William H. Vernon, the leading lawyer of Larned and the oldest living member of the Pawnee county bar, came to Kansas in 1869 and to Larned in 1875, and for nearly forty years has been a prominent factor in the public affairs of Pawnee county. Mr. Vernon was born Feb. 6, 1852, on a farm near Chesterfield, Athens county, Ohio, son of Joseph S. and Sarah E. Vernon. The mother died when William H. was a child and the father removed from Ohio to Linn county, Missouri, in 1865, and from thence to Douglas county, Kansas, in 1869. William H. Vernon completed his education in the North Missouri State Normal School, at Kirksville, Mo., and in the early '70s was engaged in school teaching several years, having been principal of the schools at Perry, Kan., at the age of eighteen. To him teaching was but a stepping stone to other professional labor, however, for he had decided on a career in law, and to prepare for his profession he entered the law office of Thatcher & Stevens, at Lawrence, Kan., in 1873, as a student. He was admitted to the bar in Douglas county, May 20, 1875, and at once began practice in the office of W. W. Nevison, then county attorney of Douglas county. In October, 1875, Mr. Vernon removed to Larned, Kan., where he opened a law office and has since been engaged very successfully in a general law practice. He has been admitted to practice in all the courts of Kansas and of the United States and is a member of the State Bar Association. In the late '70s he was associated with Hon. W. C. Edwards, late secretary of state, but since the dissolution of their partnership Mr. Vernon has practiced alone.
On April 8, 1874, Mr. Vernon was married to Miss Ella S. Pate, then of Lecompton, Kan., but formerly of Clarksville, Va. Mrs. Vernon is a daughter of Mrs. Laura P. Zinn, widow of the late George W. Zinn, a member of the first state legislature of Kansas. Mrs. Zinn is also a niece of Territorial Governor Woodson. Mr. and Mrs. Vernon have five childrenEstelle V., Laura P., William H., Jr., Robert Pate, and Joseph S. Vernonall residents of Lained, Kan., except Robert P., who is engaged in the real-estate business at Dodge City, Kan.; and each of the children is a graduate of the Larned High School. William H., Jr., is serving his second term as county attorney of Pawnee county and is vice-president of the Kansas Day Club, of which he was secretary two terms. The daughter, Laura P., is the wife of A. A. Doerr, president of the A. A. Doerr Mercantile Company, of Larned, Kan. The youngest son, Joseph S., is the author of "Along the Old Trail," which is a history of the old and a story of the new Santa Fe Traila prominent landmark of the Arkansas Valley. This book was written while he was yet a student in the University of Kansas and displays literary ability of a high order. Mr. Vernon was the first city attorney of Larned, having assisted in its organization as a city of the third class, and he served in that capacity a number of years. He is also the author of the revised ordinances of the city of Larned, published in 1902, after it became a city of the second class, and under these ordinances it has been governed for nearly a decade. He is one of the most progressive and public spirited citizens of Larned and has always taken a great interest in the building up of his city and county, with which he has been identified since their early settlement. Fraternally, Mr. Vernon is a member of the Masonic order, and in church faith and membership he is a Presbyterian.Pages 124-125 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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