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Willard H. Voyles, a leading representative of the Craig County bar and a member of the firm of Voyles & Rye, practicing at Vinita, has followed in the professional footsteps of his father and is worthily sustaining the traditions of the family in this respect. He was born at Salem, Indiana, September 13, 1874, of the union of Samuel B. and Maude H. (Huston) Voyles, the former also a native of that place while the latter was born at Macomb, Illinois. The father was reared on a farm and after completing his public school course became a student at a law school in St. Louis where he acquired his professional training. Following his graduation he opened an office in Salem and for ten years there engaged in general practice, winning a large clientele. His pronounced ability led to his selection for the office of judge of the district court and for fourteen years he acted in that capacity. His decisions were strictly fair and impartial, embodying the most correct application of legal principles, while the equity of the case was almost manifest in his opinions, and his course received high endorsement. He also served as state senator and filled other public offices of trust and responsibility, doing effective service for the public good, and he was numbered among the most prominent men in the state. He passed away at Salem on the 21st of November, 1898, but the mother survives and is still a resident of that city.
In the acquirement of an education Willard H. Voyles attended the grammar and high schools of his native city and this was followed by a year’s preparatory work at Depauw University of Indiana. In 1893 he entered the treasury department at Washington, D. C., in a clerical capacity and while filling that position pursued his studies at the National Law School of that city, which in 1896 conferred upon him the LL. B. degree, while in the following year he received from that institution the degree of LL. M. on the completion of a postgraduate course, being thus exceptionally well qualified for his profession. He retained his position in the treasury department until 1898 and then resigned, returning to Salem, where he entered upon the practice of law. His professional ability soon won recognition and in 1904 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the Forty-second judicial circuit, then comprised of Jackson, Orange and Washington counties, his excellent service in that connection winning him reelection. In 1909 he came to Vinita, where he has since successfully followed his profession, conducting a general law business. In 1912 he was elected County attorney of Craig County and for two terms was the incumbent in that office, discharging his duties conscientiously and efficiently. In 1917 he joined William T. Rye, with whom he has since been associated, their interests being conducted under the firm style of Voyles & Rye, and the fact that they have been chosen as counsel for the city indicates their high standing in professional circles. They engage in general civil practice and their clientele is an extensive and representative one. Mr. Voyles’ legal learning, his analytical mind, the readiness with which he grasps the points in an argument, all combine to make him one of the most capable attorneys who has ever practiced in this part of the state and his upright policy has gained for him the confidence and respect of his professional colleagues and also of the general public.
In 1903, at Salem, Indiana, was solemnized the marriage of Willard H. Voyles and Miss Pearl Beal, a native of that city and a daughter of William A. and Hannah Beal. The father engaged in the grocery business at Salem until 1908, when he removed to Newcastle, Indiana, where he became proprietor of a hotel, continuing active in its management until his demise, which occurred in 1913, when he was fifty-five years of age. The mother survives, and her religious faith is indicated by her membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which Mr. Beal was also affiliated. Mr. and Mrs. Voyles have become the parents of two children: Willard H., Jr., and Marjorie.
Mrs. Voyles is active in club circles of Vinita and the family are earnest and helpful members of the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Voyles is an elder. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic Party, for he deems that its policy best conserves national progress and promotes public stability. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias. In citizenship he is loyal, progressive and public-spirited and during the World war he acted as chairman of the speakers’ bureau. A tireless worker and an earnest student, his ability has developed with the passing years and his talents, natural and acquired, have won for him a position of distinction in the ranks of his profession, while his personal traits are those which make for popularity.