Biography of G. V. Menzies
Posey County, Indiana Biographies

G. V. Menzies, of Mount Vernon, ranks as one of the leading members of the Indiana bar. He has practiced law in this State for over forty years, and during that time has been a prominent figure in many of the important cases that have been adjudicated by the highest tribunals of the Commonwealth. Like many other successful lawyers, he has taken an active interest in politics, and on several occasions figured prominently in the National councils of the Democratic party. He was born in Boone county, Kentucky, December 21, 1844, and is a son of Dr. Samuel G. and Sally (Winston) Menzies, the former was a native of Woodford county, Kentucky, and the descendant of Revolutionary stock from Virginia. Capt. Samuel P. Menzies, a direct lineal ancestor, served in Washington's army, and commanded a battery at Yorktown Sally Winston, the wife of Dr. Menzies, was born near Richmond, Va. Her parents emigrated to Kentucky when she was a child. G. V. Menzies, the subject of this review, was reared on a farm and attended the common schools and also attended school in Cincinnati, Ohio. When sixteen years of age he went with his father, who at that time was surgeon of the First regiment, Kentucky volunteers (Union). Young Menzies was present at the campaign in West Virginia during the summer of 1861, when the First Kentucky served in General Cox's brigade against the Confederate forces under Generals Wise and Floyd, in the Kanawha Valley. When at Gauley Bridge, W. Va., the boy received an appointment as midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis. Md. Part of Mr. Menzies' class completed the four years course in three years, and he was therefore graduated in the class of 1864. He was assigned to duty at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where he served until June. 1865, when he was ordered to the frigate Colorado. the flagship of the European Squadron and served in that duty two years. He was then transferred to the Monitor Miantonomah, the first vessel of that type to cross the ocean. He served as ensign on board that vessel until they returned to the United States in July, 1867. In September, 1867, he joined the South Pacific Squadron, serving on the frigate Powhatan. He was appointed to the staff of Rear Admiral John A. Dalhgren and served as flag lieutenant until he was relieved. Lieutenant Menzies then served in the same capacity on the staff of Rear Admiral Thomas Turner. In October, 1869 Mr. Menzies returned to the United States, and on November 11, 1869, was united in marriage to Miss Esther Hovey. the only daughter of Gen. Alvin P. Hovey, who was then United States Minister to Peru. To this union were born three children: Mary M., married Walter A. Seymour, who is now deceased, and she resides at Pelham, N. Y.; Juliet M., married Lloyd B. Fitzhugh, and she resides at Mt. Vernon, and Winston, personal mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume. Shortly after his marriage Lieutenant Menzies was assigned to duty at Portsmouth Navy Yard, until August, 1870. From that date until November, 1871, he was on duty at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., when he resigned from the navy, having attained the rank of lieutenant commander. He immediately came to Mt. Vernon and engaged in the practice of law, and has been continuously in the practice to the present time, and through all these years has taken an active part in politics also. He was a delegate to the Democratic convention at St. Louis in 1876, which nominated Samuel J. Tilden and was Presidential elector for the First district of Indiana that year. In 1878 he was elected to the State senate, from the district composing Gibson and Posey counties, for a term of four years. In 1880 he served as a delegate of the National Democratic convention held at Cincinnati, and in 1884 was a delegate to the Democratic National convention and vice chairman of the Indiana delegation. He was a delegate at large to the National Democratic conventions of 1896, 1900, 1904 and 1912. In 1904 he was chairman of the Indiana delegation and also member of the committee on credentials. He placed Governor Marshall in nomination for Vice President at the Baltimore convention by a clever and able speech, which was well received, and in the convention of 1884 he made the motion to make Cleveland's nomination unanimous, which was carried. Mr. Menzies was the Democratic nominee for Congress at a special election in 1905, also at the general election of 1906, but was defeated both times. He has served as delegate to several river and harbor conventions, by appointment of governors of Indiana, and was a member of the commission appointed by the United States Supreme Court to establish the boundary line between Indiana and Kentucky opposite Green River Island. He has been a member of the board of control for the State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument since 1894, by appointment from governors of the State, and is now president of the board. He has been admitted to practice in all the courts, both State and Federal. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Loyal Legion of Indiana. Mr. Menzies possesses the natural attributes of a great lawyer, in addition to being a close student of the law all his life. He is possessed of a well balanced legal mind, and is a fearless and forcible advocate, and as a trial lawyer has few equals in the State.

History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago 1913.

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