James Wilson Gleed of Topeka, is one of the most eminent lawyers of the state and has won recognition for his scholarly attainments, not only as a leader of the Kansas state bar, but as a writer and lecturer on national issues. Mr. Gleed was born at Morrisville, Vt., March 8, 1859, and is a son of Thomas and Cornelia Fisk Gleed, the former of whom was a prominent lawyer in Northern Vermont. Cornelia Fisk Gleed was a direct descendant of William Fisk, a Puritan, who came to Massachusetts in 1637. Thomas Gleed was the son of Rev. John Gleed, who was born in England and became a Congregational minister, serving as such in England, Canada, and Vermont for more than sixty years. Rev. John Gleed was a pioneer in the abolition movement and suffered with others of his belief the scorn and contempt heaped upon them in both the North and the South. He lectured against slavery at a time when the cause was so unpopular that even his brother clergymen refused to entertain him, and many times he slept beneath his wagon on the hard ground. He was largely instrumental in passing the prohibition law of 1840, which remains a law in Vermont to this day, therefore, it is not surprising that his grandson, James Willis Gleed, should champion the same cause in Kansas and that for a number of terms he should serve as the president of the Kansas State Temperance Union. Thomas Gleed died in 1861, and in 1866 his widow and two sons, Charles S. and James Willis, came to Lawrence, Kan., where after the usual course in the common schools, James Willis entered the University of Kansas and was graduated in 1879 with the highest honors of his class. There he belonged to the Phi Kappa Psi Greek fraternity and he still wears the Phi Beta Kappa key which he won during his college course. Immediately following his graduation he became a tutor in Greek and Latin in the university and remained there three years, or until 1882, when he was called to fill the chair of Greek in the university during the absence of the regular professor. He was thus engaged one year, after which he traveled in Europe four months, and upon his return to this country, entered the Columbian Law School, from which he was graduated in 1884. At that school he was a classmate of Charles E. Hughes, later governor of New York and now an associate justice of the supreme court of the United States. The same year of his graduation he went to Denver, where he served on the editorial staff of the "Daily Tribune"; but in October, 1884, he located in Topeka for the practice of law in partnership with his brother. He later opened an evening law school in that city and among his pupils were Chester I. Long, who has served as Congressman and United States senator; P. L. Soper, United States district attorney for the Indian Territory; and John Egan, for a long time assistant attorney for the Santa Fe railroad. In 1885 Mr. Gleed was elected professor of the law of real property in the law school of the state university, remaining with that institution fifteen years, his duties calling for six weeks of lectures every year. However, he remained constantly in the practice, and his name has been connected with much important litigation. He wrote the brief in the celebrated Walruff & Mugler brewery cases, his associates being George R. Peck and George J. Barker. In the litigation growing out of the reorganization of the St. Louis & San Francisco railroad he bore a leading part, and on March 1, 1896, he was made general solicitor in Kansas for that road. He has been retained in a number of important state cases involving constitutional questions, such as the State Oil Refinery case, the Bible Reading case, and the Bank Guaranty case, and it was he who secured the decision by the state supreme court in favor of Bible reading in the public schools, the law which obtains at the present time and is the most favorable decision to Bible reading in public schools that has ever been given by any state supreme court. As a lawyer he excels in the accuracy of his analysis, and the thoroughness of his investigation. He presents the case in the strongest way it can be presented, and while his language is plain, it has the fundamental quality that makes it the best possible garb for the idea he seeks to convey. Mr. Gleed has won recognition and fame not only through his professional services but also through his articles in such magazines as the "Forum" and "Review of Reviews," the editor of the former magazine having stated that one of Mr. Gleed's articles was more widely quoted than any other contribution ever published by that magazine. This article was the one entitled "Is New York More Civilized than Kansas," a masterly analysis comparing the growth and development of the two great commonwealths. In addition to his literary work he has made many appearances on the platform. He has delivered annual commencement addresses before the state universities of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and many other schools. In two or three campaigns he has taken the stump for the Republican party. In 1903 he delivered the annual oration on Lincoln before the Republican Club of New York city. Mr. Gleed received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Columbia University, New York city, in 1904, and from Baker University, in 1909. He is a member of the Kansas State Bar Association, of the American Bar Association, and the Lawyers Club of the city of New York. He is a member of the board of regents of the University of Kansas, and is also a member of the Topeka board of education, having been a member of the latter ten years. He has served as a member of several educational commissions, receiving his appointments on such from the governor of the state. He is a director of the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company, the Rutland, Toluca & Northern Railway Company, the Kansas City Journal Company, and the Central National Bank of Topeka.
On Aug. 25, 1886, Mr. Gleed was married to Miss Grace Greer of Topeka, and to this union have been born three daughters: Mary, Dorothy, and Jeannette. Mr. and Mrs. Gleed are prominent and active participants of the social life of the city of Topeka.Pages 670-672 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.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project