Theodore H. Polack

THEODORE H. POLACK has been a lawyer of recognized standing and ability at the Marysville bar for over thirty-five years. His career began as a teacher, but he soon turned to the law and has found in it an occupation fitted to his talents and tastes and has made it the medium of his chief service in the world.

Mr. Polack was born near Crete in Will County, Illinois, March 12, 1860. He comes of a scholarly family and one that has given several members to the ministry of the Lutheran Church. His father Rev. Gustav W. Polack, was born at Strassburg Germany, in 1826. He grew up in that city, studied for the ministry in Berlin, and soon after the German revolution of 1848 came to America with hundreds and thousands of his compatriots. He located near Cincinnati, Ohio, and soon was given charge of the Weiszeichen German Lutheran Church. About 1856 he removed to the vicinity of Crete, Illinois, and in 1868 took charge of a church at Cape Girardeau Missouri. In the spring of 1879 he came to Kansas to accept the position of pastor of the Herrmansburg Church in Marshall County. He was untiring in the work of the ministry, and died while still in the harness. He had preached fifty years, and death came to him while he was still pastor of the Herrmansburg Church and he was buried on the day he had expected to deliver his valedictory sermon. His death occurred in 1898. After coming to America he never aligned himself with any one party in politics. This pioneer minister of Kansas married Elizabeth Hans, who is still living, residing at Sylvan Grove, Kansas, with her daughter Mrs. Christina Behrhorst. She was born in 1835, at Wangen, Alsace, France, and came with her parents to America in 1841. The family located near Cincinnati, Ohio, where she grew up and where she married Rev. Mr. Polack. Her father, Lawrence Hans, was a farmer and vineyard owner, and died near Cincinnati. Gustav W. Polack and wife were the parents of nine children. William Gustav, who died at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1913, became a German Lutheran minister, but on account of ill health left the pulpit and conducted a store at Cape Girardeau. Elizabeth, the second child, who died at Vincennes, Indiana, in 1906, married Rev. Carl Kretzmann, who is now living in New York State. Edward died at the age of thirteen at Cape Girardeau. The fourth in the family is Theodore H. Hermann has an official position at Lakewood, Ohio. Matilda, who died at Sylvan Grove, Kansas, in 1916, married Henry Riekenberg, a farmer still living at Sylvan Grove. Martin G. is pastor of the German Lutheran Church at Bozeman, Montana. Christina is the wife of Henry Behrhorst, a farmer near Sylvan Grove, Kansas. Emilie married John Sickel, and they have a farm near Battle Creek, Nebraska.

Theodore H. Polack attended the schools of Will County, Illinois, and also those of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and in 1878, at the age of eighteen, was graduated from the State Normal School at Cape Girardeau and given a teacher's life certificate. During the year 1878-79 he taught school in Cape Girardeau, and in 1879-80 performed similar service in one of the rural schools of Marshall County, Kansas. For a little more than two years he taught in East St. Louis, Illinois. During 1882-83 Mr. Polack attended the law school of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and began practice at Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was located during the winter of 1883-84. From there he came to Marysville and has been steadily engaged in looking after the interests of his increasing clientage to the present time. He has handled a general civil and criminal practice. His offices are in the First National Bank Building, and in 1917 he built a modern home on Eleventh Street. He is a member in good standing of the Marshall County Bar Association, is a republican, and belongs to the Lutheran Church, the church of his fathers.

Mr. Polack was married at Marysville in 1887 to Miss Florence McKee, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Finley) McKee, both now deceased. Her father came to Marshall County in 1870, was a farmer and a widely known citizen, everywhere referred to as "Uncle John." Mr. and Mrs. Polack have five children. Florence McKee, still at home, attended the Marysville High School and spent one year in the Kansas State University at Lawrence. Mary E. graduated from the University of Kansas A, B. in 1911, has since spent portions of three years in the University of Chicago, and has had a very flattering record as a teacher. For three years she was connected with the Marysville public schools and for the past three years has been a member of the faculty of instruction in the high school of Kansas City, Kansas. Theodore H., Jr., is a practical farmer located at Tomato, Arkansas. The two youngest children, Helen Finley and Ruth Tempie, are both in the public school at Marysville.

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; transcribed 1997.
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