John Vanneman Abrahams, of Topeka, national secretary of the Knights and Ladies of Security of the United States of America, is a native of Maryland. He was born Oct. 28, 1867, in the old family home in Cecil county, where his parents have spent all their wedded life and where they are now residing. In this home their family of ten childrenseven of whom are now livingwere born and reared. The father, Cornelius Smith Abrahams, also a native of Maryland, a son of Joseph Willie Abrahams, has been engaged in the mercantile business for the greater part of his life. He was married in January, 1863, to Miss Clara Dickinson Vanneman, a native of Maryland and a daughter of John P. Vanneman. The Abrahams and Vanneman families are both of English descent.
John Vanneman Abrahams received his early education in the public schools in his native county and in the West Nottingham Academy, of Cecil county, which is known as one of the oldest institutions of learning in the country. In March, 1887, his school career was ended for a time, when, at the age of nineteen, he entered the business world, accepting the position of chief clerk and paymaster for the McCullough Iron Company, which is located near his home. During the next five years, while occupied with his work, he devoted all his spare moments to the study of law, and in 1892 he was rewarded by admittance to the bar. He immediately resigned his position with the McCullough Iron Company and continued his legal studies in the law office of Joseph J. Summerill, at Woodbury, N. J. In the summer of the same year he matriculated in the law department of the University of Virginia, and in September, 1892, he entered the Albany Law School at Albany, N. Y., where the degree of Bachelor of Laws was conferred upon him in June, 1893. Mr. Abrahams came to Kansas in the fall of the same year, located at Topeka and began his professional career. For fifteen years he practiced law at the Topeka bar. In June, 1908, his ability and success were recognized when the office of national secretary of the Knights and Ladies of Security of the United States of America was entrusted to him. In order to accept this position of much importance, entailing a great deal of responsibility, Mr. Abrahams was compelled to give up his legal business, but still maintains relations with his professional colleagues by membership in the Shawnee county and state bar associations. He is a director of the Capital Building & Loan Association. In the fraternal and social organizations of the city he is a well known and popular member, being a Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the brotherhood of American Yeoman, the Commercial Club and the Country Club. Mr. Abrahams maintains prominent and active membership in the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Topeka as superintendent of the Sunday school and member of the board of stewards.Pages 693-694 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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