History of Lawrence and Monroe
their people, industries and institutions.
Publ. Indianapolis, Ind. - B. F. Bowen & Co.,
NEWLAND PALMER. In placing the name of
Robert N. Palmer before the reader as one standing in
the front rank of the enterprising men of affairs and a
leader of the bar at Bedford, Indiana, whose influence has
tended to the upbuilding of the city of his residence and
the advancement of the affairs of his native county of
Lawrence, simple justice is done a biographical fact,
recognized throughout the community by those at all familiar
with his history and cognizant of the important part he has
acted in the circles with which he has been identified.
His career presents a notable example of those qualities of
mind and character which overcome obstacles and win success,
and his example is eminently worthy of imitation.
Robert N. Palmer first saw the light of day on
Nov. 11, 1848, on the paternal homestead, about four miles
east of Bedford, Indiana. His parents were James W.
and Laura (Newland) Palmer, the former born in Farquier
county, Virginia, on Mar. 18, 1826, and the latter a native
of Lawrence county, Indiana. The subject's paternal
grandparents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Fuller) Palmer,
came from the Old Dominion state in an early day and settled
on a farm about seven miles northeast of Bedford, in
Pleasant Run township, and there spent the remainder of
their lives, dying there at the respective ages of
eighty-two and ninety-four years, James W. Palmer
engaged in the mercantile business in Bedford in 1852 and
for forty years he was numbered among the enterprising and
successful merchants of this locality, being engaged
actively in business almost up to the time of his death.
To James and Laura Palmer were born two
children, the subject of this sketch and one who died in
infancy. Mrs. Laura Palmer died on Sept. 15,
1853, and in 1857 Mr. Palmer married Jennie
Johnston, to which union were born five children,
namely: Isaiah J., better known as Sida, of
Bedford; James W., of Indianapolis; Edward (Jack),
who is assistant bookkeeper for the Bedford Electric
Company; Mary, wife of Charles H. Strupe, of
Bedford, and Goldie Ann Palmer, who remains at home.
Robert N. Palmer was reared on the home farm and
secured his elementary education in the public schools of
Bedford, completing his general educational training in
Indiana University. For a year or two he was employed
at ordinary work of various kinds, and then entered the law
office of Judge Francis Wilson, devoting the ensuing
five years to the study of law, at the end of which time he
was admitted to the bar of Lawrence county, and has been
engaged in the practice of his profession continuously
since. His success was assured from the start, for he
early evinced those qualities which make for success in any
line of effort - earnestness of purpose, persistent
industry, undivided attention and inflexible integrity.
During his professional career Mr. Palmer has
achieved an enviable reputation in the branch of criminal
law especially, having been prominently connected with many
of the most important criminal cases tried in the local
court, among which were the Towne and Beasley, Tomlinson and
Gaines, Shaffer, Deckard and Ira Cobb murder cases.
He is counsel for the Stone City Bank and since 1893 has
been counsel for Baltimore & Ohio Railway Company.
As a lawyer, he is well informed in his profession and
faithful to his clients and the law. He is an honest
and fair practitioner, and the record of testimony is ample
that he is a good citizen in the full sense of the term,
worthy of all honor and public trust.
On November 6, 1879, Robert N. Palmer was
married to Louisa Laforce, the daughter of David
R. Laforce, an old resident and prominent business man
of Bedford. To this union was born one child,
Craigie M. Palmer, who is at home. Mrs. Palmer
died on Mar. 4, 1887.
In political affairs, Mr. Palmer has for many
years been a prominent figure. He has assumed an
independent attitude, though nominally a Democrat, and in
1896 he supported the gold standard wing of the party, being
a delegate to the national convention of the Gold Democrats
and a presidential elector from the second congressional
district. Recently he has been identified with the
Progressive movement. Though never a candidate for
public office, he served seven and a half years as a member
of the Bedford school board, where he rendered efficient
service in the interest of educational affairs.
Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic order.
Mr. Palmer, in his life career, has honored the two
family names which he bears, both of which have been
prominent in the annals of the county. His maternal
grandfather, William Newlands, was a prominent man in
the early history of this section. With others, he
established the Christian church in Lawrence county and
helped to build the first church, known as Leatherwood
church, in 1836. He died in 1854. Personally
Mr. Palmer is of a genial nature and a very agreeable
companion,,, enjoying a large circle of warm and loyal
friends, and it is safe to say that no man in the
community enjoys to a greater measure the confidence and
regard of the people than he.
Source: History of Lawrence and Monroe
Publ. Indianapolis, Ind. - B. F. Bowen & Co., 1914 - Page 547