Mattoon attorney, legal secretary retire after more than 60 years on job

MATTOON — In 1963, a co-worker advised brand new legal secretary Peggy Reinhart to be wary while working for attorney Thomas Logue because he could be an intimidating boss.

Reinhart, a recent graduate of the former Utterback’s Business College in Mattoon, moved ahead with her work for the law firm of Kenneth Green but was filled with anxiety about Logue’s impending return from a moose hunting trip to Canada.

“I was scared to death when he started coming up the steps,” Reinhart said of first meeting Logue. She soon found out that her co-worker had played a trick on her. “He was actually about the nicest guy who ever lived.”

After her apprehensions quickly dissipated, Reinhart began a business partnership with Logue that would go on to span more than 60 years. She first worked as Logue’s legal secretary at the Kenneth Green firm and then went to work for her boss when he purchased his own office later in 1963 at 1601 Broadway Ave.

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The two of them recently retired after Logue, 92, stopped practicing law and then closed his law office at 901 Charleston Ave., which is now on the market. They are spending more time with their respective extended families and pursuing other retirement pursuits now but still keep in touch and reflect on their long careers together.

Attorney Thomas Logue has closed his law office, 901 Charleston Ave., and placed it on the market following his recent retirement. He had the building constructed in 1971.

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“He made the work interesting and he made me feel like I was needed,” Reinhart said of working at Logue’s office for most of its existence, other than a four-year hiatus to start her family. “At the time I wanted to come back, he called me.”

Logue said later with emotion filling his voice, “She was certainly essential in my career.”

Before beginning his long career, Logue served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954. Despite being in the Army, Logue said he spent all his time in the Korean War serving alongside units with the 1st Marine Division.

“I was in intelligence and they needed an intelligence officer,” Logue explained. After his enlistment concluded, Logue pursued his longtime goal of becoming an attorney.

His daughter, Mary Ann Bunyan, said he later told his family that he had grown up poor in Champaign County and wanted to find work that would enable him to make a good living. She said his aversion to blood ruled out being a doctor, so he decided to become an attorney become of his aptitude with English and math.

Logue graduated in 1956 from the University of Illinois College of Law. There, he met fellow student Ralph Glenn, who would later become his law partner. Logue purchased the practice of attorney Ralph Suddes in 1963 at 1601 Broadway, located above the former Kresge’s dime store downtown Mattoon. Glenn partnered with him there in 1966.

Former law office

Attorney Thomas Logue has closed his law office, 901 Charleston Ave., and placed it on the market following his recent retirement. He had the building constructed in 1971.

Glenn and Logue subsequently had an architect design the law office building that they had constructed in 1971 at 901 Charleston. The Glenn & Logue building’s brick exterior walls extend forward from the main structure to bookend the property’s front lawn as it slopes downward to meet the windows of an expansive basement.

Bunyan said constructing a large and then highly modern office at this prime location along Charleston Avenue/Illinois Route 16 was affordable for the two attorneys because this property had been the site of her family’s home, which was demolished. The family subsequently moved to the west side of town.

Logue worked alongside his law partner and college classmate for nearly 50 years until Glenn retired in late 2014. Glenn passed away on April 6, 2018 at age 88.

While practicing law, Logue said his specialties included oil and natural gas wells because he owned a few local wells himself. He also specialized in real estate transactions and bankruptcies. Logue said he was blunt with his clients when needed.

“If a client was doing something wrong, I would tell them,” Logue said. Reinhart quickly added, “He would tell them the truth and that was what they needed.”

Reinhart noted that Logue argued many cases in front of the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield and won most of them. Logue’s career included serving as Mattoon city attorney from 1961-1965 and as an Coles County assistant state’s attorney from 1966-1968, as well.

Logue also was a longtime member of the Coles-Cumberland Bar Association and was a president of this organization. One of Logue’s other titles over the years was 1977 Boss of the Year, an honor presented by the Coles-Cumberland Legal Secretaries Association. Reinhart submitted the nominating letter for that honor and still hold’s her former boss and his work in high regard decades later.

“Your clients trusted you and respected you, and you deserved it,” Reinhart said.

According to a survey conducted by Natixis Investment Managers, the average age Americans stop working is 62. But the right age for you may be totally different.

Contact Rob Stroud at (217) 238-6861. Follow him on Twitter: @TheRobStroud

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