William Thomas Roche, lawyer, educator, editor, and county attorney of Clay county, Kansas, was born on his father's farm in Washington county, Kansas, December 19, 1870, a son of David and Catherine (Whetstine) Roche, a review of whom follows this article. William Thomas Roche acquired his education in the public schools of his native county, the Southwestern Business College at Wichita and the American College of Science at Philadelphia, and was graduated from the latter institution with the class of 1896. He engaged in teaching in the schools of Washington county when seventeen years of age and his savings from this occupation defrayed his expenses while in college. During the ten years in which he followed the profession of teaching he became well and favorably known as an educator. During this time he also prepared himself for the practice of law and was admitted to the bar in 1897 and engaged in practice. An opportunity offering for the purchase of the Lynn "Digest," he availed himself of it and entered the Kansas newspaper field in 1902. He was editor and publisher of this paper for about five years, when he sold and removed to Muldrow, Okla., where he purchased the Muldrow "Press." Some six months later he disposed of this interest and returned to Kansas and located in Clay Center, where he engaged in the practice of law. In 1912 he was elected to his present office, that of county attorney. His administration of the affairs of the office has been creditable to him and to the party of which he is a memberthe Republican. Since he entered the office he has prosecuted thirty criminal cases and secured convictions in all but three. During the first nine months of his administration the total costs incurred in prosecution were only $9.50. Enforcement of the prohibitory law has received his close attention, with the result that Clay county, is practically dry for the first time in its history. In the practice of his profession Mr. Roche has attained recognition as an able and painstaking lawyer, one who has treated his clients with fairness and honesty, and who gives close attention to his business. He has built up a profitable practice and enjoys the esteem of his colleagues. He owns one of the extensive law libraries of northern Kansas and is a constant and wide reader.
On June 9, 1897, Mr. Roche married Miss Cora A. Haigler, a daughter of J. F. and Ellen (Brown) Haigler, of Junction City, Kan., who was born in Washington county, Iowa, September 5, 1872, She is a graduate of the Junction City High School and is an accomplished musician, both vocal and instrumental. Mrs. Roche has become well and favorably known through her connection with the Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal church. She was for seven years president of the local and district board of the society, delegate from Kansas to the General Foreign Missionary Conference held at Denver and was elected secretary of that convention. Mr. Roche is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The Roche residence in Clay Center is one of the best examples of modern construction in the State. It is built of steel, stone and stucco and is also a fine type of residence architecture.Pages 379-380 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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