Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois
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Attorneys 1840 - 1918


The first attorney to locate at Jerseyville was Martin B. Miller, who was born in 1805, in Vermont. He studied law in his native state, where he was admitted to the bar, and when he came to Illinois, he spent some time at Alton before locating at Jerseyville in 1840. Here he remained until his death, which occurred in 1874, being during the intervening time engaged in the practice of law.


James Harriot located at Jerseyville about the same time as Mr. Miller, and he was born in Somerset County, N. J. In the same year as his settlement at Jerseyville, he was appointed school commissioner of the county, and was re-elected to that office until 1847. In 1844, he was elected a representative to the General Assembly of the State from Jersey County. After his retirement from the office of school commissioner, he went to St. Louis, Mo., and still later moved to Pekin, Tazewell County, Ill., where on March 25, 1857, he was commissioned judge of the circuit court. On July 1, 1861, he was re-commissioned judge for the twenty- first district of this state. Mr. Harriot died August 2, 1869.


Clark H. Goodrich, who was born in New York, located at Jerseyville in 1844, and he was one of the first states attorneys in this part of the state.


W. K. Titcomb was the next attorney to locate at Jerseyville, but in 1847 or 1848 he went to St. Louis, Mo., where he died of cholera during the epidemic of 1849.


Abner C. Hinton practiced law for a few years in Jersey County, but then removed to Greene County, where he died.


H. H. Howard came to Jerseyville in 1854, and for some years taught school for young men in the first story of what is known as the "Sons' Hall" north of the courthouse. Later he was admitted to the bar and practiced law here for a time, and was also editor of the "Democratic Union." He was born in New York and was related to the Knapp family. Until 1865, Mr. Howard continued in practice at Jerseyville, but in that year went to Kansas and died in that state.


Orville A. Snedeker was born at Jerseyville, June 1, 1848, a son of Isaac and Caroline (Sunderland) Snedeker. His early education was obtained in the schools of Jerseyville, Shurtleff College and Bryant & Stratton's Business College. He studied law in the office of R. A. King, and was admitted to the bar in 1871. On August 12, 1873, he was married to Miss Emma Dalzell of Philadelphia, Pa. In February, 1874. Mr. Snedeker formed a partnership with O. B. Hamilton for the practice of law, under the firm name of Snedeker & Hamilton. That association continued for nine years, when the partnership was dissolved by Mr. Snedeker's retirement from the firm. In 1892, he was elected to the State Assembly as a member
from the Forty-seventh District, and re-elected in 1894. He died September 4, 1897, leaving surviving him his widow, Mrs. Emma (Dalzell) Snedeker, and his children, Isaac D. and Frank S. He left a large and valuable estate.


Harry Warren Pogue was born at Jerseyville, a son of Judge William H. Pogue. He was graduated from the Jerseyville high school in 1882, and commenced reading law with his grandfather. George E. Warren, and his father, Judge William H. Pogue, in that same year. In 1886, he was admitted to the bar, and in the fall of 1887, was elected state's attorney, upon the resignation of Judge A. A. Goodrich from that office. Mr. Pogue was re-elected to that office for nine years, or until 1896. In 1910, he was elected county judge, and re-elected in 1914, dying while holding that office, in November, 1915.


Edward J Vaughn was born in Jersey County, and was graduated from the Jerseyville high school in the class of 1888. After studying law, he was admitted to the bar in January, 1890. From 1894 to 1896, inclusively, he was a law partner of T. S. Chapman, and during 1895 and 1896, he was city attorney of Jerseyville. Subsequently he moved to East St. Louis, Ill., where he practiced his profession, but in 1916 he moved to Los Angeles, Cal., where he now resides.


John J. Hughes was graduated from the Jerseyville high school, and then studied law at the Northwestern University law school at Chicago. On March 26, 1895, he was admitted to the bar, and coming to Jerseyville in 1896, he opened an office and was engaged in practice here for several years, but then removed from the county.


Charles N. Noble was born in Jersey County, and was graduated from the Jerseyville high school in the class of 1892. Two years later, he was admitted to the bar, and for a short time thereafter was engaged in the practice of law at Jerseyville, but then removed to St. Louis, Mo., and still later to Webster Groves, Mo., where he now resides.


Judge Allen M. Slaten was born on a farm in Jersey County. July 18, 1842. He attended the public schools of the county. McKendree Col lege, and was graduated from the Jones Commercial College of St. Louis, Mo., in 1862. He is a son of John W. and Anna (Piggott) Slaten. On January 24, 1866, he was married to Miss Addie Vandewater of New Jersey. For several years he was engaged in mercantile pursuits, and then studied law and was admitted to the bar in January, 1876, and began the practice of his profession at Jerseyville. In 1890, he was elected county judge of Jersey County, which office he held for twelve years by re-election. He was one of the organizers and vice president of the Jersey State Bank, and for two years after the death of Senator T. S. Chapman, he was president of that institution. Judge Slaten is still a resident of Jerseyville, where he is engaged in the practice of law, and he is one of the Jersey State Bank officials.


Oscar B. Hamilton was born in what is now Jersey County (then Greene) January 31, 1839. His parents were Nathaniel and Mary (Dougherty) Hamilton, and lived a half mile west of the old stone schoolhouse at Otterville, in a log cabin erected by his father upon the land entered by him from the United States government in 1835. He received his common school
education at the Hamilton Primary School in the old stone schoolhouse, and his law course in the St. Louis Law School, and was admitted to the bar in January, 1870, immediately thereafter commencing the practice of his profession, and has practiced sedulously from that time to the present. On October 25, 1860, he was married to Eliza M. Brown, a
daughter of Chauncy Brown, one of the first commissioners of Jersey County. In February, 1874, Mr. Hamilton entered into partnership with Orville A. Snedeker, under the firm name of Snedeker & Hamilton, which continued for nine years, when Mr. Snedeker retired, and later Mr. Hamilton entered into partnership with Allen M. Slaten under the firm name of
Hamilton & Slaten, which continued until 1886, when Mr. Hamilton removed to Meade County, Kas., where he entered into a banking business, and into the practice of his profession. He was called on to act as special judge to hold the December and January terms of the Meade County district court, in 1886-7, lasting about four weeks, at which term there were a
number of quite important cases tried, among others, a murder case, where a man was convicted of killing another by shooting, and sentence was passed upon him, the extreme penalty in that state being imprisonment in the penitentiary for life. Said law requires a defendant to be taken to the penitentiary and held a year, and after that time the governor could issue a warrant for his execution, but no defendant has ever been executed under that law. At several other later terms of the district court At several other later terms of the district court of Meade County, Mr. Hamilton was called upon to act as judge.
In July, 1890, Mr. Hamilton returned to Jerseyville, and entered upon the practice of his profession here, and occupies the same office now in 1918 that he did at that time. In 1890, he entered into partnership with 0. D. Leach, under the firm name of Hamilton & Leach. Mr. Leach withdrew from the firm in 1894, and the firm became Hamilton & Brown. Later Mr. Brown withdrew from the firm and went to Iowa, and Paul M. Hamilton, a son of Oscar B. Hamilton, became a member of the firm in 1894, which connection is still maintained. Mr. Hamilton has been president of the Jersey County Bar Association for many years, and vice president and trustee of the George Washington Educational Fund, and was for nine years a director and active promoter of the Piasa Chautauqua Assembly, and president of the Jersey County Historical Society since its organization in 1909, besides holding other positions of trust during his connection with this county. He was city attorney of the city of Jerseyville in 1875. At the Republican National Convention at Chicago, in 1880, Mr. Hamilton was one of the "Old Guard" of 306 that stood by General Grant throughout that convention, which sufficiently indicates his political preference.
He is the editor of this history of Jersey County.


[History of Jersey County - transcribed by Tammie]



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