Biography of John W. Halliburton
Jasper County, MO Biographies





John W. Halliburton was born at Linneus, Linn county, Missouri, December 30, 1846, and has spent his entire life in his native state, his father, Judge Westley Halliburton, having been one of the pioneers of Missouri. The son attended the public and private schools of Linneus, Milan and Brunswick, this state, until the fall of 1863, and during the periods of vacation worked on his father's farm and in a printing office, also clerked in his father's and brother's store. In the fall of 1863 he entered Mount Pleasant College, at Huntsville; Missouri, where he continued his studies until October, 1864, when the school was disbanded on account of Price's raid through the state and the trouble it caused, and, returning to Brunswick, he enlisted in the Confederate army as a member of the company commanded by Captain James Kennedy. This was attached to Searcy's Regiment and Tyler's Brigade until January, 1865. Mr. Halliburton was then transferred to I. N. Sitton's Company, Williams' Regiment, Jackman's Brigade and Shelby's Division. He participated in the battle of Mine Creek, and in June, 1865, received an honorable discharge from General Shelby at Corsicana, Texas. In July following he started for Mexico with a relative, arriving at Chihuahua in November.

After spending the winter there as a clerk in a dry goods store he started northward, March 10, 1866, receiving transportation and subsistence for his services as a guard. He arrived at San Antonio, Texas, with only two dollars in his pocket, and from there corked his. way to Missouri by driving and herding stock, reaching St. Louis in the month of August. From that time until September, 1867, he managed a general store for his father in St. Louis and at Bonfils Station in the same county, but he determined to abandon commercial pursuits for professional life and became a law student in the office of the firm of DeFrance & Hooper, at Kirksville, Missouri. In July, 1868, he returned to St. Louis county and aided in the work of harvesting and the fall planting, and during the winter of 1868-9 he was a member of the junior class in the St. Louis Law School. In April, 1869, he received a license to practice law from Judge Irwin Z. Smith, of the St. Louis circuit, on the recommendation of Judge E. B. Ewing, without having to take an examination. In May, 1869, he entered the law office of DeFrance & Hooper, working for that firm until January 1, 1871, for his board and clothes. On the dissolution of the firm he entered into partnership with the senior member, under the style of DeFrance & Halliburton, which connection was maintained until Novembers, 1874. While residing at Kirksville he had a large and varied practice in Adair and adjoining counties, including the trial of cases of almost every character, and the firm of DeFrance & Halliburton were also general attorneys for the Quincy, Missouri & Pacific Railroad Company.

In the spring of 1874 his father removed to Milan, Missouri, and there, in November, our subject joined him in a partnership, under the name of Halliburton & Son, this relation being maintained and a large practice enjoyed until April, 1877, when, desiring a broader field of labor, John W. Halliburton started for Texas. However, he stopped en route at Carthage: for a visit, and, being pleased with the city and county, decided to locate here. On the 1st of May, 1877, he entered into partnership with Samuel McReynolds, and for almost a quarter of a century the firm of McReynolds & Halliburton, which is now the oldest legal partnership in the state, has maintained a leading position among the most prominent and capable lawyers in the entire commonwealth. Success has attended their efforts from the beginning, and their clientage has not only been very extensive but of a distinctively representative character. They are the general attorneys for the Southwest Missouri Electric Railway Company and the Central National Bank of Carthage. Their practice has largely been of a civil character in Jasper and adjoining counties and in the appellate and supreme courts. For years the firm has made a specialty of commercial business, bringing and prosecuting more than two hundred attachment cases, their clients never being mulcted for damages but in one case, and that by the supreme court overruling a former decision. They never engage in criminal law practice except when some client and personal friend desires their services, their business being strictly of a civil law character. Mr. Halliburton is remarkable' among lawyers for the wide research and provident care with which he prepares his cases. In no instance has his reading ever been confined to the limitations at issue; it has gone beyond and compassed every contingency and provided not alone for the expected but for the unexpected, which happens quite as frequently in the courts as out of them. His logical grasp of facts and principles and of the law applicable to them has been another potent element in his success, and a remarkable clearness of expression, an adequate and precise diction, which enables him to make others understand not only the salient points of his argument but his every fine gradation of meaning, may be accounted one of his most conspicuous gifts and accomplishments.

In his political views Mr. Halliburton is a Democrat, being a firm believer in the principles enunciated by Jefferson and enforced by Jackson. While he has devoted his time closely to the study and practice of law, yet he has made it a rule to take an active part in every campaign commencing in 1872, and has given his time and means liberally for the benefit of the party and its candidates. During the past twenty years he has been frequently sent as a delegate to the county, district and state conventions and has labored earnestly in behalf of his friends, never seeking office for himself. Never but once has he held political office, and that was in the direct line of his profession, having been city attorney of Carthage from 1882 until 1883. He was a member of the Pertle Springs convention of 1895 and a delegate from his district to the Democratic national convention at Chicago in 1896. In 1898 he was a candidate before the Democratic state convention for judge of the supreme court, and although he did not enter the race until May, he received a very creditable and flattering vote.

On the 16th of October, 1878, in Kirksville, Missouri, Mr. Halliburton was married to Miss Julia B. Ivie, and they now have four living children: Wesley, a law student in his father's office; John J., Louise and Sarah, all at home. The cause of education has ever found in Mr. Halliburton a warm and enthusiastic friend, who has done all in his power for its advancement and feels a commendable pride in what has been accomplished by the schools of the state through the past twenty years. He believes, too, in having a well regulated state militia rather than a large standing army. He served for twenty years in the National Guard of Missouri, and rose from private to first lieutenant in the old Carthage Light Guard. On the organization of the Second Regiment he was appointed judge advocate, which position he filled until 1898. He was appointed a member of the board of managers of the Confederate Home of Missouri, in March, 1897, and was reappointed in March, 1901. While not a member of any religious organization, Mr. Halliburton strongly sympathizes with the Missionary Baptists, and his life has been characterized by a close adherence to the golden rule. For twenty eight years he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has filled the chairs in the different subordinate lodges. He is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, but whether in fraternal, political, professional or social circles he has always commanded the confidence and thorough respect of his fellow men. No political office that he might fill would add to his fame, for he has always displayed marked fidelity to his clients' interests, has manifested unfailing courtesy in his treatment of his fellow practitioners and due respect to the court. Professionally he has sustained the dignity of the law and socially he has manifested that kindly, genial intercourse with his fellow men that always wins friendship.

From:
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Chiago 1901


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