HERMAN M. ALBERY
Among the prominent lawyers of Colusa is Judge Herman M. Albery, who has practiced at the bar of this state for twenty-three years, winning an enviable reputation by his erudition and ability to give to each point of the case its due prominence, his force of argument and his mastery of the intricate problems of jurisprudence. He is now occupying the bench of the superior court, and, thoroughly versed in the principles of law, he is indeed capable of handling the involved questions which present themselves for solution. His success and standing at the bar afford the best evidence of his capability.
The Judge was born in Franklin County, Ohio, October 12, 1851, and traces his ancestry back to John Albery, a native of England, who came to the United States soon after the Revolutionary War. He was married in Maryland to a German lady, who was born in Pennsylvania, and about the year 1804 they removed to Licking County, Ohio, where he lived to a ripe old age. They were farming people and had the respect of all who knew them in the locality in which they made their home. Their family numbered seventeen children, including seven pairs of twins, but five of the children died in youth. The others located in Licking and Franklin counties, Ohio, where they followed agricultural pursuits and had large families. Among the children of the next generation were judges, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, civil and operative engineers and ministers of the gospel, these departing from the business to which their parents and grandparents devoted their lives. Mr. Albery, the father of our subject and the son of John Albery, the English immigrant, was born in Ohio and was married in Franklin County, that state, in 1832, to Miss Sarah Baldwin, a daughter of Isaac and Hannah (Keepers) Baldwin, the former of French and the latter of Scotch lineage. Her father was a native of the Empire state, was a millwright by trade and in New Jersey married Miss Keepers, whose birth occurred in that state about 1774. In 1814 they removed to Muskingum County, same state, and later to Franklin County, where both attained an advanced age. They had two sons and five daughters, the sons being Thomas, who died in 1847; and Isaac, a carpenter residing in Sonoma County, California.
Mr. and Mrs. Albery, the parents of the Judge, resided in Franklin County, Ohio, until 1863, when they removed to Mercer County, that state, where the mother died in 1869, the father, however, spending his last days in Iowa, where his death occurred in 1872. They had eight sons and four daughters, four of whom—Keepers, Morgan, John Wesley and Herman Meir—reside in northern California. The first named is a lawyer at Willow, Glenn County. John Wesley resides at Butte City and is the supervisor of the fifth district, in Glenn County. Morgan is a carpenter, millwright and engineer and resides in Inwood, Shasta County. Martin is a carpenter, making his home in Celina, Mercer County, Ohio. Richard is the proprietor of a mill and electric plant in Covington, Miami County, Ohio. Amanda is the wife of J. J. Ayers, a chief engineer at Logansport, Indiana. Mary Jane is the wife of a Mr. Lyon, who resides on a farm near Pleasantville, Marion County, Iowa. The other children have long since been dead.
Judge Albery spent his boyhood days on his father’s farm in the Buckeye state and pursued his preliminary education in an old log schoolhouse furnished with crude benches. In 1864 he removed with his parents to Mercer County, Ohio, where he remained until the fall of 1871, when, at the age of nineteen years, he bade adieu to his old home and went to Iowa, locating near Des Moines. He attended school there, earning the money with which he paid his tuition by working at the carpenter’s bench. In December, 1873, he returned to Ohio on a visit and while there entered the law office of his brother at Celina, in Mercer County, continuing his reading until February, 1876, when he was admitted to the bar before the supreme court of the Buckeye state. He then determined to follow Horace Greeley’s advice, “Go west, young man; go west,” and with borrowed money he made his way to California. In that year a history had been published, giving an account of every county in the United States, and his perusal of this volume led him to select Lane County, Oregon, as his destination. On his way he visited his brother in Colusa County, California, and eventually reached Eugene City, Oregon, where he remained six weeks, and after visiting several other places in Oregon he returned to California, going to his brother’s home, where he resumed work at the carpenter’s trade, which he followed until he had accumulated one hundred dollars. It was his intention, however, to devote his energies to the practice of law, and in the spring of 1877 he started out in search of a location, and at length arrived in Colusa with seven dollars and a half in his pocket, having traveled extensively in the meantime.
Since July, 1877, Judge Albery has been a resident of this place and has won distinctive preferment as a representative of the bar. He was twice elected district attorney and ably conducted the litigated interests which developed upon him. He cast his first presidential vote for General Hancock, in 1880, and has since been a supporter of the Democracy. In 1896 he was elected superior judge for a six-year term and is therefore filling the position at the present time. His decisions are models of judicial soundness, for perspicuity and comprehensive legal knowledge. He leaves no one in doubt as to his position concerning any suit and his opinions stand the test of the closest criticism.
On the 29th of December, 1881, Judge Albery was united in marriage to Mrs. Florence L. (Hatch) Kirk, a daughter of Hon. F. L. Hatch, now deceased. Mrs. Albery had two daughters by her first husband, and by the second marriage has a son, Herman, who is yet in school. She attends the Episcopal Church, is an accomplished musician and a lady of culture and refinement, enjoying the warm regard of many friends.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.