Biography of Francis Augustus Faulkner
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Francis Augustus Faulkner, second son of Francis Faulkner and Eliza Stevens, was born in the homestead, on West street, in Keene, February 12, 1825. He early showed a decided inclination for books and study. and after attending the public schools in old Keene academy, he, in 1841, went to Philip Exeter academy to finish his preparation for college. He graduated from Harvard university in the class of 1846, standing high in that class, which numbered such able men as Hon. George F. Hoar, Prof. F. J. Child, Prof. George M. Lane and Dr. Calvin Ellis. The common-place books which he kept while at Exeter and Cambridge, in which he preserved such quotations and extracts is he judged would be useful in the future, and his letters and essays during these years show that, it that early age, he had made choice of the legal profession and was systematically fitting himself to enter it. During the year 3847 he studied law with Hon, Phinehas Handerson, at Keene, and the following year was spent by him it the Harvard Law school. He was admitted to the Cheshire bar in September, 1849, and immediately formed a, partnership with Hon. William P. Wheeler, under the firm name of Wheeler & Faulkner. For nearly thirty years this firm enjoyed a remarkably extensive and successful practice, being engaged in nearly every case of importance tried in the county. From that time until his death his life presented an almost unexampled record of labor and success. Blessed with a finely organized brain and robust health, to which was united in ardent love for his profession, he accomplished in amount of labor which was the wonder and admiration of his associates it the bar and in the courts. While associated with Mr. Wheeler, who was acknowledged to be the leading advocate at then Cheshire bar, and among the first in the state. Mr. Faulkner preferred to tike the part for which he was peculiarly fitted, that of office work and preparing cases for argument and trial on questions of fact and law. He was always fully ready, no matter how difficult or intricate the case. His pipers were models of neatness, brevity, skill and learning, and his vigorous and able briefs and written arguments were always of weight with the court. To his sound judgment, quick perception, and fidelity to clients cause, much of the reputation enjoyed by the firm of Wheeler & Faulkner was due, and after Mr. Wheelers death, when obliged to appear as in advocate, it was seen that he possessed more thin ordinary powers as a jury lawyer. Clear and concise in expression, always earnest and forcible, never descending to, any trick or attempting to appeal to any prejudice or passion, he forced a_ jury to arrive at his conclusions by following him step by step through an argument which was irresistibly logical and could lead to no other result. But his temperament and cast of mind were more judicial thin controversial, and hid he found it compatible with other interests to hive accepted a position on the bench, which was twice tendered him, his sound learning and previous training it the bar would hive rendered him a valuable member of the court. Although devoted to his chosen profession he found time to identify himself with nearly ill the material interests of his town and county, and held many offices of responsibility and trust. He was county solicitor for five years;. representative to the general court in 1851, 1852, 1859 and 1860; a commissioner of enrollment during the Rebellion; a member of the constitutional convention of 1876; served as moderator twenty-four times successively, from 1897 to 1874; and in the latter year, upon the formation of the city government, was alderman from ward 4. In politics he was a staunch and consistent Republican, and a leader in his party. To his sagacity and firmness, especially during the Rebellion, the party owed much. At the time of his death he was president of the Cheshire Provident Institution, and a director in the Cheshire and Ashuelot national banks. But more than all these he was a generous, public spirited citizen, and an able and judicious advisor of all who sought his counsel, whether in their public or private affairs. In 1849 he married Caroline, daughter of Hon. Phinehas Handerson. They had seven children, of whom three sons and their mother survived him at his death, which occurred at his residence in Keene, May 29, 1879.