Among those who have practiced before the courts of Richland county in the past, and who have been resident lawyers, were the following: John J Moreland, A C Eastland, J W Coffinberry (or C Bre), A P Thompson, E M Sexton, Byron W Telfair, Josiah McCaskey, D B Priest, William F Crawford, Amos Nudd, Charles G Rodolf, John S Wilson, Lawrence Van Dusen, C D Stewart, W C Wright, W S Black, James Lewis, E C Wulfing, George Jarvis and A E Stroud.
Among others who have been members of the bar, but not actively engaged in the practice of law, were: William McFarland, W H Downs, Josephus Downs, Ira S Haseltine, Hascal Haseltine, George C Wright, A B Slaughter, Robert Akan, G W Hadder, D S Hamilton, C D Bellville, Le Roy D Gage, R R Hamilton, W F Hart, E Livingston and E C Hammond.
All of the early settlers agree that John J Moreland was the first lawyer to locate within the limits of Richland county. Mr. Moreland came here from Indiana as early as 1850, and settled at Richmond (now Orion). He was one of the first prosecuting attorneys of the county, and remained at Richmond until 1853, when he moved to the northeastern part of Iowa. Mr. Moreland claimed to have been in practice prior to coming here. He was not a man of education by any means, but was possessed of good natural ability and tact, and while here he had his share of the practice before justice courts. His present whereabouts are unknown, not having been heard from since the close of the war.
A C Eastland was born in the State of New York in 1820. His early life was spent upon his father's farm. When about twenty-one years of age he began the study of law in Michigan, and was admitted to the bar at Kalamazoo when twenty-four. He located at that place and began the practice of law, remaining about four years when he left there. In 1852 he came to Richland Co., Wis., locating at Sextonville. For several years he was engaged in a saw-mill enterprise and then came to Richland Centre and resumed the practice of his profession. For a number of years he was alone, after which he was in partnership with his brother, H A Eastland. A C Eastland was first married at Kalamazoo. He married his second wife at Sextonville. He remained in Richland Centre until 1881, when he moved to Muscoda, Grant Co., Wis., where he still lives. He was a man of a great deal of both natural and acquired ability, a well-read lawyer and an able speaker. For many years he was considered one of Richland county's most able lawyers.
J W Coffinberry came to Richland county in 1849, from Michigan, and settled with his family at Richland City. He was elected the first county judge of the county, but resigned in 1852. During 1852 and 1853 he kept a hotel and real estate office in Richland City, and was quite a prominent man in public affairs. In 1856 he had his named changed by the board of supervisors from "J W Coffinberry" to 'C. Bre." It was always a mystery why he took this step. The only reason he offered the board for the change was, that the sound of the name "Coffinberry" when simmered down was really nothing more than "C. Bre." He remained in the county until just before the war broke out when he moved to Kansas, he and his wife having separated. His sons having got into the stock business pretty extensively, he now lives with them. Mr. Coffinberry, or perhaps, more properly Mr. Bre, did not engage in active practice when he first came to the county, but after resigning the office of county judge, and having his name changed he devoted a good deal, if not all, of his time to the profession. He was a man of a good deal more than ordinary education for those days, and a man of much ability. He was affable and pleasant in his manners, and held the respect of the early settlers.
A P Thompson was an eastern man. He was a graduate of the Albany Law School, New York, and came west to pass through pioneer life and secure a foothold in his chosen profession as the country developed. He first located in Sauk county and began practice, but in 1852 came to Richland county and settled in Richmond, now Orion. He was at that time about thirty-five years old, and was married while there. He remained at Richmond for about fifteen years, when he removed to Grant county, where he still lives. He served Richland county as district attorney for several years. He was an able and close lawyer, a good speaker, and a man of much more than ordinary acquirements.
E M Sexton came from New York State at a very early day, and settled where Sextonville was afterward laid out. The village was platted by and named after him. He served the county and town in which he lived in various offices. He was admitted to the bar at an early day, and devoted some of his time to the practice of law, but never had more than a meagre business. In 1874 he removed to Barron Co., Wis., where his home remained until the time of his death, in 1878. He had a fine legal mind, and was one of the best counselors the county has ever had. He held the respect and esteem of all, and his death was mourned by a large circle of friends.
Byron W Telfair became a member of the Richland county bar in 1854. He came from New York, being a graduate of the Albany Law School, and located at Sextonville. He had been admitted to the bar prior to his removal west, and brought a small library with him. His professional life dates from his arrival, for he at once began practice, and continued until the war broke out. At this time he enlisted and went into the service, serving with distinction, and finally becoming captain of his company before his discharge. Upon the close of the war he returned to his Richland county home, and again took up the practice of law, remaining until his death, which occurred in 1872. His wife and one child survived him, and a few years later they removed to the northern part of the State, where they still live. Byron W Telfair was a man of much energy in anything he earnestly undertook, yet he lacked the necessary application to study which must always be a component part of a successful disciple of Blackstone. He was an earnest and forcible jury advocate, and withal, fairly successful at the bar. He never had much circuit court business, but before the justice court, on nearly all trials in his part of the county, he had one side or the other. He was a democrat in politics.
Josiah McCaskey was a native of Scotland. He came to Richland county as early as 1852, and settled with his family on Fancy creek, in the town of Marshall, and through his influence a postoffice was established at that place, with himself as postmaster. He remained there until 1874, when he removed to Taylor county, where he died in 1879. Josiah McCaskey was a noted character in Richland county. He was educated in Scotland, and came from the old "blue stocking, Presbyterian stock;" but while studying Greek, as he said, he became converted from the Presbyterian to the Baptist doctrine, and was always thereafter a man of strong religious tendencies. He was a man of high moral character, a great lover of books, and a self constituted guardian of the people, always being upon the alert to detect fraud in persons serving in official capacities. He was a very accurate surveyor and an active politician. He was not a very good speaker, but what he had to say he delivered in "sledge hammer style." In the practice of law he was never very active aside from trials in justice court.
Daniel Badger Priest became a member of the Richland county bar in June, 1855. He was born March 6, 1830, in Putnam Co., Ind. His father, Fielding Priest, who emigrated from Kentucky at an early day, and was one of the pioneer settlers of Indiana, was a man of great force of character, acknowledged ability and unsullied reputation. The early life of Daniel was spent upon his father's farm, attending school during the winter months. He completed a liberal education at the Asberry University. He chose the profession of law for his life calling, and even before arriving at his majority was well and favorably known to many of the prominent men of his native State. In the fall of 1850 he emigrated to Fort Snelling, Minn., near where St. Anthony now stands, and pre-empted 160 acres of land, remaining until the following spring. In 1852 he located for the practice of law, at Monroe, Wis., and soon afterward married Lucy Farrow, of Kentucky. Up to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska act and the repeal of the Missouri compromise, he was a democrat. But in 1854 he was a delegate to the congressional district convention, held at Mineral Point, and with a number of others he dissolved his connection with that party, because the convention refused to endorse Congressman Eastman in his opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska act. In June, 1855, he removed to Richland Centre and remained in the active practice of law until 1861, when he removed to Viroqua, Vernon county. During his residence of seven years at Viroqua, he was twice elected to the office of district attorney, served two terms in the Assembly, and also discharged the duties of the office of assistant assessor of Internal revenue for Vernon county. He was also one of the editors of the Vernon county Censor. In March, 1869, Secretary Washburn tendered to him the appointment of minister to Naples, which he declined, and accepted the appointment of collector of Internal revenue for the sixth district of Wisconsin. In 1869 he removed to Sparta, Wis., where he was connected with the editorial department of the Sparta Eagle for some time. Sparta remained his home until the time of his death, Sept 6, 1870. While Mr. Priest was a resident of Richland county he made a great many friends. He was always prominent in all public moves and enterprises, and was a leader among men. When he came here in June, 1855, Richland Centre was without any educational facilities at all. He at once took hold of the matter, worked up an interest, and through his influence, to a very large degree, a school house site was secured and a building erected. He was ever a champion of public interests and educational progress. When the news of the death of Mr. Priest was received, a meeting of the bar was held and resolutions of respect and regret were passed. At this meeting Hon. James H Miner, in an address regarding Mr. Priest, said: "I became aquainted with Mr. Priest in August, 1855, and formed a law partnership with him in November following, which continued for more than thirteen years. I count myself happy in having formed his acquaintance and receiving the benefits of his presence.
If we are to count the length of life by what is accomplished, he lived long; for he accomplished much. Some have done more; but the ten thousand times ten thousand have done less. His faults were scarcely perceptible through his many virtues. He was solid and steady, inflexibly just, incapable of using any falsehood, flattery or deceit. Neither elated with honors nor disconcerted with ill success, he now fills an honored grave."
William Crawford came to Richland county in 1855, and settled upon a farm in the town of Ithaca. In 1856 he moved into Richland Centre, and began the practice of law, becoming a partner of lawyer Frost, of Mineral Point. He had never read very much law, but was a man of much more than ordinary intelligence and information, and had very good success at the bar, before the circuit court.
Amos Nudd came from some of the New England States and settled with his family at Richland Centre, in 1856. The first winter of his residence in Richland county he was engaged at teaching school, after which he went into the real estate and loan business with L D Gage, and began the study of law. He was admitted to the bar, and began practice, but only kept his "shingle" out a short time, when he removed to Waupon, Iowa, where he engaged in the manufacture of pumps. He still lives there. Mr. Nudd was a man of high moral character and strict integrity, and held the respect and esteem of all. While he never became very prominently identified with the bar of Richland county, he had very bright prospects for future success in the profession, being a man of ability and education. He had a very excellent and intelligent family, his wife being the sister of George James.
Charles G Rodolf came to Richland county at a very early day, and became a prominent man in all public affairs. He settled at the village of Orion, where he engaged at general merchandising. He began the practice of law in 1855, and was interested in much of the legal business in early days. He was very successful as a lawyer, well read in the law, and a fair speaker, although his language was quite broken his native German accent being plainly noticeable. He now lives at Muscoda, in Grant county.
John S Wilson came to Richland county with his parents in 1853, and settled at Richland Centre. John S, for a number of years, followed teaching school and clerking in stores. In 1856 he was elected clerk of court, and while in this office he read law, and was admitted to the bar. After the expiration of his term as clerk, he opened a law office as partner of Amasa Cobb of Mineral Point, and remained in practice until the war broke out, when he raised a company, became its captain, and went into the service. After the close of the war he returned to Richland Centre, and again opened a law office. He remained there for a number of years, when he removed to Kansas, where he is still in the practice of law. While here Mr. Wilson did not have a very large law practice, but with that in which he was interested he was fairly successful. He did a large pension business, and it is thought made money. While here, in 1857, he was married to Jane Hamilton.
Lawrence Van Dusen came originally form the city of New York. In 1854 he located at Milwaukee, Wis., and two years later came to Richland county and settled upon a farm north of Richland Centre. In 1858 he was elected clerk of court, and during his term of office he studied law and was admitted to the bar. About the time the war broke out he began practice and remained until the spring of 1863, when he removed to Iowa. He afterwards engaged in the practice of medicine, was on the road for a time, and his whereabouts at present are unknown. Mr. Van Dusen was a very shrewd and able politician, having been brought up in Albany, NY, where his father was clerk of court and a democratic leader. He was a man of polished manners and of great ability; everybody's friend and a scheming moneymaker.
Charles D Stewart was admitted to the bar in Richland county at the May term of circuit court in 1859. Charley Stewart, as he was familiarly called, came from the State of New York at an early day and settled on Willow creek in the present town of Willow. In November, 1856, he was elected county clerk, and moved to the county seat. He served one term in the office, and during that time began the study of law. In 1859 he was admitted to the bar and engaged in the practice of law in the northern part of the county, locating in the town of Forest. He remained there until the time of his death which occurred in 1873. Mr. Stewart was possessed of a good education, made a good county official, a fair lawyer, and was a prominent man in his part of the county. He was a jovial, pleasant fellow, and, it is said, would rather laugh than eat.
W C Wright came to Richland county as a lawyer in 1860 and settled at Lone Rock. He had been in practice before coming here and was a very well educated man. He was a hard-worker, and a good speaker, when he had time to prepare himself. He had a fair practice and was very successful at the bar. After practicing law for several years he gave it up and began preaching for the Baptist Church. For a number of years he was located at Richland Centre, and the Baptist church at that place was erected during his pastorate. He finally moved to Madison and has subsequently changed his religious doctrine from the Baptist to the Unitarian faith. He still lives in Madison, where he is engaged at preaching and also teaching music, as he is a very fine musician.
Winfield Scott Black was born in Montgomery Co., Va., in 1848. He came to Richland county with his parents in 1854, and settled on Willow creek. He received a good education, taking a commercial course at the Chicago Mercantile College, and attending the State University at Madison. In the spring of 1869 he began reading law with his brother, O F Black, of Richland Centre, and was admitted to the bar in the fall of 1870. He at once began the practice of law in partnership with his brother, and this relation was maintained until the fall of 1875, when W S went to Minneapolis as collecting agent for O P Baker & Co. In 1872, Mr. Black was stricken with paralysis, but partly recovered and was soon able to attend to business again. In January, 1876, he returned to Richland Centre, from Minneapolis, and died March 22, 1876, from pleuro pneumonia, the effects of the stroke of paralysis he had received. In 1870, Mr. Black had been married to Alla L Downs, and one son, Buford, blessed this union. The widow and child are still residents of Richland Centre. W Scott Black was a young man of more than ordinary promise, and had the prospect of becoming an honor to the profession. He was bright and keen, a good speaker, and a well read lawyer. He was unusually energetic in everything he undertook.
James Lewis grew up from a young man of twenty-two, in Richland county, having come here at an early day with his parents from Indiana, and settled in the town of Richwood. He afterwards married a daughter of L M Thorp, of the western part of the county, and settled down to farming. In 1868 he was elected clerk of court, and two years later was re-elected. In 1862 he had settled at Port Andrew where he read law, and began practice. Upon the expiration of his term of office he located at Richland Centre, for law practice. In 1872 he was elected prosecuting attorney, and in 1874 was re-elected, serving four years. For a number of years he was in partnership with W E Carter, of Platteville, and they made a good firm. A few years ago Mr. Lewis removed to Nebraska, where he is now county judge of Greeley county, in which county he resides and has a large farm. James Lewis was a sound lawyer; he was not an eloquent nor even a fair speaker, but he was quick to see a point and was abundantly able to tell "what he had to say." He was what in the profession would be termed an "equity lawyer."
E C Wulfing was one of the most promising young attorneys who have ever belonged to the Richland county bar. He was of German descent, and came to the county at an early day, settling with his parents upon a farm in the town of Orion. He afterwards came to Richland Centre, and took a thorough course of reading with O F Black, and in 1873 was admitted to the bar. For several years he was in partnership with Hon. James H Miner, after which he was alone. In 1876 he was elected prosecuting attorney for Richland county, and being re-elected in 1878, served four years, making an efficient officer. He married Kate Downs, daughter of W H Downs, of Richland Centre. Mr. Wulfing remained here, acquiring a good practice and making money, until 1882, when he went to Mitchell, Dak., where he is still in practice. He made many friends here, and all speak of him as a young man with the very brightest of prospects for the future.
George Jarvis came here a young man, with his parents, and settled in Richland City. He afterward moved to Richland Centre, where he became justice of the peace. He thus became pretty well posted in law and conversant with the detail of practice and was admitted to the bar. He remained here until 1882, when he went to Minnesota, where he engaged in the milling business. While here he devoted a good deal of his time to pension matters.
A E Stroud was a lawyer that located at Lone Rock but a few years ago, and after remaining two years, he left the county. He now lives in Milwaukee, where he has become justice of the peace in one of the city wards.
In 1884 the bar of Richland county was composed of the following gentlemen: H A Eastland, James H Miner, Oscar F Black, Kirk W Eastland, F W Burnham, J H Berryman, Michael Murphy and Thomas A Johnston, all of Richland Centre, and actively engaged in practice. In addition to the above the following gentlemen are members of the bar but are not engaged in practice: David Strickland, S H Doolittle, A Durnford and H W Eastland, of Richland Centre; Newton Wells, of the town of Eagle; L M Thorp, of Excelsior; and Dr. R M Miller, of Port Andrew.
H A Eastland is the oldest lawyer residing in the county. He located and hung out his shingle at Sextonville in April, 1851. He practiced law at that place for about ten years, then came to Richland Centre, where he has since been engaged in a general law and collection business. Mr. Eastland was born in Oneida Co., NY, April 4, 1816. In 1833 he emigrated with his parents to Michigan, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1847 he came to Wisconsin and practiced law at Prairie du Sac, until he came to Richland county. He voted with the republican party from its organization until 1876, since that time he has voted the National greenback ticket. He is an active temperance worker. The only office he ever held was that of district attorney. In October, 1851, Mr. Eastland was married to Mrs. Isabelle A Pierce nee. Briggs. They have two children --- K W and H W.
R W Eastland is a son of H A Eastland. He was born in Richland county, Oct 5, 1852, and educated in the schools at Richland Centre, and subsequently read law. In 1875 he was admitted to the bar and has since devoted his attention to the legal profession. He is a republican, politically, and has been district attorney, and is at present town clerk. He was married Dec 23, 1877, to Margaret Ostrander, daughter of D B Ostrander, of Sextonville. They have one child --- Vera B.
Alexander Black was born in Montgomery Co, Va., Feb 17, 1800. His early life was spent on a farm, and through his own efforts he succeeded in obtaining a good education. He was married at the age of twenty-five, to Elizabeth McDonald, who was of Scotch descent, but born in Virginia. Mr. Black held the office of county surveyor in his native State for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Black reared a family of twelve children. The oldest son, Harvey, was a soldier in the Mexican War, and subsequently graduated in the medical department of the University of Virginia. He then, in 1849 or 1850, went to Chicago, purchased a horse, and on horseback went to Green Bay; thence to Mineral Point; purchased land in Richland county, and went to St. Joseph, Mo.; then returned through the southwestern States to Virginia. The entire trip from Chicago was made on horseback. In 1854, Mr. Black, accompanied by his son, Oscar F, came to Wisconsin to see the land which Harvey Black had purchased. They were, however, intending to go to Texas, but on arriving at Richland county they were so well pleased with the location that Mr. Black purchased a large tract of land on Willow creek, and soon after moved his family from Virginia, and here engaged in farming until his death, which occurred Sep. 17, 1872. His wife died May 27, 1880. The children living are --- Harvey, a physician in Blacksburg, Va.; Ellen, wife of James Spickard; Margaret, unmarried; Elizabeth, wife of George Krouskop; Amanda, wife of William Krouskop; James A, Oscar F and J Q. Scott Black came with his parents to this county and educated himself for the legal profession. He married a daughter of D L Downs. His death took place March 22, 1876. Charles Black died in August, 1856, aged sixteen years.
O F Black was born in Virginia, June 1, 1840. He came with his father to Wisconsin in 1854, and the first season broke land and raised a crop of corn. During the next five years, assisted by his brother, he broke 400 acres with ox teams. He was educated at the academy at Richland City, at Albion, and at the University at Madison. In the fall of 1861 he commenced to read law, with John S Wilson as preceptor, and afterwards with J H Miner. In 1863 he was admitted to the bar. He then read law with H W & D K Tinney, of Madison, one year, then taught school six months at Muscoda. In the fall of 1864, he stumped the county for Gen. George B McClellan for the Presidency, in joint debate against D L Downs and others. He then clerked in the quartermaster's department at Memphis, Tenn., until the following spring, and since 1866 has given his attention to the legal profession. He now has a good practice. Mr. Black is fond of traveling. He has crossed the plains four times, and has visited nearly all portions of the United States. His politics are democratic. He has served two terms as district attorney, and is a member of the F & A M. June 16, 1875, Mr. Black was married to Ida Burnham, daughter of Dr. S Burnham. They have one daughter --- Virginia.
Alfred Durnford is a native of England, born in Peckham, near London, May 1, 1818. His father, Andrew Montague Isaacson Durnford, was lieutenant-colonel in the Third Guards, British army, and the family was consequently not permanently settled at any given place; but resided in various parts of Great Britain and Ireland. Alfred Durnford was educated for the legal profession, and for a number of years was engaged in parliamentary solicitorship. In 1840 he united in marriage with Annie Smith, and in the fall of 1854 emigrated to the United States. He stopped at Milwaukee until the spring following, then came farther west and became one of the early settlers of Richland county. He purchased land on section 2, town of Dayton, and engaged in farming. But as he was admitted to the bar soon after coming to the county, he gave considerable of his time to the practice of law, and as his practice increased he left the farm and removed to Richland Centre and gave his entire attention to the legal profession until 1880, when on account of failing health he retired from practice, and now resides in the north part of the village, where he owns thirty acres of land, and is pleasantly located. He became associated with the democratic with the democratic party soon after coming to America, and still adheres to its ranks, but has never taken any further interest than to perform his duty as an enlightened citizen. He was court commissioner for several years, and has served as justice of the peace. His religious convictions are with the Presbyterian society. Mr. and Mrs. Durnford have reared eleven children, five now living --- George, Harriet, now Mrs. J M Shireman; Rosa, now Mrs. Lewis James; Edward H and Frederick W.
James H Miner is numbered among those who settled at Richland Centre when that now thriving village was in its infancy, his residence in that place bearing date Aug 31, 1855, since which time he has given his attention to the legal profession. During the spring of 1856 he was chosen town superintendent of schools and served the people in that capacity one year. In the fall of 1856 he was elected district attorney and held the office for two terms. In 1862 he was deputy United States assessor of revenue. In 1865 he was elected county judge and served one term. In 1870 he represented his district in the Assembly. On the 26th day of July, 1876 he was appointed postmaster at Richland Centre and held the office until May, 1881. He served as a member of the State Industrial school for boys at Waukesha in 1880 and 1881. He has been court commissioner of the United States district court since 1872. He served as president of the village board one year and is now a member of the same. He took an active part in securing the railroad at Richland Centre and was one of the directors of the same. Thus it can be seen he has continually held positions of trust and honor, which fact among many others indicates his ability, and he is to-day justly honored and esteemed by his fellow men. Judge Miner was born in Lockport, NY, Feb 4, 1830. His father Luther Miner, was of Welch extraction and a farmer by occupation. His mother Eleanor (Grant) Miner, was of Scotch descent, but was born in Delaware. The early life of the subject of this sketch was spent on his father's farm and when eight years old he removed with his parents to Hillsdale Co., Mich., where he received an academic education and taught school. At the age of eighteen he commenced the study of law with Judge E H C Wilson and subsequently continued with Judge Orsamus Cole. In 1852 he came to Wisconsin, taught school in Grant County, and in April 1855 was admitted to the bar, on the 12th day of May 1855, at Volga city, Iowa, he was married to Sarah Ann Dunn, who was a native of Alleghany Co., NY. The following winter he taught school in Richland Centre and was the first male teacher employed. The children are --- Berkie, the first graduate of the Richland High school, and now the wife of J H Berryman; Grant L, Freddie J (deceased), Carrie and Minnie. Judge Miner in politics was formerly a whig and now acts with the republican party, is a member of the Masonic fraternity having served as Master of Richland Lodge, No. 66, of which he was a charter member.
On the 22nd of February, 1876, the republican State convention nominated Mr. Miner, as one of the presidential electors, and remained as such nominee until in October, and then tendered his declination for the reason that subsequent to the nomination he had been appointed postmaster of Richland Centre, which rendered him ineligible. The declination was accepted by the central committee, and Dr. D L Downs, of Richland Centre, was placed upon the ticket to fill the vacancy, and was elected.
J H Berryman is a member of the law firm of Miner & Berryman. He was born in LaFayette Co., Wis., March 31, 1854. His parents were John and Mary A (Retallach) Berryman. His early life was spent upon a farm. When he was twelve years old, his parents removed to Jo Daviess Co., Ill. He was educated at the Normal school at Galena, and afterwards taught school. In 1876 he went to Madison, where he acted as assistant State librarian, and also read law; afterwards read law in the office of Lewis, Lewis & Hale, and in November, 1878, was admitted to the bar by the circuit court. In June, 1879, he graduated from the law department of the State University. His residence at Richland Centre, dates from November, 1878. Oct. 30, 1880, Berkie Miner became his wife. They have one daughter -- Mary Edith. Mr. Berryman is a republican in politics, and village attorney. Himself and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.
F W Burnham, of the law firm of Black & Burnham, is a son of H L and Susan (Lowell) Burnham. He was born in Addison Co., Vt., June 25, 1853; came with his parents to Wisconsin in 1856. He helped till the soil until eighteen years of age, then took a course at the La Crosse Business College. In the fall of 1875, he commenced to read law with O F Black, a preceptor, and in 1877, was admitted to the bar, and has since been a member of the above named firm. Politically he is a republican. He is a member of the A F & A M and the IOOF.
Michael Murphy, district attorney, is a native of Ireland, born Feb 2, 1846. His parents were Daniel and Elizabeth (O'Brien), Murphy. The family came to America in 1850, and first stopped in Westchester, NY. In 1854 they came to Wisconsin and settled in the town of Willow, Richland county, where they engaged in farming until 1872. The parents now reside with the subject of this sketch. The children living, are --- James, Kate, Michael, Daniel and Eliza. Michael helped till the soil with his father, and received a good common school education and subsequently taught school. In the fall of 1872, he was elected clerk of the circuit court, and held the office six years. During that time he studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Richland county. In 1880, was admitted to practice before the Supreme court of the State. In the fall of 1882 he was elected district attorney and entered upon the duties of the office Jan. 1, 1883. His politics are republican.
In the county clerk's office at this time may be found Homer J Clark, who was elected to this position in the fall of 1882, and entered upon his duties January 1, 1883. Mr. Clark is a genial, whole-souled gentleman, affable and accommodating, ever ready to serve any one who may have business in his office, and the people of Richland county certainly exercised good judg-(ment) in their selection of an officer to this position. As a public man he has proved himself a satisfactory officer, having served several years as town clerk of Richwood, and one term as clerk of circuit court, and was assistant enrolling clerk, General Assembly, 1882. He is a Royal Arch mason, and in politics a republican. Mr. Clark is the only son of Edmund and Sally (Benson) Clark; was born in Schuyler Co., NY, on the 20th day of April, 1848. He was left motherless when four years old, but subsequently his father married again, and in 1856 the family came to Wisconsin and settled in the town of Richwood, Richland county, and engaged in farming. Homer received a good common school education, and afterwards taught a number of terms. He made farming a business, and at this time, in connection with his father, owns about 350 acres of land. On the 23rd day of October, 1873, he was married to Ada McNelly, daughter of Dr. Henry McNelly. They have two children --- Nora and Hattie.
W S Sweet, the present county superintendent of schools, is not an old resident in the county, but a gentleman well qualified for the position he occupies. His parents, Abijah and Maria (Rhodes) Sweet, reside at Spring Green, and it was in the district schools of that vicinity, that he acquired the rudiments of his education, and at the age of fifteen years, taught his first term of school. Being a poor boy, he could not afford to educate himself at once, so he continued teaching, during the winter season, and attending school in the summer. In this way he attended one term at the State University, and afterward, several terms at the State Normal school, at Platteville. In the spring of 1875, he was chosen principal of the schools at Lone Rock, and in the fall of the same year, took charge of the grammar department of the schools at Richland Center. One year later he was chosen principal of said schools, which position he held for four years. In 1880 he passed the State examination and was granted a State certificate. In the fall of 1881 he was elected to the office he now holds, and entered upon its duties on the first day of January following. Mr. Sweet is the author of a book entitled "The Polity of Home Government," which supplies a long felt want in the schools. By the aid of this text book the pupil may become well-versed in the duties of local affairs, thus fitting himself to become a useful and better citizen. Winfield Scott Sweet was born in Dodge Co., Wis., Jan 31, 1854, and has always been a resident of the State. Aug 24, 1876, Jennie C Fries, daughter of the late Judge Henry W Fries, became his wife and they now have two children --- Bula and Bessie. Mr. Sweet is politically a republican, and in religion, a believer in the Baptist faith.
R Sutton, register of deeds, is a native of Ripley Co. Ind., born Sept 3, 1843. He is the third of five sons of A M and Jane M (Wilson) Sutton. His early life was spent upon his father's farm. When the Civil War broke out, he at once enlisted in company A, of the 37th Indiana Volunteer Infantry; re-enlisted in 1863, and served until August, 1865, when the regiment was mustered out of service. He participated in all of the engagements of his regiment and returned home in good health and without a scratch. At the close of the war, he resumed farming, and in 1867, had the misfortune to cut one of his legs with an ax, crippling himself for life. In 1870 he came to Wisconsin and settled in the town of Eagle, Richland county, and followed farming until the fall of 1876, when he was elected to the office he now holds, and in which he is now serving his third term. He is an accommodating officer, and well fitted for the position he occupies. In politics he is a republican, and has served several years as town clerk of Eagle town. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is present secretary of Richland Lodge, No. 66. Mr. Sutton has been twice married. In 1869 to Mary Gault, who died in 1871, leaving one son -- Emmett. In 1873 Eunice E Beard became his wife. By this union, three children have been born --- Ellen R, Maud I, and Clyde E.
The funds of Richland county are now in charge of Irvin Gribble, who is serving his second term as county treasurer. He was born in Somerset Co., Penn., May 9, 1841, his parents being John and Rebecca (Kanable) Gribble. In 1844 the family removed to Clinton Co., Ind., and in 1854 came to Wisconsin, and settled in the town of Kickapoo, Vernon county. The father owned land in Richland county but on account of water privileges built his cabin in the county of Vernon, and engaged in farming. About the year 1869 the parents removed to Viola, where the father died in April, 1875. The mother is yet living, and now resides with one of her sons. Irvin Gribble assisted his parents on the farm until October, 1861, when he responded to the call of his country, and enlisted in company I, of the 12th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, re-enlisted Jan. 4, 1864, and served until Aug. 10, 1865, when the regiment was mustered out of service. Mr. Gribble was chief clerk in the inspector general's department on the day Gen. James B McPherson was killed. Returning from the army, he resumed farming. He was at one time chairman of the town board of Forest, and at another time treasurer of the same. In politics he is a republican, and in 1880 was a delegate to the State convention, where he cast his ballot and used his influence in favor of James G Blaine for a Presidential candidate. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Gribble, in 1872, was married to Sarah Bender, daughter of Elias E Bender, and now has five children --- Lina, Elsie, Ella, Willard and Myra.
James Appleby, the present county surveyor, and pioneer settler of the town of Eagle, was born in county Durham, England, Nov 27, 1828. At an unusual early age he was sent to the common school, which he attended until eleven years of age. He was then sent to Kirby Academy. When thirteen years old, he, in company with his parents, emigrated from Yorkshire, England, to America, coming directly to the territory of Wisconsin, and locating in that part of Iowa county now known as La Fayette county. His father made a claim on a tract of mineral land, at that time held in reserve by the Government. As soon as the land came into the market he purchased it. He erected his house nearly on the site, where a few years before the first lead furnace in that part of La Fayette county was built. Here the subject of our sketch, at the very early age of fourteen, engaged in teaching as private tutor for the family of James Murphy, Esq., teaching for him two years, and again engaged for Capt. Matthew Williams during one winter, in the same capacity --- in the intervening time attending the district schools in his neighborhood. He was married in 1846 to Susanna C Palmer. She was born in Shelby Co., Ky. He went to Jo Daviess Co., Ill., and engaged as clerk in a general store, remaining there until the spring of 1849, when he came to Richland county and settled in what is now known as the town of Eagle. He made his home in that town until 1863, when he removed to Richwood, purchasing land on sections 4 and 5, town 8, range 2 west. He erected a good frame house on section 4, and still makes that his home. Mr. Appleby has been county surveyor for seventeen years. His first official survey was made in 1850, for the town of Richmond. It was for a road, and commenced in the middle of Commerce street, village of Monongahela, and extended north past Rodolf's mill and terminated at the quarter section corner stake, between sections 25 and 26 of town 9, range 1 west. He has been superintendent of schools for the town of Eagle, one year, and assessor for the town of Richwood, two years. Mr. Appleby is a member of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, belonging thereto about twenty-six years, and has filled many important places in his Church, being granted license, by his quarterly conference to preach, being quarterly conference secretary for several years, was recommended to the annual conference, accepted, and given license by Bishop Glossbrenner, of Virginia, to preach, passed the several examinations required and ordained as an elder in said Church. He has filled the office of secretary of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. He has been appointed to and filled the most important committees of his conference, and was elected a delegate to the last general conference of his Church, of which privilege, however, he did not avail himself. Notwithstanding his many and arduous duties and labors, he can always find time to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. It would almost seem unnecessary to add that Mr. Appleby is a strong temperance man, upon which he can truly say "I nurse my wrath to keep it warm." Mr. and Mrs. Appleby have nine children --- Mary S, J Marshall, Martha E, Arthur W, Laura I, Emma F, Luther L, Annie V, and Lelia F. Mr. Appleby is well known in all parts of the county, and enjoys, to the fullest extent, the respect and confidence of the people.
Daniel Lyman Downs, MD, is a native of Trumbull Co., Ohio, born on the 2d day of December, 1824. His father, Lyman Downs, a native of Connecticut, was a shoemaker by trade, followed farming to some extent , and for a number of years was engaged in buying butter and cheese on the Western reserve. He would sell his butter and cheese in Cincinatti, then go east and buy clocks, which he would sell in the southern States; then buy horses and return to Ohio, and having disposed of them at a remunerative figure would invest the proceeds in butter and cheese. His mother, Esther (Woodward) Downs, was of Scotch descent, and was born in the State of New York. In 1832 the family removed to Michigan and in 1838 to Belvidere, Boone Co., Ill., and settled on a farm. Here the subject of this sketch helped till the soil, attended school a part of the season and at the age of seventeen entered the Belvidere Academy, where he took a two years course. He then commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Daniel H Whitney, attended lectures at the Rush Medical College, and in 1847 commenced practice as a physician at Millville, Jo Daviess Co., Ill. In the fall of 1849 he associated Molbry Ripley as a partner and engaged in a general mercantile and drug business. During the month of February, 1850, accompanied by his partner, he came to Wisconsin, and about the middle of this month they made their first appearance in Richland county. They located at Orion, purchased property and established themselves in business, removing their stock of goods from Millville. About this time Dr. Downs, failing in health, left his partner in charge of the business, and took a trip to the Pacific coast, engaged in mining in California until February, 1852, then returned to Orion, and in April, 1853, sold his interest in the store to his partner and resumed the practice of medicine. In 1858 he was elected county treasurer, removed to Richland Center and served the people in that capacity one term. He then purchased the drug business of F P Bowen, and in 1860 furnished the necessary capital to build a tannery in this place which was the second enterprise of this character in the county. In January, 1865, he sold a half interest in his drug business to F P Bowen, and enlisted in the 46th Wisconsin regiment, and served as assistant surgeon until mustered out. He then again attended to his drug trade until 1878, when on account of failing eyesight, he sold his interest in the business to his partner. In February, 1880, he was appointed county judge as successor to H W Freis, and in the spring of 1881, was elected for a full term. Dr. Downs, in politics, was originally a democrat, in 1860 voted for Stephen A Douglas, but in 1864 cast his ballot for Abraham Lincoln, and has since been a republican. In 1855 he represented his district in the Assembly, and in 1876-7 was a member of the Senate. He has been a member of the county board for many years, and has often been chairman of the same, holding, meanwhile, various minor offices of public trust. He is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the GAR. Thus it can be seen that Dr. Downs was one of the early pioneers, and has been one of the most active citizens of the county, and no man within its borders has the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens to a greater degree. Mrs. Downs, formerly Mary D Cowen, is a native of Illinois. The children are --- Hubert L, Allie, J Lee, Minnie L (deceased) and Eno L.
There were 1834 visitors at our previous host from 27 Feb 2006 to 2 Aug 2011 and 2345 visitors to a previous site from 26 Sep 1999 to 27 Feb 2006.