Centennial History of Mason County
By Joseph Cochrane
Springfield, Ill., 1876


Page 203

     The subject of this sketch was born at Bethel, Ohio, February 21, 1846. When a mere boy his tastes inclined to science and literature, which has increased with his years. In his boyhood days he made the best possible use of such educational advantages as the public schools of his native town afforded and the limited means of the family would allow. No time was wasted in truancy, but his business was the improvement of his mind. He never, as he grew older, learned that a season of sowing wild oats was necessary or essential to make a man. During the first years of the late war he was a junior member of a literary club of his native town, some of whose older members had entered the army. At the time when the sanitary commission was soliciting aid, this organization decided to give an entertainment in aid of that enterprise. The project was well received, and an immense audience assembled. George, then but a boy, had been selected to deliver the opening address, but being hardly seventeen years old, he entered upon the task unaided and with many misgivings; however, being in thorough sympathy with the work and spirit of the occasion, and this being his first extemporaneous address, he had his fears. The sequel relieved him. He was loudly applauded and warmly congratulated. He thus early gave evidence of forensic eloquence that has characterized his later and mature efforts.
     When a little over seventeen he received from the county examiner a teacherís certificate, and soon acquired a reputation as a teacher, enjoyed or merited by few, and pursued that profession in his native county till the spring of 1867, when he came to Mason County on a visit to friends. By the time he had concluded his visit he had become so attached to the country, its pleasant and enterprising people, and prosperous growth of his locality, that he decided on a permanent home in Mason City. He first engaged in the real estate business and as a salesman; then he devoted two or three years to the study of law, and in the winter of 1870 was admitted to the bar. As an attorney he has been a strict observer of the rules of professional integrity and honor, never soliciting patronage or encouraging litigation.
     He has occupied several important official positions under the municipal government of Mason County. It is superfluous to add that the duties thereof have been faithfully and efficiently discharged. A pleasant personal acquaintance of many years has existed between the writer and the subject of whom we write, and if afford us pleasure to record him a gentleman of fine natural endowment and acquired abilities, an enviable reputation, professional and social, and has contributed much to the very rapid prosperity of the town of his adoption: and by his strict attention to business and fidelity to the interest committed to his care, he has been rewarded financially, and by the confidence and growing esteem of his personal and business friends.

Contributed by: Mandy Reiley


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