Hartwell, Joseph W. 1839-1903, Marion Mayor & Civil War Veteran

Marion, Illinois became an incorporated city in 1874 with a mayoral system of government.   Joseph W. Hartwell became the first mayor elected to the town in 1874.  Later he served in several positions in the city and county government:  County Treasurer, 1865; Circuit Clerk 1868-1872; and States Attorney 1875-1880.  In a special election for states attorney in June 1875, he was “an able young lawyer and a man of courage.” He was elected to the vacancy left by State’ Attorney, J. D. F.  Jennings, who had left the county after embezzling $927 from the school fund and was the father of Al Jennings, Joseph W. was then elected to a full term. He also served on the state Board of Equalization in Springfield and U. S. Special Pension Examiner in Fulton, Kentucky. Continue reading

Harris, Ralph W. 1904-1982, Harris and Lambert Law Firm

Ralph Harris 1904-1982Ralph W. Harris was born November 20, 1904 in Creal Springs to Willis T. and Emma (Schafer) Harris.

The 1910 census revealed that Ralph’s family was living in Marion at 201 S. Market Street. Ralph’s father, Willis, was managing a livery stable. Ralph was 5 and shared space with six siblings. His older sister, Minnie L. Harris, was a public school teacher. The census indicated that Ralph’s mother had given birth to ten children and that eight of them were still living. Continue reading

Fowler, Richmond R. 1860-1935

Fowler RR 1860-1935Richmond Roe Fowler, a.k.a. Rich, was born about five miles northeast of Marion on November 28, 1860. He was the son of Joseph W. Fowler and Elizabeth Davis.

After taking advantage of the schooling offered by the district schools, Judge Fowler attended Ewing College for two years, and then for two years engaged in teaching. Continue reading

Spiller, Edward M. 1865-1934

Spiller Ed 1865-1934Edward M. Spiller was born at Carbondale, September 28, 1865. Spiller lived most of his life in Williamson County where he became a leading citizen early in a brilliant career. He was the son of Elijah Spiller and Parazetta Edwards.

After attending school in Marion he studied at the Northern Indiana University and was graduated from Valparaiso University in 1888 with the degree of Bachelor of Science. After teaching one term of school at Carterville, he began the study of law in Marion under W.W. Duncan, later justice of the State Supreme Court. Continue reading

Hartwell, Lorenzo D. 1843-1925

LD Hartwell 1843-1925Lorenzo Dow Hartwell Jr. was born May 6, 1843, in Williamson County, Illinois, and reared on the paternal farm five miles northeast of Marion, Illinois. He was the eighth in order of birth and the seventh boy in a family of twelve children born to Lorenzo Dow Hartwell Sr. and Sicily Hodge. Lorenzo Sr. emigrated from Virginia with his family in 1839. Continue reading