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McLean County, Illinois
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JUDGE JOSEPH M. BARTHOLOMEW
In the last half of the present century the lawyer has been a pre-eminent factor in all affairs of private concern and national importance. He has been depended upon to conserve the best and permanent interests of the whole people and is a recognized power in all the avenues of life. He stands as the protector of the rights and liberties of his fellow-man, and is a representative of a profession whose followers, if they would gain honor, fame and success, must be men of merit and ability. Such a one is Judge Bartholomew, who occupies the supreme bench of North Dakota, winning high commendation by his fair and impartial administration of justice.
He was born in the village of Clarksville, McClean county, Illinois, June 17, 1843, a son of George M. and Catherine (Heffner) Bartholomew, natives of Indiana and Virginia, respectively. The maternal grandfather, Michael Heffner, was a planter of the Old Dominion. Major-General Joseph Bartholomew, the paternal grandfather, was born in New Jersey, March 15, 1766, but was only two years old when with the family he removed to Laurel Hill, Pennsylvania, where his father soon died. His mother afterward married again, and as his stepfather was unkind to the children, he soon left home to make his own way in the world. As soon as he was able to carry a rifle he enlisted in the Revolutionary army and assisted in driving back the marauding Indians and breaking up Tory camps. After the close of the war he joined General Wayne's forces in his campaign against the northwest Indians. In 1790 he married Christina Pickenpaugh, by whom he had ten children. He became a pioneer of McLean county, Illinois, and was in many engagements with the Indians in the early days. He died in Money Creek township, November 2, 1840. The father of Judge Bartholomew was educated for a civil engineer, but on account of failing health took up the occupation of farming. In 1830 he removed from Indiana to Illinois, and in 1845 became a resident of Lodi, Columbia county, Wisconsin. There he died in 1884, and his wife in 1890, honored and respected by all who knew him. In their family were eight children, three sons and five daughters, but our subject is the only one of the family now living in North Dakota.
Judge Bartholomew obtained his early education in the common schools of Wisconsin, and later attended the State University. During the Civil war he enlisted August, 1862, Company H, Twenty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and in March, 1865, was transferred to Company I, Forty-ninth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers. He participated in the battles of Chickasaw Bayou and Arkansas Post; the engagements around Vicksburg and the siege of that city, and the siege of Jackson, Mississippi. Subsequently his command was transferred to the department of the Gulf and he was under General Banks in the Red river campaign, where the regiment suffered badly. He aided in capturing the forts at the mouth of Mobile bay, and from that time until he mustered out was on duty in Missouri and St. Louis. Fortunately the Judge was never wounded nor taken prisoner and only lost ten days from Illinois during his entire service. He was mustered out as first lieutenant of his company, November 14, 1865.
Returning to his home in Wisconsin, Judge Bartholomew commenced the study of law under Senator Allison, of Iowa, and was admitted to the bar in 1869, after which he engaged in practice at Lodi, Wisconsin, for four years. From there he went to Red Oak, Iowa, where he resided for eight years, and in 1883, came to Dakota territory, locating in LaMoure, LaMoure county, where he was successfully engaged in the practice of law until elected chief justice in 1889, being one of the first three members elected. He also served as the state's attorney in LaMoure county in 1887.
In 1878 Judge Bartholomew was united in marriage with Miss Mary S. Harrington, a native of Loudoun county, Virginia, and a daughter of Samuel C. and Laura (Phelps) Harrington, and by this union one daughter was born, Fredonia. Socially the Judge is a thirty-second-degree Mason, and a prominent member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has always affiliated with the Republican party and has taken a most influential and active part in public affairs. He assisted in organizing the state, and has become one of its leading and distinguished men, holding a high position in the hearts of the people. He is widely known and has been very successful. With a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental principles of law, he combines a familiarity with statutory law and a sober, clear judgment, which makes him not only a formidable adversary in legal combat, but has given him the distinction of being one of the ablest jurists of the state.
[Source: "Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota", Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]


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