Early Evansville Portraits And Biographies
From History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana
by Brant & Fuller
1889

Jacob S. Buchanan

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COLONEL JACOB S. BUCHANAN, Attorney and Counselor at Law, was born in Jefferson County, Ind., in February, 1822. His paternal grandfather was a native of the north of Ireland and of Scotch descent; his maternal grandfather was a German. His father, a native of Westmoreland County, Penn., was reared in Lexington, Ky., and about the year 1800 settled on the Ohio river, about twenty miles above Madison, Ind. Some two or three years afterward, with three of his brothers, he went into Jefferson County, Ind., where they built a blockhouse and stockade as a defense against Indian attacks, and became pioneer farmers.

Jacob S. Buchanan was reared on a farm, near Vevay, Switzerland County, Ind., to which his father had removed with his family when he was a child. His early education was received at the common country schools during the winter months, and was supplemented by a year's study with a private tutor, after he was twenty-one years old. He had begun to read law at the age of eighteen years, more to satisfy a natural fondness for study than with a view of taking it up as a profession, and he continued this until he was admitted to practice in 1849. In the following year he opened a law office at Versailles, Ind., and succeeded in obtaining a good practice in the two years of his stay there.

He then removed to Charlestown, Clark County, Ind., where he soon acquired a good practice, which he retained until the breaking out of the civil war. Then, abandoning his profession, he went to his old home at Vevay, raised a company, and entered the United States cavalry service. Subsequently this company became a part of the Third Indiana cavalry, a regiment distinguished in the annals of the country for its heroic achievements.

Captain Buchanan was promoted to the Lieutenant Colonelcy of the regiment and was in command of it during the most of his military service. Col. Buchanan in November, 1862, was then taken sick for the third time during his service and by the advice of the surgeons resigned and returned home to his family at Vevay. After his partial recovery he removed to Greensburg, Decatur County, Ind., but was unable, on account of continued ill health, to remain there, and in about a year, by the advice of physicians, removed to Arkansas. There for two years and a half he managed a plantation, recuperated his health, and, in 1866, removed to this city, where he again commenced the practice of law. Within a year he succeeded in gaining a considerable patronage, and has gradually acquired a large practice.

He is now the senior member of the law firm of Buchanan & Buchanan, and is regarded as one of the most successful lawyers in the city. He has a strong love for the practice of law, but detests technicalities. In the trial of his cases he is absolutely fair to all parties concerned; is very frank and candid in all his dealings with every one, and to this may be attributed, to a great extent, his success. As an advocate, he is earnest and effective, a fluent speaker, and powerful in argument before both court and jury.

In his early years he was a whig, and upon the formation of the republican party allied himself therewith, but has never been, if any sense of the word, a partisan. He had invariably refused to accept any elective office having on various occasions declined nominations.

He was married in January, 1848,to Miss Julia A. Sauvain, a descendant of one of the French families that settled at Gallipolis Ohio, toward the beginning of the present century. Three children, now living, are the fruits of this marriage: Cicero, the oldest who is the junior partner in the firm of Buchanan & Buchanan, himself distinguished as a lawyer and citizen because of his natural brilliancy as a speaker, his thorough conversancy with every branch of law, and his aggressive public spiritedness. Mrs. Mary O. Flower, the widow of the late Rev. George E. Flower, who is now living in Evansville with her brother and actively engaged in works of charity for the poor and friendless. Scott Buchanan, the youngest son, is now residing in the state of Dakota, extensively engaged in wheat growing, and is one of the best farmers in the state.