HON. BYRON JUDD, who died at his home in Kansas City, Kansas, on the 27th of July, 1909, left a large and beneficent impress upon the history of the state of Kansas, within whose gracious borders he maintained his residence for more than half a century. He came to the Sunflower commonwealth in the early pioneer days, and his influence in civic and material affairs permeated in many directions during the long years of his useful and active career in this state. He was called upon to serve in various positions of distinctive public trust, including that of member of the state senate, and in each of the offices of which he was incumbent he brought to bear the splendid forces of a strong and noble nature. He was a man of high intellectuality and his life was guided and governed by the most absolute integrity and honor, so that he held secure vantage ground in the confidence and esteem of his fellow men. He was a pioneer of Wyandotte county and did much to further its development and progress, so that there is all of consistency in according in this volume a tribute to his memory.
Byron Judd was a scion of families founded in New England, that cradle of so much of our national history, in the Colonial epoch, and on both sides the lineage is traced back to stanch English origin. He was born at Otis, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, on the 13th of August, 1824, and was a son of Ardon and Sarah (Hubbard) Judd, both of whom passed their entire lives in the old Bay state. On the old homestead farm nestled among the beautiful Berkshire hills Byron Judd passed his boyhood and early youth, and his initial experience in connection with the practical duties and responsibilities of life was that gained in connection with the work of the home farm, where he waxed strong in mind and body. After availing himself of the advantages of the common schools of the locality he continued his studies in a well ordered academy at Southwick, Massachusetts, and supplemented this training by a course in the Massachusetts State Normal School, at Westfield. He thus proved himself eligible for the pedagogic profession, and as a young man he was a successful teacher in the schools of his native state.
In the year 1855, at which time he was about thirty-one years of age, Mr. Judd came to the west and first located in Des Moines, Iowa, where he served one year as deputy county recorder. In November, 1857, he came to Wyandotte county, Kansas, and established his home in the village of Wyandotte, which later grew to be a city of appreciable size and which is now an integral part of Kansas City. There he engaged in the land agency business and also the banking business, as one of the early representatives of these important lines of enterprise in this county, and he soon gained prestige as one of the prominent and influential citizens of this section of the state. He served as president of the city council of Wyandotte and later as its mayor. For five consecutive years he held the office of justice of the peace, and he made the position justify its title. After his retirement from this office he served as trustee of Wyandotte township, and his next preferment was that of county treasurer, of which office he continued incumbent for four years. Further and characteristically efficient service was given by him in the office of United States land commissioner for the district of Kansas, and in 1872 there came still more distinctive mark of popular regard, as he was then elected to represent his district in the state senate. He proved a most efficient and valuable worker both on the floor of the senate and in the deliberations of the committee rooms, and his earnest efforts in the furthering of wise legislation led to his being chosen as his own successor in the election of 1874, so that he served four consecutive years as a member of the upper house of the state legislature. In politics he was a stanch advocate of the principles and policies of the Democratic party, and in this, as in all other relations, he was admirably fortified in his opinions and convictions. Upon the organization of the First National Bank of Wyandotte, now Kansas City, in 1871, Mr. Judd was elected president of the same, and he continued as an active and valued executive of this institution for many years, his final retirement having been compassed only when his health became so impaired as to render it impracticable for him to continue in office.
Mr. Judd was animated by the deepest human sympathy and tolerance, was fearless in the defense of right and justice, and was ever ready to extend advice and succor to those in affliction or distress. His private benevolences were extended without ostentation and he gave his earnest support to organized charities, to the promotion of educational interests and to the furtherance of religious work. Though not formally identified with any religious organization, he regularly attended the services of the Congregational church and liberally supported the various departments of its work. His wife was a devoted member of the church mentioned and she is held in loving memory by all who came within the sphere of her gentle and gracious influence.
In the year 1865 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Judd to Mrs. Mary Louise (Cooper) Bartlett, who was at the time a resident of Kansas City, Kansas, and who was born at Irasburg, Orleans county, Vermont, a representative of an old and honored family of New England. Mrs. Judd preceded her husband to the life eternal by about one year, as she died on the 8th of February, 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Judd became the parents of two children, Sarah and Emily, the latter of whom died in 1890. Sarah became the wife of Corwin Matthew Greenman, who was a commercial traveling salesman and who died in 1900, and she is now the efficient and popular librarian of the Kansas City public library, whose equipment and facilities are of the best metropolitan order. Mr. and Mrs. Greenman became the parents of three children, Judd, Donald Corwin and Louise, all of whom remain with their widowed mother, who is a woman of distinctive culture and who is a valued factor in connection with the best social activities of her home city.
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