Deceased Resident Members of the Bar
(P - R)
Allen Perley Page, Jr.
Allen P. Page, Jr. was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, September 5, 1923, the son of Allen P. Page and Ruth Gleason Page. He graduated from Williamsport High School in 1941, and entered Duke University in September, 1941.
In 1943, during World War II, Mr. Page left college to enlist in the United States Army Air Corps. He attained the rank of sergeant, and served as a weatherman in Greenland and the South Pacific area. He was discharged in late 1945, and re-entered Duke the following year. At the completion of his undergraduate course he entered Duke School of Law, and received his LL.B. degree in 1949.
He was admitted to the Lycoming County Bar on December 20, 1949 upon motion of Joseph M. McNerney, Esquire. Thereafter he actively engaged in practice until 1974, when he became incapacitated by the long illness which resulted in his death on October 3, 1975. Measured in years, his life was comparatively short, although it was unusually worthwhile.
Allen Page became an associate with Joseph M. McNerney in December, 1949. On August 1, 1951, they formed the partnership of McNerney and Page. Subsequently O. William Vanderlin and T. Max Hall joined the firm and their offices were moved to 433 Market Street.
The firm is now known as McNerney, Page, Vanderlin & Hall.
Allen married Grace Haynes in Salisbury, North Carolina, on August 21, 1948, and they subsequently moved to Williamsport. They had two children, Allen P. Page, III and Peggy Page Redka.
Al Page was a “lawyer’s lawyer”. All members of Lycoming County Bar recognized his outstanding ability. At all times he displayed an evenness of temper, and an inherent honesty and integrity in his relations with clients, friends, other attorneys, and employees. He always cheerfully accepted his professional duties and responsibility. He was active in Lycoming Law Association, serving as its president in 1960.
He was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church, of which he was a former vestryman and senior warden. He also participated in diocesan affairs, being a member of the standing committee of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. He believed in and practiced tithing and during his life capably performed every position of responsibility for his church.
He was a member of the board of the Family and Children’s Service of Lycoming County, and of the School of Hope. He was also a director of the Clarkson Chemical Company, solicitor for the Williamsport Redevelopment Authority, and an examiner for the Civil Service Commission. He was an active member in both the Pennsylvania and the American Bar Associations.
Anson Virgil Parsons
Anson V. Parsons was born in Granville, Massachusetts in 1798. After a thorough course in the schools of that day, he entered the first law school in the United States, the celebrated school at Litchfield, Connecticut, conducted by Tapping Reeve, from which he was graduated with high honors. He spent some time in the law office of Andrew Porter, at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in 1824 located at Jersey Shore, where he opened the first law office in that town. By close attention to his profession, Mr. Parsons soon acquired a good practice and built up a fine reputation as a lawyer. No one at this bar could gain the attention of a jury more quickly nor retain it more successfully than Mr. Parsons. He studied the evidence in his cases thoroughly before they came to trial, and was prepared to make masterly arguments to secure the admission of his own evidence, and the rejection of much that was offered by his opponents.
On January 22, 1843, he was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth by Governor Porter, and served until February 16, 1844. He was subsequently elected State Senator, but before the expiration of his term, he was appointed President Judge of the judicial district then composed of Dauphin, Lebanon and Schuylkill Counties. He was afterwards appointed an Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, and at the close of his term resumed his practice in that city. During his residence there, he collected and published two volumes of very valuable equity decisions entitled, “Parsons’ Equity Cases.” Judge Parsons married Mary, daughter of James Hepburn, of Northumberland County. Mrs. Parsons died in 1853, and Mr. Parsons never remarried. He continued to reside in Philadelphia, where he died in September 1882.
On March 5, 1839, he was chosen State Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Alexander Irvin the preceding month. The senatorial district was at that time composed of the counties of Center, Clearfield, Lycoming, Potter and McKean. The local contest at that time concerned the formation of the new county of Clinton, which was being advocated by the eccentric Jerry Church. Notwithstanding Senator Parsons was elected through the influence of the party opposing the erection of Clinton County, Church won the fight.
Mr. and Mrs. Parsons had the following children: Henry C., a member of this bar; Emma, married Howard Richmond; Elizabeth was unmarried, as was Francis Wadsworth, of California.
Henry C. Parsons
Henry C. Parsons was a son of Judge Parsons and was born February 10, 1824, at Jersey Shore, and removed with his father’s family to Williamsport when but a few months old. He was educated in the public schools of Williamsport, and in 1851 entered the sophomore class of Brown University, from which he was graduated in 1854. He studied law in the office of his father in Philadelphia and was admitted to that bar in 1857. He returned to Williamsport in the fall of that year and opened a law office where he continued to practice until his death.
In 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted and served as Sergt. of Company B, 11th P.V., and in 1864 he be came Captain of Company B, 115th P.V. In 1873-74, he was a member of the Constitutional Convention, an honor which he shared with the most distinguished talent of the state. In 1881 he was elected Mayor of Williamsport, and conducted a business-like ad ministration. When he left the office of Mayor he carried with him the thanks of his fellow citizens, irrespective of party lines. In 1882 he became President of the West Branch Bank, and Vice President of the Savings Institution. He took a deep interest in Reno Post, G.A.R. He was a vestryman at Christ Episcopal Church. He served as President of the Lycoming Law Association in 1881, and from 1892-98.
He married on October 15, 1865, Martha, daughter of Dr. James Hepburn. They had issue: 1. Elizabeth; 2. Frank, who married and had a daughter, Marion H.; 3. John R,; 4. Hepburn; and 5. Henry C., also a lawyer. Mr. Parsons died November 21, 1898.
Henry C. Parsons, Jr.
Henry C. Parsons, son of Henry C. and Martha (Hepburn) Parsons was born January 14, 1876; and died October 26, 1953, at the age of 77 years. He was educated in private schools and at Lawrenceville School, and graduated from Princeton in the class of 1898. He entered his father’s law office as a student, and after his father’s death, he transferred to the office of John T. Fredericks. After spending two years there, he was admitted to the bar on October 26, 1901. After a few years at the bar, he gave up the practice and engaged in the brokerage business and later, the real estate business. In 1941 he was appointed City Assessor which office he held at the time of his death. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Savings Institution and had charge of their real estate department and mortgages. He married Christine Golden, who with their son, Henry C. Parsons, survived.
Clarence Loomis Peaslee
Mr. Peaslee was born at Waterville, Oneida County, New York, January 19, 1871, the son of Rev. Isaac D. and Martha (Browne) Peaslee, He received his preliminary education in the common schools of New York State, and subsequently completed the classical course at Adams Collegiate Institute, Adams, New York, from which he was graduated in 1889 as valedictorian of his class. In the fall of that year he entered Syracuse University, receiving his A.B. degree in 1893. He later returned to Syracuse for graduate work and in 1896 received his M.A. From 1893 to 1897 he was an instructor in Latin and Greek at Williamsport Dickinson Seminary. It was there that he met and married Miss Helen Elizabeth Wilson, also a teacher in the Seminary. They were married August 19, 1897.
During these years Mr. Peaslee decided to study law. He entered the offices of H. C. & S. T. McCormick, and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar on January 6, 1898. In 1900 he formed a partnership with William Ellis Haines, which continued until 1917, when it was dissolved, and each practiced by himself. Mr. Peaslee served as an Assistant District Attorney.
Mr. Peaslee was always interested in literature and wrote a number of short stories and many poems which appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers both here and in England. He also edited Attic Salt, a monthly journal devoted to original poetry. In 1930 a volume of his poems entitled, “Tomorrow” was published in England.
In later life Mr. Peaslee had the misfortune to suffer from cataracts, which were successfully operated upon, and then he subsequently spent considerable time at Devitt’s Camp, and lost the use of one lung. Despite these handicaps, he continued to practice until his death, November 22, 1935, and was survived by his wife; and a daughter, Helen Peaslee Hoskins.
William R. Peoples
William R. Peoples was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, August 1, 1862, the son of John M. and Hannah (Royer) Peoples. His father was a teacher by profession until 1892, when he entered banking. William was the oldest of five children. He attended the State Normal School at Lock Haven, graduating in the scientific course in 1882. After teaching school for two years in that school, he began the study of law in the office of Linn & Crocker, in Williamsport, and continued for about a year, when he was elected assistant principal of the Lycoming County Normal School at Muncy. The following year he was elected principal, and filled that position for five years. On April 17, 1890, he was admitted to the bar and began to practice in Williamsport, remaining one year, and then he located in Muncy, but finally in Jersey Shore. He was married on June 22, 1887, to Lillian M. Watson. Mr. Peoples died January 22, 1916.
Henry P. Perciballi
Henry P. Perciballi a 60 year member of the Lycoming Law Association, died on December 12, 2020. His sketch is pending.
Harry Swank Phillips
Harry Swank Phillips was born April 6, 1906 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the son of Frank Davies and Ida Swank Phillips. He attended public schools there, graduating from Johnstown High School cum laude in 1923. After attending Mercersburg Academy, he was granted a bachelor of arts degree by Amherst College in 1928. His LL.B. degree followed at Dickinson School of Law in 1932.
He married Lois Green on June 12, 1933. One child, Jonathon G., was born of this marriage. At his death, he was survived by his wife, son, and a sister, Mrs. William Lloyd Hughes, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
He was a former director of Hiram Swank’s Sons, Inc., manufacturers of fire brick at Johnstown. The firm had been founded in 1856 by his grandfather.
Swank Phillips moved to Jersey Shore in 1934, and thence to Williamsport in 1941. He was admitted to the practice of law in Lycoming County in 1935, and was associated with the late Charles F. Greevy until the time of Mr. Greevy’s death. From that time until his own death in 1962, he was a sole practitioner.
He was president of Lycoming Law Association in 1944, having previously served as law librarian, secretary of the committee on ethics, and chairman of the continuing legal education committee. He also belonged to the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations.
In addition to the Lycoming County courts, he was admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the United States Supreme Court. He was a former United States commissioner and served two terms as an assistant Lycoming County district attorney. He was also solicitor for the county controller, and served two years as solicitor for the Pennsylvania State Association of County Controllers.
Mr. Phillips served his community in many capacities. He was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, being on its council many years. He was first president of the Young Men’s Bureau (now the Junior Chamber of Commerce) and also was president of Williamsport Chamber of Commerce.
He was secretary of the Lycoming County Crippled Children’s Society, a member of its state board of directors. He was also a director and Solicitor of the Park Home, and of the Visiting Nurse’s Association of Lycoming County. He was a former director of the Williamsport Grays Baseball Association, an original member of the board and executive committee of the Brandon Little League.
He was a member of the La Belle Vallee Lodge No. 232, F. and AM., Jersey Shore, and of Williamsport Consistory, Delta Tau Delta fraternity at Amherst, and the Ross Club, of which he was a former secretary. He was a past secretary of the Lycoming County Republican Committee.
Swank was a proud and conscientious member of the bar, who upheld the highest traditions of his profession, and was an active, useful member of his community. He had a host of friends and was a fine gentleman. He died September 8, 1962.
Elbert Ansley Porter
Mr. Porter was born at Canton, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, May 19, 1873, the son of David R. and Catherine C. Porter. His father was born in Bradford County, in March 1840, son of Seth and Maria Sellard Porter. The father of Seth was Zoroaster Porter, a tailor, who originally came from Vermont.
David enlisted in Company E, 52nd Regiment, P.V.I. and served three years. He was wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks, and afterwards taken seriously ill, being confined in a hospital in St. Louis. During the latter part of his enlistment, he was stationed on Morris and James Islands opposite Fort Sumter, and served on picket boat duty in Charleston harbor. Following his war service he became a carpenter which trade he followed until 1890. He then engaged in farming until 1897, when he retired and moved to Williamsport. He died July 18, 1908, and his wife, Catherine C. Porter died February 27, 1927. Both are buried in Wildwood cemetery. Catherine C. Porter was born at Rushville, New York, February 22, 1849, the daughter of William and Catherine Cromwell Ansley. In 1854 William Ansley moved from New York to Fairfax County, Virginia, and settled near the Fairfax Court House. The first Battle of Bull Run occurred near the Ansley farm and Mrs. Porter vividly remembered the hardships of those days. Their home was destroyed and they had to flee to Washington for their lives. Mrs. Porter was a descendant of Benjamin Cromwell, a brother of Oliver Cromwell, the Great Protector. Benjamin Cromwell emigrated to America and settled in Massachusetts. She was also a descendant of Ezekiel Scott, a Major in the Revolutionary army.
Elbert grew up in Canton and was graduated from the local high school in 1895, entered Dickinson Seminary and graduated in 1898. He then entered the law office of William Russell Deemer and was admitted to the bar on May 14, 1902. He continued to practice in Mr. Deemer’s office until the latter became president of the Williamsport National Bank, and then opened his own office at 317 Pine Street. Mr. Porter was treasurer and librarian of the Lycoming Law Association for many years, and was also president of the Board of Law Examiners.
On June 11, 1907, he was married to Joyce Graybill, daughter of John S. and Amanda Graybill, who moved from McAlisterville, Juniata County, Pennsylvania, and settled in Williamsport in 1898. Mr. Graybill was the son of John and Elizabeth Graybill. Mrs. Graybill was the daughter of Isaac and Anna Haldeman, whose ancestors had come from Switzerland.
Mr. and Mrs. Porter had two daughters. Throughout most of his adult life, Mr. Porter was handicapped by angina pectoris, and could not endure any excitement, consequently he never appeared in court, but enjoyed a large Orphans Court practice. He died November 5, 1935.
George Robert Price
George R. Price, Jr. was born on August 30, 1947. Following his graduation from Bangor High School, Pennsylvania, in 1965, he began his undergraduate studies at Elizabethtown College, graduating in 1969. During college he was an exchange student at the University of Ghana in West Africa. Prior to law school, he worked for the Department of Public Welfare for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In 1972, he enrolled at the Marshall Wythe Law School at the College of William and Mary, receiving his J.D. in 1975.
He began his law career with the firm of Turtzo, Spry, Powlette & Sbrocchi in Bangor, Pennsylvania. He worked here from early 1976 until 1978. In 1978, he joined the offices of Susquehanna Legal Services, where he worked until 1981.
From 1981 until 1991 he was the first full-time Family Court Hearing Officer for the courts of Lycoming County. In 1991 he became a member of the firm of Murphy, Butterfield, Holland & Price. Because of a debilitating illness, he left the firm in December of 1995 and relocated to Orono, Maine.
He was a member of the Lycoming Law Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He was given the 1994 Equal Access to Justice Award, for service to the poor. The Pennsylvania Bar Association cited him in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Pro Bono Services in Pennsylvania for 1994 till 1995.
His law practice was of a general nature during his early years as an attorney. Subsequent to serving as the full-time Family Court Hearing Officer in Lycoming County, he developed a specialty in family law while practicing with Murphy, Butterfield, and Holland & Price.
George R. Price, Jr. had a judicious temperament and a compassion for people that made him exceptionally well qualified for the role of Family Court Hearing Officer. He enjoyed life and he enjoyed his friends. His dry wit was a legend. He was a good person and an inspiration to all who knew him.
George R. Price Jr., died on April 10, 1997 after a courageous struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease.
Henry Ward Pyles
Mr. Pyles died in his 48th year on August 16, 1919. He served as head of the academic department of Dickinson Seminary from 1894 to 1899. He studied law in the office of Hon. Max L. Mitchell, and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar in 1898. He was at one time president of the old common council. His widow, Mary D. Pyles, had the distinction of serving as the first woman foreman of a Grand Jury in Lycoming County. It was on March 5, 1923, when Criminal Court opened, that Judge Harvey H. Whitehead selected the widow of our deceased brother lawyer to serve in that capacity. That particular day was unusual in that the Grand Jury completed its work and came back to the court room with their final report just five and a half hours after they had left it. Its report, the shortest possible to make, consisted of six true bills and one bill ignored. There were just fourteen cases on the calendar, the smallest criminal court session the county had ever had.
Mrs. Pyles was the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she studied painting at Dickinson Seminary, and her interest in the fine arts is shared by her daughter, Mary, who teaches music.
In the case of Pyles v. Bosler, 308 Pa. 297, Mayor Ames appeared for the appellee, Mary D. Pyles, executrix of H. W. Pyles, deceased, vs. Hannah Elizabeth Bosler, executrix of Frank C. Bosler, deceased. Those interested are referred to 11 D, & C. 38, where the case arose in Cumberland County.
James W. Quiggle
Mr. Quiggle was born at Wayne, Clinton County, Pa., January 20, 1820. He studied law with Hon. James Gamble at Jersey Shore and was admitted to our bar in 1841. He served as State Senator in 1852, and was afterwards the American Consul at Antwerp. He also served as deputy attorney general for Clinton County, and later as prosecuting attorney. He died November 28, 1878.
Thomas S. Quinn
Thomas S. Quinn was born August 15, 1913 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Stephen and Mary McCarthy Quinn. He died December 7, 1993.
Thomas S. Quinn graduated from Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1932W He graduated from Lehigh University in 1936 with a A.B. Degree and from the Catholic University School of Law in 1941 with a L.L. B. Degree. He met his wife, Josephine, while both were students at Catholic University.
He took a position with the United States government in the Commerce Department and headed the Rent Control Agency for Lycoming County immediately after the second world war from 1947 to 1953. At the time Mr. Quinn headed the Rent Control Agency, there was a rent freeze on all real estate rentals and all residential rental increases had to be approved by his agency. The agency handled a very high volume of cases and had a significant impact on area real estate operations.
He was in private practice from 1953 till the time of his death in 1993. For almost all of that period, he maintained an office on the Fifth Floor, 21 West Third Street, Williamsport, PA, the former First National Bank Building, now the Penn Towers.
Mr. Quinn had a varied civil practice in real estate, decedent estates, landlord and tenant matters and other civil aspects of the practice of law.
Mr. Thomas Quinn served a number of terms as a member of the Board of View of Lycoming County and heard many and significant condemnation cases including those in the various Redevelopment projects.
He was a member of the Lycoming and Pennsylvania Bar Associations for over forty years and served as president of the Lycoming Bar Association in 1984.
He was a past Grand Knight of Council 366, Knights of Columbus, and held a 4th degree in the Father Reichsnyder Assembly of the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Church of the Annunciation and active in their programs.
He was an avid sportsman, a member of the Turbot Hills Golf Club, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Lycoming County Recreation Authority that gave oversight to the White Deer Golf Course.
He was interested in sports of all types, including local professional baseball, as well as all college and professional sports.
Although he never ran for public office, he had a very keen interest in local, state and national politics and enjoyed and participated in the political process. He particularly enjoyed debating political issues of the day informally with those persons of an opposite persuasion.
Tom always carried himself with quiet dignity. He was a very friendly, approachable individual who enjoyed an excellent reputation with his fellow attorneys, court personnel, courthouse staff, associates, clients and friends. Mr. Quinn suffered a stroke and was incapacitated for eighteen months in his home before he died on December 7, 1993.
Thomas S. Quinn was survived by his wife, Josephine Flood Quinn, who was employed for many years as a school nurse by the Williamsport Area School District, and three daughters, Mrs. Susan Allison of Warminster, Pennsylvania, Ms. JoAnn M. Quinn of Gaithersburg, Maryland and Mrs. Sally B. Retig of Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as a sister, Mrs. Dorothy Rowe of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and five grandchildren.
John Grandin Reading, Jr.
Mr. Reading was of the seventh generation of the New Jersey family of that name, whose founder in America was Colonel John Reading, of London, England, where the family had been seated since the thirteenth century. Colonel Reading settled in Gloucester, New Jersey, about 1684. He was commissioned in January 1712, one of the judges of the supreme court of the province. His son, Governor John Reading, was educated in England, and later became a member of the Governor’s council. When Governor Hunter went to England and never returned, Mr. Reading became a member of the governor’s council, from 1721-1758, when he resigned. He was commissioned Colonel of a regiment, February 10, 1727.
Captain John Reading, of the fourth generation, was Ensign of a company commanded by Captain Thomas Reading, and served through various ranks until September 1780.
John G. Reading was the fifth son of Philip Grandin and Evelina (Evans) Reading, and was born at Frenchtown, New Jersey, March 1, 1859. He was graduated from Lafayette College in 1880, after which he took up the study of law, and in 1882 was admitted to the Lycoming County bar. He was a director of the Lycoming National Bank, and later president of the Susquehanna Trust and Safe Deposit Company, a member of the Brandon Park Commission, president of the common councils, and a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Mr. Reading married, November 18, 1886, Clara Fleming Allen (born October 13, 1864), daughter of Robert Porter and Ellen Evans (Fleming) Allen. They had two daughters: Ellen Allen Reading Mahaffie, and Evelyn Evans.
Mrs. Reading is a descendant of Isaac and Lena (Paulhamus) Allen. Isaac Allen came from New Jersey about 1794 and settled in the valley of Lycoming Creek. Her father, Robert Porter Allen, was a member of this bar. Ellen Evans Fleming was a descendant of the Evans family of Gwynedd, and the Flemings came from Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Reading went to the Lawrenceville School, and after attending the John C. Green Preparatory School, attended Princeton briefly, and then went to Lafayette College, where he was graduated in 1880. The following November he came to Williamsport and entered the law office of Bentley & Parker, and was admitted to our bar in November 1882. In 1885, he formed a partnership with the Hon. Robert P. Allen which continued until Mr. Allen’s death, December 6, 1890. He later formed a partner ship with Robert Fleming Allen, and finally with Thomas Wood. Mr. Reading was attorney for the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad; Tidewater Pipe Line Company; Beech Creek Railway Company, and the Wilkes-Barre and Western Railroad, and a director in the Williamsport Gas Company. He died May 21, 1937.
John Jay Reardon
Mr. Reardon was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on December 12, 1852. He was reared on his father’s farm, attended the public schools of that district and completed his education at Maplewood Institute, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He came to Williamsport in the spring of 1872, followed the vocation of teaching, meanwhile commencing the study of law in the office of the Hon. H. C. McCormick. He was admitted to our bar in May 1875. He commenced practice in May 1876 and continued in active duties until 1880, when he was elected district attorney of the county, in which position he served three years. He was active in Democratic county and state politics, serving as chairman of the Democratic county committee in 1879, 1880 and 1881. He received the nomination of his party for Congress in 1890.
Mr. Reardon married in 1884 Mary E. Grafius, daughter of John S. and Sarah (Pollock) Grafius. He died April 6, 1921.
Paul Woodward Reeder, Sr.
Paul Reeder was a lifelong resident of Lycoming County having been born to Oscar L. Reeder and Mary A. Eisenmenger Reeder on February 23, 1926 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
He graduated from the Williamsport High School in 1943 and, after attending Pennsylvania State College, commenced service in the United States Air Force at age 17 as an Aviation Cadet. Thereafter, he was ordered to active duty and served in the Air Force for the balance of World War II.
At the end of World War II, Paul returned to his home in Warrensville, Pennsylvania and on April 21, 1946, married Beverly Girton.
Mr. Reeder graduated from Lycoming College in 1947, graduated from Lycoming College in 1947; and even prior to that time, he had committed himself to become a lawyer associated with the law firm in Williamsport then known as McCormick, Herdic & Furst, now known as the McCormick Law Firm. During the final years of his attendance at Lycoming College, as well as during his years at the Dickinson School of Law, he worked in the evenings and during the summer at the law firm to help pay for his educational expenses.
He graduated from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1950 and returned to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to complete his clerkship at McCormick, Herdic & Furst under the guidance of Seth McCormick Lynn. He commenced his legal practice in November of 1950 and continued in full time legal practice until 1995, a period of forty-five years as an associate and then partner with the firm.
During Paul Reeder's tenure as an attorney with the McCormick Law Firm and its predecessors, he developed skills in the labor relations area and he remained predominantly involved with that area of law until his retirement in 1995.
He served as District Attorney for Lycoming County from 1960 to 1963.
In the 1970's with the intercession of legislation, a new field of labor law opened for him known as the "right to collectively bargain" law for teachers and other employees of school districts. At that time, Mr. Reeder became engaged as labor counsel for the Williamsport Area School District and other local school districts in Lycoming County and Sullivan County. He also served as Solicitor for Lycoming County for a period of ten years until 1995.
He was responsible, together with several others, for the organization of Susquehanna Legal Services, having served on its initial Board and as its President. Mr. Reeder was also Director of the Visiting Nurses Association and Lycoming County Crippled Children's Society as well as offering his services as an attorney to Millionaire's Row, Inc., a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation that restored the exterior of Peter Herdic's home on West Fourth Street. He was also President of said corporation for several years.
Paul Reeder was a member and former President of the Lycoming Law Association, was admitted to practice in the Lycoming County Courts, together with the Commonwealth Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In addition, he was admitted to practice before the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.
He was an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting and fishing practically to the exclusion of all other recreational activities. He was a member and Director of the Lycoming County Consolidated Sportsmen. He had, for many years, traveled to Canada to fish for salmon in the Miramachi River.
Mr. Reeder was also active at his church having sang in its chancel choir and served on the Administrative Board of the First Evangelical United Methodist Church in Williamsport. He also taught Sunday School at his church and served as Assistant Superintendent of the Church School, as well as on its Board of Trustees, including a term as President.
Paul Reeder died October 1, 1998.
Robert K. Reeder
Robert K. Reeder was born on the farm in Wolf Township, June 11, 1858, the third child of Peter and Sarah S. (Ritter) Reeder. Peter was born in Loyalsock Township, October 4, 1827. He was a merchant and farmer all of his life, and a resident of Hughesville at the time of his death, May 6, 1906. His wife died February 14, 1907, and both are buried in the Hughesville cemetery. They were the parents of the following children: Emma, married William Laird Elizabeth; Robert K.; Margaret, widow of Howard Van Buskirk; Henry; Charles W.; Frank A.; Milton E.; and Jesse M.
Robert K. Reeder received his early education in the public schools of Hughesville, and was graduated from Dickinson Seminary in 1878. He read law in the office of William E. Crawford and after being admitted to the bar in January 1883, became associated in practice with Mr. Crawford in Hughesville. He went to Muncy n July 1885, where he opened his office and practiced until his death, March 7, 1942.
In 1885, he was elected to the Pennsylvania Legislature, the youngest member ever elected from his county. He also served as Burgess of Muncy, and was a leading democrat of the county in his day.
On September 15, 1892, he married Rebecca M. Ellis, who was born in Wolf Township, April 25, 1858. She was a granddaughter of William Cox Ellis, a leading member of the early bar. Four children were born to this marriage: S. Emily, of Washington, D. C.; Elizabeth; Rebecca M.; and Robert K., Jr., of Philadelphia. Mrs. Reeder died in July 1917, and Mr. Reeder married (2) Mrs. Mary (Delany) Walton, on March 15, 1919. Mr. Reeder died March 7, 1942.
Oliver Hazard Reighard
Oliver H. Reighard was born in what is now the seventh ward of Williamsport, July 12, 1840, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Henry) Reighard, natives of Dauphin and Lehigh counties respectively. Daniel was born in 1802, and came with his father, John Reighard, to Newberry in 1811, where he was one of the first settlers. John Reighard died in 1813, leaving a large family. Daniel engaged in farming, and served as Justice of the Peace. He also erected and operated a tannery for a number of years in the seventh ward. N In 1851 he moved to Jersey Shore, and engaged in the hotel business, and died there in 1862. Oliver moved with his parents to Jersey Shore, and received his education at the West Branch Academy. He worked at the printer’s trade for nine months, when failing health caused him to discontinue that trade. He then entered the law office of Judge James Gamble, of Jersey Shore, and after a thorough course of study was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1863. He sold his father’s hotel property that same year, and moved to Williamsport.
Shortly afterwards he went to the oil fields of Pennsylvania, and was quite successful as a producer and refiner, but the money he made in these operations was lost by the failure of the banks in which it was deposited. In 1865, he returned to Williamsport, and devoted himself diligently to the practice of law. In 1868 he was elected on the Democratic ticket as district attorney of Lycoming County, and filled that office for one term with credit and ability. In 1872 he was a candidate for Mayor of Williamsport, but was defeated as there were four candidates in the field, and as his party was largely in the minority. In 1874 Mr. Reighard was elected to the legislature, and during his term of two years, he was chairman of the committee on appropriations, and also of the general committee on constitutional reform. He was also chairman of the special committee to investigate the State treasury. In 1876 he was prominently mentioned as Democratic candidate for Congress, and could have had the nomination but he refused to accept it.
Mr. Reighard was married, January 1, 1885, to Lizzie, daughter of Judge James Gamble, and they were the parents of a son, James Gamble. He and his wife were active in the First Presbyterian church of Williamsport, and he was active in the erection of the new church building. In 1884 he erected the Reighard block on West Fourth Street. After 1886 his failing health prevented him from active practice. He was a director in the Lycoming National Bank, Williamsport Water Company, the Bald Eagle Railroad Company, Valentine Iron Company, and president of the Brandon Park Commission. He died December 1, 1898.
Charles I. Reilly
Charles J. Reilly was born in Philadelphia, September 25, 1856, the eldest child of John and Elizabeth Reilly, natives of Ireland, who later resided in Loyalsock Township near the northern extremity of Williamsport. He was the eldest of eleven children, to whom he was father, counselor and guide, because of his father’s early death. He was educated in the public schools of Philadelphia, and attended Chautauqua College for four years. In 1874 he took charge of the shipping department of J. Bartles & Company, manufacturers, and subsequently attended the Williamsport Commercial College, from which institution he was graduated in 1875. Shortly afterward he took charge of the books of J. Bartles & Company, and while thus employed he conceived the idea of studying medicine, but after a year’s application to the study of that science he changed his mind and determined to study law. In May 1882, he passed his preliminary examinations, and registered as a law student with Candor & Munson, with whom he remained for six months, when the necessities of his family required him to earn means for their support. He then became bookkeeper for George Bubb & Sons, and while filling this position he devoted every minute of his spare time to his legal studies. Having saved sufficient to permit him to resign his position, he entered the law office of J. J. & V. H. Metzger, where he completed his studies, June 4, 1884, and was admitted to the Lycoming County bar. He was subsequently admitted to the district and circuit courts of the United States and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
In 1885 he was elected chairman of the Democratic county committee, to which party he always gave unwavering support, and demonstrated his ability as an organizer. He was re-elected chairman in 1886, 1887 and 1888, and therefore served four years. In November 1889, he was elected district attorney of Lycoming County by a majority of 2,368 votes, the largest majority ever received up to that time for any county office.
Mr. Reilly married, in 1879, Elizabeth, daughter of Christian Harsch, and had two children: Howard M., and Charles J. The family were members of the Roman Catholic faith.
Mr. Reilly was a delegate to both State and National Democratic conventions, and was nominated at one time for Judge of the Superior Court. He also served as chairman of the Board of Law Examiners, and in that connection, I will always remember him because he moved for my admission, taking the place of my preceptor, James B. Krause, who was ill at the time. This he very kindly offered to do although I was a comparative stranger to him at the time.
In those days our bar picnics were really something special. They usually took place on Saturday, and began at 10 o’clock in the morning, with lunch at noon. When on the committee, I always tried to have Limburger cheese and buttermilk, both of which were favorites of Judge Whitehead. Then various members of the bar would recite or sing. Charley Reilly’s favorite contribution or toast was his famous poem, entitled: “Here’s to the Jolly Testator who makes his own Will.” He gave me a copy of it at one time which I later lost. So while working on these sketches, I sought everywhere for a copy. I finally secured two copies, which varied slightly, one from the New York Sunday Times Book Review editor, and the other from Case and Comment.
The Jolly Testator who makes his own Will
Ye lawyers who live upon litigants’ fees,
And who need a good many to live at your ease;
Gray or gay, wise or witty, whate’er your degree,
Plain stuff or Queen’s Counsel, take counsel of me.
When a festive occasion your spirit unbends,
You should never forget the profession’s best friends;
So we’ll send round the wine, and a bright bumper fill
To the Jolly Testator who makes his own will.
He premises his wish and his purpose to save
All disputes among friends when he’s laid in the grave;
Then he straightway proceeds more disputes to create
Than a long summer’s day would give time to relate.
He writes and erases, he blunders and blots,
He produces such puzzles and Gordian knots,
That a lawyer, intending to frame the deed ill,
Couldn’t match the testator who makes his own will.
Testators are good, but a feeling more tender,
Springs up when I think of the feminine gender!
The testatrix for me, like Telemachus’ mother,
Unweaves at one time what she wove at another;
She bequeaths, she repeats, she recalls a donation,
And ends by revoking her own revocation;
Still scribbling or scratching some new codicil,
Oh! Success to the woman who makes her own will.
‘Tisn’t easy to say, ‘mid her varying vapors,
What scraps should be deemed testamentary papers;
‘Tisn’t easy from these her intentions to find,
When perhaps she herself never knew her own mind.
Every step that we take, there arises fresh trouble;
Is the legacy lapsed? Is it single or double?
No customer brings so much grist to the mill
As the wealthy old woman who makes her own will.
The law decides questions of meum and tunin,
By kindly consenting to make the thing suum,
The Aesopian fable instructively tells
What became of the oysters, and who gets the shells;
The legatees starve, but the lawyers are fed,
The seniors have riches, the juniors have bread;
The available surplus of course will be nil,
From the worthy testators who make their own will.
You had better pay toll when you take to the road
Than attempt by a byway to reach your adobe;
You better employ a conveyancer’s hand
Than encounter the risk that your will shouldn’t stand.
From the broad beaten track when the traveler strays,
He may land in a bog or be lost in a maze;
And the law, when defied, will revenge itself still
On the man and the woman who make their own will.68
Lord Neaves, of the Scottish
Court of Sessions
I have another interesting account to relate concerning Mr. Reilly. One day in 1897, Mr. Reilly happened to be in the Eastern Penitentiary as a visitor. In conversation with the warden the latter remarked that one of their oldest and best prisoners came from Lycoming County, and asked him if he cared to see Barney McCue. As Mr. Reilly had returned to Williamsport about 1875, he was apparently not familiar with the case of Barney McCue who was tried for the murder of John Deeter, near Muncy Darn, in October 1874. Barney had been convicted and was sentenced to hang on St. Patrick’s Day the date set by Governor Hartranft, but through the intervention of Patrick McFadden — who quite naturally objected to having one of his own race hanged on the anniversary of St. Patrick, let alone at any other time — and Andrew Cassidy obtained a petition with 2,000 signatures addressed to the Governor, and engaged Henry W. Watson, as counsel, obtained three reprieves, finally getting the sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
Mr. Reilly talked with Barney in his cell, and the latter realizing that here was a lawyer, asked him to try and secure a pardon for him. Barney then got out a little bag of silver coins, containing $100 to $150, which he had earned making inlaid objects with his pen-knife, and offered them to Mr. Reilly. This Mr. Reilly declined, but said he would go home and investigate the case and see whether he could do anything for him.
In due course, Mr. Reilly appeared before both the Governor and the Pardon Board, and presented Barney’s case so eloquently and fairly that the Board recommended to the Governor that a pardon be granted. Afterwards the Board complimented Mr. Reilly on the completeness and thoroughness of his presentation, and on the manner in which he pleaded Barney’s cause. Mr. Reilly himself was impressed with Barney’s innocence of murder, feeling that the verdict should never have been more than second degree or manslaughter, and that after 22 years of prison he had been sufficiently punished.
On December 22, 1898, Governor Hastings affixed his signature to the pardon and it was taken to Philadelphia by Mr. Reilly.69
Mr. Reilly died October 14, 1927.
Robert R. Remington
Robert R. Remington was a son of Edward Remington who came to Lycoming County from Carroll County, Maryland about 1853. The father was born in Philadelphia, and was of English descent, being a direct descendant of John Pym, known as “King” Pym (1584-1643), of Cromwell’s time, the acknowledged leader of the Short and Long Parliaments, on his mother’s side, and of Sir Henry Remington, on his father’s. He received a collegiate education and then engaged in the wholesale silk business in Philadelphia in which he was successful until thrown from a horse; thereafter he was compelled to give up active business and the excitement of city life. Some time later he became president of several mining companies in New Jersey and Maryland. He married a daughter of Judge John Reading, of New Jersey, who, with two sons and three daughters survived him, at his death which occurred at his late home, “Grapeside”, near Williamsport, December 29, 1897.
The father, Edward Remington, severed his connection with the mining companies and purchased, in 1873, the saw mill and 1500 acres of land in Armstrong and Nippenose Townships from Marshall Atwood, and engaged in the lumber business. Then in 1873, he formed with four other men the Quaker Valley Grape Company, establishing vineyards on certain tracts from which the timber had been cut.
Apparently after the father’s death, one of the sons, Edward Pym Remington, built a large two story mansion with baths on each floor (a thing unheard of in Mosquito Valley in those days). The entire estate was surrounded by a five foot wire fence nailed to heavy posts. The “castle”, as the neighbors called it, was occupied by Mr. Remington and his two maiden sisters. The beautiful Bess Reading, perhaps a cousin, frequently visited there. This was after the winding-up of the grape business, and the land on which the house was erected was leased from the Citizens Water and Gas Company, for a ten year period beginning November 1, 1905. The water company had condemned the land, as part of the water shed of Mosquito Creek, along with the surrounding acre age in 1905 and no doubt the lease grew out of that affair. The other children of Edward and Eliza (Reading) Remington, his wife, in addition to Edward Pym, were Anna P., Maria K., Myra R., and Robert R.
According to the records in the Prothonotary’s office Robert R. Remington was admitted to the Lycoming County Bar, to No. 386, October Term 1883. Meginness does not mention his name in his list of former members of the bar. According to a deed recorded in 1905, from the other children to Edward Remington, Robert R. Remington died August 18, 1902, a resident of New York State. Robert’s will stated that if he died unmarried, everything was to go to his sister, Maria K. Remington, who was also appointed his executor, as well as ancillary administratrix in Lycoming County, and it was she who sold his interest in the Lycoming County real estate to their brother, Edward Pym Remington.
Christopher S. Reynolds was born July 18, 1969, in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Mr. Reynolds graduated from the Williamsport High School in 1986. In each of these four years at the Williamsport High School, he competed in Model U.N., a forum for training students in U.S. Government and international relations. He served as President for one year and received the "Outstanding Young Leadership Award" for his service to the young high school students.
While at the University of Pennsylvania he continued his association with Model U.N. and served as Under Secretary-General at the University. As a result of this association he traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe. He attended the Washington College of Law at the American University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1993. He passed the Pennsylvania Bar Association immediately after graduation, where he finished 4th out of 682.
He was admitted to the Lycoming County Bar in 1994 where he maintained an active practice of law from that time on. Mr. Reynolds set up his own law practice helping battered women and children. He then worked for Susquehanna Legal Services where he continued his practice of family law.
Mr. Reynolds was deeply committed to aiding the underprivileged in all of their legal and personal needs. His intentions had been to pursue constitutional law, however he was drawn into the .practice of serving the underserved.
Christopher Reynolds died February 16, 1997. A Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in his name for the education of future lawyers.
Walter Rosco Rice, Jr.
Walter Rosco Rice, Jr. was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on March 11, 1925. He was the son of Walter R. Rice, Sr. and Grace Williamson Rice, and was one of three children.
He attended the public schools of Williamsport, graduating from high school in 1943. He next attended and graduated from Lycoming College, and received his J.D. degree from the Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1952.
Fresh out of high school, Walter responded to the call of his country in 1943, and served with distinction as a heavy bomber pilot, achieving the rank of 2nd lieutenant in the Army Air Corps before being honorably discharged at the conclusion of World War II. The skills and love of flying which Walter achieved during the war remained one of the great joys of his life, as he remained an avid pilot. He served as a president of the Wilco Flying Club, and was often requested to fly fellow attorneys to appointments outside of Lycoming County and throughout the country.
After serving his preceptorship with Judge Charles F. Greevy, he joined the law firm of Greevy, Knittle and Fisher, wherein he practiced until 1962. At that time, Walter, Dean R. Fisher and Henry R. Perciballi formed the law firm of Fisher, Rice and Perciballi. This firm in 1960 became Fisher, Rice and Raup until 1974, when Thomas C. Raup was appointed to the bench of Lycoming County. At the time of his death, Walter’s firm was known as Fisher, Rice, Barlett and Delgalvis.
Walter was a member of Lycoming Law Association, and served as its president in 1974. He also had been secretary of the association, and a member of its executive committee from 1968 to 1976. He was active in other committees, particularly the one on customs. He belonged to the Pennsylvania and the American Bar Associations. He was admitted to and appeared before all appellate courts of Pennsylvania, as well as the Federal Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.
Walter was also active in community life. He was a board member of Susquehanna Legal Services, and belonged to the American Arbitration Society. He was a member of the Sooth Williamsport Planning Commission and the Lycoming County Board of View; he was solicitor for the Lycoming County Tax Claim Bureau and the South Williamsport Area School District. He was also a director of the Visiting Nurses Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He was a life member of the Wheel Club, and of John F. Laedlein Lodge No. 707, Williamsport Consistory, and Irem Temple Shrine in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
Walter was a great sports car enthusiast, owning and racing sports cars, especially a Porsche F. Production, his pride and joy. He was vice-president, safety chairman and deputy director of the Race Communications Association. He was a member of the Sports Car Club of America and the Pennsylvania Hill Climb Association. On October 11, 1965, Walter was cited at Watkins Glen, New York, for having served as flagman at fifty (50) sports car races throughout the country.
Walter Rice, Jr. was an extremely capable lawyer and counselor, and excelled in the fields of real estate and business law. Many attorneys in the 1950, 60’s and 70’s learned real estate law and title searching under his watchful eye. He had no equal in Lycoming County during his career, in the field of real estate law.
Walter was also remembered for his great sense of humor. His ability to recall and relate amusing stories and anecdotes, and his innovative practical jokesterism, could not be outdone.
His wife was the former Mary Aker, whom he married on October 27, 1945. She died October 28, 1983. Walter had one daughter, Anne, who is presently a social work specialist with the Regional Home Health Services in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He has two grandchildren, and was survived at the time of his death by his mother, Mrs. Grace Rice, and two sisters, Mrs. Phyllis Bates and Mrs. Jean Steiger. Walter died September 10, 1979, at the age of 54 years.
Joseph Leo Rider
Joseph Leo Rider, Esquire, died unexpectedly at his home in Fairfield Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania on May 3, 2020 . He was the husband of Barbara Winters Rider with whom he shared 53 years of marriage. In addition to his wife, Joe was survived by his daughter, Margaret Rider (Rammage) of Georgia and son, Mark A. Rider, Montoursville.
Joe was born on May 19, 1935, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and was the eldest son of Leo L. and Anna S. (Statts) Rider. Joe was raised in Williamsport along with his brothers, John, Eugene, Thomas, and David and a sister, Marilyn R. Neyhart. At age 4 Joe was afflicted with Polio which handicapped him, in name only, for the balance his life. The need for crutches did not hinder him from working at the family business, Faxon Lumber Company unloading rail cars laden with lumber as well as performing other tasks at the business.
Joe graduated from St. Mary's High School, a predecessor of St. John Neumann Regional Academy, in 1953 and then from Lycoming College in 1957. While in college he was very active in his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Upsilon, serving as its President during his senior year and was also assistant editor of Lycoming's yearbook. Joe completed his undergraduate degree from Lycoming College in 1957. Thereafter, he graduated from Georgetown University School of Law in 1961. He was admitted to the Bar o f the District of Columbia as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, the US District Court, District of Columbia and US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. He was a member of the Bar of Lycoming County since1961.
Joe joined the firm of Furst, McCormick, Muir & Lynn. As a typical young associate, Joe was relegated to handling family law matters, real estate, estate administration as well as a variety of other matters . During his fledgling years, he was taken under the wing of Malcolm Muir and he began to focus on estate administration and estate planning. The two left the firm in 1968 and formed the Law Office of Malcolm Muir of which Joe was an associate. The association was relatively short lived as Malcolm Muir was appointed United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on November 6, 1970. At that time the Law Office of Joseph L. Rider was formed. Paul A. Roman became an associate of Mr. Rider's in 1984 and the two continued to practice together until Mr. Rider's death. While a capable speaker, Joe avoided appearing in court whenever possible. He felt much more comfortable behind his desk surrounded by a wall of files or with a client reviewing and explaining their estate planning documents or the administration of an ongoing estate with an executor. It was a rare client who would leave these sessions without feeling that they had a thorough grasp of their situation and confident that their matter was in the vary capable hands of Mr. Rider.
Joe was well recognized among by his peers for his expertise in estate administration . This admiration was not exclusive to Lycoming County but to the surrounding counties as well as his reputation was known far and wide. He would frequently field questions from other attorneys regarding technical administration questions, but he felt particular satisfaction if a younger attorney would call upon him, especially those that did not focus their practice on estate administration. Many times Joe would bring these attorneys into his office to take them step by step through the administration of an estate that they were handling. He enjoyed the satisfaction that he received by mentoring the young attorney but just as importantly he knew that the estate was going to be handled correctly. He played no favorites with regard to clients. He would meticulously analyze an estate of $10,000 as much as he would a multimillion-dollar estate. Efficiency was not his strong suit, he would repeatedly take on small estates that no other attorney would accept due to the fact that it was financially a losing proposition. Joe was often times referred to as a workaholic due to his 80-hour work week, but the term is misnomer because Joe found time to serve his community, the courts, his church, and his family.
Although he rarely appeared in court, Joe was well known by the county judiciary. He became the Lycoming Law Association President in 1976, and together with then Judge Thomas Raup, created the Bench Bar Committee on which he served as the representative of the Orphans' Court Division until his passing. Also as President of the Association Joe hired the first full time secretary for the Association, a position which continues to this day. He was also appointed a member of a committee charged with the task determining the necessity for a fourth judge for Lycoming County. In 1977 Joe was appointed by the Supreme Court Disciplinary Committee to serve a 3 year term on the Estate Disciplinary Board. Beginning in 1978 and for the ensuing decade served as a member of the House of Delegates for the Pennsylvania Bar Association. His devotion to the local bar continued until his death as he was the sole remaining original board member of the Lycoming Law Association Foundation of which he served as President for many years.
Mr. Rider's contributions were not limited to the courts and the local bar as he was a very active member of a variety of non-law related community service groups. He was a founding member of the Loyalsock Kiwanis, subsequently serving as its president and he also served as president of the Williamsport Jaycees . While a member of the Jaycees he was the recipient of the Williamsport Chamber of Commerce, Key Man of the Year Award in 1966 . In 1967 he was appointed as a member of the Governors Committee for Employment of the Handicapped and served several terms on the state committee while being very active at the local level. He was also a valued member of Lycoming County Industrial Properties Corporation for numerous years and was a board member of the Lycoming Foundation for several decades including serving as its president at the time of his passing. Many years were also devoted to serving on the boards of the Park Home and Blind Association. Joe was also a past member of the Divine Providence Foundation and the Rider Park Foundation. In 1977 he served as president of the Ross Club, where he had the vision to turn what was a men's only club to permitting full membership to women as well.
Joe and his family were founding members of St. Ann's Catholic Church in Loyalsock and he was a devoted lifetime member. He was an instrumental member of the school board for the fledgling St. Ann's Catholic Church and subsequently served on the Bishop Neumann School Board.
In spite of all of these activities he was still able to devote time to his family especially family vacations when the children were younger and spending time at his cabin on Loyalsock Creek.
Walter E. Ritter
Walter E. Ritter was born in Muncy Creek Township, Ly coming County, Pa., June 29, 1860, the son of Jacob and Julia (Van Buskirk) Ritter. His great grandfather, Martin Ritter, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He had emigrated from Germany some years prior to that time and had settled in Berks County, Pennsylvania. His son, Jacob, grandfather of Walter, subsequently came to Lycoming County and settled in Muncy Creek Township.
Walter attended the common schools of his native township until he was 17 years of age, and then spent five terms at the Muncy Normal, later entering the Lock Haven State Normal School, from which he was graduated in 1881. At the age of seventeen he began teaching, at a salary of $20 per month, and taught in the schools of Moreland and Fairfield Townships during the winter season, from 1877 until 1880. After graduating from the Lock Haven Normal he was elected principal of the Hughesville public schools, and in 1882 he was chosen principal of the schools of South Williamsport, which position he filled for three years.
He then registered as a law student with Cummings & Reilly, June 19, 1884, and passed his bar examination and was admitted to this bar in June 1886. He at once began to practice. He was soon active in Democratic politics. In 1883 he was a candidate for the office of County Superintendent of Schools, but was defeated. In 1888 Mr. Ritter was elected to the State Legislature, and was reelected in 1890 by an increased majority. During his term in the legislature he served on the judiciary committee, the committee on corporations and on other important committees and took an active part in the business of the House. During his second term he was elected chairman of the Democratic caucus, which position carried with it the practical leadership of the minority party. He was defeated in 1900 for the office of district attorney by William H. Spencer. He attended several National Democratic conventions including that of 1924, and was State Committeeman for several years. During World War I he was one of four minutemen appointed by the Federal Government and received several citations for his services.
Mr. Ritter was married in 1883 to Margaret Wallace, of Hughesville, and they were the parents of three children: Florence E., of Oakdale, Cal.; Allen G., an attorney in Los Angeles; and Mrs. George Moliter, of South Williamsport. He was the elder brother of Drs. H. M. and George T. Ritter, who were Williamsport physicians. Mr. Ritter died July 17, 1928.
Richard Hubert Roesgen
Richard H. Roesgen was born November 7, 1937 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Jacob H. Roesgen and Margaret Sparks Roesgen. He graduated from St. Joseph's High School in 1956. He attended and graduated from Kings College, Wilkes-Barre in 1959, where he majored in English. He graduated from Villanova Law School in 1964.
Immediately after graduation, Mr. Roesgen returned to Williamsport and was admitted to the Lycoming County Bar in 1964, where he maintained an active practice of law from that time on. That same year, he became associated with the law firm of McNerney Page, where he specialized in real estate and became a partner in 1966. He remained with McNerney Page until 1975, at which time he became a solo practitioner. In 1977, he joined Henry G. Hager III and formed the partnership of Hager and Roesgen.
In 1981 he joined Don Larrabee II and the Kenneth Brown and formed the partnership of Roesgen, Larrabee and Brown. In 1988, after Kenneth Brown was appointed to the bench of Lycoming County and Mr. Douglas Engelman joined the partnership, Dick Roesgen became senior partner in the firm of Roesgen, Larrabee and Engelman. In the fall of 1994, he formed a practice known as Roesgen and Associates with Richard A. Vanderlin, Pamela L. Shipman and John R. Zurich as associates to his legal practice.
During 1987 while President of the Lycoming Law Association, he single handedly initiated and formed the Lycoming Law Association Pro Bono Referral Program. In recognition of his founding of this program and his continual service to Susquehanna Legal Services, he was selected in 1989 to be the first recipient of the Lycoming Law Association Equal Access to Justice Award.
He was an active member of St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, and an avid skier and golfer.
Through his years practicing law, Dick developed an active practice in real estate, commercial and corporate law, and an extensive trial practice representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants.
Richard H. Roesgen died May 2, 1997.
John C. Rogers
John C. Rogers was born January 24, 1873, in Pine Township, the son of Stephen and Phoebe Rogers. He died June 18, 1933. He attended the public schools of his native township, and was graduated from the Danville High School; in 1893, attended Potts Shorthand College, and in 1895 entered the law office of W. D. Crocker. He was admitted to the bar in 1898. In 1902, he became attached to the office of Frank P. Cummings, City Solicitor for many years. Mr. Rogers served as City Solicitor from 1918-1924. He then resumed his services in Mr. Cummings’ office and served as law clerk to the solicitor until his death. He was divorced from his wife, who later married Judge Max L. Mitchell. He was survived by two sons, John C., Jr., and Champ Brown Rogers, a brother living at Waterville and one sister. He was an Episcopalian, and a member of Ivy Lodge, F. & A.M. Trained as a stenographer, he frequently acted as court reporter.
William Dorland Rouse
W. Dorland Rouse was born July 29, 1913, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the son of Dr. Frank Rouse, a long-time resident of Newberry. Dr. Rouse was a practicing physician for many years in Lycoming County and was widely and favorably known. Dorland’s mother was Cathryn Freitag Rouse.
Dorland graduated from Williamsport High School in 1931. He then entered Duke University and earned his A.B. degree there in 1935. Subsequently he entered Dickinson School of Law, and received his LL.B. degree in 1939. He was admitted to the Bar of Lycoming County March 11, 1940, and practiced law there until the time of his death, a period of 37 years. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Lycoming Law Association and the Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations.
He began practice in the office of his preceptor, John E. Cupp, Esquire, thereafter opened his own office, in the First National Bank Building. In 1950 he purchased the property at 531 Pine Street, and practiced there 27 years until his death, which occurred August 14, 1977.
“Doc” as he was known to friends, was a skillful and resourceful lawyer, with much expertise in the law of banking. He represented the Bank of Newberry until its merger, subsequent to which he represented Northern Central Bank and Trust Company, the institution into which the Newberry Bank had merged.
He was a member of John F. Laedlein Lodge No. 707, F. and A. M., the Williamsport Consistory, and Irem Temple Shrine, Wilkes-Barre.
Dorland Rouse also was an individualist. He was a hunter and fisherman, and traveled extensively with Charles R. Bidelspacher, Esquire, throughout the northern region of Canada, from Moosonee on James Bay to Churchill on Hudson Bay, to Prince Rupert in British Columbia, and various parts of Alaska. He was a senior member of the Red Fox Hunting Club, whose membership included many of his close friends. He truly enjoyed nature and the great outdoors. In addition, he was a gifted, accomplished pianist, who at one time aspired to become a concert artist. He had studied piano with the late Professor Harold Pries from the age of 9 until he entered Duke in 1931. There he became a member and captain of the Duke debating team. Music now became a secondary interest, and law took first priority.
He was survived by his wife, the former Marjorie Johnston, three sons: Dorland F. of Stuart, Florida; Dennis C. of Ramsey, New Jersey; and John D. of Washington, D.C., and by two grandchildren.
68Cf. Mr. Dooley on Making a will and other necessary evils, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York 1919; Judge Gest’s Drawing Wills and the Settlement of Estates, Phila., 1901; 11 American Law Record 125.
69For a complete account of this trial, see Now and Then, Vol. VI, page 299ff.