The University of Wisconsin Press





Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County
A History of The Practice of Law in the Madison Area
Tom Ragatz, Paul Humphrey, and Sally Garbo Wedde
and the Dane County Bar Association History and Memorials Committee


This is the story of the legal profession in Dane County, Wisconsin, from the 1850s to the early 1980s. Featuring short biographies of attorneys, judges, and law firms, this book also discusses the training, practice, public roles, work climate, and perspectives of lawyers during more than a century of change.

Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County illuminates the important contributions of local attorneys to the community, the state, and the nation, whether in law or through their activities in the arts, business, politics, culture, and education. Among the most prominent is Senator Robert LaFollette, founder of the Progressive Party and of the magazine The Progressive.

“I am sure that the spirit of friendship and comradeship was stronger in those days than it is now. Commercialism had not taken hold of the bar as it now has, and the lawyer who at the time manifested as his principal aim in life the making of money was regarded as lowering the standards of the profession, and was not received into full social communion by the guild.”
—Henry M. Lewis (1830–1915)

Tom Ragatz practiced law in Dane County from 1961 to 2002 and is now active in civic activities. He divides his time between Madison, Wisconsin, and Sanibel, Florida. Paul Humphrey is a Dane County assistant district attorney who chairs the Dane County Bar Association History and Memorials Committee. Sally Garbo Wedde is a researcher, writer, editor who has lived in Dane County for twenty-five years.

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August 2012

144 pp.   10 x 12

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Cloth $39.95 s
ISBN 978-0-9853646-0-1
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