Thursday, March 26, 2015

Philippine History: Lyman J. Carlock, First American Judge in Cebu

Judge Lyman Judy Carlock

After the Philippine American War, at the turn of the century, my great-grandfather, Mariano Albao Cuenco, was appointed Clerk of Court in Cebu by Governor Llorente. 

In his autobiography, my granduncle, Archbishop Jose Cuenco, writes that Mariano Albao "became the Adviser to Judge Layman (sic) Carlock who wishing to win over the sympathies of the Filipinos to the American cause, studied Spanish and Visayan under my father and would take part in all social and political activities of the Cebuanos. Before his appointment as member of the Supreme Court of the Philippines he was struck with cholera. He was only 32 years and one of the most brilliant American judges in the Philippines. After his death, the widow of the judge and his children returned to America. In one of my visits to America, I met them and was entertained by them."

Mariano Albao Cuenco and his family

In my current novel-in-progress, I have an American judge character and I have been using the scant information about Judge Carlock as inspiration. Last night my husband suggested I do online research on the real Judge Carlock. I was surprised to find a wealth of information about the judge!

I found a picture of him and his grave marker in

I also found a picture of Plaza Carlock (now Plaza Hamabar) in the site of the Southeast Asia Digital Library. Information about this plaza is noted below.

I found references to the judge in books, in old newspapers, in The Michigan alumnus, Vol. 20 where the judge had gone to school. There is even an article in an April 21, 1903 The New York Times -- I was flabbergasted.

Carlock Plaza in Cebu with Monument to Judge Lyman Judy Carlock

I'm going to quote from Genealogies of Virginia Families, in (I have paragraphed the writeup for ease in reading):

"Lyman Judy Carlock, United States Judge in Cebu City, P.I, and famous son of Madison P. Carlock and his wife, Nancy Ellen (Judy) Carlock; Lyman was b. Jan. 26, 1868 in Eminence Twp., Logan Col, Ill, Honor graduate of Atlanta, Ill, High School, Eureka (Ill) College and one of top ten graduating in 1893 from University of Michigan in Law at Ann Arbor; law partner in Peroria, Ill, with following: Judge Mark M. Basset; Hon. Geo. B. Foster (noted criminal lawyer) and finally with Congressman Joseph V. Graff; Pres. McKinley in 1901 appointed Lyman Judy Carlock (a Gold Democrat) as one of the first Civil Judges for service in the Philippines and he established his Court in Cebu City, P.I. He was beloved by all the natives.

"While holding Court in near-by Bohol Island in 1903, he contracted Asiatic Cholera which was ravaging the Islands. He was rushed back to Cebu City and died on April 20, 1903, a martyr to his profession and his country. (While on his death bed, and unknown to him, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of the Islands.) He was buried in the U.S. Army Cemetery and as a memorial and honor to his name, the City of Cebu changed Plaza Zapino ro Carlock Plaza and built an imposing monument in the center. All were destroyed by the Japanese Army during World War II and in 1951 there was nothing remaining to identify Carlock Plaza or his grave.

"He was truly one of the greatest descendants of the Judy-Carlock pioneers. Judge Carlock mar. Sept. 7, 1893 to Lila Mabel Riddle, also a Eureka College graduate; she was b. in Barclay, Ill., May 15, 1872 (her parents being Dr. Hamilton Rush Riddle and Cordelia Frances Constant); she was a distant cousin of her husband and a descendant of Martin Judy ..."

Some Addenda:
Mabel Carlock died in 1959.
Lyman and Mabel had a daughter, Maera Carlock Rogers (1895-1975) .
Lyman seems to have a grave marker in Clark Cemeter in Angeles, Pampanga, Plot: Section A Plot 1E Grave 11B

This is all very interesting to me, dear Readers. For years, I had wondered about this American Judge who had served in my hometown of Cebu. Now I know quite a lot about him.

Read also.
Remembrances of Things Awry, The Families of Old Cebu
How My Great Grandmother Remedios Lopez Cuenco Died
Excerpt from Archbishop Jose Maria Cuenco's Autobiography
The Sensational Elopement of Milagros and Manuel Cuenco

Tags: history, Philippines, Filipino, Cebu, Sugbo, Bisaya, Visayan, Lyman Carlock, Cuenco, #Philippines #Filipino #history

This is all for now,

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