Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pinkston, Wilkins - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: Wilkins Pinkston
Age: 25
Sex: Male
Month of Death: January
State of Birth: Tennessee
Cause of Death: Pneumonia

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Phillips, Martha - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: Martha Phillips
Age: 2 months
Sex: Female
Month of Death: December
State of Birth: Tennessee
Cause of Death: Hives

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Palmer, John - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: John Palmer
Age: 15
Sex: Male
Month of Death: June
State of Birth: Tennessee
Cause of Death: Dropsy*

Dropsy - Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease.

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Page, William - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: William Page
Age: 58
Sex: Male
Month of Death: September
State of Birth: North Carolina
Cause of Death: Flux

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Neill, Mary - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: Mary Neill
Age: 54
Sex: Female
Month of Death: April
State of Birth: Kentucky
Cause of Death: Small Pox

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Munn, James - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: James Munn
Age: 55
Sex: Male
Month of Death: September
State of Birth: North Carolina
Cause of Death: Cholera

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Morris, James W. - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: James W. Morris
Age: 21
Sex: Male
Month of Death: March
State of Birth: Tennessee
Cause of Death: Small Pox

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Morris, Cary - 1860

1860 mortality schedule recorded between 01-Jun-1859 and 31-May-1860.  Items marked with an * are defined at the end.

Name: Cary Morris
Age: 40
Sex: Male
Month of Death: March
State of Birth: South Carolina
Cause of Death: Small Pox

~ Carroll County Tennessee 1860 Mortality Schedule

Elwell, Charles Prentice - 1915

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children: Ephraim W., deceased; George E.; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Charles Prentice Elwell.

Elwell, Robert "Robbie" - xxxx

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children: Ephraim W., deceased; George E.; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Robert "Robbie" Elwell.

Elwell, Martha "Mattie" T. - xxxx

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children: Ephraim W., deceased; George E.; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Martha "Mattie" T. Elwell.

Funk, Nevin Ursinus - 1852

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children: Ephraim W., deceased; George E.; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Nevin Ursinus Funk.

Funk, Mary Louise [Elwell] - 1853

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children: Ephraim W., deceased; George E.; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Mary Louise [Elwell] Funk.

Elwell, George E. - xxxx

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children: Ephraim W., deceased; George E.; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

Elwell, Ephraim W. - 1845

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased ; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased ; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children : Ephraim W., deceased; George E. ; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood ; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Ephraim W. Elwell.

Elwell, Mary Louise [Thayer] - 1844

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased ; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased ; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children : Ephraim W., deceased; George E. ; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood ; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Mary Louise [Thayer] Elwell.

Elwell, Horace - xxxx

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased ; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased ; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children : Ephraim W., deceased; George E. ; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood ; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

Smith, Clemana E. [Elwell] - 1838

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased ; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased ; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children : Ephraim W., deceased; George E. ; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood ; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for Clemana E. [Elwell] Smith.

Elwell, William - xxxx

HON. WILLIAM ELWELL. The annals of the bench and bar of Pennsylvania record no worthier, nobler life than that of the Hon. William Elwell. For twenty-six years he was president judge of the Twenty-sixth Judicial district of the State, being the representative of no political party, but of the people, and during that time he meted out justice with impartial hand. Few could cope with him in legal learning, and his record as a judge shows that in nearly every case in which his decision was appealed to a higher court the Supreme judges sustained his rulings.

Judge Elwell was a son of Dan and Nancy (Prentice) Elwell, and was born at Milltown, near Athens, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 9, 1808. He was a descendant of a prominent old family of Staffordshire, England. The first of the name to come to America was Robert Elwell, who, it is thought, came over in the ship "Griffin" with Governor Haynes and Rev. Thomas Hooker. Robert Elwell located at Salem, Mass., prior to 1635, but later settled at Eastern Point, Mass., where he died in 1683.

Jabez Elwell, great-grandfather of William Elwell, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving in the Dutchess county (N. Y.) militia under Colonel Ludenton. His son, John Elwell was also an active participant in that great struggle, being among the men who, in answer to the "Lexington alarm," marched from Connecticut towns to the relief of Boston in April, 1775.

Dan Elwell, father of Judge Elwell, married Nancy Prentice, a daughter of Dr. Amos Prentice,  who traced her lineage back through seven generations to Capt. Thomas Prentice, about 1620, who lived at Newton Center,Mass., and was formerly a soldier in the army of Cromwell. His death, at the age of ninety-one, resulted from being thrown from a horse while going to church. Dr. Amos Prentice served as a surgeon in the Revolution and when New London, Conn., was destroyed by the British under Benedict Arnold he was forced to flee for his life, and removed with his family to Milltown, Pa., near Athens, residing there until his death.

Dan Elwell and his wife were the parents of six children.

William Elwell spent his early life in Milltown, receiving a good education at the Athens Academy, which he attended until nineteen years old, surveying being one of his studies. Soon after he was assistant to Chief Engineer Randall in running lines along the Susquehanna to locate a canal from the New York State line, which afterwards became the North Branch canal. Following this he taught school for three years and then began the study of law in the office of Horace Williston. His decision to become a lawyer was the outcome of his perusal of law books which belonged to an uncle of that profession, William Prentice, whose library came into the possession of his father. He made rapid advancement and was admitted to the bar in February, 1833, locating at Towanda and practicing successfully in partnership with his preceptor for sixteen years, when Mr. Williston was appointed judge of the Thirteenth Judicial district.

In 1842 and 1843 Mr. Elwell was elected by the Democrats as a member of the Legislature. During his first term he was chairman of the Judiciary committee, which included in its membership Judges Gamble, Sharswood, Barrett, Hendrick B. Wright and Thaddeus Stevens. One of the monuments to his memory is the law abolishing imprisonment for debt, which was prepared by him, and to-day remains unchanged. In his second term he was chairman of the committee on Ways and Means. In 1844 he declined a nomination for Congress, preferring his profession to politics.

In 1866, after he became a judge, he yielded to the demands of his party with great reluctance, and accepted a nomination to Congress in the Twelfth district, then composed of Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Wyoming and Sullivan counties. Though defeated he polled a vote far in excess of his party ticket. He made no canvass for votes, and made but three speeches during the campaign, all of them outside of his judicial district.

As a lawyer Judge Elwell had few equals. His services were sought not only in Bradford, but in all the adjoining counties. In 1862 his reputation was such that when a vacancy on the bench of the Twenty-sixth district occurred, by the resignation of Judge Warren J. Woodward, a committee of the bar waited upon him and invited him to accept the nomination. He was elected, and so performed his duties that in 1872 he was re-elected, the other political party refusing to place a candidate in the field. In May, 1874, Wyoming and Sullivan counties were made the Forty-fourth district, and Columbia and Montour the Twenty-sixth, and he selected the latter as his jurisdiction.

Upon his first election he moved to Bloomsburg. In April, 1871, he was chosen umpire to settle the disputes between miners and operators of the anthracite region. His decision was accepted by both sides and stood for many years as the wage scale. He was several times urged to allow the use of his name as a candidate for Supreme judge, and at other times for governor, but he declined. His second term nearly ended, the bar of the district unanimously signed a paper requesting him to accept the nomination for a third term, to which he consented, and he was. elected without opposition, thus demonstrating how much better it is to select a judge from outside the district than to have the office made the object of a political scramble.

Many important cases were transferred from other counties to Columbia for trial before him, and it is estimated that he was called to other counties to hold special courts oftener than any other judge in the State. Ejectment cases involving title to coal lands worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Cameron will case from Union county, involving two million dollars, and the "Mollie Maguire" case, were among the celebrated trials before him. During his entire service but eight or nine cases he decided in the Common Pleas were reversed, and in most of these the Supreme court reversed itself in reversing him. But one equity case was reversed, and none in the Oyer and Terminer, Quarter Sessions and Orphans' courts.

After twenty-six years on the bench Judge Elwell's health began to decline, and in 1888 he spent the winter in Florida by his physician's advice, but without relief. In July, 1889, six months after his illness began, he resigned the office. His extreme conscientiousness would not permit him to continue to draw a salary which he did not earn. There have been but few such instances in the State. He lived in retirement in Bloomsburg until Oct. 15, 1895, when he passed away after only two days' confinement to his bed, leaving to his family the legacy of a noble life well spent.

Few men ever possessed the confidence and esteem of the public to a higher degree. On the day of his funeral places of business were closed as a token of respect. The services at St. Paul's Church were attended by a gathering that filled the church to the doors. The trustees of the Normal School, the town council, and the vestry of the church all passed memorial resolutions. His remains were taken to Towanda and interred in the family lot.

Though more than a quarter century has passed since he occupied the bench, it is still not an infrequent occurrence to hear him spoken of with admiration, and to hear the older residents say : "We ne'er shall look upon his like again." Upon his retirement a banquet was tendered him by the bar ot [sic] the district which was attended by a large number of distinguished judges and lawyers. The attendance and the speeches made were such an honor as has seldom if ever been shown a judge in this State.

The Judge was one of the foremost citizens of the county in other matters than the courts, always active in all matters that pertained to the welfare of the community. In 1868 he was elected a trustee of the Normal School, and was president of that body from 1873 to 1891. He was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church. In 1881 he was appointed by Governor Hoyt a member of the Bi-centennial committee.

Judge Elwell was twice married, his first wife being Clemana Shaw, of Towanda, by whom he had three children : William, deceased ; Clemana, who married P. H. Smith, of Plymouth, Wis., both deceased ; and Horace, who died in infancy. This wife died, and in September, 1844, he married Mary Louise Thayer, of Watkins, N. Y., by whom he had the following children : Ephraim W., deceased; George E. ; Mary Louise, deceased, who married N. U. Funk, of Bloomsburg; Martha T. and Robert, who died in childhood ; and Charles P., of Bloomsburg.

~ Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Volume II, Published by J. H. Beers & Company, 1915, Page 672 & 673

You can visit the memorial page for William Elwell.