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

 

JOHN A. MALLORY
Page 124

The gentleman whose name is at the head of these notes is not an old resident of Mason county, but one whose talents and abilities have prominently identified him in the political, the literary, the legal and the business interests of the county. The writer first met and became acquainted with Judge Mallory on his first arrival and settlement in Havana, in t he year 1858, at which time he emigrated here from Tennessee, where he had resided for some years, though a native of Kentucky. Possessed of fine aesthetic taste, unusual mechanical ability, sound education and a taste for literature, it is not strange that we find him an artist, a printer, an editor or a painter. These varied talents he possesses in no small degree. He possesses poetical genius that deserves a notoriety that he does not care to admit. Below find a little production of his pen, thrown off without a momentís thought, July 4, 1859, and published in the Havana Gazette the same week:

ďTo-dayís our Nationís Jubilee,
Let every patriotís heart beat high;
From North to South - from sea to sea.
May its remembrance never die.

Baptized in blood, our fathers swore
No more to bend the suppliant knee--
No more to heed the Lionís roar,
HENCEFORTH TO BE FOREVER FREE!

That pledge of freedom which they gave,
In Seventy-six, mid sword and flame,
Their children now should ever save
From tyrantís grasp or depotís claim.
And shall traitor hands eíer sever
The Union by which our fathers stood?
No! may its links be bright forever,
Binding firm our brotherhood.Ē

The New-year following he was the successful competitor for a silver cup, valued at fifty dollars, for the best poem on the new year. The premium was offered in the city of Memphis. We have read the poem, and the letter awarding the cup, and asking by what means of conveyance it should be forwarded to him. The poem was a lengthy production, very meritorious, and we regret that we have never been able to obtain a copy, or, on the present occasion, to extract therefrom. On the breaking out of the rebellion he took active part in political affairs in behalf of the preservation of the Union, and on the 27th of August, 1862, was mustered into the service in the 85th Illinois Infantry, in an official position (for Ill., in another part of this book) which was filled with fidelity and credit. He resigned February 7, 1863. In 1865 he was elected to the office of Police Justice, to fill a vacancy, and afterwards re-elected for a full term; served with great acceptance in this position for five years, when he was elected County Judge in 1869, which position he filled with such fidelity and satisfaction that it needs no further comment than to state the fact that he was re-elected in 1873 by the largest majority any officer ever received in Mason county.

These continued re-elections by increased majorities is a better and more eloquent commentary of his official acts than any in the power of the writer to undertake.

A social, pleasant and genial gentleman, he has made many strong friends; an active politician of the ďstraitest of the sect,Ē a democrat, a member of the County Central Committee of that party, also of the State Central Committee.

If there is one fact more than another than stands forth preeminent and conspicuous where there are many strong points, as a tall mountain peak rises high in the blue vault of heaven, and is prominent, though surrounded by other mountain peaks, it is his record as a judicial officer. That record is without blot or blemish. His decisions do not in the lest indicate his individual opinions, but the law and the testimony. When the surging waves of treason were lashing against the columns of the colossal Acropolis of the nationís glory, though a southern man by birth and education, he felt it to be his duty to unite with the Union army. When an odious law is to be enforced, he executes his duty to the letter of the statute, thus hastening its repeal.

Contributed by: Jeanie Lowe

 


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