A Tradition of Trust Since 1854

Our History

Joe R. Lane (1858-1931) // Charles M. Waterman (1847-1924)

Lane & Waterman is one of the oldest law firms west of the Mississippi River. It began as a two-person venture, when, in 1854, A. Abner Davison and David S. True formed a partnership to practice law in what was then the budding frontier town of Davenport.

The firm became known as Lane & Waterman in 1902, when Justice Charles M. Waterman left the Iowa Supreme Court to join firm partner Joe R. Lane. Both men were respected community leaders. Lane was the son of James T. Lane, who had become a law partner of A. Abner Davison with the death of David S. True. Lane served as a regent of the University of Iowa, a member of the Davenport City Council, and as a one-term Republican U.S. Representative. Waterman served as Davenport city attorney and as a Scott County District Court judge before becoming an Iowa Supreme Court Justice.

Even the building where we practice has historical roots. The former “American Commercial and Savings Bank” building has been home to Lane & Waterman since it opened its doors in 1928. Lane & Waterman has helped shape the growth of the Quad Cities, representing clients in a broad range of economic development milestones. From its strong roots, it has continued to grow and flourish. The partnership has evolved into a firm of over thirty active attorneys, the largest law firm in the Quad Cities.