In 1856 an adventuresome forty-six-year-old Edwin C. Stacy, already a member of the Michigan bar, moved to Freeborn County, Minnesota, to farm. The Territorial Legislative Assembly had "established" the boundaries of the county in 1855 and in 1857 directed that it be "organized." To organize a county government Governor Gorman appointed three "commissioners" one of whom was Edwin Stacy. The commissioners then appointed Stacy the county's first probate judge, an office he held until a new probate judge, who was elected in October 1857, took office. Though he was probate judge for only a few months, he was known ever after as "Judge."
The Judge moved to Albert Lea in 1859, where he practiced law, usually alone, and was a real estate agent. He served as County Auditor, 1861-1865, and Superintendent of Schools, 1869-1870. In his mid-sixties he ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for congress and county attorney. He was president of the county bar association and was City Justice for most of the last two decades of his life.
The Judge died on April 29, 1897, at age 83. In memorial proceedings on May 3, 1897, the Freeborn County Bar Association passed a Resolution that stated in part:
"Judge Stacy possessed superior qualities as an accurate lawyer and able advocate, and during the more active years of his life enjoyed a large and successful practice in the courts of the southern portion of this state. He was a man of kindly nature, professional honor and sterling integrity, and withal, a public spirited citizen, interested in the welfare of the community in which he lived."