Horton, Albert Howell, chief justice of the Kansas supreme court from 1876 to 1895, was born near Brookfield, N. Y., March 12, 1837. The ancestry of his family runs back in a direct line to Robert de Horton, who lived in the 12th century. The first American ancestor of the family was Barnabas Horton, born at Mausly, Leicestershire, England, July 16, 1600, and came to Hampton, Mass., about 1633. In 1640 he removed to New Haven, Conn., and subsequently to Southold, L. I. Albert was the son of Dr. Harvey and Mary (Bennett) Horton. He received his elementary education in the public schools; attended an academy at Goshen, N. Y.; entered the law department of the University of Michigan in 1855, but during his sophomore year was compelled to leave college because of an affection of his eyes. He was admitted to the bar at Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1860, and the same year he removed to Atchison, Kan., where he was soon appointed city attorney. In April, 1861, he was elected to that office on the Republican ticket, and in September Gov. Robinson appointed him judge of the Second judicial district. Later he was elected to the position twice without opposition, but resigned to resume his law practice. From 1861 to 1864 he was a member of the editorial staff of the Atchison Weekly Champion. In 1868 he was a Republican presidential elector and was elected as messenger to carry the vote of the state to Washington. In May, 1869, President Grant appointed him United States district attorney for Kansas. He was elected to the lower house of the state legislature in 1872, and state senator in 1876, but resigned Jan. 1, 1877, to accept the appointment of chief justice tendered him by Gov. Osborn. The same year he was elected to fill the unexpired term. In 1878 he was reëlected for a term of six years and was reëlected in 1884 and 1890. In 1885 his name was presented to the joint session of the legislature for United States senator, and on the first ballot the vote stood 86 for John J. Ingalls and 83 for Judge Horton. For many years Judge Horton was president of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, for the Southwest and in June, 1889, his Alma Mater conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL. D. On April 30, 1895, he resigned his position on the supreme bench to resume his law practice at Topeka, as a member of the firm of Waggener, Horton & Orr. In 1864 Judge Horton married Anna A. Robertson, of Middletown, N. Y., who died in 1883, leaving four children, and on Nov. 13, 1887, he married Mrs. Mary A. Prescott of Topeka. Judge Horton died on Sept. 2, 1902, at Topeka.Pages 875-876 from volume I 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 May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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