Frank Day Hutchings.Success in any profession, in any avenue of business, is not a matter of spontaneity; but represents the result of the application of definite subjective forces and the controlling of objective agencies in such a way as to achieve desired ends. As judge of the district court of Wyandotte county, Division No. 2, as well as a distinguished member of the bar of Kansas, Frank D. Hutchings has enjoyed for many years a reputation which well exemplifies the truth of the foregoing statement. He has important financial and realty holdings and is one of the distinctively representative citizens of Kansas City, Kan.; progressive and energetic in the conduct of his official duties and the management of his commercial affairs, loyal and public spirited as a citizen, he holds a secure position in the confidence and esteem of the community. Frank D. Hutchings is a native of New York, born on his father's farm in Tioga county, Oct. 24, 1859, the son of Samuel Dean and Betsey Rounseville (Ashley) Hutchings. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were among those who took part in the early colonization of America, and numbered among them have been those who achieved distinction in the French and Indian wars, the war of the Revolution and in many positions of usefulness in the town, state and nation. The Hutchings family was founded in America by Thomas Hutchings, a seaman in the British navy, who at the close of the war between Holland and England, about 1680, swam ashore from his ship (then in the harbor of New York) and became a resident of that colony. His son, Isaac Hutchings, was also a sailor and was impressed into the naval service by a privateer, but escaped by jumping overboard. He was rescued when nearly exhausted by a boatman and his daughter, afterward married the daughter and settled on Long Island in 1725. From this couple descended numerous families of the name now residing in Ulster, Dutchess and other counties along the Hudson river and in central New York. The third in the line was also named Thomas. Jonathan or John Hutchings, the fourth of the line, was the great-grandfather and Revolutionary ancestor of the subject of this sketch. He served in Jacob Swartwout's regiment in the war of the Revolution. On completion of that service he settled in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, and died there Aug. 6, 1826. His wife was Letitia Langdon. His son John, the fifth in line, was born at Esopus, Ulster county, New York, Oct. 1, 1778, and died March 24, 1853. He married Abigail Dean, born in Stamford, Conn., in 1780, and died June 27, 1837; served in the American navy under both Commodore Bainbridge and Decatur in the war of 1812 and the war with Tripoli; became one of the pioneer settlers of Dryden, Tompkins county, New York, and resided there at the time of his death. He was an outspoken and aggressive Abolitionist long-before the anti-slavery agitation began and his house was the place of resort of such men as Gerritt Smith, with whom he coöperated in aiding runaway slaves to gain their freedom, his grist mill and farm buildings frequently furnishing them secure places of refuge and concealment from pursuers. The sixth in line, the father of Judge Hutchings, was Samuel Dean Hutchings, born at Dryden, N. Y., Sept. 11, 1808, and died March 27, 1878. He studied for the law, but devoted most of his time to teaching and educational pursuits. He followed the profession of teacher in the public schools of New York for more than thirty years, during which time he prepared a system of text books for the common school, adopting the orthography and orthoepy of Webster instead of Walker, which was then generally employed in school books. He was only prevented from becoming the pioneer in the reform by the unexpected appearance in print of works of Charles W. Sanders, adopting the same method, after his manuscript had been completed and delivered to the printer. These books in manuscript form are still preserved in the family and are quite interesting relics of the early efforts in the reform of spelling, and pronounciation.
On the maternal side Judge Hutchings is descended from James Ashley, who came to the Massachusetts colony from England between 1639 and 1650, lived for a time in Boston and afterwards removed to Freetown, Bristol county, which became the seat of numerous descendants, many of whom the war records show served their country in the war of the Revolution. The first of his family of whom definite information has been obtained is Percival Ashley, the great-grandfather of Judge Hutchings. He served in Colonel Hathaway's regiment in the war of the Revolution and received a commission as lieutenant. His first wife was Anne Bishop, from whom Judge Hutchings is descended. Percival Ashley's sons, Col. Simeon Ashley, at one time colonel of the militia and sheriff of Bristol county, and Dr. James Ashley, an eminent physician of New Bedford, at an early day settled in Tompkins county, New York. The latter was the father of Betsey Rounseville Ashley, the mother of the subject of this sketch. Dr. Ashley was born at Freetown, Mass., Feb. 3, 1777, and died at Caroline, N. Y., Dec. 9, 1870. He married Betsey Rounseville, born Dec. 3, 1776, the daughter of Levi Rounseville, a captain in the Continental line in the war of the Revolution. Dr. Ashley practiced medicine continously for more than fifty years. He was an ardent anti-slavery advocate. The neighborhood in which he lived was principally settled by Virginians, who held slaves, New York then being a slave state. Against the prejudices of the people, his principal competitor in the profession, Dr. Joseph Speed, being a large slaveholder, he resolutely advocated unconditional abolition of slavery. He also supported with great determination the Washington Temperance movement, which had in view the total suppression of the sale of intoxicating liquors in tippling shops. His daughter, Betsey Rounseville Ashley, was born at Caroline, N. Y., Aug. 15, 1815. She married Samuel Dean Hutchings, Nov. 29, 1835, and died Aug. 26, 1901. Of the children born of this marriage: John, born Dec. 31, 1836, died April 2, 1892. He was admitted to the bar and practiced for three years in Waverly, N. Y. In 1863, he located in Lawrence, Kan., and formed a partnership with Hon. E. V. Banks, afterwards reporter of the supreme court of the state. At his death in 1892 he was general attorney for the receiver of the Kansas City, Wyandotte & Northwestern Railway Company. He appeared as counsel in the celebrated Medlicott murder trial and the Hillman insurance case. The latter was one of the most noted cases ever before the courts of Kansas. It was pending for over a quarter of a century, twice reversed by the supreme court of the United States and finally settled by the insurance company substantially paying the claim. James Ashley, born Sept. 29, 1838, enlisted as a private in the Tenth New York cavalry and served throughout the Civil war. After being mustered out he came to Kansas and settled in Neosho county where he became a successful miller. He retired from active business in 1899 and removed to Kansas City, Kan., and employed his time in looking after his extensive realty holdings until his death, March 30, 1912. The third child, Samuel Dean, was born Aug. 15, 1840, died July 6, 1842. Mary Ann, born Aug. 16, 1842, died June 18, 1907; Betsey Amanda, born Aug. 8, 1844, died Nov. 16, 1863; Charles Frederick, born May 25, 1846, prepared for Harvard University, but was compelled to abandon the course through the enlistment of his brother in the army, and afterwards was employed in the educational department of the Freedman's Bureau at New Orleans. In 1866 he took up the study of law in Charlotte, Mich., and was admitted to practice in that state. He located for practice in Neosho county, Kan., in 1867; was elected to the legislature in 1872; and was chairman of the judiciary committee during the investigation of the Pomeroy and York bribery case. From 1885 to 1908 he was engaged in practice in Kansas City, Kan., and was recognized as one of the eminent men in his profession. He has resided in Kansas City, Mo., since 1908; is general counsel for the Kansas City Western Railway Company; is a director of the company and of the Pioneer Trust Company. Simeon, the seventh child, was born July 10, 1848; enlisted when fifteen years of age in the Fifth New York cavalry; was taken prisoner in an engagement in Virginia soon after, and after the war his grave was discovered as No. 3112 in the National Cemetery at Andersonville, Ga., where are buried the victims of Andersonville prison.
Frank Day Hutchings has been a resident of Kansas since 1865, when as a child he came with his parents from New York. He acquired his early education in the schools of Osage Mission, and was then matriculated in the University of Kansas, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts as a member of the class of 1883. The following year he was employed as city editor of the "Lawrence Journal" and then entered the law department of his Alma Mater, graduating in 1886, and was valedictorian of his class. The subject of his address was "The Conflict in Jurisdiction Between the State and Federal Courts." He located for practice at Osage Mission but removed to Kansas City, Kan., in 1888 and with the Hon. James F. Getty formed the firm of Getty & Hutchings. In 1898 he was appointed city attorney of Kansas City, Kan., to fill out an unexpired term, and was elected for a full term in April, 1899. In 1908 he was appointed judge of the circuit court of Wyandotte county, a court of general jurisdiction created for the purpose of receiving the district and common pleas courts which had fallen behind with their docket. He held this position until December of the same year, when the court was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court of the state and abolished. At the session of the legislature in 1909 a second division of the district court was created to take the place of the circuit court. Mr. Hutchings at a meeting of the bar of Wyandotte county received the unanimous endorsement of that body for the position of judge of this division of the court, but the governor refused to respect the wishes of the bar. In August, 1910, Mr. Hutchings was nominated without opposition as the Republican candidate for the position of judge of the second division, was elected in November following and holds that position at the present time. Judge Hutchings has been connected with some of the most important litigation in Wyandotte county during the years of his practice here, among which may be mentioned the case of the receivers of the Union Pacific railway vs. Kansas City, Kan., involving the constitutionality of the law authorizing the city to extend its boundaries so as to include certain railroad property. This case was twice argued in the supreme court of the United States by Mr. Hutchings and was finally decided in favor of the city.
Judge Hutchings was married on Nov. 24, 1892, to Miss Mabel Wemple of Topeka, Kan., a niece of ex-Senator Edmund G. Ross of this state, who will be remembered as casting the deciding vote against impeachment in the trial of President Andrew Johnson before the United States senate. Judge Hutchings met his wife while attending the University of Kansas, she being a student in that institution. They have two children, both born in Kansas City, Kan.a son, Wemple Frank, born Nov. 24, 1893, and a daughter, Kate, born March 21, 1897. Judge and Mrs. Hutchings hold an assured position in the best social life of the city and their delightful and cultured home is the center of gracious hospitality. Judge Hutchings has attained the Thirty-second degree in Masonry and is affiliated with Abdallah Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Leavenworth. He is also a member of Wyandotte Lodge, No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Wyandotte Lodge, No. 165, Loyal Order of Moose. He is vice-president of and a director in the New England Securities Company of Kansas City, Mo., and has valuable realty holdings in Wyandotte county.Pages 1013-1017 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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