The Williamsport Sun-Gazette published the following article about the McCormick Law Firm, in the January 2005 Chamber of Commerce insert:

Law Firm Part of City's History

By STEPHANIE FARR Sun-Gazette Staff

McCormick Law OfficeAt 142 years and counting, McCormick Law Firm, 835 W. Fourth St., is the oldest law firm in northcentral Pennsylvania, and for a variety of good reasons.

The firm, which was founded by Seth T. McCormick Jr. in 1862, matured side-by-side with the city of Williamsport. In its infancy, the firm represented lumber and railroading interests, and today, along with many other areas of practice, McCormick Law Firm serves local governments throughout the area, such as boroughs and townships.

The first McCormick to practice law in the area was originally a farmer from White Deer Township, said firm partner, William E. Nichols. In those days, standard schooling was not required to practice law, and Nichols said that McCormick passed the legal exam at the time by reading legal books at local lawyers’ offices.

Seth’s son, Henry Clay McCormick, would follow in his father’s law-abiding foot steps and eventually came to be elected as a member of Congress and served as Attorney General for Pennsylvania from 1887 to 1894. The last member of the McCormick family to serve the law firm was Henry Clay McCormick Jr., who retired more than 15 years ago, but is currently alive, well and living in Florida, according to Nichols.

Today, the 12 members of the firm who carry on the McCormick name are committed to providing the best in legal services, and with 215 years of experience between all of the law firm members, they are well-equipped at answering and servicing a variety of legal questions.

“Our firm is a general law firm and we handle all phases of the law that are appropriate for the area,” Nichols said.

Although the firm does handle personal cases and domestic relations work, like divorces, they specialize in representing corporations, doctors, hospitals and small businesses.

“Our firm has been prominent over the years for representing the business interest in the community,” Nichols said. That aspect of their legal practice led the firm to join with the local Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, an affiliation which has been in place since before Nichols joined the company in 1957.

The chamber represents the business and commercial end of the community, and as lawyers who represent a lot of those businesses, we naturally want to participate in that organization,” Nichols said. The chamber is just part of everyone; everyone has a duty do something for the community and being in the chamber is one of those things you can do.”

The firm’s offices, though not as old as the law firm itself, are also a part of the historic downtown Williamsport landscape. Located within a Victorian mansion on West Fourth Street known as the Emery House, the law offices are as equally impressive as the knowledge and experience of the lawyers within it.

The mansion was originally designed and built by Eber Culver in 1888 as a wedding gift to John White’s daughter, Mary Gamble, who married William Emery, according to the firm’s Website.

Throughout the mansion’s history, it has been used as an apartment house and also, by the U.S. Army as a reserve center during the 1 940s, the firm’s Website said. While stationed in the mansion, soldiers used the walls and ceilings for target practice, a fact which was obvious by the 1000 pounds of plaster which had fallen onto the floors.

In 1956, Dr. Francis Costello purchased the home, and after extensive restorations, used the space as his residence and also as a place out of which to conduct his orthopedic surgery business.

It was in 1974 that the McCormick Law Firm acquired the property and has been practicing law out of the beautiful structure ever since.