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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...

Biography of Hon. Vinton Stillings

Hon. Vinton Stillings, only son of the late Judge Edward Stillings, had lived in Leavenworth since early boyhood, though he spent much time in the East and abroad while securing his education and for purposes of travel. With the leisure afforded by ample means he had accepted the many opportunities which come to such men for rendering the vital service so much required in realizing the civic ideals of every community. He is a citizen upon whom progressive Leavenworth had often called and who had never failed to respond. While he is extremely modest as to his personal role, others competent to judge say that Vinton Stillings had given a valuable if not indispensable influence to much of the constructive progress of which Leavenworth had most reason to be proud in recent years. Born in Kenton, Ohio, December 15, 1852, he came to Leavenworth in 1863. The Leavenworth he knew as a boy was almost the metropolis of the West. It was still the outfitting point for many of the great caravans of merchandise and passenger traffic which set out for the golden shores of the Pacific, and as a commercial and social center it rivaled the other river cities of St. Joseph and Kansas City. The theaters of Leavenworth attracted people for miles up and down the river, and besides its cultural advantages and its commerce the city was the home of many splendid old families. Besides the training he received in the local schools he had the opportunities afforded by one of the most exclusive preparatory schools in the East, the venerable academy at Exeter, New Hampshire....

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