Friday, September 30, 2016

Major Wetherford Funk (1849-1917)

Major Wetherford Funk, 1849-1917.

  This dapper looking mustachioed man is Major Wetherford Funk, a prominent Harrison County, Indiana attorney during the late 19th century. With a first name that is a bit of a misnomer (he never served in the military and instead has a military title as a first name), Funk is profiled today due to his service as Prosecuting Attorney for Indiana's Third Judicial District in the early 1880s.
  Born in Milltown, Indiana on October 29, 1849 to Virginia parentage, Major Wetherford Funk was the son of Reuben and Lucinda Spencer Funk. His education occurred in the common schools of Crawford County, Indiana and during his youth also worked the family farm. At age 17 he began a brief stint as a school teacher. He would later put that work on hold and enrolled at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, graduating from that school's law department in the class of 1875. 
  In the year following his graduation, Major W. Funk married to Annice Carolyn Wyman (1859-1919), a resident of Martinsburg, Indiana. The couple would set up a home in the Harrison County town of Corydon and later had one daughter, Fannie, born ca. 1879. 
   Major W. Funk was admitted to the Indiana bar in Corydon and soon after entered into the practice of law. He continued in private practice until 1882 when he was elected as Prosecuting Attorney for Indiana's 3rd Judicial Circuit. He would win re-election to that office two years later and prior to his stepping down in 1886 was remarked to have displayed:
"The gift of oratory and natural and acquired ability as a lawyer that he is so well known to possess; often times in the important criminal cases of that period being pitted alone against the ablest advocates of the district and the state, but always fearless in the discharge of his official duty, able in debate, resolute and courageous in action, has been unusually successful in the prosecution of criminals."
  After leaving the post of Prosecuting Attorney Funk returned to private practice and in the late 1880s was talked of as a potential candidate for Circuit Judge for Indiana's Third Judicial Circuit. Little is known of the remainder of Funk's life, excepting notice of his death in Corydon on August 2, 1917. His wife Annice survived her husband by only two years and was interred alongside him at the Ceder Hill Cemetery in Corydon.

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