learning the carpenter trade. He emigrated to the United States in 1849, locating at Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent four years working at his trade. He then returned to his native country, remaining but one year, and in 1854, returning to Cleveland. In 1855 he came to Prairie du Chien, Wis., and the following year, April, 1856, was married to Anna B., daughter of Phillip Hoffman, born in Monroe county, Illinois. Immediately after marriage Mr. Otto engaged in hotel keeping at Prairie du Chien, which business he continued until May, 1882. Mr. Otto served several years as alderman and as a member of the school board. In 1880 he was elected treasurer of Crawford county, served one term of two years, was re-elected in 1882, and is now serving his second term. He was elected mayor of the city of Prairie du Chien at the municipal election of 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Otto have had nine children, six of whom are living --- Henry, August M., Annie F. E., Emma P., Ottilie and Nettie. Phillipina died, aged five years; George P. died, aged one year; Sarah died aged three years.
Will G. Campbell, clerk of the circuit court of Crawford county, is a son of Peter and Isabella Campbell, and was born near Lancaster, Grant Co., Wis., Jan. 27, 1856. His parents are natives of Scotland and emigrated to America in 1851. The father was of highland and the mother of lowland birth. Will G. was raised on his father's farm and was educated at the Boscobel High School, completing the course of studies in that institution. He began teaching when quite young, and has taught sixteen terms, all within an area of three townships of Crawford county. He came to Crawford county with his parents in 1857, who located in Marietta township. Mr. Campbell was elected to the office of town clerk --- the first time when just of age --- four terms; town treasurer one term, and on the 7th of November, 1882, he was elected by the democrats to the office which he now holds.