1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


CHAPTER VIII.

HISTORY OF THE BENCH AND BAR OF CRAWFORD COUNTY.

BY J. A. SMITH AND ARTHUR FULLER.
Part 2

J. A. TAYLOR.

He graduated at the Kansas State University law department and commenced the practice of law at Pittsburg, Kansas, and soon thereafter devoted his time more especially to real estate and loan business. He is a young man of good habits and exhibits some skill as a lawyer and is very active and successful in his present business.

CAPTAIN W. H. MORRIS.

Has been a resident of Kansas and a member of the bar for a great many years but until the last few years has been engaged in other pursuits than that of practicing law. He was elected county attorney of Crawford county and served two terms. In 1896 he was elected auditor of the state of Kansas, which office he held one term. He was again a candidate for the office of county attorney in 1904 but was defeated by the present incumbent, J. M. Wayde.

Captain Morris has repeatedly held the office of justice of the peace in Pittsburg. He served as a captain in a Kansas regiment during the war. He was a successful prosecutor and one of the most impartial prosecuting attorneys the county ever had. He is a very pleasant gentleman and possessed of scholarly attainments, and has fine natural ability.

MISS LAURA A. WILSON.

Miss Wilson has the distinction of being the only woman ever admitted to the Crawford county bar. Miss Wilson, while serving as stenographer in the office of Fuller & Randolph, in Pittsburg, read law and after passing an excellent written examination was admitted to practice law. She has never engaged in the practice of law, however, but has for several years occupied a position in the postoffice at the city of Pittsburg.

D. H. WOOLLEY.

The subject of this sketch was born in Pennington Point, McDonough county, Illinois, October 6, 1862, and received a common school education in said county, and came to Crawford county, Kansas, with his parents in March, 1873. He attended high school two years in Osage Mission, Neosho county, Kansas, one year in the Kansas University at Lawrence, and one year in the Normal School at Ft. Scott, Kansas, after which he taught school in Kansas and Illinois for four years. He read law in the office of Ed VanGundy and on the 30th day of August, 1889, was admitted to the bar to practice law in the district court of Crawford county, Kansas, October 7, 1896, to the supreme court of this state, and on December 14, 1893, admitted to practice law in the federal courts. He was appointed deputy county attorney of Crawford county, in January, 1903, and reappointed to said position in January, 1905, which position he now holds, and has held several other positions in the said city of Girard.

D. H. Woolley is a young man of scholarly attainments and displays a good deal of oratorical skill and has become quite proficient in the legal profession. He makes a good deputy county attorney, and by his studiousness and attention to business bids fair to become one of the leading lawyers of the county.

E. A. PERRY.

Has practiced law and dealt in real estate in the city of Cherokee for the last twenty-five years. He owns property there and does quite a business.

He is a genial, warm-hearted man and is called "Judge" by all who know him, although he has never occupied a judicial position.

JAMES A. SMITH.

Served in the war of the rebellion as a non-commissioned officer in an Illinois regiment. Came to Ft. Scott, Kansas, in 1865. Read law in the office of General C. W. Blair and W. C. Webb and was admitted to the bar of Bourbon county in 1866. In November, 1866, he was elected county attorney for what was known as the Neutral Strip, which composed a strip of territory twenty-five miles east and west and fifty miles north and south, and which was divided in 1867 into the counties of Cherokee, Crawford and part of Bourbon. After the division Judge Smith was in Cherokee county and was elected the first county attorney of Cherokee county. He removed to Crawford county in 1875 and located at the city of Cherokee. He was elected probate judge of Crawford county in November, 1876, and held the office for four consecutive terms. He was again elected to said office in November, 1888, and held the office for one term. He has held the office of justice of the peace in the city of Girard for several years last past. On account of holding the offices above mentioned, Judge Smith never engaged exclusively in the practice of his profession. He enjoys the distinction of holding one office for more consecutive terms than any other county officer, thus showing his popularity and the esteem in which he is held by the people of Crawford county. He was admitted to the supreme court February 7, 1884. He has been admitted to practice in the federal courts and also the pension and claim department at Washington. Judge Smith has always taken a deep interest in the welfare of the old soldiers, their widows and orphans, and has secured more pensions and increases of pensions than any other man in the county. Being the oldest living member of the Crawford county bar, he is the best qualified of any one in the county to give a true history of the bench and bar of the county.

W. J. GREGG.

A former resident of Pittsburg, where he read law in the office of T. W. Cogswell and afterward formed a partnership with Mr. Cogswell and practiced for several years. A few years ago he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and recently located at Tulsa, Indian territory. Mr. Gregg grew to manhood on a farm in this county.

E. W. ARNOLD.

Read law in the office of John T. Voss and Arthur Fuller in 1882, but before being admitted to the bar he became engaged in the real estate and loan business and for several years devoted his entire time and energy to that business. Later and about 1890 he again took up the law and after further study passed his examination and was admitted to the bar of this county.

His experience in the real estate and loan business caused him to make a specialty of real estate law, and he is considered an expert on titles.

L. H. PHILLIPS.

Read law in the office of Arthur Fuller and was admitted to the bar at the July term of district court, 1891.

Before beginning the practice, he attended the University of Georgetown, D. C., from the law department of which he graduated in 1894, with the degree of LL. M., since which time he has been engaged in the practice of law in this county. He has been deputy county attorney and city attorney.

He is now a member of the firm of Ryan & Phillips. He has met with a reasonable degree of success in the practice of law in this county and is looked upon as one of the promising young men of the bar of this county.

J. M. WAYDE.

Graduated from the law department of the State University of Kansas in 1889 and located at Pittsburg in the practice of law in 1900. He has held the office of justice of the peace in said city for several terms, and in 1902 was elected to the office of county attorney, and re-elected in 1904. He has made a successful prosecutor and endeavors to protect the interest of the county in every way. He is regarded as one of our best trial lawyers and as a conscientious, hard-working attorney.

GEORGE H. STUESSI.

Graduated in the law department of Kansas State University in June, 1904, and admitted to practice law in this state in the supreme court in same month, and located in Pittsburg, Kansas, in the practice of law in September, 1904. He is a bright young man, and without doubt will succeed in his profession.

W. H. RYAN.

William H. Ryan was born in Omaha, Nebraska, August 15, 1857, moved to Neosho county, Kansas, with his parents in June, 1870, attended the public school in said county and afterwards the Catholic School at Osage Mission, now St. Paul, Kansas. He was appointed postmaster by President Arthur, at Brazilton, Crawford county, in 1882. He was elected representative in 1892 and state senator in 1896 to the Kansas legislature from Crawford county, by the Democratic and Populist parties and while in the legislature he served for four sessions on the judiciary committee.

He was admitted to the bar in Crawford county by Judge Walter L. Simons at the March term, 1898, in the district court of said county.

He was elected mayor of the city of Girard in April, 1898, and was the Democratic nominee of the Democratic party for Congress in the third congressional district of the state of Kansas in 1904. He is a member of the law firm of Ryan & Phillips, located at Girard. Senator Ryan is a forcible speaker, and has been very successful in the practice of law, obtaining a verdict for his clients in some very important cases, and bids fair to gain distinction in the legal profession in the county and state.

JOHN L. KIRKPATRIC.

This young lawyer graduated in the law department of the State University of Kansas in June, 1904, and in the same month was admitted in the supreme court to practice law, and located in Pittsburg, Kansas, in the fall of 1904 in the practice of law, and from all appearances he will make his mark and succeed in the profession.

WILLIAM J. WATSON.

Born January 1, 1872, near Cato, Crawford county. Read law in the office of Fuller & Randolph at Pittsburg and was admitted to the bar of Crawford county. He afterward graduated from the law department of the Kansas State University in 1896, and was admitted to practice in the supreme court in May, 1896. Was elected justice of the peace in 1897.

He practiced law at Pittsburg until the war with Spain was declared in April, 1898, and volunteers called for, when he enlisted and was chosen first lieutenant of Company D, of the Twentieth Kansas Regiment, which regiment was commanded by Colonel, now General, Fred Funston.

In the early part of the war in the Philippines, on March 24, 1899, he was promoted on the field of battle, for bravery, to the office of captain. In the battle of Guiginto, Luzon island, he received a rifle ball through the chest and lungs which necessitated his withdrawal from active service for some time. He returned to the United States and was discharged from the Twentieth Kansas. He re-enlisted October 31, 1899, in the Fortieth United States volunteers and was again sent to the Philippines as captain of his company. He was again wounded in the left foot, which resulted in the loss of the leg, in battle of Cagayan de Mesimio, Mindinao, P. I., April 7, 1900. He returned to the United States and was discharged from the army July 1, 1901, On April 1, 1902, he was appointed postmaster of Pittsburg, which position he now occupies.

The practice of his profession was interrupted by the Spanish war and his duties as postmaster prevent him from devoting any of his time to the practice of law.

He is a young man of good ability, and has a thorough knowledge of law. He contemplates resuming the practice at some future time and making a success of his profession.

He is held in the highest esteem by all who know him and especially by the soldiers who served in his command.

DAVID F. SCHOCK.

Is a young lawyer of ability and studious habits. He is moral, honest and upright, and is well liked by his associates and those who know him best. He applies himself to the study of his cases and comes into court prepared to try his cases well. His practice has been largely confined to justice practice, in which he has met with success. He is not so aggressive as some of the other young lawyers, but with experience he will probably gain more confidence in himself and be able to occupy a prominent position in the profession.

O. O. BOUDINOT.

Mr. Boudinot read law in the office of John Randolph at Pittsburg some years ago and was admitted to the bar of this county.

He is a man of more than average ability and possesses a fair knowledge of the law. He is aggressive and fearless in the trial of cases and is fairly successful in the practice.

SANDFORD PETTIBONE.

This attorney recently came to our county and commenced the practice of law in Pittsburg, and has gained some reputation as a good lawyer while with us. He is an old soldier and served his country with distinction and lost both feet in battle during the Civil war.

THE DISTRICT COURT.

Prior to 1867, the territory of which Crawford county is composed belonged to what was known as the "Cherokee Neutral Strip" and attached to Bourbon county for judicial purposes and was first in what was known as the fourth and afterward the sixth judicial district of Kansas, and was presided over by D. M. Valentine as judge, who was succeeded by D. P. Lowe until 1867, when Crawford county was made a separate corporation or county and attached to the sixth judicial district, which district was then composed of the counties of Linn, Bourbon and Crawford, and presided over by the following judges successively: Hon. D. P. Lowe, Mart V. Voss. March 1, 1870, Crawford County was attached to the eleventh judicial district, said district being composed of Crawford, Cherokee, Labette and Montgomery counties, and presided over by the following judges successively: Hon. W. C. Webb, H. G. Webb, B. W. Perkins and George Chandler. March 1, 1889, by an act of the legislature it was reattached to the sixth judicial district, composed of the counties of Linn, Bourbon and Crawford, and presided over by the following judges: C. O. French, J. S. West, S. H. Allen, J. S. West and Walter L. Simons. March, 1905, by an act of the legislature, Crawford county was made the thirty-eighth judicial district of the state of Kansas, and Arthur Fuller of Girard, Kansas, was appointed by Governor E. W. Hoch, its first judge and is now serving as such.

HON. D. P. LOWE.

The second district judge was Hon. D. P. Lowe, who at the time of his election lived at Mound City, Linn county, Kansas, and after his election he moved to Ft. Scott. In 1867 the legislature divided what theretofore constituted the fourth judicial district into three districts, viz., the fourth, fifth and sixth. Judge Lowe was first appointed judge of the 6th and was afterward elected and served until 1870, when he was elected to Congress. Judge Lowe was one of the ablest jurists in the state, was very popular with the members of the bar in his district and with the people generally, and his decisions were considered models of judicial wisdom.

He died at Ft. Scott soon after his term in Congress expired, and as a mark of esteem the members of the bar of Bourbon county caused his portrait to be framed and hung upon the wall of the court room in Ft. Scott, where it can be seen at all times.

MARTIN V. VOSS.

The third district judge was Martin V. Voss, vho served but a short time and held but one term of court in Crawford county. He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Judge Lowe, who resigned when elected to Congress. Judge Voss died before his term expired. He was perhaps the closest student and hardest worker of all the judges who have ever presided as district judge of this county. He was a very able lawyer and would have made an excellent judge had he lived. His death was mourned by the members of the bar of his district.

W. C. WEBB.

On the 2d of March, 1870, the legislature created the eleventh judicial district, consisting of the counties of Crawford, Cherokee, Labette, Montgomery and Howard, and the Hon. William C. Webb was its first judge. At that time he was about forty-six years old and was then recognized as a very able lawyer. Judge Webb held one term of court in each county of his district and then was appointed official reporter of the supreme court.

Judge Webb died in Topeka in 1878 at the age of seventy-four years.

H. G. WEBB.

At the general election in November, 1870, the Hon. Henry G. Webb was elected judge of the eleventh judicial district for the full term of four years. In 1873 he resigned his office. He was considered one of the ablest lawyers in the state of Kansas, and was a very successful practitioner. He was a fine orator and a man far above the average in ability.

HON. BISHOP W. PERKINS.

In 1873 Bishop W. Perkins, then a young man about thirty-one years of age, was appointed to serve out the unexpired term of Henry G. Webb, and in 1874 he was elected for the full term of four years and re-elected in 1878. In the fall of 1882 he was elected to Congress, where he remained until March, 1891. He was afterward appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Hon. B. P. Plumb. Senator Perkins died June 20, 1894. While not possessing the legal learning and ability of some of his predecessors, he made an excellent judge and possessed great executive ability. He developed into a successful politician and would have made a statesman of unusual ability had he lived.

HON. GEORGE CHANDLER.

In the November, 1882, election George Chandler of Independence, Kansas, was elected judge of the eleventh judicial district to succeed Hon. B. W. Perkins, and was re-elected in 1886.

During his second term of district judge he was appointed by President Harrison first assistant secretary of interior and served until the close of President Harrison's administration.

Judge Chandler was a hard student and a good lawyer and possessed fine natural ability. He was inclined to be irritable and at times extremely dictatorial, and for these reasons was not popular with members of the bar, and many of them were not sorry when he resigned to accept a position under the federal government.

He remained at Washington, D. C., after his term expired and practiced law in the courts there until recently he located at Oklahoma City, where he is now engaged in the practice of law.

HON. C. O. FRENCH.

March 1, 1889, by an act of the legislature, Crawford county was made a part of the sixth judicial district, which then was composed of the counties of Bourbon, Linn and Crawford. Hon. C. O. French was serving as judge but soon thereafter resigned, leaving two years of his term unexpired.

Judge French was a very popular judge and had the faculty of disposing of business more rapidly than any one who ever presided as judge of the district court of the county. His decisions were very seldom reversed by the supreme court.

HON. J. S. WEST.

Upon the resignation of Judge French, J. S. West was appointed to fill the position of district judge for one year, and until the next regular election. At the election held in 1890 he was defeated by Hon. S. H. Allen of Linn county, who held the office for one year, and at the election held in November, 1891, Judge West was elected over his opponent, Judge Allen, for the term of four years and served until 1896.

Judge West was a young man when first elected but made a good judge and was well liked by the members and others interested in court proceedings.

He refused to be a candidate for renomination but preferred the practice of law. Since then he has served as assistant attorney general under Attorney General Goddard and served as chief clerk in Governor Bailey's office. He was a candidate for the appointment of judge of supreme court to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of Judge Pollock, but did not receive the appointment. He is now a member of the firm of Rossington, Smith & West of Topeka, one of the strongest law firms in the state.

HON. S. H. ALLEN.

Was elected judge of the sixth judicial district in the fall of 1890 for one year to fill out the unexpired term of Judge French. He was defeated in the election of November, 1891, by Judge West.

Judge Allen was a careful and painstaking officer and was thoroughly well versed in the law and made an excellent judge. In 1892 he was elected justice of the supreme court of the state of Kansas and served one term. He has written many able opinions to be found in the Kansas reports. He is now a member of the firm of Valentine, Goddard & Valentine of Topeka, Kansas, and enjoys a lucrative practice.

HON. WALTER L. SIMONS.

The next in order and the last judge elected in the sixth judicial district was Walter L. Simons of Ft. Scott, Kansas, who was first elected in November, 1899, at which election he was the only candidate, having received the nomination of the Republican, Democratic and Populist parties. Before the close of Judge Simons' second term a change in the election law made it necessary to appoint a judge of the sixth judicial district for one year and until the general election in 1904. Judge Simons received the appointment, and at the election in 1904 was again re-elected for the full term of four years. If he serves out his present term he will have served a period of thirteen years as judge of the sixth judicial district.

By a recent act of the legislature Crawford county has been taken out of the sixth judicial district and made a district by itself and numbered thirty-eight (as mentioned above).

Judge Simons was well qualified for the position when first elected, having practiced law in Kansas for twenty-five years, during wich time he has been employed in some very important litigation, both civil and criminal.

He was always studious and painstaking and in his many years of active practice became thoroughly familiar with Kansas statistics and reports. He is a high-minded, conscientious gentleman, an able jurist and one of the very best judges in the state of Kansas. He is always courteous in his manner toward every one and honest in his decisions. He is very popular among the people generally and will probably hold his position as long as he desires.

DANIEL M. VALENTINE.

D. M. Valentine was born in Shelby county, Ohio, on June 18, 1830. When he was six years old his father moved to Indiana, taking Mr. Valentine with him, locating near Lafayette. In 1854 he moved to Adair county, Iowa, where he lived until 1859, when he moved to Kansas, arriving in Kansas on July 5 of that year. He located first in Leavenworth, but remained there only about one year, moving from that city to Franklin county, Kansas. In Franklin county he lived for a short time in the village of Peoria, and for a short time in the now defunct town of Ohio City, but lived in Ottawa during the greater part of his residence of fifteen years in that county. On April 1, 1875, he moved from Ottawa to Topeka, where he has continued to reside ever since.

In Adair county, Iowa, he was county surveyor for about three years. During this time he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1859. He served as county attorney of Adair county for a time, and also acted as ex-officio judge of the county. In 1861 he was elected a representative of the legislature from Franklin county, Kansas, and in 1862 was returned to the legislature as a senator. He was elected as judge of the district court of the fourth judicial district in 1864. This district was at that time the largest one in the state, and was composed of the following counties: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Linn, Miami, Crawford, Cherokee, Labette and Neosho. For judicial purposes the counties of Crawford and Cherokee were attached to Bourbon county and the counties of Labette and Neosho to Allen county.

At the general election held in 1868 he was elected to the supreme bench of Kansas, taking his position in January, 1869. He remained on the Supreme bench for twenty-four years, retiring therefrom in January, 1893. Since January 15, 1893, he has been in the practice of the law at Topeka, Kansas, being the senior member of the firm of Valentine, Goddard & Valentine.

Pages 175-188 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Stormie Gregory, Zachary Marrett, and Jason Holt, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in November, 2002.


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