The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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any building in the country and they all leaked like sieves after the rain had lasted for perhaps a day.  The trial was opened in Squire Ellis' house, but it leaked so badly that we adjourned to the school house, and the result was not quite so bad for a while.  Every once in a while the solemnity of the trial would be broken by the fall of a bucketful of mud and water coming down through the roof and alighting on the table or somebody's head or lap.  We only had one book to use, and that was used frequently - the statutes of the great state of Kansas.  We had a great time dodging to keep out of the way of the water and mud when expounding the law to the justice.  I presume that the copy of the statutes that is now in town will show blots and blotches caused by the mud and water dropping from that roof, to this day."

Judge Pratt participated in the case of the State against Cummings and Gandy, and State against Tacha and others, both murder cases, and very sensational at that.

He had something to do, on one side or the other, with perhaps a majority of the important cases that came up in the county, and some of considerable importance in the adjoining counties.  He defended eight or nine men, who lived in Thomas county, for killing Louis R. Rider.  The case was entitled State vs. Salesbury, et al. Two of the Wilcoxsons were defendants, all acquitted.

L. K. Pratt took an active part in politics from the time of his arrival and was always a leader on one side or the other of all public questions.  Any one that aspired to a public office sought his aid and as a rule all defeated candidates became his enemies.  He was a candidate for the legislature in 1882, but Dr. Smith was nominated by two plurality.  His name was frequently mentioned as a candidate for congress also for judge.  He was nominated and elected district judge in 1885 and was renominated in 1889 but G. Webb Bertram was elected.  A faction of the party refused to support Pratt and ran S. D. Decker against him.  Decker had been nominated by a bolting convention at Atwood.  This split in the republican party enabled the democrats to elect Bertram, their nominee.  Pratt was an able lawyer and made a mistake in going into politics; not that he was not as good a schemer as the average politician, but, to use the common slang phrase, "his schemes never panned out."  Domestic troubles led to a separation between him and his wife in 1890 but a reconciliation was effected between them afterward and they have since remarried and are now living happily.

They had three children.  One of them died and was buried in the Norton

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