A history of Stearns County published in 1915 contained a lengthy chapter on the county "bench and bar." Following the format of similar chapters in county histories published about this time, all the judges who served on the district, probate and municipal courts were listed; the growth of the bar sketched, and "leading cases" described.
The chapter differs from earlier ones, however, because the sketches of four district court judges---James M. McKelvy, Loren W. Collins, Dolson B. Searle and Myron Taylor---reveal some of their work habits and aspects of their personalities. Though short, they still are valuable because the trial bench is a neglected area of research by historians of this state.
This chapter was written by James E. Jenks, a St. Cloud lawyer and community leader. Only two years after it was published, he died, at age forty-six.