Judge Isaac Hill Webb

Contributed by Jim Simmons. Thanks, Jim.

Pub. Times, January 20, 1916


           After an illness of about three weeks, Judge Isaac Hill Webb died at his home in this city at 2:45 o'clock Saturday morning.

        Surrounding by his loving wife and son, brother, sisters and the faithful watchers from the Pythian lodge, dissolution occurred, and the immortal spirit of that sufferer lossed the tie that bound it to its earthly habitat, and winged its way to the celestial city beyond the grave, which is the promised heritage of all who so live their lives here as to conform to the teachings of the Nazarene.  Such a life was Judge Webb's.

         Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Sunday afternoon, at 1:30 o'clock, conducted by Rev. J. R. Cummins, after which the remains, were conveyed to the Odd Fellows cemetery.  At the grave the ritualistic burial ceremony of the Knights of Pythias was conducted by officers and members of McLeansboro Lodge 111.

        The active pall bearers were Attorneys George W. Hogan, J. S. Sneed, John R. Cross, Harry Anderson, J. M. Eckley and A. C. Barnett.  Those acting in an honorary capacity were the entire membership of the McLeansboro Bar.

       Judge Webb has gone from among us, but the memory of his many magnificent traits of character will live forever in the hearts of those who knew him best.  He was a man whom it was a privilege to know, and an honor to call friend.  McLeansboro has lost one of her best citizens, his church a devoted and active member, his family a kind and loving husband and father.

        As a token of the high esteem in which the deceased was held, the attendance at the funeral was the largest ever seen in the city, in spite of the very inclement weather.  Great banks of flowers, God's most beautiful creations, were heaped about the piers silent offerings of sympathy from loving friends.

        Judge Webb's life was a living example of the thoughts in the poet's mind when he penned these words:

"So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soother
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

        To the bereaved wife and son who are left to mourn, we can only say that the entire citizenship of the county bow with you in your grief and extend to you their heartfelt sympathy.  May he rest in peace.

        Isaac Hill Webb was born in Hamilton county, the son of John and Sarah (Mitchell) Webb.

        John Webb was born in Ireland, and came to the United States when a small boy.  About 1837 he came to Hamilton county, where he worked as a farm hand until the outbreak of the Mexican war, when he enlisted for service, at the close of which he was granted a patent for one hundred and sixty acres of land about three miles east of this city.  There he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits, and died September 20, 1883.  He was married to Sarah Mitchell, daughter of Ichabod and Mary (Lane Mitchell.  To them were born Robert T., who married Sarah Laugh____, Mary, wife of Dr. Asbury, of this city, Althea who is making her home with Dr. and Mrs. Asbury; Isaac H., the subject of this sketch, Laura, wife of Geo. W. Donley, John, who is engaged in farming near this city; James who died single; Charles who married Telia Lasater, Cora, wife of John M. Flannigan of Walpole; and Teresa, wife of Prof. Arthur T. Bell, of Chicago.

        Isaac Hill Webb received his education in the common schools of this county and graduated from Hamilton College at McLeansboro, and until twenty one years of age followed the life of a farmer.  At that time he began to teach school, and continued to engage in that profession four years, in the meantime spending his summer vacations in assiduous study for the legal profession.  He enter the law department of the Illinois University in 1881, and after his graduation he returned to this city and formed a partnership with Judge John C. Edwards.  In 1888 he was elected to the office of state's attorney and after serving in that capacity for two terms resumed his law practice with Judge Edwards and J. H. Lane, the firm eventually becoming Webb & Lane.  Since 1905, however, Judge Webb has practiced alone.  For two terms he served as Master in Chancery, and in 1910 he was elected County Judge.

        As a lawyer, Judge Webb held a position of high credit and distinction, his ability as a speaker and his capacity for close, logical reasoning making him as peculiarly forceful and effect advocate.  He has been a conspicuous and influential force not only as a prominent member of the bench and bar, but as a leading citizen interested in the important public movements of the day, and he was held throughout the county in the highest respect and esteem.  Politically, Judge Webb was a Democrat; fraternally, he was affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen.

        On February 14, 1904, Judge Webb was married to Miss Estelle Baker, who was born at Golcond, Illinois, daughter of John C. and Mary (Boicourt) Baker.  Two children have been born to them, one of whom survives, John Robert, who was born July 16, 1909.

        This is one of the marriages that was surely made in heaven for never in the life of the writer have we seen a better mated couple, their characters and method of living fitting together like some well regulated piece of machinery.  Both were religiously imbued, charitable and kind to an extreme, they have endeared themselves to all who knew them, in fact they were known by their traits even outside their personal acquaintance.  Their lives have been so in harmony on this earth as to leave no doubt of their reunion in the world beyond the grave, where there is no parting.

"Oh death, where is they sting,
Oh grave, where is they victory."



Members of the McLeansboro Bar Honor Memory of Member.

        Last Monday night was devoted to an open meeting of the McLeansboro Bar Association, the meeting being taken up with short speeches of a memorial character on the life and achievements of the latest of their organization to pass from among us---Judge Isaac Hill Webb.

        The night session of circuit court was given over to the members of the bar for the purpose stated.  Short speeches were made by a majority of the members present, which were listened to attentively by a large audience, many of whom were ladies.

        At the close of the ceremonies the following resolutions of respect and esteem were passed by the bar:


To the members of the McLeansboro Bar.

Your Committee appointed to the solemn duty of preparing resolutions on the death of a distinguished member of this Bar, Hon. Isaac Hill Webb, beg to submit the following, as feebly voicing our sentiments and high estimate of the exemplary life and manly character of him whose death we mourn today.

That in the death of Judge Webb, the Bar has lost one of its brightest lights and ablest lawyers, an attorney of marked ability and sterling integrity, an advocate of power and prestige which was the just enjoy and well-grounded fear of all those whose interest or duty placed them on the opposite side of any case in court in which he was engaged.  That the legal profession in general, and this Bar in particulars, have suffered severe and lasting loss in the aggregate, of ethical dignity and courtly bearing, that should be the high aim of every member of the legal profession.  That his clients have lost a wise counselor, an able defender, and a personal friend.  Honored by his countrymen with the important position of Commonwealth Attorney for eight years, and as County Judge of his native county, he discharged the duties of both of these high offices with singular ability and satisfaction to his constituents, who, without regard to party, gave him credit for honest of intention and fairness of decisions which disarmed criticism.

        That this community, the society of McLeansboro where so much of his life was spend, has special cause for grief in the loss of one whose "daily walk and conversation" was a perpetual monument to high ideals, culture of soul and intellect as the best safe-guard against the ills of life.

        That the wife, now the sorrowing widow, and the little son, John Robert, have suffered the hardest blow of all, she in the loss of a kind, devoted and loving husband, whose every thought was of her and the little son, now bereft of the loving care, strong arm and fatherly protection of a doting parent, "just wrapped up in him."

        And the Committee for and on behalf of the Bar, and every member of the same, express the hope, that, sad as these duties are, they may have a reflex influence upon our lives that will stimulate us to emulate the virtues of our departed friend, and strive to merit, in some degree, the words of praise and eulogy we so freely bestow on his memory.

        That a copy of these resolutions be present Mrs. Webb, with the assurance of sincere sympathy in her hour of affliction, and that copies also be furnished all the county papers, with request to publish same, and that thee resolutions be spread of record in the offices of the County and Circuit Clerks on memorial pages set apart therefore.

J. Wilson Jones,
John C. Hall,
H. Anderson


        Judge Isaac H. Webb, who has been ill for about three weeks, has been steadily growing worse, and the report comes from his bedside that while he has a very slim chance for life, he passed a restful night, but his physicians hold out no hope for his recovery, and his family and friends are prepared for the worst.

        McLeansboro and the state at large can ill afford to lose such men as Mr. Webb, and it is with the deepest regret that we venture the information that he will soon be numbered among those who have preceded us to that better land.


          Miss Fannie Baker, of Golconda, is the guest of her sister, Mrs. I. H. Webb, called here by the serious illness of Judge Webb.

Back to Hamilton CountyBack to Obituaries