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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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Page 152 of 460

ability, a fine sense of humor, and of singular modesty. He was a soldier in an Indiana regiment, settled in Story County at the end of the war, served a term as postmaster, and died about 1880.

To Mr. Irwin more than to any other person belongs the credit of establishing the Nevada Public Library. It was through his labor and influence that interest was aroused, and a tax ordered. He was for some years entrusted with the selection of the books, a trust that he executed with ability and taste. He was a systematic reader of good books, and was enthusiastic in bringing them within the reach. of others.

J. R. Gage, remembered mostly for his genial comradeship, has been for some years collector for manufacturers in other States. J. R. McDonalds ran to invention in machinery rather than Blackstone, and he is in business in Chicago. The brothers Balliett practiced law in Nevada for several years. S. F. Balliett is practicing law in Des Moines; Samuel A. Balliett has been in practice for several years in Idaho and Montana. Charles H. Balliett, a fine chancery and business lawyer, is now in practice in Omaha. N. A. Rainbolt's law office was in Ames. He removed to Nebraska some years since.

George A. Underwood, Cyrus E. Turner, Daniel McCarthy, George Barnes and M. J. Smith are attorneys at Ames. Underwood and McCarthy have engaged also in live-stock farming, and have had other financial interests that demanded attention.

John L. Stevens' county law practice was clone at his office at Ames. His promotion as district attorney, and thence to the bench, where he now is, was in recognition of his ability and character. [See biographical notice.]

John A. McCall, T. L. Sellers and G. W. Barnes are comparatively young men, whose ambition called them to the more crowded bars and yet more busy courts at the State capital.

John R. Hays emigrated to Nebraska some years since. T. C. McCall has given his attention to loans and lands, as have also M. C. Allen and J. A. Fitchpatrick, making a specialty of collections rather than legal contests. F. D. Thompson, having taken the post-office, to that extent leaves the law. [See, for each of these, biographical notices.]

The bar numbers as its present members G. W. Dyer, H. M. Funson, J. F. Martin, D. J. Vinje and E. W. Gifford, of Nevada; A. K. and M. P. Webb, of Slater; E. H. Addison, of Maxwell, and Lewis Nelson and M. M. Keller, of Cambridge, aside from those of Nevada and Ames already specially mentioned, who are all engaged in active practice as attorneys. As a whole, the bar of Story County will compare not unfavorably with that of any section where the general business of the population is agriculture. That occupation is not conducive to litigation proper, nor does it offer a promising field to the criminal lawyer. If not a large number of famous jurists have arisen here, it may be matter for congratulation that the people have not furnished the litigation on which they feed, and that if without the luxury, they have been spared the cost of maintenance.

Because the alleged murder of the wife of Barnabas Lowell by her husband was the first crime of that magnitude committed within the limits of the county, and because of the circumstances connected therewith, the homicide and the trial of the accused have always been matters of interest. The facts, or at least the stories related at the time, or said to have been told, were quite sensational in character.

In the month of November, 1852, as told by Mr. Ray in the chapter on early settlement, Barnabas Lowell lived in one of the two contiguous cabins on the claim of Samuel McDaniel,

Page 152 of 460

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