Ralph Bruce Ralston is numbered among the leading attorneys-at-law of Eldorado, and when elected to his present position of probate judge of Butler county was the senior member of the law firm of Ralston & Geddes, which was formed in 1906. Mr. Ralston was born on his father's farm, near the pleasant little village of Towanda, Butler county, Feb. 22, 1883, a son of Andrew J. and Mary Lavina (Stewart) Ralston, the former born at Martin's Ferry, Ohio. The father was a farmer by occupation during his active career, but is now living retired at Towanda. During the Civil war he served as a private in Company I, Fifth Illinois infantry, and was with Sherman in the campaign of Atlanta and the march to the sea. While a boy he removed with his parents from Ohio to Monmouth, Ill., and there followed farming until he came to Butler county, Kan., in January, 1868, being one of the pioneers of that section, and settled on a homestead near Towanda. He was very successful in his endeavors and became prominent in public affairs and active in the Republican party organization of the county, but has never held public office. Ralph B. Ralston was afforded the advantages of the public schools of Butler county and graduated in in the Eldorado High School with the class of 1903. He then read law in the office of Hon. G. P. Aikman, of Eldorado, and also with E. P. Brumback and and was admitted to the bar, June 22, 1905. He immediately began the practice of his profession in Eldorado alone, until 1906, when he formed a partnership with K. M. Geddes, his fellow room-mate and student, the firm name being Ralston & Geddes, and this association continued until Jan. 11, 1909, when the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Ralston having been elected to the office of probate judge of Butler county, and his associate, Mr. Geddes, to that of county attorney. Judge Ralston was but twenty-five years of age when he took the oath of office and is the youngest man ever elected to that office in the State of Kansas. That he is successful as the incumbent of that position and is giving a fine administration of the office is attested by the fact that he was reëlected, in the fall of 1910, without opposition, and is now serving his second term. Mr. Geddes, his former partner, was also reëlected without opposition as county attorney. Mr. Ralston is a Master Mason, a Republican in his political adherencyhaving been a party worker since he was twenty-one years oldis a member of the State Bar Association, and he and his wife are both zealous members of the Christian church. Previous to becoming probate judge he was an influential and active worker in church affairs, being for a time president of the local Christian Endeavor at Towanda, and president of the county organization, in 1906. He served as president of the State Society of the Christian Endeavor of the Christian church, in 1908, and for two terms, 1906-07, was president of the Presbyterian Christian Endeavor, at Eldorado. June 29, 1910, witnessed the marriage of Judge Ralston to Miss Bertha Ann Wallingsford, daughter of John K. Wallingsford, a contractor, of Peabody, Kan. Mrs. Ralston, previous to her marriage, was one of the most popular and efficient teachers in the Eldorado schools. She is a favorite in the social circles of her home city. Judge Ralston is one of the young men of whom Butler county is justly proud, a native son, and his future is assured.Pages 510-511 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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