John Aplington.A publication of this nature exercises its most important function when it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those citizens who have risen to prominence and prosperity by their own well directed efforts and who have been of material value in furthering the advancement and development of the commonwealth. Judge Aplington is best known to the citizens of Morris county as a prominent member of the bar, to which he was admitted in 1879, where, in the practice of his profession, he has won honor and success. He is a native of Illinois, born in Polo, Ogle county, Nov. 16, 1854, a son of Maj. Zenan and Caroline (Nichols) Aplington. Major Aplington was born in Broome county, New York, Dec. 24, 1815, attended the public schools of Delhi, N. Y., and on reaching his majority went to Illinois, locating at Buffalo Grove, as one of the pioneer settlers of that section. During his business career he was successively a farmer, blacksmith, builder, merchant and real estate dealer. He donated the Illinois Central railway the right-of-way through his farm, secured the contract to build that portion of the road from Freeport to what is now Polo, and founded on his property the town which he named in honor of Marco Polo, the renowned traveler. In the panic of 1857 he experienced reverses, but eventually rose to affluence. From the time of its birth he was an ardent and active member of the Republican party, and in 1858 was elected a member of the state senate to represent the counties of Boone, Carroll, Ogle and Winnebago. In the legislature of 1860-61 he stood manfully for the Union and for Governor Yates in his determination to crush out disloyalty in Illinois. At the outbreak of the Civil war he raised an independent company of cavalry, every man of whom furnished his own horse and equipments. This company, of which he was chosen captain, entered the United States service on Sept. 13, 1861, and during the first year of its service he was promoted to be major for gallant and meritorious conduct on the field of battle. On May 8, 1862, in a skirmish preceding the battle of Corinth, Major Aplington met his deatha sacrifice to the Union cause. He kept an accurate diary of his military service, which is now a most valued possession of his son, Judge Aplington.
John Aplington attended the public schools of Polo, Ill., and was graduated from the high school. Subsequently he entered Union College of Law at Chicago, and was graduated in the class of 1879. He was admitted to the bar in June of that year at Springfield. In May, 1880, he located at Council Grove, Kan., the city in which his entire professional career has been passed. In his law practice Judge Aplington has gained prestige and success, having a representative clientage and having appeared in connection with important litigation. He is especially fortified in his wide and comprehensive knowledge of the science of jurisprudence, a man of strong character and individuality, and in argument logical and convincing. His political allegiance has been given to the Republican party and of its policies he has ever been a consistent and active supporter. He was elected city attorney of Council Grove in 1900; was reëlected in 19D1 and 1902; was elected probate judge of Morris county in 1896, and reëlected in 1898; was again honored by his party in 1906 by election to the same office, re-elected in 1908 and again in 1910, being the only incumbent of the office for three successive terms. He has filled the office with honor and dignity, and with satisfaction to the citizens of the county. In commercial affairs Judge Aplington has taken a somewhat active part. He is a firm believer in the safety of Kansas farm lands from an investment standpoint; is the owner of a highly improved farm of 640 acres one mile west of Council Grove, which farm he formerly operated; and he is an active factor in the real estate field.
On June 25, 1879, Judge Aplington married Kate, a daughter of the late Henry H. Smith, for many years superintendent of schools of Ottawa, Ill. Mrs. Aplington is a lady of broad culture and unusual literary attainments. She has been for many years a well known contributor to newspapers and magazines. Judge and Mrs. Aplington are members of the Presbyterian church, to which they have given generous support.Pages 1522-1524 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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