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half that amount every year; while others, in one of the Circuit Courts, involve the question whether a single company shall be allowed to control the entire air-brake business of the country. The firm still continues as at first organized, except that Mr. George S. Payson has been recently admitted as a member.
Mr. Banning was married in October, 1878, to Lucretia T. Lindsley, an accomplished lady, of earnest christian character, descended from an old and respected family, of whom one was the first president of Yale College, and others prominent figures in colonial and revolutionary times. Mrs. Banning died in February 1887, leaving three small children, boys, all of whom are still living.
Mr. Banning is an elder in the Presbyterian Church, a republican in politics, a member of the Union League Club, and connected with several organizations interested in the material and moral progress of the city. In addition to his legal work, he continues to keep up the study of language, and devotes much time to the reading of history and general literature; and during the past year he has traveled extensively in various European countries.
JOHN C. SIMONDS
Was born near Cairo, Illinois, June 28, 1848. Hon. Cyrus G. Simonds, his father, was one of the leading lawyers of Nlinois. He had been a member of the Illinois Legislature, and acquired distinction as a brilliant and powerful advocate. A large proportion of the cases in that section of country found him retained on one side or the other.
John C. was educated at various academic institutions, and in the University of Michigan. He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in the spring of 1873, and to the New York Bar two
After some years of successful practice in the New York courts, Mr. Simonds came to Chicago in 1881, where he has since been an esteemed and successful practitioner.
For several years after his arrival in Chicago, Mr. Simonds'
practice consisted largely in the preparation of opinions upon statements of facts submitted for his consideration, and of arguments on appeals. For such intellectual effort he is well endowed.
His mind is clear and incisive, and his judgment good. He is adroit in the art of dialectic fence, well grounded in the principles of the law, and skillful in their application. The merit of distinguishing cases, and noting wherein those that resemble differ, is his in a high degree. Lord Bacon held it the sacred duty of the lawyer to master some legal principles and adjudged cases thereon, to reduce them to system, and give to his profession the ripe fruit of his severer studies. Mr. Simonds has paid this debt to the profession in his “History, Methods and Law of the Produce Exchange.” He has also written just and discriminating pictures of Western lawyers in Biographical Sketches.
It was long ago remarked by the great Burke, that the study and practice of the law tended rather to the strength than the liberality and culture of the mind. Mr. Simonds with his legal faculties and acquisitions, has also a rare love for belle-lettres and the arts, a mind and heart thoroughly in sympathy with the great ennobling movements of the times, and an ear attuned to the still sad music of humanity." In his valuable and eloquent "History of Manual Labor in all Lands and Ages," he has undertaken authentically to tell the story of the common people—their past progress, present conditions and future hopes. With rare eloquence and truth, he “has essayed to do for the nameless heroes of all time—those masses of the people that have fought the battles, builded the cities, and wrought the fabric of our civilization, what has already been done for the monarch, the warrior, the nobleman and the statesman.” Truly a noble and worthy end.
A list of his contributions to leading magazines on a great variety of topics in literature, law and economics would occupy too much space. They are all characterized by culture, thought and research. He has draped his ideas with the vesture of a clear and classic English.
Recently Mr. Simonds has been chosen as lecturer on Medi
cal Jurisprudence” at the Chicago College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is also engaged in active practice with Messrs. Edward Maher and Samuel D. Snow, well known and prosperous Chicago lawyers.
Office, 47-187 Lasalle St.
HENRY V. FREEMAN
Of the Chicago Bar, was born Dec. 20, 1842, of New England ancestry, coming from Cape Cod, Mass. One of his grandfathers, about eight generations ago, was Elder William Brewster of Plymouth Colony. His father is Henry Freemen now of Rockford in this State, who for nearly a third of a cenfury, first at Freeport and then at Rockford, was one of the best known superintendents of schools in Northern Illinois. Retired now from professional work, he enjoys in well earned rest all that Shakespeare says should accompany old age.
At sixteen years of age, Henry V. began teaching a country district school. He varied this occupation with work on a farm, and attendance at the preparatory department of Beloit College, until the summer of 1862, when, having just completed his preparation and been admitted to college, he enlisted in Co. K. of the 74 Ill. Vol. Infy. He served thrée years with the Army of the Cumberland in this and other or ganizations, coming home at the end of the war in 1865, with the rank of Captain. He entered Yale College in the fall of that year and graduated in the class of 1869. He came to Chicago in the following October, and was admitted to the bar in 1870. Immediately after the great fire of October 9, 1871, the prospects for a young lawyer for the next year in the burned up city, not looking attractive, he was offered and accepted the position of principle of the High School at Charleston, Illinois. Returning to Chicago at the end of the school year in 1872, he was employed in the law offices of King, Scott & Payson, and Rich & Noble, until January 1st, 1873, when he began independent practice. He has continued ever since in the enjoyment of what has grown to be an excellent practice.
Mr. Freeman has been three times appointed attorney for Hyde Park, an office which he has filled with distinguished success. It is said that during the last two years he has not finally lost a single case for the Village. Though occasionally beaten in the lower courts, he succeeded in reversing the decision in every such case in the appellate or Supreme Court.
When this fact was referred to in Mr. Freeman's presence, he ascribed it to “good luck” mainly. While this is true to some extent, because the lawyer cannot make his facts, yet it is also true that “good luck” alone is not sufficient to account for such a record, when we consider the large number and varied character of the suits, which have been in the last few years brought for and against the large municipal corporation of Hyde Park. Mr. Freeman’s “good luck” seems to have followed him before the Supreme Court. The reports of cases in which he has been counsel show that in the last ten years he has been on the successful side in nearly every case. The history of the "annexation” litigation is familiar to the people of Cook County. In this, although contending against greater odds than in most cases of public interest that have occurred here within our recollection, the views urged by Mr. Freeman were completely sustained by the Supreme Court. Probably no cases have ever arisen in Cook County of a civil nature where more pressure from the public and the press had to be overcome. It requires no small quantity of backbone, to stand up for one's convictions of duty under such circumstances. But the fight was completely successful. Annexation will doubtless come in time, but under better and wiser legislation than that which the Supreme Court was compelled to declare unconstitutional.
The law firm is Freeman & Walker, his partner being Mr. George R. Walker.
Office, 54-107 Dearborn St.
It will be remembered that when in June of last year, the Bar. Association were called upon to nominate candidates for the Bench at a “Bar Primary,” Mr. Freeman received within twelve of a majority of the votes cast by his profession
al brethren, although he was not previously a candidate, and his name was not suggested until a large vote had already been polled.
Among well known and important cases in which Mr. Freeman has been employed as counsel, may be mentioned the case of Smythe v. Holmes, involving the constitutionality of the act under which Building Associations are incorporated in this State. The Supreme Court had decided the act invalid. Mr. Freeman was retained to apply for a rehearing. This was obtained, and after reargument the Supreme Court took back its former decision, and sustained the validity of the act. This decision has been very important in its consequences. Since it was rendered, the Building Associations have increased greatly through the State, and are doing for Chicago what Judge Sharswood of Pennsylvania said they had done for Philadelphia-making it "a city of comfortable homes for the poor.”
Mr. Freeman is in the prime of life, physically, but scarcely yet in the maturity of his intellectual powers, which will constantly strengthen with exercise, for many years to come. Already occupying a commanding position at the bar, his future is easily to be predicted.
With a mind strong and clear, with untiring industry, and a noble ambition, it is scarcely possible to doubt that he will not only maintain his present position, but make it a stepping stone to other successes.