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Icon or sketch0N. JESSE B. STRODE, of Lincoln, Nebraska, was born in Farmer's township, Fulton county, Illinois, February 18, 1845; worked on a farm and attended school during the winter months until nine-


teen years of age, when he enlisted as a private in the Fiftieth Illinois Infantry; was afterwards commissioned lieutenant; was in the Atlanta campaign, with Sherman on his march to the sea, through the Carolinas and Virginia, and in the grand review at Washington; was mustered out July, 1865, and entered college at Abingdon, Illinois; continued his academic studies for three years, and until made principal of the graded schools of that city. This position he filled for the eight years fol-



lowing; was elected to the office of alderman for six successive terms, and twice mayor of the city of Abingdon; studied law. May 1, 1879, Mr. Strode removed to Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and was employed in the surveyor general's office; was admitted to the bar in November, 1879; elected district attorney for the first judicial district of Nebraska in 1882; re elected to the same office in 1884. As district attorney he won for himself the reputation of being one of the most vigorous prosecutors of the state. In 1887 he removed to Lincoln, Nebraska; conducted the defense in the Sheedy trial, one of the most noted criminal trials in the history of the state; also appeared as counsel for the defendant in the noted Irvine trial of Lincoln and the Yocum case of Hastings. In 1892 was elected judge of the district court for the first judicial district, and continued in that position up to the time of his nomination and election to congress from the first congressional district. In June, 1896, he was nominated by the republicans without opposition for a second term in congress, and was elected over the combined vote of the democrats and the populists who endorsed the Chicago platform. During his first term in congress Judge Strode was named second on committee No. 2 on elections, and was also a member of the committee on pensions. On the part of the committee on elections he presented on the floor of the house the majority report in the Van Horn-Tarsney election contest case, and was recognized as one of the ablest men of the committee. He took a leading part in securing the passage through the house of the Torrey bankruptcy, bill. He still practices before the bar, with his nephew, E. C. Strode, of Lincoln, as his law partner.




Icon or sketchAVID H. MERCER, representative in congress from the second district of Nebraska, is the son of Captain John J. Mercer, past grand master of the Masonic lodge in Nebraska, and formerly a member


of the state legislature from Nemaha county. Young Mercer was reared and, for the most part, educated in Nebraska. His first school days were in the Brownville high school, where he prepared for the Nebraska State University, which institution he entered in 1877, graduating in 1880. He studied law for a year, and then entered the senior class of the law department



of the Michigan State University, receiving the degree of LL. B. in 1882. He returned to Brownville and began practicing law, served one term as city clerk and police judge, and refused a nomination for mayor. He was twice elected secretary of the republican state central committee. He moved to Omaha in 1885; where he practiced his profession until appointed master in chancery of the United States court. In 1892 he was nominated by the republicans for congress, and was elected after an exciting campaign. During his first term in congress he succeeded in establishing two branch post-offices in Omaha, introduced military drill in the high school, passed a bill giving South Omaha a post-office building, reported favorably from his committee a bill increasing the cost of Omaha's public building to $2,000,000, and accomplished so many other services for his constituents that in 1894 he was renominated unanimously and elected over all opposition. June 6, 1894, Representative Mercer was married to Miss Birdie Abbott, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the ceremony being performed in Washington, at St. John's Church. They have one child, Jeannette. In the fifty-fourth congress he secured the passage, after severe parliamentary struggles, of a bill authorizing the holding at Omaha in 1898 of a Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, a bill ceding to Nebraska Fort Omaha, to be utilized as a military school, and otherwise so conducted himself as a public servant that he received a unanimous nomination for a third-term, and was elected by a plurality of over 1,500.

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