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Judge Albert H. Horton was identified with the State of Kansas for a period of more than fifty years in the most important phases of its civil and judicial development. His great influence extended from the year of its birth in 1861 to the time of his own death in 1902. For nearly twenty years of that period he served as chief justice of its Supreme Court.
Judge Horton was born near Brookfield, New York, March 12, 1837, his ancestors being of an anceient English family, the first American representatives of which settled in New England. Albert received his preparatory education in New York and in 1855 entered the law departmont of the University of Michigan, but during his sophomore year was compelled to leave college because of an affection of his eyes. He was admitted to the bar at Brooklyn, New York, in 1860, and the same year moved to Atchison, Kansas, where he was soon appointed city attorney-In April, 1861, he was elected to that office on the republican ticket, and in September Governor Robinson appointed him judge of the Second Judicial District. Later he was elected to the position twice without opposition, but resigned to resume his law practlce. From 1861 to 1864 he was a member of the editorial staff of the Atchison Weekly Champion. In 1868 he was a republican presidential elector and in May, 1869, President Grant appointed him United States district attorney for Kansas. He was elected to the lower house of the State Legislature in 1872, and state senator in 1876, but resigned January 1, 1877, to accept the appointment of chief justice tendered him by Governor Osborn. The same year he was elected to fill the unexpired term. In 1878 he was re-elected for a term of six years and was reelected in 1884 and 1890. In 1885 his name was presented to the joint session of the Legislature for United States senator, and on the first ballot the vote stood eighty-six for John J. Ingalls and eighty-three for Judge Horton. For many years Judge Horton was president of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, for the Southwest, and in June, 1889, his Alma Mater conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL. D. On April 30, 1895, he resigned his position on the Supreme Bench to resume his law practice at Topeka, as a member of the firm of Waggener, Horton & Orr, and died in that city September 2, 1902.