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Jersey County Page     Jersey County History

Early Attorneys

From History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, Springfield, IL: Continental Historical Co., 1885, pp. 142 – 148. Not a complete transcription. There will be typographical errors.

     The first practicing attorney to locate within the bounds of what now constitutes Jersey county was Martin B. Miner, who came to Jerseyville in 1840. He was born in Addison county, Vt., March 22, 1805, and was a descendent of one Henry Bullman, a miner who had his name changed to that of Miner by King Edward III of England, for his loyalty in furnishing 100 men from his mines, all armed, when that king started on one of his wars. His ancestors came to America in 1630. Martin B. was educated in the schools and academies of his native state, by his own exertions, and read law with Herman Allen, M. C. of Burlington, Vt. He was admitted to practed in the supreme court of that state in 1834, and was married to Laura S. McNeil in January 1836. In the fall of 1836 they moved to Illinois, locating at Woodburn, but in the fall of 1837 moved to Alton, and in the spring of 1840, to Jerseyville. He practiced law for over 30 years, and died a resident of this city in October 1874.
     The second attorney was C. H. Goodrich.
     H. H. Howard was the third attorney to locate in the county. When he first came here he taught a private academic school. He afterwards practiced law, for awhile alone, then took into partnership his nephew, A. L. Knapp, who afterwards represented this district in congress. Mr. Howard was at an early date editor of the Democratic Union, a newspaper in Jerseyville. About the close of the war he left this place going to Kansas, where is probably now living.
     W. K. Titcomb was the next to locate in Jersey county and practice law. In 1847 or 48, he left here for St. Louis, Mo., and during the cholera epidemic of 1849, he was assiduous in his attentions to the sick, as nurse and attendent, and taking the fell disease, became a victim.
     William P. Chestnut came next. He did not remain in practice here for any length of time, dying at the National Hotel of small-pox.
     Abner C. Hinton practiced law for some years at Jerseyville. He afterwards inherited some property in the neighborhood of Carrollton, and moved there. He, in after years became partially insane, and in one of his spells of aberration of mind shot himself.
     Robert M. and Anthony L. Knapp have both been prominently identified with this honorable profession in this county and vicinity. Both of these gentlemen, brothers, were so fortunate as to represent this district on the floor of the national house of representatives.
     E. A. Pinero practiced law in Jerseyville for some years, first alone, then in partnership with T. J. Selby, and later with that gentleman and George W. Herdman.
     Thomas J. Selby was admitted to the bar in 1869, but did not engaged in the practice of law for a few years. In 1876, the firm of Pinero and Selby was formed as above stated. Mr. Selby was prominently identified with the office of county clerk.
     W. Ames, while a partner in the law firm of Warren, Pogue and Ames, was a member of the legal fraternity of Jersey county. He left here about 1871.
     Among other members of the bar of past was Robert A. King, who was a member of the 27th general assembly.
     At one time a young lawyer by the name of John W. Merrill was in partnership with R. A. King, and practiced at this bar for a short time.
     The bar of Jersey county at present comprises some of the talented of the past and the rising legislators and statesmen of the future. Many of them are well known professionally, and a few are just rising into public favor. the following list embraces all of them: George E. Warren, George W. Herdman, William H. Pogue, O. B. Hamilton, A. M. Slaten, T. S. Chapman, Morris R. Locke, A. A. Goodrich, Joseph F. Greathouse, Joseph S. Carr, Thomas Ferns, William M. Jackson and George F. Lane, the latter a resident of Elsah.
     Adams Augustus Goodrich, a son of Henry O. and Jane A. (Knapp) Goodrich, and a prominent lawyer of Jersey county, was born at Jerseyville, Jan. 8, 1849, and was educated in the graded schools of his native place and at the military academy at West Point, which he was obliged to leave on account of impaired health in his fourth year. He spent nearly two years in Colorado and California, and returned with his health completely restored. He then read law at Jerseyville and Springfield, with his maternal uncles. He was admitted to the bar in Jan. 1873, and since that time has been engaged in the practice of his chosen profession at Jerseyville. He has a good reputation as a lawyer, and manages cases entrusted to him with ability and care. He is studious and painstaking, and a young man of much promise. Thus by nature studious and ambitious, he is sure to succeed in life, if health will hold out under the strain brought to bear upon it. He held the office of city attorney three terms, and was elected state’s attorney in 1878; re-elected in 1880, and again in 1884, and is the present incumbent. Politically he affiliates with the democratic party, and is a rapidly rising character in the political field of the future. He is a Blue lodge Mason and Knight Templar, an Odd Fellow and a Knight of Pythias. He has been through the last two orders, holding all the offices of the local lodges.
     Thomas F. Ferns, the present city attorney of Jerseyville, is a son of John and Hannah (Hays) Ferns, and was born in this city July 25, 1862. His father, John Ferns, was a son of Thomas and Margaret Ferns, and was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on March 4, 1832. He settled in Jersey county in 1835. He was married in September 1860 to Hannah Hays, and two children were born to them, Thomas F. and Margaret M. In politics he was a democrat, in religion a Catholic. Our subject was educated in the schools of Jerseyville, graduating from the high school in 1882. In October 1883 he entered the St. Louis law school, from which institution he graduated June 10, 1885. He was admitted to the bar of Illinois in March previous to his graduation. He immediately opened an office in Jerseyville and commenced practice. He is a member of the Western Catholic Union, of which he is one of the supreme trustees. In politics he is a staunch democrat.
     Allen M. Slaten, a member of the Jerseyville bar, was born in this county in 1842. His parents were J. W. and Ann F. (Pickett) Slaten. He attended the common schools, and awhile at Kendall college, also taking a commercial course. He clerked for his father at Grafton, and afterwards ran a store at Otterville. He was admitted to the bar in August 1883, after which he commenced practice. He is now a member of the firm of Hamilton & Slaten.
     Joseph F. Greathouse was born near Milton, Pike county, Ill., March 10, 1839. He resided upon a farm with his widowed mother until he was 17 years of age. He then commenced teaching school, which he followed successfully until the breaking out of the civil war, when obeying the call of his country, he enlisted as private in Co. I, 99th Ill. Inf. regiment. This was in 1862. In 1863 he was made regimental quartermaster, and remained in that position until the close of hostilities. Returning hime, he studied law with John B. Henderson, of Louisiana, Mo., from 1866 to 1869, and was admitted to practice as an attorney-at-law, by the rules of the Supreme court of the state of Illinois in 1870. He opened an office and practiced his profession at Pittsfield, Ill. for 10 years, but in the spring of 1880 moved to East St. Louis, and in 1882 to Jerseyville, where he now resides and practices his profession. He was married Sept. 19, 1861 to Nancy L. Binns, and by virtue of this marriage there has been born to them five children: Dora, Lenore, Valeria, Gertrude, and Nina.
     Judge George W. Herdman, the present circuit judge of this circuit commenced the practice of law in Jerseyville in the spring of 1867, having just graduated. He is ranked among the prominent attorneys of this section of the state and is accorded high rank as a judge.
     Joseph S. Carr, attorney at law, is a native of St. Charles, Mo., where he was born in 1832. His parents were John Carr, a native of Lexington, Ky., and Elizabeth Mary Ann (Sumner) Carr, who was born in North Carolina. John Carr was murdered in the old City hotel at St. Louis in 1840. Mrs. Carr died in 1873. The subject of this sketch was reared in St. Charles, receiving a liberal education, graduating at the old St. Charles college. In 1869 he came to Illinois and located in Kane, in Greene county, where he engaged in the practice of law until 1883. He then moved to Jersey county, continuing the practice of his profession in the city of Jerseyville, where he now resides. May 10, 1859 he was united in marriage with Georgie Ann Logan, a native of Callaway county, Mo. They had eleven children, nine of whom are now living: Bettie E., Lois, Ernest H., Louis M., John, Josephine, Fritz, Festus, and Georgie E. He was bereaved by the death of his wife in 1881, and in 1883 was married to Etta Cory, a native of Jersey county. By this marriage there is one child, Etta May. Mr. and Mrs. Carr are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1881 Mr. Carr was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature and served one term. He is Deputy Grand Master of the state in the I.O.O.F., and a member of the Knights of Honor, also of the Knights of Pythias.
     George F. Lane was born in Havana, Mason county, Ill. His father was a minister of the M.E. church, and died while the subject of this sketch was a small lad. His mother was left a widow, with George and his sister Minnie to support and educate. The mother then moved to Lebanon, Ill., and gave to her children all the advantages of an excellent education that could be afforded by the McKendree College, located at that place. For several years George did not follow any business very long, but was what is termed wild. In 1874 he became a student in the office of H. H. Horner, a real estate lawyer of that place, and what success has attended George F. Lane’s efforts he attributes to the teaching of Mr. Horner. While in the law office, and while yet a student, George was chosen city attorney, and filled the office in an acceptable manner to the people. After his admission to the bar he commenced business for himself, and did well, until sickness compelled him to quit work for awhile. He moved to Elsah in 1879, and has resided in that place since. In regard to offices that he has held since he came to Jersey county, we can say he was elected township clerk in 1880; elected justice of the peace in 1881, and re-elected without opposition in 1885. He has not been engaged in active law practice since 1878, but has devoted his time to real estate and loan business. His office is in Elsah, where he has a good library of law, as well as books that are to be found on the shelves of private libraries. He was married to his wife, Emma Stephany, on Christmas day, 1883, and their union has been blessed by one child, an infant. George F. Lane is a man who tries to enjoy life, and is happy when he sees others enjoying themselves. He is a young man yet, only about 30 years old. He is at present the president of the board of trustees of the village of Elsah, to which office he was chosen unanimously. His office is the general meeting-place of the old business men of his township, and all matters of interest, either of the village or township, are talked over there. In politics he is a democrat of the Douglas democracy, and the ex-Union soldier has in George a friend who is always ready to help him get his pension papers in shape, and was never known to charge a pensioner a cent for his labor.

Jersey County Page     Jersey County History
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