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. 637-638 transcribed by Ryan Kemp, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on 10/23/00.


James L. Smalley

JAMES L. SMALLEY. - He whose name initiates this review has gained definite prestige and success as one of the representative attorneys and counselors at law in his native county and city, though he was reared elsewhere. He returned to Kansas City in 1896, in which year he was admitted to the bar, and here he has since been engaged in the active general practice of law in which he has gained a large and important clientage - his precedence and success offering the best voucher for his ability and sterling personal characteristics.

James L. Smalley was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on the 5th of December, 1875, and is a son of Henry H. and Josephine (McGrew) Smalley, of whose five living children he is the eldest. The father was born in the state of Vermont and came to Kansas City, Kansas, in the early '70s. He became one of the leading contractors of the rapidly growing city, and here he secured the contract for the construction of the first street curbing in the place. In later years he has built up a large and prosperous enterprise as a contractor in the supplying of railroad ties, and he has maintained his residence in Springfield, Missouri, since 1891. He served as a valiant soldier of the Union in the Civil war and was the standard bearer of his regiment, with which he participated in many of the important engagements marking the progress of the great conflict through which the integrity of the nation was perpetuated. He is a stalwart Republican in his political proclivities and is an appreciative and valuable comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic. He removed with his family from Kansas City, Kansas, to Sedalia, Missouri, in 1876, and he has since continued to maintain his home in the latter state. In Kansas City was solemnized his marriage to Miss Josephine McGrew, daughter of Hon. James McGrew, former lieutenant governor of Kansas. Hon. William Walker, one of the early governors of Kansas and a man of great influence in the state, married an aunt of Henry H. Smalley and after her death he wedded her sister.

James L. Smalley was about one year old at the time of the family removal from Kansas City to Missouri, and he passed his boyhood and early youth in Sedalia, that state, in the public schools of which city he gained his preliminary educational discipline, which was supplemented by a thorough course of study in Mountain Grove Academy, that state, in which institution he was a student for five years. He was then matriculated in the celebrated University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and completed the prescribed course in its law department, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1896 and from which he received his well earned degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Michigan bar upon his graduation and in the autumn of the same year he returned to Kansas City, the place of his nativity, and was forthwith admitted to the Kansas bar. Here he has made of success not an accident but a logical result, as he has been zealous and indefatigable in the work of his chosen profession, in connection with which he has gained recognition as an effective trial lawyer and well fortified counselor, with the result that his clientage is of appreciative and representative order. He is liberal and progressive in his civic attitude, is a stalwart in the camp of the Republican party, is affiliated with Kansas City Lodge, No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and in the Masonic fraternity he has received the chivalric degrees, with incidental affiliation with Ivenhal Commandery No. 21, Knights Templars.

In the year 1905 occurred the marriage of Mr. Smalley to Miss Florence Brous, who was born and reared in Kansas and who was formerly a successful and popular teacher in the Kansas City High School.



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