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profession and of service on the bench, was an indefatigable worker and a tireless searcher for the controlling principle in each case. He was endowed with a fine analytical mind, which, by diligent use and wide research, enabled him to clearly differentiate and readily apply the law and the facts of each issue.
He was a man of strong convictions, keen perception, earnest purposes, and of excellent judgment; forming his opinions with care, skilled in expressing them, honest and incorruptible, earnest and ever fearless in the defense of right, he merited and had the confidence of the people and the respect and highest regard of the bench and bar of Ohio.
He was a man of noble and generous impulses, a most companionable friend; too strong, too manly to speak ill, even in his absence, of one with whom he might disagree.
His strong grasp of difficult questions, his clear, concise statement of issues, his purity of diction have made his opinions the peer of any, and have enriched the legal literature of this state, by so much as his pre-eminent ability as a jurist surpassed the usual, the mediocre and the ordinary.
More than fourscore and ten were the years allotted unto him, and this dispensation of Providence was not in vain, for, judged by what men do, his was a useful, active, eventful life. But the day is done and into the Western sky the sun has gone, leaving a twilight that lingers long in memory, and the spirit, loosed from the things of earth and shorn of weakness, has left the fields of its nativity for its long service.
STANLEY E. BOWDLE
By EDWARD MOULINIER, of Cincinnati
On April 6, 1919, Stanley E. Bowdle was struck by an automobile shortly after alighting from a street car near the Good Samaritan Hospital. He died a few hours later without fully regaining consciousness. Thus tragically came to an end a unique and remarkable career.
He was in his fifty-first year, having been born on September 4, 1868, in Clifton, Hamilton County, Ohio. He attended the Clifton public school and Hughes High School up to the age of fifteen, when he entered Cramps shipyards at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as an apprentice and served there three years. His natural bent, however, was toward the law and he returned to his home to become a student at the Cincinnati Law School in 1887, and graduated in 1889. He began the practice of his profession in that year, having offices in the Bodmann Building with Nathaniel Wright and Gustavus A. Meyer.
Some years later he and Nathaniel Wright removed to the Blymyer Building and had offices with W. K. Hillebrand and Edward P. Moulinier. This association continued until 1897, when he was compelled to leave Cincinnati for Colorado, in the attempt to recover from a serious attack of tuberculosis. He fought this dread enemy for four years, spending the summers in the mountains of Colorado, and the winters in various cities of Mexico. It was while in Mexico that he learned to speak and write Spanish with fluency. Owing to his intelligent study of tuberculosis and the application of the newest and best methods of personal care, he regained his health.
On November 29, 1900, while still in the West, he married Lillian Crane Scott, of New York, and she and their only child, Virginia, survive him. With his health restored, he returned to Cincinnati and the practice of the law.
He became associated with Kramer & Kramer, in the Union Trust Building, which lasted for a number of years, until he and David J. Workum formed a partnership with offices in the First National Bank Building.
He took an active interest in politics, and in 1912 became the Democratic candidate for Congress in the First District, defeating Nicholas Longworth, the Republican nominee. He served two years with Alfred G. Allen, his Democratic associate from the Second District. In 1914 the same candidates opposed each other, but this time Mr. Bowdle was defeated.
In 1911 he was elected as a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention and left his impress upon the work of that body and extended his reputation as a man of original thought and an orator armed with wit, humor and learning.
In 1916 he became a candidate for Congress in the Second District, but was defeated by Victor Heintz.
At the time of his death he was busy with his profession and increasingly occupied with important and lucrative litigation and office business.
In the last few years he was associated, in the Second National Bank Building, with Joseph B. Schroeder, Edward C. Hauer and Lorenz Lemper.
The above gives a mere outline of Mr. Bowdle's life, but conveys no idea of his mind, heart and soul or of the qualities which gave him distinction and drew the affection and esteem of his friends.
Of a tall, almost gaunt appearance, he commanded attention immediately by his manner of speaking. Even in familiar converse he was impressive. His enunciation was clear and distinct, his sentences well formed, his ideas lucid and connected, and always there was a graphic grace about his gestures and bodily movements—not in the least conventional—that heightened the telling effect of his words and thought.
He had a logical mind. Laying down his premises and data, he proceeded by easy and imperceptible stages to convince his hearers of the soundness of his conclusions. He loved an argument and would fairly meet an opponent point by point, whether in the field of law, politics or religion.
He had read deeply certain phases of history. French history from the Revolution to modern times attracted him. He was familiar with the speeches of Robespierre, Mirabeau and the other great orators of those times. No one who heard his paper on Thiers, the French statesman, delivered before the Bar Association, can forget his vivid character painting, his familiarity with the opening years of the nineteenth century, his knowledge of the tangled political currents following the Napoleonic era and the trend of events up to and during the Commune.
The Bar Association heard also his papers on Emilio Castelar, the Spanish statesman, and Juarez, the first president of the Mexican Republic.
These three papers contain a most entertaining and accurate synopsis of the history of the three countries, France, Spain and Mexico for the greater part of the nineteenth century. They were enlivened throughout by dramatic force, keen insight into political conditions, sparkling wit, a characteristic pungent humor, and the delightful surprise of apt epigram.
He was intensely alive to the great achievements of the United States in the times preceding the war. As a member of Congress he took occasion to become familiar with the burning question of the merchant marine. His lecture on this subject was given before many audiences. It was a labor of love. From his boyhood days in Cramps ship-yard, he began the study of the intricate problems of seapower in peace and war. He knew ships from keel to crows-nest, and he carried in his mind the statistics of world shipping, the names of the various companies, the numbers of vessels controlled by each, the laws governing the conditions of operation—all to a degree of detail that was most amazing. He advocated the acquisition by the United States of a strong merchant marine, keenly realizing its immense influence on national safety and prosperity.
He had visited Panama, and his illustrated lecture on the canal, given frequently, never failed to hold the tense interest of his audiences.
In his travels in the West his imagination was stirred by the achievements of the Government in its series of land reclamation projects. Here again he took delight in delivering talks with stereoptican views of these colossal undertakings, which have proven so valuable to the rich arid lands of our Western Empire.
There was never a dull moment in any of these addresses; they were truly informative; and at times he called upon his reading of the world's great philosophers for quotations showing the analogy between the grandeur of the material universe and the sublimity of human speculative thought. Throughout there were flashes of humor to relieve the didactic or descriptive and the hearer arose refreshed in mind and spirit to carry away a more exalted opinion of his country's greatness and of the dignity of the moral world.
In politics he was a Democrat of the old school. He felt sympathy with the cause of the common people. He loved simplicity of life and cared nothing for pomp or show. He took many a case for those who could promise little or nothing in the
way of fees.
As a lawyer he was distinguished for his ability to separate a law question into its most simple forms. He loved to argue from principle and then proceed to fortify his position with the most pertinent cases. The illustrations he used in argument were mostly taken from homely things. And yet at times he would marshal opposite incidents and illustrations from history, literature or mechanics.
He showed great skill in his speeches to juries. Dangerous points were minimized or dismissed with a sarcasm that was not too caustic. He dwelt on the strength of his case in strong, simple language and in more than one aspect, so that the jury could not fail to see his position in its most favorable light.
No account of Mr. Bowdle's life would be complete without some reference to his religious trend of thought. That he was profoundly reverent of a supreme power as ruler of the universe, no one who knew him even superficially, could doubt. His nature was one of engaging frankness and he loved to talk of the things that gave him the greatest interest. First among these was his knowledge of the Bible. As a very young man he formed the habit of studying the Scriptures. Although he read widely among the agnostic and atheistic philosophers, such as Spencer and Voltaire, he seemed never to have a doubt of the Christian revelation. He saw in the New Testament the fulfillment of the promises voiced by the great Hebrew prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel.