Charles E. Branine, judge of the Ninth judicial district, comprising Reno, McPherson, and Harvey counties, was born at St. Elmo, Fayette county, Illinois, March 7, 1864. His father, Joshua Branine, was of Irish descent, a native of Indiana, and a farmer. His mother was born in Ohio and her maiden name was Margaret J. Dewese. In 1874 the family moved from Illinois to Kansas and located near Newton, upon a farm, which remained the parental home until the death of the father, Nov. 12, 1898. The mother is still living and resides in Newton. Charles was a lad of ten years when the family came to Kansas, and had attended but a few terms of school in a country district. At the new home in Kansas he assisted the father in farming during the farming season and attended school in a country district, and in Newton City, during the winter months, until he became of age, in the spring of 1885. The fall of that year he entered Baker University, at Baldwin City, Kan., and remained there one year. The next year he spent as a student in Kansas University at Lawrence. The following winter he taught a country school in his old home neighborhood, and at its close, in the spring of 1888, entered the law office of J. W. Ady, in Newton, and studied until admitted to the bar, in November, 1889. Mr. Ady was one of the leading lawyers of the state and served as United States district attorney for the district of Kansas and the Indian Territory during the administration of Benjamin Harrison. The next day after his admission to the bar Mr. Branine opened an office in Newton, commenced the practice of law, and continued in the same rooms for nineteen years. A younger brother, Ezra Branine, was his law partner for many years and until he became judge. He was United States commissioner from 1890 to 1893; county attorney of Harvey county from January, 1893, till January, 1897; state senator from the Thirtieth district, composed of Harvey and McPherson counties, from January, 1901, to January, 1905, and since January, 1909, has been judge of the Ninth judicial district.
On Oct. 8, 1891, Judge Branine married Mary E. Rigby, of Concordia, a native Kansan, and two children have been born to them: Harold R. is a student in the Kansas State University, and Hazel E. is in the high school at Hutchinson, the judge having moved with his family from Newton to Hutchinson, in July, 1910.
Judge Branine is recognized as one of the strong men of the state. In private life and in office his record has been clean and honorable. As county attorney he was a vigorous and fearless prosecutor, as state senator he was one of the leaders in that body, and his ability and influence made him a valuable legislator. He is an able lawyer and a just and conscientious judge. He has the full confidence and respect of the bar and is esteemed and honored by all, who know him.Pages 370-371 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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