William H. Sproul, of Sedan, Kan., who leads at the Chautauqua county bar, is the senior member of the law firm of Sproul & Ferrell, and is not only the most prominent of his profession in Chautauqua county, but also is a worthy representative of the legal talent of the state. Mr. Sproul is a native of Tennessee, and in him are combined the vigor and progressiveness of the North and the dignity and courtesy of the South. Born in Overton county in that southern state, Oct. 14, 1867, he is a son of John Quincy Adams Sproul and Lee Ann Roberts, natives respectively of Virginia and Tennessee. The father had accompanied his parents to Tennessee when a boy and remained a resident that state until 1884, when he removed to Kansas and bought a farm in Cherokee county, where he resided until his death, in 1907. Though a southerner by birth and rearing, he saw the Union cause as right and served three and a half years on the Union side during the Civil war. He was a Republican in his political views until a few years before death, when he became a Socialist. He at one time served as a county clerk in Tennessee. John Q. A. Sproul was a son of James Sproul, a Virginian by birth and a farmer, who removed to Tennessee in an early day and died there. The mother, who died in 1889, was a Miss Lee Ann Roberts prior to her marriage, and was a daughter of Jesse Roberts, who was a native Tennesseean and the largest slave holder in his country prior to the Civil war. Jesse Roberts died about 1866. Both parents of Mr. Sproul were members of the Christian church.
William H. Sproul was reared in Tennessee and received his earlier education in the public schools of that state, also attending Alpine Academy, in Overton county. After his parents' removal to Kansas he attended the high school at Columbus, and the normal school at Fort Scott. He then engaged in teaching for several years, the last of which was as a principal in the city schools of Columbus, Kan. In 1892 he entered the Kansas University, at Lawrence, and graduated from the law department of that institution in 1894. He was admitted to the bar in June, 1894, and at once located at Sedan for the practice of his profession. Well endowed with those talents essential to a legal career, from the first he was successful and today ranks as the leader at the Chautauqua county bar. He has practiced alone most of the time, but is now associated with J. A. Ferrell, under the firm name of Sproul & Ferrell. Mr. Sproul is admitted to practice in all the courts, both state and Federal, and at the present time has a number of cases in the Supreme Court of Kansas. His large practice has been a lucrative one and he has prospered in a business sense. He has valuable farm lands and owns one of the most beautiful homes in Sedan. He started without capital, save the endowments of keen mental faculties, an unusual spirit of energy, and a good education, and his success represents the result of his own efforts.
In 1894 Mr. Sproul was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Maynard, of Troy, Kan. Of their union have been born three children: Pauline is a junior in the Sedan High School, and William and Lee are students in the grades. Mrs. Sproul is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics Mr. Sproul is a Republican and has served as prosecuting attorney of Chautauqua county two terms, or four years, dating from 1896. He was once a candidate for Congress, but did not receive the nomination. As a lawyer and as a citizen he stands high in his community and well deserves the universal respect which he commands.Pages 524-525 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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