County Histories of Northeast Missouri

The Bar in Audrain County

The business of the courts was carried on by the non-resident attorneys, following the circuit, as was the fashion then until 1851:
Samuel A. Craddock from Kentucky, established an office in Mexico
Samuel M. Edwards from Virginia
M. Y. Duncan, formerly from Callaway County
Charles C. Ricketts from Virginia

Then in the later 50's
John M. Gordon from Boone County,
Mortimer McIlhany and John T. Brooks from Kentucky.

During the Civil war and for some years thereafter the bar was made up of the following additional attorneys:

John D. Macfarlane
George B. Macfarlane
L. M. Conklin
H. W. Smart
George O. Yeiser
Charles H. Hardin

In 1861

Milton F. Simmons
Ira Hall
Thomas H. Musick
Henry C. Daniel
J. E. Hutton
William J. Howell
Theodore Brace of Paris
William H. Kennan
Colby T. Quisenberry
W. B. McIntire
C. G. and J. W. Daniel
L. C. Sweave
William O. Forrest
Daniel H. McIntyre
J. McD. Trimble

Then in 1876

W. W. Fry
Orlando Hitt
T. B. Buckner
George Robertson
David T. Gentry
J. G. Trimble

It was not until Forrest, Kennan, McIntyre, Geo. B. Macfarlane and Trimble had established practices that the foreign attorneys disappeared in charge of the main litigation of the courts of the county.

D. H. McIntyre held the office of prosecuting attorney, state senator, was twice a member of the House of Representatives from the county and in 1880 was elected attorney general.

William H. Kennan represented the county one term in the legislature, was a successful financier and retired from the practice several years before his death.

John M. Gordon was three times prosecuting attorney of the county, was a fair lawyer of his time, died very poor and left no family.

Geo. B. Macfarlane became supreme judge in 1891 and held the office until his death, February 12, 1898.

M. Y. Duncan never aimed to devote his entire time to the practice. He was more or less of a publicist, and became reasonably well off for his time.

Ricketts was a bachelor, never engaged actively in the trial of cases but associated himself with William J. Howell of Paris in that regard. He acquired considerable real estate before his death.

John D. Macfarlane died about 1870.

Craddock' succeeded fairly well in local practice, and like the other Mexico lawyers of that time, dealt more or less in real estate. He raised a family of two sons and three daughters and was especially devoted to the care and education of his daughters.

Edwards for a great many years presided as probate judge as before stated and his widow resides in Mexico.

Hardin after the Civil war was again elected state senator, was elected governor in 1874, never attempted to return to the practice after that, but spent the remainder of his life as president of the Mexico Southern bank and supporting Hardin College of which he was the founder.

McIlhany after the Civil war served two terms in the legislature in one of which he was speaker of the house. After that he retired from the practice, engaged in trading in real estate and about 1880 removed to the state of Texas where he died some years ago.

Conklin, Smart and Yeiser flourished more or less out of the conditions arising during and after the Civil war, and in the later 60's all left here.

Simmons turned his attention to the newspaper business and after-wards removed westward and engaged in the real estate business.

Hall along in the 80's removed from Mexico to Los Angeles, California, and there it is said became quite successful as a practitioner.

About the same time of Hall's leaving Mexico, Musick removed to Hartville, Wright County, there engaged in the practice and died there a few years ago.

L. C. Sweaver was a conveyancer and was the first to engage in making complete abstracts of title. He left Mexico about 1880.

Brooks with his profession of law, was also a minister of the Christian church and the editor for a number of years of the Missouri Ledger. He died about 1877.

Forrest died at his home in Mexico, March 7, 1890. In a resolution adopted by the bar of the county at his death, it said of him in part: "He was a lawyer of great ability and learning; earnest and eloquent in behalf of the interests of his clients; genial, courteous, true and accommodating to his brother lawyers and kind and generous to a fault in social relations."

Henry C. Daniel, about 1870, removed to Cass County where he engaged in the practice.

C. G. Daniel removed to Vandalia, where he became interested in financial matters and for a great number of years has given his attention to banking in which he has been very successful.

J. W. Daniel has for a number of years been engaged in a successful insurance and real estate business at the latter place.

Buckner held the office of prosecuting attorney, in his second terra resigned and removed to Kansas City where he has since been engaged in the practice.

Robertson was his successor by appointment of Governor Marmaduke and has since been engaged in the practice at Mexico.

Hitt removed to Colorado in 1887, where he served as prosecuting attorney of Los Animas County and acquired considerable distinction as a lawyer. He returned to Audrain County in 1896, again engaged in the practice of law at Mexico and died in November, 1908.

Trimble removed to Kansas City in 1887, and there has been engaged in the practice ever since. He acquired a reputation of being one of the ablest lawyers in the West and after removing to Kansas City soon took rank at the head of the bar in that city.

Fry is still engaged in the practice at Mexico. In addition to his successes as a lawyer he has acquired considerable property and for a number of years has been president of the Mexico Savings bank.

W. B. McIntire was quite successful in trading in real estate and never aimed to devote his time wholly to the practice. He has a son in Mexico in business and his widow lives in St. Louis.

Quisenberry came to the county from Kentucky in 1866, a very wealthy farmer. He engaged in farming and stock raising here for a number of years, was a candidate for state auditor on the Granger's ticket which opposed the Democrats in 1874. Being defeated and losing his property, he turned his attention to the law but never with any considerable success. About 1880, he removed to Trinidad, Colorado, where he died about 1890. He was a man of fine personal character.

J. E. Hutton after some effort at practice, turned his attention to newspaper work. He became the editor and proprietor of the Intelligencer. In 1884, he was elected to congress and served two terms. He died soon after retiring from congress. His widow resides in Mexico.

Gentry after engaging in practice for a few years took up life insurance as a business. J. G. Trimble was twice prosecuting attorney. He now practices law in Kansas City.

As to the present bar, the writer will leave it to the future historian, but will add by way of comment that taking it as a whole, they are maintaining the high standard set them by their predecessors. The real estate and insurance business is no longer followed in connection with the duties of the regular profession.


© Missouri American History and Genealogy Project
Created August 16, 2017 by Judy White

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