Biography of Hon. E. D. Shattuck

HON. E.D. SHATTUCK, – Judge Shattuck has been prominently connected with the public affairs of our state for more than thirty years, and is so closely identified with our interests and society as to be a distinctively representative man among us.

His mental strength and clearness, combined with remarkable accuracy and absence of personal bias, have made his services of the highest value. He has ever maintained a peculiar coolness of judgement, and neither has been swayed by popular excitement nor has resorted to sensational methods to advance his own views or interests. He has ever been above suspicion of corruption or entanglement with corrupt rings, and has therefore been relied upon as a guardian of justice, and to prick the ambitions or corrupt designs of those who would trench upon the popular rights.

For this reason he has been sought continuously to fill the office of judge; and it is a credit to our people that they prefer such men for their high positions. With peculiar plainness of manner and address, he has ever refused to cultivate popularity, yet has been frequently named by leading journals as a satisfactory candidate for governor of the state, – suggestions which have only lacked his own cooperation to meet with realization. The remarkable success of Judge Shattuck both in business, in his profession, and in public capacities, commends to young men his integrity and fidelity and honorable views of life. He has ever been an ornament to the legal profession, by his practice condemning extortion, and carrying honesty into every detail.

E.D. Shattuck was born at Bakersfield, Vermont, December 31, 1824, spending his childhood and youth on a farm. Fitting himself for college at the academy in his native village, he entered Vermont University at Burlington in 1844, and finished the course within the prescribed four years. During college days he assisted himself by teaching school in the neighborhood. Upon graduating he was employed as assistant in Bakersfield Academy, and in 1849 obtained a situation in the Newman Seminary, within some twenty-five miles of Atlanta, Georgia, and the next year was likewise engaged at Laurel, Maryland. He devoted his leasure to the study of law, and upon his return north in 1851 entered the law office of Parmelee & Fitch of Malone, New York, and finished his preparation for admission to the bar in the office of Abner Benedict in New York city, being admitted to the bar of New York in 1852, and casting about for a permanent location, he decided upon Oregon as his field, – then an almost unknown region. In December of the same year he was married to Miss Sarah A. Armstrong of Fletcher, Vermont.

The couple made immediate preparations for the journey to their new home, leaving New York January 5, 1852 by steamer via Panama, arriving at Portland February 15, 1853. For about four years after his arrival Mr. Shattuck engaged in teaching, being for a part of the time professor of ancient languages at Tualatin Academy and Pacific University.

While in Washington county, he served on year as superintendent of public schools, and in 1856 was elected probate judge. That was the beginning of the public life from which he has been but little absent ever since. In 1857 he was chosen delegate from Washington county to the constitutional convention of Oregon. After finishing his work at the convention, he located at Portland, forming a partnership with David Logan, at that time a brilliant lawyer and a man of great promise, son of Judge Logan of Illinois. Judge Shattuck entered earnestly upon the practice of his profession, and in 1858 became the choice of Washington and Multnomah counties as joint representative to the last territorial legislature of Oregon. In 1861 he was appointed United States district attorney, and held the office about one year. In 1862 he was elected judge of the supreme and circuit court for the fourth judicial district, and served in that office until November, 1867 when he resigned the position. In 1874 he was again elected judge of the supreme and circuit court, and served until the act of 1878 reorganizing the judiciary of the state. In 1886 he was elected judge of the circuit court, and at present holds this office. Since his removal to Portland in 1857, he has continuously resided in that city, and at various times has served as member of the city council and as school director, and is known as one of the founders of the Portland Library.

In 1881 he followed a course which might be recommended to half or more of our business men. Finding his health impaired by severe mental labor and confinement at his office, he purchased a farm a little distance from Portland, and for about three years devoted himself to agriculture. The experiment was a complete success, and restored health enabled him to enter again upon public life; and he feels himself able for many years of activity, although now in his sixty-fifth year.

In politics judge Shattuck passed from the Whig to the Republican party; with which he acted until 1872, when he favored the election of Greeley, and ran as elector on the Independent ticket. Since 1872 he has acted for the most part with the Democratic party, but is regarded as an Independent rather than as a partizan.

Judge Shattuck is one whose career has been marred by no reverses or great misfortunes, who has kept up a life of activity, and whose success in any field which he might wish to enter was a foregone conclusion. He is at present industriously discharging the duties of his office, and anticipates at the end of his present term that retirement and rest which ought to be the reward that old age receives for a life of labor and activity.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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