Business of DeWitt: Banker, Attorneys, Justices of the Peace, Real Estate Agt., Pension Clain Agent

From the end of January, 1880, until June, the Clinton County Advertiser ran a section called “Business of DeWitt” in which they tell quite a bit about the local businesses.

DeWitt is fortunate in having a banking house which possess the confidence of the community. The house of


was established here in October, 1860, by J. H. Price and C. E. Dinehart. In July 1873 Mr. Dinehart retired, and Mr. L. B. Sanford, of Warwich, New York, took his place and the business was continued under the name of Price & Sanford until January 1st, 1879, when Mr. Sanford withdrew and returned to the east, since when the business has been carried on under the name of J. H. Price, the sole proprietor. He does a general banking business, receiving money on deposit, discounts paper, buys and sells exchange on all points east or west, at rates as low or lower than post office orders or express charges. In connection with his banking business Mr. Price deals in foreign exchange and passage tickets, makes his own drafts on all points in Europe, and sells passage tickets to and from the old country, either in steerage or in cabin, and by the most reliable lines. Any one wishing to go to the old country, or has any friends they desire to send for, will do well to consult with Mr. Price. He also does a foreign express business, so that those who desire to send packages across the water, have but to leave them at his office, and they will at once be forwarded.

This house has ample capital to meet the wants of the community, and with a good understanding of the business its success seems assured.

Mr. Price is assisted by his son, E. W. Price, a young man of excellent business habits, and one who enjoys the confidence of the business community. See advertisement.

In the matters of attorneys, DeWitt takes a front rank. In point of numbers, considering the aggregate of people that come here for legal advice, the profession is not crowded; in fact we have quite a number of attorneys who occupy that position that Daniel Webster spoke of where there was plenty of room – “on the top.”

The firm of


was established in 1877. The senior partner, Hon. N. A. Merrell, came here in 1856, and at once entered upon a lucrative practice. At the incorporation of the town in 1859 he was elected its first Mayor, and at different periods has held the office since. In 1871 he was elected to the lower house of the Iowa legislature, and in 1873 to the senate, to which position he was re-elected in 1877. It is said that Hiram Price now wars the seat that Senator Merrell is next to occupy. In 1871, Andrew Howat, a graduate from the office of Senator Merrell, was taken as a partner. He brought as a capital a clear head and an indomitable perseverance. This firm was counsel for the legatees in the famous Ame?will case, which the supreme court decided in their favor. We presume there is not a legal firm in the state that has uniformly been so successful in the trial of causes as this one.

They are assisted by Robert Howat, a younger brother of the junior partner, a young man of good abilities, and who is making his mark in the world. In addition to the usual law business they do conveyancing and are also agents for some of the best insurance companies, among which are the Aetna and Phoenix, of Hartford, and North America, Philadelphia. Office over Chardavoyne Drew & Co.’s store. See their card.

Directly across the hall from ADVERTISER office, and over Kills & Foster’s store, the legal firm of


holds sway. The senior partner opened an office here in 1869 and from his large acquaintance at once entered upon a successful career. The junior came here in 1870 after graduating at the Iowa Law University, a stranger and put out his shingle from the Bairley Block. A desk table and a rickety chair or two comprised his office furniture, and an arm full of books his library. Clients were scarce but this did not discourage young Wolfe, for he could employ his spare moments in accumulating a store of legal knowledge which he could draw on as necessity should require. As might be supposed business soon came, thicker, faster and more of it. The little library soon attained respectable dimensions and the office all through gave evidence of thrift. In 1877 the two formed a co-partnership, and moved into the new office referred to. Clients are no longer scarce, but on the other hand they seem to have a plethora of business. They have one of the best libraries in this part of the state, and are continually increasing it. They have a good practice before all the higher courts and are noted for the clear and concise manner in which they present their cases. The represent solid insurance companies, such as the Moine of New York, German American, New York, and Girard, Philadelphia, and the public will find them reliable gentlemen to deal with. See card.


attorney at law, office over J. H. Price’s bank, graduated at the Albany Law University in May 1859. In 1860 he came to DeWitt and was appointed by his uncle Col. Loring Wheeler, then clerk of the court for this county, as his deputy. Subsequently he held the office of county auditor for three years and since 1872 has devoted himself exclusively to the law business. He also held the office of county Judge for a short time. Read cases estates of decedents are specialties with him and from his large practice in those lines he has become familiar with the routine which makes success easy. Judge Wheeler’s interests himself warmly in behalf of his clients and when satisfied he is right does not mind a “set back” in a justice’s circuit or district court but with a commendable persistence pushes on until the supreme court gives its final decision. His well know pertinacity brings him a large practice. As his card does not grace our columns we have to tell our readers to see where it ought to be.


attorneys’ opened an office here in the winter of 1878-9. They were both graduates of the Law University at Iowa City, of the class of 1878. Mr. Pascal had an office in Grand Mound, for a short time Mr. Armentrout one at Mechanicksville. From intimacy which existed between the two during their college days, each seemed to have a longing for the other, hence their partnership. Their office is in the Bairley Block, being the room formerly occupied by P. B. Wolfe. They commenced at the foot of the ladder, as a matter of course, but are fast climbing up. In addition the usual law business they make loans on real and personal property, and make collections. In this branch they have been very successful and have the reputation of making collection which had long been given up as hopeless.

Their card is continually before the readers of the ADVERTISER, and they are free to acknowledge the good it has done them.


Attorney and counselor at law, graduated at Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College, Davenport, in 1877, and commenced the study of law in the office of Judge Wheeler, and in March 1876, after a rigid examination was admitted to practice in all the courts in the state. He went westward for a time, and recently returned and “put out his shingle,” as the saying toes, in the office of Judge Wheeler and D. Whitney. Mr. Anderson is a young man of good abilities, and is industrious, but labors under the mistake of supposing that the public are going to seek him out without an effort on his part to make himself known. He ought to have his card in the ADVERTISER.


Attorney and counselor at law, and justice of the peace, has an office over the Post Office, entrance first door north of Price’s bank.

Mr. Crouch began the study of law some 18 years ago, while a youth, but was in the meantime elected to the office of county supt of schools, which interrupted his studies in that direction for the time being. After several years of service as superintendent he was elected to the office of justice of the peace for this township, 1870, by a large majority, and has held the office by repeated elections, and almost without opposition, ever since. He was admitted to the bar in this county by the District Court, Judge Richman presiding, Dec. 8th, 1871, and the Supreme Court, Oct. 8th 1872. His position as justice of the peace precludes his active participations in a general law practice but confines him to commercial collections, conveyancing and the ordinary office work. As a jurist, Mr. Crouch takes a high rank, his decisions if reversed by the circuit or district courts, are generally sustained by the supreme court. Mr. Crouch is of the right cast for a jurists and should be promoted to the bench of the circuit Court.

H. A. FAY,

Justice of the Peace, and collection agent, is reasonably well known to the readers of the ADVERTISER, as the local editor of this sheet for DeWitt. He is much inclined to urge litigants to settle their disputes themselves and be friendly again, rather than pay out their money for justice and constable fees, but when they will not heed his advice, will hear the cause and decide as seems to him to be right. He makes collections and endeavors to make them promptly. He thanks the public for its liberal patronage, and further saith not. Place of business, ADVERTISER office.


Real Estate, collection and loan agent is eminently well fitted for the duties of his office. Before coming to Iowa he spent some years in the office of the recorder of Niagara county, New York, and from 1862 to 1864 was deputy treasurer and recorder, which office he held for two years. Since that time he has been engaged in dealing in real estate in this and other western states, and making loans on Iowa lands at the lowest rates of interest. He has at great expense procured full abstracts of title to all the farming lands in this county. Mr. Whitney has probably made more loans on real estate than any other one man in the county. His card in these columns is conspicuous by its absence, but there is yet time to turn over a new leaf in the matter. Office over J. H. Price’s bank.


United States pension claim agent, Notary Public, collection and insurance agent, and conveyancer, has an office in Union Block over Price’s bank and by his industry and persistence has worked up a good business, which comes from all parts of the Union. The prosecution of pension claims is tedious in the extreme, and if one is apt to give up a case on the first rebuff, he is not the man for the place. If Capt. Ward gets snubbed, or rather his claims are rejected at headquarters with law and precendents until he makes them see it, and the demand is granted. We have from time to time made a note of claims which he has got allowed, and which shows him to be an indefatigable worker, and one worth of the patronage of the public.