HON. R.S. STRAHAN. – Judge Strahan, as a member of the Oregon supreme court, is widely known as being able and upright, and is universally recognized as one of our most popular representatives of the state judiciary.
He was born in Kentucky in 1835. During his childhood he removed with his father to the Platte reserve, as the section was then known, in Missouri, and several years later to Mexico in the same state, living on a farm until he reached manhood, and cultivating the use of brain, brawn and nerve, and cherishing a country-boy’s ambition. The strength and hope thus developed on a farm has served many a man, as well as Judge Strahan, with the impetus which has borne him far into the higher realms of action and society. He obtained all the education to be had at the country school-house, and to this added a brief academic course preparatory to the study of law, in which is tastes inclined him. He entered upon legal studies at Louisa, Kentucky, early in 1856, and completed his course and was admitted to the bar in 1857. Returning to the state which he now called his home, he set up a practice at Milan, Missouri, and met with due success. His abilities became so well known as to attract attention and inspire confidence among the people of the county (Sullivan) and he was appointed probate judge, acting in that capacity four years, and ever discharging the duties of that important position with dignity and to the entire satisfaction of those having business in his court.
In 1864 he was led to seek a wider field upon our coast, and coming to Oregon located at Corvallis, where he continued the practice of law. In 1868 he had so far advanced in the confidence of our people as to be elected district attorney of the second district, and in 1870 state senator from Benton county. In 1886 he was before the people of the whole state as candidate upon the Democratic ticket for supreme judge, and in the contest was elected by a small majority over Chief Justice Waldo, a an of great and deserved popularity. The official reports of the court bear witness to the efficiency with which he performed the labors of his distinguished position.
The Judge maintains a very robust and vigorous physical condition, and applies to his duties something of the force and energy exemplified in an electric engine. This not only enables him to dispatch a vast deal of current business. but permits the hope that he will for many years be able to perform the duties of the first position in the state, and to occupy a leading position in the profession which his abilities and character have already adorned.
Distinguished ancestor, he is the grandson of Honorable Elisha W. Stratton, who was one of the first settlers of Ohio, and for nearly twenty years representative to the United States Congress form the nineteenth district of that state, and also controller of the treasury under three Presidents. He is the son of William O. Stratton, a leading clergyman of the Presbyterian church of Ohio.