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Biography of Edward Stillings

Edward Stillings. Measured not in the abnormal achievement, but in the steady glow of a powerful mind, in an unceasing devotion to his profession, and in a degree of public spirit that allied him as a leader with all the big movements of his time and place, the late Edward Stillings of Leavenworth was one of the big men claimed by Kansas. Nearly thirty years of his life were spent in Leavenworth, where he died February 20, 1890. His reputation was not merely local; professionally it extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He was a big man, big in stature, in intellect and in heart. His birth occurred in Maryland, at Havre de Grace, where his father was a planter and slave holder. The institution of slavery never appealed to the elder Stillings, nor did the environment where slavery flourished. When Edward was a small boy the family moved to Ohio, freed their slaves and settled down to make a home near Milford Center in Union County. Edward Stillings was given educational opportunities far superior to that of the average youth, and he was wise enough to take advantage of such opportunities. He attended college in Kentucky at a period when the classics were considered essential to a finished education, and in this branch he excelled, particularly in the Greek language. Having decided upon the practice of law as his vocation, he rode horseback to Massachusetts and there enrolled himself as a student in the law department of Harvard University. After receiving his degree he returned to Ohio and for a time was associated with Judge Cole at...

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