Hathaway - Russell L. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Hathaway - Russell L.

Source: Biographical & Historical Record of Putnam Co IN History. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1887, p. 338 & 339

RUSSELL LORENZO HATHAWAY was born in Berkley, Bristol County, Massachusetts, in the year 1811. His father died when he was but tow years of age. After receiving such a education as the schools and academies of the State afforded, under the tuition of Dr. Thomas Andros, a celebrated divine of that State, he fitted for college, but want of pecuniary means obliged him to abandon the idea of a collegiate education. He taught school several years in order to maintain his own expenses, and also to help to support his widowed mother. For one year he was principal of the Millbury Academy, and occupied the same position at Marblehead Academy, in his native State. At the same time he employed his spare moments in acquainting himself with law, and at the age of twenty-five commenced devoting his whole time to its study. He read first in the office of C. R. Mills, at Millbury, but afterward went to Boston and read under the tutorship of celebrated legal light, Rufus Choate, and finished with Zachariah Eddy, of Middleborough, each of whom gave him certificates as to his proficiency. He was admitted to the Plymouth County bar in 1840, under a rigid examination, not having completed the full three years' course of study required by the laws of the State. He then went to Nantucket and remained a little more than a year acquiring a reputation as a good lawyer. He then concluded to come West, which he did in November, 1841, settling at once and opening an office at Greencastle when the place was yet a small town. He immediately entered upon a good practice, and at the time of his death enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest practitioner at the Putnam County bar. At the time of coming to Greencastle he met with much opposition, the here being Southerners and disliking the Yankees, of which he was a true Puritan type, but he lived to see those who opposed him his warmest friends. In August, 1843, he married Miss Mary T. Wood, of Middleborough, Massachuetts, daughter of Judge Wilkes Wood. He was never an active politician, but always had a pronounced views on all question of importance. He was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party, when he allied himself with that party and continued one of its warmest supporters. He was not an office seeker, but held several trusts by reason of their being thrust upon him. He was a member of the common council of Greencastle in 1849, and was the second mayor in 1850, which office he resigned because of his distaste for the duties of his position. In 1848 he was a delegate to the National Convention at Philadelphia which renominated Taylor for President. He had a warm affection for Henry Clay, and made a very active canvass during the year of that race. For a time he acted as circuit judge in this district. More recently he was a member of the city school board, during which time the first and third ward buildings were erected. He was always interested in the schools of the city and county. He was the father of six children -- Lucy W., C. Wilkes, Charles R., Helen R., George and Ida. These are all living except Charles R., who died in 1879.
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