Saturday, November 8, 2008

Benjamin's Kizer's History of the Spokane County Bar

History of the Spokane County Bar and Bench
Benjamin H. Kizer

I. The Lawyers

Within the lifetime of one of our Judges, Charles W. Greenough, who died in 1967, and whom we shall later meet in this chapter, the legal fraternity of Spokane County has expanded from the first lawyer to arrive here in 1878 to more than 350 lawyers, now members of the Spokane County Bar Association. In this ninety-three year period, more than a thousand lawyers have practiced their profession in this County, of whom the majority are no longer with us. It is manifestly impossible to give even the briefest account of so many. Hence, this chapter is devoted principally to our pioneer lawyers and to members of the Bar who, for length of service and outstanding ability are still remembered by us, plus our judges, who were generally well recognized for their legal ability and standing as lawyers before being chosen for judicial position.
This ninety-three year period divides into two parts. In the first part, extending to World War I, generally speaking, the lawyers were men who had come into this new region, rapidly growing in population and wealth, after being admitted to the bar elsewhere. Most of them came from the South or Mid-West, having had their education in the law offices of older, experienced practitioners, although, beginning in the mid-nineties, a steadily increasing number of them had attended law schools, principally in the Mid-West.
By 1915, the tide began to turn. The region began to furnish native sons as lawyers, many of them graduated from the law schools of the University of Washington or Gonzaga University, and in the latter years, a considerable majority of our lawyers come from these sources.
Spokane County’s first lawyer to practice here was J. J. Browne, graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1868. He was born in 1843 and came to Spokane in 1878, in search of a suitable climate for his ailing wife. Spokane Falls then had fifty-four (54) inhabitants, but had no courts and little local use for a lawyer. Having some money, Mr. Browne acquired the squatter rights to the one hundred and sixty (160) acres west of Monroe and south of the Spokane River, pursued the title to patent, and later platted much of it as “Browne’s Addition”, where it became a preferred residential portion of the City.
For the first six or seven years, Mr. Browne found it necessary to ride circuit, following the Territorial Judge holding court in the more important towns of Colfax, Colville, and Walla Walla. But by 1885, as a result of the real estate boom, Mr. Browne had retired from active practice to give his entire time to his realty and banking interests. Thus, with A. M. Cannon and J. N. Glover, Mr. Browne became a founder and a foremost citizen of Spokane, a position that he retained until his death in 1912.
At an earlier date, we have a fleeting glimpse of one A. C. Swift in 1873-4, when there were only four or five settlers at Spokane Falls. J. N. Glover’s arrival at the Spokane Falls in May, 1873, resulted in his purchase of the squatter’s rights of J. J. Downing. He employed A. C. Swift who “posed as a lawyer” to draw the necessary papers. With this one legal transaction to his credit, A. C. Swift is heard of no more, leaving this tiny settlement a few months later – perhaps because there were no more legal transactions to be consummated.
J. J. Browne’s aloneness in the legal profession was broken in 1880, the year Spokane Falls” was incorporated as a town, with a population that had grown to nearly a thousand persons, when Samuel C. Hyde arrived, to remain here for the remainder of his long life. “Capt. Hyde” as he was generally known, was born in 1842, was a Civil War Veteran, risen to the rank of Sergeant at its close, had been admitted to the bar in Iowa in 1870, and came to Spokane in June of 1880. He was a man of imposing appearance, with a resounding voice, and had no difficulty in being elected Prosecuting Attorney, six months later, for the six northeastern counties of Washington Territory, a position he held for the ensuing six years.
Capt. Hyde was well fitted to practice law in the days when a lawyer’s “library” often consisted of no more than the territorial statutes, a copy of Blackstone’s Commentaries, and of Greenleaf on Evidence.
Hyde made no claim to any military title, but the nation, with its vivid memories of the Civil War, held its veterans in such esteem that military titles were awarded the community’s foremost men as a matter of course. A good lawyer would be called “Judge”, but one who commanded the community’s highest respect was sure to be “Captain” or “Colonel”. In the next few years, John W. Feighan came to Spokane from Kentucky, and Patrick Henry Winston from North Carolina. Feighan’s blistering invective and burning eloquence made him a Colonel over night, and a like title was bestowed on Winston in gratitude for his superb gifts of wit and repartee.
In 1894, Capt. Hyde was elected to Congress for a single term, going down to defeat in the 1896 overturn of Republicans by the fusion ticket. In his late years he retired from practice to become Justice of the Peace and served in this humble office until his death in 1922 at the age of eighty (80).
In a day when public speaking was far more esteemed than it is now, Col. Winston on the platform was by far the greatest favorite of the public, resulting in his election as the State’s Attorney General for a four-year term in 1896. But Col. Winston lacked the industry and pertinacity that are required, along with more shining gifts, to make a first-rate lawyer. His son, Alexander M., without any claim to his father’s genius, was a better lawyer, and his grandson, Patrick Henry Winston of our day, far surpasses his grandfather as a lawyer.
Like many another, in a day when physicians often recommended a change of climate when puzzled by a disease that did not respond to treatment, Col. Feighan, born in 1845, left his beloved Kentucky to settle in Spokane in 1888, but too late in life to gain full credit for his excellent skills as a trial lawyer. He was first City Attorney, later Prosecuting Attorney, but death took him from us in 1897 while he was still ascending in public favor.
Thomas C. Griffitts came to Spokane from Illinois in 1883, and quickly assembled a miscellaneous practice among those accused of crime. After a time when he was generally regarded as the one man who might gain an acquittal when all ordinary means might fail, he took into partnership Richard W. Nuzum, and a little later, Nulton E. Nuzum, much younger men, under the firm name of Griffitts and Nuzum. They established a widespread reputation for their ability to secure acquittals of men whom Nature seemed to have specifically designed for the penitentiary. In his later years, however, as juries tended to view the enforcement of the criminal law with more favor, Griffitts seemed to lose his persuasiveness, and the Nuzums, separating themselves from Griffitts, became obliged to build up a civil practice to take the place of this vanishing criminal business.
Horace E. Houghton, always addressed as “Judge Houghton”, came to Spokane early in 1883, and became well known as an able office lawyer, equally well known as the husband of Alice Houghton, Spokane’s foremost realtor in this period of the ‘80’s. On Christmas Day, 1884, Frank H. Graves, born in 1858, arrived from Illinois after three years’ experience at the bar in that state to practice law in Spokane. Judge Houghton needed a partner as a trial lawyer, and discovered that Frank Graves exactly fitted his need, so the law firm of Houghton and Graves was formed, with Graves twenty-seven (27) years old, and Houghton twice that age. Graves’ exceptional gifts as a trial lawyer were quickly recognized, with the junior partner becoming the chief asset of the firm. Accordingly, Judge Houghton, at the end of 1889, generously released Graves, to free him to enter into partnership with Judge George Turner. Here again, complementary legal talents caused the firm of Turner and Graves, later Turner, Graves and McKinstry (J. C.) to enjoy a foremost position at the bar.
When Judge Turner was elected to the United States Senate in 1897, Frank Graves brought his youngest brother, Will G. Graves, from Ellensburg, to form the firm of Graves and Graves. His special gifts in the Appellate Courts won him an enviable reputation, and he was often employed by other lawyers to defend their verdicts won in the Superior Courts.
In January, 1905, the firm of Graves and Graves was enlarged to become Graves, Kizer and Graves, with the inclusion of Benjamin H. Kizer as a partner. This firm continued without change of name for upwards of half a century, although in the 1920’s the partnership had included as members Paul H. Graves, the son of Will G. Graves, and Arnold L. Graves, the son of Frank H. Graves. In later years, it also included Daniel W. Gaiser, Joseph W. Greenough, Robert E. Stoeve, John Gerald Layman and William J. Powell as partners. With the withdrawal of Paul H. Graves, the last of the Graves, the firm became Kizer, Gaiser, Stoeve, Layman and Powell in 1961, but in 1964, this firm was dissolved, its members going their different ways.
Of this firm, Benjamin H. Kizer, born in Ohio in 1878, graduating from the Law School of the University of Michigan in 1902, came to Spokane in that year, and has since practiced here continuously. He became President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1924, and of the State Bar Association in 1929. This was at a time when voluntary bar associations, with limited membership were longing to be integrated to include all practicing lawyers. Accordingly, during Mr. Kizer’s administration of the State Bar Association, a movement was launched to obtain a full time secretary and an office, with the Law Review of the University of Washington as its official organ. Both these steps were taken, and in the next year, Mr. Kizer joined with Albert J. Schweppe and Roger Meakin of the Seattle Bar and George W. McCush of the Bellingham Bar in urging and securing the passage of a legislative enactment that provided this State with an integrated bar association.
Returning from this excursion to the lawyers of the 1880’s, an outstanding lawyer of that period was George M. Forster. He was born in 1845, was admitted to the bar in 1878, and entered in the practice of the law in Spokane in 1883, later becoming a member of the law firm of Turner, Forster and Turner, when this firm was dissolved in 1891 Mr. Forster entered into partnership with W. J. C. Wakefield. As senior member of this firm, Mr. Forster continued actively in the practice of the law until his death in 1905.
Along with a number of other lawyers, including Col. W. M. Ridpath, Major James M. Armstrong, George Turner and Frank H. Graves, Mr. Forster was made wealthy by his investment in mining stocks of the famous Le Roi mine in the Rossland Mining District in British Columbia.
Due in large part to the tireless labors of Mr. Wakefield, the firm of Forster and Wakefield occupied a premier position at the bar of Spokane County. Mr. Wakefield was born in 1862, was admitted to the bar at San Francisco early in 1889 and came to Spokane to practice in May of that year. Through his diligence and his sound legal and business judgment, Mr. Wakefield became recognized as one of Spokane’s foremost lawyers, although he never entered a court room to try a case. Thus, in office practice, the firm of Forster and Wakefield, later Wakefield and Witherspoon, ranked with Turner and Graves, though each occupied a distinct field of its own in the practice of the law. Mr. Wakefield died in July, 1931.
Mr. Archibald W. Witherspoon was born in Michigan in 1876, came to Spokane with his parents in the early ‘80’s, was admitted to the bar in 1899, and entered the firm with Mr. Wakefield in 1905.
In time, Mr. Witherspoon became notable, not only as a lawyer, but also as a banker, business man, and a corporation director and counselor, valued for his sagacious advice in each of these fields. He did not, however, retire from his law firm until in 1957, the year before his death.
His son, William W. Witherspoon, was born in 1905, admitted to practice in Spokane in 1927, and practiced continuously with his father until his father’s retirement. In the meantime, the law firm of Wakefield and Witherspoon has grown into the firm of Witherspoon, Kelley, Davenport and Toole, consisting, in addition to Mr. Witherspoon, of Messrs. William V. Kelley, William A. Davenport, Allan H. Toole, John E. Heath, E. Glenn Harmon, John Lewis Neff, Karl H. Krogue, Robert L. Magnuson & Ned M. Barnes. This enlarged firm has long since achieved a top position in all field of the law.
William Carey Jones, born in New York State in 1855, admitted to practice in 1878, came to Spokane County in 1883, opening law offices in Cheney, then the county seat. But in 1884, he removed to Spokane, where the bulk of the law business was by then accumulating. A little later, with considerable difficulty, Mr. Jones acquired Spokane’s first typewriter, a Caligraph. However, it was four or five years later before lawyers generally abandoned the pen for the stenographer. Thereupon, a notable increase in the length of pleadings, wills and other legal documents was observed to take place.
Like many of our pioneer lawyers, Mr. Jones was a man of wide reading in classical literature, not averse to display of his learning. In 1890, he was elected as the State’s first Attorney General, and in 1896, in a hectic campaign, during which he became widely known as “Wheat-chart Jones”, because of his charts demonstrating that the price of wheat rose and fell with the price of silver, he was elected to congress for a single term. After this, he returned to private practice as senior member of the law firm of Jones, Belt (Geo. W. – later Superior Court Judge) and Quinn (P.F.), where he carried on with moderate success until his death in 1927.
J. W. Binkley and J. R. Taylor, both Canadians, born in the 1850’s, came to Spokane together in 1883, forming the law partnership of Binkley and Taylor, later Binkley, Taylor and McLaren (A.D.) From 1885, for the next ten years, this law firm enjoyed the patronage of the Northwestern & Pacific Hypotheekbank. From the accelerated building boom created by the great fire that destroyed Spokane’s business section in August of 1889, the Hypotheekbank, with the legal assistance of Binkley and Taylor, loaned many millions of dollars to enable the property owners of downtown Spokane to rebuild the burned area with large five to seven story brick buildings. Their law practice suffered quite as much as any other firm in the bursting of the speculative bubble in the panic of 1893.
Edward H. Jamieson, born of missionary parents in India in 1852, came to Spokane from San Francisco in 1882, to practice law, but was later swept out of the legal profession by the land development boom. One of the handsomest buildings at Wall and Riverside, was built by him in 1890 with the potent aid of the Hypotheekbank.
Albert Allen was a pioneer lawyer of this region, principally engaged as counsel for the building of several of the numerous lines of railway, branching out of Spokane in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. He first practiced in the Coeur d’Alenes, but came to Spokane in 1889 to act as District Counsel for the Northern Pacific Railway, later for the Corbin interests in the building of the Spokane Falls & Northern, constructed to connect Spokane with the rich Rossland mining district in British Columbia. In later years, his son, Frank Dale Allen, practiced law with his father as Allen & Allen.
Charles S. Voorhees, born in 1853, the eldest son of Daniel W. Voorhees, the famous “Tall Sycamore of the Wabash”, United States Senator from Indiana, was admitted to the bar in 1875 and came to Colfax in 1882 to practice law and continue the family devotion to Democratic policies. A few months later, in the year of his arrival, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney and in 1886, was elected Territorial Delegate to Congress, winning over the Republican candidate, Major James M. Armstrong, by 148 votes. He was reelected in 1886, but in 1888, the Republican nominee won over him. He came to Spokane in 1889, at the expiration of his service in Congress, and at once took a leading position at the bar. Finding himself with more legal business than he could take care of, in 1897 he sent to Indiana for his younger brother, Reese H., and they formed the law firm of Voorhees and Voorhees. At the death of Charles S. Voorhees in 1909, Reese H. Voorhees induced Henry W. Canfield, who had been first, prosecuting attorney, and later, the Judge of the Superior Court of Whitman County, to join him, making the law firm of Voorhees and Canfield. Reese H. Voorhess, who specialized in the field of water rights, continued in the partnership until the death of Judge Canfield in 1929, when he retired, dying in 1935 at the age of 77. Judge Canfield had been born in Ohio in 1867, graduated in law from the University of Michigan in 1890 and came to Colfax in 1892. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat who looked on the growth of government controls with outspoken disfavor. By reason of his vigorous personality and his exceptional legal ability, Judge Canfield readily established a leading position at the Spokane bar, which he maintained for the rest of his life.
Adolph Munter, born in Berlin, Germany, in 1854, coming to the United States with his parents after the Civil War, was admitted to the bar in Alabama and practiced there until he came to Spokane in 1888. Judge Munter, as he was generally known, was a sound and careful lawyer, and in time accumulated a large and diversified practice among clients in the humbler walks of life. Judge Munter was eminently a leader and protector of minorities. While a patriotic American, he endured wide misunderstanding, even calumny, during and immediately after World War One, because of his bold defense of German-Americans under suspicion of disloyalty.
In his later years, Judge Munter had as his partner his youngest son, Richard S. Munter, born in 1893, a graduate of the University of Michigan in 1916. Richard Munter’s success at the bar outran that of his father, and soon placed him in the first rank of our bar leaders. Richard S. Munter is not only a highly successful lawyer, but is in great demand at bar banquets for his wit and fund of humor. As President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1926, of the Washington State Bar Association in 1946, and as a Delegate from the State of Washington to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association for a period of twelve (12) years, a most unusual period of service, he has contributed as much as, if not more than, any other lawyer in our State to the growth and usefulness of County, State and American Bar Associations.
A notably able and distinguished addition to the Spokane Bar was made in 1889 when Frank Truman Post came to Spokane from New York State. He was born in 1862, admitted to practice in New York in 1885, and was ordered by his physician, for the sake of his health, to establish himself in the Pacific Northwest. He swiftly achieved a foremost standing at the Spokane Bar. Once so established, he easily maintained that position for the rest of his life. Whenever especially important litigation in the next quarter of a century arose in Spokane, Frank T. Post and Frank H. Graves were generally found on opposite sides. These two Titans of the law battled it out while remaining staunch personal friends, each admitting the talent of the other. Mr. Post always took a leading interest in bar association activities, was President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1910, and in 1919, was President of the State Bar Association.
When the firm of Blake and Post was dissolved by the death of Judge Blake in the year 1900, the firm of Post and Avery was again formed, thereafter becoming Post, Avery and Higgins (Thomas B.), and this firm, with numerous changes in personnel, has continued into the present as one of the strongest and largest law firms of our city. It is now known as Paine, Lowe, Coffin, Herman and O’Kelly, consisting of Roy E. Lowe, Harold D. Coffin, Horton Herman, Alan P. O’Kelly, John Huneke, Edwin R. Roberts, Robert L. Simpson, Richard D. McWilliams, Lawrence R. Small and John R. Quinlan.
Carrying on the loyalty and leadership given to the County and State Bar Associations by Mr. Post, continued by Mr. Avery of this firm, Mr. Harold D. Coffin was President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1954 and President of the State Bar Association in 1955. Mr. Lowe was President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1928 and Mr. Huneke was its President in 1951.
Instead of retiring from the practice as Frank Graves did when the trial of hotly contested litigation became too heavy a burden for advancing years, Frank T. Post became President of The Washington Water Power Company, the Inland Empire’s largest public utility, only retiring at 74 and dying five years later in 1941.
Mr. A. G. Avery, of this historic firm, was born in 1860, graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1886 and began to practice law in Spokane in 1888. In 1891, he became a partner of Mr. Post, but in January, 1893, when the firm of Blake and Post was formed, Mr. Avery again engaged in single practice of law. In the 1890’s, Mr. Avery served two terms as Corporation Counsel of the City of Spokane, and in 1901, returned to partnership with Mr. Post, remaining a member of that firm until he was ready to retire in 1926. Mr. Avery was a man of fine appearance and pleasing manners, and was usually addressed as “Judge Avery” before he was appointed a Superior Court Judge in August of 1926, to fill out the unexpired term of Judge Oswald, which gave substance to this courtesy title. He declined to run for election, and at the end of the year, retired from active practice. Death claimed him in 1931, at the age of 71. He had been President of the State Bar Association in 1907.
Mr. Alan Grant Paine, also of this firm, was born in 1895, and became Clerk of the United States District Court under Judge Rudkin in 1922. Three years later, he passed the bar examinations and entered the practice of law in Spokane. Edward W. Robertson, emerging from the dissolution of the firm of Robertson, Miller and Robertson, invited Mr. Paine to become a partner in the firm of Robertson and Paine, and Mr. Paine continued with Mr. Robertson until Mr. Post, impressed by this gifts and his resourcefulness as a lawyer, asked him to become a member of his firm. Here, Mr. Paine continued, moving upward until he became the senior member of the firm where he remained until his death in 1958.
Mr. Roy E. Lowe was born in 1888 and came to Spokane in 1902. He later entered the law office of Danson and Williams, becoming a law associate of that firm when admitted to practice upon graduation from Gonzaga Law School in 1915. He entered into partnership with Mr. Danson and his son, Robert W. Danson, in 1924 when the firm of Danson, Williams and Danson was dissolved, the new firm becoming Danson, Lowe and Danson. Mr. Lowe remained with this firm until the death of Mr. Robert J. Danson in 1931 and then continued with his son for three years, when he withdrew to practice independently. In 1943, Mr. Lowe, in recognition of his outstanding gifts and skill in trials, was asked to join this leading firm established by Mr. Post, and has been and is its senior member since the death of Mr. Paine in 1958.
Another law firm of prominence for many years centered around a leading Spokane lawyer, Robert J. Danson. Mr. Danson was born in 1857, admitted to the bar in 1881, and came to practice in Spokane in 1890. Shortly afterward, he entered into partnership with Leander H. Prather, which partnership lasted until the fall of 1896, when Judge Prather was elected Superior Court Judge. Mr. Danson and William A. Huneke then formed the partnership of Danson and Huneke, which lasted until Mr. Huneke, in turn, became Superior Court Judge in January of 1905. Mr. James A. Williams then took Judge Huneke’s place, and this firm of Danson and Williams continued for many years, with the later addition of Mr. Danson’s son, Robert W. Danson. In July of 1924, that firm was dissolved and Mr. Roy E. Lowe, who had been a law associate of the firm, became a partner, the firm becoming Danson, Lowe and Danson. This firm lasted until the death of Mr. Danson in 1931.
In his forty-one (41) years of practice in Spokane, Mr. Danson enjoyed a most excellent reputation for ability and devotion to the interests of his clients. The clients of this firm came from people and businesses in the middle brackets, and required the most careful industrious attention to their many details.
James A. Williams of this law firm, was born in 1871, came to Spokane in 1892, and entered the employment of Prather and Danson, first as a stenographer, and later in the office of Danson and Huneke as a legal assistant, winning his admittance to the bar in 1899. it was not long after Mr. Williams became a partner of Mr. Danson that he earned recognition as a skillful trial lawyer, one who took great pains in the preparation of his cases, and who tried them with a pertinacity that frequently dismayed his opponent.
On leaving the Danson firm in 1924, he formed the firm of Williams and Cornelius (Eyer A.). This firm continued for nearly twenty (20) years, although it was not until 1963, that he said good-bye to earth, at the age of ninety-two (92).
His son, Jerome E. Williams, was born in 1912, obtained his law degree from Gonzaga University in 1934, and joined his father’s firm for a time. But, in a few years, he ventured on his own in practice where, as a trial lawyer, he has even surpassed his father’s skill. In 1952, he entered into partnership with Leo N. Cashatt, and the law firm of Cashatt, Williams, Connelly (James P.), and Rekofke (Joseph J.), plus Lawrence Monbleau and Thomas B. Chapman, is widely recognized as in the first rank of Spokane’s trial lawyers.
Returning to Williams and Cornelius, Eyer A. Cornelius was born of a pioneer family in the Palouse country in 1884. He obtained his law degree at the University of Chicago in 1909, and thereupon entered the practice of law at Spokane. Gradually he established an excellent office practice that enabled him to play his full part in partnership with Mr. Williams. In 1947, his son, Gordon C. Cornelius, on his admission to practice, joined his father in the firm of Cornelius and Cornelius, and continues practicing under this firm name.
When Lawrence R. Hamblen and Charles P. Lund obtained their law degrees at the University of Michigan in 1896, and thereupon entered into partnership as Hamblen and Sund, they little realized that they were laying the foundation of a law firm that today, nearly seventy (70) years later, is in the top rank, so solidly placed in the practice of law, that it bids fair to maintain its high position for many years to come.
In 1903, Winfred S. Gilbert joined this firm with its name changed to Hamblen, Lund and Gilbert. In 1908, Mr. Lund left this firm to practice independently. In 1921, Mr. Philip S. Brooke joined the firm, thereby changing the firm name to Hamblen, Gilbert and Brooke, and the name of the firm has remained unchanged ever since. This firm has the felicitous experience of finding in the sons of these three partners lawyers who can carry the full responsibilities of the wide and varied practice of this firm in a manner that keeps it in the top rank of law firms of this city. Mr. Winfred S. Gilbert died in 1968, and the firm is now composed of Philip S. Brooke, Sr., Herbert M. Hamblen, Fred W. Gilbert, Philip S. Brooke, Jr., Harold D. Clarke, William F. Nielson and Frederic G. Emry II.
Lawrence R. Hamblen was born in New York State in 1874, came to Spokane with his parents in 1887 and from 1896, for the next sixty (60) years, practiced law as the senior member of his law firm until his death in 1956. Nothing diverted him from his faithful and highly skillful service to his clients, but he still found time to act as President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1906, President of the State Bar Association in 1935, and he was also Corporation Counsel for the City of Spokane in 1910-1911. In 1912, he became a member of the Spokane Park Board, where he was active in the development of Spokane’s admirable park system. He retained this position until his death, and for the last quarter of a century, was its President. This park board activity was his principal avocation. The memory of his abiding interest in our city parks and in education is perpetuated by “Hamblen Park”, and by “Hamblen School”, each named in his honor.
Winfred S. Gilbert was born in New York State in 1877. As had Messrs. Hamblen and Lund before him, he received his law degree at the University of Michigan in 1899, and then practiced independently for four years when he became the third member of this law firm, to become in time its senior member. Mr. Gilbert has practiced law, most actively, in Spokane for a longer period than any other lawyer in its history. He has endeared himself to his fellow-lawyers by his genial nature and his keen sense of humor, and to his clients by his learning, skill and unflagging devotion to their interests. He died at the age of 90, in 1967.
Philip S. Brooke was born in 1892, in Sprague, Washington, obtained his law degree at Stanford in 1916, entered the law firm of Hamblen and Gilbert shortly after his graduation and in 1921 became a partner of the firm of Hamblen, Gilbert and Brooke. After forty-four (44) years of law practice, he is still at the top of this firm, which has always been first-rate in every particular. He was President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1934, has served a term as a member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar Association, and has taken an active part in a number of civic enterprises. In fact, all three of these seniors of this law firm have responded gallantly to calls for leadership in a great number of this city’s most important civic undertakings.
This tradition of civic responsibility is now carried on by the three sons of this firm. Typical of these is the public spirited work of Herbert M. Hamblen, the eldest of the three. He was born in Spokane in 1905. he graduated from Harvard Law School and entered the practice in his father’s firm in 1929. he has served three terms in the State Legislature (1942-1948), being Speaker of the House during the last term. He was the President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1945, was the author of the Act creating our State Legislative Council, and has served as a member of our State Judicial Council, 1956-1958.
Mr. Charles P. Lund, who left this firm to practice independently, in 1906, later in 1910 formed a partnership with Fabian B. Dodds, which continued for more than twenty (20) years until the death of Mr. Dodds. Thereafter, for the rest of his life, Mr. Lund again practiced independently. He died in 1961. Like his former partners, he was a man of unblemished integrity, and of exceptional ability.
The year after Hamblen and Lund first formed their partnership, Del Cary Smith, the first of three generations of lawyers bearing that name, came to Spokane in 1897 from Port Townsend where he had been senior member of the law firm of Smith and Felger. Del Cary Smith was born in New York in 1869 and spent some years as a newspaper reporter before becoming a lawyer. In Spokane he was active and prominent in the practice of the law, always practicing alone until his death in 1939. In 1897, he was one of the founders of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, which had its beginnings in Spokane, and he was its beginnings in Spokane, and he was its National President for two years (1901-1902), during which time the Organization had a phenomenal growth.
Doubtless, it will be stricken but I would like to insert here a conundrum that had considerable currency sixty years ago, when morals were more lax than now: It runs thusly: “What is the difference between an “Elk” and an “Eagle”? The Elk keeps a whore and the whore keeps an Eagle”.
But another contribution to the Spokane Bar by this first Del Cary Smith is more significant. His son, bearing the same name, was born in 1902, took his law degree at Gonzaga, and was admitted to the bar in 1924. He practiced at Colville his first two years, then came to Spokane to serve as Deputy Prosecutor under Charles W. Greenough from 1926-1930. He left the Prosecutor’s Office at the end of 1930 to take the place of Alan G. Paine, as partner with Edward W. Robertson, and this firm of Robertson and Smith endured for twenty years before Mr. Smith withdrew to practice independently. In 1942, Mr. Smith was President of the Spokane County Bar Association and in 1951, he also served as President of the State Bar Association. In 1953, his son, Del Cary Smith, Jr. joined him and in 1961, his younger son, Lawrence Cary Smith, was added to make the present law firm of Smith, Smith and Smith. This firm is one of unusual strength, with a fine practice, and its senior partner is one of our ablest trial lawyers.
In the 1890’s, Port Townsend had been struck a heavy blow by the decision of the Northern Pacific Railway to make its terminal at Tacoma, not at Port Townsend. So, in this exodus, Frederick C. Robertson also left Port Townsend, somewhat earlier than Del Cary Smith, practicing for a time in Tacoma before coming to Spokane in 1897, shortly after the arrival here of Del Cary Smith. In 1899, he formed a partnership with Fred Miller, and the firm of Robertson and Miller pioneered in personal injury litigation for the plaintiff and as counsel for labor unions. In 1907, Fred Miller of this firm became a temporary national figure through his association with Clarence Darrow in the most famous case of that generation in which they successfully defended Moyer, Big Bill Haywood and Pettibone, prosecuted by William E. Borah for the murder of Governor Steuenberg of Idaho, growing out of the confession of Harry Orchard.
This firm later became Robertson, Miller and Rosenhaupt (Harry), still later, Robertson, Miller and Schaaf (Ferd) and finally Robertson, Miller and Robertson, before the firm broke up, first by the removal of Fred Miller from this city, and later by the death of the senior Robertson. Edward W. Robertson, its surviving member, then formed a partnership, first with Alan G. Paine, and later with Del Cary Smith.
F. C. Robertson was born in Louisiana in 1865, and was admitted to the bar in 1889. He was a man of huge bulk, with a booming voice, a florid eloquence, and an emotional appeal that often served him well with juries, while Fred Miller, in the background, made the most of the available evidence.
One of the most respected members of the Spokane Bar in the ‘90’s was Cyrus Happy. Mr. Happy was born in 1843, admitted to the bar in 1871, and practiced law with success in Illinois for more than twenty years when his shattered health obliged him to remove to Spokane where, with restored health, he formed the law firm of Happy, Hindman (W. W.) and Winfree (Wm. H.), which became a high ranking law firm in Spokane. Because of Mr. Happy’s manifest ability and experience, and the fact that he was nearing fifty when he began practice here, he was generally regarded as an elder statesman of the law, and he was chosen the first President of the Spokane County Bar Association.
In the 1880’s and the 1890’s, there were quite a number of other lawyers in Spokane whose ability and service to this growing city deserves at the last, mention of them. Of these are Daniel W. Henley, W. D. Fenton, and his brother, James E. Fenton, Samuel R. Stern, Patrick F. Quinn, John P. Judson, John C. Kleber, James Hopkins, Ernest C. MacDonald, Richard M. Barnhart, Horace Kimball, Henry M. Stephens, Alfred M. Craven, Eugene G. Miller, W. D. Scott, R. L. Edmiston, Otho C. Moore, Beverly C. Mosby (son of the famous Confederate General Mosby), Wirt W. Saunders, Harry Rosenhaupt, William H. Winfree, John M. Gleeson, W. W. Zent and A. G. Kellam. Judge Kellam had served two terms on the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota before coming to Spokane at the age of sixty (60) to establish another career as a lawyer in the Far West as a partner of Daniel W. Henley.


Lester P. Edge, born in 1882, entered the practice of the law in Spokane in 1903. He had a vigorous, forceful personality, and made a most favorable impression on his juries by his eloquent advocacy. For many years, he was the senior partner in the firm of Edge and McCarthy (Joseph), and practiced law in Spokane for more than half a century when death took him in 1954. However, his son, Lester P. Edge, Jr., joined him in the practice in 1947, and the law firm of Edge and Daly (Seaton) enjoys the undiminished practice that the senior Edge had achieved.
James A. Brown, born in 1879, came to Spokane and was admitted to the bar in 1904. Mr. Brown was essentially a business man’s lawyer and his practice on their behalf steadily increased due to the confidence his character and ability inspired in his clients. He departed from this life in 1950, but his son, Robert M. Brown, joined him in the practice in 1939, and the firm of Brown and Thayer (Lawrence W.) worthily continued his excellent practice.
In 1904, two young law professors of Stanford, James Taylor Burcham and John E. Blair, established themselves as Burcham and Blair in Spokane. They readily achieved an excellent law practice, specializing in municipal law (Mr. Blair was the City’s Corporation Counsel for several years), and in municipal bond issues. The son of Mr. Blair, Robert E. Blair is the able successor to the legal specialties of this firm, while also actively engaged in general practice.
E. J. Cannon, born in 1866, was admitted to the bar of Minnesota in 1890, where he practiced law as one of counsel for the Northern Pacific Railway until 1906, when he came to Spokane as Division Counsel for the Northern Pacific, while also engaging in general practice. In 1911, at the request of Gonzaga College, then about to become Gonzaga University, Mr. Cannon, in association with Judge J. Stanley Webster, took the responsibility of organizing a law faculty for the new school, and became its first Dean. He served as Dean for a number of years until the Law School was firmly established, and his prestige and devotion contributed much to the success of this venture. His law firm, first as Cannon and Lee, later as Cannon, Ferris (Geo. M.) and Swan (Chas. E.), and still later as Cannon, McKevitt (Francis J.) and Frazer (Harold H.) maintained high rank throughout Mr. Cannon’s long life. Mr. Cannon died in 1934.
Arthur W. Davis was born in Iowa in 1873, came to Spokane and was admitted to the bar in 1905. Later, he formed the law firm of Davis, Heil (D. B.), and Davis (Irving R.). Like a substantial number of our lawyers, Mr. Davis was deeply interested in the development of education and served, first, as a member and later as President of our Spokane School Board where his leadership was of great benefit. Mr. Davis and his law firm achieved an eminent position in the practice of law, one that is well maintained today by the firm of Trezona (Norman F.), Chastek (Chester) and Lorenz (Will). Davis was taken from this life in 1944, and Irvin R. David was claimed by death in 1969.
Mr. Claude D. Randall was born in Minnesota in 1885, came to Spokane and was admitted to practice in 1909. He has always enjoyed a first-rate law practice, and in 1919 formed with Floyd B. Danskin the law firm of Randall & Danskin, which continues to hold an eminent place in the practice, altho Mr. Randall died in 1967, and Mr. Danskin followed him in death in 1969. This firm now consists of Arthur A. Lundin, Paul J. Allison, Grant L. Kimer, and Robert T. Carter.
Mr. Danskin was born in Kansas in 1889, and was admitted to practice in Washington in 1916. He served ten years (1921-1931) in the State Legislature, serving one term as its Speaker, and like his senior partner has spent the mature years of his life in the law, where he enjoyed the confidence and trust of a wide circle of clients.
Clarence C. Dill was born in Ohio in 1884, was admitted to the bar in 1910, and practiced in Spokane, serving as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney 1911-1913. From Spokane he was elected to Congress for two terms (1915-1919), and also served two terms in the United States Senate (1923-1935). He declined to serve longer, and returned to the practice of the law, first in Washington, D. C., a little later in Spokane, where, past eighty, he is as vigorous, active and successful as ever. He is notable for his persuasive presentation of his cases in trial and appellate courts. He has a most distinguished career in public life, and it may be said that he is Spokane’s most eminent citizen.
The period of 1900 to the beginning of World War I saw a number of lawyers other than those mentioned, who, then or thereafter, achieved such high standing that their names must also be included, to-wit: Clyde M. Belknap, Lawrence H. Brown, Winfred B. Chandler, Chas. F. Cowan, Robert D. Dellwo, Fred M. Dudley, Samuel Edelstein, Terence T. Grant, J. Webster Hancox, Parker W. Kimball, Don F. Kizer, Thomas A. E. Lally (whose son, John J. Lally, is Superior Court Judge), Joseph J. Lavin, Joseph McCarthy (President of Washington State Bar Association in 1921), Hugh L. McWilliams, and his son, Robert L. McWilliams (who later enjoyed an esteemed career as a jurist in San Francisco), Mansfield E. Mack, Thomas Malott, John W. Merritt and his brother, Seabury Merritt, John E. Orr, Harve H. Phipps, Sr., Edward B. Powell, Thomas A. Scott, James M. Simpson, Clare E. Turner, Edmund P. Twohy, V. T. Tustin, Ernest D. Weller, Robert Weinstein and Sidney H. Wentworth (well remembered for his long and faithful service as Referee in Bankruptcy.).
It would be a real pleasure to describe at least briefly the careers of the many lawyers who, since World War I, have established themselves in the regard of their fellow lawyers, and of their clients. But this is primarily a history of the pioneers of the law in this country, not current history, save as the achievements of these pioneers are reflected in the present law firms founded by them. It must be left to a later historian to recite the achievements of this present generation.

History of the Spokane County Bench and Bar

II. History of the Lawyers Who Became Judges While in Spokane County

1. Spokane County’s first Territorial Judge may also be recognized as its most eminent lawyer, jurist and statesman. George Turner was born in Missouri in 1850, was admitted to the bar of that state when only eighteen (18) years of age, then removed to Alabama from which state he attended the Republican Convention of 1880 as a delegate, one of the famous “306” who stood as a solid bloc for the renomination of President Grant, but who finally went down to defeat before James A. Garfield. However, Chester A. Arthur, a leader of the Grant forces, was named Vice-President, and shortly became President through the death of Garfield. George Turner received his reward for his loyalty to General Grant by being appointed by President Arthur as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Washington Territory in 1884, assigned to the Eastern District of that territory. His first year was spent at Yakima, but Spokane’s rapid growth caused his removal to Spokane as his headquarters in 1885. In 1888, he resigned to go into private practice as the senior member of the law firm of Turner Forster and Turner, the junior Turner being his older brother, W. W. D. Turner. Judge Turner took an eminent part in the Constitutional Convention of Washington in 1889 and shortly afterwards, became a partner with Frank H. Graves in the law firm of Turner and Graves, later Turner, Graves and McKinstry. In 1897, Judge Turner was elected to the United States Senate where his eminent ability and special interest in international affairs caused him to be selected by the Department of State as leading counsel for the United States in the Alaskan Boundary dispute between the United States and Great Britain. Again, in 1910, he was induced by the State Department to become leading counsel for the United States in the Northeastern Fisheries Dispute at The Hague. Judge Turner’s opening statement and argument took eight (8) days! (The past has much to recommend it, but we are grateful to be relieved of such extensive arguments.) Judge Turner returned to private practice in Spokane after his senatorial and diplomatic duties were ended. However, due to his investments in the famous LeRoi mine, Judge Turner had become a wealthy man and the rest of his days were divided between the law and his business interests. He died in 1932, aged 82.
2. Our second Territorial Judge was Lucius B. Nash, born in 1838 and admitted to the bar in 1859. He came to the Territory of Washington in 1873 and practiced in Walla Walla, Seattle and Spokane until, in 1888, he was appointed by the President to succeed Judge Turner as one of the three members of the Supreme Court of Washington Territory. However, he served only one year when he resigned to go into private practice where his forensic ability found more remunerative rewards than as Judge. As was the case with many of our early-day lawyers, investment in city property enticed him into the real estate boom that converted one year’s investments into next year’s wealth. However, he retained a remunerative practice to the last of his days, aided and later followed in the practice by his son, L. G. Nash.
3. Richard B. Blake, born in Indiana in 1850, admitted to practice in that state in 1872, was actively engaged in practice of his profession in Indiana until March, 1888, when he removed to Spokane. Here, his outstanding talents as a lawyer were swiftly recognized by his election as Spokane County’s first Superior Court Judge in the following year. His judicial district covered both Spokane and Stevens Counties. Judge Blake resigned shortly before his term expired tin 1893 to become the senior partner of Blake and Post. This law firm was one of the two or three strongest law firms in the city, but Judge Blake’s career was cut short by his untimely death in 1900.
4. Judge Blake’s younger son, Robert Bruce Blake, born in 1880, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1905, and began practice as a lawyer in Spokane in that year. Nine years later, at the early age of thirty-two (32), after three (3) years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel of Spokane, Bruce Blake was elected as Superior Court Judge. In that position he was twice reelected serving for twelve (12) years, then returned to private practice in partnership with a leading lawyer, Parker W. Kimball. In December of 1932, Judge Blake was chosen as a member of our Supreme Court where he served for fourteen (14) years, retiring on account of ill health on September 3, 1946. Judge Bruce Blake died on January 5, 1957, at the age of seventy-six (76). Both father and son were men of the highest integrity, able and learned.
5. In 1891, Spokane was awarded another Judge by the legislature, and James Z. Moore was appointed to that position. In 1892 he was elected for a full four-year term, but in the fusion uprising of 1896 that buried all standard Republican candidates under an avalanche of votes, his judicial career terminated. Judge Moore came back into public office by election in 1898 as Prosecuting Attorney, but death cut his career short in 1900. Judge Moore was a Kentuckian by birth and by temperament, scholarly, vigorous and magisterial.
6. In 1893, Judge Blake was succeeded by Norman Buck, a recent arrival in Spokane, having recently come from Idaho where he had served two terms as Territorial Supreme Court Justice. It will be noted, within a year or two, men who had recently arrived in Spokane had their talents recognized by election to the bench. Judge Buck then retired to private practice after a single term.
7. The fusion ticket of Democrats, Silver Republicans and populists in 1896 that took over all elective offices in Spokane County chose William E. Richardson and Leander H. Prather to succeed Judges Moore and Buck. Judge Richardson, Joint Judge of Spokane and Stevens County, was long remembered for the breadth of his learning and Judge Prather for his earnest desire to reach fair and equitable decisions.
8. George W. Belt, who was elected in 1901 and served for a single term, was the candidate of the older, more conservative lawyers and well lived up to their expectations of him, enjoying a well-deserved reputation for judicial learning and skill.
9. Until 1902, only one Judge, Leander H. Prather, had been able to survive more than one election by the voters, but in that year, Henry L. Kennan was elected for an unexpired term of two (2) years, and thereafter, for three full consecutive four-year terms. This introduced a new era in which Judges who fulfilled expectations on the bench were continued in office. This custom has been broken only twice in the earlier years and not at all since the election of 1920.
10. In November of 1904, William A. Huneke, then a member of the prominent law firm of Danson and Huneke, was elected and continued in office as Judge for thirty-five (35) years, retiring in 1939 on account of ill health. So eminently satisfactory were his services, alike to lawyers and to the general public, that in his last five elections, he had no opponent. Judge Huneke was strikingly devoted to the law and its principles. He has left that tradition of devotion to his son, John Huneke, who is outstanding as a vigorous effective advocate. Judge Huneke lived in retirement after his judicial career until his death at eighty-two (82) in 1946.
11. After a highly successful career as Prosecutor, Ralph E. Foley, then thirty-nine, a graduate of Gonzaga in 1927, succeeded Judge Huneke in Department No. 1 of our Superior Court, and after thirty-two years of service on the bench, bids fair to equal, perhaps break the remarkable career of Judge Huneke so that for sixty-seven years, only two men have presided as Judges in this Department.
12. In the November election of 1904, Stevens County, having been given an independent judicial status with a Judge of its own, Spokane County was also given a third Judge; and Miles Poindexter, who had earlier been Prosecuting Attorney in Walla Walla, and immediately prior to his election as Judge had been the efficient Prosecuting Attorney of Spokane County, was selected to serve on the Spokane County bench with Judges Huneke and Kennen. However, early in 1908, Judge Poindexter resigned to run for Congress, to which he was elected. Two years later, Judge Poindexter was elected U.S. Senator and reelected to that office in 1916. He was defeated, however, in 1922 by his Democratic opponent, C. C. Dill and filled out his public career by six years as Ambassador to Peru.
13. The legislature of 1906 gave Spokane County a fourth Judge, and E. Henry Sullivan, a veteran jurist of Whitman County who had recently removed to Spokane, was appointed to serve until the next election. In 1908, he was elected for a full term and in 1912 was reelected. His long experience on the bench won the hearty approval of the bar.
14. Again, in 1909, the legislature created a fifth judicial position in Spokane County. Thus, in six years, Spokane County, which had previously had only two Judges, now had five, and J. Stanley Webster was chosen to fill that position. It was thirty (30) years later, in 1949, before a Sixth position was added for Spokane County, while a Seventh was created by the legislature in the County in 1963.
J. Stanley Webster was born on Washington’s birthday in 1877, had graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1900, had spent the next five (5) years in his home state of Kentucky, the last two as County Prosecutor, then had come to Spokane County to live on a farm near Deer Park to regain his shattered health, where he was discovered by his former classmate at the University, Fred C. Pugh, Prosecuting Attorney of Spokane County, and had become induced to be his Chief Deputy in charge of Superior Court Trials in 1906.
In the two years prior to his appointment as Judge, in 1908, when only thirty-one (31) years of age, he made such a deep impression on the public through his persuasive eloquence and his brilliant mind, that his choice as Judge by the governor was overwhelmingly ratified by the voters in the next election.
However, in November, 1916, Judge Webster was elected to the Supreme Court from which he resigned in May of 1918 to run for Congress against incumbent Congressman Clarence C. Dill. Webster’s eloquence and his personal charm prevailed over the most popular and the shrewdest political campaigner Eastern Washington has seen. Judge Webster was reelected to Congress in 1920 and again in 1922, but early in 1923, he resigned to accept appointment as Federal District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington.
Here Judge Webster found his life work; for his swift, lawyer-like mind, his superb gifts of expression and his absorbing interest in the law found their best opportunity. It is no derogation of the talents of the half-dozen jurists who have been our United States District Judges since the District of Eastern Washington was created in 1905, to say that Judge Webster, serving the longest period, was the peer of the ablest of them. On account of ill health, he resigned form the bench in August, 1938, and lived in quiet retirement until death took him in 1963 at the age of eighty-six (86).
15. By the time of the election of 1916, Judges Kennan and Sullivan were veterans in years and in legal service and had grown so confident of judicial tenure that they made no effort to campaign. There was a vacancy created by the promotion of Judge Webster to the Supreme Court, and his brother, Richard M. Webster, a comparatively new arrival in Spokane, offered himself in his brother’s place. Two other able and outstanding lawyers, Hugo E. Oswald, of the law firm of Merritt, Oswald and Merritt, and David W. Hurn, also offered themselves as candidates, and these three men made a quite thorough canvas of the voters resulting in their election, displacing Judges Kennan and Sullivan.
16. Judge Oswald, a man of ingratiating manners, alert mind and excellent judicial insight, soon became a favorite of the bar and the public, and there was general disappointment when, in the midst of his third term in 1926, he resigned to accept a much more remunerative position in Seattle.
17. Judge Hurn was not so fortunate in his manner as Judge Oswald, though equally learned in the law, and when he came up for reelection in 1920, was defeated by the vigorous and effective campaign waged by Joseph B. Lindsley, who had gained a wide acquaintance with the voters as a two-term Prosecutor of great popularity. As an able, highly regarded jurist, Judge Lindsley continued on the bench without opposition until his death in 1937.
18. Judge Richard M. Webster also continued on the bench unopposed for a period of service of thirty-two (32) years, second only in length of service to Judge Huneke. While not so brilliant or so eloquent as his more famous brother, Judge J. Stanley Webster, his Kentuckian courtesy, the Webster name, and his devotion to his task as Judge made him quite acceptable as a jurist for nearly one-third of a century when his death brought his career to an end in 1948.
19. In the November election of 1924, Judge Fred H. Witt, who had been Justice of the Peace in Spokane for a number of years was elected to the Superior Court succeeding Judge Blake, who was returning to private practice. Judge Witt, on the bench, was affable and unpretentious, while at the same time a careful and thoughtful student of the law so that he quickly became well liked by the bar and by members of the public who came before him, retaining with practically no opposition his position on the bench until his death twenty-three (23) years later in 1948.
Judges Oswald and Witt disclosed in a single generation this change in judicial deportment from that period in the early 90’s from the stern and imperious manners on the bench of such jurists as Judge Cornelius H. Hanford of the Washington State Federal Court and Judge James Z. Moore of our Superior Court. Our Federal Judges of this generation who do not face the voters, no less than our State Judges, reflect this gratifying change in judicial deportment.
20. When Judge Hugo Oswald resigned in 1927, Charles H. Leavy, who had achieved a wide acquaintance as Prosecutor, was chosen to succeed him. Judge Leavy was an excellent, clear thinking jurist, but resigned after nine (9) years of service to run for Congress. Elected, he served two terms, then was appointed Federal District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington where he served most acceptably until his retirement in August, 1952, a month before his death.
21. In turn, in 1936, Judge Lindsley was succeeded by Charles W. Greenough. Judge Greenough was born in Illinois in 1878. Graduating from college in 1902, for the next ten years he became an educator in Illinois and Idaho. In 1912, he was admitted to the Bar of Idaho, and came to Spokane to practice in 1919. Here, he became Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in 1923, continuing to serve as Prosecuting Attorney in 1927 through 1935. After a brief period in private practice, he was elected a Superior Court Judge in 1936, and swiftly became one of our most esteemed jurists, retaining the regard of the bar and the public until his retirement twenty years later. He was called from this life by death at eighty-nine.
22. In 1938, Louis Bunge was appointed to succeed Judge Lindsley. Judge Bunge was hard working and methodical and won a respected place among our jurists, which he retained throughout his judicial career of twenty-three years on the bench, terminated by his death in 1961, when he was succeeded by Willard J. Roe.
23. In 1948, after a period of nine (9) years in which there had been no change in the personnel of Spokane County’s five Superior Court Judges, the death of Judge Witt brought as his successor, Carl C. Quackenbush, a successful County Prosecuting Attorney. Judge Quackenbush served acceptably for nine (9) years when obliged to retire because of ill health. He is still living, in retirement.
24. In 1948, Raymond F. Kelly succeeded Judge Richard M. Webster. Judge Kelly is a Gonzaga University graduate, admitted to practice law in 1924. He was born in Alaska in 1900, and was for many years an instructor in law at Gonzaga. After 23 years on the bench, he is still serving most acceptably.
25. In 1949, Ralph P. Edgerton was appointed to the newly created position of sixth Superior Court judge. Judge Edgerton was born in 1908, in the State of Idaho, and came to Spokane with his parents in 1916. He is a past President of the Spokane County Bar Assn., and, like Judge Kelly, is still serving most acceptably as one of our seven Superior Court judges.
26. In 1956, Hugh Evans, then Prosecuting Attorney, succeeded Judge Charles W. Greenough. Judge Evans was born in Spokane in 1906, and, like so many of our lawyers, is a graduate of Gonzaga University Law School. In 1969, Judge Evans resigned from our Superior Court to become by appointment of the governor, one of the three judges of our newly created District Appellate Bench.
27. In 1957, William H. Williams succeeded Judge Carl C. Quackenbush. Judge Williams was born in Spokane in 1922, graduated from Gonzaga University Law School, and was admitted to practice in 1951, having previously seen three years of service in World War II, as a pilot in the air service. Prior to his promotion to the bench, Judge Williams had been elected as Prosecuting Attorney, and is still on our Superior Court bench, where he gives highly acceptable service.
28. Willard J Roe, born in 1916, in North Dakota, graduated at Gonzaga Law School, and admitted to the bar in 1942, first served as a lieutenant in the Air Force in World War II, seeing service in China, where at the conclusion of his term of service he entered the staff of transportation, at the conclusion of his service, bringing to Europe in 1947, a shipload of refugees and released prisoners. From 1947 to 1961, he divided his time between teaching at Gonzaga Law School and the private practice of the law. He succeeded Judge Bunge on the bench by court appointment in 1961, and has since served as one of our ablest jurists.
29. John J. Lally was born in 1914, graduated at Gonzaga and was admitted to practice in 1938. He also saw service in the U.S. Army during World War II, and at its close entered the private practice of law. In 1963, he was appointed as our seventh Superior Court judge, and since then has given excellent service, to the general satisfaction of the bar.
30. George T. Shields was born in Spokane in 1928, and graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1953. He was judge advocate in the U.S. Army, 1953-7, and thereafter taught at Gonzaga and engaged in private practice until Judge Evans resigned to join the Appellate Court, when in 1969, the governor appointed Mr. Shields to take his place as one of our seven Superior Court judges. His appointment gives general satisfaction among the lawyers of the Spokane bar.
31. It would be invidious to comment individually or make any comparisons among these seven jurists of our present Superior Court, i.e. Judges Foley, Kelly, Edgerton, Williams, Roe, Lally and Shields. Suffice it to say that the members of the Spokane County Bar are quite generally agreed that there is no county in the state whose judges are superior in industry, integrity, learning and the other qualities that constitute judicial merit. It is worth recording that of our present jurists, Judges Edgerton, Evans and Roe have earlier served as Presidents of our Spokane County Bar Assn.

Let us turn now to seven of our Spokane lawyers who have seen service on our State Supreme Court in addition to Judges Blake and Webster.
32. Herman D. Crow was the first of the Spokane lawyers to be called to our Supreme Court. He was born in Ohio in 1851, admitted to practice in Ohio in 1873, and came to Spokane in 1889. Judge Crow had achieved a strong position at the Spokane Bar as the senior member of the firm of Crow and Richardson, which continued and increased until the latter was elected a Superior Court judge in 1896.
Judge Crow was appointed to the Supreme Court by the Governor in January, 1905, just after the legislature had increased the membership of that Court from five to seven. He served quite acceptably as a hard-working member of that Court until his death in October, 1915, at the age of sixty-four (64). Judge Crow had been primarily an office lawyer, conscientious and careful, and these qualities are exemplified in his painstaking opinions.
33. The second of these is Judge Warren W. Tolman, born in Illinois in 1861, and admitted to the Illinois bar in 1888. After four years of practice in that state, Judge Tolman came to Spokane in 1892, and soon built up a highly successful career at the bar. He served a term in the State Senate from 1901 to 1905, and also a term as a member of the Spokane School Board in 1903 through 1906. He was appointed to the Supreme Court on May 11, 1918, to succeed Judge J. Stanley Webster. He has served longer on our Supreme Court than any other of its members chosen from Spokane, retiring on September 20, 1937, after nearly twenty years of judicial service. Our Supreme Court for many years has been badly overworked, but it is doubtful if any of its judges have proven themselves more faithful in the service of our jurisprudence than has Judge Tolman. Death claimed Judge Tolman in May, 1940.
34. Henry E. T. Herman was accorded the honor of succeeding Judge Mark Fullerton whose career, after long and faithful service on our bench, has been rarely equalled and never excelled. Judge Herman took office on September 21, 1931, but was defeated at the polls in November, 1932, by Judge Bruce Blake and retired the following December 1st after fourteen months of service. This defeat was no reflection on the excellent quality of Judge Herman’s work, but Judge Blake’s state-wide reputation as a Superior Court Judge gave him the advantage with the electors.
Prior to his appointment, Judge Herman, for a number of years had been a partner of Edward B. Powell, an exceptionally able lawyer. They made a first-rate team through their contrasting qualities in private practice. Judge Herman, after his retirement from the bench, continued to be highly active and successful in private practice until his death in 1950 at the age of fifty-nine (59) years.
35. James M. Geraghty was born in Ireland in 1870, coming to the United States with his parents in 1880. He was admitted to the bar from Spokane in 1897, just after serving a term in the State Legislature in which Judge George Turner had been elected United States Senator. He was associated with Senator Turner during his term in the Senate and at its conclusion, became a member of the firm of Turner and Geraghty.
But the lure of politics was too great, and after a few years in the practice he became Corporation Counsel of Spokane, where he served for nearly twenty years until in January, 1933, the newly elected Governor, Clarence Martin, induced him to become his Director of Efficiency. In this uncongenial task, he was promoted by Governor Martin to the State Supreme Court in August of 1933.
Here, his ready Celtic wit that had so endeared him to successive city councils and commissioners was submerged in his excellently written legal decisions, whilst his extensive acquaintance with municipal law, in which he had specialized for many years, was of great value to the Supreme Court. Death deprived that Court of his services in 1940, at the age of seventy (70).
36. Samuel Marion Driver was born of pioneer parents in Oregon in 1892, and cut his eye-teeth in the practice of the law at Waterville in Douglas County, of which he was Prosecuting Attorney for a term. He came to Spokane to serve as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in 1926, but in 1930 moved to Wenatchee to engage in private practice. He was induced to return to Spokane in 1937 to act as Special Assistant to the Attorney General. From this position, he was called to take the place of Judge James M. Geraghty on our Supreme Court. Here, his work was interrupted by his enlistment in World War II, from which he returned as a Colonel. His democratic, affable manner only at first acquaintance concealed the workings of a first-rate mind, alike well adjusted to the duties first of a prosecutor, then of a jurist. In 1946 he resigned his position on the Supreme Court to become United States District Judge, once more at Spokane.
37. Edward M. Connelly was born in Bellingham, Washington, of pioneer parents, and was a member of the first graduating class of Gonzaga Law School in 1915. He was Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Spokane County for four years with Charles Leavy, and later served a term as United States District Attorney. But his major career was in private practice as a trial lawyer for which he was eminently qualified by temperament and by preference. He was appointed a member of our Supreme Court in April 1946, but served only eight months when he returned to the practice of law in Spokane. He passed from this life in 1947.
38. Frank P. Weaver was born in Pennsylvania in 1928, locating at Spokane. Here, he combined the active practice of his profession with teaching night classes at the Law School in Gonzaga, for which he had a special aptitude. He acted as Dean of this Law School from 1945-1948, but the pressure of his private practice compelled him to give over at that time the teaching that he had enjoyed. He was President of the Spokane County Bar Association in 1946, and succeeded Judge Robinson on the Supreme Court in 1951. Here his ripe scholarship in the law has made him popular alike with his associates and with the Bar and many good years of usefulness on the Supreme Court, it is hoped, lie ahead for him.

Turning now to Spokane’s Federal Judges, until 1905 the State of Washington was a single Federal District, briefly visited from time to time by Judge Cornelius H. Hanford of Seattle. The distance between the remote and frosty personality of Judge Hanford and the lawyers practicing before him was definitely greater than with any of the federal judges since his time.
39. In 1905, Congress created the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, and President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Edward Whitson of the Yakima Bar as our first United States District Judge to live in Spokane. Judge Whitson had been born in 1852, admitted to the bar in 1878, and had practiced at Yakima first, as a member of the firm of Allen and Whitson, and later as the senior member of Whitson and Parker.
Released from the tensions of practice before Judge Hanford, Judge Whitson’s patience and courtesy won the hearts of the lawyers of the Spokane Bar. When death claimed him in October, 1910, the mourning of the lawyers of this region was deep and sincere.
40. In January of 1911, Judge Frank H. Rudkin of our State Supreme Court was appointed to succeed Judge Whitson. Judge Rudkin was a top-flight jurist of great learning and alert mind, who gave wide and general satisfaction. He was promoted to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, seated at San Francisco, in January, 1923, where he served with equal skill until his death in 1933.
41. Judge Rudkin was succeeded in Spokane by the appointment of J. Stanley Webster, whose career has already been described. At the end of his active career in 1938, Judge Lloyd L. Black, a Federal Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, during the two-year interim before Judge Rudkin’s successor was appointed, filled in as best he could as Federal Judge for Eastern Washington, overburdened as he was as Federal Judge for the Western District. He also had such assistance from retired Judge Stanley Webster as the precarious state of his health permitted.
42. Thus, the Spokane Bar greeted with relief the appointment of United States Senator, Lewis B. Schwellenbach, as District Judge for the District of Washington. Judge Schwellenbach took his judicial duties with great seriousness, worked unremittingly, and wrote an unusual number of well-written legal opinions, instead of contenting himself as do most trial judges with oral decisions. Judge Schwellenbach, before coming to the United States Senate, had been a highly successful trial lawyer, delighting in forensic combat. But when appointed Judge, he laid aside completely this habit of intensive controversy, seemingly as easily as one might discard an outworn jacket, and with celerity took on the task of impartial judicial decision.
But after four and one-half (4 ½) years of judicial labor, President Truman peremptorily summoned Judge Schwellenbach to his aid as Secretary of Labor. In this most difficult of tasks, Judge Schwellenbach labored unremittingly, in spite of its frustrations. But death cut short his career in 1948 at the age of only fifty-four (54).
43. After a waiting period of nearly a year, during which this District had again to depend on the Western Washington Judges to come to the relief of their overburdened docket, the lawyers of this region were most satisfactorily served by the appointment in April, 1946, of Judge Samuel M. Driver, of the State’s Supreme Court as our District Judge. Judge Driver served most acceptably until his tragic death by accident in September, 1958.
44. Judge Driver was succeeded by the appointment of Charles L. Powell in July of 1959, who still serves this area with wide and friendly acceptance by the Bar.
Ever since the appointment of Judge Edward Whitson as District Judge in 1905, the Spokane Bar has been convinced that its United States District Judges have been of exceptional quality in learning, in industry, in judicial patience and in alert perceptiveness.
45. Apart from these eminently qualified Federal District Judges, the Spokane Bar was honored when Francis A. Garrecht was appointed and took office as a member of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on May 1, 1933, succeeding Judge Rudkin.
In this long list of State and Federal Judges, Judge Garrecht was the first to be born within the boundaries of this State and to spend the first sixty-three (63) years of his life within its limits. He was born in Walla Walla in 1870 when Walla Walla had less than 1,400 inhabitants, yet was the largest town in the territory, which had only 24,000 people within its boundaries. Judge Garrecht was admitted to the bar in 1894, practicing law in Walla Walla, and becoming its foremost lawyer until he came to Spokane in 1913 to serve for eight years as United States District Attorney.
In 1921 he returned to private practice in Spokane in which he was especially successful until he became United States Circuit Judge. In sharp contrast with the temperaments of Judges Webster and Schwellenbach, Judge Garracht was gentle and unobtrusive, but made up for these seemingly unlawyerlike traits by his thorough preparation, his tenacity and his skilful persuasiveness. He was by nature a jurist, so much so that he remained on the bench despite his retirement privileges until death at last overtook him at the age of seventy-eight (78).

History of the Spokane County Bench and Bar

III. History of the Lawyers Who Became Judges While in Spokane County

The lawyers of Spokane, for the first fifteen (15) years of the existence of this city, practiced law, “catch as catch can,” to borrow a useful phrase from professional wrestling. But in 1895, they concluded the time had come to form a Bar Association. Accordingly, at a meeting held on May 13, 1895, this new Bar Association was formed, and the following officers were elected: Cyrus Happy, President; Frank H. Graves, Vice-President; Joseph Rosselot, Secretary; and Patrick F. Quinn, Treasurer. In addition to the foregoing, the following members joined the Association, either then or within the next few months: J. W. Binkley, S. A. Johnston, F. C. Landman, L. B. Cornell, Wirt W. Saunders, Adolph Munter, Frank T. Post, C. B. Dunning, W. A. Huneke, Wm. T. Stoll, S. F. Coons, F. W. Knight, A. M. S. Hilgard, William Carey Jones, A. G. Avery, George W. Belt, Herman D. Crow, J. W. Marshall, Horace E. Houghton, W. M. Ridpath, George M. Forster, W. H. Ludden, J. W. Feighan, H. M. Herman, Samuel A. Wells, A. E. Gallagher, W. J. C. Wakefield, T. C. Griffitts, Nulton E. Nuzum, Richard W. Nuzum, W. W. D. Turner, Samuel G. Allen, Lucius G. Nash, George W. Stocker, William Sherman Dawson, J. E. Fenton, Norman Buck, Mark F. Mendenhall, Leander H. Prather, J. R. Bowman, W. H. Plummer, Samuel C. Hyde, Richard B. Blake, Henry M. Hoyt, J. Arthur McBroom, Chas. H. Wolf, W. E. Richardson, John R. McBride, P. E. Rothrock and Jay H. Adams.
Like many new associations, it had its ups and downs, finally languishing into irregular meetings. In 1910, Frank T. Post, one of its charter members, gave it a new lease of life by accepting the Presidency in that year, insisting on weekly meetings with a definite program for each meeting, and from this later date, the real, continuous usefulness of the Spokane County Bar Association should be measured.
The officers of the Bar Association have varied from time to time, perhaps half the time consisting of leaders of the Bar whose prestige was useful to the Association, and the other half, consisting of men in the middle rank at the Bar who work hard and devotedly within the Association, and are rewarded with an office that enables them to forward the work of the Association. With Mr. Post’s Presidency, the custom came in of electing from the ranks a Treasurer each year; then, year by year, moving him up, first to Secretary, then to Vice-President, and finally to President. This custom has worked well, for at all times it gives the Association a group of officers who are accustomed to work together as a team.
The Association has been watchful of the conduct of its members, particularly since the integrated Bar made every practicing lawyer a member of the Association. As a result, there is widespread interest in the Association, and its meetings each week are well attended.


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Steven said...

I need a photograph of Norman S. Buck, a judge in Spokane Co, 1893-1897 and former associate justice of the Idaho Supreme Court. He has an entry in the new sesquicentennial history of Lewiston.

Vance Cooney said...

Small world. My Grandfather, James A. Williams, my uncles Jerome and Richard Williams ... my Dad was Paul Ketchum Cooney (practiced with Dick briefly ... his Uncle George Ketchum - name still shows on the Community Building) and my former Dean, Delores Martin, is, I believe, involved with the Washington Mediation Assn. - Vance Cooney, Ph.D., EWU

vcooney said...

Small world. My Grandfather, James A. Williams, my uncles Jerome and Richard Williams ... my Dad was Paul Ketchum Cooney (practiced with Dick briefly ... his Uncle George Ketchum - name still shows on the Community Building) and my former Dean, Delores Martin, is, I believe, involved with the Washington Mediation Assn. - Vance Cooney, Ph.D., EWU

vcooney said...

oops - sorry for the double post :(

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