Obit: Salter, Richard B. (1854 - 1914)

Contact:  Stan


----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) 05/28/1914

Salter, Richard B. (11 APR 1854 - 25 MAY 1914)

Judge R.B. Salter died at his home in this city (Colby, Clark Co., Wis.), at 11:35 Monday night, May 25th, 1914, of heart disease, aged 60 years, 1 month, and 14 days.

Heartfelt sorrow was manifest on every hand Tuesday morning, at the announcement of the death of our townsman, one of our foremost citizens, Richard Byron Salter, whose name and energy have been identified with this growing community for thirty-five years.

Of rigorous frame and iron constitution, he withstood all assaults against the integrity of his health until a year and one half ago, when the symptoms of the disease that ultimately caused his death made their first appearance, gradually holding his own, the announcement came as a shock to his friends in the community and in the commonwealth, all of whom voice expressions of deepest and sincerest sympathy for the bereaved wife and children.

During his residence in Colby, Northern Wisconsin has been transformed a wilderness into one of the most prosperous agricultural areas of the state, and his influence made large contribution of this development, his many trips to the various sections of Wisconsin affording him large opportunity to exploit the interests of the section in which his hopes and aspirations were centered.

He won signal success in his chosen profession of law. His mental habit was to examine a question from all possible standpoints, then by careful, conscientious consideration to arrive at the judgment that would stand the test of truth.

This judgment once reached was final and he was fearless in advocacy of what he believed to be right, no force being forceful enough to swerve him from what the believed to be the path of duty, he never took advantage of a witness, respecting always their mental attitude and limitations.

He had rare ability as a reasoner, his arguments before a jury being clear, logical and convincing. Clients came to him from all parts of the state, recognizing the high quality of the service rendered by him.

One of the finest compliments that could be paid to anyone was paid to him by a mutual friend, who remarked, "If you have entrusted your case to Judge Salter, and he cannot win, then clearly your contention does not conform to the law."

As County Judge he was patient, impartial and just in his decisions. He was best known as a FRIEND. Fortunate those, and their name is legion, with whom his acquaintance ripened into friendship. The respect and confidence of friendship were always mutual, and his generous, sympathetic nature led him to take a personal interest in his friends.

Many men now occupying positions of honor and responsibility in all lines of worthy human endeavor owe their advancement to his encouragement and favor. His was a nature that never courted popularity, that never did anything inconsistent with a manly spirit to win friendship.

It was his intrinsic worth which acted with magnetic force in attracting hosts of friends throughout the state among members of the bar, political associates, fraternal brethren, and all with whom he came in personal contact. His charities were many but not made known before men.

His family life was ideal, the home was pervaded with the atmosphere of love and of generous hospitality. None who visited the home at frequent or rare intervals can ever forget his cordial works of greeting, his warm hand clasp, and the delightful entertainment of wholesome conversation, a fine art in which he excelled.

He was a man who thought little of himself, of his own life, but who thought much of others, their lives, their comforts, their conveniences, living the doctrine that "He who loses his life shall save it."

His interest in problems that promoted the interests of government and the well being of its people, his genuinely democratic and unselfish spirit, made him an earnest man, simple in his tastes, simple in his dress and simple in his activities, all of which endeared him to the toiler as well as the professional man.

The creative faculty of the imagination, strong in adults as well as in children, fashions for us the ideals by which we live and lifts the race to higher and higher planes.

There is no one who knew Richard Byron Salter well who could not gather some inspiration from his honesty, his charity, his ability, his friendly spirit, and his interest in the welfare of others.

He spoke ill of no man and could look through the veil of contention, jealousy, and narrowness, perceive the good, and speak it.

Genial - In the face of annoyance he never lost his tempter; patient - his manifold duties never irritated him; honest - no man breathed a suspicion against him; inspiring - all felt better on leaving his presence; loyal - he never violated a confidence; industrious - he was always employed in some useful duty; great hearted and public spirited - he could always be counted upon to support any worthy cause.

His life work is done. He has left the stamp of high personality on City, County and State. His race is run. But the real Richard B. Salter, the immortal spirit still lives with us as an abiding and uplifting influence.

Because he lived among us we shall live more abundantly, and our lives will be stronger, more charitable, more useful, more just, and more lovely.

The words of the poet are most fitting:

"His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him,

That nature might stand up and say to all the world,

This was a man."

Richard B. Salter is a native of Wisconsin. He was born in Washington Co., April 11th, 1854. He received a good common school education and taught school for a few terms. In 1875 he commenced the study of law at West Bend, Wis. He afterward entered the law department of the Wis. University and graduated from that institution in 1878. The following year, April 9th, he came to Colby and commenced the practice of law, building up an excellent practice. He alwo engaged quite largely in farming and lumbering. He filled the offices of town clerk and chairman of the town of Colby. In 1889 he was elected county judge for Clark County and held the office two terms, eight years. He was married in West Bend, Sept. 11th, 1880, to Miss Sarah Engelhard, and returned to Colby a week later and has made Colby his home ever since. He was Mayor of the city for several years, and a member of the board of education. Always working for the best interests of the city and schools.

He held the position of Grand Marshal in the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows, and was eligible to the position of Deputy Grand Master, at the annual meeting which will be held in La Crosse next week.

He is survived by his widow, one daughter and three sons, Hortense, Mrs. C.E. Freeman of Menomonie; Richard G., assistant cashier in the Colby State Bank; G.H. and J.F., merchants at Pittsville. Also by five brothers and three sisters - M.D., West Bend; J.W., Unity; Wm. M., Chicago; Frank J., Prentice; Mrs. Mary Connell, Colgate; Mrs. Ella Willis, Chicago; Thomas, West Bend, Mrs. Jennie Harris, St. Paul.

Funeral services will be held this afternoon under the auspices of the Odd Fellows, at the residence. The remains will be taken to West Bend Friday, for burial.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel