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Arthur Valentine Lashly, a very successful lawyer, due to his native talents and acquired ability, was born in Randolph county, Illinois, February 14, 1880, and since his admission to the bar in 1910 has engaged in the practice of law in St. Louis. He is a son of George W. and Cora M. Lashly, who are now residing in Monterey, California. He obtained a public school education, passing through consecutive grades to the high school, which he attended in Steeleville, Illinois. His professional preparation was made in the St. Louis University Institute of Law and in 1910 he won his LL. B. degree.
With his admission to the bar Mr. Lashly at once entered upon active practice and from 1913 until 1915 he was prosecuting attorney of St. Louis county. He has devoted himself with thoroughness and energy to his profession. His aggressiveness, combined with excellent judgment, and a keen power of analyzation, have been important elements in his success. Elected prosecuting attorney soon after his graduation, he conducted the affairs of the office with great credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. In fact his course was one which deserved and received the highest commendation from all those who have regard for law and order. When he was elected the county was infested with saloons and gambling places of the lowest type, many saloons boasting of running without a license and under the protection of politicians. Mr. Lashly was the first prosecuting attorney who without fear or favor attacked this element and although threatened in every conceivable way, he proceeded to clean up the county and finished his job. In two years in office he prosecuted two hundred cases, three of which were carried to the appellate court and four to the supreme court, and he won the majority. The worst elements combined against him but he beat them and never stopped until he succeeded in ridding the county of this undesirable class. A prominent judge of St. Louis has said that like all others, Mr. Lashly promised to keep his oath of office, but unlike many others, he never forgot his promise for a single day when in office and never faltered nor hesitated until his task was accomplished and St. Louis county was rid of the element that at all times produces crime and every phase of misconduct. Mr. Lashly is a man of dignified demeanor, possessing a forceful delivery and a splendid command of language qualities which have won him a ‘well deserved reputation as an orator. He is exceptionally able as an advocate and one of the strong points of his success is the thoroughness and care with which he has always prepared his cases. He is an extensive reader and has a deep find of wide general information, which has also constituted an element of his success at the bar.
At Chester, Illinois, on the 31st of July, 1900, Mr. Lashly was married to Miss Mary Anna Leota Cochrane, daughter of John and Minnie Cochrane. The children of this marriage are: Ralph Cochrane, Lawrence Hilton, George Clyde, Arthur Jacob and Robert Barnett, aged respectively eighteen, fourteen, fourteen, eight and three years.,
Mr. Lashly is a member of the Methodist church of Webster Groves and takes a very keen interest in church work and in civic matters. He stands high in the councils of the democratic party and has been one of its active supporters in every campaign since attaining his majority. He was a member of the state headquarters committee of the Anti-Saloon League of Missouri in 1917 and 1918, he served on the draft boards of St. Louis county and he has ever been a supporter of all the interests which make for the uplift of mankind and the benefit of the community at large. He has never been content to choose the second best but has always labored for reform, progress and the right.