William Grattan Holt, a lawyer of prominence at the Kansas City, Kan., bar, and for a number of years judge of the court of common pleas, in that city, was born in County Kildare, Ireland, July 1, 1862, and is a son of Samuel Holt and wife, Anna Maria (Jellett) Holt, and a descendant of the Henry Grattan family of Irish fame. The Holt family, which was originally Saxon, was an old one in County Kildare and the Jellett family originally French, an ancient one in County Tyrone. Both were very prominent families of large means and fine estates and both possessed crests and coats-of-arms, in 1873, when William Grattan Holt was eleven years of age, he came with his parents to the united States and after a six years' residence in the city of Philadelphia, Pa., accompanied them to Kansas, in 1879. After residing near Emporia one year the family located on a farm in Butler county, but later removed to Eldorado, the county seat of Butler county. In 1890 William G. Holt removed to Kansas City, Kan., the family following in 1894, where the father died, Feb. 12, 1896. The mother after she became a widow went to live with a daughter in Washington, D. C., and died in that city, Sept. 21, 1909. Judge Holt has three brothers and three sisters living: Mrs. Anna M. Baumann, a widow residing in Philadelphia, Pa.; Thomas J. of Kansas City, Mo.; John H. J. of North Wales, Pa.; Dorathea M. of Washington, D. C.; Morgan W. J. of Stillwater, Okla.; and Mrs. Georgina M. Lewis of Stillwater, Okla. It will be seen that William G. is the only member of his family residing in Kansas.
Judge Holt's early education in County Kildare, Ireland, was at the home by private tutors. Afterwards he attended Erasmus Smith's College, Dublin, preparatory to entering Trinity College, Dublin, and while the family resided in Philadelphia, he was a student in the Germantown Academy, one of the oldest educational institutions of the Quaker city. Samuel Holt, the father, a highly educated man, was the graduate of two colleges and was a fine Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholar. He was a high bred gentleman of means in Ireland and had plenty of time to devote to study and to general reading. Judge Holt, throughout his early life, had the benefit of his father's aid in his early educational training and this was to him the equivalent of a college education. He did not attend school after the family's removal to Kansas. Very early in his career Judge Holt took up the study of law and, in 1891, was admitted to the bar in Kansas City, Kan., since when he has been actively engaged in the practice of law in that city and is one of the foremost of his profession, in that city and in the state. He is now a member of the firm of Angevine, Cubbison & Holt, whose offices are in the Portsmouth Building.
On Jan. 1, 1896, he became judge of the court of common pleas, having been elected to the position in the fall of 1895. He was twice reëlected and once appointed to the office and in all served as judge of the court of common pleas a consecutive period of twelve years and three months. He finally resigned the office April 1, 1907, in order to resume his law practice. Judge Holt is a Republican in politics and his church relations are with the Episcopal denomination, being a member and for eighteen years senior warden of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church of Kansas City, Kan. In Masonry he has attained the Thirty-third Scottish Rite degree and is a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He also affiliates fraternally with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is a member of the Wyandotte County Bar Association, the Kansas State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
On July 22, 1896, occurred the marriage of Judge Holt and Miss Alice Long Hafer. Mrs. Holt was a resident of Hutchinson, Kan., at the time of her marriage but is a native of Ottawa, and the only daughter of Thomas Hafer, now deceased, who for many years before his death was an official of the Santa Fe Railroad Company and at the time of his death was in charge of the Atlantic & Pacific division at Benson, Ariz.Pages 619-620 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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