Thomas Wilson Spence

Last updated
Thomas Wilson Spence (1846-1912) Thomas Wilson Spence.jpg
Thomas Wilson Spence (1846-1912)

Thomas Wilson Spence (September 2, 1846 – February 23, 1912) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a Wisconsin lawyer and a Republican member of the Wisconsin Legislature. A member of the “Ohio Five” matriculating at Cornell University during that institution’s early years, counselor Spence died suddenly, aged 65, on February 23, 1912, while making oral argument in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chambers at Madison, Wisconsin. [1] [2] “He died with his tie on.”

Wisconsin A north-central state of the United States of America

Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 23rd largest state by total area and the 20th most populous. The state capital is Madison, and its largest city is Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties.

Republican Party (United States) political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Wisconsin Legislature

The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Wisconsin State Senate and the lower Wisconsin State Assembly, both of which have had Republican majorities since January 2011. With both houses combined, the legislature has 132 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. The Legislature convenes at the state capitol in Madison.

Contents

Early life

Mr. Spence’s Cornell Alumni News obituary listed him as born at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In fact, he was not ‘native’ but rather born in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland or in County Cork [1] on September 2, 1846. The family immigrated to Chillicothe, Ohio, in the wake of Án Gorta Mór or the Great Famine of 1845–1848. The Spence family relocated to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, in 1865. Spence returned to Ohio for studies at Ohio Wesleyan University and joined the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. He transferred to Cornell in 1869 with several fraternity brothers, taking his Bachelor of Arts, classical course in 1870, after serving as 'the fourth founder' of the New York Alpha Chapter, Phi Kappa Psi at Cornell University. He was a member of the Irving Literary Society.

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Place in Wisconsin, United States

Fond du Lac is a city in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 43,021 at the 2010 census. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Fond du Lac Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Fond du Lac County. Fond du Lac is the 342nd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States. The Fond du Lac MSA and the Beaver Dam (city), Wisconsin Micropolitan Statistical Area, form the larger Fond du Lac-Beaver Dam Combined Statistical Area.

Dungannon town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Dungannon is a town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is the third-largest town in the county and had a population of 15,889 at the 2011 Census. The Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council had its headquarters in the town, though since 2015 it has been covered by Mid-Ulster District Council.

County Tyrone Place

County Tyrone is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture.

Spence married into a family with ties to upstate New York. His spouse, Mary Cornelia Talmidge of Granville, Wisconsin, was born March 21, 1855, to Nancy Ann Eastman (b. 1820) of Oswego, New York, and Montgomery Wilson Talmidge (1816–1887), hardware merchant, whose parents were from New York. [3] Mr. Spence and his wife had one child, Thomas Henry Spence, a Yale man, class of 1899.

Oswego, New York City in New York, United States

Oswego is a city in Oswego County, New York, United States. The population was 18,142 at the 2010 census. Oswego is located on Lake Ontario in north-central New York and promotes itself as "The Port City of Central New York". It is the county seat of Oswego County.

Career

Spence began the practice of law at Fond du Lac, hanging his own shingle as the law firm of Coleman & Spence, which then changed its name to Spence & Hiner. [4] He served as postmaster of the town from 1879 to 1883. [1] In 1877 and 1879 he was a member of the Wisconsin Legislature. It was as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly that Thomas Spence was listed in the Blue Book of 1879, representing the Third District, Fond du Lac with a Population of 15,838. His second election in 1879, garnered 1,055 votes, against 605 for John Bunnell, (Democrat), and 507 for James Fitzgerald (Greenbacker). [5]

Wisconsin State Assembly lower house of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin Senate, the two constitute the legislative branch of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.

About 1890, the Spence family moved to Milwaukee, taking up residence at 19 Prospect Avenue. [6] Thomas became a member of the law firm of Quarles, Spence & Quarles, [1] his partners being Charles Quarles and Joseph Very Quarles, who was a United States Senator from Wisconsin in 1899-1905. [7] In 1902, counselor Spence was listed with fellow fraternity brothers Joseph B. Foraker and Morris Lyon Buchwalter in the publication, Notable Men of the West. The firm established by Spence and the Quarles survives, in some respects, in the 21st century. Borgelt, Powell, Peterson & Frauen S.C. traces its origins to 1881 when Joseph V. Quarles and John B. Winslow formed the firm of Winslow and Quarles with offices in Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin. Winslow later became Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Joseph V. Quarles remained with the firm and was soon joined by his brother, Charles Quarles and later by Thomas W. Spence. The firm of Quarles and Spence flourished throughout the late 19th century. In 1893 the firm became known as Quarles, Spence and Quarles, the name which the firm held until 1957. Another name change occurred and in 1970 the firm took its current name of Borgelt, Powell, Peterson & Frauen S.C., which has more than 25 attorneys. While maintaining the firm's core practice representing the insurance industry, the firm also counsels clients on many litigation, employment and business related matters. While much has changed since the firm's founding in 1881, Borgelt, Powell, Peterson & Frauen S.C. remains committed to the highest principles of legal scholarship, courtroom performance and client counseling today, just as from 1881 through the present.

Joseph B. Foraker Union United States Army officer

Joseph Benson Foraker was the 37th Governor of Ohio from 1886 to 1890 and a Republican United States Senator from 1897 until 1909.

Morris Lyon Buchwalter American judge

Morris Lyon Buchwalter was a radical Ohio Republican jurist of the post-Civil War era whose jurisprudence set a progressive standard following the failure of Reconstruction and during the rise in management/labor tensions in the Gilded Age.

Joseph V. Quarles lawyer, politician, United States federal judge

Joseph Very Quarles Jr. was an American lawyer and politician of the Republican Party who served as a United States federal judge and as a United States Senator from Wisconsin.

Death

"Mr. Spence's sudden death occurred in the Wisconsin Supreme Court chambers at Madison. He was one of the attorneys in a case which was being argued and he was sitting at the attorneys' table. He suddenly fell across the table and when attendants reached his side he was dead. Although he had been one of the most active and best known lawyers in Wisconsin, he had not mixed in politics since the days when he practiced in Fond du Lac. Although pressed many times to be a candidate for office he had always refused." [2]

Wisconsin Supreme Court the highest court in the U.S. state of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in Wisconsin. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over original actions, appeals from lower courts, and regulation or administration of the practice of law in Wisconsin.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, counselor at law, solicitor, chartered legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Two years after counselor Spence’s death, it was written in the History of Wisconsin: “ . . . the important law firm of Quarles, Spence & Quarles, with offices in the Sentinel Building at Milwaukee. The interested principals in this firm are all able representatives of the second generation of their respective families in the legal profession in Wisconsin, since each of the members is a son of a distinguished Wisconsin lawyer, the fathers of the present members having likewise been associated in their practice. William C. and Joseph V. Quarles, Jr., are sons of the late Judge Joseph V. Quarles, who was one of the leading members of the Wisconsin bar and who served with distinction as United States Senator and United States District Judge. Thomas H. Spence, the other member of the firm, is a son of the late Thomas W. Spence, whose name is one of marked prominence in connection with the history of Wisconsin jurisprudence.” [8]

Related Research Articles

Waupun, Wisconsin City in Wisconsin, United States

Waupun is a city in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 11,340 at the 2010 census. Of this, 7,864 were in Dodge County, and 3,476 were in Fond du Lac County. In Fond du Lac County, the Town of Waupun abuts the city of Waupun.

F. Ryan Duffy United States federal judge and U.S. Senator

Francis Ryan Duffy was a United States Senator from Wisconsin, a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac

The Diocese of Fond du Lac is a diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, encompassing the northeastern third of Wisconsin. The diocese contains about 5,700 baptized members worshipping in 37 locations. It is part of Province 5. Diocesan offices are in Appleton, Wisconsin. The Diocesan Archives are maintained in Grafton Hall behind the Cathedral in Fond du Lac. Matthew Gunter is its bishop.

<i>The Reporter</i> (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) daily newspaper in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

The Reporter is a daily newspaper based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin owned by Gannett. It serves primarily Fond du Lac and northern Dodge County in East Central Wisconsin.

Michael Reilly American politician

Michael Kieran Reilly, was a U.S. representative from Wisconsin.

George Koonce is an American athlete and athletic director. A former linebacker in the National Football League (NFL), he served as the athletic director at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee between 2009 and 2010.

Russell Jacobus American bishop

Russell Edward Jacobus was the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac in The Episcopal Church. Jacobus was consecrated as bishop on 24 May 1994. Prior to becoming bishop, he served as Rector of St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Waukesha, Wisconsin. At the close of Diocesan convention on October 20, 2012, he announced his intention to retire one year hence, on October 31, 2013.

Henry Schoellkopf American football player and coach, lawyer

Henry Schoellkopf was an American football player and coach. He was selected as an All-American fullback while attending Harvard Law School in 1903. He was the head coach of the Cornell Big Red football team from 1907 to 1908, compiling a record of 15–3–1.

Harwood Sturtevant was the Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA.

William J. Gilboy was a teacher from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who served one term as a Socialist member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1911-1912.

J. Herbert Green American politician

Joseph Herbert Lowell Green was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Richard "Rick" Gudex was an American manufacturing production manager and Republican politician from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He was the former Fond du Lac City Council president, and on November 6, 2012, he defeated incumbent Democrat Jessica King from her seat in the Wisconsin State Senate's 18th District by 590 votes.

Rensselaer Morse Lewis was an American merchant from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin who served a single one-year term in 1873 as a Liberal Reform Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.

Morgan L. Noble (1817–1857) was an American Methodist minister, and later lumberman from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, who spent two one-year terms in 1849-1850 as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from Fond du Lac County, first as a Free Soiler, then as a Democrat.

Louis Eidemiller was an American physician and politician.

Herman Schroeder was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Henry C. Bottum was a farmer, American politician and member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Kate Pier American lawyers

Kate Pier was an American court commissioner and the first woman in the United States to be conferred with judicial powers.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Thos. W. Spence Stricken Down in Court Room". Green Bay Press-Gazette. February 24, 1912. p. 1. Retrieved October 19, 2016 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  2. 1 2 Obituaries: T. W. Spence '70 [ permanent dead link ], Cornell Alumni News, (March 6, 1912)(14:22) at 261.[ dead link ]
  3. Guy Scoby, Eastman Family (1901)
  4. "Thomas Wilson Spence" Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine ., The History of Fond du Lac County (Western Historical Company, 1880) at 861.
  5. Blue Book, Wisconsin (1879) at 492.
  6. Directory of Milwaukee Elite (1890-1891)
  7. Notable Men of the West (Inter Ocean Newspaper Co. 1902) p. 63 .
  8. Ellis Usher Baker, History of Wisconsin (1914) at 206.