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Hon. Byron Judd was a pioneer of Wyandotte County. He established his home in the village of Wyandotte in November, 1857, when Kansas was still a territory. He lived in the village, his capacities expanding with the growth of the community, and his personal position and influence rising as Wyandotte County grew and prospered, and at his death on July 27, 1909, it was generally recognized and appreciated that he was one of the men who had left a permanent impress for good upon Kansas City, Kansas, a great city of which his old home village of Wyandotte had in the meantime become an integral part.
He was nearly eighty-five years of age at the time of his death. He was born at Otis in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, August 13, 1824, a son of Ardon and Sarah (Hubbard) Judd. Both parents lived out their lives in Massachusetts, and both were members of pioneer New England families. Byron Judd spent his youth in the Berkshire Hills. He tried his muscle in cultivating the rough and stony ground of that section. He attended the common schools, also the academy at Southwick, and completed his education in the Massachusetts State Normal School at Westfield. For a time he was a teacher in Massachusetts.
He was about thirty-one years of age when he set out for the West. His first home was at Des Moines, Iowa, where he served a year as deputy county recorder. Thon toward the close of 1857 he arrived in that part of Kansas which was ever afterwards his home. He was one of the early land agents and bankers, became active in public affairs, and in 1871, upon the organization of the First National Bank of Wyandotte, was elected president. He continued at the head of that institution, one of the strongest in Kansas, until the weight of years and increasing infirmities obliged him to resign.
In the early history of Wyandotte he served as president of the city council and later as mayor, for five years was justice of the peace, then became trustee of Wyandotte Township, and for four years was county treasurer. He was one of the early incumbents of the office of United States Land Commissioner for the District of Kansas, and in 1872 he was elected a member of the State Senate and re-elected in 1874. Throughout his career he was a democrat in political convictions.
He is recalled not only as a prominent citizen and banker, but as a man of unusual character. He came to exercise large power, but always exercised it with justice and mercy. He did much for the poor and unfortunate, and until almost the close of his life stood with that group of men who were the real builders and makers of the foremost commercial center of Kansas. He was not identified with any religious denomination, but attended the Congregational Church, of which his wife was a devout member.
In 1865 he married Mrs. Mary Louise (Cooper) Bartlett. At the time of her marriage she lived in Kansas City, Kansas, but was born at Irasburg, Orlsans County, Vermont. She died February 8, 1908. There were two children, Sara and Emily. The latter died in 1890. Sara, who is now librarian of the Kansas City Public Library, married Corwin Matthew Greenman, who was a traveling salesmen and died in 1900. Mrs. Greenman has three children: Judd, Donald C., and Louise.