JAMES K. CUBBISON. - No county of the fine Sunflower commonwealth has a bar whose personnel excels that of Wyandotte county, and among those who have had emphatic, influence in thus maintaining its high prestige is numbered James K. Cubbison, who has been engaged in the practice of his profession in Kansas for nearly a quarter of a century and who has also been a prominent factor in public affairs in the state, as well as a leader in the councils of the political party with which he is identified. He has served in both houses of the State Legislature and has held other official preferments of noteworthy order, all these bearing distinctive evidence that he has fully measured up to the requirements of the metewand of popular approbation. He has maintained his home in the metropolis of Wyandotte county since 1890 and is recognized as one of the essentially representative members of the bar of this county and of the state as a whole.
Mr. Cubbison reverts with a due mede of satisfaction to the fact that he can claim the fine old Keystone state of the Union as the place of his nativity, and he is a scion of old and honored families of that commonwealth. He was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, on the 16th of November 1860, and is a son of James N. and Mary (Kerr) Cubbison, both of whom were likewise natives of that state and both of whom were of stanch Scotch ancestry. His father was a merchant and his grandfather a judge and senator. The subject of this sketch in pursuance of higher academic studies entered Allegheny College, at Meadville, Pennsylvania, in which well ordered institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1882 and from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In preparation for the work of his chosen profession he then began reading law under the able preceptorship of Hon. John H. Osmar, of Franklin, Pennsylvania, and member of congress from that, state. Mr. Cubbison applied himself with characteristic diligence and receptivity, and so thoroughly fortified himself in the science of jurisprudence that he was admitted to the bar of his native state in 1886. The following year he came to Kansas and established his home at Eldorado, the judicial center of Butler county, and here he rose rapidly to the plane of success in the work of his profession and also as an influential factor in the manoeuvering of political forces in that part of the state. In 1886 he was a candidate for representative of the Fourth district in the United States Congress, and while he carried his own county he failed of nomination at the convention, at Emporia - a political contingency not to be wondered at, since he had become a resident of the district only the preceding year and had thus not been able to make himself specially well known outside the borders of Butler county. He came to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1890, and later was called upon to represent Wyandotte county in the Lower House of the State Legislature, and the estimate placed upon his services was indicated by his retention of this office for a period of six years, after which he served four years as a member of the State Senate. He proved a most valuable working member of the legislature, in both Houses, and his earnest and effective labors in the furtherance of wise legislation caused his name to become well known throughout the state. As speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives in 1893 he had supervision of the formal organization of that body and he was the leader of his party on the floor of the house, besides which he was called upon to serve several times as temporary speaker. Vitality and broad views of public policies characterized his activities in both the House and the Senate, and he was the author of many important bills that he ably championed, with resultant enactment. Among these were the present laws regulating gambling in the state and that providing for the proper supervision of factories.
In 1890, seeking a wider field of endeavor, Mr. Cubbison moved from Eldorado to Kansas City, Kansas, where he has since been engaged in the active general practice of his profession, in connection with which he retains a large and representative clientage. He is an especially versatile trial lawyer and never presents a cause without due preparation, so that his victories in the various courts have been many and noteworthy. In 1900 he was elected to represent the third district in the State Senate, and upon the expiration of his term of four years he declined to become a candidate for re-election, as the extensive work devolving upon him in connection with his profession demanded his undivided time and attention.
Mr. Cubbison has been unswerving in his allegiance to the cause of the Republican party and has given yoeman service in its behalf. He is a particularly effective and convincing political orator and his services in this line have been in requisition by the Republican comittee in every campaign for many years past. He has thus been a campaign speaker for his party in Kansas and other states, and in local campaigns he has also been a dominating force in his home state. The virile eloquence of his oratory, marked by graceful diction and high idealism, has caused a demand for his contribution of public address on many occasions and aside from political affairs. It may thus be noted that for twenty-eight consecutive years he has been called upon by and has responded to the requests of the Grand Army of the Republic in the matter of delivering address on the occasion of Decoration day observances. He belongs to many fraternal and civic organizations.
In the year 1889 Mr. Cubbison was united in marriage to Miss Julian Kretz, of Buffalo, New York, and they have two sons and two daughters, namely; Paul K., nineteen years of age, a student at Michigan University; Edith, aged seventeen years, a student at Loretto Academy, Kansas City, Missouri; James K. Jr., who is in high school, and Justine, aged six years.
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