Henry L. Alden, of Kansas City, Kan., for a number of years judge of the Twenty-ninth judicial district, is the descendant in the eighth generation of two of the most notable figures in the earliest New England history, John Alden and his wife, Priscilla Mullins, both of whom came over in the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. They were married in 1621 and their wooing and romance is eloquently set forth in Longfellow's "Courtship of Miles Standish."
Henry L. Alden was born in Greenwich, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, May 8, 1847. He was reared on a farm and during his boyhood the greater portion of his time was spent in the cultivation of poor rocky soil which yielded but a meager return for a great deal of hard labor. He was educated in the district schools of his native town, spent two years at Monson Academy at Monson, Mass., and two years at Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, N. H. When eighteen years of age he went to Limestone, Pa., as principal of a private academy, but upon the death of his father in 1867 he returned to Massachusetts and in November of that year came to Kansas, which state has since remained his home. He arrived at Wyandotte (now Kansas City), Kan., on the morning of Thanksgiving day, 1867, and during the first year of his residence there was principal of the city schools. He then began the study of law in the office of Hon. Stephen A. Cobb, and upon his admission to the bar in April, 1870, he formed a partnership with his preceptor, under the firm name of Cobb & Alden, which continued until the death of Mr. Cobb in 1878. The next year he formed a partnership with Henry McGrew, and eight years later the firm became Alden, McGrew & Watson, by the addition of George B. Watson, which partnership continued until Mr. Alden's promotion to the bench.
Judge Alden has won the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens by years of active public service since his admission to the barn[sic] in 1870. He held the office of clerk of the city of Wyandotte two years; was elected county attorney for Wyandotte county in 1872 and was reëlected two years later; was elected a member of the house of representatives from Wyandotte county in 1877 and there served on some of the most important committees. In 1882 he was again elected county attorney and in 1888 he became a delegate to the Republican national convention from the Second Congressional district. On March 9, 1891, he was appointed judge of the Twenty-ninth judicial district to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Hon. O. L. Miller; he was elected to that office in November, 1891, and was re&eum;lected in 1895, serving in all nine years during which he made an enviable record on the bench. At the close of his second term he resumed the practice of law. Judge Alden's success at the bar has been marked. As an advocate he has few equals. He knows intuitively the strong and weak points in a case, prepares his cases and tries them well. He has always been courteous to the court and to the members of the bar and has the respect and good will of every lawyer with or against whom he has ever tried a case. As a judge his decisions indicated a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment. Comparatively few of his rulings have been reversed by the higher courts.
Judge Alden was married Sept. 13, 1870, to Miss Mary F. Cruise, of Wyandotte, but formerly of Albany, N. Y. To them were born three children: Cora Frances, Maurice Le Roy and Frances Eveline. Maurice L. Alden is a member of the firm of McAnany & Alden, attorneys, and his sketch appears elsewhere in this volume.Pages 1151-1152 from volume III, part 2 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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