Marshall County


Hon. Samuel L. RICHMOND, deceased, was for many years one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Marshall county, a man whose standing at the bar was second to none in the state. He was a native of Vermont, born in 1824, and removed in youth to Ohio, where he grew to manhood, received his literary education, and married Miss Susan HUNT, by whom he reared a family of five children, all of whom yet survive. Warner L., the eldest son, is now engaged in farming near Topeka, Kansas. Lizzie R. now resides in Peoria, and is a woman of remarkable business tact and ability, being the second lady in the state to receive the appointment of notary public, for fifteen years engaged in the fire insurance business in Peoria, and at present is employed in the internal revenue office in that city. Belle V. is now the wife of Henry A. GOODWIN, a mechanic of Peoria. Samuel L., also residing in Peoria, as special agent for the German Fire Insurance Company. Elijah D., the present county judge of Marshall, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work.

Our subject early in life determined to make the legal profession his life work, and for that purpose went to Louisville, Kentucky, studied law, and was there admitted to the bar. After his admission to the bar he returned to Burton, Ohio. He was married in 1848 and in 1849 came to Illinois, locating at Princeton, Bureau county, where he remained one year, and then came to Lacon, where he continued to reside until his death in 1873, with the exception of one year spent in St. Paul, Minnesota, and one year in Galena, Illinois. In 1858 he became associated with Hon. John BURNS, who later succeeded him as circuit judge. The partnership thus formed continued until Mr. RICHMOND was elected judge of the twenty-third circuit in 1861. At that time he was comparatively a young man, being but thirty-seven years of age. He was, however, a man well read in the law and of a judicial turn of mind. For twelve years and until the date of his death, he occupied the bench, and no man occupying like position stood higher in the estimation of his associates and the bar in general. His views and judgments were usually held as good law, and few cases were appealed from his decision and a less number were reversed.

In his political views, Judge RICHMOND was a thorough and consistent democrat, a firm believer in the principles of that party. A friend of education, he served some years upon the school board of Lacon, and did all in his power to advance the interests of the public schools, often delivering lectures on the public school question in various parts of the state in response to invitation. He was a close student of history and a man of quick perception. His popularity was not confined to the bar, but his friends were numbered by the thousands in all the avocations of life. He was suave in manner, open-hearted, and at all times a friend of the poor. What he did was always cheerfully done and no regrets would ever afterward be expressed, if mistaken in judgment, which was seldom the case. A man of the people, he enjoyed the respect of the people, and his death, which occurred in his forty-ninth year, while yet in the prime of life, was a sad blow, not only to his family and personal friends, but to the general public as well. If death had not so early claimed him, he doubtless would have occupied a position on the supreme bench, his name being frequently suggested for that position. His widow now resides in Peoria.

Extracted March 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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