Elisha Chapman Field, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Elisha Chapman Field

JUDGE ELISHA CHAPMAN FIELD (Thomas J., Joseph C., John, Van W., Samuel, Benjamin, Anthony, Robert, William, William, John, John, William), b. Portage, Ind., April 9, 1842; m. Sycamore, Ill., Sept. 1, 1864. Mary Edith Jackman, b. May 26, 1846. Law had its beginning with the creation of man. Its complexity has grown as the horoscope of time has marked the passing years; and yet, after all, it is merely a system of logical results, - the natural sequence of well defined principles, with which man has had to do since the world began, in their relation to man and his activities. The potentiality of law might be expressed in the one word protection, for it is the safeguard of life and property. That new laws have been formulated is but the natural outgrowth of the complicated conditions of our business life, - individual, collective and international. Since the railroad has become such an indispensable factor in all the activities which encompass human existence, railroad law has become one of the most important branches of jurisprudence, and no railroad company of any magnitude is to-day without its legal representative. Standing in this important relation to the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Company is Elisha C. Field, a distinguished member of the Chicago bar, whose thorough understanding of the principles of jurisprudence and accurate application thereof to the interests of business life make him a safe counselor and able advisor. In no profession is there a career more open to talent than in that of the law, and in no field of endeavor is there demanded a more careful preparation, a more thorough appreciation of the absolute ethics of life, or of the underlying principles which form the basis of all human right and privileges. A man of strong mentality, Mr. Field has cultivated the keen analytical power, the close investigation and cogent reasoning which are indispensable to the able lawyer and by his own merit has risen to an eminent position in the legal fraternity.

A native of Porter county, Indiana, he was born April 9, 1842, and is a son of Thomas J. and Louise (Chapman) Field, natives of New York, whence they removed to Indiana in 1836. They spent the residue of their days in the latter state, the father passing away at the age of seventy-two years, while the mother's death occurred at the age ot sixty-four years. Judge Field pursued his education in what was known as the Valparaiso (Indiana) Male and Female College, now the Northern Indiana Normal School, and was graduated in that institution in 1862. With a natural predilection for the law he determined to fit himself for the bar, and accordingly entered the law department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, where he remained until his graduation, in 1865.

Judge Field entered upon the practice of law at Crown Point, Ind., and in 1868 was elected prosecuting attorney of what was then the Ninth District of the state. On the expiration of his term of service in that office he was elected to the general assembly. As the years passed he was steadily gaining prestige by reason of his thoroughness, close application, his mastery of the law in its application to the interests entrusted to his care and his unfaltering fidelity to the interests of his clients. Fame at the bar is not quickly won, although the brilliant conduct of a case may sometimes bring one prominently before the public notice; it rests upon the more substantial qualities of a mastery of judicial principles and of great care and precision in the preparation of cases. It was these qualities in Mr. Field, recognized by a discriminating public, that led to his election to the bench of the Thirty-first Circuit of Ind1ana, and so well did he administer justice, that in 1884 he was re-elected without opposition from any source. He was the candidate of the Republican party, and so marked was his ability for the office and so free was his course from all partiality or judicial bias that the opposing parties placed no candidate in the field, and thus indirectly paid the highest possible compliment to his merit.

Judge Field continued upon the bench until 1889, when he resigned that position in order to accept that of general solicitor of the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railroad, in which incumbency he has since been retained, although the name of the corporation has been changed to the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Company. Removing to Chicago in the year of his appointment to this position, he has since conducted some very important litigation for the company, protecting its interests through legal measures and in the court-room with a zeal that has won him the grateful acknowledgment of the corporation on more than one occasion.

In 1864, Judge Field was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jackman, of Sycamore, Ill., and they have two sons and two daughters, namely: Charles E., now general claim agent for the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railway Company; Cora Belle, now Mrs. G. V. Crosby, a resident of Alburquerque, New Mexico ; Robert L., a graduate of the Bethel Military School, of Virginia, and commissioned captain by the governor of the state, and Bernice Ray.

The Judge is a popular member of the Harvard Club and is a leading Republican. In 1888 he was a delegate from the Tenth Congressional district of Indiana to the National convention in Chicago, which nominated Benjamin Harrison for President of the United States. He is a most companionable gentleman, known and liked for his many social qualities, and a mind and nature of breadth are indicated by the fact that his friends represent all classes, for genuine worth is the only requisite which he demands of those who enjoy his regard.

-- From "Bench and Bar of Illinois," by John M. Palmer Lewis Publishing Company.

Res. 544 W. 61st Place, Chicago. Ill.

i. CHARLES EDGAR, b. June n, 1872; m. Jan. 18. 1894, and resides Indianapolis, Ind.
ii. CORA BELL, b. Nov. 26, 1874; m. Sept. 9, 1896, G. V. Crosby. Res. Albuquerque, N. M.
iii. ROBERT LESLIE, b. Feb. 25, 1877; res. At home.
iv. BERNICE RAY, b. Feb. 4, 1883; res. At home.

Source: Pierce, Frederick Clifton. 1901. Field Genealogy: Being the Record of All the Field Family in America, Whose Ancestors Were in this Country Prior to 1700. Chicago, Illinois: W. B. Conkey Company. 1196 p.
Page(s) in Source: 852-853

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


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