from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906
James Arthur Devitt, a member of the law firm of Devitt & Burrell, practicing at Oskaloosa, was born in Dewitt, Clinton county, Iowa, June 1, 1872, and is a son of John and Mary (Murphy) Devitt, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The father, crossing the Atlantic to the United States in 1863, located in New Haven, Connecticut, where he engaged in teaching school. He afterward removed to Clinton county, Iowa, in 1870, where he continued his educational work up to the time of his death in 1874, when he was fifty-four years of age. His political views accorded with democratic principles. His wife also passed away in 1874, when fifty years of age. In their family were five children: John, an attorney at Muscatine, Iowa; Anna, the wife of James Thornton, a merchant at Dewitt, Iowa; Maggie, also of Dewitt; Nellie, the wife of Albert Johnson, of Chicago; and James A., of this review. In the common and high schools of Eldora, Iowa, James A. Devitt pursued his preliminary education, while his law course was mastered in the Iowa State University, which he entered in 1894 and from which he was graduated in 1897. He then began the practice of his profession in partnership with Walter C. Burrell-at Oskaloosa and has continued with him successfully to the present time, the firm being a strong one. Mr. Devitt has served for two terms as county attorney, elected in 1900 and in 1902. In the discharge of his duties he shows neither fear nor favor and is entirely free from partiality, standing firmly as conservator of the rights and liberties and the privileges of the people at large. In August, 1901, Mr. Devitt was married to Miss Pauline Lewelling, who was born in Salem, Henry county, in 1878, a daughter of Lorenzo D. and Angie Lewelling. Her father in early life was a newspaper man and founded the Iowa Capital. Prominent in the west, he served as governor of Kansas from 1892 until 1894, and his influence has been a potent factor in developing the policy of the two states in which he has resided since crossing the Mississippi. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Devitt has been born one son, James Lewelling. The parents are members of the Congregational church and Mr. Devitt has taken various degrees in the Masonic order and is also a prominent Elk, having served two terms as exalted ruler of Oskaloosa lodge No. 340, and as delegate to the grand lodge, B. P. O. E. His political allegiance is given to the republican party. He is a young man whose years, however, have seemed no bar to his progress and already he has gained an enviable position in a profession where advancement depends upon individual merit. Not by purchase or influence can it be attained, but through cIose and unremitting labor that brings broad knowledge, supplemented by keen analytical power and a readiness in grasping points as presented by the opponent as well as the strong features of one's own side of the cause. Mr. Devitt has been accorded a liberal clientage and his practice is constantly growing in volume and importance.
Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy