EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES 387
In the practice of law there have been many able men in Dickinson
County. Just where law had its beginning is difficult to explain.
Undoubtedly it began in social habit or custom, the regulation of the people's
association and cooperation for the benefit of the whole community. Early
law was tribal and the individual was subject to its authority and also
entitled to its benefits because of his membership in a tribe. The practice
of law has had many phases, religious, national, sectarian, civil and so
on for innumerable instances. The attorney of today is a person of prominence
by virtue of his profession, generally a man of leadership and
judicial mien, but the same cannot be said for the lawyer of the ages past.
During the Middle Ages he was a person not of the best standing, that is,
he was regarded as a nuisance and a man of ill repute by the people. Many
of the writers of the Elizabethan and Victorian periods refer to the man
of law with the utmost cynicism and caustic criticism. Later, however,
he was to reach the standard of popularity and dignity of the present day.
The first election in Dickinson County under the new constitution was
held in the fall of 1858. A. W. Hubbard of Sioux City was elected judge
of the fourth judicial district which embraced Dickipson County and O. C.
Howe was elected district attorney.
The first term of the district court was held in the county at Spirit
Lake in June, 1859, Judge Hubbard presiding. B. F. Parmenter of this
county, C. C. Smeltzer of Clay County and Patt Robb of Woodbury County
were attorneys in attendance. The case between Doctor Prescott on one
side and Howe, Wheelock and Parmenter on the other, which has been
described before, occupied mose of the time at this first court session.
The judges of the district court since Judge Hubbard have been:
Henry Ford, C. H. Lewis, Ed R. Duffie, Lot Thomas, George H. Carr,
W. B. Quarton, F. H. Helsell, A. D. Bailie, Nels J. Lee and Daniel F. Coyle.
In Spirit Lake B. F. Parmenter and O. C. Howe may be mentioned
as the first men having a practical knowledge of the legal profession. Orson
Rice began the practice as early as 1864, R. L. Wilcox in 1869, A. W.
Osborne in 1870, J. W. Cory in 1874 and W. H. Bailey a little later.
The present bar of Dickinson County includes the following men:
Leslie E. Francis, V. A. Arnold, H. C. Owen, W. F. Carlton, R. S. Carlton,
H. E. Narey, of Spirit Lake; W. J. Bock and E. W. Robey, of Lake Park;
J. L. Bascom of Milford.