Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Leon Walter Powers

One of the best known men of Crawford county is Leon Walter Powers, an able and successful attorney at Denison, who during a residence of twelve years in this county had risen steadily in the esteem and confidence of the people and is today regarded as one of the representative men of this section.

Mr. Powers is a native son of Iowa, having been born near Fort Dodge, Webster county, on the 12th of June, 1888, his parents being Walter and Catherine (McIntyre) Powers.

The father, a native of Maine, came to Webster county in 1852 with his parents, who engaged in farming, which pursuit he also followed during his active life. He became a man of prominence and influence in his locality, held a number of township offices and was township trustee for forty years.

The mother was a native of Wisconsin, from which state she came with her family to Iowa, settling in Spencer.

Walter Powers was a member of the famous Northern Border Brigade, which took part in the historic Spirit Lake Indian massacre. His death occurred December 19, 1923, and he is survived by his widow, who still lives in Fort Dodge. They became parents of three children: May, who resides in Chicago; Aileen, of Fort Dodge; and Leon Walter.

The last named attended the district schools of his native county and Tobin College, at Fort Dodge, where he was graduated in 1908. He then pursued the classical course at Iowa State University, where he was graduated, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in 1912, after which he entered the law school of the University of Chicago, where he received the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1914.

Immediately upon being admitted to the bar, Mr. Powers engaged in the practice of his profession in Chicago, where he remained about six months and in October, 1914, came to Denison, Iowa, and entered the office of J. P. Conner, with whom he later formed a law partnership under the name of Conner & Powers, which soon became recognized as one of the strong and able legal firms of the local bar, building up a large and representative clientele.

This association was ended by the death of Mr. Conner in 1924, since which time Mr. Powers has been alone in practice. As a lawyer he evinces a familiarity with legal principles and a ready perception of facts, with the ability to apply the one to the other, which has won him the reputation of a sound and safe practitioner. Years of conscientious work have brought not only increase of practice and reputation, but also that growth in legal knowledge and that wide and accurate judgment the possession of which constitutes marked excellence in the profession. He is attorney for the First National Bank and the Crawford County State Bank, both at Denison.

In 1916, in Denison, Mr. Powers was united in marriage to Miss Blainid Marie Lally, daughter of the late P. C. Lally, a prominent attorney and member of one of Denison's old families.

Mr. and Mrs. Powers have three children, Mary Catherin, Genevieve and James Perry.

Mr. Powers has been a lifelong supporter of the democratic party, and takes an active interest in politics, being a member of the state central committee from the tenth district. He was honored by election to the state legislature, representing his district in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth sessions of the general assembly. He was a delegate to the democratic national convention held in New York in 1924.

During the World war he took a leading part in local war activities, being county chairman of the Four-minute speakers during the Liberty loan and Red Cross drives, and was a member of the county legal advisory board. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church and belongs to the Knights of Columbus and the Denison Kiwanis Club. He maintains professional affiliation with the Crawford County Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association.

Socially, he is a member of the Denison Golf and Country Club. Eminently public spirited, he has at all times evinced a commendable desire to cooperate in all movements for the advancement of the county along material, civic or moral lines and has been an important factor in the public life of the community. In manner genial and friendly, he is deservedly popular among his acquaintances.

Source: Northwestern Iowa Its History and Traditions 1804-1926 , Arthur Francis Allen, Supervising Editor, Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company , Chicago, 1927

Biography courtesy of Debbie Gerisher of the Iowa History Project for IAGenWeb