Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
CHARLES S. DENISON. The ordinary, every-day man, engrossed in the business avocation which brings his daily bread, is representative of the nation's citizenship. This is the normal type, and his life begins and ends, perhaps, with nothing more distinctive than is the ripple on the face of the stream when the pebble is thrown into the water. It is the unusual type that commands attention and it is his influence exerted on his community, and the record of his life, that is valuable and interesting as a matter of biography. In the professions, and especially in the law, the opportunities for usefulness and personal advancement depend almost entirely upon this unusually gifted individual, and here natural endowment is as essential as is thorough preparation. The bar of Crawford County is a representative body of Kansas and as such has its full quota of brilliant men, included among whom may be mentioned Charles S. Denison, why by inheritance, education, predilection and thorough training, is fitted to take his place among the leading members of his calling.
Charles S. Denison, who has been practicing at the bar of Pittsburg since 1909, was born at the Osage Mission, Saint Paul, Kansas, August 28, 1878, and is of Scotch and German descent, the Denisons having come from Scotland to Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, David Denison, was born in the Keystone State, where he was a millwright, and later in life also followed that vocation in Illinois, where his death occurred at Sterling, in 1887. The father of Charles S. Denison, J. L. Denison, was born in 1837, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and was there reared and received his early education, being graduated from the academy at Chambersburg. Subsequently he studied for the law at Princeton, Illinois, and in 1859 came to Kansas and settled at Iola as a pioneer attorney. While residing there he enlisted in the Ninth Kansas Cavalry, and served throughout the Civil war, along the Arkansas and White Rivers, and was once slightly wounded. He then returned to Iola, but in 1866 went to old Erie, now two and one-half miles east of Erie, where he established a trading post and conducted it from that year until 1876, then going to the Osage Mission, where he resumed the practice of his profession. He rose to a high place among the lawyers of his county, and from 1889 until 1908 was attorney for the Santa Fe Railroad. He died at Kansas City, Missouri, August 14, 1908, but was laid to rest at Erie, Kansas. A republican in his political views, Mr. Denison was county attorney of Neosho County for eight years. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church. In fraternal circles he was particularly well known, having been the organizer of the first Blue Lodge of Masons at Humboldt, Kansas; organized and installed the first Commandery, Knights Templar, at Oswego, which has since been removed to Parsons; organized the Commandery at Osage Mission, which has since been transferred to Chanute; and organized the first Chapter in Southeastern Kansas, which was removed to Chanute. He was a life member in each of these, and was also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Denison married Miss Martha Hoagland, who was born in 1845, in Wyandotte County, Ohio, and now resides at Erie, Kansas, and they had three children: Anna, who is unmarried and resides at Erie; Charles S.; and Todd, who is employed by the Burroughs Adding Machine Company at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Charles S. Denison received his education in the public schools of Erie, where he was graduated from the high school in 1896, and then entered the law office of his father. He was admitted to the bar in 1902 and engaged in practice at Erie, where he remained until 1909, in that year coming to Pittsburg. He has been successful in building up a large general practice and has been connected with some important litigation in the state courts. His offices are located at 301 to 305 Commerce Building. While at Erie, Mr. Denison was district attorney for the Santa Fe Railroad and local attorney for the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway from 1905 to 1909. He is a republican, but has never sought public office. His professional connections are with the Crawford County, Kansas State and American Bar associations. His home is at No. 603 West Third Street.
On January 21, 1915, at Girard, Kansas, Mr. Denison was united in marriage with Miss Thora Kiehl, daughter of Chris and Rosa (Baker) Kiehl, residents of Franklin, Kansas, where Mr. Kiehl is master mechanic for the Western Coal and Mining Company.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 2023-2024 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed by students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, March, 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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