L. C. True was one of the early settlers of the county but was not admitted to the bar until 1872. He was one of the promoters of the town of Jacksonville, and after losing confidence in the future greatness of that place he removed to Chetopa. On being elected county attorney he moved to Oswego. At present he is in Kansas City, Kansas. Col. True was a man of a large amount of native ability and made of himself a fairly good lawyer. He was a forcible speaker and had good success in jury trials.
H. W. Barnes had been prominent at the bar and in politics before leaving Wisconsin. He came to this county for the health of his family. He located in Oswego early in 1872 and soon obtained a fair practice. He was freer than some in expressing his convictions about the defects in our laws and thereby awakened some antagonism. He was at one time an independent candidate for district judge. He abandoned the practice before leaving here. He was a high minded, able lawyer. For several years before his death he made his home in Joplin, Missouri.
F. M. Smith was a contestant for legal business at Chetopa for several years. He was persistent in striving to secure the end sought. For several years past he has been located at Vinita.
S. J. Stewart was not a resident of this county for a great length of time. He practiced some in justice court at Chetopa and was able to get into one or two difficulties with Chetopa people.
N. M. Purviance came to Oswego in 1872. He had the most peculiar makeup of any member of the bar. At times it would seem as though he had no ability and no business; at other times he seemed to be one of the leading members of the bar. Whether his failure at the bar finally was owing to his peculiar religious belief, and his adhesion to the teaching that spirits indulged in overturning tables and engaged in silly talk through the medium of silly girls, I do not know; but both while he resided here and after he left us he had a checkered career.
W. P. Talbot became a resident of Parsons in 1873 and at times was quite active in the practice; but for several years past he has practically retired from active practice. At one time he was a partner of Col. Davis. When Col. True was county attorney, Mr. Talbot did good service as his assistant.
H. G. Webb again entered active practice after resigning from the bench in 1873. He has been a part of the time out of the county, but most of the time located first at Oswego and then at Parsons. Although somewhat advanced in years he remains one of the leading lawyers of the county.
Of a number of parties much might be said in many respects, but as members of the bar their history need not be extended. H. M. Debolt was admitted to our bar in 1874, having theretofore been admitted in Missouri. William A. Medaris read law with Col. True and was admitted to the bar here in 1874 and in a year or two thereafter removed from the county. I understand he has since attained a good standing at the bar. John Hamblin read law with Nelson Case and was admitted to the bar in 1875. He soon thereafter went to California. W. R. Moore was a valuable citizen of Montana for many years. He read law with Mr. Waters and Col. Davis, and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He afterwards moved to McCune. William Horsfall came from North Carolina, where he had been admitted to the bar and was admitted to practice here in 1877. Soon after this he entered the Episcopal ministry. A. B. Hammer had practiced law in Illinois. He was admitted to our bar in 1873 but never entered upon active practice here. I have heard he has been a practitioner in the territory of Oklahoma for several years. A. B. Hacker was admitted to the bar of the county in 1879 but he never had any practice. Thomas H. Bruner was admitted in 1880 on certificate of admission from Indiana. He never had any business in our courts. Joseph A. Gates was admitted in 1873. He had some practice for several years but was better known as a justice of the peace than as a practicing attorney. He was not without ability, but he did not seem to be able to make a lawyer. Samuel C. Elliott read law and was admitted to the bar in this county, but he at once went to Independence and engaged in practice; there he made a fine record until insanity compelled his confinement in the asylum. A. G. Drake has been all honored citizen of Chetopa for many years. He was admitted to our bar in 1876, but never engaged in active practice. He is an efficient office man. L. F. Fisher came to Chetopa in the spring of 1869, but did not remain long enough to develop the ability he had nor to make any reputation as a lawyer. George W. Hendricks came from Illinois and settled at Labette and afterwards removed to Oswego. He has done some practice, but has given most of his attention to the duties of justice of the peace; he has served several terms in that position and has become an adept. Ira F. Adams, of Parsons, has not entered the general practice, but has done legal and clerical work in a loan office for a number of years. S. E. Ball, of Howard township, was admitted to the bar in 1878, but never did any legal business in this county. Alvah Shick, of Mound Valley, was getting quite a nice local business when he died. C. A. Wilkin came here when a boy, read law with Mr. Kelso, and was admitted to the bar in 1875. Abandoning the active practice of the law, he has for many years been engaged in the more lucrative business of abstracting and he is considered an authority on matters in that line. Ira C. Mitchell resided in Oswego but a few months, but was here long enough to convince the profession that his abilities were sufficient, were he to use them, to make him an ornament to the bar. But he was so addicted to drink that no one was sure that he would be in condition to attend to business when needed, and all confidence in his professional success soon vanished. He was admitted to our bar in 1876, and was for some time a partner of Col. Davis.
J. E. Bryan had a varied experience in Kansas. He preached at Chetopa before the Civil war, was pastor of the Methodist church in Oswego in 1871, afterwards read law and was admitted to the bar in Allen county, was a county officer there, returned to Labette county and was admitted to the bar in 1878, settling first at Chetopa and afterwards at Oswego and went from here to Arkansas in 1885. While here, in addition to practicing law he edited the Oswego Independent Mr. Bryan was a man of a great deal of ability and succeeded fairly well in whatever he undertook; had he confined his energies to a narrower field he would have attained a higher standing in either calling chosen.
Jesse Brockway read law with Mr. Bettis and was admitted to our bar in 1875. His home was in Oswego from the time he came here in 1874 till he left the county in 1889. There have been very few members of this bar who had better natural abilities or whose prospect of success in the profession was better than that of Mr. Brockway when he started in business. Naturally he was a lawyer. But drink and other bad habits undermined his character and blighted a career which might have been brilliant.
A. A. Osgood settled in Parsons and was admitted to the bar in 1877. Since 1879 he has been a member of the firm of Kimball & Osgood, and has been, to a large extent, the office member of the firm. He has had fine success as a collector and is well adapted to looking after the details of legal work. Mr. Osgood has always maintained a good standing at the bar and has the confidence of a large circle of acquaintances. On Mr. Cory's death, Mr. Osgood was appointed to fill out his term as county attorney.
J. W. Marley was admitted to our bar in 1878, but he never entered on the active practice of law. Upon settling in Oswego he commenced loaning money and soon thereafter, in connection with others, opened a bank, since which time he has been in the banking business.
George S. King was a fine type of the old fashioned southern gentleman. He was originally from Maryland and never lost the characteristics which he inherited or acquired in his early years. He came to this county in 1877, but did not become a member of our bar until 1879. At first he lived on a farm a few miles from Chetopa, but when he determined to practice his profession he moved to Oswego. He was an editor as well as a lawyer and, perhaps, he was even better suited to writing than to practicing law. He enjoyed the respect and confidence of all who knew him. He served one term as county attorney and a part of a term as county auditor.
George F. King was a son of George S. King. He was much more brilliant than his father, but lacked the latter's fine moral sensibilities and recognition of the requirements of a successful practitioner. He was admitted to the bar a few years after the family came to this county. He contracted the habit of drink and this, together with the use of morphine, soon ended a career that his friends had fondly hoped and expected would be useful and brilliant.
W. F. Schoch taught school several years before his admission to the bar. He started in the practice at Mound Valley but soon settled in Oswego, where he built up an excellent practice. He was also an active politician and did a great deal of campaign work. A few years ago he moved to Topeka and has got a good start in that city.
F. H. Foster has lived in Parsons a number of years and has done a good deal of practice, although he has always been engaged in loaning money or attending to some other business in addition to the practice of law. He is now cashier of the State Bank. He is very careful as a lawyer and usually is found to be in the right in his judgment.
J. W. Iden was a successful school teacher before commencing the practice of law. Having resided in Parsons for so many years, the people know him and entrust to his care many matters requiring attention. As an active practitioner he has been for some time a member of the firm of Webb & Iden.
A. R. Bell has lived in Chetopa during the time he has been practicing law. He has been attentive to business, studious, obliging and has built up a nice practice.
F. H. Atchinson read law with Nelson Case and lived in Oswego most of the time while engaged in the practice. He left Oswego and went to Galveston, Texas, where he spent a few weeks, but not finding the prospect for practice all he could desire he returned to Kansas and went into the mercantile business in Columbus. As a lawyer he was a fighter from the start; his plan was to contest every inch of ground from the time the first pleading was filed. On the death of J. R. Hill, Mr. Atchinson was appointed to fill out his term as county attorney.
Joseph R. Hill when a boy came with his father to this county and grew up on a farm between Oswego and Chetopa. He read law with Case & Glasse and after his admission to the bar went into partnership with F. H. Atchinson. He was soon elected county attorney and died before the expiration of his term.
M. E. Williams has lived near and in Oswego from the time when he was a small boy. He has been engaged in farming and stock raising a good portion of the time since attaining manhood. He read law with Mr. Brockway and for some ten years past has been actively engaged in its practice. He is known as a careful practitioner and earnestly contends for every point he thinks can be raised in his client's interest.
Stanton J. Mattox acquired a large part of his education on a farm in Fairview township. Since his admission to the bar he has resided in Oswego and has vigorously prosecuted or defended the suits that have been entrusted to him.
Arthur F. Cranston, of Parsons, is carefully looking after business and is building up a nice practice.
E. O. Ellis has resided in Parsons several years and every one has confidence in him. He ought to command an extensive business in the near future.
T. J. Flannelly was connected with a law firm in Kansas City before entering on the practice in this county. He has been located at Chetopa for three or four years. On January 1, 1901, he went in partnership with Nelson Case, at Oswego, but the firm of Case & Flannelly was soon dissolved by the appointment of the latter to the bench.
F. F. Lamb has gained a good start for a large practice. He is vigilant in pushing matters entrusted to his care. Having resided in Parsons from the time the town was started, he is acquainted with everyone and as a consequence has an advantage over a new comer.
George Campbell has had many years of experience more or less connected with legal matters, although he has been a member of the bar but a few years. He formerly resided at Mound Valley, but for several years past has lived in Oswego. He has been a constant mixer in politics and has served a term in the State Senate.
O. M. McPherson was admitted to the bar, settled in Oswego and commenced the practice of the law after a successful experience as superintendent of city schools in Parsons. He soon obtained a government appointment and for a number of years has resided in Washington, where he is said to be commanding a very desirable position.
A. H. Tyler spent many years in the practice at Parsons. Be was always actively engaged in politics and held many local official positions. Two or three years ago he left our county and settled in Wichita.
I. D. Highleyman has been an active politician and business man of Chetopa, and as a pastime he has occasionally indulged in the practice of the law.
Henry L. McCune came to Oswego in 1886, just after the completion of his law studies. He became a partner of J. H. Morrison. After practicing here a few years he removed to Kansas City.
A. B. Switzer served a term as county attorney, but no one was able to discover why he was elected or what qualifications he possessed to practice law. His home was in Parsons and when his term as county attorney expired he left the county.
T. C. Sears came to Parsons as the general attorney for the M. K. & T. Ry. Co., and represented the road for several years. He never engaged in general practice in this county. He had good ability, but as a practitioner was no better than the average lawyer.
John Thompson was a young attorney who came to Chetopa in 1886 and died within a year thereafter. He was a promising young man, who might have made a good record had his life been spared.
Arthur Crunforth spent a few months in Chetopa in 1887. He was a partner of A. G. Drake. In the short time he was here he made no lasting impression.
J. J. McFeely graduated from the position of justice of the peace of the city of Parsons into a member of the bar of this county. His idea seemed to be that he was cut out for a public officer, and, I have heard, was successful in securing an official position after going to Colorado.
Leroy Neale came to Chetopa in 1870. Perhaps he had the largest collection business of any one in the county. He had a very good business along several lines, including commercial and corporation law. He seldom appeared in court, but one could scarcely travel anywhere on the cars without somewhere running across him looking after some feature of his business
A. D. Neale, son of Leroy Neale, grew up in Chetopa, was associated with his father in his life time, and took the business of the firm after his father's death. He was admitted to the bar in 1889, since which time he has commanded a large share of the practice from Chetopa,
John H. Morrison came to Oswego from Illinois and at once entered on a successful practice. It was his good fortune to be able to pass for his full worth. He was possessed of popular traits and made and held many friends. Several other members of the bar were better lawyers, but few of them would pass for such with the public. He served a term in the Legislature and a term as county attorney. He was not always his own friend. His career ended while he was comparatively a young man.
J. F. McDonald, of Parsons, was more notorious than profound. No one could convince him that he was not a great lawyer, but his clients found he could get them in trouble more rapidly than he could get them out. His theme of discussion was his ability to down the corporations; however, most of them still survive.
M. Byrne studied law in jail and after being released spent several years at the bar, having quite a good line of business. Deeming the opportunities for the full use of his faculties here inadequate, he left the county and went to New York City.
E. L. Burton studied law in Cherokee county. On starting in business in Oswego he showed a willingness to attend to the most trivial matters and by this means was not long in working into a very fair business, and for several years past he has had a good line of practice. He has been active in politics and has before him a fine prospect of political preferment.
E. C. Clark was admitted to the bar before entering on his duties as clerk of the district court. After completing his term as clerk he formed a partnership with E. L. Burton. He has found the experience he acquired in the clerk's office very useful to hint in his practice. Burton & Clark is one of the substantial law firms of the county.
T. N. Sedgwick is one of the old members of the Kansas bar, but he has not been in this county many years. He came from Emporia to Parsons to take charge of the legal department of the M. K. & T. Ry. Co. As general attorney of that corporation he has made a fine record as a corporation lawyer. He insists on his company being law abiding and will scarcely ever allow it to settle a litigated claim until he is satisfied of its legality by the decision of a court of last resort. He will probably be retained in the service of the company as long as he remains in the practice.
C. W. Butterworth was raised in this county, but was admitted to the bar and spent several years in practice away from here. Recently he has returned to this county and intends doing some practice here.
W. D. Atkinson has for years been attorney for the Parsons Commercial Bank, has served a term or more as city attorney of Parsons, and has had a general practice. He is a careful and competent attorney and has been very successful in handling his business.
Soon after Fanny Cooper was admitted to the bar, she formed a partnership with W. D. Atkinson, which had other purposes than the practice of the law. No one looks for a dissolution of this firm till the death of one of the parties.
Among the young lawyers who have been admitted to the bar somewhat recently are those whom I will now name. Some of them have already obtained a good start in the practice, while others have most yet to gain.
C. E. Kennedy has lived in Parsons from boyhood, has a large circle of acquaintances and may expect a remunerative practice. M. P. Gillin, D. N. Matthews, J. D. Peters, Willard Reynolds, A. H. Noyes, C. L. McGuire are Parsons lawyers who have a fair chance to make their way at the bar. W. A. Disch has been acquiring valuable information as deputy in the office of the sheriff and the district clerk. Walter Von Trebra, of Chetopa, has a promising future. Harry G. Davis studied law and was admitted to the bar after coming home front the Cuban War. He has located in Kansas City, Kansas. James R. Scott for some time assisted Mr. Sedgwick in railroad legal business. W. J. Gillette has at given more attention to politics and medicine than to law. Rollin P. Norton did no business at this bar after hiss admission, and the same may be said of Ike D. Nearhart. Preston S. Davis has located at Vinita. H. H. Claiborne while editing the Times-Statesman was admitted to the bar, but with no expectation of entering the practice here. Henry C. Long read law with Case & Glasse and was admitted to the bar after completing his work as superintendent of the Oswego city schools. He then moved to Leavenworth and commenced practice.
Brady: Four of this family have become members of the bar within a few years. F. M. Brady has served two terms as county attorney and is now engaged in general practice. T. M. Brady has located at Parsons; E. H. Brady at Chetopa; and May R. Brady is in the office with her brother Frank at Oswego. Each is recognized as having good legal ability.
E. B. Morgan had never done any practice till he came to Oswego. He has made a nice start in business since coming here and has ably filled the office of city attorney one term.
Henry A. Lamb entered the army soon after his admission to the bar and died in the service.
Jesse Richcreek did a little business in our court, but before gaining any standing he went west. George Bettis was elected city attorney of Oswego, but left the county before completing his term. W. H. Edmundson read law with Nelson Case. He spent a year or two practicing in the Territory. He now resides in Oswego, but is not in the practice. W. S. Hyatt had never had any practice to speak of at the bar when he was elected county attorney. He enters with zeal on the discharge of his official duties. Catherine Swope was one of the first teachers in the county high school; while there she arranged for a life partnership with W. S. Hyatt, and the two pursued their legal studies together. Catherine Hyatt became her husband's assistant when he entered on the discharge of his duties as county attorney.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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