Judge Ninian M. Laws

Taken From the Henry Republican
May 29, 1879

Judical Announcements

For Judge of the Eighth Judicial District - We are authorized to announce that Ninian M. Laws of Lacon, will be a condidate for Election to the office of Circuit Judge at the coming June Election. (The Eighth Judicial District is composed of Marshall, Putnam, Woodford, Peoria, Stark and Tazewell counties)

Judge Laws

The Wenona Index gives, in a recent issue, a biographical sketch of Judge N. M. Laws, and his being a condidate for judge, it (the Index) regards him as a gentleman worthy of the earnest support of every voter in this district. It further says:  "In thus presenting his name to the people we wish it understood distinctly that we are actuated solely by his standing as a man, his honesty of purpose, his ability as a judge, and his general reputation among his fellow citizens, all of which are such as to make him just the man the people want for the bench.

Judge Ninian M. Laws, was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, in 1832, and like a great many other boys could boast of poor but honest parents. Times were hard in Kentucky in those days, as they were everywhere else, but the father determined to push up into Illinois, which was not only a free state, but gave great promise for the future. After residing at Urbana for three years, the family moved over on the Woodford and Tazewell county line, near Washington, in 1844. For five years from this time, young Laws was engaged in farming, and the only opportunities he had for acquiring an education was at his father's knee, by the old fireplace, in the evenings, or in the field at the plow handles during the day.

The year he was 17 years of age, finding that he was so thoroughly devoted to his books his father promised him that he would allow him to go to Eureka school the next year, if he would help him raise and gather the next crop of corn. Eager for the day when he could begin his preparations for future usefulness, he did a hard summer's work. The second week after beginning his studies, he broke his knee, in a frolic with the boys, and was laid up until the following spring. He practically started out into the world on a pair of crutches, without a dollar. But he was bound to have an education.

Recovering somewhat, he again pursued his studies with vigor, teaching at times to procure means to carry him through the Eureka seminary, he finally left there in 1854, fully prepared for college. He went to Bethany, Virginia, where he entered college, and graduated in 1857. In the fall of that year he went to Lawrence, Kansas, where he entered the law office of Henry & Henry, the then leading firm of the new western territory. He applied himself closely to his studies, and passed an excellent examination and was admitted to the bar by the district court in 1859.

He remained in Lawrence for about a year, and then located in Lacon, the county seat of this county, in the fall of 1860, where he has resided ever since. He first formed a two years partnership with Judge Bang and was subsequently one of the firm of Fort, Boal & Laws. (Col. Fort is now a congressman, Boal U. S. Asst. District Attorney, and Laws will be circuit judge when the votes are counted on the 3d day of June.) In the fall of 1859 he was elected county judge on the republican ticket, was re-elected in 1873, and declined a renomination in 1877. It will be seen that he has served eight years a county judge, which, in addition to his practice as a lawyer, has peculiarly fitted him for the responsible duties of circuit judge.

In thus giving our unqualified support to Judge N. M. Laws in his candidacy for circuit judge, we feel that the Index is doing its duty to the people and at the same time is we can assist a gentleman who has patiently and steadily worked his way up to the front rank of our bar, as an honorable and straightforward lawyer, we shall take great pleasure in doing so. Judge Laws will carry, Marshall, Putnam and Woodford counties by far greater majorities than any other candidate on the track, and we can say to our brethren of the press in other parts of the district, and through them to the people, that they will find him to be a plain, unassuming gentleman, worthy of their votes and hearty support in the judicial canvas. Of the seven or eight candidates Judge Laws is our first choice, and we shall labor earnestly for his success, and if the people throughout the district vote as they will in Judge Law's own county, he will receive a larger majority than any man in the field."


Louis A. Lenz

Taken From The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois
Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 1896
Page 35-36

Louis A. Lenz is the present efficient treasurer of Marshall county, and although a young man, he has been tired in various official capacities, and has ever proven himself worthy of public trust. He is a native of the county, born in Belle Plain township, October 2, 1865, and is the son of Jacob and Augusta (Kemnitz) Lenz, now residing in Roberts township, to which place they removed in the early childhood of our subject.

On the home farm in Roberts township, Louis grew to manhood, receiving his primary education in the common country schools, and finishing his course in a private German school. From the time he was old enough to engage in manual labor, he assisted in the cultivation of the home farm, attending school principally during the winter months.

At the age of twenty years our subject left the parental roof and embarked in the grocery and farm implement trade in the village of Varna. In that business he was fairly successful, and while much of his time was given to public duties, he continued in the trade until December, 1894, when his entire stock was consumed by fire, entailing upon him a loss of three thousand five hundred dollars. For something over a year he continued out of the mercantile trade, but in January 1896, in company with his cousin, he embarked in the general furniture and undertaking business at Lacon, under the firm name of Lenz and Lenz. They carry a full line of staple furniture and will always keep abreast with the times with respect to their trade, introducing such novelties, as may seemingly be in demand. While in trade but a short time, they have been encouraged by the reception given them by the public in general.

Mr. Lenz was but twenty-two years of age when first elected clerk of Roberts township. That position he continued to fill until the fall of 1890, when he resigned to accept the nomination of the democratic ticket to the office of sheriff, to which he was duly elected and served four years, or until January 1895, when he took possession of the office of county treasurer, having been elected as such in the previous November. To this office he was likewise elected on the democratic ticket, being the regular nominee of the party. From the time he was first qualified to vote, he has acted with the democratic party, and has warmly advocated its principles. He has ever taken an active interest in political affairs and his influence is always felt in the primaries of his part and at the polls.

While serving as sheriff of the county the most delicate and difficult duty Mr. Lenz was called upon to perform was in connection with the strike of coal miners in 1894. To protect the property and incidentally the lives of many persons, in his official capacity, he had to assume control of the coal mines of the county, and for that purpose he had constantly employed for over one month from twenty-five to one hundred men as deputies, sworn to assist in keeping the peace. During the strike the deputies came into collision with the miners but once, and that was at Wenona. No special damage was done. The militia was called for at Toluca, but fortunately their services were not needed and the order was countermanded.

On May 6, 1893, Mr. Lenz was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Lenz. One child has come to bless their home, to whom has been given the name of Charles.

Mr. And Mrs. Lenz are members of the German Lutheran church, Lacon, and are held in the highest esteem in the social circles of the city. Few men are better known, or who have more warm personal friends than the subject of this sketch, whose lifework bids fair to bring him other and higher honors in the future.


The Lombard and Hayes Families

Henry Republican, Henry, IL, April 15 1915

Obituary of Mrs. Mary Hayes Lombard

William ("Uncle Billy") Hayes was a downeast Yankee, coming to Milo township, Bureau county in 1853, where he purchased several hundred acres of fine farming land. The family consisted of the old gentleman and wife, two married sons and their families and an unmarried daughter, Miss Mary, born in 1831; all lived in a medium sized log house. Two or three years afterward Rev. Benjamin Lombard, with his wife, three sons and two daughters, came from the state of Maine, and the old gentleman bought a half section of land in Saratoga township, Marshall county. An attachment was formed between George, the oldest and the Lombard sons, and Mary Hayes, which culminated in marriage and the bride was taken into the family home to begin the married life. The younger son, Charles K. Lombard, had previously married, and there in a small farm house lived and wrought amicably and in perfect harmony three families. The old man and wife, an unmarried son and daughter, the two young married couples and their children; no such cases before or since ever came to our knowledge as of these Hayes and Lombard families. The aged pioneers, their sons and daughters have all some time since passed into eternity except Mrs. Mary Hayes Lombard, who departed this life near Armour, S. D. on Wednesday of last week and was buried from the family home of her niece and nephew Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Nevitt, in Bradford on last Sunday. No better, purer, braver, loving, devoted daughter, wife, mother and friend ever lived than this, our long-time neighbor and friend. Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Elk of this city, proud to have known and loved her, drove out there to the funeral services.