Clay County, Missouri Genealogy Trails

County History

Early Lawyers

History of Clay County Missouri, by William H. Woodson.  Published by Historical Publishing Company, 1920 – Transcribed by Veneta McKinney


The only attorneys in active practice of law in Clay County in 1835 were Gen. David R. Atchison, Gen. Alexander W. Doniphan, Gov. Peter H. Burnett, Judge Wm. T. Wood and Amos Rees, each of whom, afterward rose to eminence and great distinction. Gen. Atchison became a circuit judge, United States Senator, an acting vice-president, and, for one day, was President of the United States, a like honor never before, nor since, bestowed upon any other man in the history of this country. General Doniphan became the most noted and successful criminal lawyer in the western states and achieved great celebrity in leading his regiment in its march from Fort Leavenworth to the City of Mexico, during the war between the United States and Mexico, an expedition without a parallel in the history of the world. Governor Burnett led a caravan of emigrants from Clay and Jackson Counties to Oregon during the early settlement of that country, became a prominent citizen of that territory and after a few years removed to California, where his talents and worth soon won for him the honor of becoming its first governor. Judge Wood, after many years of practicing law, was elected circuit judge of a circuit, of which Lafayette County was a part and until a very old age, discharged the duties of that office with credit to himself, with great satisfaction to his constituency and the bar of his district and state. About, or just before Kansas was admitted into the Union, as a state, Amos Rees located in Leavenworth and began the practice of law. Soon, very soon, he was recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the state, and, long before his death, the bar of the state proclaimed him one of the most eminent men of their profession in the state of Kansas.




Gen. David R. Atchison.
Amos Rees.
Gov. Peter H. Burnett.

Gen. Alexander W. Doniphan.

Frederick Gwinner.

Ben. Hays

Gen. Andrew S. Hughes.

Sebron C. Sneed.
Abraham Shafer.
Col. DeWitt C. Allen.

Judge James E. Lincoln.

James C. Murray.
Sidney G. Sandusky.
Doc. Worthington.
Theodore Emerson.
James L. Sheetz.
James Fraher.
Robt. Emmet Ward.
Wm. J. Courtney.
Ernest G. Simrall.
Martin E. Lawson.
W. A. Craven.
Leslie E. Bates.
Claude Coppinger.
Judge Ben A. Reed.
Alan Wherriitt.
Francis G. Hale.
Louis R. Bever.
Gen. Bela M. Hughes.

Gen. John Loughborough.
Lewis Ramage.

Capt. Thomas McCarty.
Col. James H. Moss.
Judge Wm. T. Wood.

Col. Henry L. Routt.
Samuel Hardwicke.

Maj. Milton R. Singleton.
Col. Wm. H. Woodson.
Judge James M. Sandusky.
Horatio F. Simrall.

John Y. Rucker.

Claude Hardwicke.
William M. Burris.

Job South.

George S. Withers.
Henry Smith.

James S. Simrall.

James C. Davis.

Judge Ralph Hughes.
Chas. H. Coppinger.
Capt. Harris L. Moore.
Judge Wm. E. Fowler.
Robert T. Stephens.
Samuel J. Rowell.
Richard I. Bruce.
Bayless T. Gordon.

M. L. Swanner.






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