Karl Marshall Geddes, of Eldorado, at the present time county attorney of Butler county, was born at Fountain Green, Hancock county, Illinois, April 13, 1882, a son of Cyrus M. and Lissa (Marshall) Geddes.
The Geddes family is of Scotch origin and was founded in America by James Geddes, who came with his wife and three sons to America about 1752, settling at Derry Church, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. Karl M. Geddes, our subject, is descended from James Geddes through the following persons: William Geddes, son of James, born in Ireland, in 1735, died in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, 1789; Paul Geddes, son of William, born near Carlisle, Pa., June 9, 1768, died Oct. 22, 1832his brother, James, was a prominent man in Onandaga county, New York, a district judge, member of Congress, and one of the promoters of the Erie canal, called Geddes's canal at the inception of construction; Thomas Geddes, son of Paul, born at Path Valley, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, July 7, 1805, removed to Fountain Green, Hancock county, Illinois, was commissioned colonel of the Eighty-seventh Illinois Militia and served during the Mormon troubles; Cyrus M. Geddes, son of Colonel Thomas, was born at Fountain Green, Ill., Feb. 26, 1842, and is the father of Karl M. Geddes.
Cyrus M. Geddes spent his earlier career in his native state. He came to Kansas in 1900, and settled in Butler county where he has lived retired from active business cares since 1906. He gave loyal services to the Union during the Civil war as a member of Company A, One Hundred Eighteenth Illinois infantry. Companies A, B, C, E, and H were all formed from Hancock county volunteers and responded to the president's call of July 2, 1862. The regiment was mustered into the United States service for three years in November, 1862. Alexander Geddes, a brother of Cyrus M., was commissioned captain of Company A and served with his regiment until killed at the battle of Champion's Hill, Miss. On the request of Cyrus M. to his colonel for permission to send his dead brother's sword home to his parents, he was told, "You can carry it until the end of the war," and was promoted to the captaincy of the company. This regiment saw much hard and active service. One of the most serious engagements in which it participated was the siege of Vicksburg and it was at Champion's Hill during that siege that Alexander Geddes lost his life. The regiment was mustered out of service Oct. 1, 1865, and Mr. Geddes received his honorable discharge as captain. Karl Marshall Geddes was educated in the public schools of Hancock county, Illinois, and at the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia. From 1900 to 1904, inclusive, he taught school and in the meantime read law in the office of Hon. G. P. Aikman and E. B. Brumback of Eldorado. Upon his admission to the bar at Topeka in 1905, he formed a partnership with his roommate and fellow student, R. B. Ralston, under the firm style of Ralston & Geddes, and opened a law office at Eldorado. In 1908, both were nominated to office by the Republican party. Mr. Ralston was nominated for probate judge and Mr. Geddes for county attorney and both were elected by flattering majorities. They are the youngest men in the state holding similar offices. In 1910 they were renominated and reëlected without opposition, an exceedingly high commendation for men so young, as to their efficiency and conduct during their previous term. On Jan. 1, 1910, Mr. Geddes formed a partnership with Judge C. A. Leland. (See sketch). Leland & Geddes is recognized as one of the leading law firms of Southern Kansas and commands a large and lucrative practice. Mr. Geddes is a member of the Kansas State Bar Association and of the Kansas County Attorneys' Association. He served as secretary of the Butler County Republican Central Committee from 1906 to 1908, and was a delegate to the Republican Congregational Convention at Wichita in 1906. He is vice-president of the Kansas Day Club in the Eighth Congressional district. He affiliates fraternally with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, and is a member of the Presbyterian church.
On Dec. 24, 1905, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Geddes and Miss Gertrude Blankinship, the daughter of Asbury A. Blankinship of Eldorado.Pages 447-448 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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