Malcolm Beaton Nicholson, ex-judge of the Eighth judicial district and one of the best known lawyers of Central Kansas, was born at Skye Glenn, Inverness county, in the British province of Nova Scotia, June 15, 1844. His parents, John and Ann (Beaton) Nicholson, were natives of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Judge Nicholson received his early schooling in the academy of his native town, after which he attended Dalhousie College, at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and graduated at the Westminster College, Fulton, Mo., as a member of the class of 1869. He then read law with J. D. Campbell and J. P. Lewis of Rockport, Mo., and, in 1870, was admitted to the bar. About the same time he was elected superintendent of schools in Atchison county, Missouri, on the Democratic ticket, and at the expiration of his term, in 1872, removed to Council Grove, Morris county, Kansas, where he began the practice of his profession, and there he still resides. In 1876 he was elected county attorney of Morris county, which office he filled with such signal ability that, in 1883, he was elected judge of the Eighth district, and at the close of his first term was reëlected, in 1887, and on conclusion of his service, in January, 1892, engaged in private practice. Judge Nicholson was appointed by Governor Morrill a member of the board of managers of the state reformatory; at Hutchinson, and was one of the organizers of that institution. He selected the first inmates of the reformatory from a group of some thirty boys in the penitentiary, at Lansing, soon after which he resigned his place on the board. As an attorney Judge Nicholson has a high standing and commands the respect and confidence of bench, bar and public. He has been admitted to practice in all courts of the United States, including the supreme court. Among his clients are the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and the Missouri Pacific Railroad Companies, the Farmers' & Drovers' Bank of Council Grove, and the First National Bank of White City. His early legal training, supplemented by his long experience on the bench, qualifies him for the practice of all branches of the law, and to these qualifications might be added the fact that he makes thorough preparation of each case before it is brought to trial, so that he is never to be taken unawares by some crafty opponent. His success is evidenced by the long list of legal contests in which he has come out victor. He has never ceased to take an interest in political affairs and was three times nominated for justice of the Kansas supreme court by his party, though he cannot be classed as a professional office-seeker, his interest being merely that which should be manifested by every patriotic American citizen, and his nominations came to him unsolicited. In Masonic circles he is a familiar and prominent figure, being a member of Council Grove Lodge, No. 36; Royal Arch Chapter, No. 60; and Knights Templars Commandery, No. 32, all at Council Grove; and of Wichita Consistory, No. 2, Scottish Rite Masons. He is also affiliated with Isis Temple Shrine at Salina, and of Salina Lodge, No. 718, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
On June 8, 1871, Judge Nicholson married Miss Albertine, daughter of Dr. J. Y. Bird of Rockport, Mo., and of this union have been born the following children: John Bird, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, now in California; Josephine, wife of Ernest D. Scott, assistant cashier of the Farmers' & Drovers' Bank of Council Grove; Winifred, at home with her parents; Sarah Ione, wife of George G. Stuart of Salina, Kan.; and Malcolm E., who completed a course at the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1903.Pages 805-806 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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