Eleven of the 15 surviving charter members of the State Bar Association, which was formed in Madison on Jan. 9, 1878, attended the 50th anniversary convention in Madison in 1928. They are, left to right: Front row - George F. Merrill, Ashland; Burr W. Jones, Madison; W.W. Wight, Milwaukee; Moses Hooper, Oshkosh; Frank M. Hoyt, Milwaukee; John M.W. Pratt, Milwaukee. Rear row - Judge James O'Neill, Neillsville; Nils P. Haugen, Madison; Glenway Maxon, Milwaukee; Samuel D. Hastings, Green Bay; George D. Van Dyke, Milwaukee. About 550 lawyers registered for the 50th anniversary convention, including 20 of the 25 women lawyers in the state. (State Journal photo)
Gilson G. Glasier, first editor par excellence
In his unpublished manuscript of 1986, "A History of the Organized Bar in Wisconsin," former State Bar executive director Philip S. Habermann paid special tribute to State Law Librarian Gilson G. Glasier, who served for many years as part-time secretary-treasurer of the voluntary bar, which was formed in 1878.
Glasier was meticulous in his work and completely dedicated to serving the bar in addition to his full-time position as librarian. Glasier was paid a modest stipend by the association, and the fact that he could headquarter the Bar in the State Law Library facilities enabled Glasier to accumulate and store the Bar records and publications. Glasier started the first Bar magazine as a quarterly publication in September 1927 and served as its editor until 1949. In introducing the new publication, Glasier wrote:
"The idea of issuing a bulletin has been in the mind of your officers and of the Publication Committee for some time, and has been favorably discussed, the item of expense being the chief stumbling block." In its second issue, Glasier discussed the character of the Bulletin: "It has been thought best to make this mostly a news Bulletin, leaving the printing of technical articles, notes to cases, etc., to other publications. The problem of editing, therefore, has resolved itself into the question, what news shall we print?" (Jan. 1928, at 22) As for production costs, Glasier wrote in the April 1928 issue, "We have been able to pay the actual mechanical costs of the Bulletin so far with money received from advertisers, and hope to continue to do so." Paid advertisements, including from West Publishing - one of our earliest, continuous advertisers, remain an important part of the publication's financial health.