Page 427-428, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Karl Marshall Geddes, of El Dorado, one of Butler county's ablest lawyers and a member of the law firm of Leydig & Geddes, was born at Fountain Green, Hancock county, Illinois, April 13, 1882, a son of Cyrus M. and Lissa (Marshall) Geddes.

The Geddes family is of Scotch origin and was founded in America by James Geddes, who came with his wife and three sons to America about 1752, settling at Derry Church, Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. Karl M. Geddes, our subject, is descended from James Geddes through the following persons: William Geddes, son of James, born in Ireland in 1735, died in Dauphin county, Pennsylvonia,[sic] in 1789; Paul Geddes, son of William, born near Carlisle, Pa., June 9, 1768, died October 22, 1832. His brother, James, was a prominent man in Onandago county, New York, a district judge, member of Congress, and one of the promoters of the Erie canal, called Geddes' canal at the inception of construction; Thomas Geddes, son of Paul, born at Path Valley, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, July 7, 1805, removed to Fountain Green, Hancock county, Illinois, was commissioned colonel of the Eighty-seventh Illinois militia and served during the Mormon troubles; Cyrus M. Geddes, son of Colonel Thomas, was born at Fountain Green, Ill., February 26, 1842, and is the father of Karl M. Geddes.

Cyrus M. Geddes spent his earlier career in his native State. He came to Kansas in 1900 and settled in Butler county, where he has lived, and retired from active business cares since 1906. He gave loyal services to the Union cause during the Civil war as a member of Company A, One Hundred and Eighteenth Illinois infantry. Companies A, B, C, E and H were all formed from Hancock county volunteers and responded to the president's call of July 2, 1862. The regiment was mustered into the United States service for three years in November, 1862. Alexander Geddes, a brother of Cyrus M., was commissioned captain of Company A and served with his regiment until killed at the battle of Champion Hills, Miss. On the request of Cyrus M. to the colonel for permission to send his dead brother's sword home to his parents, he was told, "You can carry it until the end of the war," and was promoted to the captaincy of the company. This regiment saw much hard and active service. One of the most serious engagements in which it participated was the siege of Vicksburg, and it was at Champion Hills during that siege that Alexander Geddes lost his life. The regiment was mustered out of service October 1, 1865, and Mr. Geddes received his honorable discharge as captain.

Karl Marshall Geddes was educated in the public schools of Hancock county, Illinois, and at the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia. From 1900 to 1904, inclusive, he taught school and in the meantime read law in the office of Hon. G. P. Aikman and E. B. Brumback,


of El Dorado. Upon his admission to the bar at Topeka in 1905, he formed a partnership with his roommate and fellow student, R. B. Ralston, under the firm name and style of Ralston and Geddes, and opened a law office at El Dorado. In 1908 both were nominated to office by the Republican party. Mr. Ralston was nominated for probate judge and Mr. Geddes for county attorney and both were elected by flattering majorities. They were the youngest men in the State holding similar offices. In 1910 they were renominated and re-elected without opposition and served two terms in those offices. Mr. Geddes' administration of the affairs of the county attorney's office was pronounced in the enforcement of law without fear or favor. On January 1, 1910, Mr. Geddes formed a partnership with Judge C. A. Leland. In 1913, Mr. Ralston became a member of the firm of Leland, Geddes & Ralston, and on March 1, 1916, Mr. Geddes and Mr. Leydig formed the present partnership, and the firm of Leydig & Geddes is recognized as one of the leading law firms of southern Kansas and commands a large and lucrative practice.

Mr. Geddes is a member of the Kansas State Bar Association and of the Kansas County Attorneys' Association. He served as secretary of the Butler County Republican Congressional convention at Wichita in 1906. He was vice-president of the Kansas Day Club in 1911 and 1912, and in 1912 and 1913 was president of that organization. He affiliates fraternally with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, and is a member of the Presbyterian church.

On December 24, 1905, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Geddes and Miss Gertrude Blankinship, the daughter of Asbury A. Blankinship, of El Dorado.

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