Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, July 29, l901
The following biography of Judge JOHN W. WARNER will be read with great interest by many friends in Decatur County.
JOHN W. WARNER was born on the banks of Stillwater in Dark County, Ohio, on the 6th day of June, l827. Up to fourteen years of age, he did small work on the farm of his father and his neighbors and in no wise differed from the ordinary boy of Pennsylvania Dutch descent in that neighborhood at that time. He like the rest was without even the rudiments of an education. It was thought among the fathers and mother of Pa. Dutch that learning was only an excuse for laziness -- that erudition led to rascality -- so at fourteen young WARNER, who was filled with an ambition and an aspiration to better his surroundings, found himself buying his liberty of his honest but misguided old father and the world was before him.
For a time he worked in the summer for eight dollars per month and used the money thus earned in going to school during the months of winter. Hearing that there was a superiour school at Bloomfield, Illinois, in the spring of l884 he took his younger sister, SUSAN, now MRS. G.W. BAKER, SR., and they went west to Bloomington. During the sessions young WARNER attended academy and in vacation he husked corn to make further expenses. At the end of his time here, he and his sister started home to Ohio, with little money and afoot. When his sister became tired and footsore he would carry her on his back. If he got tired he would stop and rest and then repeat the experiment. They got back home in Ohio in due time and young WARNER began to teach and to read law. He was admitted to the bar in l85l. C.L. Vallandighem, of Ohio, having been one of the committee that examined him as to his qualifications. He married MARY WRIGHT MARTIN who is with him as his wife today, on the 11th day of December, l85l and the marriage
ceremony was preached at Piqua, Ohio, by the Rev. Maxwell P. Gaddis of national fame and reputation.
In l853 he came to this county and began the practice of law and in a modest way to invest and speculate in land. The panic of '57 absorbed the land and though MR. WARNER enjoyed an extensive law practice it was only a fairly lucrative one. During all his career he was never a public prosecutor nor a corporation attorney. At the breaking out of the Civil War, in spite of all his opportunities he was a poor man. Notwithstanding this, and the further fact that he was a Douglas Democrat, when Sumpter was fired on he used the influence his busy life had given him to raise a company (Co. M, 3rd Ia. Cav.) to fight for the Union.
The Company was organized in Leon, Iowa, in September, l862, WARNER was appointed upon recommendation of the Company as Captain. While at Barracks his horse fell with him and seriously injured his left hip and he was finally compelled on account of the injury to resign.
Captain WARNER was never aspiring for political honors. The only official positions he ever held was State Senator from this district in l856 to l858 and one term as County Judge of Chaffee County, Colorado, which he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. MR. WARNER went to Colorado in l873 and engaged in mining, stock raising and the practice of law, but having lived for over 25 years at an average altitude of over 7,000 feet bove the sea level, in June of this year he was compelled on account of heart failure to resign his office as before stated and seek a lower altitude. He is at present a resident of the beautiful Utah Valley at the city of Provo, a city of 7,000 inhabitants which has for its principal boundaries the magnificent Utah Lake on the west and the majestic Wasatch range of mountains on the east. MR. WARNER is proud of and loyal to the young states of Colorado and Utah but always means Decatur County when he speaks of "back home."
Copied by Nancee(McMurtrey)Seifert
"With permission from the Leon Journal Reporter"
February l8, 2003
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