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Biography of Colonel Elhanan John Searle

Soldier, jurist and publicist, a man of many attainments and widely diversified talent, was Elhanan J. Searle, the subject of this sketch. He was born January 18, 1835, at Royalton, Ohio, coming to Rock Island County with his parents when about two years of age, and died at Rock Island, August 18, 1906. Colonel Searle, or Judge Searle as he was perhaps more familiar known throughout Rock Island County, received his education at the Rock River Seminary, an institution located at Mount Morris, Illinois, and after completing his studies in that school, which was largely preparatory in its scope, he entered Northwestern University at Evanston; from which institution he graduated with the highest honors of his class; and at the time of his death was the oldest alumnus of that institution. After the completion of his collegiate course he decided to fit himself for entrance to the legal profession, and with that end in view he entered the law office of John L. Beveridge, afterwards Governor of Illinois, at Chicago. He remained in Mr. Beveridge’s office until November, 1859, when he entered the law office of Abraham Lincoln and William H. Herndon, the firm being known as Lincoln & Herndon, at Springfield, and here he remained continuing the study of his chosen profession until March, 1861. Daily association with a character such as Abraham Lincoln’s and the intimacy naturally arising from their relation as student and mentor, must have made a deep impression upon the young man, and doubtless exerted a formative influence upon the whole course of his after life. As we can view it now, such an...

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