Biography of William E. Minshall
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM EDWIN MINSHALL has practiced law in Cleveland since 1900, and is a member of one of the law firms of highest repute in Northern Ohio, that of Payer, Winch, Minshall & Karsh. Mr. Minshall is one of the sons of the late Thaddeus A. Minshall, who for sixteen years was a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Thaddeus A. Minshall was born in Ross County, January 19, 1834, and died at Chillicothe November 22, 1908. The Minshall family came from England, the ancestor being one of the Quaker followers of William Penn. Ellis Minshall, grandfather of Judge Minshall, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and settled in Ohio from Virginia. about 1800. The father of fudge Minshall was William Gilmore Minshall, a farmer who spent his life in Ross County.

Thaddeus A. Minshall as a youth was thrown on his own resources, and it was his thirst for knowledge and determined ambition that determined him to educate himself while working in a woolen mill and in other occupations. He also taught school. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in April, 1861. He served three years in the Union Army, being captain of a company in the Thirty third Ohio Infantry. Soon after his return home he was elected prosecuting attorney of Ross County, also built up an extensive private practice, and in 1876 was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas and in 1878 reelected and again in 1883. In 1885 he was elected a justice of the Supreme Court, and was reelected in 1890 and again in 1896. After leaving the bench in 1902 he resumed practice at Chillicothe. His published opinions while judge or chief justice are found in volumes 44 to 65, both inclusive. Many of these opinions in important cases exhibit great learning, logical reasoning, and remarkable powers of keen and discriminating judgment. The ripest fruit of his learning and wisdom are recorded among the decisions of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

The wife of Judge Minshail was Julia Ewing Pearson, who was born at Chillicothe, February 20, 1848, and died September 30, 1903. Her father, Addison Pearson, who came from Virginia to Ohio, was treasurer of Ross County and was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio Odd Fellows.

William Edwin Minshall, second of the three sons of Judge Minshall, was born at Chillicothe, April 26, 1877. He was educated in the public schools, attended the University of Michigan and Ohio State University, and in 1900 was admitted to the bar. He then moved to Cleveland, and from 1900 to 1905 was associated in practice with the law firm of Kerriush, Chapman & Kerriush. He was a member of the law firm of Kisson & Minshall from 1905 to 1910; the firm of Cline & Minshall from 1913 to 1917, and since 1917 has been a member of and the trial lawyer for the firm of Payer, Minshall & Karsh, with offices in the Discount Building. Mr. Minshall was assistant prosecuting attorney and county solicitor of Cuyahoga County in 1911-12, but aside from that has never sought nor accepted public office, his varied and important practice affording him full satisfaction for his ambition. During the Spanish-American war in 1898 he was corporal of Company H of the Twenty seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

His home and the sphere of his activities as a citizen are in East Cleveland. He was mayor of that city from 1913 to 1917, two terms. While mayor he led the campaign of public opinion for a new charter providing the manager form of municipal government. He was elected a member of the Charter Commission in 1916, and he drafted the present city charter of East Cleveland. In 1923 he became a member of the Board of Hospital Trustees of East Cleveland.

On September 17, 1901, Mr. Minshall married Miss Mabel C. Rice, daughter of Charles W. and Abigail (Searl) Rice. Mr. and Mrs. Minshall have three children, Evelyn, Charles T. and William E., Jr. The daughter, Evelyn, was educated in the Ogontz School near Philadelphia, and is now attending the College for Women of Western Reserve University at Cleveland. The son Charles T. is a student in Amherst College, Massachusetts.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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