Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Uratus Lee Meade (1863-1956)


   This oddly named mustachioed character is one Uratus Lee Meade, a successful lawyer and two term state legislator based in the town of Russellville, Arkansas. Meade's story begins with his birth in Marion County, West Virginia on April 16, 1863, one of several children born to James Middleton Meade (1821-1896) and his wife Frances Elizabeth Ramsey (1828-1893). The Meade family removed from West Virginia when Uratus was still a child and resettled in Fannin County, Texas for a time. He is recorded as attending school in this county, and later graduated from the Stephenville, Texas High School in the early 1880s. 
   Soon after his graduation Meade decided upon a career in law, eventually studying his chosen profession under the tutelage of Preston Thurmond and Robert Lusk, two attorneys based in Bonham, Texas. Meade completed his studies under judge Jeremiah G. Wallace of Arkansas and  settled in this state in the late 1880s. Uratus Meade married in Russellville, Arkansas in March 1887 to Jennie May Tucker, with whom he would have four children, Lee (birth-date unknown), Vera (1890-1913), John Morrison (died aged 10 months in 1897) and Andra (birth-date unknown.)
   After being admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1893 Meade formed a law partnership with Judge Wallace, which lasted until the latter's appointment as state Railroad Commissioner in 1897. Meade continued on in a solo law practice until forming another partnership with local lawyer A.H. Ferguson in the early 1900s. In 1904 Meade entered the political arena, winning election to the Arkansas State House of Representatives from his home county of Pope. He was reelected to the legislature in 1907 and during his two terms sat on the following legislative committees: Constitutional Amendments, County and County Lines, and Mines and Mining. The roster below bearing Meade's name appeared on a 1907 legislative report made during that term.


  Following his two terms in the legislature Uratus Meade continued in the practice of law, while also having involvement with a number of local fraternal organizations, including the Royal Arch Masons and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Meade died at the advanced age of 92 in Charlotte, North Carolina on January 23, 1956. His body was later returned to Pope County, Arkansas and interred at the Oakland Cemetery in Russellville. The portrait of Meade shown above was featured in volume seven of the Province and the States series of books published in the early 1900s. 

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