R. W. Blue

COL. R. W. BLUE, of Columbus, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, has been identified with the professional and political life of Kansas since 1871, and is now one of the prominent members of the Cherokee County Bar, in partnership with J. J. Bulger. He was born September 9, 1841, in Wood County, Virginia, now West Virgin, and was reared in the vicinity of the present city of Grafton, West Virgin.

Colonel Blue attended Monongalia Academy, at Morgantown, West Virginia, and finally became one of the teachers of that institution. He went from there to Washington College, Pennsylvania, where he remained until half through the junior year, when he entered the army, enlisting as a private in the 3d Regiment, West Virginia Vol. Inf., but was later transferred to the 6th Regiment, West Virginia Vol. Cav., and served in the mountains of West Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley. Later he took part in the campaigns against the Indians in the Platte Valley. He spent the winter of 1865-66 at Fort Casper, Wyoming, earning his promotion, first as lieutenant, and later as captain. He was mustered out at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Returning to West Virginia; the young soldier engaged in teaching and also studied law in Taylor County, and in 1871 came to Kansas. He taught school during the first year, at Pleasanton, Linn County, and then entered upon the practice of his profession. Soon afterwards his ability was recognized by his election as Probate judge of Linn County in 1872, and again, in 1874. In 1876 he was elected county attorney, and was reelected in 1878. He became a potent factor in politics, and in 1880 was elected State Senator from the district composed of Johnson, Miami and Linn Counties, and at the end of his term was reelected. His public services to his State were of such a character that he was awarded still higher marks of confidence and appreciation, by being elected to the 54th Congress in 1894. He was renominated by acclamation in 1896, but met with defeat in the Populist landslide of the year. Since that time Colonel Blue has not consented to be a candidate for any office, confining his attention entirely to the practice of his profession.

In October, 1899, Colonel Blue removed to Cherokee County and located at Columbus, forming a partnership with the present judge of the District Court, W. B. Glasse, and later with J. H. Hamilton, who retired from the firm on account of ill health; subsequently Colonel Blue associated himself with J. J. Bulger Colonel Blue has had a wide professional experience, practicing in the United States courts, the State courts of Kansas and those of the Indian Territory.

Colonel Blue was united in marriage, in July, 1866, to Virginia Protzman, a native of Morgantown, West Virginia. They became the parents of seven children, as follows: Florence B., Richard Clarence, Gracie, and Cordelia W., all of whom are deceased; Mattie, wife of Wilmer Bennett, of Concordia, Kansas; Madge A., wife of Dr. J. Dale Graham, of Columbus, Kansas; and John W., who is single and resides at home.

Dr. J. Dale Graham, son-in-law of Colonel Blue, was born in Coffey County, Kansas, in 1873, and is a son of the late C. H. and Elizabeth (McKelvey) Graham. C. H. Graham was for about eight years docket clerk of the Kansas State Senate, and was also treasurer of Coffey County, being one of its prominent politicians. He was also an extensive farmer and stock-raiser. His death occurred in 1885.

Dr. Graham attended the State Normal School at Emporia, Washburn College at Topeka, and the State Agricultural College at Manhattan, Kansas. Prior to entering upon the study of medicine, he was engaged in business at LeRoy. He was graduated in the spring of 1904, at the University Medical College at Kansas City, Missouri, with class honors. He also holds a diploma from the University Hospital. He is fraternally connected with the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Wesley Scofield, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 11-22-96.


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