Make your own free website on


To the Randolph County Bar Association: -

We, your committee appointed to draft a memorial upon the death of Fermen C. Focht, respectfully submit the following: -

Fermen C. Focht, the son of Alfred C. and Lavina Focht, was born May 30, 1867, in Preble County, Ohio, and died at Winchester, Indiana, on the 2nd day of September, 1925. He was reared on a farm and as a boy worked hard at farm work, his father having died in 1873. Necessity compelled him to attend so strictly to his work that he could only attend school in the winter, but he resolved to obtain a good education and finally, at sixteen years of age, started out for himself. He came to Randolph County, Indiana, in 1884, and found a home with John W. Jarnigan near Winchester. While living with Mr. Jarnigan he completed the course of the Winchester High School and attended Holbrook Normal School at Lebanon, Ohio, for two terms. He taught in the public schools of Randolph County from 1888 to 1892, and began to study law at Winchester, in the office of Marsh and Thompson, while still teaching. He was soon afterward admitted to practice law at the Randolph County Bar and in 1898 entered into partnership with Joseph W. Thompson. While with Mr. Thompson he helped him in revising and preparing for publication "Thompson's Indiana Citations", a work of great value to Indiana lawyers, and still in constant use by the profession. In 1901 his partnership with Mr. Thompson was dissolved and he practiced alone until 1906, when he formed a partnership with Thomas W. Hutchens which continued until the Fall of 1923. Since then he had practiced alone.

On December 2nd, 1896, he married Mary A. Hiatt, the daughter of Riley A. and Mary Hiatt, and two children, Wilbur H. and Frank A. Focht, were born to this union. Mr. Focht is survived by his widow and two sons, his mother, a brother and two sisters.

Fermen C. Focht's life was characterized by hard and painstaking labor. His education, in school, in business and in the law, came to him only as the result of laborious effort, and he attained success because he had the determination to succeed. He was prominent in the community and a participant in all community activities, accepting duties which imposed upon his time and were detrimental to his financial welfare, but he gave to these duties the same painstaking care he gave to his business. He served as Secretary of the Republican County Committee, as Mayor of the City of Winchester, as a member of the Board of Control of Fountain Park Cemetery, and during and after the World War, as Chairman of the Randolph County unit of the Red Cross. He worked untiringly at the latter task with no hope of reward except the consciousness that he was contributing his part to the service of his country.

He was one of the Directors of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Winchester, and the Secretary of James Moorman Orphans' Home. He was a member of Winchester Lodge No. 56 of Masons, and of the Chapter and Council of the order. He belonged to the Winchester Lodge Knights of Pythias, and was a past chancellor of that lodge. He was a member of the Sons of Veterans, and was, a short time ago, the Commander of the Indiana Division of that order. He felt a great friendship for the Sons of Veterans, and took great pleasure in the annual Memorial Day exercises. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Winchester and was formerly the Superintendent of its Sunday School. His services to and interest in these organizations and activities were not perfunctory but were helpful and enthusiastic. His advice and counsel in business matters were always carefully considered and safe.

As a lawyer he was energetic and industrious, faithful to his trusts, and honest with his clients, his partners in the profession, and with the Court. He presented his cases vigorously to court and jury and was an antagonist not to be despised. He worked hard for his clients, and prepared his cases well. He was genial in manner, and had the faculty of convincing his clients not only of his interest in their cases, but of his personal friendship for them, and his ability to handle the business at hand. For these attributes he was rewarded by a large amount of business, both in his office and upon the dockets of this court, which in the past few years has been steadily growing in volume. He went into the examination, preparation and presentation of questions, both of law and of fact, laboriously and in detail, and while his qualities as a lawyer did not include brilliancy, ingenuity of invention, or swiftness in logical deduction, yet he was generally able to make his point evident, and his conviction was generally well grounded in legal reason or precedent. He was clean and honest in his methods, and his success in the practice is a tribute to his determination, his courage in the face of obstacles and his industry. He will be classed as one of the successful practitioners at this bar.

Mr. Focht was a splendid husband and father, a man of excellent moral standards. He will be missed in the business and community activities of this county and at the bar of this court.

Your committee respectfully moves the adoption of this memorial.

[signed] John W. Macy Walter G. Parry T. W. Hutchens

Home Page
Surname Index
Reference List
Document List
Picture List