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part of the state. During his leisure moments he studied law, and was admitted to the Bar February 17, 1866. At the consolidation of the courts of the towns of Lincoln and Pawtucket he was appointed one of the Justices of the Court of Magistrates, and served in that capacity from 1865 to 1871. He was chosen Representative to the General Assembly from the town of Lincoln from 1878 to 1884, and Senator from 1884 to the time of his death. He has been Town Solicitor for the past two years. In all the positions he was called upon to fill he proved himself worthy and capable, and as a citizen he was highly respected by all. During his term of service in the Legislature, both as Representative and again as Senator, he commanded the highest respect of all his associates of whatever party complexion. From his conservatism and thorough knowledge of the usages of the legislative body he was regarded as one of the leading members of the General Assembly, and, while in the Senate, occupied one of the most important positions on its committees, that of Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. His death will thus be felt as a serious loss to the whole state.
As a lawyer Mr. Gregory was very technical, and his opinions on the construction of statutes were very apt to be confirmed by the decisions of the courts. He was well read in the common law, and very careful in giving advice in it, seeking, if possible, confirmation of his views by other lawyers before imparting them to his clients. The delicate state of his health confined him mostly to office practice, but when he did appear in the courts, his care in the preparation of his cases and of his arguments almost always insured him success. A safe counselor, a good general practitioner, and a studious lawyer, he will long be mourned and missed in the community of which he was so prominent a member.
JAMES HENRY RION.
JAMES HENRY Rion was born of English parentage at Montreal, Canada, on the 17th day of April, 1828.
In early life he became an inmate of the family of that illustrions patriot and statesman, John C. Calhoun, for whose memory he ever cherished the warmest and most sincere attachment.
His early education was chiefly obtained at Pendleton, S. C., the home of Mr. Calhoun, and at Savannah, Ga. In 18 16 he was prepared to enter West Point, Mr. Calhoun at that time having been promised the naming of one of the appointees at large by President Polk. A rupture, however, having occurred between the President and Mr. Calhoun, the appointment was given to some one else.
Mr. Rion shortly afterward entered the South Carolina College, then in its palmiest days, and from that Institution he was graduated with the highest honors of his class—a notable one—in the year 1850, his chief competitor being the brilliant Robert W. Barnwell, Jr.
Immediately after his graduation he was elected Professor of Mathematics in Mt. Zion College, Winnsboro, S. C., and acceptably filled that position for a few years.
In 1854 he entered upon the practice of the law.
In 1858 he was elected colonel of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, State Militia, and in 1859 President of the Planters' Bank of Fairfield.
In 1861, casting his life and fortune with the people of his state, he was elected to the colonelcy of the Sixth South Carolina Regiment.
Throughout the war, true to his convictions, he served with conspicuous gallantry.
Returning home after the war, he resumed the practice of
his profession, and soon acquired the largest practice at the local bar.
He was soon after the war retained as general counsel for the Charlotte, Columbia and Augusta Railroad, and he continued to hold this position up to the time of his death. He was also called to hold various offices of trust in the county of his adoption, and was at the time of his death corporation counsel of the town of Winnsboro, attorney for the Winnsboro National Bank, and also for several railroads in the state.
He had a place for everything, and could in the dark place his hand upon any paper that he desired amidst the vast variety of cases intrusted to his care, and all of which were systematically and carefully arranged in bis well-appointed law office.
The demands of his constantly increasing practice called for an extensive outlay in the matter of law books, and he had, at the time of his death, perhaps the largest private law library in the state, besides an extensive library of literary, theological, medical, and scientific works, to which he always devoted his spare moments in the evenings.
Recognizing his profound learning and attainments, in 1885 Davidson College, of North Carolina, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws.
In December, 1886, he was unanimously chosen as President of the South Carolina Bar Association, a distinction which he prized more highly than any gift within the power of the people of his state. During the same year he was also elected a member of the American Bar Association, and attended its annual meeting at Saratoga, where he made many warm friends by his kind and genial manners and his entertaining and instructive conversation.
There are very few of the important cases which have been argued in the courts of upper South Carolina during the last twenty years in which the well-known legal skill and learning of Colonel Rion were not invoked, for his reputation as a lawyer was co-extensive with the limits of the state.
On the 11th day of December, 1851, Colonel Rion was married to Miss Mary C. Weir, a lady of strong intellectual powers, like his own, with whom he passed a life of the utmost domestic peace and happiness.
His death was sudden, being caused by angina pectoris.
On the 12th day of December, 1886, this noble man, loved and honored by all who knew him for his charity and good works, so frequently and unostentatiously shown to those in need, calmly and peacefully passed away, surrounded by a loving wife and devoted children, meeting death with Christian patience and resignation, and more than heroic fortitude
LUKE P. POLAND.
LUKE POTTER POLAND, who died at Waterville, Vt., July 2, 1887, was born at Westford, Vt., November 1, 1815, his father having removed from North Brookfield, Mass., the year preceding. His boyhood was spent between the meagre allotment of the district school and the work of assisting his father at his joint callings of carpenter, sawmill operator, and farmer. This education was supplemented by five months at Jericho Academy. Thus slightly equipped, he set forth on foot with his bundle under his arm, full of high hopes, to conquer the world. Under the airy castles which his imagination constructed in these early years, he, later in life, laid a secure foundation. Traveling some dozen miles or so, he was engaged to teach the village school at Morrisville, and after a successful term he there entered the office of Samuel A. Willard as a student at law. While pursuing his studies here Judge Willard sent him forth to establish a branch office at Greensboro, and the boy not yet out of him. After a year of this experience he was recalled
and made a partner by Judge Willard. Here he continued the practice of law for three years, when he opened an office for himself in the same village, and at once took foremost rank among the promising young men of the state. He had made no mistake in his calling. It had been assigned him by a voice from above, and his recognition of this fact made him an accomplice to his own destiny. From this time forth the uncertain current of his life assumed a fixed direction.
He was summoned from this field of labor in 1848 to the Supreme Bench of the state, then thirty-two years of age, being elected by a Whig Legislature over a Whig competitor, himself having that year been given the second place upon the state ticket by the first Free Soil convention held in Vermont, Oscar L, Shafter being named for Governor. He was ever after loyal to the principles of this party and a champion of the negro race. Many years later, while occupying the Speaker's chair in the National House of Representatives, he called Mr. Rainey, member from South Carolina, to preside over the assembly, which was the first instance of a person of African descent occupying that position. He joined the Republican party upon its formation and was thenceforward an influential member of that party and loyal to its purposes, except when loyalty required the sacrifice of principle. He was Chairman to the Vermont delegation to the National Convention which first nominated Mr. Blaine. This delegation did not cast its vote for Mr. Blaine. After the nomination, being inquired of if Vermont would support the nominee, Judge Poland's characteristic reply was: “ Vermont usually takes a higher position than the rest of the country, and if we cannot bring the country up to our standard, why, we have to come down a little to meet it. As the nominee of the party is Mr. Blaine, he will secure the usual number of votes in Vermont, which is all there is.” He worked zealously for Mr. Blaine's election.
He received seventeen successive elections as Judge by viva voce vote, and in 1860 was made Chief Justice, which