Nelson J. Bozarth, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Nelson J. Bozarth

NELSON J. BOZARTH. During the forty years of active practice in the city of Valparaiso Mr. Bozarth has done well his part in upholding the high prestige of the bar of Porter county, and his success and precedence are the more gratifying to contemplate by reason of the fact that Valparaiso has been his home since his boyhood days. He is known as a lawyer of high attainments and has long been recognized as one of the representative members of the bar of this section of his native state, the while his character and personality have gained and retained to him inviolable confidence and esteem. It was his to render loyal service as a gallant young soldier of the Union in the Civil war, and in the "piping times of peace" he has manifested the same intrinsic loyalty and patriotism, with the result that he has proved a valuable citizen as well as one who has lent dignity and honor to the profession to which virtually his entire active life has been devoted.

Nelson J. Bozarth was born at Rochester, Fulton county, Indiana, on the 14th of July, 1849, and is the only child of Lot N. and Clarissa J. (Welton) Bozarth, the former of whom was born in Clarke county, Virginia, and the latter of whom was a native of the state of New York. Lot N. Bozarth, a scion of one of the old and honored families of Virginia, came to Indiana in an early day and he became one of the prominent and influential citizens of Fulton county, where he was the incumbent of the office of clerk of the circuit court at the time of his death, which occurred when he was but forty-four years of age. His widow lived to the extremely venerable age of ninety-one years and passed the closing years of her life in the home of her only child, Nelson J., whose name initiates this review. She was a woman of strong character and gracious personality, and her memory is revered in the community that represented her home for a long period of years, her removal to Valparaiso having occurred shortly after the death of her honored husband.

The boyhood days of Nelson J. Bozarth were passed in Pulaski, Indiana, where he received his elementary education in the public schools, and he was about thirteen years of age when he came with his widowed mother to Valparaiso, in 1862. The Civil war was in progress at the time and his youthful patriotism was soon quickened to decisive action, as is shown by the fact that when he was but fourteen years old he contrived to enlist in the One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served four months, during which his regiment was attached to the Army of the Cumberland. Thereafter he tried on three different occasions to re-enlist in Indiana for a long term, but was rejected on acount of his age. Finally he went to Chicago, where, in May, 1863, he enlisted in Company C, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, with which he went to the front and with which he continued in active service for several months after the final surrender of Generals Lee and Johnston. He received his honorable discharge at Springfield, Illinois, in November, 1865, after having been mustered out at Selma, Alabama. His command was a part of the Army of the Cumberland and with the same he saw active and arduous service, in which he took part in a number of important engagements, besides many minor conflicts. His brigade took a very prominent part in the battle of Nashville, Tennessee, and in this engagement Mr. Bozarth received a severe flesh wound in the left leg, the injury incapacitating him about one month, at the expiration of which he again reported for duty. His continued interest in his old comrades in arms is shown by his membership in Chaplain Brown Post, No. 106, Department of Indiana, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has held various official positions, including that of commander, of which he was the incumbent for two terms. He has been most earnest in his activities in this noble organization and at the encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic of the Department of Indiana in May, 1910, he was unanimously endorsed as a candidate for junior vice commander-in-chief of the national organization. In May, 1909, he was elected junior vice commander of the Department of Indiana, G. A. R., and the same year was also appointed and served as an aide on the staff of the national commander, Samuel R. Vanzandt. When fifteen years old he received from President Lincoln a card of thanks for military services rendered during the campaign of 1864. He still has this card or letter.

After the close of the war Mr. Bozarth, who was then but sixteen years of age, returned to Valparaiso, where he gave his attention to gaining further educational discipline. He duly availed himself of the advantages of the public schools and finally put his scholastic acquirements to practical use by entering the pedagogic profession. He was a successful teacher in the district schools of Porter county for two years, but this work was but a means to an end, as he had determined to prepare himself for the profession in which it has been given him to gain marked success and no uncertain distinction. He began reading law under the preceptorship of one of the leading members of the Valparaiso bar and then entered the Chicago College of Law, in which he was a student at the time of the ever memorable fire which virtually destroyed that city in 1871. The work of the school was, of course, interrupted, and under these conditions Mr. Bozarth entered the law department of the University of Indiana at Bloomington, where he completed his technical course and where he was graduated as a member of the class of 1872, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was simultaneously admitted to the Illinois bar, but in April of the same year, after duly being admitted to the bar of his native state, he opened an office in Valparaiso, where he has been continuously engaged in active and successful general practice during the long intervening period of forty years. He is the second oldest member of the bar of Porter county in point of years of consecutive practice, and in the work of his profession he now has an effective coadjutor in the person of his youngest son, with whom he is associated under the firm name of Bozarth & Bozarth. They control a large and representative practice and during the long years of his earnest and effective professional work the subject of this review has been identified with much of the important litigation in the courts of this section of the state-with an established reputation as an able and versatile trial lawyer and as a counsellor admirably fortified in the minutiae of the science of jurisprudence. He is a Republican in politics, and has held the offices of prosecuting attorney of the Thirty-first Judicial District of Indiana and of city attorney of Valparaiso.

In 1876 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Bozarth to Miss Mary D. Howell, who was born and reared in Porter county and who is a daughter of the late William Howell, a well known and highly esteemed citizen of the county for many years prior to his demise. Mr. and Mrs. Bozarth have three sons -- Charles G., who is a United States Indian agent in the state of Oklahoma; Claude D., who is claim agent in the Chicago office of the Illinois Central Railroad; and William W., who was graduated in the Northern Indiana Law School as a member of the class of 1904, and who is now associated with his father in practice as has already been noted in this context.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 783-786

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul