History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Thomas F. Withrow
THOMAS F. WITHROW was born in Kanawha County, West Virginia, on the 6th of March, 1833. His father was a strong opponent of slavery and removed to the free State of Ohio when his son was a boy. Thomas received a good education and at the age of twenty-one became the editor of the Mt. Vernon Republican. In 1855 he removed to Janesville, Wisconsin, where he was one of the editors of the Free Press. He began the study of law and the year following removed to Fort Madison, Iowa, and entered the law office of Miller & Beck and was admitted to the bar in 1857. Governor Lowe selected him for his private secretary in 1858 when he entered upon the duties of the executive office and at the close of his term, when the Governor became one of the Supreme Judges, Mr. Withrow was appointed Reporter of the Supreme Court, a position which he held seven years. During that time he compiled and published thirteen volumes of reports. When he entered upon the practice of his profession, the firm of Withrow, Gatch & Wright was formed which continued until 1872. In 1866, Mr. Withrow was chosen chairman of the Republican State Committee and for several years was one of the influential managers of the party. In 1873 he was appointed general solicitor of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company and removed to Chicago which became his permanent home. For twenty years he held the important position which took him from Iowa, becoming one of the great lawyers of the west. He died suddenly in the zenith of his intellectual powers, on the 3d of February, 1893.