Richland County

Biography - STEVEN C. LEWIS

An able and influential member of the Illinois bar, Steven C. Lewis has long enjoyed a substantial law practice, and now, as county judge of Richland county, is fast building up an enviable reputation as a wise and impartial dispenser of justice. A son of the late William Lewis, he was born September 12, 1862, in Lawrence county, Illinois, of pioneer stock. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Lewis, migrated from North Carolina to Illinois in an early period of its settlement, and having taken up land from the government improved a good homestead, on which he spent his remaining days.

Born in North Carolina, William Lewis was but a child when he came with his parents to Lawrence county, Illinois. He was brought up on the home farm, and continued the pursuit of agriculture during his entire life, being quite successful in his operations. A man of sterling integrity, he was held in high respect throughout the community. He was a Democrat in his political views, but he was not an office seeker. He married Mary Gaddy, who was born in Tennessee, and came to Illinois with her parents in childhood. Her father, James Gaddy, served as a soldier in the Black Hawk war. Migrating from Tennessee to Illinois, he took up a tract of government land in Lawrence county, and having improved a good farm was thereafter engaged in tilling the soil until his death.

Receiving his early education in the public schools of Lawrence and Wabash counties, Illinois, Steven C. Lewis began working on the home farm. His tastes and ambitions, however, as is natural to a man of his mental calibre, turned towards a professional life, and he began to read law under Judge Hugh Fields. Having concluded his studies under the instruction of Judge Frank C. Meserve, Mr. Lewis was admitted to the bar in 1892, and immediately began the practice of his chosen profession at Sumner, Illinois, where he met with such encouraging success that he continued there -sixteen years. Coming to Olney, Illinois, in 1908, Mr. Lewis immediately became prominent not only in professional circles, but in public affairs, within a year being elected city attorney. In 1911 he was nominated for county judge on the Republican ticket, and notwithstanding that the county is a Democratic stronghold was elected by a good majority, his vote at the polls bespeaking his popularity with all classes of people, regardless of party affiliations. Judge Lewis is admitted to practice in all the courts, and has a large and remunerative patronage. Starting in life as a farmer's lad, he has gradually climbed the ladder of success, and through his own efforts has become exceedingly prosperous, in addition to having a valuable practice being the owner of two highly improved farms and city property of value. Fraternally the Judge is prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of Sumner Lodge, No. 364, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; of Chapter No. 35, Royal Arch Masons; and of Gorin Commandery, No. 14, Knights Templar.

Judge Lewis married, in 1880, Elizabeth Wright, a daughter of Rev. James B. Wright, a preacher in the Christian church, who as a pioneer of Lawrence county entered land from the government, and on the farm which he improved spent his remaining years. The Judge and Mrs. Lewis are the parents of five children, namely: Gallic, wife of F. W. Westall, a dry goods merchant in Sumner, Illinois; Olive M., a school teacher, who is highly educated, and in addition to having traveled extensively in the United States will spend the summer of 1912 in Europe; Ethel D., a teacher in the Bridgeport, Illinois, high school; 0. E., a lawyer, in partnership with his father, is prominent in fraternal circles, being a Mason and a leading member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and Lawrence D., who is attending school. Judge Lewis and his family are members of the Christian church, and in their everyday life exemplify its teachings.

Extracted 13 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, pages 1273-1274.

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