HON. FRANK C. MESERVE,
at one time county judge of Lawrence county, is one of the leading Democratic politicians of Southern Illinois. His father, Clement Meserve, of New Hampshire, was for many years a contractor by profession. Late in life he took up the study of law and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. Here he practiced until his death, in April, 1891, living to see realized his fond hope that his eldest son would follow him in the legal profession. Clement Meserve was married in his young manhood to Miss Nancy Colburn, of Massachusetts, and five children were born to them. She died in 1869, and some years later Mr. Meserve married a widow, Mrs. Sarah Hayes, a native of Massachusetts. No children were born of this union. Mr. Meserve was a conservative Democrat, giving consistent service to the party and holding various offices during his lifetime. He was postmaster of his home town for some years, and represented his district for two consecutive terms in the Massachusetts legislature. The family was reared in the Methodist church, and most of them have ever continued in affiliation with the faith in which they were early trained.
Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Clement Meserve, of which number Frank C. was the third in order of birth. He was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, on July 2, 1856. After attending the elementary schools of Hopkinton he was sent to Boston University, where he entered the College of Liberal Arts and was graduated from that institution in the class of 1877. He taught in the high school of Mendon, Massachusetts, and in his home town before entering his father's law office to begin his study of that profession. In 1879 he left Massachusetts for Illinois, settled in Robinson and devoted himself to reading law in the office of Callahan & Jones. In 1880 he was admitted to the bar, coming at once to Lawrenceville, where in June of that same year he began active practice. Almost at once he formed a partnership with George Huffman, which partnership continued until Mr. Huffman was forced to go to Florida in search of health. In 1894 the business relations were resumed and lasted for the several years following before the final dissolution was brought about.
In 1881 the firm of Meserve & Huffman purchased the Democratic Herald, the leading Democratic organ of Lawrenceville, and conducted its publication until 1888. During these seven years Mr. Meserve acted as editor and business manager for the paper. Since that time the publication has been discontinued. In 1890 Mr. Meserve was elected county judge. From 1886 to 1890 and from 1902 to 1906 he served as master in chancery and for a number of years he was a prominent member of the Democratic central committee of his county, attending several state conventions as the delegate of his party.
Mr. Meserve, like many another successful business man, is a member of several fraternal orders. Among them is the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.
On the 15th of November, 1888, Mr. Meserve was united in marriage with Rosma B. Roberts, the daughter of T. W. Roberts, who was, prior to his death, a prominent and popular merchant of Lawrenceville.