William Thadeus McCarty, lawyer, was born in Fauquier county, Virginia, Dec. 15, 1838, the son of William T. and Hannah (Fox) McCarty. The McCarty family is of Scotch-Irish ancestry, coming to this country from the north of Ireland, and settling in Virginia, where the paternal grandfather of Mr. McCarty, Washington McCarty, was born, and where he became an extensive planter. He was a cousin of Col. John McCarty, who was killed at Bladensburg, Md., in a duel with Colonel Mason. The father of Mr. McCarty was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, where he was educated, and became a well-to-do planter. He was a type of the polished Virginia gentleman, and in politics was an "old line Whig." He married Hannah Fox, whose father was a native of England and a direct descendant of Charles James Fox, who was a member of Parliament and afterward one of the Queen's counsels.
William Thadeus McCarty received his literary education at the Bloomfield Academy in Albermarle county, Virginia, and then entered the law department of the University of Virginia, where he was a student when the Civil war came on and was one of the students who formed a company in 1861, which was mustered into the Confederate army in April and began active service in July under General Wise. The company was disbanded in December of 1861, and Mr. McCarty returned to his home at Warrenton, Va., and there assisted in raising a battery, of which he became lieutenant soon afterward. With his command he participated in many of the fiercest battles of the war, including Seven Days around Richmond, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, battles of the Wilderness, the siege of Petersburg and Richmond, and at Gettysburg he commanded his battery, and soon after he was promoted to a captaincy. At the battles of Fredericksburg and Spottsylvania Court House his horse was shot from under him but he himself was never wounded during his army services, nor was he ever absent from duty. He served under Generals Lee and Jackson, and was present with General Lee at the surrender at Appomattox. After the close of the war Mr. McCarty returned to the parental home, and found the plantation of his father, on which the Union soldiers had camped, in a ruined condition. The Union soldiers had burned the barn, fences and timber, and had confiscated cattle, hogs and horses. The family was without money. Young McCarty sat to work to rehabilitate the plantation. He replaced the fences by splitting rails, built a small barn, managed to buy a team of horses and raised a crop. It was a heart breaking effort for him to rebuild the once beautiful home, but he went about the task with a will, and succeeded in a gratifying measure. He desired to finish his education interrupted by the war, and with Allen Forbes, a noted Virginia lawyer, resumed the study of law. In the fall of 1866 he successfully passed an examination under three judges and was admitted to the bar of his native state. He decided to go to Texas and there engage in the practice of his chosen profession, but on his way to that state he stopped to visit an aunt at Oxford, Miss. He had a letter of introduction to L. Q. C. Lamar, dean of the law department of the University of Mississippi, who induced him to take his degree, which he received in 1868.
While a student at Oxford, Mr. McCarty met Olive C. West, the daughter of A. M. West, a general in the Confederate army, at that time president of the Mississippi Central railroad, and also a prominent planter and politician, a member of the Mississippi legislature, and who had been elected a member of Congress, but was not allowed to take his seat. Mr. McCarty married Miss West Oct. 20, 1867. In May, 1869, he came to Kansas on a prospecting trip, and decided to locate in Emporia, where he established a residence and opened a law office. He was associated with H. C. Cross one year in the practice of law, and then with E. W. Cunningham until the latter was elected to the supreme bench in 1891. In politics Mr. McCarty has always been a Democrat. Soon after he came to Emporia he was elected a member of the city school board, then city attorney, and later was twice elected county attorney for Lyon county, being the only Democrat ever twice elected to the position. in his county, which was then as in later years strongly Republican. In 1906 he was elected judge of the probate and juvenile courts of Lyon county, and was reëlected to succeed himself. Declining to be a candidate for a third term, he retired from the office with the universal esteem of his fellow citizens. His popularity has always been due his high sense of justice, right and fairness, together with his efficiency. He is learned in the law, quick to discern the principles involved in any litigation, and readily applies the principles of law to the case in hand. He ranks among the leaders of the Lyon county bar, and stands equally high in the esteem of the public.
Judge McCarty is a Mason, a Knight of Pythias and a member of the Triple Tie, and Fraternal Aid Association. He was reared in the Episcopal church, and throughout life he has been an ardent supporter of this church. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Ten children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. McCarty as follows: Carrie, the wife of W. H. McBride of Seattle; William C. McCarty of Denver, manager of the Ferguson, McKinney Dry Goods Company; Mason W., in business at Emporia; Wert G., who became a newspaper man of promise, and died in July, 1911, at Tulsa, Okla., where he was editing the Tulsa Post; Alston G., a student in the law department of the University of Kansas; Fay, the wife of H. C. Rankin of St. Joseph, Mo.; Olivia, a student in the College of Emporia; Evangeline and Keith, at home.Pages 1047-1049 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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