JOHN A. HALE. - In a state far removed from that of his nativity it has been given Mr. Hale to achieve a place of distinctive prominence as a lawyer of marked versatility and resourcefulness, and he is to be designated with all of consistency as one of the foremost members of the bar of the county to which this publication is dedicated. He has been engaged in the active practice of his profession in Kansas City, Kansas, for nearly two score of years, and his reputation, especially in the domain of criminal law, has far transcended local limitations. Through his character and his able and honorable efforts in the work of his chosen vocation he has lent dignity and prestige to the bar of the Sunflower state, and as one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Wyandotte county he is specially worthy of consideration in this history.
In both the agnatic and maternal lines John Augustus Hale is a scion of families whose names have been identified with the annals of American history since the early Colonial epoch, and the ancestral records denote long and influential association with the civic and material activities of New England, that cradle of so much of our national history. Mr. Hale was born at Foxcraft, Piscataquis county, Maine, on the 7th of August, 1852, and is a son of Augustus and Lydia Chase (Fisher) Hale, the former of whom was born in the city of Portland, that state, and the latter on Nantucket Island, on the coast of Massachusetts. Augustus Hale was one of the sturdy sons of the old Pine Tree state who "went down to the sea in ships," and virtually his entire active career was one of close association with the seafaring life. He died in 1863, at the age of forty-nine years. He was a son of John and Mary (Jones) Hale, and his mother was a daughter of Dr. David Jones, who served as a surgeon in the Continental army in the war of the Revolution. Mrs. Lydia C. (Fisher) Hale did not long survive her honored husband, as she was summoned to the life eternal in 1865, at the age of forty-two years. She was a daughter of Leonard and Lydia (Chase) Fisher, who were representatives of families founded in Massachusetts in the early Colonial era.
John A. Hale was reared to the age of eighteen years in his native town, where he was afforded the advantages of the public schools and also of a well conducted academy. He also attended for a time an academic institution at Pittsfield, Maine. In 1869, a few years after the death of his honored parents, the young man decided to come to the west, and that he made Kansas his destination was largely due to the fact that his uncle, John K. Hale, was at that time attorney for the Kansas Pacific Railroad and had established his home in Wyandotte county. After coming to this country and joining his uncle Mr. Hale secured employment as timekeeper, in the service of the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and after having been thus engaged for a period of about eighteen months he began the study of law in the office of and under the effective preceptorship of his uncle. Under these conditions he gained his preliminary knowledge of the mysteries of Blackstone and Kent, and finally he returned to his native state and completed his course of study in a law school at Bangor. In 1874 he proved himself eligible for and secured admission to the bar of Maine, and he forthwith returned to Kansas and initiated the active work of his profession in Kansas City, where he has since continued to maintain his home and where he has long held prestige as one of the leading members of the bar of this section of the state. He has been concerned with a large amount of most important litigations in both the state and federal courts in Kansas, and has won specially high reputation through notable victories gained by him in the trial of criminal cases. He has been a stickler in his observance of professional ethics and his course has been directed according to the highest principles of integrity and honor, so that he has retained the confidence and respect of the members of his profession, the court and the litigants, as well as of the general public. His knowledge of the science of jurisprudence is specially comprehensive and exact and he would dignify any judicial office, though he has never consented to appear as a candidate for such preferment or other public office. He is a valued and honored member of the Wyandotte County Bar Association and also of the Kansas State Bar Association. As a citizen he is loyal and public spirited, and he has given his influence and cooperation in the support of measures and enterprises that have tended to conserve the civic and material well being of his home city and county.
In politics Mr. Hale is unswerving in his allegiance to the Democratic party, and he has given yeoman service in behalf of its cause. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and he and his family have occupied a prominent place in connection with the leading social activities of the community.
On the 10th of November, 1875, Mr. Hale was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Walker, who was born on the Wyandotte Indian reservation, in Kansas, and who is a daughter of Matthew R. Walker, a member of the Wyandotte tribe of Indians, although he had but one-sixteenth Indian blood. His brother, Hon. William Walker, was the provisional governor of the territory of Nebraska, established a few years before the passage of the historic Kansas-Nebraska bill, through the provisions of which the territory of Kansas was organized. Both of these brothers were men of distinctive ability and fine character and both left a beneficent influence upon the history of their times. Mrs. Hale takes pride in her Indian lineage, though the strain of Indian blood is but slight. Mr. and Mrs. Hale have two daughters, - Lydia Emily, who is the wife of Archibald B. Chapin, of Kansas City, Kansas; and Lillian Augusta, who is the wife of Judd Greenman, of Edith, Colorado.
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