Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 688-690 transcribed by Britney Coleman, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on December 1, 2000.

George Monahan

JUDGE GEORGE MONAHAN. - There is no lawyer in the state of Kansas who has a higher standing than ex-Judge Monahan. He has had an interesting career, but throughout it all no one has been able to cast any aspersions on his character, either in a private or a public capacity. Since his first entry into the field of law he has set himself to run the course with singleness of purpose, his goal being not fame for himself, but the performance of his duty. To such, honors will come without being sought, as indeed they have to Mr. Monahan, but in his mind the contentment which comes with the knowledge of a life well spent means much more than the positions of honor which he has filled.

George Monahan was born in Scotland, February 19, 1846. He was the son of James and Sarah (McCahan) Monahan, both natives of Scotland, where they brought up their twelve children, five of whom are living now. Mr. Monahan died in Scotland and his widow came to America with her children and died in Wilmington, Illinois, where she is buried. The names of the children are as follows: John, Margaret, James, Sarah, Peter, William, George, Hugh, Mary, Robert, Andrew and Janet.

George Monahan was the seventh child, which according to the old Scottish superstition was a lucky thing for him. He attended the Scotch public schools, which are better than the public schools of any country in Europe, and later studied law although he did not practice in his native country. After his father's death the family decided they would come to America and try their fortunes in the new world of which they had heard so much. Accordingly, in 1869, they bade farewell to their native land, to their home among the hills, to the friends of their childhood, to the grave of the father who was buried there and took steamer for America. They located at Wilmington, Illinois, where the mother, grieving for her Scotch home, died and was buried. John and George went the following spring to Kansas, where they bought a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Clay county. After a short time George decided that farming was not in his line and he turned the farm over to his brother, in whose family it still remains. He himself began the practice of law, which he carried on successfully and was later police judge and justice of the peace. In 1885 he came to Wyandotte county, locating at Armourdale, where he engaged in the hotel and restaurant business, but after two years' experience in that line he sold out and gave his time exclusively to his law work. In 1891 he bought thirty acres of land, in addition to the four and a half acres he had been holding for some time. This land was not under cultivation, but he has made wonderful improvements and now it is well tilled and contains modern buildings. He has recently moved on to this farm, where he can live the simple life after his arduous tasks. Soon after the sale of his hotel and restaurant he was elected justice of the peace and before his term expired he was elected probate judge, to which office he was chosen three consecutive times, his last term expiring in January, 1895.

On June 20, 1882, he married Elizabeth Kelly in Osage county, Kansas. Elizabeth was born in England and was the daughter of Patrick and Margaret Kelly; her father was of Irish descent and died in England aged sixty-four. Mrs. Kelly's maiden name was Neville and she was of Norman descent. She came to America with her three children, Mary, Thomas and Elizabeth in 1876. They lived in St. Louis one year, in Atchison, Kansas, for one year and then in Osage county. Mrs. Kelly died in 1910 and is buried in Calvary cemetery, Kansas City, Kansas, aged eighty-eight years. Judge and Mrs. Monahan have one daughter, Mary, who was born in Osage county and lives at home with her parents.

The judge may well feel satisfied with his life, for it has been of great use, not only to his family, but to the community at large. He is a man of great influence in the county and one who is a power for betterment.

Biographical Index