Bio: Meggett, Alexander (1881)


Surnames: Meggett, McArthur, Collyer, Tabor, Smith, Nethers, Fritz, Noble, Murray, Moseby, Wheeler, Carter, Davey, Jump, Muzzy, Rusk, Drew, McVicar, Bartlett, Jenckes, Farnesworth, Greeley

----Source: History of Northern Wisconsin (Eau Claire County, Wis.) 1881, page 328

ALEXANDER MEGGETT, Eau Claire, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, March 26, 1824, and came to America when a little over three years old, with his parents, Alexander and Sarah Meggett (nee MacArthur), natives of Scotland. They settled at Uxbridge, Mass., living there till 1836 or 1837, when they removed to Chicopee Falls, town of Springfield, Mass., where they resided until 1841, in which year they located at Slatersville, R. I., where his father died, in January, 1844. His mother died at Pawtucket, R. I., November, 1868. Mr. Meggett labored in cotton manufactories until he was nineteen, when he commenced to educate himself. At Wilbraham Academy, Wilbraham, Mass., and at Washington, Litchfield Co., Conn., he prepared himself to enter Middleton (now Wesleyan) University. He was in that institution the college year of 1846-7, having entered three years in advance in the sciences, two years in belle letters and one year in mathematics. He commenced teaching in the public schools of Slatersville in the Spring of 1847, and was married there, Aug. 11, 1847, to Mary Collyer Tabor, who was born at that place, June 11, 1826, and died at Pawtucket, March 8, 1854, leaving two children, Alexander Alden, born June 21, l848,and accidentally shot by his own gun, and killed, at Augusta, Wis., Aug. 21, 1864, and Mary Tabor (Mrs. John S. Smith), who died suddenly, June 23, 1881, at Eau Claire, having been born Sept. 14, 1851, at Pawtucket, Mass. In the Winter of 1847-8, Mr. Meggett removed to Pawtucket, Mass., and taught in the public schools there for nearly five years. He studied law in 1851-2, while engaged in teaching, with Hon. C. B. Farnesworth, of Pawtucket, and completed his legal studies the year following with Hon. Thomas A. Jenckes, of the city of Providence, and was admitted to the Bar in March, 1853, in that city, and commenced practice in Pawtucket, R. I., and practiced in Providence for a year immediately prior to coming West, in May. 1857. In June, 1857, he visited Eau Claire, and permanently located there in July following, when he commenced, and has ever since continued, to practice his profession. During the Winter of 1857-8, he was editor of the Eau Claire Times. He was the second lawyer who settled in Eau Claire County, W. P. Bartlett, Esq., having preceded him but a few weeks. He was married, June 11, 1868, in Milwaukee, to his present wife, Mrs. Sarah A. Drew, a daughter of Archibald McVicar, one of the pioneer settlers of Eau Claire County. They have two children, Arthur Alexander, born June 15, l869, and Frank Tarrante, born Aug. 6, 1873. Mr. Meggett has held the offices of Town Superintendent of Public Schools and City Attorney. He early identified himself with the Democratic party, and when a candidate for Congress, in 1870, against Hon. Jerry Rusk, reduced the usual Republican majority in his district from 8,000 to a little over 3,000 and in his own county the usual 700 or 800 Republican majority to 143. Since the nomination of Horace Greeley, in 1872, he has been an out-spoken and ardent Republican. In the Spring of 1875, he accepted the call of the citizens of Eau Claire and Buffalo counties, without distinction of party, to run as a candidate for Circuit Judge for the circuit including those counties and Trempealeau. The latter county voted nearly solid for its resident candidate, and he was elected. The famous measure known as the "Dells Bill," passed several times by the Wisconsin Legislature, and once declared unconstitutional by its Supreme Court, was not sustained by that court as constitutional and valid, as it was in 1876, until the bill was passed as finally revised and approved by Mr. Meggett, as City Attorney for Eau Claire, which office was accepted by him mainly with a view to make this important measure a success in the courts. Mr. Meggett has doubtless been engaged in more important criminal cases than any other lawyer in this section of the State, having been either sole or leading counsel in the following murder trials: The State of Wisconsin against Nethers, Fritz, Noble, Murray, Moseby, Mrs. Wheeler and Carter, Davey, Jump and Muzzy, besides many cases of homicide, in various degrees, and other important cases, both criminal and civil. His untiring zeal for his clients cause, his professional learning and ability, and his peculiar forcibleness and success in jury trials, both civil and criminal, have justly merited him that prominence which has so generously been accorded him by members of his own profession, as by others.




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