Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 1038-1042 transcribed on July 19, 2001.


Frank Day Hutchings

FRANK DAY HUTCHINGS. - Distinguished not only for his own unblemished record as a man and a citizen, but from the honored ancestry from which he is descended is Judge Frank Day Hutchings, judge of Division No. 2, of the District court of Wyandotte county, Kansas. He is one of the eminent members of the bench and bar of Kansas and is particularly well qualified by literary and legal attainments, professional experience and success, integrity of character and judicial qualities of mind and heart for the high place to which he has been called. He has occupied the office since the beginning of 1911, with credit to himself and benefit to the people.

Judge Hutchings has been identified with the state since 1863, when as a small child he came with his parents from New York. They located in Lawrence and there resided until 1869, then going to Neosho county, Kansas. He attended the public schools in Osage Mission until he entered the State University, from which institution he graduated in 1883 with the degree of B. A. In this class were a number who have since become prominent in Kansas and Missouri affairs, among whom may be mentioned M. W. Sterling, at present Professor of Greek in the State University; Wm. C. Spangler, who was city attorney of Lawrence, Kansas, for several terms and acting chancellor of the State University for a number of years; Edward C. Little, who was diplomatic agent and consul general to Egypt under President Harrison, lieutenant colonel of the Twentieth Kansas, distinguished for its fighting qualities in the Phillipine campaign during the Spanish-American war, and James G. Smith, who has been prominent in political affairs of Missouri for many years, was president of the Common Council of Kansas City, Missouri, and a member of the state legislature, with very flattering prospects for the future.

After graduation Judge Hutchings spent one year as city editor of the Lawrence Journal and then entered the law department of the university, whence he graduated in 1886. He was chosen by the faculty to represent his class on commencement day, the subject of his address being "The Conflict in Jurisdiction between the State and Federal Courts." After graduation he located at Osage Mission in Neosho county, but moved from there to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1888 and formed a partnership for the practice of law with Ex-Senator James F. Getty. He has resided in Kansas City ever since. In 1898 he was appointed City Attorney of Kansas City, Kansas, to fill out an unexpired term, and was elected for a full term in April, 1899. In 1908 he was appointed judge of the circuit court of Wyandotte county, Kansas, a court of general jurisdiction, created for the purpose of relieving the district and common pleas courts of that county, which had fallen behind with their dockets. He held this position until December of the same year, when the court was declared unconstitutional by the supreme court of the state and abolished. At the session of the legislature of 1909 a second division of the district court was created to take the place of the circuit court. Mr. Hutchings at a meeting of the bar of Wyandotte county received unanimous endorsement for the position of judge of this division of the court, but the governor refused to respect the wishes of the bar. In August, 1910, Mr. Hutchings was chosen without opposition as Republican candidate for the position of judge of the second division, was elected in the November following, and holds that position at the present time.

Judge Hutchings has been connected with some of the most important litigation in Wyandotte county during the time he has practiced here, among which may be mentioned the case of the Receivers of the Union Pacific Railway vs. Kansas City, Kansas, involving the constitutionality of the law authorizing the city to extend into its boundaries so as to include certain railroad property. This case was argued twice in the supreme court of the United States by Mr. Hutchings and was finally decided in favor of the city.

Judge Hutchings was married on the 24th day of November, 1892, to Mabel Wemple, of Topeka, Kansas, a niece of ex-Senator Edwin G. Ross, of this state, who will be remembered as casting the deciding vote against impeachment in the trial of President Andrew Johnson before the United States senate. He met his wife while attending the State University, she being a student in that institution. They have two children, both born in Kansas City, Kansas, a son Wemple Frank Hutchings, November 24, 1893; and a daughter, Kate Hutchings, March 2, 1897. Judge and Mrs. Hutchings hold an assured position in the best social life of the city and their delightful and cultured home is the center of gracious hospitality.

Judge Hutchings is a Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner, belonging to Caswell Consistory of Kansas City, Kansas, and Abdallah Temple of Leavenworth. He is also a member of Wyandotte Lodge, No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and of Wyandotte Lodge, No. 165, Loyal Order of the Moose.

Frank Day Hutchings traces his genealogy on his father's side to Thomas Hutchings, a seaman in the British navy, who at the close of the war between Holland and England, about 1680, choosing to remain in America rather than to return to England, swam ashore in the night from an English ship in the harbor of New York. Isaac Hutchings, a son of said Thomas, was also a sailor. He was captured by pirates, or what he deemed equivalent, forcibly impressed as a seaman into the naval service but escaped from the piratical ship while at anchor in Long Island Sound by jumping overboard, and after remaining in the water for a long time, and when nearly exhausted, was discovered and rescued by a boatman and his daughter. He afterward married the daughter, and in 1725 settled on Long Island. From this couple descended numerous families of the name now residing in Ulster, Dutchess, and other counties along the Hudson river, and in central New York. The third in the line was also named Thomas. The fourth in the line was Jonathon or John Hutchings, the great-grandfather and Revolutionary ancestor of the subject of this sketch. He served (rank not known) in Jacob Swartout's regiment in the Revolutionary war. After his Revolutionary service he settled in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, and died there August 8, 1826. His wife was Letitia Langdon. The next in the line, also John Hutchings, was born at Esopus, Ulster county, New York, October 1, 1778, and died March 24, 1853. His wife's name was Abigail Dean, who was born at Stanford, Connecticut, in 1780, and died June 27, 1837.

The grandfather, John Hutchings, served in the American navy under both Commodores Bainbridge and Decatur, in the war of 1812 and the war with Tripoli. He settled at Dryden, Tompkins county, New York, at an early date and resided there when he died. He was an aggressive and outspoken abolitionist long before the general anti-slavery agitation began and his house was the place of resort of such men as Gerritt Smith, with whom he cooperated in aiding runaway slaves to gain their freedom, his grist mill and farm buildings frequently furnishing them secure places of refuge and concealment from pursuers.

The next in line was the father of the subject of this sketch, Samuel Dean Hutchings. he was born September 11, 1808, at Dryden, New York, and died March 27, 1878. He studied for the law, but devoted most of his time to teaching and educational pursuits. He followed the profession of a teacher in the public schools of New York for more than thirty years, during which time he prepared a system of text books for the common schools, adopting the orthography and ortheopy of Webster instead of Walker, which was then generally employed in school books. He was only prevented from becoming a pioneer in that reform by the unexpected appearance in print of the works of Charles W. Sanders, adopting the same method, after his manuscript had been completed and delivered to the printer. These books in manuscript form are still preserved in the family and are quite interesting relics of the early efforts in the reform of spelling and pronounciation.

On his mother's side, Judge Hutchings traces his genealogy to James Ashley, who came to Boston from England between 1639 and 1650 and afterward removed to Freetown, Bristol county, Massachusetts, which became the seat of numerous descendants, many of whom the war records of Massachusetts show served their country in the Revolutionary war. The first family concerning whom definite information has been obtained is the great-grandfather, Percival Ashley, who was a lieutenant in Colonel Hathaway's regiment in the Revolutionary war. His first wife was Anne Bishop, from whom descended the subject of this sketch. His sons Colonel Simeon Ashley, at one time colonel of the militia and sheriff of Bristol county, and Dr. James Ashley, an eminent physician of New Bedford, at an early day settled in Tompkins county, New York. The latter was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He was born at Freetown, February 3, 1777, and died at Caroline, New York, December 9, 1870. He married Betsey Rounseville, who was born December 3, 1784. She was the daughter of Levi Rounseville, a captain in the Revolutionary service. The grandfather, Dr. Ashley, like the grandfather, John Hutchings, was an ardent anti-slavery advocate. He practiced medicine continuously for more than fifty years. The neighborhood in which he lived was principally settled by Virginians, who held slaves, New York then being a slave state. Against the prejudices of these people, his principal competitor in the profession, Dr. Joseph Speed, being a large slave holder, he resolutely advocated the unconditional abolition of slavery. He also supported with great determination the Washingtonian Temperance movement, which had in view the total suppression of the sale of intoxicating liquors in tippling shops. The daughter of Dr. Ashley, Betsey Rounseville Ashley, the mother of the subject of this sketch, was born at Caroline, Tompkins county, New York, August 15, 1815. She was married to Samuel Dean Hutchings, November 29, 1835, and died August 26, 1901.

The following children were born of this marriage: John, born December 31, 1836, died April 2, 1892; James Ashley, born September 29, 1838; Samuel Dean, born August 15, 1840, died July 6, 1842; Mary Ann, born August 16, 1842, died June, 1907; Betsey Amanda, born August 8, 1844, died November 18, 1863; Charles Frederick, born May 25, 1846; Simeon Ashley, born July 20, 1848, died July 10, 1864; and Frank Day, born October 24, 1859.

John Hutchings was admitted to the bar and practiced his profession for three years in Waverly, New York. In 1863 he came to Lawrence, Kansas, where he formed a partnership with the Honorable E. V. Banks, who was afterwards a reporter of the supreme court of the state. He was very prominent in his profession and at the time of his death, in 1892, was general attorney for the receiver of the Kansas City, Wyandotte and Northwestern Railway Company. Among the cases in which he appeared as counselor was the celebrated Medlicott murder trial and the Hillman insurance case. The latter was one of the most noted cases that have ever been in the courts of Kansas. It was pending for over a quarter of a century and was twice reversed by the supreme court of the United States, but was finally settled by the insurance companies substantially paying the claim against them. John Hutchings had two children, Josephine E., now Mrs. Cyrus Crane, of Kansas City, Missouri, wife of the general attorney of the Kansas City Southern Railway and Helen, now Mrs. De Mers, of Lawrence, Kansas.

Two of the brothers of the subject of this sketch, James Ashley and Simeon Ashley, served as privates in the Tenth and Fifth New York Cavalry, respectively, in the late war of the rebellion. The former participated in many of the most important engagements of the war and returned at its close unhurt. After being mustered out of the army he came to Kansas and settled in Neosho county. Here he engaged very successfully in the milling business for many years. In 1899 he removed to Kansas City, Kansas, where he has since resided, most of his time being taken up in looking after his extensive realty holdings. He has four children, Charles F., of Miami, Florida, Stella, wife of J. J. Adams of New York City, John, of Kansas City, Kansas, and Dorothy, wife of Emmet Bougher of Newark, Ohio.

The latter, Simeon Ashley, with many of his regiment, was taken prisoner in an engagement in Virginia soon after he entered the service. Nothing further was heard from him until after the war, when his grave was discovered as No. 3112 in the National cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia, where were buried the victims of the terrible Andersonville prison. He was only fifteen years old at the time of his enlistment.

Charles Frederick Hutchings at the commencement of the rebellion was taking a preparatory course for Harvard University, but was compelled to abandon it on the enlistment of his brothers in the army, his services being required at home. He afterwards went to New Orleans and for some time was engaged in the educational department of the Freedman's Bureau, but in the spring of 1866 he took up the study of law in the office of Henry A. Shaw, of Charlotte, Michigan, and was admitted to practice in that state. In 1867 he located in Neosho county, Kansas, and commenced the practice of his profession. In 1872 he was elected as a member of the house of representatives and was chairman of the judiciary committee during the investigation of the Pomeroy-York bribery case. He located in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1885 and soon acquired a very extensive and lucrative practice. In 190S he removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he resides at the present time. Mr. Hutchings is interested in many important enterprises, among which may be named the Pioneer Trust Company, in which he is a director, and the Kansas City Western Railway Company, in which he is also a director and general counsel. He has three children: Charlotte Fredericka, Samuel Dean, and Paul Ashley. Charlotte Fredericka was married in 1910 to Benton C. Moss and Samuel D., in 1911, to Cornelia H. Ellet.



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