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Hon. L. D. Wetmore    

WETMORE, L. D., was born in Pine Grove township, Warren county, Pa., on the 18th day of October, 1818. He is the son of Hon. Lansing Wetmore, a sketch of whose life is written in this work, and the grandson of Parsons Wetmore, an early settler in Whitestown, whose wife was a daughter of Hugh White, the first settler west of the Dutch settlements in the Mohawk Valley in the State of New York. Hugh White earned the distinction of being the founder of Whitestown, N.Y., as his son Hugh became the founder of Cohoes, N.Y. The family came originally from the vicinity of Hartford, Conn.

L. D. Wetmore received his earlier education in the district schools of Warren, and afterward attended the academy at the same place. He was graduated from Union College in the class of 1841, after which he began to study law in Warren. He was admitted to practice in 1845, and at once commenced the practice of his profession in Warren, his labors being interrupted for a time in 1843 and when he taught in the academy at Smethport for two seasons. From that time on he has conducted a large and successful practice in Warren, and is now at the head of the firm of Wetmore, Noyes & Hinckley. Mr. Wetmore’s prominence in this and adjoining counties is sufficiently attested by the fact that in the fall of 1870 he was elected president judge of the Sixth Judicial District, composed of the counties of Erie, Warren, and Elk, and that during a term of ten years he performed the functions of that office with the most creditable promptness and efficiency. For some time previous to the death of his brother, C. C. Wetmore, in April, 1867, he was interested with him in an extensive lumber business. After that painful accident, as described in other pages of this volume, Judge Wetmore was obliged to assume sole charge over the business, and from that time to the present he has engaged heavily in the manufacture and sale of lumber, with results which disclose his sagacity and capacity for managing affairs. In politics Judge Wetmore is a Republican, and though not an office seeker was clothed for a time with the judicial ermine, as stated, and has been called upon to take a part in the arduous and not less important burdens of local office. Previous to his election to the bench he was president of the First National Bank of Warren, a position which he resumed on his retirement from the political office, and which he now holds. His judicial ability has been even better appreciated since the expiration of his term than while he was in office. Like his father, he has always been remarkable for the affability of his manner and his social disposition in all the relations of life. His decisions were almost always correct, notwithstanding the fact that he was engaged in private business enterprises that would alone have fully taxed the energies of most men. He studied all the questions that came before him for decision with the thoroughness of a student in love with his task, and refused to neglect the minutest duties of his position.

The following is the correspondence on the termination of his official life in Erie county:

ERIE, Pa., April 29, 1874.

Dear Sir:— As your connection with the bar of Erie county as president judge has ceased, the undersigned, its members, desire to give an expression of their respect for you, officially and personally, at a supper at such time as it may suit your convenience to meet us.
We are, unwilling that your connection with us as president judge of our county should cease without some demonstration, feeling that while it should be a pleasant occasion to us, it is due to you for the ability, impartiality and fidelity with which you discharged the duties of the office as well as a grateful expression of our remembrance of the agreeable intercourse we have had with you as our late president judge, signally marked out as it was by gentlemanly and courteous bearing, and patient consideration of our efforts before you. With great respect we are your friends and obedient servants.


and some forty members of the Erie bar.

WARREN, Pa., June 8, 1874.

Gentlemen:— Your favor was duly received and my absence has delayed a reply.

To have performed the duties of judge in a manner to meet the approval of the members of your bar is to me a source of great satisfaction.

Your learning, ability and urbanity greatly aided me in my labors on the bench.

The upright, fearless, and learned lawyer is as much a minister of justice as the court to which he speaks, said Justin Grier, on his retirement from the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The fact so truly stated by Judge Grier has been appreciated by me in my official intercourse with you.

I would be pleased to accept your invitation but am unable at present to state a time when it would be convenient for me to meet you. Thanking you for the flattering compliment of your letter, I remain
Very respectfully yours,


At a meeting of the court in Warren on the first Monday in January, 1881, the following resolutions, offered by a committee appointed by the bar, were adopted:

WHEREAS, The term of office of Lansing D. Wetmore, president judge of the 37th Judicial District has expired, and he is about to retire from the bench, therefore be it

Resolved, That we, the members of the bar of Warren county, express to Judge Wetmore our great respect and esteem for him personally, and our high appreciation of his able, learned, and impartial administration of justice in the county.

Resolved, That as a judge he has been calm and impartial in investigation, independent without pride of opinion, just but merciful in judgment, earnestly striving to judge according to the law.

He has ever sincerely sought to establish truth and do impartial justice, and by his considerate politeness and courtesy towards all he has merited our special gratitude, and shown himself a kind and cultured gentleman, as well as a just and learned judge.

The pure and perfect gem of judicial authority which was committed to his keeping ten years ago he transmits to his successor, still a diamond, not a stone, with its brilliancy undimmed, its lustre unimpaired.

Resolved, That the sincere and hearty good wishes of this bar follow Judge Wetmore into private life, and we hope and expect to see his ripe years and manhood crowned with even greener honors than those he today lays down.

With all his labors he is governed by a philosophy of good will and enjoys life as it passes. He has an exquisite taste in literary matters, and among those who are acquainted with his attainments is regarded as a just and discriminating critic. He was one of the original contributors to the first fund, and is now one of the trustees of the Struthers Library Building. Moreover, he is liberal and ready to promote by generous contributions all beneficent public institutions, and with the aid of his wife is constantly engaged in the dispensation of many and well-directed private charities.

Judge Wetmore has been twice married. His first wife was Miss B. Wetherby, of Warren, who died in 1856, four years after their marriage, leaving one child, now the wife of Lieutenant J. P. Jefferson, a graduate from West Point. In March, 1858, Judge Wetmore married Maria C. Shattuck, of Groton, Mass. They have three children, Edward D., Frederick S., and Albert L. Wetmore.

History of Warren County: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, J. S. Schenck, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., 1887.  More Warren County History Books  Search Hundreds of 1880s-1890s Pennsylvania County History Books for biographies and historical information on your ancestors.  View the book page images on line and print them out for your genealogy file!  Free Access to the old history books - plus birth & death records, census images and ALL other records at

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