James Kerr Cubbison, a distinguished member of the bar of Kansas, a citizen who has served in both branches of her legislature with honor and distinction, and as a public speaker of more than state-wide reputation, was born in Harrisville, Butler county, Pennsylvania, Nov. 16, 1860, the son of J. N. and Mary (Kerr) Cubbison. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were early settlers in America and numbered among them are men who achieved distinction in the frontier life of those early days, in the French and Indian war, in the war of the Revolution and in the commercial era which followed. Judge James Kerr, the maternal grandfather of the subject, was one of the pioneer iron founders of Pennsylvania, a member of her state senate and leader of the anti-Cameron forces. J. N. Cubbison, the father of the subject, was a merchant of Harrisville, a veteran of the Civil war and had three brothers who also served in that conflict, two of whom were killed in battle. A son of Lieut. Donald C. Cubbison is a graduate of West Point and is now serving with the First light artillery, U. S. A.
James Kerr Cubbison received his early education in the public schools of Harrisville and later entered Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., graduating with the class of 1884. He read law in the office of Hon. J. H. Osmer of Franklin, Pa., a member of Congress from the Twenty-fifth district, and was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1886. The following summer he was employed as a reporter on Kansas City papers. In the fall of 1887 he located in Eldorado, Butler county, Kansas, and engaged in the practice of his profession with Hon. A. L. L. Hamilton, under the firm style of Hamilton & Cubbison. In the spring of 1891, with Mr. Hamilton, Hon. J. B. Clogston and D. B. Fuller, the firm of Hamilton, Clogston, Cubbison & Fuller was formed. Offices were maintained in Eldorado and Kansas City, Kan. Mr. Cubbison removed to the latter city, where he has since resided. In 1893 he withdrew from that firm and with Clinton Angevine, formed the firm of Angevine & Cubbison, a partnership continuing until 1906, when Hon. W. G. Holt, who had recently resigned as district judge, was made an associate and the present firm of Angevine, Cubbison & Holt was formed. This firm is recognized as one of the most prominent and influential in the state and includes among its clients a number of the most important financial and industrial corporations of the two Kansas cities. They are attorneys for Armour & Company, Swift & Company, Swartzchild & Sulzberger, the Inter-City Viaduct Company, the Kansas City Terminal Railway Company, the Inter-State Bank, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, and other large interests. During his practice Mr. Cubbison has appeared in connection with the most important litigations in both the state and federal courts. He is conceded by fellow members of his profession to be one of the most able lawyers of Kansas, a tireless worker and a man of the highest integrity. He has since coming to Kansas taken an active part in political affairs and has been several times honored with public office in which he has served with honor and distinction. He was the Butler county candidate from the Topeka district for Congress in 1889 to fill the unexpired term of Hon. Thomas Ryan; was elected to the legislature in 1892 and reëlected in 1894; was elected in 1898 for a third term, and in 1900 was elected to the state senate. In the session of 1893 he was made temporary chairman of the house and organized the fight against the Populists; was chairman of the house committee on judiciary that session; a member of the committee on cities of the first class in the sessions of 1895 and 1899; and of the senate committee of cities on the first class in the sessions of 1901 and 1903. He has been a life-long Republican and as a public speaker has attained wide and favorable attention. In the campaign of 1900 he accompanied and introduced Theodore Roosevelt on his tour through Kansas. A speech delivered at a banquet of the Marquette Club of Chicago caused him to be invited as principal speaker on the lake trip of this club in the campaign of 1908. The steamer Theodore Roosevelt was chartered by the club, and the principal ports of Lake Michigan were visited.
Mr. Cubbison married on June 6, 1888, Miss Julia Kretz, a member of one of the pioneer German families of Buffalo, N. Y. They are the parents of four children: Paul Kenneth, a student in the law department of Kansas University; Edith, attending Lorretta Academy, Kansas City, Mo.; James Kerr, Jr., and Justine. Mrs. Cubbison is a woman of broad culture and popular in the social circles of her home city in which she is the leader. Mr. Cubbison is in all respects a high type of the unassuming, conservative American, diligent in his various duties and commercial affairs and conscientious in all things.Pages 1054-1056 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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