Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 87

John K. Vanatta comes from a family of lawyers. He came to Colorado Springs in October, 1887, and opened a law office, beginning the practice which has since assumed important proportions. During the first five years of his residence in this city, his practice was principally in criminal law and included almost the entire practice in that line here, but not feeling satisfied, he turned his attention to civil practice, real estate, mining and corporation law, in all of which he has now a valuable clientele. Besides his practice, he has been interested in Cripple Creek since December, 1991, and is president and director of many companies, and interested in every hill in the camp, besides being interested in one of the most valuable gold mining companies in South Dakota.

The Vanatta family originally came from Holland. Our subject's grandfather, Stephen Vanatta, came from that country to Alleghany county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in farming until his death. His son, S.P. Vanatta, was born in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania, but removed to Columbiana County, Ohio at 19 years of age, he learned the saddler's trade, which he followed for a time, later turning his attention to the study of law, he was admitted to the bar, and practiced for three years in Lisbon, Ohio, after which he removed to Logan, Hocking County, Ohio, where he remained for eight years. In 1860, he settled in Vinton, Iowa, where he had a large practice for 16 years. Four years he spent in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1895 he settled in Cripple Creek where he has since resided. The wife of S.P. Vanatta was Miss M.H. Jordan, of Ohio, and is still living. There were ten children in the family of S.P. Vanatta, of whom eight are living. The oldest of the family is the subject of this sketch. He was born in Lisbon, Columbia County, Ohio, August 12th 1858. In 1854 his parents moved to Logan, Ohio, and in 1860 to Iowa, where he attended the high school of Vinton, graduating in 1872. Afterward he taught school for six months, and then read law under his father, being admitted to the bar October 6th, 1874. He practiced law in Vinton until February 22nd, 1876, when he removed to Sioux City, Iowa. During the first week in the year 1879 he came to Colorado, hopong [sic] that the change would benefit his impaired health. He was benefitted from the first. When he came he weighed 126 pounds, and by November 1880 his weight had increased to 185 pounds. The pure air, invigorating climate, total rest from care, and out-door exercise, hunting and fishing undoubtedly saved his life. In November 1880, Mr. Vanatta opened a law office at Buena Vista, in partnership with P.C. Ellsworth, and remained in that place until 1881. In the meantime he invested his earnings in mines. From that time he came to Colorado Springs, where he has built up a large and successful practice. While in Buena Vista he married Miss Lizzie Bowers, who was born near Chicago Ill, and was taken by her parents to Boulder Colorado, when five years of age, receiving her education in the University of Colorado. They, with their only son Jean, reside at No. 545 E. Platte Avenue. During his residence in Sioux City, Mr. Vanatta was made a mason, and later he became an active member of the Lodge at Buena Vista. Fraternally he was connected with the Knights of Pythias Uniform Rank and is also a member of the order of Elks. He is identified with the Pikes Peak Club. In politics he is a Republican. He is a painstaking lawyer and, as an all round practitioner, is recognized is recognized [sic] as a man of superior abilities.

When I came to Colorado Springs in 1886, there were only eight lawyers in El Paso County, and the main part of the work done by them for two or three years was to stave off the trial of cases until our clients would become wearied with the constant delays, and they would get off in some fence corner and settle the case themselves, forgetting the lawyers as the lawyers had forgotten them.

So far as charges for services are concerned, there never has been, in El Paso County, any regular fee bill, so that each lawyer regulated his own fees by the amount involved in the litigation and also by his client's ability to pay.

I do not believe in the elective system as applied to the judiciary. That is an office which should be entirely removed from politics, and the salaries, which are far too small now, should be increased so that a lawyer would not seek the office simply because, at this small salary he could make more out of the office than he could by his practice. No lawyer, with the ability which ought to be possessed by the judges of our courts, can afford to accept the position.

John K. Vanatta

Law Offices of Lunt, Brooks & Willcox, CO-01 Bank Building, Carle Address, Lubrox. Codes User. Western Union, A.B.G., Modeling & New.

Horace G. Lunt, Franklin E. Brooks, Orlando D. Willcox, John A. Bowers.

Colorado Springs, Colorado.

July 30 - 1901


In re Horace Gray Lunt

(a) Age: Born August - 13 - 1847 at Chicago Ill.
(b) Present age - ergo - 54.

(c) Schools
Farmington, Maine at Little Blue
Phillips Academy Andover Mass.
Harvard College Class of 1870

(d) Only in law office of Scammon, McCagg & Fuller of Chicago Ill.

(e) In Illinois Jany. 10th 1873
Territory of Colorado June 9th 1873
U.S. Courts in Ill. Jany. 1875

(f) Illinois and Colorado

(g) Judge of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Colorado. Appointed by Go. McIntyre, (to fill the position created by bill passed Jany 22 - 1895) on Jany 24th 1895. Elected Nov 5. 1895 Resigned about May 1 - 1899

(h) "The mute inglorious" [?] records will disclose - if any one cares to look.

(i) Came to Colorado Springs in October 1887.

(j) Judges salaries entirely inadequate. Judges of Final Courts of appeal should be appointed - others elected.

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