DEWITT TALMAGE HARTWELL
is descended from a long and distinguished citizenship of Williamson county, where his family forms a thread of the pioneer fabric of Southern Illinois. He was born at Marion, Illinois, July 8, 1879, and here was reared to maturity and educated. He is a son of Lorenzo Dow Hartwell, a retired lawyer, ex-public official and a member of an illustrious family of Union soldiers who served in the Civil war. The father was born May 6, 1843, in Williamson county, Illinois, and reared on the paternal farm five miles northeast of Marion, Illinois. He was the eighth in order of birth and the seventh boy in a family of twelve children born to L. D. and Sicily H. Hartwell, At the time of the inception of the Civil war Lorenzo D. Hartwell gave evidence of his intrinsic loyalty to the cause of the Union by enlisting as a soldier in Company F, Thirty-first Illinois Volunteer
Infantry, serving in that company and regiment until the 19th of July, 1865. He was a lad of but seventeen years of age at the time of his enlistment and he received his honorable discharge from the service at Springfield, Illinois. He participated in the battle of Belmont, Missouri, November 7, 1861; Fort Donelson, Tennessee, February 15 and 16, 1862; the battle at Thompson Hill, Mississippi, May 1, 1863; Raymond, Mississippi, May 16, 1863; Champion Hill, Mississippi, May 17, 1863, and was with his regiment during the entire siege of Vicksburg, which city surrendered July 4, 1863. He was on the march with his regiment to Meridian, Mississippi, in 1863 and he also took part in the battles in that vicinity on the 21st and 22nd of July, 1864. He was a participant in the skirmishes around Atlanta, Georgia, and was in the march with Sherman to the sea, arriving at Savannah December 24, 1864, At the close of hostilities he went to Washington, where he took part in the Grand Review. He was twice wounded, first at Vicksburg on June 27, 1863, and later near Atlanta, Georgia. For meritorious conduct at and during the siege of Vicksburg and in the battles around Atlanta he was awarded a gold medal by order of General M. D. Leggett, division commander of the Seventeenth Army Corps.
After being mustered out of the army Lorenzo D. Hartwell returned to his home at Marion, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar of Illinois in March, 1869. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession at Marion and was actively engaged therein until the encroachments of age sapped his vigor and made it necessary for him to seek a quieter life. He entered politics in 1866, as a Republican and was chosen to fill a number of public offices of important trust and responsibility. He served for eight years as county judge and for two years was master in chancery. He began his public service as justice of the peace and subsequently was city attorney of Marion for four years. In 1900 he was elected state's attorney and during his four-year term of office in that capacity he prosecuted Jerry Graves and Calvin Price for the murder of Nellie Reichelderfer. These two men were tried by a jury and a death sentence followed. They were later executed in Marion. This is the only case in Williamson county in which a death sentence was the result of a jury trial, the only other man hanged in this section being Marshal Cram, who was executed upon a plea of guilty. By appointment of the late President McKinley, Mr. Hartwell served three years as postmaster of Marion. On the 30th of April, 1871, Mr. Hartwell married Miss Eola Calvert, to whom a son, Edward E. Hartwell, was born. On August 18, 1878, Mr. Hartwell was united in marriage to Miss Cora E. Simmons, a daughter of Levi Simmons, who came into Williamson county at the outbreak of the Civil war. The Simmons family was originally from Tennessee, where Mrs. Hartwell was born. To the latter union were born three children, namely: DeWitt T. (of this notice), Fannie and Morrill. Concerning the brothers and sisters of Lorenzo D. Hartwell the following brief data are here incorporated,óJohn, Riley, J0 W., George and Frank were all valiant soldiers in the Union army during the Rebellion and all served in the same regiment as did Lorenzo D., with the exception of George, who was with Fitzpatrick's cavalry. All were in the thick of actual fighting and all came home with deep scars as evidences of their exposure to the enemy. Jo W. lost an arm and Lorenzo D. parted with a portion of one leg, yet all six returned home and were permitted by divine providence to take part in the civic affairs of their state for many years. The other children in this large family were William, Elizabeth, James, Harriet, Polly and Sallie. Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo D. Hartwell are now residing at Marion, where he is retired and they have reached a venerable age.
DeWitt T. Hartwell received his preliminary educational training in the Marion high school and subsequently he attended the Northern Indiana Normal College, at Valparaiso, for one year, at the expiration of which he entered Columbia University, at Washington, D. C., where he received instruction under the Illustrious Judges John M. Harlan, David J. Brewer and Willis Vandeventer, of the United States Supreme court. He was graduated in that excellent institution as a member of the class of 1902 and in October of the same year he passed the bar examination at Springfield, Illinois. He now practices in all the courts of this state and in the federal courts. His first case was one which affected the whole community in which he lived. This was the notorious trial of Jerry Graves and Cal Price for the murder of Nellie Reichelderfer at Herrin, March 16, 1903. His father was state's attorney at the time, as previously noted, and Mr. Hartwell assisted in the case. After practicing law alone for a number of years Mr. Hartwell entered into a partnership alliance with R. R. Fowler, the firm being known as that of Fowler & Hartwell. After Mr. Fowler's election as state's attorney, Mr. Hartwell formed a partnership with George B. White, under the title of Hartwell & White, an exceedingly well known law firm at the present time, in 1911.
As a Republican Mr. Hartwell was chosen city attorney, serving in that capacity for two terms, during which time he made a legal campaign against gambling and, with the loyal aid of Mayor Denison, succeeded in ridding Marion of that vice and its abettors. In 1908 he was further honored by his fellow citizens in that he was then elected state's attorney for Williamson county to succeed his former partner, R. R. Fowler, in the office. Mr. Hartwell is a director in the Marion State Savings Bank and his firm is counsel for the Illinois Central Railroad Company and holds a conspicuous place upon the docket of all the courts of the county. In his fraternal connections he is a Scottish Rite Mason, a Knight of Pythias, an Elk and a Modern Woodman. He is recognized as one of the most capable lawyers and officials in Williamson, county and as a man he is everywhere accorded the unalloyed confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, who honor him for his sterling integrity and worth. He is unmarried.