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Biography of John J. Ingalls

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Kansas,Massachusetts,New Mexico | No Comments

John J. Ingalls was a genius and one of the most versatile statesmen, scholars and writers which Kansas had produced. He was born at Middletown, Massachusetts, December 29, 1833, a son of Elias T. and Eliza (Chase) Ingalls, and a descendant of Edmond Ingalls, who, with his brother Francis, founded the town of Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1628. Mr. Ingalls graduated at Williams College, Massachusetts, in 1855, and two years later was admitted to the bar in his native county of Essex. In 1858 he came to Kansas and served as a member of the Wyandotte constitutional convention in 1859, in the following year being elected secretary of the territorial council. While secretary of the State Senate in 1861, at the first session of the Legislature, he submitted a design for a state seal, and in 1862 was elected to the State Senate. During the Civil war he served as judge advocate on the staff of Gen. George W. Deitzler, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and in 1864 was nominated for lieutenant governor on the “Anti-Lane” ticket. Mr. Ingalls’ first election to the United States Senate, in 1873, as the successor of Samuel C. Pomeroy, followed one of the most sensational scenes which ever occurred in a nominating convention, and, as elsewhere narrated, marked Mr. Pomeroy’s permanent elimination from politics. He was twice re-elected and served in the Senate for eighteen years, part of that time being the presiding officer. Senator Harris of Tennessee once said of him: “Mr. Ingalls will go down in history as the greatest presiding officer in the history of the Senate.” Mr. Ingalls was widely and deeply read and had had few literary equals among public men. Whether judged as a poet or an essayist his work was original, clear cut and classical, and his death at Las Vegas, New Mexico, August 16, 1900, was as distinet a loss to letters as to republican leadership.


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