Aldrich History Project

Chapter XV

Bench and Bar


History of the Courts -- Supreme Court -- Common Pleas -- Other Courts –The Judiciary – The Bench and Bar of Clearfield County


To properly understand and fully appreciate the history of the judiciary of any nation or commonwealth, and the worth and attainments of the magistrates and practitioners at its bar, some knowledge of the origin and development of the machinery and spirit of this branch of civil government is indispensable.


The sentiment is commonly expressed that the judicial system of the State of Pennsylvania is largely copied or derived from the common law of England, and slightly from the civil law of the continent. In many respects this is true, and resemblances may be traced therein; there are certain changeless principles running throughout the laws of every state and people from time immemorial. The statute and common laws of England are the recognized fundamental principles upon which are based the legislative and constitutional enactments of this Commonwealth.

We may look briefly at the past and present disposition and powers of the courts of the State and observe from what elements they have grown.

In the year 1722 a law was passed by the General Assembly of the province estab- lishing a court of record to be known and styled the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and by the same enactment was empowered to hear and determine all pleas, plaints, and causes removed or brought there from the various Courts of Common Pleas of the province, by virtue of writs of error, habeas corpus, or certiorari, or other writs or process remedial in nature; and furthermore to administer justice to all persons, exercising the full powers and authority granted by the act creating it as the King’s Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer at Westminster. This court was not made the court of last resort in the State until 1806. By the terms of the charter or grant to William Penn by Charles II, then on the throne of Great Britain, the right to review any proceeding or judgment of the court in the province was reserved to the king and his successors. This reserved power was, of course, overthrown by the Revolution, and in the year of 1780 was vested in a Court of Error and Appeals. In the year 1791 the act of 1780 was repealed, and the court organized upon a plan agreeable to the constitution of the United States and that of the State of Pennsylvania.

The constitution of the State adopted and ratified in convention on the 2d day of September, 1790, article V, provided for the judiciary, as follows:

Section I. "The judicial power of this Commonwealth shall be vested in a Supreme Court, in Courts of Oyer and Terminer and general gaol delivery, in a Court of Common Pleas, Orphans’ Court, Registers Court, and a Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace for each county, in justices of the peace, and in such other courts as the Legislature may from time to time establish."

Section 2 provides that judges of the Supreme Court shall hold their offices during good behavior; but that for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, they may be removed by the governor on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature. The article further provides that the jurisdiction of judges of this court shall extend over the State, and that by virtue of their offices they shall be justices of Oyer and Terminer and general gaol delivery in the several counties.

Section 4 of the same article in making provision for the Courts of Common Pleas, says: "The governor shall appoint in each county not fewer than three, nor more than four judges, who, during their continuance in office, shall reside in the county. The State shall be divided by law, into circuits, none of which shall include more than six, nor fewer than three counties. A president shall be appointed by the courts in each circuit, who, during his continuance in office, shall reside therein. The president and judges, any two of whom shall be a quorum, shall compose the respective Courts of Common Pleas."

The judges of the Common Pleas, thus created, were made ex officio justices of Oyer and Terminer for the trial of capital and other offenders within their respective districts. While the act provides that any two of the judges shall constitute a quorum, it further directs that the president shall be one of them.

The Supreme Court and the Common Pleas, as well, are made Courts of Chancery for purposes therein fully set forth. The Common Pleas judges are further made to preside at the Quarter Sections, Orphans’ Court, Registers of Wills, and are made within their respective counties justices of the peace so far as relates to criminal matters.

By section 10 it is further provided that the governor shall appoint a competent number of justices of the peace, and that they shall be commissioned during good behavior, but they may be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office, or on any infamous crime, or on the address of both houses of the Legislature.

In the selection of officers to represent the Commonwealth, provided for above, the chief executive was the sole appointing power, and this continued a law until changed by act of the State Legislature, approved April 15, 1851, which provided for the election of each by ballot by a majority of the electors.

By the ratification and adoption of the constitution of 1790, the people of the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania laid the foundation for a grand system of jurisprudence which has commanded the admiration not alone of the entire people but of the nation – a system under which, with some modifications, some necessary additions, her prople were content to live for nearly a half century.

Prior to 1836 the powers and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court were not expressly defined or fixed by the constitution, or by definite enactment of the Legislature. Statues were passed from time to time, as occasion or exigencies demanded. In territorial extent its jurisdiction and powers reached throughout the entire State; it had and retained jurisdiction co-extensive with the three great courts at Westminster – the King’s Bench, the Common Pleas, and the Exchequer.

The act of June 16, 1836, re-confirms the powers vested in the Supreme Court by the constitution, and, in addition thereto, somewhat enlarges those powers and defines more clearly its jurisdiction in certain cases.

From the year 1786 to 1799 Courts of Nisi Prius were held in the several counties by the justices of the Supreme Court, at such times as they deemed most convenient for the people. Original writs did not issue from the Supreme Court to the several counties, but writs of certiorari and habeas corpus only, by virtue of which actions were removed from the inferior courts, and the issues in fact arising in them were tried at Nisi Prius, after which judgement was rendered in bank. Circuit Courts were substituted for Courts of Nisi Prius in 1799, only so far as concerned the State outside the county of Philadelphia. The Circuits were of the same nature as the Nisi Prius, except that judgment could be rendered at Circuits, subject in certain cases to revision on appeal. Having been found impracticable and inconvenient, the Circuit Courts were abolished in 1809, the Nisi Prius re-established, only applicable, however, to the county of Philadelphia, and the same act that restored the Nisi Prius also revived the Circuit Courts for the other counties, but after a faithful trial of several years were again abolished in 1834.

In the year of 1838 a new constitutional convention was organized for the purpose of revising, amending, and enlarging upon the constitution of 1790. By the adoption of the amendments, the appointing power remained in the executive, by and with the consent of the Senate. The tenure of office of Supreme Court justices was fixed at fifteen years, "if they should so long behave themselves well." The president judges of the several courts of Common Pleas, and of such other Courts of Record, and all other judges required to be learned in the law, shall hold their offices for the term of ten years, "if they shall so long behave themselves well." The term of office of associate judges is fixed at five years, subject to the conditions quoted above. This embraces substantially the amendments to the old constitution applicable to the judiciary of the State, except that provision is therein made for the election of justices of the peace by the qualified voters of the several wards, boroughs, and townships.

By an act of the Legislature, approved April 15, 1851, in pursuance of an amendment to the constitution, the creating power in the judiciary was transferred from the chief executive to the people of the Commonwealth. This is such a radical change from former procedure, that the text of the leading enacting clauses are quoted in full.

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc, "That the qualified electors of each of the several counties of this Commonwealth shall, at the next general election, at the times and places of electing representatives, and whenever it shall thereafter become necessary for an election under this act, and under the constitution of this Commonwealth, vote for five persons at the first election, and at every election thereafter as many as may be necessary under the provisions hereof, to serve as judges of the Supreme Court of this Commonwealth, one person to serve as president judge of the judicial district in which such county shall lie, and two persons to serve as associate judges of the several courts of such county."

The next section provides, "That the qualified electors residing within the jurisdiction of any District Court or other Court of Record now existing or hereafter to be created by law, shall, at the next general election, and whenever thereafter the same shall be necessary, at the times and places for holding such election within their respective election districts, vote for one person for president judge of such court, and for as many persons for associate judges thereof as shall be required by law."

Under the new constitution adopted in 1873, and which became operative on the first day of January, one thousand, eight hundred and seventy-four, "Article V, Section 1. The judicial power of this Commonwealth shall be vested in a Supreme Court, in Courts of Common Pleas, Courts of Oyer and Terminer and general jail delivery, Courts of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Orphans’ Court, Magistrates’ Courts, and in such other courts as the general assembly may from time to time establish.

"Section 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of seven judges, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large. They shall hold their offices for the term of twenty-one years, if they so long behave themselves well but shall not be again eligible. The judge whose commission shall first expire shall be chief justice, and thereafter each judge whose commission shall first expire shall in turn be chief justice."

By section three, the jurisdiction of justices of the Supreme Court extends throughout the State, and they are ex-officio justices of Oyer and Terminer and general jail delivery over the several counties; they have original jurisdiction in cases of injunction against corporations, habeas corpus, of mandamus, to courts of inferior jurisdiction, and of quo warranto as to all officers of the Commonwealth having jurisdiction over the State. They have jurisdiction by appeal, certiorari, or writ of error in all cases.

The Courts of Common Pleas by the act remain unchanged, except that not more than four counties shall be included in any one judicial district.

The Court of Nisi Prius is abolished, and no court of original jurisdiction, to be presided over by any one or more of the judges of the Supreme Court, shall be established.

Whenever a county shall contain forty thousand population it shall constitute a separate judicial district, and shall elect one judge learned in the law. The office of associate judge, not learned in the law, is abolished in counties forming separate districts.

The intent of the foregoing portion of this chapter has been only to furnish a synopsis or outline of the organization of the various courts, or the judiciary of the Commonwealth, as based upon the constitutions adopted from time to time, and of the several acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, and upon such further acts the legislative body of the Commonwealth were empowered to adopt. Detail has been avoided, and possibly some facts should have been stated that are omitted. In the preparation of it, reference was had, not only to the several constitutions as adopted, but other acts of the Legislature, passed from time to time, and the works of standard text and elementary writers, from all of which free quotation and use of material has been made.

In pursuance of the changes and amendments adopted under the constitution of 1790, the Commonwealth was divided into five judicial districts or circuits, the first comprising the city and county of Philadelphia, and the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware; the second, Chester, Lancaster, York, and Dauphin; the third, Berks, Northampton, Luzerne, and Northumberland; the fourth, Cumberland, Franklin, Bedford, Huntingdon, and Mifflin, the fifth, Westmoreland, Fayette, Washington, and Allegheny.

But, as the population of the Commonwealth increased, new counties were organized to suit the convenience of the people. This necessitated frequent changes in the districts through out the entire State, and it can hardly be within the province of this chapter to follow them.

The Bench of Clearfield County --- While Clearfield was organized as a separate county by act of the Legislature in the year 1804, it was several years attached to and under the jurisdiction of the officers of Centre county. The act provides that, for the present convenience of the inhabitants of the county, and until an enumeration of the taxable inhabitants of the county shall be made, and it shall be otherwise directed by law, the said county of Clearfield shall be, and the same is hereby annexed to the county of Centre, and the jurisdiction of the several courts of the county of Centre, and the authority of the judges thereof shall extend over, and shall operate and be effectual within said county of Clearfield.

This act remained in full force until January, 1822, when the Legislature passed a further law organizing Clearfield county for judicial purposes, and authorizing courts to be held therein.

The first court was held in the county in October, 1822, Hon. Charles Huston, president judge.

At a special session of the Legislature held in the year 1883, and pursuant to the provisions of the constitution relating to counties having over forty thousand population, Clearfield county was organized as a separate judicial district.

In pursuance of the authority conferred by the constitution of 1874, upon counties forming separate judicial districts, the office of associate judge of Clearfield county was abolished, but by serving out their unexpired term, the law became operative January first, on thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven.

Charles Huston was born in Bucks county, Pa., January 16, 1771. He was educated at Dickinson College, Carlisle, and graduated in 1789, after which he taught a select school for two years. While teaching he studied law, and was afterward admitted to the bar, in August, 1795. In the early part of 1795 he went to Willliamsport, Lycoming county, and in 1807 removed to Bellefonte, Centre county, where he resided at the time of his appointment to the presidency of the courts of the district. His sterling worth as a jurist and strict integrity as a man were fully eulogized by Judge Walker, whom he succeeded upon the bench. A man of plain manners, integrity, learning, sound understanding, deep legal research and natural eloquence. For eight years Judge Huston presided over the Fourth district, and, in 1826, was advanced to the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth, where he served until 1845. The latter years of his life were devoted to the preparation of a text work on the "History and Nature of Original Titles to Land in the Province and State of Pennsylvania." Judge Huston died November 10, 1849.

Judge Thomas Burnside next succeeded to the bench. Thomas Burnside was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, July 22, 1782, and at the age of ten years came to this country with his father. His studies for the bar were prosecuted in the office of Hon. Robert Porter, of Philadelphia, and in 1804 he was admitted to practice, after which he came to Bellefonte; was chosen State senator in 1811, and elected to Congress in 1815. He was appointed judge of the Luzerne district in 1816, but resigned in 1818. In 1823 he was again State senator. He was appointed Judge of the Fourth district in 1826, and of the Seventh district in 1841. In 1845 he was advanced to the Supreme Court bench. Judge Burnside was an exceptional man. Every lawyer, young and old, knows well his eccentricities and peculiarities. He possessed unusual determination, having a full understanding of the law and an abundance of courage to enforce. He enjoyed a joke at whosever expense, and was, withal, one of the most popular judges on the bench. Judge Burnside died at Germantown, March 25, 1857.

George W. Woodward next came upon the bench. Judge Woodward is described as a tall, heavy, and well proportioned man, of excellent personal appearance and remarkably good address. On the bench he presided with dignity and ability; always courteous and affable, he became one of the most popular judges in the State. He was, after serving a full term on the Common Pleas bench and performing other judicial service, made chief justice of the State. Judge Woodward died about twenty years ago.

Robert G. White, of Tioga, succeeded Judge Woodward. Judge White was in this district but a single year, when, by legislative act the district was changed and he was transferred. He died before his term of office expired. During his incumbency an assistant law judge was appointed in his district to assist in the transaction of business. Judge White died from an epileptic attack.

John C. Knox, of Venango county, came next. He presided but a short time, and was consequently advanced to the Supreme Bench. He died in an asylum for insane. At one time Judge Knox was attorney-general of the Commonwealth.

James T. Hale, the next president judge of the district, was born in Bradford county, October 14, 1810. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1832, and in 1835 moved to Bellefonte. In the month of April, 1851, he was appointed president judge to succeed Judge Knox in the district. Judge Hale occupied the bench but a short time, but during his incumbency discharged the duties of the office impartially and with marked ability. After retiring from the bench Judge Hale practiced a few years and then retired from the profession to engage in other pursuits. He became largely interested in the development of the coal and timber lands of Centre, Clearfield, and Cambria counties, and was largely instrumental in the construction of the Clearfield and Tyrone branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. In March, 1865, he resumed the practice of his profession, but was suddenly taken sick and died in the early part of April of that year.

James Burnside, the next judge upon the bench in this district, was born at Bellefonte, February 22, 1807. Of the children of Hon. Thomas Burnside, formerly judge, he was the eldest. He studied law in his father’s office and was admitted to practice in November, 1830. In 1844 he was chosen to represent his assembly district in the State Legislature, and was re-elected for a second term. Upon the erection of the Twenty-fifth Judicial District Governor Bigler appointed James Burnside as president judge April 20, 1853, and in the month of October following, at the general election (the office having become elective instead of appointive), he was elected without opposition. Judge James Burnside was instantly killed by being thrown from a buggy July 1, 1859.

Next in the succession of presidents came Judge James Gamble. Judge Gamble is remembered on the bench as a dignified, strict, and careful presiding officer. He made no pretension to extensive social qualities, but as a judge was universally respected. As a jurist he ranked high and his opinions were frequently quoted.

Samuel Linn next came upon the bench. He was born February, 1820, and at the age of twenty-four years commenced to prepare himself for the legal profession, to which he was duly admitted. In 1847 he formed a partnership with James T., afterward Judge Hale, which continued until 1851. He then practiced with W. P. Wilson, and so continued up to 1859, when he was elected president judge of the district comprising Centre, Clearfield, and Clinton counties. In 1868 he resigned his position and resumed the practice as an attorney.

Joseph Benson McEnally, who succeeded Judge Linn by appointment from the governor, was the first person residing in Clearfield to be honored by elevation to the bench of the district. Mr. McEnally was born in Lycoming county, January, 25, 1825. At the time of entering an office for the purpose of fitting himself for the profession, he was well prepared, having taken a preparatory and regular course at Dickinson College at Carlisle, Pa., from which he graduated in June, 1845. After a course of study in the office of Alexander, afterward Judge Jordon, he was admitted to the bar in 1849. He practiced a short time in Schuylkill county, and from there came to Clearfield, where he has since resided. In 1868 he was appointed president judge to succeed Judge Samuel Linn, in the district comprising Clearfield, Centre, and Clinton counties. Judge McEnally presided over the courts of the district for several months, and at the next general election a successor was chosen. At that time he was the nominee of his party (the Republican), but as the district was largely Democratic he was defeated. In 1872 Judge McEnally formed a law partnership with Daniel W. McCurdy, which relation has ever since continued.

Charles A. Mayer, the successful candidate for the office of president judge of this district, over Judge McEnally, was born in York county, Pa., December 15, 1830. At the age of twenty-one years he entered the office of White & Quiggle, at Lock Haven, as a student at law, and after two years’ course of study was admitted to the bar in 1854. He was elected to the office of attorney for Clinton county and served in that capacity two terms. In 1868 he became a candidate for the president judgship of the Twenty-fifth District, and was elected. In 1878 he was re-nominated and elected for a second term and is now engaged in the discharge of his official duties, but does not now preside over the courts of Clearfield county, it having been made a separate judicial district. In fact Judge Mayer held but few courts here after the creation of the office of "addition law judge," that duty having fallen to his associate, Judge John H. Orvis.

John Holden Orvis was born in Sullivan township, Tioga county, Pa., February 24, 1835. At nineteen years of age he commenced the study of the law under the direction of N. L. Atwood, esq., of Lock Haven. Mr. Orvis spent a greater portion of his time in a printing office, and read law in connection with his labors as a printer, not being sufficiently possessed of money to prosecute his legal studies unassisted. In February, 1856, he was admitted to practice, a few weeks prior to having attained his majority; but as the question as to his age was not asked on his examination he was admitted; had he been questioned as to his age he would have been disqualified. In December, 1862, Mr. Orvis went to Bellefonte, where he has since resided. Upon the petition of the attorneys in all parts of his district he was appointed by Governor Hartranft to the office of additional law judge of the Twenty-fifth District, to assist President Judge, Charles A. Mayer. His appointment was made April 10, 1874. At the general election in November following, he was elected to the same office for a full term of ten years, wlhich he held until November, 1883, when he resigned and resumed practice as an attorney.

David Luther Krebs, the present president judge of the courts of Clearfield county, was born in Ferguson township, Centre county, on the 5th day of October, 1846. David was brought up on a farm, and in his younger days received only a common school education, under what was formerly known as the "old academy" system. He was engaged in preparing himself for a collegiate course when the war broke out, which event entirely changed his plans. In the fall of 1864 Mr. Krebs came to Clearfield county and engaged in teaching school, at the same time studied law with Hon. William A. Wallace. At the time of the last draft ordered by the general government, two older brothers of David were drafted into the service; one of them was rejected on account of physical disabilities, and the other having the care of a family on his hands disliked to enter the service. David L., the subject of this sketch, offered to, and did take his brother’s place, and was assigned to military duty in the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, where he served until mustered out by general orders in 1865. After returning from the service Mr. Krebs spent a year in the oil regions of Venango county, and afterward taught school at Limestoneville, Montour county.

In 1867 he returned to Centre county and read law under the instruction of Adam Hoy, esq., and at the same time performed clerical duties in the office of the prothonotary of the county. He was examined in open court in May, 1869, and admitted to the bar, and on June 1, following, came to Clearfield, where he has since resided. In the year 1870, Mr. Krebs, in company with John P. Irvin, succeeded to the business of H. B. Swoope, esq., then recently appointed United States District Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This firm relation continued about two years, when Mr. Krebs purchased the entire business and practice alone until late in the fall of 1873. A law partnership was then formed with Hon. William A. Wallace, which continued up to the time of Mr. Krebs’s election to the office of president judge of Clearfield county in the year 1883. The county, by act of the Legislature in 1883, was made a separate judicial district.

It is eminently fitting and proper that in the succession of events and lives of those who have presided over the courts of the judicial district in which Clearfield county is situate, there should be mentioned one person, who, although he was never on the bench in the district, but occasionally presided at the courts thereof by invitation, yet has been a life long resident of the county, and has ever been identified with its substantial growth and prosperity.

George Rodden Barrett was born in Curwensville on the 31st day of March, in the year 1815. In the year 1831 he was apprenticed to Governor John Bigler, to learn the printer’s trade. In 1833 he became editor of the Brookville Jeffersonian, published at Brookville, Jefferson county, which he continued for two years. He moved to Lewisburg in 1835 and edited the Lewisburg Democrat. While there he read law with James F. Linn, and was admitted to practice in 1836, and, in the same year came to Clearfield. The next year, 1837, he was made duputy attorney-general for Clearfield and Jefferson counties. Mr. Barrett was elected to the State Legislature in 1840, and re-elected the succeeding year. He served as a member of the judiciary committee when the law abolishing imprisonment for debt was passed. In 1852 he was chosen as one of the presidential electors. On account of his recognized legal ability he was selected by President Pierce for the purpose of codifying the revenue laws. He was appointed president judge of the Twenty-second Judicial District, comprising the counties of Wayne, Pike, Monroe, and Carbon, in the year 1853. At the general election in the district in 1855, he was elected to the same position and re-elected in 1865. He resigned in 1869, but was appointed to the same office by Governor Geary, and served one year. In 1872 Judge Barrett returned to Clearfield and resumed the practice of the law, which practice he continued up to 1884, at which time he retired from the active duties of the profession, content to rest upon the well earned honors of nearly a half century. During his long years of practice Mr. Barrett never lost a case in the Supreme Court, and during his sixteen years of duty on the bench, his decisions were reversed but thirteen times.



Of the practitioners at the bar of Clearfield county, past and present, many have attained distinction, and some eminence. Among the leading legal minds of the Commonwealth, this county has furnished her full quota. On the bench and at the bar of her courts, have been found lawyers of rare ability and strict integrity---men of worth, men of character, men whose social and mental qualities have made them famous, men whose marked attainments have made for them a high standard in the legislative halls of the commonwealth, and of the nation; men whose influence has been so pervading and salutary that the whole bar seems to have caught something of their spirit, and maintained a freedom from all unworthy methods that can be found in very few communities.


The pioneer of the bar of Clearfield county was Josiah W. Smith. Mr. Smith was a native of Philadelphia, and came when quite young to this county, in the company with his brother, Lewis Smith. They occupied a farm tract in the south part of Lawrence township, known in later years as the Benjamin Spackman farm, and is situate about four miles up the West Branch. Josiah, not being accustomed to farm life and its consequent labors, conceived the idea of studying law, and in pursuance of it commenced a course of study in the office of Judge Thomas Burnside, of Centre county. In the year 1826 he was examined and admitted to practice, and in the month of December of the same year was appointed deputy attorney-general for the county of Clearfield, an office equal to that now known as District Attorney. No accurate information is at hand as to how long Mr. Smith held this office. He continued practice, however, up to 1856, when he retired and moved to his native city of Philadelphia. There he resided until 1862, and then returned to Clearfield, where he lived at the time of his death, March 22, 1882, in the eighty-first year of his age.


After returning from Philadelphia Mr. Smith never engaged in active practice, but was always ready to assist any who were in trouble. As an evidence of the high regard and esteem in which he was universally held by his associates at the bar, the following action of the court and bar of the county as entered upon the records of the Common Pleas will fully attest:


"At a meeting of the bar, held in open court, convened for that purpose by Hon. George R. Barrett, the following resolutions were offered by Hon. William A. Wallace, and seconded by Hon J. B. McEnally and Thomas H. Murray, esq.


"Resolved, That in the death of Josiah W. Smith, esq., the senior member of the bar of this county, his family has lost a loving and affectionate husband and father, the community at large an upright, pure and respected citizen; these courts a link of the past history more than half a century old, and the bar has lost a member whose legal knowledge was unexcelled, whose experience and skill is attested by the records of the court from 1825 to the date of his retirement from active practice, and whose personal character remains to us pure and spotless."


Lewis Smith, brother of Josiah W. Smith, was also a native of Pennsylvania, and the circumstances of his coming to this county are the same as those related in the foregoing sketch of Josiah W. Lewis Smith read law with his brother, and was regularly admitted to practice at the courts of the county. Lewis was more of an advocate at the bar, and more successful in practice relating to contested cases. While Josiah W. was a counselor and mediator, frequently endeavoring to compromise causes that most lawyers would desire to litigate. Lewis Smith died in the year 1847.


Joseph M. Martin came from the interior of the State about the year 1830; he practiced up to about 1835, when he died. Mr. Martin is remembered as a lawyer of ability, and established a fair business in his profession. He was a bachelor.


William Christie came to practice at the courts of the county about the time that Josiah W. Smith was admitted. He located at Curwensville. He was a strong lawyer and a man of good understanding, but possessed some faults, and indulged in excesses which hastened his death. He had no family, but boarded with "Aunt" Ann Reed, a prominent figure in the schools of Curwensville at an early day.


James B. Marr, another old-time lawyer and a man of excellent family connections, became a member of the Clearfield bar about the year 1839. His brother, Phineas, is remembered as a prominent Presbyterian clergyman at Lewisburg, Pa. James B. Marr read law in the office of James F. Linn, esq., of Lewisburg, and was admitted to practice at that place. He came to Clearfield with a letter of introduction, written by Mr. Linn and addressed to George R., afterward Judge Barrett, recommending the bearer as a competent person as a lawyer, and suggesting the formation of a partnership if agreeable to Mr. Barrett. The partnership was never formed, as business was not sufficiently lucrative to bear a division. Mr. Marr practiced here several years with moderate success. He died here, leaving no family. He was the fifth resident lawyer in the county.


Daniel G. Fenton came, a single man, from New Jersey, and was admitted to practice at the courts of the county. He came here about 1830, and left somewhat hurriedly in 1836. The circumstances of his leaving were about as follows: He had became considerably involved with debts variously contracted., and, in order to escape from his creditors, sold his law books to John R. Bloom, a merchant of the town, and in the night time decamped, using the proceeds of the sale of his library to take him away. He went to Iowa, where he afterward died. Mr. Fenton was a weak lawyer, but very popular in the town.


Elmer S. Dundy read law in Clearfield, and was admitted here, but never practiced at the courts of the county. He migrated westward and settled at Falls City, Neb., where he was appointed justice of the United States Supreme Court.


Lewis J. Krans first started in business as a merchant at Curwensville, but became involved and failed. His failure embarrassed his brother of Philadelphia, who had made advances to him, and he also failed. After that, Lewis read law in the office of Joseph S. Frantz, of Clearfield, and was admitted to practice. He remained here six or seven years and then went to Philadelphia. He stayed there a short time and moved to Concordia, Kan.


Isaac G. Gordon was a native of Union county. He read law in the office of James F. Linn, of Lewisburg, Pa., and was admitted to the bar in 1843. From there he came to Clearfield, armed with a letter of introduction to Mr. Barrett, with a request that he be taken as a partner. Mr. Barrett at that time did not see fit to take a partner. Mr. Gordon remained in Clearfield until the next spring, when, at the suggestion of Mr. Barrett, he went to Erie with a view of locating there, but remained there only four weeks and then returned to Clearfield county and established an office at Curwensville. In February of the next year he came to the county seat to attend a term of court. Here he again met Mr. Barret and informed him that he (Gordon) had made just three dollars as the result of his winter’s practice at Curwensville. A partnership was then formed and Mr. Gordon again located at Clearfield. Their association continued for about three years. Mr. Gordon could prepare a case ably, but as a trial lawyer he was not a success; he, in fact, disliked to try causes, and avoided that part of the practice as much as possible. In the mean time Mr. Barrett had an extensive and growing practice in Jefferson county, and at last suggested that Mr. Gordon should locate there and take charge of that branch of the business in an equal partnership. This Mr. Gordon assented to, and moved to Brookville. After a short time Mr.Heath (afterward Judge Heath) was taken into the firm, under the name and style of Barrett, Health & Gordon. Upon the advancement of Mr. Barrett to the bench, he surrendered his interest to his partners. Mr. Gordon is an upright, conscientious, modest gentleman; a lawyer of ability and sound learning. He is now on the bench of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth.


James Harvey Larrimer was born in Centre county; he read law in the office of Judge James Burnside, and was admitted to practice at the bar of Centre county. In the spring of 1854 he came to Clearfield and took up his residence. He practiced until 1858, when he became associated with R. F. Ward, jr., as editors and publishers of the Clearfield Republican, and so continued until the spring of 1860, when he retired from its management and resumed the practice of law. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he was appointed first lieutenant of a company under Captain Loraine, of the Fifth Pennsylvania Reserves. Before arriving at the front he was elected captain of a company in the same regiment. Subsequently he was promoted to the office of major, and transferred to the staff of General Samuel W. Crawford. Major Larrimer was killed by guerrillas near Collett’s Station, Va., February 14, 1863. His remains were brought home and buried in the Clearfield Cemetery. Larrimer Post, G. A. R., was so named in honor of Major James Harvey Larrimer.


Joseph S. Frantz came to Clearfield from Kittanning, Armstrong county, about the year 1850. He practice law here about three or four years and then went west.


J. Biddle Gordon, son of Judge Gordon, of Reading, Pa., located in Clearfield as a lawyer about the year 1853. Mr. Gordon was a highly educated man and possessed great ability as a lawyer, but his inclinations and habits led him sadly astray. He was wild, reckless, and dissipated. In one of his adventures he spent a large sum of money that he had collected for a client, and when a demand for it was made of him he promised to settle the next day. The same evening, however, he poisoned himself and died in a few hours. J. Biddle Gordon was not, in any manner, related to either Isaac G. Gordon or Cyrus Gordon, of the Clearfield bar.


Israel Test was born in Philipsburg, Centre county, Pa., September 28, 1831. At the age of sixteen he commenced teaching school, and by economy and industry accumulated sufficient means to enable him to attend Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport. In 1854 he entered the law office of J. M. Carlisle, esq., at Chambersburg, Franklin county, and in June, 1856, he was admitted to the bar. Mr. Test came to Clearfield in 1858, and resided and practiced here until the time of his death, August 12, 1886. Israel Test was a peculiar and eccentric person. During his many years of practice in the courts of the county, he was always known as the "wag of the bar." This peculiar faculty often stood him well, as many a case he has laughed out of court and succeeded in gaining when his side possessed doubtful merit. In later years his associates, and especially the younger persons, named him "Father" Test. Mr. Test, notwithstanding his eccentricities, was a good lawyer and advocate; a man of ability and thorough knowledge of the law, and more than that, a man universally respected by his fellow men.


Thomas J. McCullough was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., on the 10th day of July, 1828. In the year 1840, he came with the family of his father, an itinerant preacher of the Methodist Protestant Church, to Clearfield county and located at New Washington, in Burnside township. Here Thomas received such elementary education as the schools of the vicinity afforded. About the year 1851, he came to Clearfield and entered the office of Hon. George R. Barrett, where he read law until his admission to the bar some few years later. In 1868-9 he represented the county in the State Legislature. After his term of office expired Mr. McCullough went into the oil fields of Pennsylvania and operated for a time with indifferent success. He returned to the county after about ten years in the oil regions and established an office for the practice of his profession at Philipsburg, Centre county, still making his home with his family at Clearfield. Thomas J. McCullough died at Philipsburg, December 27, 1885.


John H. Fulford was born in Bedford, Bedford county, February 11, 1838. While residing in Bedford he read law in the office of Frank Gordon, esq., but left there before completing his studies and came to Clearfield, where he entered the office of Joseph B. McEnally, esq. During his course of study with Mr. McEnally, Mr. Fulford was chosen principal of the school at Clearfield, held in the old town hall, an office that he filled very acceptably for some time. After completing his law course, Mr. Fulford was admitted to practice about the year 1860. As a lawyer, he was honorable, conscientious, and thorough; as a politician, he was a staunch, shrewd and uncompromising Republican. John H. Fulford died June 27, 1877. He was a prominent member of the Masonic order, the lodge, and the bar as well, attending the funeral in a body.


William Miller McCullough, a brother of Thomas J. McCullough herein-before mentioned, was a native of Beaver county, Pa., born on the 1st day of October, 1837, and came to this county with his father’s family. William received but little education prior to the time of commencing the study of law. He entered the office of H. B. Swoope, esq., who instructed him in the elementary school branches as well as those branches appertaining to legal practice. He was admitted to practice prior to 1856, and subsequently became one of the brightest and ablest lawyers of the county. He was twice chosen District Attorney of the county. In later years failing health forced him to retire from active practice and he went to the Southern States and died in Thomasville, Georgia, on the 26th day of January, 1884.


Robert Wallace was born in Barony Omagh, county Tyrone, Ireland, on the 13th day of March, 1792. He came to America and settled in Mifflin county, Pa., in the year 1819, where he taught school. He read law with Ephraim Banks, esq., at Lewiston, and was admitted to the bar in 1824. Mr. Wallace soon after his admission moved to Huntingdon, where he practiced law about a year, when he came to Clearfield in the year 1825. After staying here about a year he returned to Huntingdon and resumed practice, still retaining his practice at Clearfield. In the year 1826, Mr. Wallace married and resided in Huntingdon until the year 1836. He held the office of Deputy Attorney-general of Huntingdon county for three years. During the year 1836 Mr. W. with his family moved to Clearfield and engaged in active practice up to the year 1847, when he moved to Holidaysburg, Blair county, where he lived until 1854. He returned to Clearfield to live, but did not engage actively in practice. Robert Wallace died at Wallaceton, Clearfield county, January 2, 1875.


Henry Bucher Swoope was born in Huntingdon, Huntingdon county, Pa., in the year 1831. He was the son of William Swoope, M. D. of that town. He was educated at the academy at Academia, Pa., and read law in the office of John Scott, esq., of Huntingdon, and was admitted to the bar of Huntingdon county in 1852. After residing and practicing there about a year, Mr. Swoope came to Clearfield, where he lived and practiced until 1869, when he was appointed, by President Grant, to the office of United States district attorney for the western district of Pennsylvania. Mr. Swoope then located at Pittsburgh and fulfilled the duties of the office until the time of his death in 1874. H. Bucher Swoope was one of the best criminal lawyers in this section of the State; as an orator, he was eloquent and brilliant and one of the most successful political speakers in the Middle States.


James Hepburn came to Clearfield from Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar of the county in 1822. No accurate information is obtainable concerning Mr. Hepburn, but he continued to practice here until his death, many years ago.


James Peterkin also appears as one of the old practitioners at the bar in early days.


Frederick O’Leary Buck, an Englishman by birth, practiced in Clearfield. At one time he was associated in business with William McCullough.


Alfred A. Graham was born in Clearfield, February 3, 1845. He read law by himself and was admitted to the bar. He practiced for a time in partnership with William McCullough. Mr. Graham also read with William A. Wallace. At the time of his death, February 23, 1880, he resided at DuBois.


Robert J. Wallace, another member of the old bar of the county, was born in Clearfield. He was a brother of William A. Wallace and read law in his office. Robert was admitted to practice and was at one time district attorney of the county. He died many years ago.


Samuel M. Green came to Clearfield from Centre county on the occasion of the oranization of the courts in October, 1822. He was admitted to the bar of the county on that memorable occasion and was appointed Deputy Attorney-general for Clearfield county at that term. He stayed in the county several years.


An organization was formed about twelve years ago known as the Clearfield Bar Association. Officers were elected and meetings occasionally held. At one time J. B. McEnally was president. The association, however, came to grief through the sudden departure of the treasurer with the records and funds, and no trace of his whereabouts was ever discovered. Since that time the association have rarely held meetings, but it is believed that Mr. McEnally is still president. Of late an effort has been made to revive the organization, but as yet without success.




William A. Wallace was born in Huntingdon, November 27, 1827. During his youth he was educated liberally and with a desire to train his mind to that branch of education that would tend to fit him for the legal profession. He studied law in his father’s office and was admitted to the bar in September 1847, in Clearfield county, where he had lived since 1836, having come here at that time with his father’s family. In 1862, Mr. Wallace was elected o the State Senate representing the counties of Clearfield, Cambria and Blair. He was re-elected in 1865, ’68, ’71 and ’74, serving fifteen consecutive years therein. In 1871 he was elected speaker of the Senate. He was chosen chairman of the Democratic State Committee in 1865, and held the position during 1866-7-8, and again in 1871. In 1875 he was the successful candidate in the Legislature for the office of United States Senator, and succeeded Hon. John Scott. During later years Mr. Wallace has retired from active professional and political life and devotes his time to business pursuits. He has extensive coal interests in the county and large mining interests in the Western States which demand constant attention.


Joseph Benson McEnally, born January 25, 1825, admitted to the bar in 1849. (See sketch in preceding portion of this chapter).


John F. Weaver was admitted to the bar in 1844, after a course of study in the office of James Burnside, of Centre county. Mr. Weaver came to Clearfield in 1845; was made deputy attorney-general of Clearfield county in 1848 and served three years, after which he retired from practice and engaged mainly in the lumber business.


Walter Barrett was born in Clearfield, August 2, 1839; attended the common schools at Clearfield, and entered the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia. He remained at the university but a short time, and in the fall of 1853, received an appointment as midshipman in the navy and stationed at Annapolis, Md. In the spring of 1855 he attended the Moravian boarding school at Nazareth, Northampton county, and remained nearly two years, after which he again entered the university at Philadelphia. He spent one year as civil engineer on the Philadelphia Railroad, after which he returned home and resumed the study of law, having previously studied during vacation time with his father, Hon. George R. Barrett. In 1859, Walter was admitted to the bar and commenced practice. At the breaking out of the war Walter Barrett was the first man that left Clearfield county to enter the service. He as appointed major of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers. Colonel William G. Murray, regimental commander, was killed at Winchester, and the command devolved upon Major Barrett, and so continued until the battle at Fort Republic, when he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel. After the battle at Cloud’s Mills Colonel Barrett was injured by the falling of a bridge, his horse falling on him in the accident, and he was compelled to leave the service and return home in the early part of 1862. Colonel Barrett, although an active participant in legal and political life, never held any office. He was a candidate for judicial honors against Judge Krebs, But was defeated by the latter in the nominating convention.


Jospeh W. Parker has been a practitioner in the courts of the State for about thirty years, but is not an old member of the Clearfield bar, having located here within the last five years. Mr. Parker was born in Mifflin county, Pa., read law and was admitted to the bar there. He lived in Virginia five years, practicing law and engaging in politics. During his residence there he served in the State Legislature three years. On his return to Pennsylvania he was elected to the Legislature and served one term.


Frank Fielding was born at Slippery Rock, Butler county, Pa. He was educated at Saint Francis College, at Loretta, Pa., and at Saint Vincent’s, at Latrobe, Pa., but was not a graduate from either. He received further instruction from Rev. W. T. Hamilton, of Mobile, Ala., while the reverend professor was in the Northern States. Mr. Fielding studied law with Hon. Wm. P. Hill, at Marshall, Texas; continued his course with John N. Thompson, of Butler, Pa., and finished in the office of Hon. James Bredin, of Butler, now of Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1864, Mr. Fielding came to Clearfield to practice. He became a member of the law firm of Wallace, Bigler & Fielding. The firm was afterward changed to Wallace & Fielding, and still later to Fielding, Bigler & Wilson. Of late years, however, Mr. Fielding has practiced without a partner. He was elected to the office of District Attorney and served one term.


William Dock Bigler is a native of Clearfield, and was born September 17, 1841. He received a preparatory course of study at the West Jersey Academy at Bridgton, N. J., remaining there about two years. In 1859 he entered Princeton College and left in 1861. Mr. Bigler read law with William A. Wallace from 1862 to 1866, but did not give his exclusive attention to law studies during that time. He was admitted to the bar in 1866. The law firm of Wallace, Bigler & Fielding was soon formed and Mr. Bigler became a member of it. Their firm relations continued about three years. Since 1870 Mr. Bigler has given his attention mainly to business interests outside the profession. He is now engaged in lumbering and the manufacture of fire brick, and is also a member of the firm of Bigler, Reed & Co.


Thomas Holt Murray was born in Girard township, Clearfield county, on the 5th day of April, 1845. His early education was somewhat limited, being confined to such branches as were taught at the "country schools." In 1862 he entered Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport, but was soon afterward compelled to leave on account of a severe illness. From this time until 1864 he remained at home, teaching school and working on the farm, when he returned to the seminary. During his course of study at the college Mr. Murray read law under the direction of Robert Fleming, esq. He graduated in 1867. In the month of May, 1868, he entered the office of H. B. Swoope, esq., at Clearfield, where he completed his legal course, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1869. The firm of Murray &Gordon, of which Thomas H. Murray is a member, was formed in September, 1874.


David S. Herron was born in Center township, Indiana county, Pa., April 24, 1844. He received an academic education, and afterward entered the Ohio University, at Athens, O., from which he graduated with the class of 1866; read law with Hugh W. Weir, esq., at Indiana, for two years, and was admitted to practice at the Indiana county bar in June, 1868. He then located in Clarion county and practiced until 1876, at which time he embarked in the mercantile and oil business. In 1883 he came to Du Bois, Clearfield county, and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1874 Mr. Herron was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and in the year following was admitted to practice in the District and Circuit Courts of the United States. Since 1874 Mr. Herron has held the office of United States Commissioner for the Western District of Pennsylvania.


David Luther Krebs, born October 5, 1846. (See ante, Bench of the county).

Hurxthal W. Smith was born in Clearfield county and was a son of Josiah W. Smith, one of the pioneer lawyers of the county. H. W. Smith read law in the office of Hon. William A. Wallace, and was admitted to the bar in 1869.


Alonzo A. Adams was born in Boggs township, Clearfield county, December 3, 1847. He read law in the office of H. Bucher Swoope, esq., and after a four years’ course of study was admitted to the bar at the June term of court, 1869.


From the alumni record of the Pennsylvania State College the following record is taken relating to Cyrus Gordon, B. S., LL. B. Born December 1, 1846, near Hecla Furnace, Centre county, Pa; 1864, entered sophomore class, Agricultural College; 1866, graduated and returned to college as tutor and post-graduate; 1867-9, studied law at Michigan University; 1869, admitted to the bar of Centre county, Pa; 1870, removed to Clearfield and began the practice of law; 1876, elected alumni trustee, State College, for one year; 1877, re-elected for full term of three years; 1880, re-elected alumni trustee. In explanation of the foregoing record it may be well to state that Mr. Gordon read law with Judge Samuel Linn, in Centre county, and that upon coming to Clearfield he was in the office of McEnally & McCurdy about one year prior to his partnership with T. H. Murray, esq.


Daniel W. McCurdy was born in Charleston township, Chester county, August 30, 1841. He received a preparatory education at Freeland Seminary, Montgomery county, and entered Dickinson College in 1858. After a full collegiate course Mr. McCurdy graduated with the class of 1862. He then taught school in Luzerne county about two years, and then came to Clearfield where he continued teaching until the early part of the year 1865. He then entered the office of Joseph B. McEnally and studied law until 1868,when he was admitted to the bar of the county. In 1872 the law firm of McEnally & McCurdy was formed.


Aaron G. Kramer was born in Centre county, August 10, 1844. He came to Clearfield in the spring of 1866, and entered the office of Israel Test. esq., as a student at law; was admitted to the bar of Clearfield county in September, 1871, and has since practiced in the county. In the fall of 1886, Mr. Kramer was elected member of Assembly to represent Clearfield county.


John Lever Cuttle was born in Lancashire, England, June 22, 1809, and came to this country in the year 1823, and Clearfield county in 1839. He was entered as a student at law with George R. Barrett, and read in connection with his labors as a machinist until 1853, when he was admitted to practice. In 1845 he was elected justice of the peace and served one term; in 1852 county surveyor, and served two terms; in 1859 prothonotary, and served one term; in 1882 he became associate judge and served one term.


Harry Frank Wallace was born August 8, 1852, in Clearfield borough. He was educated at Lawrenceville, N. J., entering school there in 1867 and graduated in 1869; entered Princeton College in 1869 and graduated with the class of ’73. He then returned home and read law in the office of Wallace & Krebs until 1875; then entered Harvard Law School and attended lectures one year; was admitted to the Clearfield bar in 1876. Mr. Wallace then became a member of the firm of Wallace & Krebs, and so continued until the election of Mr. Krebs to the office of president judge. The firm then became Wallace Bros., Harry F. and William E. Wallace constituting the firm.


William E. Wallace was born in Clearfield, February 24, 1855. After attending the common schools at Clearfield he entered Lawrenceville High School, from which he graduated in 1873; attended Harvard Law School two years; read law with Wallace & Krebs three years, and was admitted to the bar June, 1876. Mr. Wallace is now one of the members of the law firm of Wallace Bros., successors to Wallace & Krebs.


Oscar Mitchell was a native of Lawrence township, born February 28, 1849. He was educated at the State of Normal School at Millersville, Lancaster county, Pa., but did not graduate from there. In 1874 he commenced the study of law with Frank Fielding, esq., and was admitted to the Clearfield bar in June, 1876.


Smith Van Valzah Wilson was born in Clearfield, November 21, 1853. He attended the Clearfield school and afterwards took a two years’ preparatory course at Lawrenceville High School. From there he returned home and read law with Hon. William A. Wallace nearly a year, when he concluded to attend college. In the fall of 1871 he entered Lehigh University for the regular classical course, and graduated in 1874. Mr. Wilson then resumed his law studies with Senator Wallace, and was admitted to the bar in March, 1877. Smith V. Wilson was elected district attorney in November, 1885.


Joseph Francis McKenrick was born in Franklin township, Adams county, Pa., May 9, 1845. He received a common school education and entered Eastman’s Business College, at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1869, where he finished the college course. In 1865 he came to Clearfield and worked at the carpenter’s trade during the summer and taught school in the winter. Mr. McKenrick was a teacher in the Leonard Graded School at Clearfield from 1874 to 1877. In the latter year he commenced the study of law with Hon. William A. Wallace, and was admitted to the bar June 24, 1878. In 1879 he was elected district attorney of the county and re-elected in 1882.


Frank Graham Harris was born in Karthaus township, this county, November 6, 1845. In the month of September, 1876, he commenced the study of law in the office of Murray & Gordon, esqs., and continued until 1879, when on June 14th of that year he was admitted to the Clearfield bar. In connection with his law practice Mr. Harris does a fire and life insurance business.


William Carlisle Arnold was born in Luthersburg, Clearfield county, July 15, 1851. He read law in the office of J. B. McEnally, esq., and was admitted to the bar June, 1875. Mr. Arnold resides and has an office at Curwensville.


William H. Patterson was born near Warrior’s Mark, Huntingdon county, Pa., November 14, 1851, read law with H. M. Aldridge, esq., of Holidaysburg, Blair county, and was admitted to the bar in April, 1878. Mr. Patterson came to Houtzdale, Clearfield county, in May, 1878, and has since practiced law at that place.


Roland D. Swoope, son of H. Bucher Swoope, was born in Clearfield, Pa., in the year 1856. He was educated at the Hill School, Pottstown, Pa., Phillips Academy, at Andover, Mass., and at the Western University, Pittsburgh, Pa., read law in the office of Murray & Gordon, esqs., at Clearfield, and was admitted to the bar in 1878. Since admission Mr. Swoope has practiced at Curwensville.


William A. Chase, born in Knox township, Cleafield county, July 24, 1847; was educated at the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and graduated with the class of 1877, and admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Michigan in March, 1877. Mr. Chase was admitted to the bar of Clearfield county in 1879, and commenced practice at Houtzdale, where he remained till 1886. He then moved to Jeffries, this county, but has not practiced since April, 1886.


John Franklin Snyder was born in Clearfield borough, June 23, 1855. He was educated at the common schools and at the Leonard Graded School of Clearfield, but when not at school worked with his father, Henry E. Snyder, in a blacksmith shop. In 1876 he graduated from school and then resumed his place in the shop. He entered the law office of Hon. Augustus Landis, at Holidaysburg, Blair county, and studied law until 1878, when he was admitted to the bar. Mr. Snyder practiced alone until January 1, 1884, when he associated with Hon. John H. Orvis, and established an office at Clearfield under the firm name and style of Orvis & Snyder. In the celebrated Curtin-Yocum contest, Mr. Snyder acted as associate counsel with D. L. Krebs, esq.


William Alexander Hagerty was born in Glen Hope, this county, January 22, 1857. He attended the Free School at Lumber City, the academy and Leonard Graded School at Clearfield, and the Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, Pa. He read law in the office of McEnally & McCurdy, and, after a course of study for three years was admitted to the bar in 1879.


George D. Hamer was born in Freeport, Armstrong county, June 21, 1855. He graduated from Mount Union College in 1873; read law with Coulter & Martin, esqs., of Parker City, Pa, until 1875, when he moved to Butler and completed his studies with L. Z. Mitchell, esq., and was admitted to the bar June 6, 1876. Mr. Hamer practiced law in Butler county until 1880, when he came to Du Bois and was admitted to the bar of Clearfield county in March of that year. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Hamer has engaged extensively in lumbering and building.


Truman Ames was born in the town of Antioch, Lake county, Ill., June 25, 1851. In 1872 he attended the State Normal School at Mansfield, Tioga county, Pa., and continued there about eighteen weeks. He again, in 1873, entered the school and graduated therefrom in June, 1874. In the fall of 1876 he commenced the study of law with Hall & Ames, St. Mary’s, Elk county, but was obliged to leave in the folllowing spring on account of poor health. In 1878 Mr. Ames resumed study in the office of H. T. Ames, esq., Williamsport, and was admitted to the Lycoming bar in May, 1880. Truman Ames came to Du Bois in February, 1881.


William Irvin Shaw, born at Clearfield March 20, 1860, attended lectures at Yale Law School, and read law with Murray Gordon, esqs., and was admitted to the bar in June, 1882. Mr. Shaw is now practicing at Houtzdale, Clearfield county, Pa.


Arthur Le Roy Cole, born in Potter county, Pa., December 24, 1857, read law with Olmsted & Larraber, esqs., at Coudersport, Potter county, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1881. Mr. Cole located at Du Bois in October 1881.


Allison O. Smith, born October 23, 1857, in Montour county, Pa.; attended University of Pennsylvania two years, read law with Redding, Jones & Carson, esqs., and also with Oscar Foust, of Northumberland county, and was admitted to the bar at Philadelphia in June, 1882, and came to Clearfield in September, 1882.

W. Clarence Pentz, born in Brady township, Clearfield county, May 9, 1858; read law with Frank Fielding, esq., of Clearfield, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1882. Mr. Pentz began practice at Du Bois, August 15, 1883.


Martin Luther McQuown was born in Indiana county, January 18, 1852, read law in the office of Murray & Gordon, esqs., of Clearfield, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1883. Mr. McQuown was elected county superintendent in 1878, and was re-elected in 1881. He was chosen chairman of the Republican County Committee in 1886, and reappointed for the year 1887.


George Washington Easton, born in Clinton county May 16, 1860, read law with Wallace & Krebs, and was admitted to the Clearfield bar in June, 1883.


James Horton Kelley was born in Bell township, Clearfield county, October 4, 1852. He attended the Dayton Union Academy in Armstrong county, and the Tuscarora Academy in Juniata county; read law in the office of Wallace & Fielding, and afterward with Frank Fielding, esq., and was admitted to the bar in January, 1884.


Alonzo Potter MacLeod, born in Clearfield May 29, 1861; attended Lehigh University at Bethlehem, Pa., and Columbia Law School at New York city. He read law under the instruction of Colonel Walter Barrrett, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1884. Mr. MacLeod commenced practice at Coalport, Clearfield county, in February, 1885.


Singleton Bell, grandson of the first white male child born in the county, was born in Ferguson township, February 12, 1862; read law in the office of Wallace & Krebs, and was admitted to the bar in January, 1884.


Americus Hodge Woodward, born in Luzerne county, Pa., May 1, 1859; graduated from the State Normal School at Millersburg in July, 1878; entered the University of Michigan in 1881, and graduated in 1882; read law in 1882 in the office of McEnally & McCurdy, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1883.


George W. Zeigler, born at Marklesburg, Huntingdon county, Pa., August 23, 1861; read law with George B. Orlady, esq., and B. G. Zeigler, esq., and was admitted to the bar of Huntingdon county April, 1883. In 1884 he was admitted to the Clearfield bar. After three months at Clearfield he removed to Houtzdale, where he has since practiced.


George M. Bilger was born at Curwensville, Clearfield county, September 15, 1861; was entered as a law student with William C. Arnold, esq., of Curwensville, in 1883, while attending the Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., and was admitted to the bar of the county March 22, 1886. Since October, 1886, Mr. Bilger has been located at Coalport.


William I. Swoope was born in Clearfield in 1862; educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., and at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. He read law in the office of Roland D. Swoope, at Curwensville, and was admitted to the bar at Clearfield in December, 1886.


Alexander Patterson was born in Airdire, Scotland, December 19, 1857; came to this country in 1874; entered the office of McEnally & McCurdy in 1884, and was admitted to practice in 1887.


Source: Pages 233-255, History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1887.

Transcribed May 1999 by Eileen A. Wise for the Clearfield County Aldrich Project
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