Since the town of Hailey was hardly more than a collection of tents Texas Angel has been numbered among its citizens and has successfully engaged in the practice of law, winning many notable lawsuits wherein he has demonstrated the possession of legal powers of high order. A native of the Empire state, he was born in Angelica, New York, October 19, 1839, and is a representative of one of the oldest families of New England. Hardly had the Mayflower deposited its precious cargo upon the shores of America, at Plymouth Rock, when the ancestors of our subject, people of Welsh birth, also came to the New World, and Nathan Angel, from whom he traces descent, removed to Providence, Rhode Island, with Roger Williams, the apostle of religious liberty. William Angel, the grand-father of our subject, settled on Block Island, and there William Gardner Angel, the father, was born in 1790. In 1792 the family removed to Otsego, New York, where William G. Angel was educated, studied law and was admitted to the bar. He was twice elected to congress during the administration of President Jackson, and was a prominent figure in the public life of that locality. He also served as county judge and was surrogate of Albany County in 1852. In politics he was a stanch Democrat in early life, but was a lover of liberty, and when the question of slavery began to figure extensively in politics he joined the new Republican Party, formed to prevent its further extension, and voted for Fremont in 1856. The family were Quakers and did not believe in war, but were strongly opposed to the oppression of human beings. Judge Angel was a man of the highest probity of character, honored and respected by all who knew him, and his death occurred in 1858, at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Clarissa English, was a native of New England. Her people were pioneers of New York and located near Buffalo. Her death occurred when she had attained the ripe old age of seventy-three years. By her marriage she became the mother of twelve children, all but two of whom reached years of maturity, while five sons and a daughter are still living. All are highly respected and occupy prominent positions in the communities in which they reside.
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Texas Angel was the youngest of the family. His father was a warm friend and admirer of General Sam Houston, president of the republic of Texas, and when that gentleman was at the height of his fame our subject was named in honor of the republic which he governed. In the Angelica Academy, in his native town, Texas Angel acquired his education, and in 1861, when the war cloud burst over the country and President Lincoln issued his call for volunteers, he offered his services, on the 22d of April, and was enrolled among the boys in blue of Company I, Twenty-seventh New York Infantry, under command of Henry W. Slocum. They were at once ordered to the front, and participated in the first battle of Bull Run, in which the regiment lost one hundred and five men in killed, wounded and missing. This was followed by the battle of West Point, where two of their number were killed, and then came the seven-days engagement at Gainesville, on the peninsula, where they lost one hundred and seventy in killed, wounded and missing. The Twenty-seventh was also at White Oak Swamp and guarded the right flank at the battle of Malvern Hill, after which they returned to Harrison’s Landing, where Mr. Angel was taken ill. There he was placed on a transport and sent to the West Philadelphia hospital. During his convalescence he was granted a twenty-days furlough, but half of that time was consumed in making the journey to and from the south. He met his regiment between Fairfax and Alexandria, on the return from the second battle of Bull Run. They were then sent to Maryland and were on the left wing at the battle of South Mountain. After the battle of Antietam, they marched to Falmouth, opposite Fredericksburg, and there Mr. Angel was appointed commissary sergeant and promoted to the rank of second lieutenant of Company I, and later to first lieutenant, while during the march from Antietam to Fredericksburg he was appointed by the colonel as quartermaster of the regiment, continuing in that capacity until the close of his two-years term of service, which expired May 21, 1863. From that time until May 1864, he was on recruiting service.
In May of the latter year Mr. Angel went to California by way of the isthmus route, and on his arrival in San Francisco read law with the Hon. Samuel M. Wilson, being admitted to the bar, in Sacramento, April 3, 1866. In the fall of the same year he returned to Angelica, New York, and after visiting his old home and the scenes of his boyhood, established a law office in Jamestown, New York, where he remained for a year. On the expiration of that period he took up his residence in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he practiced his profession for ten and a half years, being for five years a partner of Levi M. Villars, brother of Senator Villars. He also served as district attorney and enjoyed an important business, connecting him with the leading litigation of the district.
Mr. Angel was married while in Eau Claire, February 25, 1877, to Miss Mary E. Goodrich, and because of her health was obliged to seek a milder climate. Accordingly he returned to San Francisco, California, where he arrived in September 1877, there practicing law for five years. He then came to the booming new town of Hailey, which had been started only sixty days before. Most of the people were living in tents, but the place gave promise of becoming an important center, owing to the recent gold discoveries on Wood River. The town site was a beautiful and picturesque one, and Mr. Angel decided to remain and practice his profession in Blaine’ county. He has since materially assisted in the upbuilding of Hailey and is regarded as one of its most valued and progressive citizens. He has lived to see many of his hopes concerning the new town realized, and has here a delightful home, celebrated for its hospitality, while the members of the household occupy an enviable position in social circles. In the family are three children, Richard M., the present county attorney of Blaine County; Mary Goodrich, at home; and Floyd D., who is attending school.
On attaining his majority, Mr. Angel joined the ranks of the Republican Party, and was one of its stanch advocates until 1892, when he severed his allegiance thereto, on account of his op-posing views on the money question. He has since allied himself with the Populist party and has been an active and efficient worker in its interests. He belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and was made a Master Mason in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1869. The greater part of his time and attention, however, are given to his professional duties. His devotion to his clients’ interests is proverbial. His industry and honesty, coupled with his talents and ability, enable him to command a large clientage, and he has acquired a very extensive practice. He is well versed in all branches of the law, and his essentially clear mentality enables him to grasp at once the salient points in a case and to present them with unusual conciseness and directness.