Chapter XVIII
The Bench and Bar 

The First Court held in Jefferson County - The Early Lawyers - The Pioneers, whose Fame yet Survives - The Patriotism of the Bar - Members who have Risen to Eminence - The Bar Represented in the Councils of the State, in the Halls of Congress and on the Supreme Bench - The Eminent Dead - Resident Members.

The bench and bar of Jefferson county, since its organization in 1830, has admitted many members who have since risen to eminence in their profession, and in other walks of life. Many of the older members have passed away - have been summoned to appear before a higher tribunal, some of whom, having exchanged the brief for the sword, died gloriously on the field of battle; while others have lived to a good old age, and have seen the students, whom they trained for the forum, occupying prominent places at this bar and in the higher courts, in the halls of the national Congress and councils of the nation; while others have died just at the outset of their career, which gave promise of success and usefulness.


The first term of court was held in the upper rooms of the old jail, in December, 1830, and was presided over by Hon. Thomas Burnside, of Bellefonte, who resigned in 1835, Hon. Nathaniel Eldred being appointed to fill his place. He, too, resigned and was succeeded by Hon. Alexander McCalmont, of Franklin, and on the expiration of his term of office Hon. Joseph Buffington, of Kittanning, was appointed. The office was then, under the new constitution, made elective, and Hon. John C. Knox, of Tioga county, was elected in 1851, but resigned in 1853, on account of his appointment to the Supreme bench of the State. Judge Knox was succeeded by Hon. John S. McCalmont, of Franklin, who was appointed to fill the vacancy, but in 1861 Judge McCalmont resigned to accept the colonelcy of the Tenth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves, and made a brilliant war record. Judge McCalmont is now commissioner of customs in the treasury department of the United States at Washington City.

Hon. Glenni W. Scofield, of Warren, was appointed by Governor Curtin to fill Judge McCalmont’s unexpired term, and no one has been closer identified with the political history of Jefferson county since that time, than Mr. Scofield. In 1862 he was elected to Congress from the nineteenth district, of which Jefferson county then formed a part, and served in that body for five consecutive terms. During the trying days of the war Mr. Scofield proved an able and patriotic legislator, upholding the hands of the president, and proving faithful to the interests of his constituents. Judge Scofield was appointed registrar of the treasury by President Grant, which position he held until President Hayes appointed him a member of the Court of Claims of the United States. His home is still in Warren, Pa.

Hon. James Campbell, who next donned the ermine, was born in Mifflin county on the 13th of July, 1813. He was educated in the academy at Germantown, and Lafayette and Jefferson colleges, graduating at the latter institution in the class of 1837. After he had thus obtained a thorough and classical education he read law in Lewistown, Pa., and was admitted to the bar there. Mr. Campbell removed to the then new town of Clarion in 1840, and was admitted to the bar at the first court held in that county on the first Monday of November, 1840, and soon acquired a good practice and became the leader of the early bar of Clarion. In 1847 he was married to a daughter of Rev. J.R. Hallock, and has since that time made Clarion his home. In the fall of 1861 he was elected president judge of the district composed of the counties of Mercer, Venango, Clarion, Jefferson and Forest. This was a large and laborious district, but in 1866 the two western counties were cut off and erected into a new judicial district. At the end of the term, in 1871, Judge Campbell returned to the practice of law, and continued until the spring of 1886, when he retired to private life. During his term of office he administered justice in a capable and satisfactory manner. He is now president of the Clarion State Normal Association.

Hon. William Parsons Jenks was born in Punxsutawney. His father, Dr. John W. Jenks, whose history is given elsewhere in this volume, was one of the pioneers of the county, and William P. was raised amid the privations and toils that beset the early settlers. In September, 1843, he removed to Brookville and entered the law office of his brother, D.B. Jenks, esq., as a student, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1845. In December, of the same year, he was married to Miss Sarah Catharine Corbet, daughter of James and Rebecca Corbet, and has since that time resided in Brookville. He was elected a member of the Legislature in 1866 and 1867, and in 1871 was elected president judge of the eighteenth judicial district, composed of the counties of Jefferson and Clarion, being the only citizen of the county who, from its formation to the present time, has been elected to preside over its courts. Judge Jenks retired from the bench January 1, 1882, and resumed the practice of law in Brookville, but upon the appointment of his brother, Hon. George A. Jenks to be solicitor-general of the United States, he assumed the place of the latter as attorney for Mr. John E. Du Bois; and as the oversight of this immense business demands nearly all his attention, he is obliged to spend most of his time at Du Bois. There are few abler attorneys or jurists in the State than Judge Jenks.

Hon. James B. Knox, the next to assume the judicial robe in this district, was born in Knoxville, Tioga county, November 4, 1831, his parents dying when he was four years of age. He removed with his brother, John C. Knox, to the western part of the State, and was educated at Jefferson college. He studied law with Hon. Alexander McCalmont, of Franklin, and afterwards at Kittanning, under his brother, Hon. John C. Knox, and was admitted to the bar in 1852. In the following year he settled at Clarion, and was married in 1855. He went into the army as captain of Co. E. Tenth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves, and was successively promoted to major and lieutenant colonel of his regiment. He participated in all the hard-fought battles in which the reserves took part. The exposure and hardships endured during these campaigns brought on asthma and weakness of the lungs, which finally caused his death. Colonel Knox resigned from the army November 23, 1863. In 1873 he entered into partnership with J.T. Maffet, esq., and was very successful in practice. He was elected on the Democratic ticket president judge of the Jefferson-Clarion district in 1881, taking his seat on the bench in January, 1882. Judge Knox died after a very brief illness, at the American House, in Brookville, December 22, 1884, just after he had finished the term of court. He was an able lawyer, a brave soldier and a good citizen.

Hon. William L. Corbet was born on his father’s farm, near Clarion, in February, 1826. He was educated in the common schools and Clarion academy, and studied law with D.W. Foster, esq., of Clarion, and was admitted to the bar of Clarion county in 1847. He was deputy attorney-general of the State from 1848 to 1850, and a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1873, and was elected to the State Senate from the twenty-eighth district in 1876. Mr. Corbet was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge Knox, by Governor Pattison, and served as president judge until January, 1886. Judge Corbet was admitted to this bar at the February term, 1847, and has practiced a great deal in the courts of the county, being interested in many of the most important cases brought before them. He is a prominent and well-known Democratic politician, and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers of western Pennsylvania, being particularly strong in argument.

Hon. Theophilus S. Wilson is now president judge of the eighteenth judicial district. He is forty-eight years of age, and is a native of Clarion county, where his grandfather, Robert Wilson, settled in 1801. After leaving the public schools and private instruction, he attended the Brookville academy in 1852, and then took a course at Allegheny college, at Meadville, Pa. He was admitted to the bar at a special term of court held at Clarion, by Judge Scofield, in 1861, and to the bar of Jefferson county at the May term, 1866. His preceptor was G.W. Lathey, the oldest member of the Clarion bar. In 1870 he formed a partnership with Hon. George A. Jenks, of Brookville, under the name of Wilson & Jenks, which firm was very successful, controlling a majority of the legal business transacted. Later John W. Reed, of Clarion, was admitted to the firm. When Judge Wilson retired from the firm, on account of his election to the bench, his place in it was taken by his son, Harry Wilson, a graduate of Lafayette college, who was admitted to the bar in 1866, and the firm is now Reed & Wilson. The legal training of Judge Wilson, through the extensive practice of the firm, was of the kind that eminently fitted him, in the most direct way, to the promotion as judge. A close student, methodical, thorough in every detail, and of remarkable industry, he brought to the position a far more than ordinary share of sagacity and high legal ability. When, four years ago, Clarion county. was made by the State Legislature a separate judicial district, with 40,000 population, Mr. Wilson was the only attorney presented by the Clarion county bar for appointment, but Governor Hoyt vetoed the bill. When the late Judge Knox was a candidate for judge, Wilson received the unanimous vote of the Clarion county convention of his party, but declined the district nomination and refused to be a candidate against Judge Knox, whose majority was over 1,700 in Clarion county. Judge Wilson was elected president judge in 1885.


Jefferson county is honored in having one of her oldest citizens occupying a place as one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the State. Isaac Grantham Gordon was born in Lewisburg, Union county, Pa., December 22, 1819. His father, Zacheus Gordon, was a native of Northumberland county; the family being originally from Scotland, but his grandfather having removed to Ireland, they were known as Scotch-Irish. When a boy he learned the trade of a moulder, with the intention of becoming an iron founder, but having one of his feet accidentally injured by molten iron, he relinquished that idea, and being of a very studious disposition, and with a taste for classical and scientific pursuits, he applied himself to his books, and with the aid he received in the common schools and one term at the Lewisburg Academy, he acquired by dint of strong perseverance, a liberal classical and scientific education.

In 1841 he entered the law office of James F. Linn, of Lewisburg, and continued his legal studies for two years, when he was admitted in April, 1843, to practice in the courts of Union county. In July of that year, he removed to Curwensville, Clearfield county, where he opened an office, and shortly after entered into partnership with Hon. George R. Barrett. In 1846 he located in Brookville, and entered into partnership in the practice of law with Elijah Heath, which was continued until Judge Heath’s removal to Pittsburgh, in 1850.

In 1847 Mr. Gordon was married to Miss Mary C. Jenks, daughter of Dr. John W. Jenks, of Punxsutawney. In 1860 and 1861 he represented the district composed of Jefferson, Clearfield, Elk and McKean in the State Legislature, being made chairman of the General Judiciary Committee during the latter session. In 1866 he was appointed by Governor Hartranft president judge of the new judicial district formed from the counties of Mercer and Venango, taken from the eighteenth district, to serve until the next election.

Judge Gordon continued to practice at this bar from the time of his admission until he was elected at the October election in 1873, to the Supreme Bench. His term of office will expire January 1, 1889. Owing to the death of Chief Justice Mercur, on the 4th day of June, 1887, Mr. Gordon is now chief justice. Justice Gordon is still a resident of Brookville, and his only son, Cadmus Z. Gordon, is a member of this bar.


We give the names of the members of the Jefferson county bar, as they have been recorded on the annals of the court, in the order in which they were admitted to practice. Many of these attorneys were not residents of this county, but were regularly admitted to this bar, and practiced in our courts, and the history of the bar would not be complete without them.

Admitted at December Term, 1830

Thomas Blair, of Kittanning, came here occasionally; now dead.

Thomas White, of Indiana, practiced in this court for many years, and was identified with the early history of the county, having acted as agent for the sale of the Pickering and other lands. He was president judge of the district composed of the counties of Indiana, Armstrong, Westmoreland and Cambria, for a number of years prior to his death which occurred in 1866.

George W. Smith, of Butler, practiced in the courts of Jefferson county for ten or fifteen years, was afterward president judge of his district.

Joseph W. Smith, of Clearfield, was here occasionally.

John Johnston, of Clearfield, was here occasionally.

William Banks, of Indiana, practiced in this court for many years.

Hugh Brady.

Robert E. Brown, of Kittanning, came here occasionally.

February Term, 1831

Joseph Martin.

William Watson, of Kittanning, Pa., came here occasionally.

Joseph Buffington, of Bellefonte, practiced at this bar for many years; was appointed president judge of this district, and afterward served as member of Congress from his district, and president judge of the Armstrong district.

September Term, 1831

Cephas J. Dunham, of Brookville.

Ephraim Carpenter, of Indiana, came here for many years.

Lewis W. Smith, of Clearfield, came here occasionally.

Benjamin Bartholomew resided in Brookville a number of years, and represented the district in the Legislature in 1846. He removed from Brookville to Warren, and then to Schuylkill county, where he was afterwards district attorney. Hon. Linn Bartholomew, his son, was born in Brookville.

December Term, 1833

Michael Gallagher of Kittanning, was a prominent attorney of Armstrong county, but only occasionally practiced at this bar.

James McManus, of Bellefonte, came here occasionally.

February Term, 1834

William F. Johnston, of Kittanning, practiced regularly at this bar for many years; was afterwards governor of Pennsylvania.

May Term, 1834

C.A. Alexander.

James Burnside, of Bellefonte, only practiced at this bar occasionally; was afterwards appointed president judge of the Centre district. Judge Burnside married a daughter of Hon. Simon Cameron.

February Term, 1835

Michael Dan McGeehan, of Ebensburg, a prominent citizen, and one of the oldest and best known members of the bar of Cambria county; came here occasionally.

General William R. Smith, from the eastern part of the State, was only here once; removed to Du Buque, Ia.

May Term 1835

Hiram Payne, of McKean county, practiced at this bar, regularly for a number of years. He was engaged in the sale of lands, and was a member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1837.

September Term, 1835

Lewis B. Dunham, of Brookville, was the first man admitted on examination to the Jefferson county bar, and the first law student in the county. He practiced here for a number of years, and then removed to the West, and is now engaged in the banking business in Maquoketa, Ia. Mr. Dunham did not practice his profession after he left Brookville. He has represented Iowa in the State Senate.

Stewart Steele, of Blairsville.

September Term, 1836

Richard Arthurs, of Brookville, has continued to practice at this bar ever since his admission, and is the oldest member of the bar now living. He was elected district attorney in 1850. He has seen nearly all the present members of the bar grow up from childhood.

About this time S.A. Purviance, of Butler, Henry Souther, of Ridgway and Benjamin F. Lucas, of Brookville, were admitted, but there is no record of their admission. Mr. Lucas resided in Brookville for many years, removing to Pittsburgh about the time the war broke out. Mr. Souther now resides in Erie.

December Term, 1835

Alexander McCalmont, of Franklin, practiced for many years at this bar, and was president judge of the district.

James Ross Snowden, of Franklin, a prominent attorney and politician, came here occasionally.

Elijah Heath, of Brookville.

David Barclay Jenks, of Brookville.

December Term, 1839

William M. Stewart, of Indiana, attended court here frequently for many years, and was a very prominent attorney. Mr. Stewart has been for a number of years engaged in the banking business in Philadelphia.

September Term, 1839

John W. Howe, of Franklin, came here regularly for many years. He was a prominent attorney and was elected member of Congress from his district.

Thomas Struthers, of Warren, also came here regularly for many years.

December Term, 1840

Thomas Lucas, of Brookville.

September Term, 1842

J.W. McCabe, of Kittanning, came here a few times.

February Term, 1843

Canton B. Curtis, of Warren, came here frequently; elected to the Legislature and Congress twice from the districts of which Jefferson county formed a part. Mr. Curtis served as colonel of the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers. He removed after the war from Warren to Erie, where he died a few years ago. He was prominent as an attorney, a soldier, and a politician.

Andrew Mosgrave, of Kittanning, came here occasionally.

May Term, 1843

David S. Deering, of Brookville, read law, was admitted, and practiced at this bar for several years. He now resides in Iowa, and has quit the profession.

February Term, 1844

C.W. Leffingwell.

May Term, 1844

Ephraim Buffington, of Kittanning, came here occasionally; still resides in Kittanning,

September Term, 1844

Edward Shippen, of Meadville, Pa, only attended court here a few times.

John S. McCalmont.

December Term, 1844

C.W. Carskadden, of Mercer, or Franklin, came here once or twice.

Edwin C. Wilson, of Mercer, or Franklin, came here once or twice.

May Term, 1845

John Potter, jr.

September Term, 1845

W.P. Jenks, of Brookville.

December Term, 1845

Isaac G. Gordon, of Brookville.

February Term, 1847

William L. Corbet, of Clarion.

May Term, 1847

John W. Mish, of Pittsburgh, came here but once.

George W. Zeigler, of Brookville, practiced at this bar until 1869, when he removed to Selin’s Grove, Snyder county, and subsequently to Sunbury, where he resides and practices his profession. Mr. Zeigler was a prominent attorney and politician, being twice elected on the Democratic ticket to the Legislature from this district.

Edward Hutchison, of Brookville, read law and was admitted here, but never practiced at this bar; removed to Indiana, and from there to Ebensburg where he died.

February Term, 1849

George W. Smith, of Butler, came here regularly for a number of years. He was a good lawyer and a prominent Whig politician.

Guthire P. Reed.

John K. Coxson, of Brookville.

Titian J. Coffey, of Indiana, a prominent attorney, practiced here for a number of years; was afterwards State Senator, and appointed attorney-general of the United States from 1861 to 1865. Mr. Coffey resides in Washington, D.C.

May Term, 1849

James S. Myers, of Franklin, Pa., came here regularly to attend court for several years.

September Term, 1847

George W. Andrews, a native of Fryburg, Me., in 1844, removed to Pennsylvania, and resided in Lebanon and Lancaster counties until June 1, 1847, when he located in Brookville, and practiced at this bar until he removed to Denver, Col., in November, 1873, where he still resides, and is engaged in practicing his profession. Mr. Andrews was a prominent lawyer, and a good citizen. In 1873 he was a member of the constitutional convention.

December Term, 1849

David Barclay, of Brookville, was for many years, until his removal to Pittsburgh in 1860, one of the most prominent attorneys at the Brookville bar, an influential citizen and a strong politician, being elected on the Whig ticket to Congress from this district in 1854. Mr. Barclay now resides in Kittanning where he is practicing law.

May Term, 1851

Samuel Sherwell, of Kittanning, did not practice here.

S. Newton Pettis, of Meadville, did not practice here.

September Term, 1851

L.D. Rodgers, of Brookville, practiced here for a number of years; removed to Franklin, and subsequently to Tacoma, Oregon, where he now resides.

Charles L. Lamberton, a resident of Clarion when admitted, afterwards removed to Brookville, where he resided for a few years, then returned to Clarion, and was elected to the State Senate from this district. After his term of office expired he located in the eastern part of the State.

September Term, 1852

Larry S. Cantwell, of Kittanning, practiced occasionally at this bar. He was a prominent attorney and soldier of the late war; now dead.

Glenni W. Scofield, of Warren.

J. Alexander Fulton, of Kittanning, came here occasionally.

James Boggs, of Clarion, came here occasionally.

December Term, 1852

William W. Wise, of Brookville.

May Term, 1853

James McCahon, of Brookville, read, was admitted, and practiced here for a number of years; then removed to Kansas, where he died recently.

Martin R. Cooley, of Brookville, read and was admitted here, and then removed to Michigan, where he soon afterwards died.

September Term, 1853

W.W. Barr, of Clarion, practices here occasionally. Mr. Barr is a prominent Democratic politician, and represented the district composed of Jefferson and Clarion counties in the State Legislature in 1864 and 1865.

Charles R. Barclay, of Punxsutawney, read law and was admitted here, but did not practice; soon after removed to Iowa, where he is now practicing medicine. Dr. Barclay is a brother of Hon. David Barclay.

December Term, 1853

Michael K. Boyer, of Brookville, was elected to the Legislature the same year he was admitted to the bar, and never returned to the county to practice.

February Term, 1854

James K. Kerr, of Franklin, practiced here occasionally. He was a good lawyer, and a strong Democratic politician, being the candidate for Congress in 1860, in his district. Mr. Kerr died in Pittsburgh.

P.W. Jenks, of Punxsutawney.

Andrew J. Boggs, of Kittanning, came here occasionally. He was elected president judge of the Armstrong district, and a few years ago died.

May Term, 1854

Albert Willis, of Ridgway, came here but seldom.

September Term, 1854

Reuben Mickel.

Samuel J. Fryer, of Brookville, resided here for a number of years; now lives at Parker City, Pa.

February Term, 1855

A.L. Gordan.

A.A. McKnight.

May Term, 1855

Hon. Gaylord Church, of Meadville; was here but once.

Bernard J. Reid, of Clarion, practiced regularly at this bar for many years, and is still engaged occasionally in suits in the courts here.

George Rodgers, of Brookville, never practiced; died soon after admission. Mr. Rodgers was a brother of the late Dr. Mark Rodgers.

September Term, 1855

William K. McKee, of Punxsutawney.

February Term, 1859

John Hastings, of Punxsutawney.

George A. Jenks, of Brookville.

May Term, 1859

John Conrad read law with Hon. A.W. Taylor, in Indiana, Pa., and T.L. Heyer, Johnston, Pa.; was examined and admitted to the bar in Ebensburg, Cambria county, in 1856, and subsequently in Indiana and other counties; went to Marienville, Forest county, in the fall of 1857, and in the spring of 1859 located in Brookville, Pa.

Silas M. Clark, of Indiana, practiced here occasionally. He is now one of the Justices of the Supreme Court.

William A. Todd, of Indiana, came here occasionally.

September Term, 1859

Charles Horton, of Ridgway, practiced here but seldom.

J.C. Chapin, of Ridgway, practiced here but seldom.

Samuel Dodd, of Franklin, practiced at this bar occasionally. He is a very prominent lawyer, and now resides in New York, where he is attorney for the Standard Oil Company. Mr. Dodd is a brother of Colonel Levi A. Dodd.

February Term, 1860

Reuben C. Winslow, of Punxsutawney.

September Term, 1860

James Craig, of Clarion, came here occasionally.

February Term, 1861

E.A. Brooks came to Brookville and was admitted, and then removed to Forest county.

September Term, 1861

Charles E. Taylor, of Franklin, Pa., practiced here occasionally; now president judge of the Franklin district.

Harry White, of Indiana, now president judge of his district. Judge White served as State senator for three terms, and was elected twice to Congress from the districts of which Jefferson formed a part.

December Term, 1862

Alexander C. White, of Brookville; elected district attorney in 1867 and 1870, and member of Congress in 1884.

Lewis A. Grunder, of Brookville.

February Term, 1864

Albert C. Thompson, of Brookville, read law in Brookville and admitted to this bar, but removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1865, where he was in 1872 elected probate judge of Sciota county, and subsequently president judge of his district, which office he resigned to accept the nomination for Congress in 1884, to which he was elected and re-elected in 1886.

May Term, 1865

Charles S. Andrews, of Brookville, read law here, but after being admitted removed to Pithole, Pa., where he opened an office, but soon afterwards removed to Brazil, Ind., where he is engaged in the banking business.

J.B. Finlay, of Kittanning, was here but once.

May Term, 1866

J.W. Patrick, of Clarion, practiced at this bar occasionally.

W.E. Lathy, of Clarion, practiced at this bar occasionally, now of Tionesta, Pa.

T.S. Wilson, of Clarion, now president judge of this district.

September Term, 1866

R.M. Matson, of Brookville, practiced at this bar until within a few years. He still has his library in Brookville, but is now engaged in the lumber business in Forest county.

V.O. Smith, of Brookville, removed to State of New York in 1868, opened law office at Dalton, N.Y., where, in his absence, his office, library and all his papers were destroyed by fire. After practicing two years left the bar to become a farmer in the Genesee valley.

December Term, 1866

E.H. Clark, of Brookville.

John McMurray, of Brookville, was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1873, from this district, and in 1875 was appointed a clerk in the auditor-general’s office, of Pennsylvania, where he remained four years. Since 1878 he has been editor of the Brookville Democrat. In July, 1885, Major McMurray was appointed chief of the division of lands and railroads, in the office of the secretary of the interior of the United States, which position he yet retains.

September Term, 1867

William F. Stewart, of Brookville, practiced at this bar until December, 1884, when he went to Atlanta, Ga., where he was admitted to the bar. He returned to Brookville and resumed his practice in April, 1885.

February Term, 1868.

H. Clay Campbell, of Punxsutawney, practiced in Punxsutawney until the fall of 1870, when he removed to Indiana, and from there went to Pittsburgh, where he practiced until 1879, when he returned to Punxsutawney and purchased the interest of John Hastings in the firm of Hastings & Brewer. He removed to Brookville in July, 1885.

May Term, 1868

W.D.J. Marlin, of Brookville.

February Term, 1869

John H. Fulford.

February Term, 1871

Benton P. Arthurs, of Brookville, Pa.

May Term, 1871

William M. Fariman, of Punxsutawney, elected district attorney in 1876.

Charles M. Brewer, of Punxsutawney.

John St. Clair, of Punxsutawney.

December Term, 1871

Camden Mitchell, of Reynoldsville.

Marion M. Davis read law with A.W. Taylor, esq., of Indiana, and was admitted to practice in the courts of Indiana county in 1866. In 1867 he removed to Osage Mission, Kansas, where he practiced for about a year, when, on account of ill health, he was obliged to return to Pennsylvania. In 1871 he located in Reynoldsville, where he served as justice of the peace for a term of five years.

May Term, 1872

Charles Corbet, of Brookville, elected district attorney in 1873.

Joseph L. Covin, of Philadelphia, was here but once.

September Term, 1873

James T. Maffett, of Brookville, practiced here for a short time after admission, then removed to Clarion, where he has since practiced. Mr. Maffett was elected on the Republican ticket to the present Congress, from this district.

May Term, 1873

John F. Craig, of New Bethlehem, has never practiced at this bar since admission.

February Term, 1874

H.W. Walkinshaw, of Greensburg, located here after being admitted, but removed in a short time to Saltsburg, Pa.

Adjourned Term, June, 1874

Thomas T. Ritchey, admitted, and removed to New Bethlehem, then to Tionesta, where he is now practicing.

December Term, 1874

George W. Hood, of Indiana, now State senator from this district.

May Term, 1875

John T. Dilts, of Punxsutawney, removed to the West after he was admitted.

Henry W. Mundorff, of Punxsutawney, was for some time a member of the firm of Conrad & Mundorff, and now clerk to the prothonotary.

A.J. Monks, of Punxsutawney.

September Term, 1875

C.C. Benscoter, of Reynoldsville, studied in Williamsport, and was first admitted to the bar of Lycoming county, elected district attorney in 1882 and removed to Brookville; re-elected in 1885.

December Term, 1875

Samuel A. Craig, of Brookville, elected district attorney in 1879.

Adjourned Term, January, 1876

Madison M. Meredith, of Brookville, removed to Edenburg, Clarion county, in 1877, and from there to Clarion. He was appointed corporation clerk in the office of the secretary of the Commonwealth, during the administration of Governor Pattison.

Adjourned Term, August, 1876

C.H. McCauley, of Ridgway, practices occasionally at this bar.

September Term, 1876

D.E. Brenneman, of Brookville.

George W. Means, of Brookville.

J.A. Scott, of Brookville.

C. Bartles, Jr., was here but once.

December Term, 1876

Burke Corbet, of Brookville, removed to Grand Forks, Dakota, in May, 1878, where he is now practicing his profession.

Frank R. Hindman, of Clarion, seldom attends the courts of this county.

William A. Hindman, of Clarion, seldom attends the courts of this county.

February Term, 1877

M.F. Leason, of Brookville, removed to Kittanning after admission, where he is now practicing his profession.

John W. Walker, of Brookville, elected justice of the peace for Brookville borough in 1885.

John C. Whitehill, of Brookville.

May Term, 1877

J.M. Hunter, of Kittanning, was here but once.

September Term, 1877

Joseph A. McDonald, of Reynoldsville, has left the county.

J.J. Frazier, of Clarion, was here but once.

December Term, 1877

A.C. McCombs, of Clarion, was here but once.

February Term, 1878

John E. Calderwood, of Punxsutawney.

September Term, 1878

S.H. Whitehill, of Brookville.

February Term, 1879

William M. Gillespie, of Punxsutawney, is entirely blind.

Thomas Sutton, of Indiana, was here but once.

September Term, 1879

Calvin Rayburn read law in Brookville, but after being admitted located in Kittanning, where he is now practicing.

George T. Rodgers, of Brookville, now cashier of the Jefferson County National Bank, not practicing.

February Term, 1880

A.A. Graham was here but once.

W.S. Thomas practiced at this bar and resided in Brookville for a year or two after being admitted, and then removed to Clearfield.

Hiram H. Brosius, of Brookville.

September Term, 1880

Cadmus Z. Gordon, of Brookville.

J.W. Lee, of Franklin.

February Term, 1881

John T. Shannafelt, of Clarion.

May Term, 1882

James M. Corbet, of Brookville, removed to Grand Forks, Dakota, in April, 1882, where he is now associated with his brother Burke, as Corbet Brothers.

September Term, 1882

John M. Van Vleit, of Brookville.

Denny C. Ogden, of Brookville, removed to Greensburg after being admitted, and is now district attorney of Westmoreland county.

February Term, 1883

Cyrus H. Blood, of Brookville.

May Term, 1883

J. Davis Broadhead, of Bethlehem, comes here occasionally, is interested in the sale of coal lands.

September Term, 1883

G.A. Rathburn, of Ridgway, practices occasionally at this bar.

Alexander J. Truitt, of Punxsutawney.

J.F. McKenrick was here but once.

February Term, 1884

A.L. Cole, of Du Bois, practices occasionally in these courts.

Charles B. Earley, of Ridgway, practices occasionally in these courts.

September Term, 1884

Edward A. Carmalt, of Brookville.

G.S. Crosby, of Kittanning, a prominent attorney of Armstrong county, who died in 1886. He was here but once.

T.C. Hipple, of Lock Haven, was here but once.

December Term, 1884

John T. Cathers, of Kittanning, was here but once.

Harry Hall, of St. Marys, was here but once.

February Term, 1885

W.H. Ross, of Clarion.

George W. Biddle, of Philadelphia.

George Biddle, of Philadelphia.

Silas M. Pettit, of Philadelphia.

John G. Hall, of Ridgway.

Robert Snodgrass, of Harrisburg, deputy attorney-general of Pennsylvania.

May Term, 1885

F.J. Maffett, of Clarion.

September Term, 1885

E.L. Davis, of Tionesta.

December Term, 1885

Francis B. Guthrie, of Titusville.

David I. Ball.

September Term, 1886

G. Ament Blose, of Hay, Jefferson county.

Charles B. Craig, of New Bethlehem.

May Term, 1887

T.H. Murry, of Clearfield.

William L. McCracken, of Perry township.

John W. Bell.


Of those who were admitted to practice in the courts of Jefferson county quite a number have been summoned, from time to time, to appear before the bar of the court presided over by the Omnipotent Judge. We have taken these up in the order in which they were admitted to the bar, and only notice at length those who were residents of the county.

Hugh Brady was born at Northumberland, January 29, 1798. He studied law with the late Daniel Stanard, of Indiana. On the 6th of September, 1821, he was married at Huntingdon, Pa., to Miss Sarah S. Evans, and removed to Brookville May 5, 1832. He was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county at the December term (the first court), 1830, and his name is the seventh on the records of the court. He attended all the subsequent terms of court until he removed to Brookville. His father, William P. Brady, who resided in Indiana county, was connected with the Nicholson Land Company, and owned, or had in charge, much of the land surrounding the borough in Rose township. He was a surveyor, and was frequently here in that capacity in the early days of the county. He was a grandson of Captain John Brady, the great Indian fighter, from whom Hugh Brady derived his taste for military affairs, and from whom also his son, Captain Evans R. Brady, inherited the heroism that he displayed so often on the field of battle, and which caused him to at last give his life for the country for which so many generations of his ancestors had fought, but for whom the honor of "dying for the flag" was reserved.

Mr. Brady was generally known as "Colonel" Hugh Brady, having been appointed aid to Governor Johnston, with the rank of colonel. Colonel Brady died at his residence in Brookville, September 4, 1861. Mrs. Brady died September 10, 1865. The only survivor of the family is Mrs. Elizabeth Craig, who is now among the very few who can remember Brookville as a wilderness.

The next name on the list of the dead is that of Cephas J. Dunham, who was admitted to the bar at the September term, 1831, and practiced until his death in 1843. He is buried in the old grave-yard. None of his family reside in the county, and no record can be found of him except what we give above.

Caleb A. Alexander, admitted May term, 1834. He was one of the first board of trustees of the Brookville Academy, and was elected county auditor in 1838. He was a prominent attorney, and one of the first and most earnest advocates of the public school system in Jefferson county. He resided in Brookville until about the year 1842, when he removed to Memphis, Tenn., where he died during the late war.

Elijah Heath was born in Warren county, N.J., in October, 1796. When about eighteen years of age he served in the State Militia during the War of 1812-15. He first came to Jefferson county in 1820, and remained until 1822, when he returned to New Jersey, and was married that year to Miss Mary W. Jenks, sister of Dr. John W. Jenks. He then moved to Punxsutawney, where he lived until about 1832, when he settled in Brookville. He read law with Benjamin Bartholomew, and was admitted to the bar at the December term, 1835. He entered into partnership with Isaac G. Gordon in 1846, which partnership, under the firm name of Heath & Gordon, was continued until August 9, 1850, when it was dissolved on account of Judge Heath’s removal from Brookville.

Mr. Heath was, from the very first, connected with the political history of the county; we first find him a candidate for constable of Perry township (which then embraced Punxsutawney) in 1821, to which office he was elected in 1823. He was elected county commissioner in 1829, and in 1830 Governor Wolf appointed him one of the first associate judges for the county, which office he resigned in 1835. In 1831 he was elected one of the justices of the peace for the borough of Brookville. In the docket kept by him during the time he held this office we find that he done quite a large matrimonial business, many of the older citizens of the county being joined in wedlock by him. Among the first to visit him in this capacity were Hiram Carrier and Margaret Brocius, Dr. C.G.M. Prime and Catharine Wagley; then, a year later, appears the record of the marriage of James C. Matson, of Rose township, and Harriet Potter, of Pine Creek, parents of Drs. C.M. and W.F. Matson.

Judge Heath was one of the early members of the Methodist Church, and was one of the first class formed in Brookville. He was an avowed Abolitionist in those days, when it was a heinous offense to raise a voice against slavery, and we have already recorded how dearly he paid for helping two poor slaves to escape from the Brookville jail.

In 1850 Judge Heath removed to Pittsburgh, where he resided until 1863, when, shortly after the death of his wife, who died in October, 1863, he returned to his native State. He died at New Monmouth, N.J., in May, 1875. His only surviving child is John Heath, of Bay City, Mich.

David Barclay Jenks, eldest son of Dr. John W. Jenks, was born in the State of New Jersey in 1815 or 1816, and came with his parents to Punxsutawney in 1818. He received such education as the county afforded, and attended Washington College, where he graduated, and read law and was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county in 183-, and then located in Brookville. Both his brothers, William P. and Phineas W. read law with him. He was very successful as an attorney, and became one of the most prominent citizens of the new town, but just when his career seemed to be begun, he was stricken down by disease while attending court at Clarion, and died after a few hours’ illness, May 6, 1848. Mr. Jenks married Miss Sydney Jack, daughter of Colonel William Jack, now Mrs. George W. Andrews, of Denver, Colorado. They had two children - Mary H., married to Dr. John Mechling, now residing in Denver, and Annie W., married to Thomas H. Kingman, now a resident of Orange, N.J.

Samuel Barclay Bishop, son of Rev. Dr. Gara Bishop and Mrs. Sarah Bishop, was born in Philadelphia, July 19, 1815, and came to Brookville in July, 1835, and was admitted to the bar about the year 1837. On the 17th of June, 1842, he was married to Miss Esther Hall. Mr. Bishop was one of the first attorneys at the bar, and a prominent and influential citizen. He died March 26, 1856, and August 18, of the same year, his wife followed him to the tomb, leaving four sons. Of these, Ely, the youngest born, died October 18, 1869, and Charles Morris died March 18, 1876, in the twenty-fourth year of his age. Dr. William G. and Samuel Barclay Bishop, the other sons, both reside in Brookville, the latter on the same lot, on Main street, where their parents lived and died.

Jesse G. Clark, son of William and Susannah Clark, was born January 22, 1816, and came with his parents to Brookville in October, 1830. In 1837 he was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county, and in 1840 was elected to the office of treasurer. On the 10th day of October, 1838, he was married to Miss Sarah W. Hastings, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Hastings, the result of this union being two sons and one daughter. Mr. Clark enjoyed a lucrative practice, and was one of the most prominent citizens of the county. He died February 4, 1847. Of the sons, Elijah Heath, the eldest, is now a prominent member of the same bar at which his father practiced in its early days, and is a resident of Brookville. William T., the younger son, died June 20, 1885, in his forty-first year, leaving a wife and six children. He was a gallant soldier, serving in the first three months service, and for almost two years in Company E, One Hundred and Forty-eighth Regiment, being promoted to first lieutenant of his company. He was severely wounded at Chancellorsville. Clara Adelaide, the daughter, died December 18, 1846, in the second year of her age. Mrs. Clark, now Mrs. Means, having become the wife of Captain R.R. Means, whom she also survives, is still a resident of Brookville.

Thomas Lucas was one of the first settlers in Jefferson county, and one of the first justices of the peace in the county, his old "docket" showing that he held that office in Pine Creek, and then in Brookville, after the county seat was established from 1810 to 1840, the first entry being January 15, 1810, and the last March 16, 1840. In 1835 he was appointed prothonotary. Mr. Lucas was admitted to practice in the several courts of the county at the December term, 1840, when he was over fifty years of age, and practiced until his death, which took place in 1847. The record on his tomb-stone in the old grave-yard, reads as follows: "Thomas Lucas, died February 11, 1847, aged sixty-four years." At the time of his death Mr. Lucas resided in the house, which he had built, opposite the United Presbyterian Church, now the property of John J. Thompson. The only member of his family living is his daughter, Nancy, now the wife of Dr. R.T. Henry, of Princeville, Lewis county, Ill.

John K. Coxson was born in Mercer county, July 8, 1812, and came to Jefferson county in 1848, locating in Brookville, in the same year. He was admitted to the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1842, and appointed to Williamsfield, in the Warren district. He afterwards filled the appointments at Clintonville, Red Bank, Luthersburg, and Punxsutawney. The History of the Erie Conference, in the record of the year 1846, says: "Rev. John K. Coxson settled in Jefferson county, Pa., where he entered the practice of pleading law." He read law for two years with Judge Thompson, of Venango county, and one year in the office of George W. Zeigler, esq., of Brookville, and was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county in 1849. January 24, 1850, he was married to Miss Thetis Thom, of Luthersburg, Clearfield county, and that same year removed to Punxsutawney, where he resided until his death, which occurred July 16, 1879. Mr. Coxson continued the practice of his profession until his death, but devoted considerable time to portrait painting and to literary work, and was engaged in the newspaper business for about five years. He was a man of more than usual mental abilities, and of great versatility of talent.

William Williams Wise was born in Greensburg, Westmoreland county, Pa., on the 27th day of April, 1827. At an early age he attended the old academy in Greensburg, where his manly, honest character, endeared him to both his teachers and fellow pupils. At the age of fourteen, when already well advanced in the classics, he entered the office of the Indiana Register, in Indiana, Pa., where he learned the art of printing. While here he "burned the midnight oil" to prepare himself for the study of law. During his apprenticeship he published several poems which bore the impress of unusual literary merit. In 1847 the Mexican War broke out, and young Wise laid down the composing stick for the musket, and enlisted in, Company D, Second Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was mustered into the service at Pittsburgh, January 4, 1847. He remained with his company until December 25, when he was placed on detached service, by order of General Patterson. In March or April he rejoined his company, and was mustered out of service at Pittsburgh, July 14, 1848. During his stay in Mexico, he edited and printed a paper, at General Scott’s headquarters in the city of Mexico. At the close of the war he decided to locate in Brookville, where his father owned some land, and June 8, 1849, entered into partnership with Captain Evans R. Brady, in the publication of the Jeffersonian. In December, 1851, the partnership of Brady & Wise was dissolved by Captain Wise retiring. In 1850 he was elected to the Legislature from the district composed of Jefferson, Clarion and Armstrong. He was one of the most able and brilliant members of that body. At that time he was a Democrat in politics, but when the Republican party was formed he warmly espoused its principles, and soon became one of the acknowledged leaders of the new party in Jefferson county. In 1858 he was the choice of Jefferson county for Congress, but withdrew his name at the convention in favor of Chapin Hall, who was nominated and elected. In December, 1852, he was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county, and was for a time a partner of Hon. D. Barclay. He was an able and successful attorney. On the 30th of August, 1855, he was married to Miss Evaline Taylor, eldest daughter of Hon. Philip Taylor, of Brookville. When the war cloud burst over the land, Captain Wise closed his law office, hade adieu to his wife and little boy, and promptly enlisted in defense of his country. He was elected captain of one of the first three months companies from Jefferson county, Company I of the Eighth Pennsylvania. Soon after these companies reached the front, Captain Wise was selected to go into the enemy’s lines, and endeavor to gain information as to the number and disposition of the enemy’s forces, and his plan of operation. We can best give an account of this hazardous service by quoting from a letter written by him to his wife, May 30, 1861: "Colonel Irwin, who was then commanding the Third Brigade, ordered me to make a reconnoissance of the enemy’s post, at Sheppardstown, Williamsport, and along the line of the Potomac towards Harper’s Ferry. Starting the same night (in citizen’s dress), I went to Hagerstown, through Maryland, into Virginia, penetrated the camp of the secessionists and acquired information that high military authorities considered very valuable. It is true that I was liable to be hung or shot at any moment, but, you know, the first duty of a soldier is to obey the commands of his superiors, no matter what the consequences may be. Returning in safety, after several perilous adventures, I was sent to Harrisburg, with a report of my expedition, maps of the country through which I passed, etc., etc. There a telegraphic message from the secretary of war ordered me to Washington, where I proceeded at once - had an interview with General Cameron, dined with him that afternoon, and also had a long and confidential conversation with General Scott, with whom I emptied a bottle of wine, and smoked a cigar... Colonel Irwin, Governor Curtin, the secretary of war and General Scott, all unite in pronouncing my service in the enemy’s country as most important." For this service, Captain Wise was promoted by the secretary of war, to a captaincy in the regular army, and assigned to Company I, Fifteenth U.S. Infantry, and he at once resigned his captaincy in the volunteer service, and reported for duty to his new regiment. He was ordered to Johnstown, Pa., to recruit for his regiment, and his wife and little boy spent the time of his stay there with him. The Fifteenth was ordered to join the Western Army, under Rosecrans, and Captain Wise was kept in active service, constantly taking a gallant part in several battles. At Shiloh his company was hotly engaged and lost heavily. On the 31st of December, 1862, he was mortally wounded in the battle of Stone River, and died the following day. The story of his last fight can best be told in the words of one of his brother officers, Captain I.H. Young, of the Fifteenth, who wrote the sad intelligence to his wife. "... On the morning of the 31st, before Murfreesboro, the enemy had driven back the right wing of the army. Our brigade of regulars was in the division of the reserve. The moment had come, when upon them depended the safety or destruction of our entire army. A moment terrible in danger. Steadily at the call of our glorious Rousseau, the little battalion marched on, and amid the fury of the storm of grape and ball and shell, gained the open field he pointed out; but they could not withstand the hosts of the rebels who had driven back the strong division of the right. They fought on, falling back, then again advanced, and drove the foe until they reached their former position, not to hold it yet, for the thousands of the enemy were still too strong for twelve hundred men, if each had been a Rousseau; again they fell back, again they advanced, and this time there were but six hundred hearts to beat on the open field - the field of their glory, and the six hundred held the point. The day was ours - the army was safe. It was during this glorious time, the proudest in our army’s history, the moment most sublime even in a soldier’s dream, that fell our brother captain. But you are not a soldier; whatever there may be of glory comes to you too faintly to be felt or heard yet, amid the wailing and breaking of heart-strings. We offer you the fullest sympathy of soldier hearts, and pray you to believe with us, that heaven is just the other side of your soldier’s grave. We honored your husband, for he possessed the brave man’s noblest attributes; we loved him for the oftentimes we had seen and felt the kindly sympathies of his generous soul."

His brother officers having placed the body of Captain Wise in a vault in Nashville, to await the wishes of his friends, his remains were brought home by Mr. M.H. Shannon, who had been sent for them, and on the 10th of February, 1863, he was borne to his last home, followed by the entire bar to which he had so long been such an ornament. At the court which was then in session, a committee was appointed to draft resolutions on his death, consisting of Isaac G. Gordon, David Barclay and George A. Jenks, and among others was the following:

"Resolved, 2, That the bar has lost an ornament - a gentleman of learning and ability, and who, from his legal acumen and surpassing eloquence, gave promise of a bright and distinguished future, and in whose intercourse was combined friendship, courtesy and kindness."

Captain Wise, when he fell, had received no less than three rebel bullets in his person; and no one ever died a nobler, braver death. In his death Jefferson county lost one of her best citizens, and the bar one of its brightest ornaments; an able lawyer, an accomplished jurist, and an orator not often excelled. He left a wife and one little boy. Mrs. Wise, on September 27, 1882, went to join her soldier husband, and their son, Malcolm William Wise, is now a resident of Du Bois, where he occupies the position as cashier of the First National Bank of that place.

Alexander Lewis Gordon was born in Lewisburg, Union county, February 14, 1829. He, in his youth, attended the public schools of the county, but his education was nearly all self-acquired. About 1852 he came to Brookville and commenced the study of the law with his brother, Hon. Isaac G. Gordon. In 1853 he taught school in the academy building, and at the February term, 1855, he was admitted to the bar. Mr. Gordon was married June 8, 1858, at Shelbyville, Ill., to Miss Achsa J. Hardin, who survives him. In 1858 he was elected district attorney, and re-elected in 1861, and was appointed assessor of internal revenue for the district in 1864, which position he held until the office was merged with those of the collector and deputy collector. On the election of his brother, Hon. I.G. Gordon, to the supreme bench, he formed a copartnership with Charles Corbet, esq., and the firm of Gordon & Corbet continued until his death. He was for almost twenty years secretary and treasurer of the Red Bank Navigation Company, which office he held at the time of his death. When the citizens of the county were called to face the stern realities of war, A.L. Gordon gave his whole sympathy to the cause, and though not physically able to endure the hardships of a soldier’s life, he aided with his voice and means in putting men in the field, and when the safety of his own State was endangered in the summer of 1863, he assisted in recruiting Company B, of the Fifty-Seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Militia, and on the promotion of Captain Cyrus Butler to lieutenant-colonel, he was promoted captain, and served with his company until the needs of the service no longer demanded their services, and during that time assisted in putting down the famous "Morgan raid." Mr. Gordon was one of the most prominent and most widely known members of this bar, and equally prominent in the Republican party. For many years he was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church of Brookville, and his heart was deeply interested in the Sunday-school work. The interest he manifested in the youth of the town, and the lessons he taught them have left their impress upon the school and community. An ardent lover of children, and not being blessed with any of his own, he was in the habit of selecting a number of little ones, to whom each succeeding Christmas he was a veritable Santa Claus, and by whom he will never be forgotten. In the spring of 1885, the disease, which for some time had been sapping his vitality, assuming alarming symptoms, he went to Philadelphia to obtain the advice of eminent physicians there, but they could afford no relief, and on the 3d of May he passed away; his devoted wife and brother being by his side during his illness and death. The Pennsylvania Railroad placed a special car at the disposal of his friends to bring his remains home for burial, and on their arrival at Driftwood they were met by an escort from the bar consisting of Messrs. G.A. Jenks, A.C. White, S.A. Craig, W.F. Stewart, W.D.J. Marlin, and G.W. Means, who escorted the remains of their fellow-attorney to the depot at Brookville, where a detail of E.R. Brady Post, G.A.R., took charge of the remains and bore them to his late residence, from which they were followed on the Tuesday following by a sorrowing community to the cemetery; the services being conducted by Hobah Lodge A.Y.M. and E.R. Brady Post G.A.R., both of which turned out as organizations to do honor to a brother and comrade.

Amor Archer McKnight, son of Alexander and Mary McKnight, nee Thompson, was born in Blairsville, Indiana county, April 19, 1832. In the ensuing autumn his parents removed to Brookville, where, June 15, 1837, his father died. Amor McKnight at an early age evinced a deep love for study, and proved an apt and diligent student in the common schools, and the Brookville Academy, where he obtained a good common education. He was a close, careful reader, and when quite young, gathered together, as his means would admit, a collection of books, which in after years proved the nucleus of an excellent and extensive library. The death of his father when he was very young, made him the main support of his mother and her little family, and the loving care for that mother as long as she lived was one of his noblest traits. To his younger brothers his care was almost parental. At an early age he returned to Blairsville, and learned the art of printing in the Appalachian office, that paper then being edited by the late Alfred Mathias. On his return to Brookville he worked for some time in the office of the Jefferson Star. The late Mr. Samuel McElhose, who was editor of the Star, in his notice of Colonel McKnight’s death said of him: "He was an excellent work-man; what he found to do he did with all his might." The practical and general knowledge he gained in the printing office, he admitted in after years, had been of incalculable benefit to him. On leaving the Star office he entered the law office of W.P. Jenks, esq., where he applied himself to the study of the law one-half of each day, the balance of the time he had to work at the "case" in the printing office, as a means of support. At the February term, 1855, he was admitted to practice, and soon afterwards entered into partnership with G.W. Andrews, esq., now of Denver, Col. Their firm was one of the most successful, and had as large a practice as any at the Brookville bar. When the first alarm of war sounded forth he was one of the first to enlist in defense of his country, but his military record is given elsewhere in the history of his regiment. The court of Jefferson county appointed R. Arthurs, W.P. Jenks, G.W. Andrews, A.L. Gordon, and D. Barclay, esqs., to report resolutions upon the death of Colonel McKnight, when he fell at Chancellorsville, one of which reads as follows:

"Resolved, That whether regarded as a soldier, patriot, citizen, friend, brother, or protector of his aged parent, Colonel McKnight was true to duty. By his death our country has lost one of its brightest ornaments, the legal profession a well informed, trustworthy and honorable member."

William K. McKee was born in Bellfonte, Centre county, on the 17th day of July, 1833. His parents came to Punxsutawney when he was five years of age; his father, Thomas McKee, being the first sheriff elected in the county. He received as liberal an education as the county afforded. In 1853 he commenced the study of law with J.K. Coxon, esq., and completed it with P.W. Jenks, esq. At the September term, 1855, he was admitted to practice in the several courts of the county. In October of the same year he was elected district attorney. He was a faithful and competent officer, and though suffering from the disease (consumption) which caused his death, was in his place in the court-room at the February term, but after this he sank rapidly, and died at his residence in Punxsutawney, March 8, 1858. Mr. McKee was married June 3, 1855, to Miss Martha Jane Campbell, of Punxsutawney, whom he left with two little children, to mourn his loss. The latter have both since died, Martha dying only twenty days after her father, and Bertha, who died July 11, 1872. Mrs. McKee, now Mrs. Stumph, still resides in Punxsutawney. Mr. McKee was a worthy and devoted member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney. He was greatly esteemed by his fellow-associates of the bar, and at an adjourned court held March 15, 1858, the following resolutions were presented by Hon. David Barclay, and adopted:

"Whereas, It hath pleased God to remove from our midst a member of this bar, William K. McKee, by death, therefore, be it

"Resolved, That in this dispensation of Providence, afflictive though it be, we recognize and acknowledge the hand of Him that ‘doeth all things well,’ and while we bow with submission to His will, express our heartfelt regret that a courteous gentleman, a kind friend, a promising member of this bar, and a faithful public officer should be thus suddenly called away.

"Resolved, That to the family of our deceased brother, we tender our warmest sympathies and invoke Him ‘who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb’ to support and sustain them in their sad bereavement."

Mr. Barclay, in his remarks to the court on this occasion, paid a high eulogy upon the life of the young member of the bar, whom he said had been "possessed of a good mind, sound judgment, and a legal acumen, and gave promise of great usefulness and a brilliant future."

Lewis A. Grunder was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county at the February term, 1864, and was elected that same year district attorney. He removed from Brookville to Warren, and subsequently to Mechanicsburg, Cumberland county, where he died May 25, 1878. He was engaged in the practice of his profession when he died. In 1865 or 1866 Mr. Grunder was married to Miss Emma Smith, of Brookville, who, with one son, Harry Matson Grunder, survives him. Mrs. Grunder resides in Mechanicsburg.

Benton Polk Arthurs, eldest son of Richard and Sarah J. Arthurs, was born in Brookville, November 14, 1845. After receiving all the education that the common schools afforded he attended some of the best schools in the country, and then read law with his father, Richard Arthurs, esq., and was admitted to the bar at the February term, 1871; but though his career as an attorney opened up very brightly, it was soon ended, as that dread disease, consumption, marked him for its victim; and though all that the loving care of his family, aided by the best medical skill, could do, was done to arrest the disease, he died November 25, 1872. In July, 1863, when only a boy in years, he enlisted in the Emergency Company, commanded by Captain Charles McLain, and which was attached to the Independent Battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Leisinger, and served with this company until it was discharged in January, 1864. Mr. Arthurs was married to Miss Jennie Mitchell, who assisted him while he was reading law, by hearing his recitations. In this way she acquired a general knowledge of the law and a taste for legal study, and after Mr. Arthur’s death, when she had returned to her parents’ home in Kansas, she prosecuted the study and was admitted to the bar at Emporia, Kansas, and soon after her admission was married to Judge Kellogg, an eminent jurist of that State, and for some time was his partner in the legal business. The increasing cares of her household have, however, caused her to lay aside the duties of her profession. In the death of Benton Arthurs this bar lost one who gave promise of being an ornament and an honor to it; and his parents and friends saw his sun go down when it gave promise of ushering in a day of brightness.

Andrew Jackson Monks was born in Eldred township (now Union), January 5, 1833. His father, John Whiteman Monks, was born in Centre county, in 1803. His mother was Elizabeth McDonald, also born in Centre county, in the year 1809. Mr. Monks came to what is now Curllsville, in Clarion county, in 1806, and in 1827 he and Elizabeth McDonald were married, and removed to Jefferson county in 1828, and settled on the farm (now owned and occupied by his son, G.D. Monks), about one and a half miles from Corsica, where he died November 6, 1854. His widow, in 1866, removed to the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Ardery, of Corsica, where she died August 20, 1882. Andrew Jackson Monks, or Jackson, as his friends called him, was of a very studious disposition, and, after obtaining all the education that the common schools afforded, he attended Allegheny College, and lacked but one term of graduating when he left the college, but he kept up his studies and was one of the best read men in the county; while as a classical scholar he was excelled by few, as he read Latin and Greek fluently and understandingly. During his early manhood Mr. Monks was one of the most successful teachers in this county. In 1856 he removed to Punxsutawney, and was engaged in teaching his second term of school there when the tocsin of war called him from his books, and he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, and shared all the dangers and toils of his regiment until he was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness, and again severely wounded before Petersburg, Va., June 16, 1864. Sergeant Monks was commissioned first lieutenant of Company I, One Hundred and Fifth Regiment, January 1, 1865, but was not mustered. He was mustered out of the service July 23, 1865. He was ardently attached to the brave men of his regiment, - his comrades of almost four years’ service. After the close of the war Mr. Monks returned to Punxsutawney, where he afterwards made his home. He was elected commissioner of Jefferson county in 1866, and made a careful and efficient officer. In 1869 or ‘70 he was appointed postmaster of the Senate at Harrisburg, and was subsequently employed in the State historian’s office for three years, the last two volumes of the History of Pennsylvania Volunteers being mainly compiled under his supervision. At the May term of court, 1875, Mr. Monks was admitted to the bar of Jefferson county. He was well versed in the law and was ardently attached to his profession, but his failing health was a great drawback to his advancement; yet, up to a very short time before his death, his place was always filled in the court room, as he was conscientiously faithful to all business entrusted to his care. Mr. Monks was very active in all that related to the good of the county, and was a prominent worker in the Republican party. At the age of twenty years, while teaching school at Clarington, Forest county, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a consistent member and earnest worker in the church of his choice until death opened the portals of heaven for him. He was ardently attached to the Sunday-school, and was the superintendent of the Methodist Sunday-school at Punxsutawney, for many years, until his failing health obliged him to resign. He died at his home in Punxsutawney, November 22, 1884, of consumption. The rebel ball, which had entered his side at Petersburg, and which he carried with him to the grave, was, by his physicians, attributed as the cause of his death. Mr. Monks was married to Mary Elizabeth St. Clair, daughter of Judge St. Clair, of Punxsutawney, January 13, 1859, and five children were born to them. Of these little Annie died July 30, 1870, in the second year of her age; Clara, the eldest daughter, was married to James J. Davis, of Punxsutawney, December 13, 1882, and died at the residence of her mother, of consumption, in the 26th year of her age, July 6, 1885, leaving a little daughter less than a year old; Minnie E. Monks died, while quietly sitting in her invalid chair, on the morning of November 26, 1885, aged about twenty-one years. Minnie was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and, though a sufferer from consumption for over four years, was an active worker in the church. Mrs. Monks, who in less than a year was bereft of her husband and two elder children, resides in Punxsutawney with her two remaining children, John and Nellie.


The following list comprises the members of the bar, who were residents of the county in 1887, with their post-office address. They are given according to their seniority: Richard Arthurs, William P. Jenks, Brookville; Phineas W. Jenks, John Hastings, Punxsutawney; George A. Jenks, John Conrad, Brookville; Reuben C. Winslow, Punxsutawney; Alexander C. White, Elijah H. Clark, William F. Stewart, H. Clay Campbell, Williamson D.J. Marlin, Brookville; William M. Fairman, Charles M. Brewer, John St. Clair, Punxsutawney; Marion M. Davis, Camden Mitchell, Reynoldsville; Charles Corbet, Henry W. Mundorff, Samuel A. Craig, C.C. Benscoter, Daniel E. Brenneman, George W. Means, J. Armat Scott, John W. Walker, John C. Whitehill, Brookville; John E. Calderwood, Punxsutawney; Stewart H. Whitehill, Brookville; William M. Gillespie, George D. Jenks, Punxsutawney; Hiram H. Brocius, Cadmus Z. Gordon, John M. Van Vliet, Cyrus H. Blood, Brookville; Alexander J. Truitt, Punxsutawney; Edward A. Carmalt, Brookville; G. Ament Blose, Hay; William L. McCracken, John W. Bell, Brookville.

The bar of Jefferson county, which we have thus briefly sketched, is by no means mediocre in legal attainments. The record given shows to what a degree of excellence and renown it has attained in the past, and to-day it ranks with any body of attorneys in the State. All the resident members of this bar, except three already mentioned, have read, passed their examination, and been admitted in this county.

Source:  Page(s) 339-366, History of Jefferson County by Kate M. Scott. Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888.

Contributed by Nathan Zipfel for use by the Jefferson County Genealogy Project (

Jefferson County Genealogy Project Notice:

These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format, for any presentation, without prior written permission.


Return to the History of Jefferson County Index

Return to the Jefferson County Genealogy Project

(c) Jefferson County Genealogy Project