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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 17, 1911)
FAG ES 03 E TO TWELVE
tages c::e to twelve
vol. XU-XO. :r.
OMAHA. SITXDAY MOKN1XU, PFAT.MKKU 17,
mxuli; copy nvK cknts.
Two Sturdy Old Patriots Live Through Great Period
1 I SsZr Vv r M J Vit i?5s X0i.'- vJ
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To the Editor of The Bee:
You have requested of me a sentiment
appropriate Jo one who has reached the dizzy
height of 87 years in the ascent of the hill
I would advise all wayfarers who are
wearily climbing up the hill of life to so
- measure their steps that they may help
rather than hinder their fellow pilgrims,
liy that token shall they conquer at the end
of the Journey. GEORGE W. DOANB. .
liAT Time deals benevolently with
those who observe the precepts of
II good living is exclusively proven by
I . I. , .. , . . .1 -.1.1 r , v.
Judge George W". Dbano yester
day celebrated his eighty-seventh
birthday, being born December 10,
1824. ' Next midsummer Judge Eleazer Wakeley
will celebrate his ninetieth birthday, having been
born June 15, 1822. Judge Doane Is an Ohioan
by birth, while Judge iWakeley hails from New I
York, but lived in Ohio ut one time.
While today Omaha claims them, history will
award them to Nebraska. Judge Wakeley was on
the bench as an appointee of President Franklin
Pierce, accredited to Nebraska, when his territory
exteuded to tho very border of Canada on the
north and to the Kocky mountains on the west!
At the same time, as district attorney, elected by
the then scattered lieople. Judge Doane exercised
his functions over a similar stretch of territory,
UiiO.OOO miles of then wilderness, now an empire
ot high civilization.
Have Witnessed Much of History in the Making
Tho "Monroe doctrine" is one of the things
that cuts a very large figure in world politics to
day. It was proclaimed by President James Mon
roe December 2, 1823, and so Is an ancient docu
ment. Yet Judgo Wakeley was a lively infant
when Monroe served . notice to the old world to
keep hands off the new, and Judge Doane was able
to (limb a tree before Monroe left the presidency.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James
Madison, former presidents of the republic, were
si ill living whi n these two Nebraskans w re boys.
John Quinry Adams was yet to achieve bis great
ambition In winning the chief magistracy, and
afterward to appear as a number of the lower
house of congrohjj to sound the mllltunt note against
From which it will be seen that sume liUtory
Lad transpired lu the days of these old-fashioned
democrats, wuu cume naturally by their political
faith, for Andrew Jackson was at tho zenith of his
great career when they were beginning to take an
interest In politics. They beard the discussions
created by his fight on the Bank of the United
States, were more or less Interested, no doubt,
when it wjis wound up, In 1836; and experienced '
in some degree the fearful pinch consequent on the
panic ot 1837, resulting from the upset of financial
conditions. Nothing so disastrous had, up to that
time, afflicted the country, which two years before
was entirely out of debt as a nation.
Great Characters Appear During Their Time
No historical character of the. present day, ex
cept John Blgelow, was livlns when George W.
Doane and Eleazer Wakeley appeared on the scene.
They have witnessed the birth and death of many
political parties since Martin Van Buren was
elected by the Whigs. -In their youth the national
government,, to, properly caro for. its money, was
compelled to loan many millions to the states, and
they bad the chance to rejoice with all good citi
zens when the "Independent treasury" of the
United States was established in 1810.
When Judge Wakeley was born DoWitt Clinton
was still governor of New York. Across the river
from Ohio, when Judge Doanowas a baby, Abra
ham Lincoln was a backwoods boy living In a
primitive Kentucky hut. The battle of New Or
leans had not yet ceased to be a dally topic of con
versation, and the victor, Andrew Jackson, was
governor ot the territory of Tennessee. In the
congrebs Henry Clay was speaker of the houso
aud Daniel Webster was just beginning to win
fame as a debater. Ulysses 8. Grant was 3 months
old when Judgo Wakeley mas born, and was a
toddler of lebs than 3 years when Judgo Doane ap
peared. Quteu Victoria, who was to havo a record
reign as sovereign, of England, was yet unheard or,
a modest little maiden in a lonesome Scottish
castle. Napoleon had but recently passed off the
scene, (jladtetouo nu school boy, and Tennyson
In bis first flight as a poet, 'yhlle both were still
yonng Hawthorne, Poe, Whittler, Emerson, Lowell,
Longfellow, Prescott, Bancroft, Wendell Phillips
and others came to their full vigor. "The power
ot genera opinion" spread with wondrous results.
They witnessed the wiping out of property qua'il'i
cations for voters, for by the end of Jackson's last
term this old rule had been abandoned In all the
states except Connecticut and New Jersey In the
east and Ohio in the west. They were still young
In years when Story and Kent were formulating
their great elucidations of the law that both wcro
to study and govern tbeir active work by.
Think of the tremendous railroad aggregations
of today, which have girdled tho world with rails
for flying trains. When Doane was t and Wake
ley 8, In 1830, but twenty-three miles of rail had
been laid in the whole United States, in scattered
pieces, with horses to pull the cars, and the steam
,.boat was still a novelty. Tho anthracite coal fields
had not yet been worked, but it was soon realized
this fuel was needed to produce steam and manu
facture iron. How those farm boys must have
wondered It they beard, in 1835, that 130,000.000
had been Invested In new railroads, and that in
1841 3,000 miles of road had been built. And how
much more they mu6t have been surprised nnd
- pleased when the news sifted along, in 183 4, that
McCormlck had Invented a reaper that would tako
the place of the grain cradle.
During the boyhood ot these veterans Chicago,
now one of the great cities of the world, was a
trading post. Philadelphia, with 200,000 popula
tion, was the largest city in America. New York
bad about 100.000 population, and Judgo Doane
was 11 years old tho day that city was swept by
the great fire of December ltf, 1835.
Twenty-four states composed the uniou in 1824,
when Judge Doane was born, Maine and Missouri
having been admitted shortly before. Tho next
state, Arkansas, was not admitted until 1830, and
now the Dumber of states has exactly doubled, la
number, while the population has increased many
times over. In fact, several of tho states now have
as much population as the nation had in tho '20s.
The Louisiana Purchase was peopled and mad)
into states during his early manhood.
These men were lads of 4 and 6 when the first
passenger railroad wus started in the United
States, la 1828. They were sturdy school boys
when Morse Invented the telograph, in 1835, and
bad reuched man's estate when the first cahlo
messuge was scut under tho sea. Whilo they wcro
growing from youth to manhood two bloody revo
lutions occurred in France, the Seminole and Mcxl
cun wars were fought, and the republic of Ttxas
was annexed. The sewing machine of Ellas Howe
was far in the future when they were born, and
tho gold discoveries in California and Australia
vcro undreamt of.
They havo seen the faro of Rurope chaugod
by war and sharp diplomacy, tho Italian kingdom
and German empire established, Mexico croctod
into an empire aud changed back to u republic.
Events of world-wldo significance, including tho
war between the states, havo occurred all about
tliom. Methods of transportation have been revo
lutionized, uud means of communication likewise,
for they were men lu their fifties when the tele
phone wus perfected. No such wonderful change-
have occurred in the history of tho world in a liko
period of time.
Havo Grown With tho Wcht
What of their llfo and work In tho west, where
they have labored through u long lifetime, taking
active and Influential part for many years In every
vital thing that has occurred.
Judgo Doane, whose birthday is tint itumediato
excuse for this review, came to Nebraska in lfct7.
Ho had been admitted to thu bar jn Ohio In ISIS,
and ou arrival hero ho located at the town of
Decatur,-which Is itself old in history. In August
of that yoar ho was chosen district uttorncy for u
judicial district larger than - juan a.lnsdouid,
Ascertaining Uie vote was a tedious process in
those days,-elnco the custodians took their own
time to bring in the result. Go Judge Doane took
a trip to Ohio, and was there when notified ot his
election. He returned to Decatur and put out bis
sign, "George-W. Doane, Lawyer and District At
torncy," going about bis life business with as seri
ous purpose as If clients were already at band.
After gaining a good deal of frontier experi
ence as a lawyer and as a legislator in the Flftb
session of the state law-making body as the repre
sentative of Burt, Washington and Sarpy counties,
he came to Omaha to make his homo In 1864.
Again ho was elected district attorney, and again
he was sent to the legislature, serving In both
house aud senate from Douglas county. Elevated
to the district bench In IS 8.7, he was chosen for a
second term in 1891. In 1893 he resigned from tho
bench to accept the congressional nomination of
the democratic party. Defeated, , he. resumed his
private practice and devoted himself exclusively
to it, with tho exception thut lu 1893 ho was se
lected by the state legislature as one of the attor
neys to prosecute Impeachment proceedings against
certain officers ot the state. Judge Wakeley ap
peared In tho same case.
A Gentleman of the Old Kcliool
Judge Doane is a fine examplo of tho educated,
courteous gentleman of the old school, who could
accommodate himself to any environment and en
joy tho pushing hour lu work or play. He recount
with a good deal of unction tho story of one Christ
mas tiuio spent at Fort Calhoun when a man living
in tho country near by had Invited all hands to a
dauce to fittingly celebrate tho occasion.
"Tho chance of haviug a little fun was Dot to
bo sneezed at In those das," said the) judge. "The
want of u fiddler was a discovery that threatened
to put a damper on the frolic, until the sheriff hap
pened to think of a prisoner confined for murder
ut Calhoun. Judge Wakeley was appealed to, aud
seriously opined tha the sherifi would have to
shoulder tho responsibility for keeping that man
safe. In the end the Bheriff took the responsibility,
Tor wo Just had to have that fiddler, and the pris
oner was willing to play."
The party came off all right, and Judge Doane
admits it was one of the best he ever, attended.
Tho prisouer said tho same thing, at the time, al
though he was making music to wtiicn danced the
district attorney aud the Judge who might later be
compelled to make him dauc on-air. ,
Lifelong 1 ricudsliip Began Long Ago
It was in thoso days, and la the closo touch of
uduilnlsteriug pioneer Justice, that George W.
" .(.Continued ou. Puge,. I'ourV
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