The first attorneys were Winspear and Blackmore, both identified with and leaders in the "get-rich-quick" gang. The overwhelming majority of our early settlers came here with an intention of establishing a home and adhered only to strictly honest methods in the pursuit of their laudatory efforts. They were a sturdy and resolute class of people who could not be hoodwinked or cajoled into crooked methods. At the same time they were so busy with their own legitimate efforts that they were not watching the dishonest fellows, but when knowledge of crookedness manifested itself, action was spontaneous and effective. While Winspear and Blackmore were busy with their game, along came J.F. Glover, J.T. Barclay, C.I. Hill, Hugh Jordan and very soon, D.D. McCallum and others, all of whom lined up on the side of the people and honest methods. So swift was reformation that within one year the boodlers were fugitives from justice and the county never again saw them.
J. F. Glover, one of the first attorneys, served as clerk of courts, state representative, county attorney, justice of the peace, mayor of Sibley, editor of the Ashton Argus, editor of the Sibley Gazette and a correspondent from this county for newspapers published elsewhere. He practiced law more or less all the time. He is an old soldier and has been very successful as a pension attorney. Of late years he has been ordained as a Congregational minister and preached one year at Ocheyedan. He is frequently called to fill engagements as supply man. He still lives in Sibley, enjoying fairly good health and high esteem. He is well informed and a ready speaker on am political or religious topic.
C.I. Hill formed a partnership with H.L. Emmert in a general banking business, but soon dropped out of the firm and engaged in the practice of law in company with J T. Barclay. Barclay and Hill did a general law business and in the meantime secured the agency for the sale of the railroad land and finally drifted into the real estate and banking business. Mr. Hill's health failed and he died of consumption. Mr. Barclay then formed


a partnership with Cline Bull and organized the Sibley Exchange Bank although he still retains the real estate business. When several Englishmen came to the town the Sibley Exchange Bank was sold to them and Barclay and Bull each received about seventy-five thousand dollars. Barclay remained here and continued the land business and in a few years doubled his money. Mr. Bull went to California and invested in Sacramento Valley land and lost one-half of his wealth in a few years by reason of great floods. However, being a resourceful man, he reorganized and recovered all his losses, being at present wealthy and prosperous. Mr. Barclay died in Des Moines a few years ago.
Hugh Jordan was a bright lawyer, but made the mistake of changing to the mercantile business, in which he did not succeed as well as in the law. He died many years ago. His widow still lives in Sibley and occupies the old home.
D.D. McCallum was a little later in getting into the law business. He was strictly a self-made man. He borrowed books from Jordan and others and studied while on his homestead and finally made an energetic and successful attorney. He rounded out his career as judge of the district court and died in Sibley of malignant cancer.
C.M. Brooks located here in the spring of 1885 and has done a general law business continuously since. He was county attorney several terms. He is a scholarly gentleman well versed in the law, of a judicial turn of mind and a safe legal adviser.
O.J. Clark came to the county a month after Mr. Brooks. He also has done a general law business. He at once became legal advisor for the First National Bank, which position he has since held. He is now county attorney. He is an energetic practitioner.
George W. Lister came in 1884. He was a careful advisor but a little too diffident for a rough and tumble scrapper in court. However, he had a little money, married a little more, secured some from his father's estate and handled it all so iudiciously that when he died a few years ago he left a handsome estate. He served as justice of the peace, county attorney and state senator. His widow still lives in Sibley.
Hunter & Herrig located here in the later eighties and opened a law and abstract office. They received a liberal patronage from the start. Mr. Hunter was a man of considerable experience as a lawyer before he came here, having previously practiced law at Wall Lake several years. Herrig, a young man of pleasing personality, soon afterwards sold his interest to A. W. McCallum, who had been clerk of district court several terms, and the firm


continued as Hunter & McCallum until recent years. Mr. Hunter paid particular attention to law and McCallum to the abstracting business. Either could attend to the work of the other when necessary. Mr. Hunter was prominent in the order of Freemasons and at one time was state grand master. A few years ago he was attacked by a cancer in the neck which resulted in his death. Mr. Hunter's business and library were purchased by Benjamin F. Butler, who is now conducting a prosperous practice and promises to make one of the leading attorneys of the county.
Two young lawyers came here along in the nineties under the firm lame of Russell & Burrell, but did not remain long. Russell went to Castlewood. South Dakota, where he is now practicing law. Burrell went to Oklahoma and became very successful.
Captain R.J. Chase came to Sibley in the early seventies and practiced law here a short time. He was broken in health when he came, but, regainng his health, opened an office in Sioux City, where he soon received a lucrtive practice. He moved his family there and remained in the practice many years as one of the foremost attorneys of that city. Later he moved to Seattle, Washington, made lucky investments in real estate and died a few years ago very wealthy.
E.H. Coopman is a young attorney and a recent arrival in Sibley. He has a growing practice and is meeting the usual experience of most young attorneys in getting started. He is a young man of good habits and there is no reason why he should not succeed.
Willard Carver and a Mr. Barrett tried to practice law in Ocheyedan for a short time, but soon left. A Mr. Nelson tried to practice in the same town with no better results. H.E. Dean, the present mayor of Ocheyedan, is an attorney, although he gives most of his attention to the real estate business. He is an extensive landowner and one of the most energtic men of the county.
W.C. Garberson located in Ashton and practiced law a few years and moved to Sibley, where he has a general law practice. He is a young man and is having good success. Although a Democrat in a Republican county, he has been elected several times to the office of county attorney.
Our people have been very successful in keeping out of legal troubles. Osceola county has always been a hard proposition for attorneys. While the terms of court here rarely last longer than one week, in most of the other counties in the district it takes two weeks to dispose of the business. Our attorneys work for the interest of their clients and are successful in settling


many matters without going to court, for which the people owe them a debt of gratitude.
For twelve or fifteen years after this county was first organized several attorneys from Sioux City practiced to a considerable extent at Sibley. At that time there was a circuit court that had jurisdiction over probate matters and a district court that attended to criminal proceedings. Both courts had jurisdiction over civil proceedings. At that time there was a district attorney instead of a county attorney in each county. Judge Zouver presided over the circuit court and Judge Ford over the district court. C.H. Lewis was the first district attorney. Lewis was soon elected as district judge, which position he held many terms. Both Judge Lewis and Judge Zouver were fine lawyers and made good judges. Judge Zouver was thrown from a buggy and received an injury of the head which finally resulted in his death. Judge Lewis retired and practiced law in Sioux City where he died several years ago. Among the attorneys from Sioux City who practiced in this county was R.J. Chase, who lived and practiced in Sibley a few years. He was a careful and painstaking attorney who took great pains to study his cases and prepare for trial. He was clear headed and quick and tried his cases very thoroughly. Judge Swan was one of the leading attorneys in Sioux City who also practiced many years in this county. He wanted to be sure his client was right and then relied on thorough preparation to win his case in court. He was slow but safe. He was very strong where title to real estate was involved. He did much to get the title to the James estate lands in good shape. He was attorney for the Iowa Land Company during all the years of its operations in this county.
William Joy. at one time of the firm of Joy & Wright, was a big man in several ways. He was a large man, in fact, a giant in stature, and ponderous of mind, as well as body. He was a hard worker, who commenced striking heavy blows at the very beginning of a trial and pounded away like a sledge hammer to the end. He was so big and strong he seemed never to tire.
Judge Pendleton was one of those brilliant fellows who depended so much on his eloquence and wit to carry him through that he frequently failed for lack of preparation. He depended too much on the spur of the moment. However, he was a brilliant man and fine orator, and had hosts of friends.
Steven M. Marsh, of Sioux City, followed C.H. Lewis, as district attorney. In appearance and dress he was a perfect dandy. He was bright, keen, witty, quick and sarcastic. He was quite successful in making sport


of the opposing attorney, thus weakening the influence of the opposing lawyers.
There was an attorney by the name of Thomas Uppdegraff, from McGregor, at one time congressman from the fourth congressional district, who came to this county and appeared in court several times representing the Chicago, St. Paul & Milwaukee Railroad Company in its suit against the Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad Company for the possession of the railroad lands in this county. He was a brilliant attorney and hard to beat. He was very suave and respectful to the court and clear in his expressions of the points in controversy and, although he went down to defeat eventually, he made a valiant fight and went away as gracefully as he came.

O'Brien County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project