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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Walter Lisle MacCorkle


WALTER LISLE MACCORKLE, a prominent attorney of New York City, was born at Lexington, Rockbridge Co., Virginia, March 14, 1854, the second son of William Henry and Virginia (Wilson) MacCorkle, Mr. MacCorkle’s father (son of Samuel MacCorkle), a planter, who occupied many positions of honour and trust in Virginia, was descended from good American ancestry of Scottish blood. The name MacCorkle is a contraction of the clan name MacCorquodale, a sept of Clan MacLeod, generally derived from Torquil, one of the two sons of Leod, son of Olaf the "black king" of Man and progenitor of the clan. The earliest form of the name MacCorquodale is found in 1434. Modern forms of the name are MacCorkle, MacCorkill, MacCorkindale and MacCorquodale. The armorial insignia is described heraldically as follows: Argent a demi stag gules naissant out of a fesse tortilla of the second and first. Crest: a stag standing at gaze, attired gules. Motto: Vivat Rex. The MacCorkles are entitled to wear the tartan of Clan Gunn as well as that of MacLeod.

With other Scotsmen, some of this clan settled in the North of Ireland, descendants of whom emigrated early in the Eighteenth Century to Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The family took a notable part in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

Mr. MacCorkle studied at the Lexington Classical School and entered Washington College, of which at that time Gen. Robert E. Lee was President. He entered enthusiastically into the life of this historic institution, one of the oldest in America, founded by Dr. William Graham in 1749. He was President of the Graham-Lee Literary Society and became a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, in which he has always taken a deep interest. He served as President of the fraternity, 1894 to 1898. For some time, he taught school in his native county of Rockbridge, Virginia, and in Mason Co., Kentucky, returning to the Law School of Washington and Lee University, where he was graduated with the degree of LL.B. in 1879. Here, under the Hon. Randolph Tucker, Professor Charles A. Graves, and other able instructors, was laid an excellent foundation for his future success in his profession.

Mr. MacCorkle began the practice of law in 1879 in Maysville, Mason Co., Kentucky, where his exceptional legal ability at once gained him distinction; but, in 1881, he abandoned a growing practice to seek wider opportunity in New York City. He was first connected with the office of Miller & Peckham, of which the late Hon. Wheeler H. Peckham was a member, and after his admission to the New York Bar, entered the office of the late Elliott F. Shepard. In 1886, he opened offices for himself in the Drexel Building, where he was located for more than a quarter of a century.

During more than thirty years of active and continuous practice, Mr. MacCorkle has been identified with interests of many great corporations and with important litigation of every kind. He early won an enviable reputation as a trial lawyer. In recent years, however, he has specialized in corporation, real estate, financial and equity matters. In addition to untiring industry and a genial and charming personality that has won him a host of friends, he possesses great business foresight and a Scotch shrewdness that has made him a successful organizer of, and counsellor to, many industrial and financial enterprises. He has been attorney for the United States National Bank, the New York & Long Island Ferry Company, and the Tobacco Leaf Publishing Company, of which he is President. He was one of the organizers of the Produce Exchange Building and Loan Association, and acted as its counsel from its beginning. He also organized and was for many years President of the Board of Trustees of the Armour Villa Park Association.

Mr. MacCorkle is a most courteous type of Southern gentleman, and his loyal enthusiasm makes him much sought after in the many professional and social organizations of which he is a member. He was one of the active organizers of the New York Southern Society, was its Treasurer for four years and subsequently Vice-President for six years and President for four years. He is a member of the Society of Virginians of New York, the Society of Kentuckians of New York, the Sons of the Revolution, the West End Association, Old Settlers’ Association, New York Athletic Club, and many other clubs and societies. He is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, and New York City Bar Association.

Mr. MacCorkle married, November 14, 1888, Miss Margaret Chesebrough, daughter of Charles A. and Elizabeth Chesebrough, of New York City. They have an only son, Robert C. MacCorkle, a graduate of Lafayette College and a member of Squadron A, N. G. N. Y. Mr. MacCorkle is a member of the Rutgers Presbyterian Church. His city residence is 1 West 70th Street; his business address, 100 Broadway, New York City.


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