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Joseph Rawson Webster1

b. 5 May 1839, d. before 1920

Family Lenore Perkey M.D. b. 23 May 1857, d. 3 May 1917

Biography*   From the Illustrated history of Nebraska,pgs 689-691

WEBSTER. JOSEPH RAWSON, Lincoln, Neb., was born May 5. 1839. in Ahmadnagar Hills, near Bombay, British East India. His parents were of American birth, and resided in Victor, N. Y. He is the son of Elijah Ashley and Marietta (Rawson) Webster, the former born in Whitesboro, N. Y., February 20, 1813, and died February 19, 1855, at Ontario, Ind.; the latter born in 1811, at West Stockbridge, Mass., died at Galesburg, 111., in February, 1879. Elijah Ashley Webster was a printer, and in 1835 went to Bombay, British East India, to take charge of the American Board of Foreign Missions printing house. He was an artist in metal work, and finding the type in Bombay unsuitable for good work, himself cut the dies and cast reformed fonts of type in the Maharatta language, so reduced in size that the Bible was printed in one volume instead of four, yet in a neater and more legible letter press. He remained there seven years, training a couple of native workmen, whose successors are still in charge of the printing house and use the same style reformed fonts of type. While there, he distinguished himself in rescue of troops from two transports wrecked in Bombay harbor, and for this was "gazetted" by the governor-general in the official paper of the Indian government. His wife, whose grandfather fought in Bunker Hill, also engaged in missionary work. They returned to New York in 1842, and in 1847 removed to LaGrange county, Ind., where Mr. Webster engaged in farming and school teaching. Joseph R. Webster is eighth in descent from John Webster of Hartford, deputy governor of Connecticut in 1659, having emigrated to America in 1635. He received his early education in the log school houses of Indiana, afterwards was a student of LaGrange collegiate institute of Ontario, and graduated from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Ind., in 1862, with the degrees of A. B. and A. M., taking the class honors. He enlisted at Crawfordsville, Ind., as private in Company I, 11th Indiana volunteer infantry, in April, 1861, for three months' service, was discharged in July of that year, but reenlisted July 4, 1862, in Company G, 88th Indiana volunteer infantry, and was elected captain of the company. He was in the battles of Chaplin Hills. Ky., Stone River, Tenn. (1862), Chickamauga, the sieges of Chattanooga and Nashville, and the battle of Nashville (1864). He was commissioned major but never mustered, because of depletion of the regiment by service and casualties. In the spring of 1864 he organized the 44th United States colored volunteer infantry at Chattanooga, Tenn., and was commissioned lieutenant colonel. He resigned from service in February, 1866. The last two years of service he read law by the camp-fire. At the close of the war he settled at Rosedale, Miss., where he engaged in cotton planting. In 1869 he returned to Indiana, afterwards went to Iowa City, where he took lectures in the college of law of the Iowa State University. In July, 1869, he moved to Council Bluffs, la., and was admitted to the bar at Glenwood. In October, 1869, he moved to Lincoln, Neb., where he formed a partnership with L. W. Billingsley. In 1871 he moved to Crete, but two years later resumed his law practice in Lincoln, where he had at different times as partners: Smith B. Galey, Lionel C. Burr, Allen W. Field, William E. Stewart, Halleck F. Rose, and Denis J. Flaharty. Mr. Webster has always been a republican, casting his first vote for president in 1861. He was attorney general of Nebraska in 1874, and county judge of Lancaster county in 1878 and 1879, member of the board of education, city council, city attorney of Lincoln, 1897-8, and 1901 was appointed assistant attorney in the office of assistant attorney general, department of the interior, Washington, D. C., and in March, 1909, was advanced to assistant attorney in the office of the secretary. Mr. Webster filled the chair of equity jurisprudence, college of law, University of Nebraska, from the organization of the college to June, 1899. He drafted the act for registration for payment of state, county, and city warrants, which greatly strengthened municipal and public credit; also the act authorizing maintenance of city libraries; the act for collection of decrees for alimony in divorce proceedings like other judgments; the first act for organization of sanitary drainage districts; the act authorizing the use of voting machines; the recent acts for government of the home for the friendless, and for that of the Milford home, and other laws and amendments, as well as the amendments to the Lincoln city charter. A fact of great local importance which he discovered, was

that the record of the issue of two series of Midland Pacific railway subsidy bonds of Lancaster county, of $150,000 and $100,000, drawing ten per cent interest, had been erroneously made to appear as though issued payable at the end of twenty years, while in fact payable at the county's option. At his own expense and under bond of $20,000 he undertook to compel surrender of these bonds prior to their supposed maturity, and effected the transaction, so that over $149,000 was saved within the supposed term of the bonds. The county paid only his actual expense, about $800, with no compensation for his services. He litigated the question whether the telephone was a public utility or a private business, and established in a case of first instance, that the telephone is a public servant, liable, like the common carrier, to public control. Mr. Webster is a member of the Phi Delta Theta college fraternity, the Grand Army of the Republic, Farragut post, Lincoln, department of Nebraska; Burnside post, Washington, D. C.; Society of Colonial Wars, Washington, D. C.; and the Loyal Legion and Law Society Phi Delta Phi. He was at one time member of the Presbyterian church in Indiana, but placed his membership with the Congregational church in Lincoln. He was married June 12, 1873, in Lima, Ind., to Sara Cooper Thompson, and one daughter was born to them, Joy L. Webster. Mrs. Webster died March 23, 1904. Mr. Webster was again married in November, 1906, to Dr. Lenore Perky, whose biography appears in this history.1 
Birth* 5 May 1839  Ahmadnagar Hills, Near Bombay, British East India1 
Biography 1897  From the book "Register of the Society of Colonial Wars in the District of Columbia, 1897" By Society of Colonial Wars in the District of Columbia. Pg 103

Joseph Rawson Webster.

Lawyer, Lincoln, Nebraska. Born, near Bombay, British East Indies, May 5, 1 839.

Son of

Elijah Ashley Webster (1813-1855) and Mariette (Rawson) Webster ( - 1879).

Grandson of

Uri Webster (1783-1821) and Mercy (Ashley) Webster (1791-1858).

Great-grandson of
Elijah Webster (1761-1791) and Lois (Coe) Webster (1765-1841).

Great-great-grandson of

Benjamin Webster (1736-1782) and Lucretia (Buel) Webster (1742

- ).

Great-great-great-grandson of

Benjamin Webster (1698-1755) and Elizabeth (Peck) Webster (1706


Great-great-great-great-grandson of

Jonathan Webster (1657-1735) and Dorcas (Hopkins) Webster

( - ).

Great-great-great-great-great-grandson of

Robert Webster (1627-1676) and Susannah (Treat) Webster ( - ).

Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of
John Webster (1590-1661) and Agnes ( - ) Webster ( - ).

John Webster (1590-1661); an original settler of Hartford, and a founder of the Colony of Connecticut; Deputy, 1637; Assistant, Hartford, 1639-'55; Deputy Governor, 1655; Governor, 1656; First Magistrate, 1657-'59; Judge of the Court, Hadley, Massachusetts, 1660.


Born in Lima, Indiana.

Descendant of Col. Samuel Ashley and of Lieut. Daniel Ashley.

Daughter of Joseph Rawson Webster and Sara Cooper Thompson, his wife.

Granddaughter of Elijah Ashley Webster and Maryetta Rawson, his wife.

Gr.-granddaughter of Uri Webster and Mercy Ashley, his wife.

Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Daniel Ashley and Mercy Pratt, his wife.

Gr.-gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Samuel Ashley and Eunice Doolittle, his wife.

Samuel Ashley, (1720-92), was a member of the Committee of Safety of Claremont, where he died.

Daniel Ashley, (1754-1810), was lieutenant of New Hampshire militia, 1776.

Also Nos. 7927, 11510, 14008, 18073. 
Marriage* 29 November 1906  Lincoln, Lancaster Co., NE, Principal=Lenore Perkey M.D.1 
Census* 1910  1910 Federal Census, District of Columbia, Washington, ED 221, Series: T624, Roll: 155, Page: 120B, April 22
Sheet 10B, 1450 Newton Street
75, 174, 253, Webster, Joseph R, Head, M, W, 70, M2, 3, , , British East India*, New York, Massachusetts, 1842, , English, Lawyer, , OA, , , Yes, Yes, , R, , H, , , ,
76, 174, 253, Webster, Lenore P, Wife, F, W, 52, M1, 3, 0, 0, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, , , English, Physician, , OA, , , Yes, Yes, , , , , , , ,
77, 174, 253, Webster, Joy S, Daughter, F, W, 36, S, , , , Nebraska, British East India*, Indiana, , , English, Own Income, , , , , Yes, Yes, , , , , , , ,
(* is crossed out and "American Citizen" written in)2 
Death* before 1920  Washington, Washington, DC 

Last Edited 20 Jul 2010

  1. [S874] Nebraska, Illustrated history, online
  2. [S73] 1910 U.S. Federal Census , 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

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