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Biographical Sketch of Colonel and Judge Oscar E. Learnard

Colonel and Judge Oscar E. Learnard, one of the founders of Burlington, for many years a resident of Lawrence, one of the organizers of the republican party in Kansas and prominent in numerous state institutions and enterprises, was born at Fairfax, Vermont, November 14, 1832. He was of English and Franch Huguenot stock. In 1855, the year after his graduation from the Albany Law School, Mr. Learnard came to Kansas and located at Lawrence, and the next year he commanded a “mounted regiment” of the free-state forces in the border war. In the spring of 1857 he helped to locate and lay out the Town of Burlington, where he built the first mill, the first business house, and a building used for school and church purposes. He was a member of the Council in the first freestate Legislature (1857); was president of the convention which met at Osawatomie on May 18, 1859, and organized the republican party in Kansas; and after the state government was established became judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. That position he resigned to enter the army as lieutenant-colonel of the First Kansas Infantry, and served on the staffs of Generals Hunter and Denver until 1863, when he resigned his commission. When Price undertook to enter Kansas, in the fall of 1864, Colonel Learnard again joined the forces for the defense of the state, and took part in the battle of the Blue and the engagement at Westport, Missouri. He served two terms in the State Senate; was superintendent of the Haskell Institute for one year; was for a quarter of a century special attorney...

Biography of Oscar Eugene Learnard, Col.

Col. Oscar Eugene Learnard was born in Fairfax, Vermont, November 14, 1832, the son of Stephen Tracy Learnard, and he died in Lawrence, Kansas, November 5, 1911. He grew to manhood in his native state, attended the common schools and Bakersfield Academy, taught school, and attended Norwich, Vermont, University. He did not finish his course at the University but that institution afterward conferred a Master’s degree upon him. Ill health compelled him to give up his studies, and he went to Tennessee, where he was for a time collector for a commercial house. After regaining his health he returned to the north and entered Albany Law School, where he was graduated. He began the practice of his profession at Crestline, Ohio, but he became imbued with the Free State idea, and in the winter of 1855-56 traveled on horseback to Kansas Territory to help make that a free state. He first went to Lawrence, but soon afterward left there and founded the Town of Burlington, and there took up the active practice of the law. He was elected district judge, and while holding that office resigned to accept an appointment as lieutenant colonel of the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry. He was the youngest district judge of the state, and one of the youngest army officers. Because of dissatisfaction with the restrictions placed upon him in the army, he resigned his commission in 1863, but the next year he was with the state militia fighting against Price’s army. Colonel Learnard was a member of the first territorial legislature of Kansas and one of the first state senators. His political views...

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