Columns of Will Ball
Logansport Press, August 14, 1949
Horace P. Biddle was a native of
who, becoming restless as a youngster while reading law in his home
the summer of 1836 in rambling through the West, going as far as
Chicago. He also
was admitted to the bar in Cincinnati
in 1839 and came to Logansport in October of that year.
Forty five years later, he wrote:
“I was pleased with the gentle hills
surrounding the village.”
On his first
visit in 1836, he, with two companions, traveled on horseback, entering
in Randolph County, going then to Muncie Town.
He later wrote: “from
waded through the mud, forded the swamps, and swam the rivers as the
required, till we came to dry ground near the banks of the Mississinewa
where Jonesboro now rests its spires…..here we found a
comfortable settler who
entertained us with true hospitality.
From Marion we made our way by Indian trails, thirty miles
Reserve, then inhabited by the Miami Indians, until we arrived at Peru,
down the Wabash Valley to Logansport.”
writer remembers Judge Biddle very
well, as he used to go about town.
was a dignified little man, usually wearing a black cape-like garment
the weather was warm and he always carried a cane.
He had a rather thin, high pitched voice,
which he knew how to use effectively before a jury or on the platform.
was a close personal friend of Henry
Clay and stumped the north part of the state for him when Clay ran for
president in 1844. After
in which Clay was defeated, Judge Biddle quit politics, devoting his
to the law and literary pursuits.
became a very successful lawyer and was elected president judge of the 8th
Circuit for a seven year term. He
member of the Constitutional Convention in 1850-51, participating in
debates on the leading questions.
1860’s he was elected judge of the Circuit Court and
re-elected in 1866.
1874 he was elected to the Supreme
Bench of thee state, serving a full six year term.
He then retired from the practice of law,
devoting all his time to literary affairs and scientific studies. He did important research
on the nature of
light, heat and sound and published a number of books on these
subjects, all of
which went through several additions.
Biddle had very little formal schooling but acquired a thorough
Latin, German and French. He
undoubtedly the most prolific writer who ever lived in Logansport,
his literary career in 1840. He
contributor to many modern magazines and also wrote a dozen or more
Transcribed by Christine Spencer,
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