The number of lawyers in a community is a reflection of its size and prosperity.
Houston County grew slowly after it was formed on February 23, 1854. In 1860, its population was 6,645; in 1880 it reached 16,332; but by 1920 it had dropped to 14,013. The size of its bar mirrored these statistics.
In 1919 The History of Houston County, Minnesota, edited by Franklyn Curtis-Wedge, was published. Like other county histories published at this time, it had a short chapter on the bench and bar. "Courts and Lawyers" recounted early court proceedings, listed dozens of jurors who served in a few court sessions in the territorial era, profiled several judges and named lawyers who practiced in the county over the decades. In 1919, sixty-five years after the county was formed, nine lawyers constituted the entire county bar: Dwight A. Buell, Olaus K. Dahle, W. A. Deters, Probate Judge Charles A. Dorival, Francis A. Duxbury, the "dean" of the local bar, his son, Lloyd L. Duxbury, county attorney William E. Flynn, and C. S. Trask, all of Caledonia, and J. C. Raymond of La Crescent.