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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

Legal profession,   pp. 352-357 PDF (1.7 MB)


Page 352


ILEGAL PROFESSION
THE RECORD of the legal profession in the City of Neenah runs back
to the year after Wisconsin became a state. One Elbridge Smith was
admitted to the law practice April 1o, 1849.
  Moses Hooper came from Maine in 1857 and opened a law office
in Neenah. He continued his law practice here for six years, and then
moved to Oshkosh. Of this period Mr. Hooper later said that "the
first year in Oshkosh, I just made my living expenses. The second
year I made living expenses and enough to pay off the $6oo debt I had
at Neenah." He was born in Maine in 1835 and died in 1932 at the
age of 97 years, at which time he was the oldest active member of the
American Bar Association. He was an active member of the bar for
76 years, and became an outstanding authority in the specialized law
practice pertaining to water power, riparian rights and real estate law.
He was for many years the legal counsel of the Kimberly-Clark Cor-
poration. Memorials on the life and work of Mr. Hooper are found in
Vol. 235 of Wisconsin Reports, pp. xxviii-xxxi.
  James C. Kerwin is perhaps the most illustrious lawyer who prac-
ticed in the city of Neenah and retained his residence here through the
years. He was born in the Town of Menasha in i85o and died in 192T.
During his early life he lived on his father's farm in the area known
as the "Irish Settlement." He acquired this family homestead and
owned it until the time of his death. Out of the same neighborhood
came the great Dr. James B. Murphy, who attained international
reputation. Mr. Kerwin's brother, Michael, went into the field of
medicine and also attained an international reputation in that field.
Very early in his practice Mr. Kerwin was elected City Attorney and
served in that capacity with conspicuous ability for twelve years.
For four years he was a member of the University of Wisconsin Board
of Regents. He was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in
April, 1904, and served as a member of that court for 16 years, until
the time of his death. Memorials on the life and work of Mr. Kerwin
are found in Vol. 177 of Wisconsin Law Reports at pp. xxxii-xxxviii.
  One of Mr. Kerwin's famous cases involved a telephone pole which
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