Biography of Clarence A. Knight
Chicago, Cook County, Il Biographies

KNIGHT, CLARENCE A. - Born October 28, 1853, at McHenry, Ill, He received his education in the common schools and at the Cook County, Illinois, Normal school and was subsequently engaged in teaching for about a year. In April, 1872, he began the study of law in the office of Spafford, McDaid & Wilson at Chicago, and was admitted to the bar Sept. 1874, after an examination before the supreme court at Ottawa, Ill. In 1877 he formed a partnership with the Hon. H. O. McDaid under the firm name of McDaid & Knight. This partnership continued until September, 1879, when he was appointed assistant city attorney by Hon. Julius S. Grinnell, and occupied that position until November, 1884, when he was appointed city attorney by Mayor Harrison. He was succceded in this office by Hon. Hempstead Washburne, and at the request of Mr. Washburne was appointed assistant city attorney in 1885, arid continued in that office until January, 1888, at which time he was appointed assistant corporation counsel by Mayor Roche and continued in that office until July, 1889. In July, 1889, Mr. Knight resigned his official position to resume the private practice of the law having served ten years continuouslv in the law department of the city of Chicago through a peripd of some of the most important litigation covering municipal and corporation law, in the history of the city. During this period he was constantly engaged in court, defending suits against the city, and no large verdicts against the city were ever returned in any of the cases contested by Mr. Knight. After the decision of the supreme court of the state declaring the first law, providing for the annexation of various towns to the city of Chicago unconstitutional, Mr. Knight was requested to prepare a law which would stand the test of any litigation. This he did, and obtained the passage by the legislature of the annexation law under which Hyde Park, the town of Lake, the city of Lake View, the town of Jefferson, and a portion of the town of Cicero were annexed. The law has been attacked by numerous suits which were carried to the supreme court, but it has been sustained in every case. In July, 1889, Mr. Knight formed a partnership for the practice of law with Mr. Paul Brown, under the firm name of Knight & Brown, which partnership still continues and enjoys a large practice. It was under the direction of this firm that the legal entanglements arising out of the Lake street elevated railroad were cleared up, so as to enable the then owners of the road to sell the same and the road to be built. The firm remains the general counsel for the road. Mr. Knight was married Oct. 31, 1877, to Miss Dell Brown, daughter of Dr. Henry T. Brown of McHenry, Ill., and has two children, Bessie and James.

The Handbook of Chicago Biography
Edited by John J Flinn.
The Standard Guide Company
Chicago 1893


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