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Ulysses S. Lesh

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Ulysses S. Lesh

Posted: 22 Nov 2003 10:13PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Lesh, Ulrich, McAfee & Fulton
“History of Huntington County, Indiana”1914 By Frank S. Bash pg. 409-11

Ulysses S. Lesh. During the last twenty years the bar of Huntington county has contained no more able or successful lawyer than Ulysses S. Lesh of the firm of Lesh & Lesh of Huntington. He has been retained on one side or other in many of the most important cases tried in the courts of this county for many years. His ability in the law, and his high standing in the profession, and as a citizen, gives him rank as one of the leaders in the modern activities and life of this county. His individual career and family relations furnish some interesting details of biography, and the following sketch, drawn from different sources, will not be inappropriate in this history.

Ulysses S. Lesh is a native of Indiana, born on a farm in Rock Creek township, Wells county, August 9, 1868. His father, Joseph Lesh, was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, March 29, 1835, and came to Indiana with his parents, John and Elizabeth (Ulrich) Lesh, in 1850. His mother, whose maiden name was Sarah Lesh, was also a native of Berks county, born November 14, 1843, and came to Indiana with her parents, John and Harriett (McAfee) Lesh, in 1847. Joseph Lesh taught school for many years and for a time, when he called the roll at the close of the schools days, Sarah Lesh would meekly answer “present.” But as they were second cousins it is probable that the acquaintance which led to their marriage on October 4, 1860, antedated those days of teacher and pupil. For several years after his marriage Joseph Lesh was engaged in the mercantile business at Markle (then “Tracy”), but when the boy problem began to assert itself in his home he wisely moved to a farm, selecting as a site one situated about three and a half miles southeast of Markle in Wells county, and skirted by the Wabash river, on which farm Joseph Lesh continued to reside until his death on August 14, 1893. Following his death his widow moved to Markle, where she still lives. Both Joseph and Sarah Lesh were good people and devoted members of the Lutheran church. The former was a man of strong convictions. He would not yield his views on vital questions for the sake of harmony, but he held his few faithful and trusted friends “with hoops of steel.” Sarah Lesh is said to have furnished the fun, and was more inclined to be indulgent with the faults of her children.

The career of Ulysses S. Lesh has been spent in Huntington county since childhood. Owing to frail health his schooling did not begin until he was past eight years of age, and after that for similar and other less excusable reasons he missed several terms. His occupation was work, and his recreation fishing and hunting. He never took any part in the social doings of the community. When asked concerning his youthful avocations, Mr. Lesh said: “I used to sit on the river bank and dream; dream day dreams-those which never come true, and yet are worth while. When my next younger brother and I used to tire out at tugging the crosscut saw we would ‘straddle’ the log and resolve that we would never be farmers. As our resolution did not go so far as to declare that we would be anything else, we have both made good these solemn obligations.”

The active career by which he has become known to his county and community began with his matriculation in the law department of the University of Michigan in the fall of 1889, continuing until his graduation in June, 1892. About the first of August in the same year he entered the law office of the late James B. Kenner, with whom he continued in practice for ten years. Their personal relations were of a most pleasant character, and the parting did not strain them. Upon his withdrawal from the firm Mr. Lesh formed a partnership with his youngest brother, Eben Lesh, with whom he is still associated.

Outside of his large practice Mr. Lesh has participated only to a limited extent in politics, and then only in line with profession. For several years he served as city attorney of Huntington. His politics is republican, and he is now the candidate of his party for Judge of the Appellate Court. His good citizenship has always been notable, and his support is readily enlisted in behalf of all movements for community improvements. Fraternally his affiliations are with Huntington Lodge No. 805, B. P. O. E. Mr. Lesh is a member of the Lutheran church, but attends the Presbyterian church, of which his wife is a member. Since coming to Huntington Mr. Lesh has been absorbed in the practice of law, but in literary circles is also known as the author of one story, “A Knight of the Golden Circles,” which is a historical novel based on the celebrated treason trials of the Civil war time.

On June 27, 1894, Mr. Lesh was united in marriage to Minnie Ursella Fulton, daughter of Dr. John C. Fulton, who was then and still is engaged in the active practice of medicine at Bluffton, Indiana. Mrs. Lesh was born on October 9, 1872, and when a girl her mother Jennie Bell (Hanna) Fulton, died, leaving four children, all of whom were daughters, and of whom Mrs. Lesh was the oldest. While Mr. Lesh has pursued his chief interest in the law, Mrs. Lesh, besides looking after her home and children, has proved herself in many ways a valuable citizen of Huntington. It is an inalienable part of her character not to compromise truth or practice so-called diplomacy at the expense of sincerity. She has little patience with social shams, and outside of her home has concerned herself chiefly with those things which will give practical benefit to the community. The public schools of the city largely owe the early installation of the playground of free kindergarten systems to her untiring activities. When opposed on legal grounds she persisted in her campaign for those improvements by taking up the matter with the proper state officers, and with the aid of their official opinion secured the passage of the necessary ordinance.

Into to the home Mr. and Mrs. Lesh have been born six children, all boys. Two of them, Joseph Fulton and Robert Dean, died shortly before reaching their second birthday. The memory of these children have always been sacred to both parents. The four sons still living are: John Marshall, born January 24, 1896; Lex, born April 13, 1898; James Egbert, born July 2, 1907, and Samuel Terhune, born April 29, 1912.

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