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(Madison icon)1918

Biographical Sketches of Representative Alumni

from the University of Wisconsin: Its History and its Alumni
by Reuben Gold Thwaites   1900

William Freeman Vilas, A. M., LL. D.

Born in Chelsea, Orange County, Vermont, July 9, 1840. Graduated from U. W. in 1858, and from the Albany (N. Y.) law school in 1860. He at once entered upon the practice of law at Madison, in partnership with Charles T. Wakeley, with whom was afterwards joined Eleazer Wakeley. In 1862, Mr. Vilas raised a company for the Twenty-Third Wisconsin infantry, had it accepted, and was mustered in as senior captain of the regiment, being soon promoted major and then lieutenant colonel. He served with Grant in the Army of the Tennessee, and was at the siege and fall of Vicksburg, leading his regiment in several battles and skirmishes. The regiment was then sent to New Orleans, but Colonel Vilas soon resigned, seeing only a prospect for a long period of inaction, and resumed his law practice at Madison. Colonel Vilas, in connection with Gen. Edwin E. Bryant, for some years his professional partner, published in 1872-76 a new edition, with notes, of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Reports, vols. 1, 2, 4, 6-20. In 1875 he was appointed, together with David Taylor and J. P. C. Cottrill, as member of a commission to revise the Statutes of Wisconsin, which work was accepted by the legislature in 1878. He joined U. W. law faculty in 1868, remaining therein until 1885, and rejoining in 1889. He attended, as delegate, the National Democratic conventions of 1876, 1880, 1884, 1892, and 1896, and was president of the convention in 1884. He has been trustee of the Soldiers' Orphans' Home, regent of the State University (a position he still holds), member of assembly in 1885, and member of the board of commissioners for erecting the State Historical Library Building. In 1885 he was appointed postmaster general in President Cleveland's cabinet, and became secretary of the interior in 1888. He was United States senator from Wisconsin, in 1891-97. Colonel Vilas enjoys a national reputation as an orator, his most celebrated achievements in that direction being the annual address before the Army of the Tennessee reunion, at Indianapolis, in 1878, and his response to the toast "Our first commander, General U. S. Grant," at the banquet of the Society of that Army, in Chicago, the following year. In 1861, he received from U. W. the degree of A. M., and in 1885 that of LL. D. He was married in 1866 to Miss Anna M. Fox, and has one child (Mrs. Lucien M. Hanks) living.

John C. Spooner

Born at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, January 6, 1843, he removed with his parents to Madison, Wisconsin, in 1859. Entering U. W. in 1860, he would have graduated in June, 1864; but in May of that year, in company with many other members of his class, he enlisted in the Union army. Spooner's regiment was the Fortieth Wisconsin infantry, largely composed of college students and professors. He served through the hundred-days' term in Co. D., and then re-enlisted for "three years or the war" as captain of Co. A., of the Fiftieth Wisconsin, which was employed in quelling Indian outbreaks in the Sioux country. He was brevetted major in 1865, and mustered out the following year.

Commencing at once the study of law, he was soon (January, 1867) appointed private and military secretary to Governor Fairchild, with the rank of colonel; from 1868-70 he was quartermaster general of the State, and in 1869-70 assistant attorney general. In 1870, he removed his law once to Hudson, soon being placed in charge of the legal interests of two new railroad companies, the West Wisconsin and the North Wisconsin; following this, he became the general counsel of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha system, resigning his position in 1884, soon thereafter returning to Madison. In 1872, he was a member of the State assembly, and in 1885 and again 1897 was elected by the legislature as United States senator.

Colonel Spooner, while still actively engaged in the practice of his profession, has, from the time of the Blaine-Cleveland contest, taken a leading part in the counsels of the Republican party, and achieved wide reputation as a political orator. He seconded the nomination of Harrison, in the National convention at Minneapolis. In 1892, he led the then forlorn hope of his party as candidate for governor, largely reducing the Democratic majority. In 1864, he received from U. W. the degree of Ph. B.; in 1869, that of A. M.; and in 1894, that of LL. D. He was a member of the board of regents, from 1882-85.

Alexander Campbell Botkin, A. M., LL. B.

Born at Madison, Wisconsin, October 13, 1842. Fitted at the preparatory department of U. W., entering her classical course in 1856 and graduating three years later. Was a member of Hesperia. Graduated from the Albany (N. Y.) Law School in 1866. Mr. Botkin was clerk in the pay department of the United States army, 1862-65; practiced law, 1866-68; was news-editor for the Milwaukee Sentinel, 1868-69; city and managing editor of Chicago Times, 1869-74; editor of Milwaukee Sentinel, 1874-77; United States marshal for the district of Montana, 1878-85; lieutenant governor of Montana, 1893-99; master in chancery of the United States circuit court for the district of Montana, 1889-97 city attorney of Helena, 1886-90; and chairman of the commission appointed under authority of an act of Congress to revise and codify the criminal statutes of the United States. Mr. Botkin was also a candidate for Congress from Montana, in 1882, and for governor of that State in 1896. On June 11, 1872, he married Miss Harriet E. Sherman, and has two children: Alice Sinclair, who graduated from the Froebel Institute, Berlin, Germany ; and Alexander W., a graduate of Yale University. A biographical sketch of Mr. Botkin may be found in Who's Who in America?

James Lambert High, A. B., LL. D.

Born at Belleville, Richland County, Ohio, October 6, 1844. Fitted in the schools of Black Earth, Wisconsin, and taught school at various periods, before entering U. W. in 1860; he graduated four years later. In 1886, studied law at the University of Michigan, from which he received the degree of LL. D. in 1887, having the same degree conferred upon him by U. W. in 1895. In 1867, Mr. High began the practice of law in Chicago, where he was actively engaged in his profession until his death in 1898. In 1870 he published an annotated edition of the Works of Lord Erskine; High on Injunctions, a masterful work, appeared in 1873; High on Receivers, in 1874; and High on Extraordinary Legal Remedies, in 1876. During the War of Secession, Mr. High served in the Forty-ninth Wisconsin volunteers, and in 1865 was appointed first lieutenant and regimental adjutant. In 1871 he was assistant United States district attorney for the Territory of Utah. In 1870 he married Miss Ellen Tredway, daughter of W. W. Tredway, of Madison, and has two children; his son Shirley graduated from Yale in 1895.

Samuel Fallows, A. M., LL. D., D. D.

Born at Pendleton, near Manchester, England, December 13, 1835. Removed with his parents in July, 1848, to Deansville, Wisconsin. Entered U. W. in 1854, and graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1859. Received the degree of A. M. in 1862, of LL. D. in 1894, and of D. D. (from Lawrence University) in 1873. From 1859-61, Dr. Fallows was vice-president of Galesville (Wis.) University; in 1862, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Oshkosh; 1862-63, chaplain of the Thirty-second Wisconsin infantry; 1863-64, M. E. pastor at Appleton; 1864, lieutenant-colonel of the Fortieth Wisconsin infantry; 1865, colonel of the Forty-ninth; in September of the same year, was brevetted brigadier general; 1865-68, pastor of the Summerfield M. E. church at Milwaukee 1868-70, pastor of the Grand Avenue M. E. church, Milwaukee; 1871-74, State superintendent of public instruction, during which time the graded and high schools were brought into line with U. W.; the following year he was president of the Illinois Wesleyan University, at Bloomington; in 1875 he entered the Reformed Episcopal church, and became rector of St. Paul's, Chicago; in July, 1876, he was elected bishop, and has been chosen presiding bishop five times, a position which he still holds. He has served as chaplain of the Department of Illinois, G. A. R., and of the Second regiment of Illinois National Guards; Bishop Fallows is now chaplain of the Veteran Union League and the Loyal Legion of Illinois. Since 1891 he has been president of the board of managers of the Illinois State Reformatory, at Pontiac; for several years he was editor of The Appeal, the organ in the West of the Reformed Episcopal church; from 1866-74 he was a member of the board of regents of U. W.; during the Columbian Exposition he was chairman of the general committee of the educational congresses; since 1895 he has been at the head of the University Association for the promotion of study among the people. In 1873 he declined the professorship of logic and rhetoric at U. W.; in 1864 he was professor-elect of natural sciences in Lawrence University. Bishop Fallows is author of Synonyms and Antonyms, The Life of Samuel Adams, The Bible Story, The Progressive Dictionary, and The Young American Annual; and was the contributor of the American articles to the Werner edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He is a member of the Victoria Institute of Great Britain. Bishop Fallows lectures on mental physiology, before the Bennett Medical College, of Chicago. On April 9, 1860, he married Miss Lucy B. Huntington, a student of the Milwaukee Female College, and niece of Bishop P. D. Huntington, of Central New York, and has four children: Helen M. attended the University of Michigan; Edward H. graduated from Amherst, and took graduate work at Yale and Columbia; Alice K. graduated from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.

John Barber Parkinson, A. M., Vice President, Professor of Constitutional and International Law.

Born near Edwardsville, Madison County, Illinois, April 11, 1834. Attended Beloit College before entering U. W., from which latter he graduated in 1860, with the degree of A. B. Three years later he received from U. W. the degree of A. M. previous to joining the faculty, he taught as principal of a private academy, preparing many students for the University and other colleges. Was tutor in U. W., 1861-62; county superintendent of schools in La Fayette County, 1862-64; regent of U. W., 1866-67; professor of mathematics in U. W., 1867-72; professor of civil polity and constitutional law, 1872-74; president of Wisconsin State Board of Centennial Managers, 1874-76; professor of civil polity and political economy in U. W., 1876-93; professor of constitutional and international law since 1893, and vice president of U. W. since 1885. Professor Parkinson is a member of the University extension staff, and has given courses of lectures on economics and constitutional law at Milwaukee, La Crosse, Racine, and Chicago; independently, he has lectured on various subjects, at other places. On December 19, 1861, he married Miss Frances Jane Gray, and has had eight children, seven of whom are living. Is a curator of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Biographical sketches of him may be found in United States Biographical Dictionary (Wisconsin volume); Butterfield's History of U. W., and History of Dane County.

Farlin Q. Ball, Ph. B.

Born near Steubenville, Ohio, March 28, 1838. Fitted at the Monroe (Wis.) high school, and entered U. W. scientific course in 1858, graduating therefrom in 1861 with the degree of B. S. Was a member of Hesperia, and her orator at the junior exhibition. In the summer of 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Thirty-first Wisconsin infantry, and served three years in the War of Secession. Was mustered out as captain, and brevetted major, at the close of the war. His regiment for the first year was on the Mississippi; after that, with Sherman from Nashville to Atlanta; took part in the march to the sea, and from Savannah through the Carolinas to Goldsboro, Richmond, and thence to Washington. Mr. Ball was admitted to the bar at Madison in November, 1865. He was twice elected district attorney of Dane County (1866-68). In 1869 he removed to Chicago, where he has since carried on the practice of his profession, and where he is now chief justice of the superior court of Cook County. Is ex-president of the Chicago Law Institute, and of the Chicago Bar association. He has published Ball on National Banks, and Banks and Banking. Judge Ball married Miss Elizabeth Hall, a graduate of Delaware College, Ohio, and has two sons, Farlin H. (U. W., '95), and Sydney H. (U. W., 1901).

Philip Stein, Ph. D.

Born at Steele, Rhenish Province, Prussia, March 12, 1844. In 1854 he came with his parents to the United States, and settled on a farm near Waukesha. Five years later he moved to Milwaukee, and for two years attended the Second and Seventh ward high schools. Later he attended the preparatory department of U. W., entering her classical course in 1861, and graduating therefrom in 1865. Was a member of Hesperia, and represented her in a joint debate with Athenae; was also secretary and president of his class, and was valedictorian at commencement. Mr. Stein attended the universities of Heidelberg and Berlin, 1865-67, studying civil law, history, belles lettres, and philosophy, taking his doctor's degree in the last-named year. In 1868 he received his master's degree from U. W. In October of the same year was admitted to the bar in Milwaukee, but moved to Chicago within the month, and continued in active practice until he went upon the bench in 1892. He was elected judge of the superior court of Cook County, Illinois, in 1892, and re-elected in 1898 for another term or six years, notwithstanding an overwhelming majority for the rest of the opposing ticket. Judge Stein has contributed papers to the State Bar Association of Illinois. On April 4, 1875, he married Miss Emma Stein, a student at Chicago high school, and has five children.

George Washington Bird, A. B., A. M.

George Washington Bird, A. B., A. M.,'63. Sup't of Schools, Jefferson County, two terms. Governor's Private Secretary, one term. Vice-President and Director Jefferson Co. Bank. Attorney (Bird & Rogers), 810 E. Gorham St., Madison, Wis.

Phineas J. Clawson, A. B., A. M.

Phineas J. Clawson, A. B., A. M.,'63. 1st Lieut. Co. A, '63-'65, 20th Wis. Inf.; clerk circuit court; dist. att'y Green Co., eight years; State senator, Wis., 12th Dist. 1889-91. Attorney, Monroe, Wis.

Almerin Gillett, Ph. B., A. M.

Almerin Gillett, Ph. B., A. M., '76. Capt. Co. D, 20th Wis. Inf.; Commissioned Major at the close of war; county att'y Lyons Co., Kans., 1872-76; State Senator, 24th Dist., Kans., 1877-81; Member of State Board of Railway Com'rs five years. Attorney, Kansas City, Kans. Died May 15, 1896.

Milton Seward Griswold, A. M.

Born at Rockwood, Fulton County, New York, March 23, 1839. Came with his parents to Wisconsin in 1844, locating on the farm still occupied by his father, north of Waukesha. He fitted himself for college at home. Entered U. W. classical course in March, 1859, graduating in 1863 with the degree of A. B. He was absent in 1860-61 by reason of ill health. Was a member of Athenae. Pursued his studies in the classics at home, and in 1866 received from U. W. the degree of A. M. Attended the junior course of lectures in the University of Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor, 1862-63, and after graduating there read law in the office of Gregory & Pinney, at Madison, being then admitted to the bar of the supreme court in June, 1864. His first law office was in Madison, with R. J. Chase, in 1865-66. From 1867-70, he was located at Menomonee Falls, Waukesha county, and in 1871 removed to Waukesha, where he has since remained. Mr. Griswold held the office of county judge of Waukesha county from 1874-78, and from January 1894-99, having been elected for the current term on a non-partisan call, by a majority of 1800. Judge Griswold is now serving as president of the Waukesha U. W. Alumni Association. His first wife died in 1879, and on June 28, 1882, he married Miss Sara A. Weed, a teacher by profession, who was educated in the schools of Waukesha, and has two sons. Biographical sketches of him are to be found in Portrait and Biographical Record of the Pioneers of Waukesha County, and in the Waukesha Dispatch, for February 5, 1897.

Thwaites, Reuben Gold. The University of Wisconsin: Its History and its Alumni. Madison: J. N. Purcell, 1900. From the University of Wisconsin Archives: Series 0/5/1