This brief would not be complete without a few authorities to establish the relation of our lawyers to the general progress and development of the county. Some people may think that no such relationship exists, but they simply fail to understand. It has been stated elsewhere that when the settlers first came to Hancock county, they were confronted with three great tasks - to clear away the forests, to drain the lands and to build highways for intercommunication. Our lawyers may not have had much to do with clearing away the forest, but the public will probably never appreciate just how much they have had to do with drainage and road building. Many a swamp would have continued to harbor the germs of disease; many a stream would have remained stagnant, and acres of our garden land would have remained waste, had not doubtful and discouraged farmers found our law offices real sources of inspiration in the consideration of such matters. Our dirt roads have practically all been covered with gravel. Two hundred eight-one miles have been converted into improved "free gravel roads," over which our citizens travel with comfort and ease. Our lawyers have always encouraged road building. Their presence has never failed the good people of the county when the machinery of the courts needed to be set in motion to accomplish such results. It is not the intention to give any undue credit to the bar. But our lawyers have always been progressive, and their relation to all that has been accomplished in the county can be properly appreciated only after prolonged meditation thereon. Since the organization of the Hancock circuit court, their number has not been exactly "legion," yet they have been many. Following are the names of the men, resident and non-resident, who have been recommended for fitness and character, and who have held up their right hands and taken the oath to "support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Indiana, and faithfully and honestly to discharge the duties of an attorney at the bar of this court."
Calvin Fletcher, March 24, 1828; on motion of James Whitcomb.
Hervey Gregg, March 24, 1828; on motion of James Whitcomb.
Marinus Willett, March 24, 1828; on motion of James Whitcomb.
Charles H. Vreeder, March 24, 1828; on motion of James Whitcomb.
Hiram Brown, September 22, 1829.
James T. Brown, September 22, 1829.
John H. Alley, February 24, 1830.
William E. Ross, March 19, 1829; on motion of James T. Brown.
William I. Brown, September 1, 1830; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
Ovid Butler, September 1, 1830; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
Hugh T. Applegate, September 1, 1830; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
James Foresee, August 3, 1831.
James B. Ray, September 29, 1832.
John Occles, September 29, 1832.
John H. Scott, February 25, 1833; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
William Quarles, February 25, 1833; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
David Kigour, February 25, 1833; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
William Brown, February 25, 1833; on motion of Hervey Gregg.
Richard H. Jones, August 26, 1833; on motion of William Quarles.
Thomas D. Walpole, February 27, 1834.
Jehu T. Morris, February 27, 1834.
David Macy, February 27, 1834.
Christian C. Nave, February 27, 1834.
M. E. VanPelt, Februa5ry 27, 1834.
John Rymon, February 25, 1835; on motion of William Herrod.
Addison F. Mays, February 25, 1835; on motion of William Herrod.
Abram A. Hammond, February 25, 1835; on motion of William Herrod.
Charles I. Henderson, February 25, 1835; on motion of William Herrod.
Alfred Kilgore, February 25, 1835; on motion of William Herrod.
Thomas D. Walpole, February 27, 1835 (Disbarred).
Thomas D. Walpole, April 4, 1836 (Admitted for the present term).
Jacob Robbins, April 6, 1836; on motion of Hiram Brown.
Thomas D. Walpole, April 8, 1836 (Motion overruled).
Mason Hulitt, October 3, 1836; on motion of William Quarles.
Thomas D. Walpole, October 6, 1836; on motion of Mason Hulitt.
Robert McCorkhill, August 21, 1837; on motion of C. C. Nave.
Franklin Corwin, August 21, 1837; on motion of Ovid Butler.
Thomas D. Walpole, March 19, 1838; on motion of Humphrey Woodard.
Philip Swetson, September 17, 1838; on motion of A. A. Hammond.
Charles Mc Clure, February 17, 1840; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
William H. Brumfield, February 17, 1840; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
Simon Yander, February 17, 1840; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
Moses Cox, February 20, 1840; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
James M. Wilson, February 23, 1840; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
R. N. Williiams, August 17, 1840; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
George W. Julian, August 16, 1841; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
James B. Sleeth, August 16, 1841; on motion of Abram Hammond.
Theodore Barnett, September 27, 1843; on motion of James Morrison.
D. M. C. Lane.
W. Lindsey, February 20, 1844; on motion of A. A. Hammond.
Earl S. Stone, February 20, 1844; on motion of William Quarles.
Josephus H. Williams, February 20, 1844; on motion of D. M. C. Lane.
N. R. Lucerny, February 20, 1844; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
W. R. C. Nish, February 20, 1844; on motion of William Quarles.
Reuben A. Riley, August 19, 1844; on motion of R. M. Cooper.
David Reynolds, August 20, 1844.
Reuben D. Logan, August 20, 1844.
Eder H. Davis, August 22, 1844.
Nathan Powell, August 22, 1844.
William F. Matlock, February 17, 1845; on motion of Hugh O'Neal.
John C. Lynam, February 25, 1845; on motion of A. A. Hammond.
Gustavus N. Moss, August 18, 1845; on motion of Reuben A. Riley.
Daniel A. Hart, August 21, 1845; on motion of A. A. Hammond.
David S. Gooding, ----1845.
James Robinson, August 11, 1846; on motion of D. M. C. Lane.
James Rutherford, February 16, 1846.
James Rutherford, February 16, 1846.
Horatio C. Newcomb, August 9, 1847; on motion of William Quarles.
Thomas Sullivan, August 9, 1847; on motion of William Quarles.
Martin M. Ray, August 9, 1847; on motion of William Quarles.
William P. Davis, August 10, 1847; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Nimrod Johnson, August 10, 1847; on motion of R. A. Riley.
John L. Ketcham, September 2, 1850; on motion of Hugh O'Neal.
James L. Mason.
Lemuel W. Gooding, August 17, 1845; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
Charles A. Rang, February 16, 1854; on motion of A. A. Hammond.
William Evans, February 29, 1855; on motion of David S. Gooding.
William R. West.
David VanLaningham, August 15, 1836; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
Michael Wilson, August 10, 1857; on motion of Reuben A. Riley.
William R. Hough, August 10, 1857; on motion of Reuben A. Riley.
Benjamin F. Claypool, February 9, 1858; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Oliver I. Baird, February 9, 1858; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
David Moss, August 9, 1858; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Almon R. Meek, August 9, 1858; on motion of William R. West.
George Y. Atkison, August 10, 1858; on motion of David S. Gooding.
M. C. Foley.
Joseph R. Silver, May 26, 1859; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Joseph Ankrom, June 2, 1859; on motion of William W. Wick.
----Clark, June 2, 1859; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Parris Indian, June 2, 1859; on motion of Thomas D. Walpole.
William H. Pilkinton, February 15, 1860; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Bryan C. Walpole, February--,1860; on motion of R. A. Riley.
William R. Walls, February 25, 1860; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Henry C. Gooding, August 15 1860; on motion of William H.---.
William Hendricks, August 15, 1860; on motion of William R. West.
Joseph P. Marshall, February 20, 1861; on motion of William R. West.
Almond R. Meek, August 14, 1861; on motion of William R. West.
Charles D. Morgan, February 11, 1862; on motion of Lemuel W. Gooding.
Thomas H. Branham, February 21, 1862; on motion of Henry Craven.
Jesse McHenry, August 15, 1862; on motion of James L. Mason.
Walter March, August 11, 1863; on motion of Lemuel W. Gooding.
Silas C. Cooper, February 14, 1865; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Lewis Dale, February 14,1865; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Alfred D. Shaw, August 14, 1865; on motion of James L. Mason.
Oliver P. Gooding, August 15, 1865; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Augustus W. Hough, February 13, 1866; on motion of R. A. Riley.
W. W. Kersey, February 13, 1866; on motion of R. A. Riley.
W. W. Purdue, February 15, 1866.
Stephen D. Lyon, August 15, 1866; on motion of George Y. Atkison.
J. M. Lowe, August 15, 1866; on motion of James L. Mason.
John H. Popps, August 21, 1866; on motion of R. A. Riley.
George W. Johnson, August 21, 1866; on motion of W. W. Kersey.
Richard Kelly, August 28, 1866; on motion of James L. Mason.
Charles G. Offutt, February 12, 1867; on motion of James L. Mason.
-----Mitchell, February 13, 1867; on motion of James L. Mason.
Hamilton J. Dunbar, February 13, 1867.
Prestly Guymon, February 15, 1867; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Matthias M. Hook, February 15, 1867; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Hamilton J. Dunbar, August 13, 1867.
Thomas M. Brown, August 15, 1867; on motion of L. W. Gooding.
Thomas M. Bidgood, August 12, 1868; on motion of James L. Mason.
E. E. Galbreath, February 14, 1871; on motion of William R. Hough.
James A. New, February 6, 1872; on motion of H. J. Dunbar.
Luther Benson, February 6, 1872; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Bond B. Wheeler, February 6, 1872; on motion of H. J. Dunbar.
Adams L. Ogg, February 14, 1872; on motion of William R. Hough.
Benjamin L. Smith, February 27, 1872; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Thomas H. Bowds, February 27, 1872; on motion of M. M. Ray.
William F. Bernhauer, March 16, 1873; on motion of James L. Mason.
Samuel Griffin, March 26, 1874; on motion of James L. Mason.
W. W. Leathers, June 24, 1874; on motion of James L. Mason.
John O. Hully, October 31, 1874; on motion of James L. Mason.
Henry A. Swope, November 3, 1874; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Israel P. Poulson, January 9, 1875; on motion of Hamilton J. Dunbar.
Daniel Church, March 22, 1875; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Edward S. Coffin, June 10, 1875; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
John S. Pettit, October 20, 1875; on motion of H. J. Dunbar.
John A. Hughes, March 23, 1876; on motion of H. J. Dunbar.
Marion Steele, June 8, 1876; on motion of William R. Hough.
Samuel A. Wray, June 7, 1876; on motion of James L. Mason.
Henry A. Schriber, June 23, 1876; on motion of James L. Mason.
William F. McBane.
William H. Martin, February--,1877; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Bart Burke, January 26, 1877; on motion of William R. Hough.
George J. Shugos, April 6, 1877; on motion of James L. Mason.
William Ward Cook, June 4, 1877; on motion of William R. Hough.
W. S. Denton, June 4, 1877; on motion of R. A. Riley.
John W. Jones, June 5, 1877; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Richard A. Black, October 15, 1877; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Samuel B. Waters, March 26, 1878; on motion of R. A. Riley.
John H. Binford.
Marshall B. Gooding, October 14, 1878; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Isaac G. Brown, November 1, 1878; on motion of James A. New.
T. S. Rollins, June 11, 1879; on motion of Montgomery Marsh.
William H. Fleece, January 16, 1879; on motion of James L. Mason.
Charles E. Barrett, December 31, 1879; on motion of James A. New.
Albert Caldwell, January 12, 1880; on motion of William Ward Cook.
Robert Denny, March 16, 1880; on motion of John W. Jones.
Albert Baker, March 16, 1880; on motion of William R. Hough.
Charles S. Rennecamp, April 8, 1880; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
L. H. Reynolds, June 7, 1880; on motion of John W. Jones.
A. C. Ayers, October 18, 1880; on motion of James A. New.
Robert Collins, January 3, 1881; on motion of William R. Hough.
Charles W. Smith, March 22, 1881; on motion of James L. Mason.
Tilghman E. Ballard, March 28, 1881; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Henry W. Taylor, March 28, 1881; on motion of David S. Gooding.
William C. Barrett, June 13, 1881; on motion of R. A. Riley.
Harmon J. Everett, June 6, 1881; on motion of Samuel A. Wray.
Jesse J. Spann, June 17, 1881; on motion of William R. Hough.
----Norton, June 22, 1881; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
W. E. Thompson, June 13, 1881; on motion of John W. Jones.
William Booth, October 27, 1881; on motion of Montgomery Marsh.
Marcellus Chapman, October ---, 1881; on motion of Charles C. Barrett.
Elmer E. Swope, February---, 1882; on motion of Ephraim Marsh.
Joseph E. McDonald, June 26, 1882; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Ralph Hill, June 26, 1882; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
George C. Butler, June 26, 1882; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Joel Stafford, April 10, 1883; on motion of David S. Gooding.
John W. Stout, April 10, 1883; on motion of L. H. Reynolds.
W. K. Williams, April 11, 1883; on motion of David S. Gooding.
William C. Forrey, June 19, 1883; on motion of James A. New.
Robert Williamson, July 3, 1884; on motion of William R. Hough.
William J. Sparks.
Howard Barrett, June 11, 1885; on motion of James A. New.
Ferd Staff, June 25, 1885; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
E. T. J. Jordon, October 27, 1885; on motion of David S. Gooding.
Edward W. Felt, October 24, 1887; on motion of William R. Hough.
Frank E. Hammer, October 15, 1888.
John L. McNew, June 13, 1888; on motion of William R. Hough.
Asa M. New, June 25, 1888; on motion of William R. Hough.
S. E. Jackson, October 1`5, 1888.
William A. Hough, ----,1888; on motion of Ephraim Marsh.
Charles Downing, September 2, 1889; on motion of William Ward Cook.
John J. Rochford, September 2, 1889; on motion of William Ward Cook.
Henry Warrum, September 2, 1889; on motion of William Ward Cook.
Cassius Ginther, December 3, 1889.
U. S. Jackson, December 4, 1889; on motion of L. H. Reynolds.
James E. McCullough.
Andrew J. Shelby, December 16, 1890; on motion of J. L. Mason.
Noble J. Warrum, Jr., February 3, 1891; on motion of Wm. Ward Cook.
Elmer J. Binford, ---,1893.
Raymond R. Gery, ---,--; on motion of R. A. Black
James F. Reed, ---,1893; on motion of R. A. Black.
A. M. Hadley, November 23, 1893; on motion of E. J. Binford.
W. P. Bidgood.
John F. Wiggins, February--,1894; on motion of Charles G. Offutt.
Robert L. Mason, ---,1894; on motion of Robert Williamson.
Eldon A. Robb, March 13, 1895; on motion of E. J. Binford.
Newton R. Spencer, April 25, 1896; on motion of E. J. Binford.
Louis E. Kimberlin, March 24, 1896; on motion of William H. Martin.
Sidney L. Walker, March 11, 1896; on motion of William Ward Cook.
Jonas P. Walker, September 16, 1896; on motion of William H. Martin
D. C. Cash, September 21, 1896.
Edwin Glascock, April 27, 1896; on motion of E. J. Binford.
Oliver P. Hastings, December 8, 1896; on motion of Marshall B. Gooding.
Albert Frost, September 7, 1897; on motion of E. W. Felt.
N. B. Brandenburg, September 21, 1897; on motion of J. F. Reed.
R. S. Holding, February 6, 1897; on motion of E. J. Binford.
Earl Sample, June 20, 1898; on motion of E. W. Felt.
John F. Egan, October 7, 1898; on motion of Ephraim Marsh.
A. V. B. Sample, April 8, 1899; on motion of Ephraim Marsh.
Arthur C. VanDuyn, March 22, 1899; on motion of E. W. Felt.
James M. Bussell, January 6, 1900, on motion of E. J. Binford.
Francis T. Boyden, March 7, 1900; on motion of W. F. McBane.
John Larrabee, February 5, 1900; on motion of William Ward Cook.
Charles L. Tindall, April 23, 1900; on motion of William Ward Cook.
David Eidman, May 24, 1900; on motion of W. E. Felt.
Samuel O. Pickens, May 15, 1900; on motion of Wm. Ward Cook.
Albert V. Hodgin, May 15, 1900; on motion of Wm. Ward Cook.
William Irvin, December 1, 1900; on motion of Wm. R. Hough.
John W. Card, January 2, 1901; on motion of George W. Duncan.
Robert Ellison, March 14, 1901; on motion of Ephraim Marsh.
James E. McClain, February 8, 1901; on motion of Wm. F. McBane.
William H. Pauley, January 5, 1901; on motion of Wm. Ward Cook.
William B. Risse, February 28, 1901; on motion of Ephraim Marsh.
Freeman Thomas, January 18, 1901; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
M. E. Fitzgerald, November 9, 1901; on motion of U. S. Jackson.
Herbert I. Goldsmith, November 9, 1901; on motion of U. S. Jackson.
George R. Bodine, September 11, 1902; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
R. L. Marsh, July 12, 1902; on motion of U. S. Jackson.
George M. Overman, December 2, 1902; on motion of J. E. McClain.
Chalmer Schlosser, June 21, 1902; on motion of J. F. Reed.
William C. Welborn, November 29, 1902; on motion of R. L. Mason.
Ora F. Boyce, February 7, 1903; on motion of J. F. Reed.
Joseph E. Bell, March 18, 1903; on motion of U. S. Jackson.
Joseph W. Kitterman, January 21, 1903; on motion of A. C. VanDuyn.
Charles A. Robinson, January 24, 1903; on motion of R. L. Mason.
Omer Jackson, September 7, 1903; on motion of U. S. Jackson.
Omer D. Green, June 25, 1904; on motion of E. F. Quigley.
John Lockridge, February 2, 1904; on motion of R. L. Mason.
E. F. Quigley, May 2, 1904; on motion of Earl Sample.
Samuel J. Offutt, December 27, 1904; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
Jesse Sanford, March 25, 1905; on motion of S. J. Offutt.
Charles H. Cook, February 13, 1905; on motion of Charles L. Tindall.
Fred O. Dean, February 7, 1905; on motion of A. C. VanDuyn.
Wm. H. H. Graham, September 6, 1905; on motion of George W. Duncan.
Charles F. Reeves, July 1, 1905; on motion of A. C. VanDuyn,
Hiram L. Thomas, July 1, 1905; on motion of A. C. VanDuyn.,
Robert E. Martin, June 26, 1906; on motion of Chalres L. Tindall.
Will A. Stewart, May 21, 1906; on motion of Willliam A. Hough.
William D. Bennett, March 7, 1907; on motion of U. S. Jackson.
Chauncey W. Duncan, November 1906; on motion of W. W. Cook.
Edward C. Eikman, November 5, 1906; on motion of Charles L. Tindall.
John M. Hall, January 16, 1907; on motion of S. J. Offutt.
Samuel I. Harlan, February 16, 1907; on motion of Jonas Walker.
Edwin S. Parks, October 15, 1907; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
Frank Hedrich, May 18, 1907; on motion of A. C. Van Duyn.
John Q. McGrail, June 10, 1907; on motion of Earl Sample.
Harvey J. Elam, June 11, 1907; on motion of Earl Sample.
George J. Richman, June 22, 1907; on motion of E. W. Felt.
James A. Collins, May 18, 1908; on motion of William A. Hough.
S. Meek, June 24, 1908; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
F. J. Meek, June 24, 1908; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
Loranzo McDonald, June 29, 1908; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
Robert F. Reeves, May 1, 1908; on motion of Charles L. Tindall.
Harry Eagan, November 9, 1909; on motion of E. J. Binford.
C.W. Morrison, June 10, 1909.
George T. Tindall, September 11, 1909; on motion of Charles L. Tindall.
Charles M. Demaree, May 21, 1910.
John B. Hinchman, January 22, 1910; on motion of Edward F. Quigley.
R. L. Rosenthal, February 7, 1910.
Ora Myers, January 27, 1912; on motion of J. F. Reed.
H. Segar Slifer, January 5, 1912.
Paul F. Binford, June 1, 1912.
William E. Bussell, June 6, 1914; on motion of Jonas P. Walker.
H. M. Kelley, November 6, 1914; on motion of Charles H. Cook.
Vinton A. Smith, February 28, 1914; on motion of R. L. Mason.
Moses C. Wood, January 2, 1915; on motion of Edwin Glascock.
Olin R. Holt, February 27, 1915.
The Hancock circuit court was organized on March 24, 1828, at the house of Samuel B. Jackson. This house stood on the south side of the National road, just a short distance west of the present car barns. There were present on that occasion Bethuel F. Morris, president of the fifth judicial circuit, Jacob Jones and James B. Stephens, associate judges, Lewis Tyner, clerk and James Whitcomb, prosecutor.
The name of James Whitcomb does not appear on the court records except as prosecutor. He later became governor of the state of Indiana, and is the man after whom our Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, was named.
Four attorneys were admitted to practice on that day, Calvin Fletcher, Hervey Gregg, Marimus Willett and Charles H. Vreeder. During the first few years the court held two sessions annually. The September term, 1828, and the March term, 1829, were also held at the residence of Samuel B. Jackson. The record shows that the court convened for the first time at the court house at Greenfield on Thursday, September 17, 1829.
The first rules governing the practice at the bar of the court were adopted at Jackson's residence on March 19, 1829. The following are the rules:
|But one attorney on each side will be permitted to examine the witness.|
|The party introducing the witness will examine him in chief; the opposite party will cross-examine, and the other party will then explain, but no new matter will be introduced without obtaining permission of the court. And if one party shall interrupt the other by asking a question in any other manner except by regularly objecting to the court, he will be punished.|
|If a question is objected to, the objector will instantly rise in his place to make the objection to the court, and an attempt to press the question upon a witness, or elicit an answer before the point is determined, will be punished.|
|Every attempt to ask a question which in form or substance has once been answered, or in any manner, either directly or indirectly, to get improper evidence to the jury, or any attempt to lead a witness by the form or manner of the question, or to dictate or connect his evidence, be considered an attempt punishable at the discretion of the court. So will be frequent repetitions of the same questions to the same witness, unless necessary to obtain the object of the cross examination.|
|During the hearing of a cause before a jury no argument will be permitted upon any question arising as to competency of witnesses, or the admissibility of testimony. But the question may be taken down at any time, and the point will be reserved for argument on a motion for a new trial. If any such objections are made, and the counsel have any authorities at hand to produce, they will be examined, but no remarks will be permitted.|
|After the defendant or the party holding the negation has closed his testimony, the opposite party will not be permitted to introduce any except rebutting testimony.|
|If in the argument of a case before a jury, any reflection, either direct or indirect, or any complaint is made by any attorney, that the court had rigidly enforced the rules of evidence and restricted the party in his testimony, he will be punished by suspension during the term.|
|In the argument of a case to the jury, no improper allusion shall be made to facts that are not in evidence before the jury, to public opinion, or to any other matter not legally connected with the cause, and not a legitimate subject for observation.|
|When an attorney ceases to argue the cause of his client to the jury, and commences to speak of himself, or of the opposite counsel or any other matter unconnected with the case, he will be stopped.|
|All application for special instructions to the jury must be in writing, and not a word by way of application for counter instructions will be heard. If any instructions given by the court are objected to, the party objectioning will say so at the time and the instructions will be taken down, and the point reserved for argument on a motion for a new trial, or for a bill of exception.|
|In all arguments, either to the court or jury, the counsel opening the cause will read all of the authorities upon which he intends to rely, and no additional authorities will be read in the concluding argument; and in all arguments or questions submitted to the court, they will, in their discretion, direct the attention of the counsel to such points as they deem worthy of argument, or upon which they entertain doubts, and if an attorney wanders from these points, he will be stopped.|
|In all civil cases docketed on the second or ---day of the term, when a declaration has been filed and process served ten days before court, the defendant will be expected to plead on the first calling of the cause on the day on which it is docketed, and for want of such pleading, judgment will be rendered, unless, for good cause shown by affidavit, further time be allowed.|
|No time will be allowed in court to prepare an affidavit for a continuance unless it appears that the party applying could not have known before that time by using proper diligence that such application would be necessary—nor would any time be allowed to prepare pleadings or other papers at the bar which might have been prepared before.|
|On motions for continuance, the party applying will read his affidavit; one of the opposite counsel will be heard, if an objection is made, and the applicant will reply.|
|If an attorney has any business to transact with his clients or other persons other than the immediate cause in hearing-he will retire from the bar.|
|When a cause at issue is given for trial, if the counsel informs the court that he is ready, the counsel will immediately progress. If the cause is not then ready, the cause will be placed at the foot of the docket, and thereby lose it precedence.|
|Any attempt to argue a question after it is determined by the court, or to continue the argument after it is argued out or close, will be punished.|
|Any bill of exceptions containing any part of the evidence in a cause, will have to be signed unless the party excepting will take down the evidence before the witness retires from the bar - or the bill is agreed to by the opposite counsel.|
|When attorneys wish to engage in wrangling, personal abuse, recriminations, they will retire from the court room, or submit to punishment by fine, impeachment, or suspension at the pleasure of the court.|
|As the court sits for the purpose of administering justice, they will, with benefit and pleasure, hear any arguments or authorities that will, in the least degree, aid them in the discovery of truth, or the detection of fraud; but they will not unnecessarily consume the time of persons and witnesses and increase the public, as well as individual expense, by listening to mere idle declamation or popular harangue made with other views and for other purposes than the investigation of truth, or the advancement of justice.|
The court house in which the court convened on September 17, 1829, stood on the west side of what is now South State Street. It was a two-story log house and was located just a little north of the alley running east and west between Main and South streets.
The first court house on the public square was built late in 1834, or early in 1835, and was used until 1851. It has been described in an earlier chapter of this work. The court room was on the first floor in the southeast part of the building. In the southeast corner of the room was a large fireplace, six or eight feet wide, in which logs were burned. The floor of the entire court room was made of brick. It was in this room that Thomas D. Walpole, George W. Julian, Reuben A. Riley, David S. Gooding and James Rutherford began their practice and became the leading practitioners of the county.
The practice of the attorneys in this court room was based on the old common law instead of the code. Our code was adopted until the new state constitution went into effect in 1852. For this reason, the court records of that period show civil actions brought on debt, assumpsit, etc.
There were also some stirring scenes in this court room. It was there, on Wednesday, February 25, 1835, the state of Indiana, on relation of Eden Chittenden, filed charges and specification against Thomas D. Walpole in relation to his malpractice as an attorney of the court. Walpole was in court at the time and the clerk was ordered to furnish him a copy of the charges.
On Thursday morning, February 26, the matter came up for hearing and the following record was made:"Now comes as well the plaintiff by his attorney as the defendant in his own proper person who admits the receipt of a copy of the charges and specifications aforesaid, and the files his answer thereto, and the parties submit the matter to the court. Whereupon all and singular, the premises being seen, and the evidence adduced by the parties being fully heard and understood, the court do say that the respondent, the said Thomas D. Walpole, is not guilty as he is charged in the first and second specification aforesaid, and that the said respondent is guilty in manner and form as he stands charged on said third specification. Wherefore it is considered, ordered and adjudged by the court that said respondent, for his malpractice and misconduct aforesaid, whereof he is convicted as aforesaid, be forever deprived of his franchise and privilege as such attorney and counselor at law as aforesaid, and that he be no more permitted to practice as such, under, or by virtue of his license whereof he is now possessed."
Following this judgment, Walpole "moved the court to arrest and stay judgment upon their finding, and the conviction aforesaid, for the cause that said third specification whereupon said Walpole is convicted as aforesaid is insufficient in law to warrant any judgment thereon." But this entry follows: "And the premises being seen and understood, it seems to the court that said third specification is sufficient to warrant judgment thereon. It is therefore considered that the said Walpole take nothing by his said motion."
On the fourth of April, 1836, a motion was made to admit Walpole to practice for the term then in session. This motion was granted. Four days later a motion was made that he be again admitted to practice as an attorney at the bar of the court. This motion was overruled. On October 6, 1836, Walpole was admitted to practice as an attorney at the bar, but in the presence of the associate judges only. On January 19, 1838, he was admitted in the presence of the full court.
The record does not disclose the specific cause for which he was disbarred, nor does it show that the order that he "be forever deprived of his franchise" was ever rescinded or erased. Other chapters of this work, however, will show that he did vote many times, and that he put his full portion of ginger into future campaigns.
One is surprised at the number of lawsuits in which Walpole himself was a party, as shown by the records of the court. Frequently he appeared as plaintiff, but more often as defendant. Nor does there seem to have been any statue that limited proceedings against him to civil actions. His name appears a defendant in state cases, and one of the amusing incidents in the record in an indictment returned against him February 17, 1849, for disturbing a lawful meeting.
On October 3, 1836, the following additional rules were adopted:
Parties shall be called within the court house.
Witnesses may be called from a written list at the door.
Previous to making an issue, the party bound to answer pleadings already filed may have the papers in a cause until he shall have answered such pleading.
After the issue is made up, the clerk shall be held responsible for the papers until the parties announce themselves as ready for trial, at which time they shall be delivered to the party having the affirmative of the issue to be tried.
The prosecuting attorney must have possession of the papers in all state cases, and must be prepared to mention the names of parties and sureties and witnesses whom he may desire to call promptly.
Parties must furnish the sheriff with written lists of witnesses whose names are to be called at the bar.
No paper shall be filed unless it be properly and plainly endorsed in such a manner as to show the title of the suit to which it belongs and the character of the papers.
Some of the attorneys at the bar seem to have been inclined to violate well-known rules of practice, apparently to the annoyance of the court. In consequence thereof, the following order was made at the February term 1837, by Judge Wick:
"Ordered, that the following rules be observed by attorneys practicing in this court: Personal allusions to counsel, explanations of personal matters, impeachment of the motives, management or justification of the personal motive or allusion thereto, and all other matters merely personal or complimentary or offensive towards the profession in their character, must be avoided in argument. Counsel violating this rule will be stopped and reprimanded, and persisting therein, will not be permitted to proceed."
Other rules have been adopted from time to time, more nearly like the rules that are now observed.
In all of the older court houses, and, in fact, until 1871, there was no division of the court room for the convenience of attorneys and litigants.
The first division of the court room was made at the February term of court, 1871, when the following entry was made:
"And it plainly appearing to the court that the room designed for its use and now being used and occupied by it, is still out of repair and without suitable furniture, and in consequence thereof is in such condition as to greatly inconvenience the court and members of the bar, and parties litigant, and retard the transaction of business therein. It is therefore now, here, and hereby ordered and directed, that the sheriff of the county shall proceed forthwith to repair said court room and to put the same in good condition, and to erect a railing so as to separate a proper portion of said room in the east end thereof for the use of the court and the bar, and to furnish the same with suitable furniture, etc., for the use and accommodation of the judge, jury, clerk, sheriff, and members of the bar of this court, and to have the same completed by the first Monday in June next.
And the court hereby appoints Henry A. Swope, clerk of this court, and William R. Hough, a member of the bar thereof, to act in conjunction with said sheriff in determining in what manner and style said repairs and improvements, and furniture shall be made and furnished, and the same shall be made, done and furnished in the manner and style that they, the said sheriff, or either two of them shall determine."
Since that time we have grown accustomed to the railing across the room.
The first law providing for shorthand reporters for the courts was passed in 1873. Prior to the passage of this act no evidence was kept in minor cases. For the more important cases, when parties demanded it, the court appointed one of the lawyers to take notes on the evidence submitted, who then wrote the same out in long hand. William R. Hough has in this manner prepared the evidence for the supreme court in many cases. The court record also shows that in 1871, an allowance of forty dollars was made to Charles G. Offutt for reporting the evidence in the case of State vs. Duncan.
W. E. Scott was the first official resident court reporter. He was appointed by Judge Martin in 1888. In 1894, Judge Offutt appointed Charles F. Reeves, who served for thirteen years under Judges Offutt, Felt and Mason. Mrs. Maggie Pitts served for about a year at the close of Judge Offutt's term and the beginning of Judge Felt's term. Charles E. Walker was appointed by Judge Mason and has now served about nine years under Judges Mason and Sample.
Until about twenty-five years ago all pleading and other papers were written in long hand by the attorneys. Stenographers were first employed in the law offices at Greenfield in 1891. Marsh & Cook, who were enjoying a very lucrative practice, employed Margaret O'Donnell, now Mrs. James R. Boyd, in September of that year. After the death of Mr. Marsh in 1905, the firm of Cook & Cook was formed, and since the death of William Ward Cook in 1913, the business of the former firms has been carried on by Cook & Walker. Following are the names of the stenographers who have been employed in this office:
Margaret O'Donnell, September, 1891-November, 1891; Nettie Adams, July, 1892-February, 1901; Pearl Wood, March 1901-February 1903; Nora Chandler, February, 1903-September 1903; Bertha Cockayne, October, 1903-Feburyry, 1904; Mrs. L. G. Shaw, February, 1904-July, 1904; Emily Woodall, July 1904-June 1905; Martha Johnson, July, 1905-March, 1906; Clara Rynerson, March, 1904-August, 1906; Stella Thompson, August 1906-July, 1908; Elizabeth Kissell, August, 1908-September, 1908; Stella Thompson, September, 1908-August, 1909; Lillian Charles, August, 1909-June, 1912; Hildred Walker, July, 1912, to the present time.
Several of the stenographers names above also worked in other law offices, some of them for a period of years. Miss O'Donnell, for instance, was in the office of John H. Binford for eight years or more. Following is a list of the stenographers who have been employed in other law offices at Greenfield since 1891:
Nora Chandler (Roberts) - Spencer & Binford
Mattie Brown - Felt & Jackson
Carrie Porter-Mason & Jackson
Ethel Hamilton-Felt & Binford
Ola Thompson - John H. Binford
Mabel Pettigrew-Jackson & Sample
Bertha Justice( Bragg) - William A. Hughes
Stella Trout - James Reed
Eva Hendren (White)-James Reed
Mabel C. Payne - James Reed
Margaret Gorman - James Reed
Elizabeth Kissell (Thomas) Sanford & Glascock
Mrs. Anna Phillips - Sample & Jackson
Ruth Fort - McCullough & Welborn
Mrs. Ada O. Frost - Samuel J. Offutt
Daisy Finnell - William A. Hughes
Hazel Amick (Thomas) Chauncey Duncan
Ethel Nicely - Jackson & Glascock
Beulah Jackson-Paul F. Binford
Marie Latshaw-Samuel J. Offutt
Mrs. Pearl Gibbs-Paul F. Binford
The splendid law library to which the attorneys have access at the court house has been collected within the last thirty-five years. On the eighth day of June, 1882, the court, on its own motion (Judge Forkner on the bench), ordered that James A. New, Israel P. Poulson and Augustus W. Hough be added to a committee that had been theretofore appointed by the judge of the court, to sell the extra volumes of the Indiana Reports and to purchase the New York Reports, and to report their doings, etc., etc.
On the fifth day of January, 1886, this committee reported the sale of forty-eight volumes of the Indiana Report. They also reported the purchase of thirty-three volumes of the New York Reports. The committee further "shows that the reason why this matter was not promptly closed up was that Bowen, Stewart & Company agreed at the time said purchase was made to furnish the digest for said reports under contract as they were compiled and published, for which said balance was to be expended. And he said that said digests were not furnished, hence the funds retained therefore are still on hands, and that with this unfulfilled promised died the recollection which the committee had of the details of their proceedings and doing." This report was made by James A. New, a member of the committee.
On the fifth day of April, 1887, Ephraim Marsh, Israel P. Poulson and James A. New, "committee on the Hancock County Law Library," submitted another report of their doings as such committee, which was approved by the court, and which showed that additional law books had been purchased from the Bowen-Merrill Company. The purchase of the New York Reports, as above stated, seems to have been the first step towards getting a library of general reference. The National Reporter System was started in 1885, and soon the first volumes of these reports were placed on the shelves. Other publications were added as they came from the press, including the Federal Reports, the Lawyers' Reports Annotated, the Centennial Digest, the Decennial Digest, Encyclopedias, etc.
In the early history of the county the lawyers held a prominent place in the educational work of the county. They were frequently appointed to examine teachers as to their fitness and qualifications. Thomas D. Walpole was appointed by the circuit court in 1842. Township examiners were appointed in 1845, but in 1850 the circuit court again appointed an attorney, R. A. Riley. Following the enactment of the County Examiner's law, the board of county commissioners of Hancock county appointed the following lawyers as "examiners;" James Rutherford, 1853; R. A. Riley, 1856; James L. Mason, 1857; William R. Hough, James L. Mason and David VanLaningham, 1859; William R. Hough, 1860; M. C. Foley, 1864; James A. New, 1871.
The attorneys have always taken an interest in politics. Thomas D. Walpole, R. A. Riley and David S. Gooding were among the first to become established in the county, and they were politicians. Walpole and Gooding were at first Whigs. Riley was a Democrat until the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854. In the latter fifties Gooding and Walpole were Democrats and Riley was a Whig. With the opening of the Civil War, James L. Mason became a leader of the Democrats, while Gooding and Riley became prominent in the Union party. William R. Hough also sat in the councils of the Union party. He became active as a Republican in the early seventies when he served two terms in the state senate. Lemuel W. Gooding was also active in the Union party during the war and remained active as a Republican for several years after the war. He was chairman of the Republican county central committee in 1867-8. Montgomery Marsh was an active Democrat all his life. He, by the way, was also the chief agitator in stirring up interest in the gas situation in 1886. Charles G. Offutt and Ephraim Marsh entered the political arena a few years after the war and remained active Democrats for thirty-five years. Stokes Jackson, it may be said, entered the legal profession through politics. Judge Felt has been a successful politician and has held public office probably more than half the time since entering the profession. R. A. Black was a prominent Republican and William A. Hough's name is frequently mentioned in Republican circles among the eligibles for Congress.. Practically all members of the bar now take an active interest in politics. They never refuse to serve their respective parties with their best judgment, nor do they shun the responsibilities of public office when the importunity of friends becomes irresistible.
One of the interesting incidents in the history of the war developed during the temperance campaign in the county in 1874. The Temperance Alliance, a ladies' organization, had been effected in Greenfield, and a mass meeting of the citizens was being held at the Methodist Episcopal church on Sunday evening, March 8. The church was filled to overflowing and many of the lawyers were present. Temperance pledges were being presented and signed in all parts of the room. But the ladies had prepared a special pledge for the attorneys, wherein they were to agree not to defend any person charged with a violation of the liquor laws. One or two of the attorneys, it seems, signed the pledge, but the others refused to do so. The matter was discussed in meeting and several of the attorneys expressed their views on this pledge. Ephraim Marsh and Charles G. Offutt both spoke at length upon the matter. As reported in the Hancock Democrat, Mr. Marsh said "he was in favor of temperance in all things, but was not prepared to say which was the right way. When he came to a conclusion all the ladies had to do was to show the way and he would follow. As to the pledge prepared for the lawyers, he would not sign it under any circumstance. All criminals were entitled to a fair and impartial trial, and to be heard in person or by counsel. This being the case, and he being a lawyer, he could not consent to place himself in a position not to accept employment in any case at the bar, if he desired to do so."
Mr. Offutt spoke as follows:
"Mr. Chairman: In response to repeated calls awhile ago I arose simply to offer an apology for not attempting to make a speech. I thought then that inasmuch as I had not yet complied with the request of the ladies who presented the pledge to me, by affixing my name thereto, that I should on the occasion remain silent. But, sir, since then some things have been said which would seem to demand a reply from me. It pained me exceedingly to hear my brother of the bar, in his zeal and excitement, attempt to cast a stigma upon the many worthy members of the bar who decline to sign a certain paper, which I recognize to be in the handwriting of the gentleman, pledging themselves, in effect, not to take the cause of persons charged with violating the ‘Baxter bill.' That paper was presented to me, and, for reasons entirely satisfactory to myself, I declined to sign it, and I still decline. So far as I know but two members of the bar have signed it. I hold than at attorney has the right to engage in the defense of any man, woman or child charged with a crime without being liable to just censure form any quarter. The fundamental law of the land declares that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to be heard by himself and counsel, and that the presumption of innocence is in his favor. Sir, because a man is changed with a violation of law, be it the ‘Baxter bill' or any other, it doesn't necessarily follow that he is guilty, not by any means. The only way to determine his guilt is by placing him upon trial before a tribunal competent to inquire into his case. And how shall the trial be conducted? The state furnished counsel to prosecute him. Shall he be denied the right to employ counsel in his defense? Or shall his counsel be proscribed because they see that if their client is convicted that conviction is obtained according to law. Again, can it be said that because an attorney engaged in the defense of a man charged with a violation of the liquor law that the attorney is in favor if intemperance? I think not. As well might you say that because an attorney defends a man charged with the larceny of a horse that he is therefore in favor of horse stealing. Just as well say, sir, that if a man engages in the defense of a murderer that he is in favor of taking human life. It is not the duty of an attorney to make a defense for a man charged with a crime by suborning witnesses, misleading a court or jury as to the facts or the law of the case; but it is his duty to protect the interest so his client by all fair and honorable means and to the best of his ability. He is sworn to do this. Shall he be recreant to his oath, and thus advertise himself to the world as unworthy of the confidence of honest men? Sir, so far as I am concerned, I have never refused the cause of a man charged with any crime, and I propose to pursue that course in the future. I conceive it to be honorable and right. As far as the temperance question is concerned, I think it is admitted by all candid men that temperance is right and intemperance wrong. It is not necessary that I should stand here and declaim against the evils of intemperance. All men everywhere admit it to be the great foe of mankind. The veriest wretch that ever drank destruction to his own soul will tell you that his course is not to be approved or followed. No man can engage in the use of intoxicating liquor to an excess, and not finally destroy his constitution. It shatters the physical man and lays the mind in ruins, and whatever others may say, I know that no man in this audience would more heartily rejoice over the success of any plan that would stay the fearful tide on intemperance sweeping over the land, than I. And, sir, I think this is a most favorable time for the ladies to accomplish great good. No political party, as my friend, Captain Ogg, has said, is opposing their movements. Good people everywhere are wishing them success, and if they go about their work in the spirit of Christianity, love and kindness their efforts may be crowned with success. It won't do to proscribe men or treat them harshly for their views, but reason with the, threat them kindly, convince them that it is to their interest to be sober and upright, that the good of society demands that they should give up a business which yields only poverty, disgrace and crime, and, my word for it, your success will be great."
Mr. Offutt was heartily applauded at the close of his remarks.
It has long been the custom of the attorneys to adopt resolutions of respect and condolence upon the death of any member of the bar. The first resolutions of this nature that appear of record were adopted upon the death of George Y. Atkison.
At the August term, 1869, Reuben A. Riley presented the following motion in writing:
|State of Indiana||}SS:||In the Hancock Circuit
August term, 1869.
|County of Hancock|
"Whereas, the Hon. George Y. Atkison, a member of the bar of this court, and long a resident citizen of the county, at six o'clock, P.M., on the 23rd day of July, 1869, departed this life.
"Therefore, in respect to his memory and in deference to the feeling of the court and its officers, and the members of the bar,
"I move the court that a committee of three be appointed to prepare suitable preamble and resolutions in memoriam, to be spread upon the record, and that they report tomorrow morning.
|"August 10, 1869.||R. A. Riley|
This motion was seconded by D. S. Gooding, and ordered to be spread of record. The court appointed R. A. Riley, D. S. Gooding and Montgomery Marsh, a committee to prepare suitable resolutions in this behalf, and to report the same on the following morning.
The resolutions of the committee were accepted and spread on the record of the court. Since that time it has become the custom to take such action upon the death of a member of the bar or of a county officer.
It is not the intention in the following paragraphs to attempt to indicate phases of the practice upon which lawyers have been dependent for a livelihood. No lawyer can maintain himself in the profession in this county by depending upon special lines of work such as indicated below. If he does not have at least a fairly liberal share of the general practice in the county, his experience as a lawyer will be short lived, unless he has other means of support. Frequently, however, movements are started in the county that are of particular interest to the profession because of the amount of legal work occasioned by them. It is just some of these things that are indicated below.
The cases that came up for trial during the first few years of the court's history were very similar to the cases that are now tried before justices of the peace. Criminal cases included charges of assault and battery, affrays, gaming, gambling, etc. The grand jury on September 18, 1829, returned three indictments for assault and battery and five for affray. Twelve indictments were returned for gambling on February 25, 1838. On several occasions officers were charged with neglect of the duties of their office, and on September 1, 1830, the first divorce was granted. While little criminal cases took a part of the time of each term, there were also lesser civil actions on notes, contracts, debt, assumpsits, etc. There were very few damage suits; in fact, a suit for the recovery of as much as five hundred dollars was not brought until after the court had been organized for several years.
Land titles were not litigated to any extent until twenty-five or thirty years after the organization of the county. In the settlement of estates of course land was sold, but there were very few partition suits and scarcely no suits to quiet title until within a decade of the Civil War. In fact, such litigation did not become a source of much revenue until about the time of the Civil War or a little later.
As will be noted elsewhere, a period of marked improvement began with the close of the war in the drainage of the land and building of roads. Drainage companies were organized in all parts of the county for the construction of large outlets. Turnpike companies were also organized for the improvement of the principal highways. These lines of general improvement gave rise to numerous questions, and became fruitful sources of litigation for several years. Drainage, in fact, has ever since that time remained an important part of the practice. For a number of years the people of the county were engaged in constructing large open drains, and since the manufacture of large tile, legal work has continued in the construction of covered drains.
Following the passage of the Three-Mile Road law in 1905, road construction again occupied the attention of attorneys for several years.
The proximity of Greenfield to the city of Indianapolis has for many years given the "venue business" a very important place in the history of the legal work of the county. This work has been enjoyed chiefly by the older members of the bar.
The preparation of abstracts of land titles and the examination of such abstracts have become important phases of the lawyer's work within the last thirty years. The meager and carelessly constructed abstracts of twenty-five and thirty years ago will no longer pass the scrutiny of the present-day lawyer. Technicalities are assuming such importance that the examining lawyer hardly knows where to draw the line to protect his client against having the abstract "turned down" by some one else, in case he wishes to sell the land in the future. The examining lawyer may know full well that the technical defect cannot possibly jeopardize the title. Yet he does not know how reasonable or unreasonable the next examiner will be. Certainly he does not want to have it appear at some future time that he was ignorant of the technical defect, and on the other hand he wants to protect his client against any possible unreasonableness of another attorney who may pass upon the title. Hence, the tendency is growing among lawyers of requiring abstracts to be free from all defects, whether serious or merely technical, before they recommend the title.
Collections, which formerly constituted an important feature of the lawyer's work, have now been taken over in large measure by the banks. This is especially true of collections on promissory notes.
In some localities trust companies are also taking over much of the probate business. This is not true, however, in Hancock county. Probate matters have always constituted a very important part of the lawyer's work in this county.
The majority of attorneys admitted during the first years of the county's history were Indianapolis attorneys. Others whose names appear upon the roll came from Noblesville, Shelbyville, Richmond and Muncie. "Circuit riders" followed the judge from court to court in the judicial circuit. Calvin Fletcher, Ovid Butler and the Browns were Indianapolis attorneys. James B. Ray and Abram Hammond, both of Indianapolis, transacted quite a large amount of legal business before the court in its early history. Both of these men later became governor of Indiana. The appearance of Christian Nave and William Quarles is noted in many cases. Quarles, especially, attended many terms of court. He was from Indianapolis.
Thomas D. Walpole was first resident attorney who grew into prominence. He had a checkered career as an attorney and politician. Shortly before the Civil War he removed to Indianapolis. While in Greenfield he lived on the property now occupied by Dr. Edward Howard, just east of the New building.
George W. Julian lived in Greenfield for several years. He came from Wayne county and later returned to that county. He was rather a prominent attorney and served a term or two in Congress.
The names of D. M. C. Lane, Reuben A. Riley, James Rutherford and David S. Gooding were added to the list of local attorneys during the forties. Lane's name appears in the record frequently for several years, but he does not seem to have attained any special distinction at the bar. James Rutherford was in turn, county school examiner, clerk of the court, and practicing attorney. He is said to have been a very scholarly man, but he became dissipated and his life was cut short. Rueben A. Riley was a practitioner for almost half a century. He and Rutherford were partners for a short time about 1848. Several of the younger men read law in his office, and later he and William R. Hough were partners for a time. Mr. Riley was not only an able, conscientious lawyer, but he took a general interest in public affairs. Some of his poems and speeches that still remain in print show him to have been gifted along several lines. David S. Gooding was a successful trial lawyer, but he gave a great deal of attention to politics. He possessed a good presence, was an able speaker, and for a time had a remarkable influence in the county.
During the fifties James L. Mason, Montgomery Marsh, Lemuel W. Gooding, William R. West, David VanLaningham, William R. Hough and George Y. Atkison were added to the number of local attorneys. James L. Mason became a prominent Democrat during the war, and built up a lucrative practice during that time. A number of later attorneys read law in his office. He came from Union county and taught school in Greenfield for several terms. Montgomery Marsh possessed rather limited attainments as an attorney, but took an active interest in public affairs, and especially in politics. Lemuel Gooding served one term as county recorder, also one term as district attorney, in which he was very successful. He and his brother, David S., were partners for a time, but David seems to have been in politics so much that Lemuel hung out a shingle of his own. When the temperance fights came on in 1859, and following, David VanLaningham usually represented the liquor interests, and Reuben A. Riley the remonstrators. William R. Hough came prominently into the practice during the Civil War. Gooding was in politics, Riley was at the front, and this left the legal field very largely to Hough and James L. Mason. The record of these years attests the fact that Mr. Hough was an unusually successful lawyer. In following matters up in the circuit court or before the county commissioners, one almost develops the habit of expecting to see the cause he represented successful. Judge West served one term as county recorder. The commissioners' records, as well as the court records, show that for a time he had a pretty fair practice. George Y. Atkison was a farmer and a man of general affairs. He was a man of unusual influence in the county, but he scarcely ever fought his legal battles alone.
Just about the time of the Civil War, David Moss, of Noblesville, had a large practice in this court. Martin M. Ray, of Shelbyville, Walter March, of Muncie, and John L. Ketcham, father of William Ketcham, of Indiana, were also quiet frequently in court.
Following the Civil War Adams L. Ogg opened a law office in Greenfield, but practically all of his time was given to the prosecution of pension claims of the soldiers. He was very successful in the work, and procured more pensions for his comrades, likely, than were procured by any other attorney at the bar. He also procured some of the largest pensions that were awarded to the soldiers of this county.
Within a few years after the Civil War Augustus W. Hough, Charles G. Offutt, Hamilton J. Dunbar and James A. New entered the profession. Dunbar and New were both men of exceptional ability, but both died comparatively young. Charles G. Offutt became one of the best known attorneys at the bar. He was tall and portly, had a good presence, a strong personality, a clear, fine voice, and was gifted with a rare quality of eloquence. It was said by opposing counsel that in the trial of a cause he was able to discern quickly any weakness in his adversary's case, and the strong points in his own; that he was able to seize upon these things and throw them in such a light before juries that it always made him a formidable opponent. As a young lawyer Mr. Offutt counseled with Judge Buckles on important matters. For several years his card in the local papers announced that Judge Buckles would be associated with him in the trial of all important causes.
Ephraim Marsh, William Ward Cook, William H. Martin and R. A. Black entered the practice during the seventies. Marsh & Cook formed a partnership soon after Mr. Marsh's retirement for the clerk's office. Their talents were complementary. Mr. Marsh was an exceedingly close and diligent student of the law, while Mr. Cook was preeminently a trial lawyer. For several years immediately following the gas boom in the county they probably transacted a larger volume of legal business than has ever been transacted by any firm in the same length of time in Greenfield. After the death of Mr. Marsh, Mr. Cook remained as the last of the older trial lawyers. He had fought many a legal battle, and everybody knew him to be the peer of any advocate who entered the forum of justice. For several years he remained in the practice honored and respected practically as the dean of the Hancock bar. R. A. Black and Charles G. Offutt were partners for many years before Mr. Offutt were elected to the bench. William H. Martin and Mr. Offutt were partners for several years after Mr. Offutt's service on the bench.
Following are the attorneys engaged in the practice as shown by the bar docket, September term, 1915: Edward F. Quigley, *John F. Wiggins, *A. C. VanDuyn, *Robert Williamson, *Charles L. Cook, * John B. Hinchman, *Robert F. Reeves, * S. A. Wray, *Omer S. Jackson, * Samuel J. Offutt, *William A. Hughes, H. Seger Slifer, * John F. Eagan, Herbert M. Kelley, * Edward Eikman, * Elden A. Robb, * Edwin T. Glascock, *Charles L. Tindall, John Lockridge, * James F. Reed, * W.R. Hough, * Vinton A. Smith, William P. Bidgood, Chalmer Schlosser, Chauncey W. Duncan, C. W. Morrison, Ora Myers, * Robert L. Mason, Louis A. Browne, * Jonas P. Walker, * Earl Sample, * William A. Hough, Jesse Sanford, Sylvester Meek, * George T. Tindall, John M. Hall, *Charles Downing, *Elmer T. Swope, * George J. Richman, R. I. Marsh, * Paul M. Binford, * William E. Bussell, Moses C. Wood.
*Resident and engaged in the practice.
Our lawyers are not all limited in their accomplishments to being able practitioners at the bar. Judge Sample, who is now on the bench, is versed in literature only less, possibly, than he is in the law. The Judge is familiar with the poets from antiquity to the present, and can quote their lines by hours to the delight of listeners.
William A. Hough is an inimitable reader. He can read Riley better than anybody-unless, perhaps, it is Riley himself. Will does not have to depend upon borrowed verses either. In a leisure hour he will write his own lines - and by the way, his songs of years ago were sold in editions.
Robert Williamson has been a Sunday school teacher at the Presbyterian Sunday school for a number of years. He is original as a Bible student, and has an exegetical manuscript, which he may at some time publish in book form. The Bible is an interesting book to Robert, and in his unique way he speaks with authority on its message.
Samuel J. Offutt is a violinist, but not of the ragtime, hoe-down type. Sam's violin is resonant with the strains of the masters and he plays them in a manner to please the most fastidious.
James F. Reed is a lover of Burns and recites his verses as only a master of Scotch dialect can recite them. For the enjoyment of his perfect rendering of the lines of the Scottish bard, the bar probably owes a little debt of gratitude to the McDougals of Brandywine township. Whatever in human life is touched upon in conversation, Jim can always illustrate the point to the delight of his fellows with a few lines from Burns.
Others of the brethren entertain no aspirations toward poetry or music, but they enjoy a day off for a hunt, or a week or two for a fishing trip. When they return they spin out yarns of the catch that uphold in a substantial manner the traditions of the profession.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 438-464.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI February 15, 2002.
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