Bio of Charles Freeman Libby
As found in REPRESENTATIVE MEN OF MAINE
A Collection of Biographical Sketches.
Prepaired under the direction of Henry Chase
Portland, ME.
The Lakeside Press, Publisher
1893

MR. LIBBY very property occupies a high position at the Bar of Maine at the present time. Fitted by nature, by education, and by thorough training, at home and abroad, for his profession, for which he has great love, and being endowed with energy and perseverance sufficient to turn all obstacles aside, and with a kindly and genial nature that wins friends and keeps them, his course in life has been constantly upwards until he has reached his present proud position in the very front rank of the lawyers of Maine, and won a clientage that probably is not surpassed by any of his brothers at the Bar.

We feel that we cannot do better than to copy from the Portland Transcript of recent date, a sketch of Mr. Libby, in which his qualifications and success as a lawyer are truthfully, yet modestly, set forth, and which pays but Just tribute to his character and worth as a citizen, and shows as well the high esteem in which he is held in the community and in the profession of which he is a brilliant member.

Charles F. Libby was born in Limerick, January 31, 1844. His father, James B. Libby, moved to Portland a few years afterwards He was a brother and partner of H. J. Libby. The firm name of H. J. Libby & Co. has been for many years a leading one among woolen manufacturers in New England and New York City.

The son Charles graduated at the Portland High School, and from Bowdoin College in 1864. His father gave him liberty to choose his vocation, and he decided to become a lawyer. He studied in the office of Fessenden & Butler, in this city, and at Columbia Law School, and was admitted to the Bar in 1866. Immediately after he went to Europe, where he remained two years. He studied law and metaphysics in Paris and Heidelberg, and passed the two winters in Rome. where he was also a student.

Returning to Portland, he entered into a law partnership with Joseph W. Symonds, which continued until the latter's appointment to the Superior Bench, in 1872. In 1873 the firm of Butler & Libby was formed, with Moses M. Butter as senior partner. This continued until the latter's death, lfl 1879. In 1884 a partnership was formed with Judge Symonds for the second time, which was dissolved in 1891, and Mr. Libby is now alone.

In 1871-2 Mr. Libby was City Solicitor and was County Attorney in 1872, resigning in 1878. His record as an efficient public attorney was exceptionally creditable. Though disbelieving in Prohibition, theoretically, he enforced the law, and during his term of office prosecuted liquor indictments which resulted in a total of sentences of over fifty years and the payment of $80,000 in fines. There were many capital cases among the one thousand indictments during his term, all of which he managed alone, without the assistance of the Attorney-General as is usually the case.

In later years his energies have been largely devoted to more important legal services; especially in connection with great business interests. He is Attorney for the First National Bank and the Portland Street Railway Company, of which he is also a Director. He is also Attorney for and a Director of the International, the Portland Packet, and Maine Steamship lines. Few lawyers in the State are so actively identified not only legally, but in a managing capacity, with such large business interets.

Mr. Libby has long been one of the leaders of the Republican party. In 1882 he was Mayor of Portland. In 1889 he was in the State Senate, and upon his re-election, in 1891, was chosen President. It was at this time that he received a recognition of his legal abilities, a tribute that must have proved most gratifying. He was the Republican candidate of Maine for the office of Circuit Judge in the new United States Circuit Court of Appeals. He received the cordial support of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Maine, led by Chief Justice Peters. He also received the support of the Legislature, of Governor Burleigh, many other prominent Republicans, and not a few leading I)emocrats, among them the venerable Ex-United States Senator Bradbury and also Hon. W. L. Putnam himself, who afterwards became the I)emocratic candidate and was appointed by President Harrison, who felt that this district should be represented by a Democrat.

For twelve years Mr. Libby was a member of the City School Committee, is now President of the Board of Overseers of Bowdoin College, and was for many years a Trustee of the State Board of Agriculture. His fondness for cattle led him to engage extensively in the raising of thoroughbred Jerseys on his Ridgewood Farm, Cape Elizabeth. His cows and heifers won many premiums at the fairs, and his record book of these triumphs is a valued possession preserved with care and fondly referred to.

Mr. Libby has won a leading position as a lawyer, both as an able advocate and as a sage counselor of great corporations.. He is also eminently a business man, a man of affairs. On public occasions and at banquets his eloquence is frequently a feature of the occasion. He is an extemporaneous speaker, who has full control of language and ideas, and who can be depended upon to respond appropriately and happily whenever occasion requires.

Mr. Libby was mainly instrumental in bringing about the organization of the Maine State Bar Association. He believed that much good might be accomplished thereby, both for the profession and for State legislation, and the results have proved that he was entirely correct. He was elected the first President of the Asssciation, and is its President to-day.

Mr. Libby is a man of affairs, and also a man of the world and of society, who has travelled much, studied much, and observed much, with a broad intelligence and keen perception. He is a man of reason and of tolerance, who is sure to regard all great questions of life with a calm and just estimate of all the different aspects.

December 6, 1869, Mr. Libby married Miss Alice W. Bradbury, daughter of the late Bion Bradbury. They have two surviving children, a daughter, Hilda, and a son, Bion B., born July 26, 1886.


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