Liston McMillen, b. 1847


from Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa by Manoah Hedge The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1906

Liston McMillen, legist and author, whose influence in behalf of high standards in social and business life and in citizenship has left its influence for good in Mahaska county, where he is well known and in many other localities where his published volumes have been read, was born in Richwood, Union county, Ohio, on the 10th of December, 1847. His paternal grandfather, John McMillen, was a soldier of the war of 1812 and became a pioneer teacher and representative citizen of this county. He died at the age of eighty-four years and was buried in a quiet little cemetery in Monroe township by the side of his wife, who passed away at the age of eighty years. Their son, Benjamin F. McMillen, father of Liston McMillen, was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, studied medicine and in 1868 came to Oskaloosa, wbere for many years he successfully engaged in practice, being recognized as one of the ablest members of the medical fraternity in this district. He was born in 1820 and died in 1889. In early manhood he had wedded Miss Caroline A, Maxwell, also a native of West Virginia and a daughter of Robert Maxwell, a prominent pioneer and stock man, who resided near Cardington, Ohio, and died at the advanced age of ninety-one years, while his first wife, Mrs. Rosanna Maxwell, passed away at the early age of thirty years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin McMillen were born a son and two daughters: Liston; Leoni; and Lena M., the wife of Dr. William S. Windell, lecturer in Penn College, at Oskaloosa. Liston McMillen began his education in the common schools in Richwood, Ohio, and continued his studies in Cardington until fourteen years of age, when he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, from which institution he was graduated in 1867. In April of the following year he came to Iowa and studied law in the office of Hon. G. D. Woodin, of Sigourney, being admitted to the bar in 1869. In the fall of the latter year he came to Oskaloosa, where he has since been engaged in practice and in point of residence he is the oldest practitioner of the city. His position, too, is among the foremost representatives of the bar and his capability, making him known far beyond the borders of the county, has classed him with the prominent lawyers of Iowa. Mr. McMillen is a republican in politics. Recognizing the fact that offices are few and aspirants many he believes that good standing at the bar has as much glory as comes to the office holder and has therefore concentrated his energies upon his law practice and kindred interests. He is the author of two volumes, one called Christian Hygiene, published in 1895. The other is McMillen's Monograph on International Peace, published in July, 1905, the basic thought of which is the Golden Rule as being the essence of all jurisprudence whether national or international and all ramifications of law are simply evolutions of this principle. A copy of this work was placed in the hands of President Roosevelt during the Portsmouth conference and in the president's message is sued the following December the same doctrine is announced and for the first time in any state paper the Golden Rule is mentioned. Mr. McMillen and many friends of peace were highly gratified to find this confirmation of the doctrine in such influential public papers as the president's message. It is a seed sower the world over. Whether the president imbibed the thought from Mr. McMillen's book or not the correspondence grants encouragement to every worker-for the splendid result no matter how humble -his efforts. Mr. McMullen's name appears in more than one hundred cases of published volumes of the supreme court reports of Iowa. He has been admitted to practice in the United States supreme court, the Ohio supreme court and in the Dakotas. Some of the cases which he has tried have become matters of recognized authority upon certain judicial principles. One especially is that of Smothers versus Hank, which is cited as authority in all modern works on questions concerning the degree of skill required of lawyers and physicians. Another notable case with which Mr. McMillen was connected was that of Allen versus Central, settling the question as to the right to sue a railway company whose property was in the hands of a receiver. The case of Whitaker versus Parker, in which: Mr. McMillen was also one of the lawyers, clearly brought out the thought that the reasonableness of the story of witnesses must be taken into consideration in the weighing of testimony. Mr. McMillen has always been a supporter of public improvement and progress and has been a close and earnest student of sociological, economic and political questions as well as those more directly connected with his profession. He manifests a statesman's grasp of affairs and keeps in touch with the trend of modern thought. He has never identified himself with any lodge or secret society for the reason that he has found ample fraternal and social life in the brotherhood of the church, his membership being in the Congregational church. He is the author of a little treatise on the Proofs of the Resurrection of Christ and lectures on the subject as occasion offers, this being the field peculiarly adapted to his training and experience as a lawyer. On the 14th of September, 1901, Mr. McMillen was married to Miss Minnie Foreman, at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and they have one son, John Franklin, born June 14, 1902. Happy in his home life and in his social relations, Mr. McMillen has a nature that has constantly expanded under the influences of general development and has grown by his keen research and investigation into matters of public moment. His life exemplifies a rare and valuable combination of high ideals and practical methods.

Past and Present of Mahaska County, Iowa

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

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