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RG1871.AM:  Samuel Johnson Tuttle, 1845-1927

Papers:  1867-1936

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Lawyer, Judge of the District Court, University of Nebraska Regent

Size:  3.5 cu. ft.


Samuel Johnson Tuttle was born on a farm in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, August 2, 1845, the son of Dexter and Amelia Weidner Tuttle. He received his early education in the common schools of Ohio, completed a preparatory course at Baldwin University in Beres, Ohio, and then entered Hillsdale College in Michigan to pursue his undergraduate study. Upon receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree at Hillsdale in 1866, Tuttle began postgraduate studies at Albany University in New York and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in February 1868.

Following a brief term as a school teacher in Lewis, Iowa, Tuttle arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska in March 1869. He was one of Lincoln’s first prominent citizens. Tuttle’s legal career in Lincoln spanned nearly 58 years of active practice. He first entered a partnership with Col. James E. Philpott, a leading attorney in the state, and later was associated with Nathan S. Harwood for a short time. For most of his life, however, Tuttle pursued an independent practice.

On June 1, 1870, Tuttle married Biancy Kies of Hillsdale, Michigan. They had four children, two sons dying in infancy, and the oldest daughter, Daisy, dying in 1907, leaving Helen Tuttle as the only surviving child.

In addition to his private legal practice, Tuttle was appointed Judge of the District Court on September 30, 1892, to complete the term of Judge Charles Hall, deceased. He was also appointed to the bench for a short term in 1898.

Tuttle was also active in public affairs. He served on the Lincoln Board of Education from 1871 until 1875 and was chosen by the legislature to serve as a member of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. He served as a regent until 1880, most of that time as president of the board. In July 1909, the regents named Tuttle as a member of the Law college faculty. He retained this position until August 1920, teaching courses related to property and vesting of titles.

Tuttle was affiliated with the Republican Party, although he did not seek public office outside of his legal career. He was also affiliated with the Lancaster County, State, and American Bar Associations. In addition, Tuttle held memberships in the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Lodge of Masons, and the Unitarian Church.

Samuel J. Tuttle died in his Lincoln home on February 14, 1927.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in 5 series: 1) Correspondence; 2) Manuscripts; 3) Legal Materials; 4) Printed Matter; and 5) Miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials relate to Tuttle’s career as a lawyer. A few items dated after Tuttle’s death are attributed to Tuttle’s daughter Helen.

Series 1 – Correspondence, is the smallest of the series and includes letters regarding his legal career.

Series 2 – Manuscripts, contains copies of speeches Tuttle made to various audiences.

Series 3 – Legal materials, relates to lawsuits where Tuttle served as an attorney. Many of the cases concern the Phoenix Mutual Insurance Co. and the Security Investment Co., both of which employed Tuttle as a legal representative.

Series 4 – Printed matter, includes printed programs and sheet music for Nebraska-themed songs.

Series 5 – Miscellaneous materials, consists of biographical material, newspaper clippings, and personal bills.


Series 1 – Correspondence

Box 1


  1. Legal correspondence, 1893-1926

  2. Personal correspondence, 1867-1926

Series 2 – Manuscripts

  1. University of Nebraska lectures, undated

  2. Addresses given in front of the Lancaster County Bar Association

  3. Speech given on the legal status of women

  4. Speech given at Eagle, NE, July 4, 1894

  5. Speech given at inauguration of Chancellor Fairfield, June 22, 1876

  6. Speech given at Hillsdale College, undated

Series 3 – Legal Materials

  1. Lawsuits, Aetna Life Insurance Co. as plaintiff

  2. Lawsuits, Ames through Clark

  3. Lawsuits, Cline through Crapo

Box 2


  1. Lawsuits, Dayton through Dowdall

  2. Lawsuits, Drury through Jenson

  3. Lawsuits, Kendall through Lincoln Upholstery Co.

  4. Lawsuits, McClave through Richmond

  5. Lawsuits, Phoenix Mutual Insurance Co. as plaintiff

  6. Lawsuits, Phoenix Mutual Insurance Co. as plaintiff

  7. Lawsuits, Phoenix Mutual Insurance Co. as plaintiff

Box 3


  1. Lawsuits, Phoenix Mutual Insurance Co. as plaintiff

  2. Lawsuits, Phoenix Mutual Insurance Co. as plaintiff

  3. Lawsuits, Security Investment Co. as plaintiff

  4. Lawsuits, Security Investment Co. as plaintiff

  5. Lawsuits, Security Investment Co. as plaintiff

  6. Lawsuits, Selden-Breck Construction Co. through Swab

  7. Lawsuits, Tabitha Home through West Side Improvement Association

Box 4


  1. Title Examinations for companies and individuals

  2. Title Examinations for companies and individuals

  3. Title Examinations for companies and individuals

  4. Abstracts of titles

  5. Trial dockets

  6. U.S. Supreme Court Petition for Writ of Certiorari Moore Et al vs. Lincoln Hospital Assoc. Et al

  7. U.S. Supreme Court Petition for Writ of Certiorari Moore Et al vs. Lincoln Hospital Assoc. Et al

Box 5


  1. U.S. Circuit Court brief

  2. Nebraska Supreme Court briefs, Moore vs. Marshall

  3. Nebraska Supreme Court briefs, Biancy K. Tuttle vs. Teeters

  4. Nebraska Supreme Court briefs, misc.

  5. Nebraska Supreme Court briefs, misc.

  6. Nebraska State legislature material

  7. Federal Estate tax material

  8. University of Nebraska College of Law materials

  9. Lancaster County Bar Association materials

  10. Samuel Tuttle’s Commonplace book, 1873

Box 6


  1. Samuel Tuttle’s docket book, late 1800s, early 1900s

Series 4 – Printed Matter

  1. Graduation Programs from Lincoln Public Schools

  2. Programs from Nebraska State Capitol Reception (1928) and Nebraska State Historical Society Annual Meeting (1936)

  3. Concert programs from Lincoln-area music recitals

  4. Sheet music and lyrics

Series 5 – Miscellaneous Materials

  1. Lincoln Gas, Electric, and Phone bills

  2. Misc. bills and receipts

  3. Newspaper clippings

  4. Newspaper clippings

  5. Newspaper clippings

Box 7


  1. Newspaper clippings (see also oversize materials in OB006)

  2. Helen Tuttle’s scrapbook of newspaper clippings

  3. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings

  4. Biographical materials (see also oversize materials in OB006)

  5. Miscellaneous, including essay on Hamlet




Law — Nebraska


Phoenix Mutual Insurance Company (Lincoln, Neb.)

Security Investment Company (Lincoln, Neb.)

Tuttle, Samuel Johnson, 1845-1927


03-06-1968   DJR/JEP/ab

09-21-2004   ELC/tmm