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Biography of Judge Granville P. Aikman
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Judge Granville P. Aikman was born in Laurel County, Kentucky, but had lived in Butler County, Kansas, since early youth. As a boy he attended the London Seminary in Kentucky, one of the most thorough educational institutions of that state. After his parents removed to Butler County he was in the local schools for five years, and then entered the law office of Sluss & Hatten, under whose capable direction he read law. He was admitted to the bar at Wichita and at once began practice in El Dorado. Judge Aikman had since become recognized as one of the ablest representatives of the legal profession in Kansas. Soon after his admission to the bar he was elected judge of the Probate Court of Butler County, being the youngest man ever elected to that office in the county. He filled the position four years, and gave a most careful administration of the delicate and responsible duties of the office. In 1904 Judge Aikman was elected judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District, and was re-elected for two terms, serving altogether twelve years. During that period he contributed some of the best traditions to the Kansas judiciary. Several years ago William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette, said of him: “That his decisions, made necessarily upon the spur of the moment, have been sustained by a reviewing court, after months of close examination and deliberation, prove him to be an able lawyer as well as a just judge. Few Kansas judges have made such a creditable record.” The higher courts, including the Supreme Court, frequently paid his decisions rare compliment. Many important civil and criminal cases came before him as judge, and he sat as judge in one of the most noted criminal trials ever conducted in Kansas, a case that attracted wide attention both in America and in foreign countries.
Retiring from the bench, Judge Aikman had resumed his large private practice. Learned in the law, fortified by a large and varied experience with men and affairs, he also possesses that inestimable quality of courage and fighting ability, and while one of the closest observers of ethical and honorable means who ever practiced in Kansas, he had been considered a lawyer who will fight for the interest of his clients to the last ditch. He had long been an active figure in the republican party, and the political history of Kansas gives him the distinction of having written and offered in a republican state convention the first resolution endorsing woman suffrage in Kansas. He proposed this resolution against the advice of many leading republicans, who opposed the measure and predicted that his offering it would spell his political ruin. Being convinced of its wisdom and justice, Judge Aikman was undeterred by this advice, had the resolution carried before the convention at large and came home to undertake an active and effective campaign in Butler County in behalf of the plank. He was the only political speaker in the county who took that position during the campaign, and then and since he had been a determined fighter in behalf of woman’s suffrage.
Judge Aikman is a member of the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. He married Miss Carrie Sandifer, whose father, the late George M. Sandifer, was a well known citizen of El Dorado.
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