Viewing Wesley A. Sperry: "The Legal Profession of Steele County." (1910)
To a joint history of Rice and Steele Counties published in 1910, Wesley A. Sperry, a prominent Owatonna lawyer, contributed a chapter on the Steele County judiciary and bar. Consistent with the style of county histories of that period, he wrote short profiles of the three judges and dozens of lawyers who served and practiced in the county from the late 1850s to 1910. Sperry's sketches reveal the bar to be an itinerant lot -- many left Steele County after a brief stay to move West or to other parts of Minnesota, and many quit the profession for farming or business. Making a living solely through the practice of law was not easy in nineteenth century Steele County.