WILBER ESTING BROADIE is a well known lawyer of Edwards County, now serving in the office of county attorney. He has been a resident of the county since 1909.
A native Kansan, Mr. Broadie was born on a farm near Sedan in Chautauqua County February 12, 1881. His grandfather Broadie was an early farmer settler in Indiana, and the family has been in America for many generations. Grandfather Broadie subsequently came to Harper County, Kansas, from there to Finney County, and died at Garden City. His wife died in Winfield. Among their children were: John; Sam Broadie, a cattleman in Clarke County, Kansas; James Broadie, a resident of Idaho; Sallie, who lives in Chicago; and another daughter that lives in California.
John Broadie, father of the Kinsley lawyer, was born in Central Indiana in December, 1852. He grew up on a farm, had a common school education, and was married in Indiana to Ella Talmadge, an adopted daughter, the name of her own father being Whinnery. Soon after his marriage John Broadie came to Kansas, about 1879, and became a tenant farmer in Chautauqua County. Later he moved to Clarke County, locating near Ashland. For a number of years the family lived in a sod house, and part of the schooling received by Wilber E. Broadie was in a sod schoolhouse. In 1899 John Broadie moved from Clarke County to Winfield, and resumed farming in that community. He is now retired and a resident of Oxford, Kansas. He served his school district in Clarke County as member of the board, and was also a township official. He is a republican and a member of the Methodist Church. He had two sons, Wilber E. and Burton. Burton is now living at Wichita and is one of the successful men in the recently exploited oil fields at Augusta, having been one of the organizers of the "Lucky Eight."
Wilber E. Broadie spent his boyhood and youth on a farm in Chautauqua and Clarke counties. He attended the Ashland High School and as a means to an end he took up teaching, which he followed two years. In the meantime he attended the Southwestern College at Winfield and was also a student in the State University. He graduated from Southwestern College in 1905, and then entered the law department of the Kansas State University, where he was given his degree in law in 1906, being credited with some previous work in the school. He took his examinations at Topeka and was admitted to practice in June, 1906.
Mr. Broadie did his first work as a lawyer at Winfield, where he became associated with John Marshall, now one of the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court. He tried his first case at Winfield. It was a minor case before the police judge of the city. He had been assigned to this duty by Mr. Marshall, who was then city attorney. He gained experience rapidly, and had a number of cases in the district court before he left Winfield. That was also the scene of his first political work.
On coming to Kinsley Mr. Broadie became associated in the law firm of Haun & Broadie, but for the past six years has been alone in practice. He was first elected to the office of county attorney in 1910. He won the nomination as a republican and defeated his democratic opponent by more than 300. In 1912 the tables were turned and he was defeated as a candidate for re-election by sixty votes. But in 1914 and again in 1916 he defeated decisively the candidate who had beaten him in 1912. Mr. Broadie succeeded A. C. Dyer as county attorney. The chief work of his office has revolved around the enforcement of the prohibitory law. At the outset of his term public sentiment was rather favorable to the existence of the dive. But steady pressure from his office and the gradual process of education have changed the situation and now there is seldom a violation of the law.
A notable case in which Mr. Broadie was engaged was in representing the plaintiff Vosburg in a suit against the Santa Fe Railway Company to test the validity of the "reciprocal demurrage law" of Kansas. By this law the railroad company is obliged to furnish cars for shipment of freight within a reasonable time after ordered. This case went to the United States Supreme Court and Vosburg won the suit under the skillful direction of Mr. Broadie.
Mr. Broadie was married in Sumner County, Kansas, in December, 1909, to Miss Rhoda Pennington, daughter of B. A. and Barbara Pennington. Her father was an early settler in Kansas from Indiana. Mrs. Broadie was born in Sumner County, this state, July 17, 1888, and was the second of five children. Her oldest sister, Mary, is now married and lives at Stoneham, Colorado. Her brother Charles is in Sumner County, her brother Dennis is at Stoneham, Colorado, and her sister Emma lives in Sumner County. Mr. and Mrs. Broadie have two children: Flora Eveline, born September 15, 1912; and Wendell, born January 28, 1914.
Mr. Broadie is a past chancellor of the Lodge of Knights of Pythias and has represented that lodge in the Grand Lodge. He has also filled chairs in the Lodge of Odd Fellows and has been in the Grand Lodge of that order. He and his family are Methodists. As one item of his contribution to Kinsley's development Mr. Broadie erected one of the comfortable homes of that city.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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