Sheffield Ingalls is a resident and a native son of Atchison, having been born in that city March 28, 1875. He is a son of the late United States Senator John James Ingalls. Mr. Ingalls' ancestors, both paternal and maternal, were representative New England pioneers. The Ingalls family in America originated with Edmond Ingalls, who with his brother, Francis, founded Lynn, Mass., in 1628. The mother of our subject was Anna Louisa Chesebrough, a direct descendant of William Chesebrough, who emigrated to America with John Winthrop in 1630. The paternal grandparents of our subject were Elias T. and Eliza (Chase) Ingalls, the former of whom was a first cousin of Mehitable Ingalls, the grandmother of President Garfield, while the latter, Eliza Chase, was descended from Aquilla Chase, who settled in New Hampshire, in 1630, and who was also the ancestor of the late Chief Justice Chase.
Sheffield Ingalls was reared principally in his native town and received his public school education at Atchison and at Washington, D. C. After attending Midland College at Atchison four years he entered the University of Kansas and was graduated in that institution in June, 1895, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar, in 1897, but as the profession did not appeal to him he practiced but little and turned his attention to more genial pursuits. He early developed a predilection for politics and became actively identified with the Republican party in both the city and county of Atchison at an early age. In July, 1898, he was appointed police judge of Atchison by Mayor Donald and, in April, 1899, was elected to the same office for a term of two years, serving until April, 1901. In the spring of 1904 he was a prominent candidate for the Republican nomination for probate judge, but through the exigencies of politics, instead of receiving the nomination sought for, he was nominated by the same convention for the legislature from the third representative district. However, at the election his opponent, Edward Perdue, defeated him by thirty-two votes. Two years later he was nominated again for the legislature from the same district and received a tie vote with Alonzo Wilcox. The contest was decided by lot in Topeka and Mr. Ingalls won. He served as a member of several important committees and was made chairman of the committee on education. He cast his vote for Charles Curtis for United States senator, and in the work of that session became actively identified with that progressive element in the legislature which was known at that time as "the boss busters." He is in sympathy with all efforts to purify politics and to raise the tone of public life and during that session he voted for all reform legislation. He is a man of deep convictions, a political and social reformer of exceptional ability and courage, and has always opposed machine politics. It was due to an obnoxious political machine's influence in local Republican circles at Atchison that Mr. Ingalls entered the arena of political strife in order to assist in effectively opposing said machine and to secure needed reform in political methods. Shortly after the adjournment of the legislature Mr. Ingalls assumed the editorial management of the "Atchison Champion," and for the following two years exposed through its columns the corruption in city affairs and fought against the domination of the city by a political ring. He then endeavored to purchase a controlling interest in the "Champion" to enable him to be more aggressive in fighting corruption through its columns, but through various influences operating against him he was unsuccessful. In the fall of 1907 he originated and organized the Commercial State Bank and served as its vice-president until its consolidation with the First National Bank, in the spring of 1910. He then organized the Commerce investment Company, of which he was made president and has continuously served as such up to the present time (1911). Besides the interests mentioned he is a director of the First National Bank and also of the Railway Specialty Company of Atchison. He was appointed a member of the board of regents of the Kansas state normal schools by Governor Stubbs, in April, 1908. He is a member of the State Historical Society, and is a member of the Sons of the Revolution. Fraternally he is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
On Jan. 9, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ingalls and Miss Lucy Cornell Van Hoesen of Lawrence, Kan. To their union five children have been born: Robert Chesebrough, who died in infancy; Ruth Constance, aged seven; Sarah Sheffield, aged four; John James, aged two; and David Bagle, aged six months (1911).Pages 757-758 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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