Saturday, May 3, 2008

Edward Farish

There is a nice profile of Edward Farish, a member of the Cyclone Club, in Saint Louis: The Future Great City of the World. The book was written by L.U. Reavis and published in 1876.

It may be stated, without any disparagement to the other learned professions, that the Bar of St. Louis possesses more men of prominence than any of them; and this assertion holds good, not only as regards the present generation, but as regard the past, and gives every promise of holding good in the future. With those of the past we have but little to do; volumes might easily be filled with the life records of the illustrious men who have graced the forum since the days of Liguest: records as bright and names as fair as those of any city of the Union. It is with those men who by their talents and abilities now grace the forum, and who deserve well of their fellow-citizens, that we would now speak. Honorable and conspicuous among this class is Edward T. Farish, the subject of this sketch.

Mr. Farish was born in Woodville, Mississippi, in August 1836, and is now in the prime of manhood. His father, who was a physician of large and extensive practice and wide-spread reputation, was a native of the Old Dominion, and was of English descent. His mother was a Miss Hamilton, of Louisiana, grand-daughter of Sir William Hamilton (Lord Belharm), a Scottish baron. Young Farish received the rudiments of his education at the school of his native town. In 1847, his parents having died, he came to this city where his father's relatives reside, and was sent to the St. Louis University, where he made a full classical course, graduating in 1854.

Upon the completion of his collegiate education, Mr. Farish entered the law office of Mr. A. Fenby, and began the study of his profession. Mr. Fenby died in 1856, the same year Mr. Farish was admitted to practice.

He immediately embarked upon the great ocean of professional life, and under the most favorable circumstances. For a short period he was by himself, but he finally formed a co-partnership with A.J.P. and P.B. Garesche, which lasted until 1861, the breaking out of the late civil war, when Mr. P.B. Garesche-being a warm Southerner, went South, joined his fortunes with the Confederacy, and thus broke up the partnership.

Mr. Farish declining to take any part in the great civil contest which was going on, continued to practice on his own account until 1864, when he assumed professional relations with the Honorable R.A. Bakewell, at present one of the Judges of the St. Louis Court of Appeals, which partnership lasted until June 1876, when Judge Bakewell was called to the bench. In 1868, Mr. P.B. Garesche returned from the South, and associated himself with Messrs. Farish and Bakewell, and in November of the same year died, the firm of "Bakewell and Farish," however, remaining as before.

Mr. Farish had given most of his time and attention to the practice of the law in the civil courts, rarely entering the criminal branch of his profession. On two memorable occasions he made his appearance in the Criminal Court: once in the case of Picton, a merchant, and again in the case of Edwards, teller of the Union Savings Bank; prosecuting in the latter and defending in the former. Both cases grew out of mercantile transactions, and were two of the most important criminal cases that had ever come before the Criminal Court of St. Louis. With these exceptions, Mr. Farish has confined his attention to the United states and Circuit Courts. In the Britton-Overstolz contest for the mayoralty in 1876, Mr. Farish, in connection with Judge Madill, was the leading counsel for Mr. Overstolz. Probably no case ever came before our courts arising out of an election, which was contested with more perseverance, or which brought out a higher degree of legal ability than this memorable case. It was finally decided by the Supreme Court upon application for a writ of certiorari, against the Common Council, the application refused giving Mr. Overstolz the Mayor's office.

Mr. Farish was subsequently appointed City Counsellor by Mayor Overstolz, and although the appointment was made without any solicitation on his part, yet in it the public recognized a fitting and just tribute to the man who had so successfully fought the battle of his client.

Mr. Farish was married in 1867, to Miss Lilly Garesche, daughter of V.M. Garesche, and sister of A.J.P., his former partner, and of Reverend Father Garesche, S.J., of the St. Louis University.

Through life Mr. Farish has ever avoided coming before the people as a candidate for any public office, but has given himself up entirely to the practice of his profession, and literary pursuits connected therewith. He has ever been a close student, and is never so well pleased as when ferreting out the intricacies of some obtuse point of law. He is an occasional contributor to our public journals, and his productions give evidence of literary ability of a high order. Cool and collected under all circumstances, never giving way to any undue excitement, he is never at a disadvantage in the conducting of a case. An eloquent speaker, with an easy and graceful flow of language, but few men in St. Louis have more power over, or influence with, a jury.

His social position is of the highest character, and is only equaled by his professional standing. Affable and genial in his nature, he is an ever welcome guest to our highest circles, where he is respected and honored for his many and sterling qualities of head and heart. Mr. Farish is still a young man, just entering upon the meridians of his life, with many years of usefulness before him. To his future, his fellow-citizens, who take his past as a criterion, look with many expectations. Possessed of every requisite to make a successful practitioner, honorable and upright in all his transactions, studious and attentive to every detail of his profession, we have every reason to predict for him still greater success at the bar and at the forum.

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