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Mary Smith Hayward, Chadron.
Gustaf Johnson, Ceresco.
Alfred Keens, Lincoln.
Helena Krueger, Lincoln.
George A. Loveland, Lincoln.
Charles M. Mayne, Lincoln.
Harry Kirke Wolfe, Lincoln..
Jacob Wiggins, McCook.
Berend J. Brethouwer, Lincoln.
Mildred Vance, Crete.
Edward H. Marshall, Lincoln.


   Gen Grenville M. Dodge, Council Bluffs, Iowa.
   James Mooney, Washington, D. C.
   Eugene F. Ware, Kansas City, Kans.


    George W. Martin, Topeka, Kans.
   Doane Robinson, Pierre, So. Dak.
   Edgar R. Harlan, Des Moines, Ia.
   Benjamin F. Shambaugh, Iowa City, Ia.
   Warren Upham, St. Paul, Minn.

   On motion, the secretary was instructed to cast the ballot of the Society for the election of the persons named. The ballot was so cast and the parties named declared elected.
   Mr. Sam B. Iiams then moved that the meeting adjourn, sine die. Motion was seconded by Louis R. Smith and carried.
SpacerCLARENCE S. PAINE, Secretary.


   A special meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society and the eighteenth annual meeting of the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers Association, was held at the First Christian church, Lincoln, Nebraska, January 17, 18, 19, 1910.
   On Monday, January 17, at half past one o'clock in the afternoon, there was a meeting of the executive committee of the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers Association, at the rooms of the State Historical Society, followed,



from 2 to 5 o'clock P. M., by an informal reception to members and friends of the State Historical Society and the Pioneers Association.


   A joint session of the Nebraska State Historical Society and Nebraska Territorial Association was held at 7:45 P. M., January 17, John L. Webster presiding.
   After the meeting was called to order, Rev. A. L. Ogden offered the invocation, and Chancellor Samuel Avery gave an address of welcome.
   Rev. Michael A. Shine then read a paper on The First Catholic Bishop in Nebraska.1
   The president introduced Judge Eleazer Wakeley who gave the following address.


   A few months ago I was one of those who, in another place, spoke in regard to the life and career of both a lawyer and distinguished jurist which seemed to me to be proper for that occasion, and when recently I was asked to perform the same office here, it seemed to me then, as it still does now, that it would have been better if one of the younger men of the state who were intimate with Governor Crounse in his private life and associated more or less with him in his business duties, should have performed this office that I have been asked to fill. It seems though that is not the case. I yielded and I am here tonight to speak to you, perhaps along somewhat different lines, upon the life of the man whose memory we commemorate this evening.

   1 The paper is printed in Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, volume XVI, page 205.



   On the roll of the pioneers who came to Nebraska, in the later years of its territorial period, to identify themselves with its fortunes and its future, the name of Lorenzo Crounse holds a conspicuous and an honored place. His part in its territorial and state history was influential. He was, for many years, a prominent and faithful member of this Society, and it is peculiarly fitting that his name and his memory should be perpetuated in its records. His residence in the territory and state was continuous from 1864 to his death on May 13, 1909; and nearly one half of those forty-five years was passed in the public service--a career which would warrant a fuller treatment than the purpose of this sketch requires or the proper limits of the occasion would permit.
   Prior to the passage of the organic act for Kansas and Nebraska territories, in May, 1854, the westward course of civil government and material improvement had reached, and halted at, the Missouri River. Beyond that boundary there stretched indefinitely towards the Rocky Mountains, and from the northern limit of Missouri to the forty-ninth parallel, that vast region of solitude, where the wigwam was the type of man's abode and the trail of the buffalo was the precursor and prophecy of the highway and the railroad. But in its untouched soil was the potentiality of a wealth and a contribution to the comfort and progress of mankind, in the ages to come, which no mathematics can compute.
   When Governor Crounse, then a young lawyer, came to Nebraska in 1864, the ten years had wrought its work of change and improvement. Organized counties along the Missouri from Richardson to Niobrara; in the valleys of the Platte and Elkhorn, and the many streams in the interior; and, generally, in the eastern and central portions of the territory were being filled with a people in-



telligent, enterprising and hopeful. But, as yet, they were without the railway, that potent modern agent and essential factor of development. Horse and mule trains carried the increasing commerce from the Missouri to the settled portions of the West. Market towns were wanting; implements of agriculture were few and crude; rural mail delivery, and the rural automobile were not yet even a dream of the progressive. The soil waited for the improved culture which to-day is being invoked as the substitute for an exhausted public domain and the remedy for an indefinite increase of population on the limited acreage of the country. The problems of future growth, prospective wealth, social conditions, and the governmental system of our ever-increasing people were to be solved. And it was the mission of that body of vigorous, resolute, and resourceful young men who were locating in the cities and the new counties of Nebraska to meet these problems and find their best solution. Among these was Lorenzo Crounse.
   He was born in Sharon, Schoharie county, New York, January 27, 1834, being the youngest of a family of four sons and three daughters. His father was John Crounse, of German descent, his grandfather having come from Germany, and settled in Albany county. His mother was Margaret Van Aernam, whose grandfather came from Holland and settled in the same county. Thus, he inherited the sturdy virtues, the frugal habits, and the love of the simple life which characterizes the natives of those lands and the emigrants therefrom who have sought homes in America.
   Without family wealth to afford him a college career, his education was such as could be had in the common schools, supplemented by two terms in the New York Conference Seminary, of five hundred to eight hundred



students. In this seminary he took his first lessons in debate and presided at the exercises which closed his second term. He emerged from this institution to become a teacher in the public schools, at the early age of seventeen years--that vocation through which so many men, in this land of equal privilege, have passed to renown. Out of the plans and aspirations for the future which fill the mind of the American boy, destined to success, young Crounse decided upon the practice of law as his field of work and studied for that profession for two years, from 1855 to 1857, in Fort Plain, where he was admitted, in due time, to the bar and began his practice.
   This continued until the commencement of the Civil War, that epochal time in the destiny of the republic, when he joined the great army, composed largely, as it was, of youths in their teens, and young men, like himself, beginning the work of their lives, which carried the flag to its final triumph.
   He raised, at Fort Plain, Battery K, First regiment, New York Light Artillery, and became its captain, going into the field and bearing a soldier's hardships, doing a soldier's duty on the march, and in many battles. He was severely wounded while holding Beverly Ford, on the Rappahannock River, in Virgina, and after a partial recovery he resigned and returned to his home.
   In January, 1862, he was appointed and served as judge advocate of a general court martial. For meritorious service he was offered promotion, but declined it from a sentiment of duty to the sons of his friends and neighbors, to whom he had promised care and protection when they enlisted under his command. It should also be noted as characteristic that through his life he steadily declined to receive or apply for a dollar of the pension to which he was entitled.



   He did not long pursue the practice in his native state, which he had left at the call of duty. The lure of the West was upon him. Beyond the Missouri was an embryo state where resolution and courage, which might lie dormant and rust in the quiet and monotony of an old community in an eastern state, were needed and would be welcomed.
   With this to inspire him and with the experience and equipment indicated by the incidents of his earlier life, he came to Nebraska, in 1864, as already mentioned, and locating in Rulo, Richardson county, he opened a law office and awaited his share of legal patronage.
   The judicial system, moulded on that of territories generally, provided for three districts to which, respectively, the chief justice and two associate justices of the supreme court were assigned. Richardson county, in the second district, was a goodly county, rich in its undeveloped wealth of soil and resources. But, with its sparse population, without a commercial city, and with but few important controversies to be settled in court, it did not present a field to satisfy the lawyer aspiring to a high place in his profession or eager for the rewards which that should bring. But its people were intelligent and discriminating. They saw in the young man who had come among them the open stamp of intelligence and sincerity, which invited their confidence.
   His political convictions, always firm and uncompromising, were in accordance with their own, and within a few months he was chosen by a decisive majority as one of the four members of the house of representatives from Richardson county, in the territorial legislature. His opportunity had come. At the session of that body in January, 1866, he was one of the judiciary committee and also a member of the committee on revision of statutes,



compiled by Experience Estabrook, and which were adopted and took effect July 1, 1866.
   Prior to that session, the question of state admission had been submitted to the people and decided adversely. The scheme was renewed at that session, and Mr. Crounse was a member of the committee to prepare the draft of a constitution to be submitted to the electors. The act therefore was passed in February, 1866, embodying a proposed constitution to be submitted on June 2, 1866, and for the tentative election, at the same time, of the executive and judicial state officers provided for. The judicial officers were to be a chief justice, and two associate justices of the supreme court, with the same jurisdiction as those of the territory under the organic act. At the republican nominating convention, Mr. Crounse was unanimously chosen as one of the candidates for associate justice. The election occurred, as ordained, on June 2, and its result has a historic interest. Political parties had been formed and active in the territory for several years. They were quite equally divided. It happened that the republicans generally favored, while the democrats, with few exceptions, opposed state admission. The fate of the nominees was bound up with that of the proposed constitution.
   The official canvass for state and judicial offices was by the territorial governor, secretary, and chief justice. The total vote was a little less than eight thousand. By the declared result, the constitution had been adopted by a majority of one hundred, and the republican nominees, with one exception, had been elected. The majorities were small. Judge Crounse had but ten over his highest, and but sixty-five over his weakest opponent1 The re-
   1 William A. Little, Democrat, received the highest number--4,040



turns from two precincts, one showing a majority of seventy-eight, the other of eleven against the constitution, were rejected. Fifty-nine disputed votes in favor of the constitution were counted. If opposite decisions had been made by the board, in each of these instances, the canvass would have shown a majority of forty-eight against the constitution and majorities for all the democratic nominees. Small majorities in elections are frequent, but in no other instance, it is safe to say, has the admission of a state been staked on so perilous a hazard.
   In the bitter partisan feeling of the time, the action of the canvassing board was severely criticized; but its decision was final and unimpeachable. Nebraska took its perpetual place as a state in the American Union, and, despite the disappointments and errors which may have followed it, few, at this day, will doubt the wisdom of its choice.
   The six years term for which Judge Crounse had been elected began with the admission of the state in March, 1867. The territorial judicial system had been continued by the constitution. The chief justice and associates were respectively to hold the district courts in three districts, with full civil, criminal, and law and
--of votes cast for candidates for the office of judge of the supreme court and was elected. George B. Lake, Republican, was second, with 4,108, and Crounse third, with 4,027. Edward W. Thomas, Democrat, was fourth, with 4,017, only ten less than the vote for Crounse. The secretary, governor and auditor canvassed the votes for judicial and state officers, and the governor, attorney and chief justice of the territory, the vote upon the adoption of the constitution, as prescribed in the act of submission. The committee which drafted the constitution was a self-appointed coterie.
   See my footnotes 45 and 46, Nebraska Constitutional Conventions, volume III, page 494, correcting errors upon these points. For a full account of this epochal episode of Nebraska politics see Illustrated History of Nebraska.--ED.



equity jurisdiction, and to sit together twice each year as justices of the supreme court. The third district comprised all the area north of the Platte river, excepting Douglas and Sarpy counties. Judge Crounse was assigned to that district, and removed to Fort Calhoun, Washington county, where he subsequently resided until a few years before his death.
   Thus, at the age of thirty-three years, without previous judicial experience, or the legal knowledge which comes from years of trial and competition in difficult cases, Judge Crounse entered upon the exacting duties of a trial judge, in a district of large area and many organized counties, without facilities of travel, with few conveniences for holding court, or places for administering justice with such dignity and decorum as befits that high function. Added to this was his part in the work and responsibilities of the court of last resort, with no precedents in his own state to aid him and with little help, through a public library, from the decisions of other courts.
   This is not the occasion for inquiring critically, or from the lawyer's standpoint, how those duties were performed. But this can be said, that he brought to their discharge a keen intelligence, an innate sense of justice, a practical understanding, an industry in the search of authority, and a conception in the given cause of "the very right of the matter" which seldom failed to reach correct results.
   It fell to him to write the opinions of the supreme court in several causes known to the profession as "leading cases"; that is, cases in which facts are such that precedents fail to furnish a safe rule of decision, and the judge must rely, greatly, on his own resources of logic and reasoning for their decision. In some of his opin-



ions are found an assurance of expression and apt illustration, a copiousness of authority, and a force of reasoning, which characterizes the ablest jurist, and gave reason to believe that if Judge Crounse had continued on the bench, inspired with an ambition to reach judicial distinction, he would have reached and held it.
   But this did not happen. In 1872, near the close of his judicial term, he was nominated in the Republican state convention for representative in the forty-third Congress; and being again elected in 1874, he served in that body for four years. Nebraska, at that time, was entitled to only one representative, who was thus charged with the interest of a constituency scattered over a great area, in a country new and crude as compared with the settled and populous districts of the older states. Such a constituency does not demand of its representative so much that he make a conspicuous figure in national politics as that he take care that its material interests are promoted. But Judge Crounse was a member of important committees, among them the committee on territories, at that time one of large responsibility, and he was an influential and active member of the Congress.
   Railroad interests had become important. The Union Pacific, along the Platte River, had been completed. The system of local railways, one above and one below the Platte, were being extended and ramified. In the friction between transportation companies and their patrons, and in the rivalries between competing companies, so far as affected by legislation, representative Crounse, by conviction and impulse, was on the side of those most needing protection. He introduced and pressed the bill for the taxation of the great bodies of land grant subsidies in the new regions of the West; another to abolish the oppressive tolls over the Union Pacific railroad bridge

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