County Histories of Northeast Missouri
Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Lewis County, Missouri
By Arthur and E. C. Hilbert, Canton

 

Organization

Lewis county, organized January 2, 1833, was named in honor of Capt. Meriwether Lewis, a native of Virginia, at one time private secretary to President Jefferson. In 1803, he and Capt. William Clark made the famous Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1807, he was appointed governor of Louisiana Territory, with headquarters at St. Louis.

Lewis County is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, and in the second tier of counties from the Iowa line. It is bounded on the north by Clark County, on the west by Knox County, on the south by Marion and Shelby counties and on the east by the Mississippi River, which is the dividing line between the state of Missouri and the state of Illinois.

Early Settlers

Sometime soon after the war of 1812, a Frenchman named LeSeur, came up the river from St. Louis, and built a cabin on the Mississippi, at or near the present site of La Grange; he remained for some years engaged in trading with the Indians.

In the spring of 1819, John Bozarth came from Grayson County, Kentucky, and opened a small farm in the Mississippi bottom, a short distance below the present site of La Grange; he settled on the southeast quarter of section 11, township 60, range 6. He was accompanied by his son-in-law, John Finley, and his son, Squire Bozarth, and was the first white settler of the county. He built a house, which consisted of a log cabin, and that year planted twenty acres of corn; the following fall he returned to Kentucky, and in the latter part of November brought his family; he was accompanied by another son-in-law, Jacob Weaver, and his slaves, eighteen people in all, all of whom came to make their permanent home. They crossed the Mississippi River above Alton, Illinois, landing in St. Charles County on the 19th day of November. From there the journey was made by land on the Missouri side.

The following account given in 1874 by Reason Bozarth, a son of John Bozarth, will be of interest: ''When we came to this county, in the fall of 1819, it was then a part of Marion. We put up a log cabin which had no chimneys; it had a hearth in the middle of the room and it required an open roof for the escape of the smoke; when our day's work was done we laid down to sleep around the family hearthstone; eighteen of us occupying the only room of which the house consisted; our food was principally boiled com and honey, the latter which we procured from bee trees, which we made a business of hunting; our bread was made from meal which we obtained by pounding corn in a mortar and our clothes were made from buckskin, which we tanned ourselves; our nearest neighbors were twenty miles away; we had chills but nobody died until a doctor came to the county.''

The part of Lewis County in which Bozarth settled was a point where the bottoms push back the bluffs for about a mile, forming a horseshoe, this land is still in cultivation and is one of the most fertile farms in the county. He entered this land at Bowling Green, Pike county, April 20, 1819. His son-in-law, Jacob Weaver, settled near the river, but the overflow soon drove him out; he afterwards located in Clark County, Missouri. His other son-in-law, John Finley, located near his father-in-law.

Following the settlement of the Bozarth family, the next settlers in the county were John Taylor, Llewellyn Bourne, Robert M. Easton, Isaac Norris, Edward White and Robert Jones; all of them settled in what is now known as Union township. William Pritchard settled on or just below the present site of Canton. They all entered land about the same time, in the year 1819.

In the year 1822, John McKinney built a grist and saw mill on the Wyaconda River, a short distance above where it empties into the Mississippi river, the first mill built in Lewis County. The town of Wyaconda in Lewis County was laid out about the same time; it gave promise of being a thriving town but it never fulfilled its promise and in a short time became obsolete. The mill was washed away in a short time and was never rebuilt. In the year 1832 the town of La Grange, a short distance below where the mill stood, was established, now one of the principal towns of the county.

Settlements were made slowly for the next few years. A few persons came in 1824 and 1825, among whom were Churchill Blakey, Lockwood Chaflin and Elijah Rice, who located on or near the present site of Canton.

In the year 1829 there was considerable immigration and the population increased rapidly, most of the settlers coming from Kentucky; among the number were:

Most located in Union Township
John G. Nunn
John Wash
John Wash, Jr.
Thomas Creasey
Bozarths
Chauncey Durkee
Gerry McDaniel
Thomas Threlkeld
James Thomas
James S. Marlowe
Located near Canton
Capt. William Pritchard
Robert Sinclair
Elliot Sinclair
Robert M. Easton
Gregory Hawkins
number of others

Emigrants pushed farther westward into the interior of the county. The first settlers found the bottom lands unhealthy, soon abandoned them and moved into the interior of the county and on high ground.

The following includes the names of a number of those who settled in Lewis County during and prior to the year 1830, many of whom have descendants now living in the county:

Settled Prior to 1830

Jos. Loudemilk, April 16, 1829
Chas. O. McRoberts, October 6, 1830
Thomas LaFon, August, 1830
John McAllister, November 20, 1830
John Norris, November 19, 1830
Chauncey Durkee, July 23, 1829
Edward White. June 30, 1829
John Bozarth, Sr., April 20, 1819
Abner Bozarth, March 8, 1828
John S. Marlowe, February 26, 1829
Eli Merrill, June 25, 1825
Lucien Durkee, November 29, 1830
Joseph B. Buckley, December 3, 1830
John G. Nunn, January 4, 1830.
John Thompson, August 6, 1825
John Wash, Jr., January 4, 1830
Steward Matthews, June 24, 1830
John Taylor, April 20, 1819
Wm. Bourne, November 29, 1825
Dabney Bowies, November 29, 1825
Llewellyn Brown, June 2, 1819
Jeremiah Taylor, October 12, 1825
Saml. K. Taylor, December 20, 1830
Gabriel Long, August 11, 1828
Jacob Jones, October 3, 1829
Saml. King, November 23, 1830
George Vaughn, July 21, 1830
H. H. Brown, October 5, 1830
Edmond Weber, October 5, 1830
William Ewing, December 22, 1829
Thos. Francis, June 15, 1830
Thos. LaFon, November 22, 1830
Stephen Cooper, September 17, 1829
Saml. Brown, June 15, 1830
Abel Cottrell, June 26, 1830
Robt. Jones, April 24, 1819
Wm. Pritchard, April 21, 1819
Isaac Bland, October 5, 1829
Nathaniel Brown, November 7, 1829
Wm. Duncan, July 8, 1829
Gregory F. Hawkins, March 13, 1829
Samuel Bland, October 12, 1829
Samuel Morton, January 9, 1830
James F. Jenkins, November 18, 1830
Thos. Creasy, August 16, 1830
Wm. Anderson, November 3, 1828
Benj. Jones, November 6, 1828
Wm. McReynolds, October 30, 1830
Nathaniel Richardson, October 18, 1830
Benj. Williams, October 18, 1830
John C. Johnson, April 19, 1830
Silas Reddish, March, 1830.
George Railey, November 20, 1830
William H. Edwards, December 9, 1830

Pioneer Public Affairs

When the Territory of Louisiana was purchased from France in 1803 by President Thomas Jefferson, the land now within the border of Lewis County formed a part of the District of St. Charles. In the year 1812, St. Charles County was organized and included the territory extending from the Missouri River north, and to the northern boundary of the state. Upon the organization of Pike County in 1812, what is now Lewis County became a part of that county. At the time Ralls County was organized, in 1820, it became a part of that county. In 1826, the legislature formed the county of Marion; the act establishing Marion County attached the territory that is now Lewis County, to Marion County, for all military, civil and judicial purposes; so in reality Lewis County never formed a part of Marion County, but was also attached to the same for the certain purposes mentioned.

At the first session of the Marion County court, held in March, 1827, one of the first acts of the court was to establish a road beginning at a point in the road nearly opposite the northeast corner of John Bozarth's field to Wyaconda creek, at Sugar Camp ford, thence to the foot of the bluff of the Mississippi bottom, and along the foot of the bluff to the north line of township 61, which terminates south of the present limits of the town of Canton.

Marion County was divided at first into three townships, Liberty, Mason and Fabius; Fabius Township included all the territory embraced within the borders of Lewis and Clark counties, as well as a part of Knox and Scotland counties. Lewis County remained a part of Fabius Township until 1830; in May of that year Canton Township was formed. Its boundaries were declared to be a line beginning at the mouth of the Fabius river in the Mississippi, thence up the Fabius to the junction of the North and South Forks; up the South Fork to township 60; thence west to range line between 9 and 10; thence north to the northern boundary of the state; thence east to the middle of the Mississippi, and then down to the beginning. The territory included within Canton Township consisted of what is now a portion of Marion County and all of Clark and Lewis counties and contained nearly seven hundred thousand acres of land and had less than one hundred taxable inhabitants in the year 1830. The first justices of the peace of Canton Township were Edward White and James Thomas. Thomas refused to serve and Stephen Carnegy was appointed in his stead.

The first election was held at the home of Edward White. The total number of votes cast was thirty -seven.

In July, 1831, the Marion county court created Union township, which was bounded as follows: Commencing at the mouth of the Wyaconda River, thence up the main channel to the north side of the tract of land owned by Stephen Cooper; thence west to the dividing ridge between Wyaconda and Durgans creek; thence west to the ridge to range line between ranges 9 and 10; thence south to the township line between townships 59 and 60; thence east to the Mississippi River.

The first election in Union township was held at the home of John Bozarth, below the town of La Grange, which had been designated as the temporary seat of justice. Court was convened on Wednesday, June 5, 1833; there were present only two of the justices, Gregory F. Hawkins and John Taylor; the sheriff was Chilton B. Tate and the clerk was Robert Taylor, all of whom had received their office by appointment of Gov. Daniel Dunklin; on the following day Judge Alexander ^I. Morrow, who was not present at the opening day of court, appeared and tendered his resignation, and Judge James Richardson was subsequently appointed. Not much business was transacted at this term; the sheriff was appointed collector; a change of road was granted in the road leading from Bozarth's mill to the town of Canton. The county was divided into two townships named Union and Canton. The next term of court was held at the Bozarth home, commencing on July 8. During this term of the court J. H. McBride was appointed treasurer of the county and the bond fixed at $500. Sometime in October of that year McBride resigned as treasurer and Robert Sinclair was appointed to fill the vacancy.

On the 22d day of October Judge Richardson was present for the first time. At this term of the court the first letters of administration ever issued in the county were upon the estate of Henry Smith, deceased. This was the last term of the court held at the home of Mr. Bozarth. There is today a small table in the circuit courtroom, at Canton, made from one of the walnut logs taken from the old Bozarth home, in which the first court of the county was held. This table was presented by A. Bozarth, a descendant of John Bozarth.

The next court was held at the home of Morton Bourne in Canton, September 2, 1833. Judges Hawkins and Taylor were present at this term of court. The first attorneys ever enrolled in the county were admitted to practice, Stephen W. B. Carnegy and Thomas L, Anderson. At this term the first ferry license was granted by the court. This was issued to Jeremiah Wayland and authorized him to keep a ferry across the Des Moines at a point called St. Francisville. Canton was designated as the temporary seat of justice of the county. A name was selected for the county seat, Monticello. The fourth term of the Lewis County court met on December 2nd at the home of V. S. Gregory in Canton. The commissioners who had been appointed to prepare a plat and plan of the county seat presented the plat for the county seat, which was approved by the court and Mr. Reddish, the commissioner, was ordered to sell half the lots.

The fifth term of the court was held at the home of Joseph Trotter, in Canton. At this terra the court contracted with J. B. Buckley to build a courthouse at Monticello. The contract price was $210. All lots remaining unsold in Monticello, the county seat, were ordered sold.

The next or sixth term of the court was held at Monticello, in June, 1834. All the judges were present. The courthouse had been completed. It was a log structure and very small and had few conveniences, even for that day. Thereafter all other terms of court were held at Monticello, the county seat.

Lewis county was attached to and made a part of the second judicial circuit and the time for holding the first term of circuit court was fixed by law on July 14, 1833, but on that date Judge McBride failed to appear. On the third day the sheriff adjourned the court until the next regular term thereof, in accordance with the law then in force.

On the 14th day of October, 1833, the first term of circuit court ever held in Lewis County was opened at the home of V. S. Gregory in Canton. All the officers were present. The attorneys present at this term of the court were: Thomas L. Anderson, Uriel Wright and Stephen W. B. Carnegy. The visiting attorneys were: John Anderson of Palmira and Ezra Hurt of Lincoln County. At this term of the court was convened the first grand jury that ever met in Lewis County. This grand jury found no indictments. The first indictment ever returned by a grand jury was in 1834, and was for adultery. The parties against whom the indictment was returned were Joseph Fry and Elizabeth Jones. The case was never tried but was at a subsequent term of court dismissed.

The first session of the circuit court ever held at Monticello was convened on the 10th day of June, 1834, and was held in the new courthouse. Among the number of attorneys enrolled in Lewis County, in the early days of the development and settlement of the county, is the name of Stephen W. B. Carnegy, who contributed much to the development of the county and especially to the development of Canton. Not only was he active as an attorney but in the promotion of various business enterprises.

Early Settlements

The development of the county was slow but steady from the time of the early settlement up to 1845. From that time on it was more rapid and it continued up to about the time the Civil War commenced. The people had become prosperous and more energetic in their efforts to develop the resources of the county and to accumulate for the future. The inhabitants were mostly engaged in agricultural pursuits, some stock raising, but not to any large extent. The towns had grown between 1840 and 1850. The towns developed more rapidly and at the close of the forties La Grange and Tully had become towns of considerable importance; Monticello and Canton were small; there were no other towns of importance in the county.

Lewis County was reduced to its present limits by the organization of Clark County in 1838, Scotland County in 1841 and Knox County in 1845.

In the spring of 1851, there was more than an ordinary overflow of the Mississippi River. The town of Tully was overflowed and partly destroyed. The flood sounded the death knell of the town of Tully; from that time it rapidly declined. After the flood Canton became more prosperous and grew rapidly and by 1860 had attained a population of more than 1,500. Canton became a town of considerable commercial importance and so did La Grange.

Political History

In the month of August, 1833, the first election was held in Lewis County. This was a general election to choose a representative in congress as Missouri was entitled to two, one of which had been chosen the previous year. They were chosen from the state at large. At this time two townships were in the county. Union and Canton. The successful candidate at this election was Dr. John Bull, a Jackson Democrat. At this election there was cast and counted in all eighty-four votes. Perhaps about twenty-five or thirty voters did not attend the election or cast their votes.

The first presidential election in which Lewis County participated was held in 1836. The leading candidates at that election were Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison. The vote in this election resulted: Van Buren, Democrat, 289; the vote for Harrison and the opposition candidates being 197.

Lewis County was originally divided into two townships, Canton and Union. Another township, called Dickerson, was organized in December, 1833. Another township, Allen, was organized in March, 1836, composed of a part of what is now Lewis County and also a part of the territory now within the boundaries of Knox County. Highland township was organized in March, 1838. Salem Township was organized in June, 1841, and Reddish Township was organized in August, 1841.

At the March term of the county court, in 1866, the county court organized Lewis County into eight municipal townships, named Canton, Lyon, Reddish, La Belle, Dickerson, Union, Highland and Salem, and these townships have continued as then fixed.

During the Civil War

Lewis County, like most all other counties situated on the border of the free states, suffered a setback during the Civil war.

There were a number of home guard companies organized in the county. One of those companies was organized at La Grange, and was under the command of Capt. J. T. Howland. It consisted of about sixty men. There was one organized at Deer Ridge. It was under the command of Capt. Felix Scott. There were others organized at various parts of the county. There had been some companies organized in the county whose sympathies were known to be with the secessionists. The sentiment was much divided and the excitement was high. On the 5th day of July, 1861, the first Union troops were sent into the county. They were under the command of Col. John M. Palmer. They numbered about eight hundred and were sent from Quincy, Illinois. They came by a steamboat up the Mississippi River; they quartered their men in the university building on the hill and in the church and school building of the M. E. Church South. It was while here that they took United States Senator James S. Green a prisoner while he was trying to make his way to Monticello. He was brought to Canton and subsequently released on parole, which he kept during the war.

The first shots fired in the county were between a part of Colonel Palmer's men, who were under the command of Lieutenant Thompson, and a few secessionists who were supposed to belong to Captain Richardson's company. Colonel Palmer remained in the county until about the 13th of July, when he left for Monroe City.

The direct cause of the sending of the troops under Colonel Palmer into the county was the shooting of Capt. John Howell, of the Canton Home Guards by Richard Soward, who was the proprietor of the Soward hotel, which was located on the southwest corner of Fourth and Lewis streets. This was on the 4th of July. It seems that Charles Soward, who was a son of Richard Soward, with a number of others tried to take a flag away from the ensign of the German Guards of La Grange, which company was in Canton on the 4th day of July to celebrate. Captain Howell came to the aid of the ensign, and in the melee that took place struck young Charles Soward. There are some who say that some feeling had existed between the elder Soward and Captain Howell. As to this we are uncertain, except that their sympathies were on opposite sides. In the evening Captain Howell was coming up from the river, where the trouble had taken place over the flag. When he reached the northeast corner of Lewis and Fourth streets, the corner on which the Bank of Canton now stands, and which was diagonally across the street from the Soward hotel, Richard Soward came out of his hotel with a double barreled shotgun in his hands and called out, ''John, defend yourself." In a moment more Soward fired, Captain Howell fell mortally wounded and died a short time afterwards. This shooting caused much excitement and feeling ran high but nothing of a violent nature was done. Soward was placed under arrest but was never brought to trial. For some time he was under restraint, sometimes under the control of the state authorities and part of the time he was held by the Federal authorities. He finally left the county and located in California.

Colonel Woodyard procured from General Fremont the authority of recruiting a regiment. He raised four companies of about three hundred men in all. The Home Guards were at Canton. There were four companies under the command of William Bishop, colonel, and H. M. Woodyard, lieutenant-colonel.

The Confederate forces were on the North Fabius, northwest of Monticello at a point called Horse Shoe Bend. The companies were under the command of Capt. W. S. Richardson, Captain Duell, Captain Porter and Captain Carlin. When Judge Martin E. Green heard that Colonel Palmer was in Canton, he at once set out for the camp of the Confederates. When the officers were selected he was selected as colonel, and Captain Porter was selected as lieutenant-colonel. Both of these selections proved to be wise, as they soon gave good evidence of their ability. As leader Colonel Green steadily arose until he became a brigadier-general. Captain Porter also rendered valiant service to the cause he had espoused.

Of the actual battles in the county, the first skirmish occurred at Clapp's Ford in the northwest part of the county on the night of the 14th of August. One man was killed on each side and six or seven wounded.

There was a skirmish at Monticello. No one was killed in the skirmish and only three wounded. From this time there was considerable happening incident to the war; and the people came to realize what real war meant. Business was at a standstill. In August, 1862, a raid was made on Canton to capture arms believed to be at Canton. En a short time most all the county was under Confederate control. There was the skirmish at Grass creek, not far from the present site of Maywood, where one Federal was killed and one wounded; there was considerable bushwhacking and small skirmishes in Lewis County, but no battles of any considerable importance were fought. A number of men enlisted on the side of the cause they favored and went to the front.

Since the War

The close of the Civil war found the business of the county demoralized. There was general satisfaction that the war was over. There were some extremists on each side, but as a whole the people counselled peace and harmony and they returned to their farms and business and in a short while each was trying to better the conditions for their families and for themselves.

Considerable feeling was engendered over the new state constitution which deprived a large part of the citizens of the county of a voice in governmental affairs.

The county officers were removed by Gov. Thomas C. Fletcher and Republicans appointed in their stead. By the adoption of the Drake constitution some of the leading ministers and teachers of the county were prevented from carrying on their callings and professions, until that part of the constitution had been declared unconstitutional by the supreme court of the United States. Since the Civil war the county has steadily prospered and grown in wealth and influence.

In all the elections held in the county after 1870, the county uniformly went Democratic.

The local option law was adopted in the county in 1911, and is now in full force throughout the county. The county buildings are only fair and not in accord with the wealth and prosperity of the county. Our taxes are low and we have no bonded indebtedness; our roads are being steadily improved and we have several miles of macadamized roads in the eastern part of the county.

River and Railroads

There flows along the eastern boundary of Lewis County, from north to south, the entire length of the county, the Mississippi river, the greatest river of the United States, which for a long number of years furnished the only avenue for commerce that the early settlers of the county enjoyed. The first surplus products of the county were sent down the Mississippi River, in small boats and rafts to St. Louis. Engaged in this business for some years, among others were Eli Merrill, George Wright and J. P. Harrison. Probably the first steamboat to ascend the river as far as Canton in Lewis County, was the General Putnam. This boat was a small stern wheeler and carried a cargo of merchandise for the lead mines at Galena and Dubuque, in June, 1825. The boat made several other like trips that year. There was established between Quincy, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri, in 1836, a regular run by a boat named Envoy, which made regular trips between those points carrying freight and passengers. In the year 1837, the first boat to land and discharge any freight on the shores of Lewis County was the William Wallace, which made landings at the town of Tully and at another place called Smooths Landing, about two miles south of the present town of Canton. Other boats visited the shores of the county bringing freight and taking away the surplus products of the county, but without much regularity until the latter part of the ''Forties,'' when regular packet lines were established. After the boats commenced to visit the county its progress was much more rapid, for they afforded a market for the surplus products that it produced and a market in which to buy the supplies needed. The boats that plied the river in the early days did much to develop the resources of the county. Packet lines now make regular trips daily from Keokuk, Iowa, to Canton, LaGrange and Quincy and return during the navigable season. There is a regular packet line from St. Paul to St. Louis and a number of fine excursion steamers that ply the waters of the Mississippi River each season.

Railroad building in Lewis County came slowly at first. The first railroad chartered in the county was to run from Canton to Bloomfield, Iowa. This was in April, 1860. It was helped by donations and by bonds issued, and in the latter part of the year considerable grading and bridge work was done and iron laid, and construction trains run out as far as Bunker Hill, in Lyon township, Lewis County. The Civil war stopped the building of this railroad. In 1864, the owner of this railroad sold the iron rails on this road to the United States government, and they sent officers to remove the same. Iron was wanted for use in the South.

There was an effort in 1866, after the war, to build this road again. In 1868, it was sought to rebuild the road under a different name and charter, with considerable deviation in the route, to call it the Mississippi & Missouri River Air Line Railroad, and to start it at West Quincy, Missouri, and terminate it at Brownsville, Nebraska. There was some work done on this road and the grade was completed through the county. In the year 1870, the West Quincy & Alexandria Railroad Company was chartered and took over the Mississippi & Missouri Air Line Company, and thereafter it became the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern, and having passed through numerous changes, is now known as the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company. In 1871, the road was completed through the county; in April of that year it reached Canton, adding much to the development of the county. It has been gradually improved, until today it is one of the principal lines west of the Mississippi river. The road travels the county from north to south, along the eastern boundary of the county, following closely the Mississippi river. The principal stations along the line in Lewis County are Canton and LaGrange.

In 1869, there was incorporated the Quincy, Missouri & Pacific Railroad Company. This road runs through the county from the west to the east, passing nearly through the entire county in a southeasterly direction. In the south part of the county the first train on this road reached La Belle in January, 1872. Along the line have sprung up several small towns and villages, among them Maywood, Durham, Ewing, Tolona, Lewistown and La Belle. Until the advent of the railroad La Belle was only a small trading point, but since that time it has developed into one of the principal towns of the county. This road is now known as the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City Railroad.

Canton | Deer Ridge | Ewing | La Belle | La Grange | Lewistown | Maywood
Monticello | Steffenville | Williamstown

The County Bar

Among the leading attorneys of the early days was Thomas L. Anderson. His home was at Palmyra, in Marion County, but he was for a number of years engaged in the practice in this county. He was a man well fitted for the practice of his chosen profession. He and Stephen B. Carnegy were the first attorneys ever enrolled in the county. Stephen B. Carnegy at that time was residing at Palmyra in Marion County, moving to Lewis County at an early date. He was for a number of years active in the practice in the county.

Adam B. Chambers, of Pike County, was the first circuit attorney who appeared in the circuit courts of the county; this was in 1834.

James Ellison, who was enrolled in the county in 1836, was actively engaged in the practice in the county. He was a man of fine qualities, with a large amount of legal talent and was among the leaders of his profession; his descendants seem to have inherited much of his legal talent. One of his sons, James Ellison, is a member of the Kansas City Court of Appeals; which position he has filled for a number of years with credit to himself and his profession. Another son, Andrew Ellison, now deceased, was for a number of year's judge of the judicial circuit in which he resided. His home was at Kirksville, in Adair County; he was an able and competent jurist and left behind him an honorable and upright record. Another son, William C. Ellison, whose home is at Maryville, in this state, is circuit judge of the judicial circuit in which he resides. George Ellison, who resides at Canton, is a man of fine legal mind, whose advice and counsel are much sought.

On the roll of attorneys at an early day appear the names of a large number of eminent attorneys, many of whom did not reside in the county but who practiced in the courts of the county. Among this number was Samuel T. Glover, of Palmyra; John S. Dryden, and Addison Reese, enrolled before 1840. In 1840, James S. Green was admitted to practice and enrolled in the county; he developed into one of the leading attorneys in the state. He was an eloquent speaker and his arguments were clear and convincing.

H. M. Woodyard enrolled as a lawyer in 1842; Thomas S. Richardson in 1846, and James J. Lindley in 1846.

In the year 1854, M. C. Hawkins was enrolled among the list of attorneys in the county. He resided at Canton.

The same year John C. Anderson was admitted to practice in the county. They were men well versed in the law and soon won distinction as lawyers of ability. John C. Anderson was called upon to fill the office of circuit attorney and afterward became judge of his judicial circuit, which place he filled with distinction and credit to himself and his profession.

Another attorney who was admitted to the practice of law in this year was James G. Blair. He was one of the leading attorneys of Northeast Missouri for a long number of years and engaged actively in the practice up until the time of his death, which occurred in 1907. He was uniformly successful in his cases, a man capable of drawing fine legal distinction and of presenting his cases with force and effect. He served in congress one term.

Among the notable attorneys who have commenced the practice of law in the county since 1860, is Francis L. Marchand, who commenced the practice of law in 1863. He has ever since that time been actively engaged in the practice. He is a lawyer of high standing, with fine legal talent and has for many years enjoyed the distinction of being one of the leading attorneys of Northeast Missouri.

John J. Louthan was an attorney of ability, and enjoyed for a long number of years a large practice in the county.

F. L. Schofield is a lawyer of high standing and attainments who has won distinction in the state and federal courts. For a number of years he was a member of the Lewis county bar. He now resides at Hannibal.

O. C. Clay, of Canton, was admitted to the practice of law in 1876. He is a man of fine legal mind, a hard worker and has forged ahead until today he is one of the leading attorneys of Northeast Missouri.

Judge B. F. Thompson, of La Belle, is a man of much ability. He for a long time was actively engaged in the court practice, but has in later years directed most of his time to banking and his office practice.

Among the notable lawyers who practiced in the county for a number of years are James T. Lloyd, of Shelby County, the present member of congress from this district; S. B. Jeffries, of St. Louis, who practiced in the county before being appointed assistant attorney general of the state under General Crow; W. G. Downing, now deceased, late of Great Falls, Montana, who served as prosecuting attorney of the county and also in the state senate.

The bar of Lewis County, at the present day is made mostly of young men, ranging in age from 30 to 50 years. They are active, energetic and well learned in the law and endowed with good judgment and discretion, and are the equal of any bar in the state.

Citizens in High Office

Many of the citizens of Lewis County have been called upon to occupy positions of high official preferment and trust by their fellow citizens. They have filled these positions with distinction and honor. Among them were James S. Green, who was elected to congress in 1846, from the state at large and reelected in 1848; in 1853 he was appointed by President Pierce to the Republic of New Granada, to represent the United States, from which position after serving a short time he resigned and returned home in 1856; he was again elected to congress; the following year he was elected to the United States senate. James J. Lindley was elected to congress from the district of which Lewis County formed a part; James G. Blair was elected to congress in 1870; John M. Glover, then of this county, was elected to congress in 1872, 1874 and 1876.

Those who have served with credit and distinction in the state senate from this county are James Ellison, Samuel Stewart, Gen. David Moore, Wm. G. Downing, Francis L. Marchand and Emert A. Dowell. The last two named are now living and reside in the county.

In 1865 David Wagner, of Lewis County, was appointed judge of the Supreme Court. He was elected in 1868 and 1870, without opposition. This position he filled with distinction to himself and his fellow citizens. He was a man of rare ability and learning in his chosen profession. The Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1879, are named after him, the Wagner Statutes of Missouri.

The present congressman from this district, James T. Lloyd, was born, reared and educated in Lewis County; he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in the county until 1885, when he moved to Shelby County, his present home.  

Northeast Missouri| Missouri Counties | Books on AHGP

Source: History of Northeast Missouri, edited by Walter Williams, Volume I, Lewis Publishing Company, 1913

 

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