The introduction to this chapter on the legal history of Brown County contains the following observation:
"The time has passed when a young man can secure a broad, liberal education in the law office of a practitioner. Practicing lawyers are now specializing to such an extent, and their business is so exacting, that there is no opportunities or time for the instruction of the student in the law office. So the young man of today, expecting to practice law, must look to some good law school or the law department of some university if he hopes to achieve success."
This was certainly true when this chapter was published in 1916; yet curiously, the author does not state that any of the lawyers and judges who are profiled attended a law school; and the specialties of the sixteen members of the county bar in 1916 are not noted.
Like many county histories, this one was written with an awareness of the sensitivities of the community. Thus, the author does not mention Judge Cox's impeachment trial in 1881-1882, or Judge Webber's suicide on December 4, 1906.
This chapter may be read together with Fred W. Johnson's "District Court History," which ran as a series of articles in the weekly "Brown County Journal" in late 1935. Johnson's articles will be posted on the Minnesota Legal History Project in due course.