Albert James Herrod in 1916 was elected judge of the District Court of Wyandotte County for the short term of forty days in Division 3. He had the distinction of being the youngest judge in the state at the present time, and his attainments and ability give promise of a large career of usefulness for the future.
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Judge Herrod was born at Newark, England, April 14, 1885. He was the fourth in a family of five children, three boys and two girls, born to Walter and Catherine (Taylor) Herrod. His grandfather John Herrod was a successful English maltster and also owned 160 acres of land. He was the father of thirteen children. After his death in 1885, six of his sons came to America. Three of them, Albert, Allan and Lewis, located in Kansas City, Kansas, bringing letters of introduction to Fowler of the Fowler Packing Company. They secured employment in that old packing firm. Subsequently these three brothers were followed by Harry, Walter and Herbert Edgar. Harry became superintendent of the wholesale department of the old packing house of Sulzberger & Swarzschild now the Wilson Packing Company. Walter took employment as special accountant for the Kingan Packing Company. Herbert Edgar became a timekeeper with Sulzberger & Swarzschild, now Wilson & Company. Of these brothers, Lewis, Harry and Walter are now deceased. Albert and Allan are proprietors of Herrod Brothers, a business founded by them in 1891 at Webb City, Missouri. Herbert Edgar is now secretary of the Mahoning Valley Employers Association with headquarters at Youngstown, Ohio. He is a lawyer by profession and spent ten years in practice at Chicago.
Walter Herrod remained as an accountant for the Kingan Packing Company for several years, was taken ill, and in spite of all that could be done for him he died in 1897. He left a family of children the oldest of whom was fifteen and the youngest eight. His daughter Florence now lives at Kansas City, Kansas; John Waiter is a resident of Webb City, Missouri; Roby is a representative of the Wilson Packing Company at Buenos Ayres in South America; Judge Herrod was twelve years of age at the time of his father’s death; and Constance still lives at Kansas City, Kansas.
Judge Herrod on account of his father’s early death had to become self supporting at an early age. He became office boy with the Sulzberger & Swarzschild Packing Company, but all the time was ambitious to gain an education and attended night school and accepted other opportunities to advance his capabilities for usefulness. He later attended the Clark Business College and the Kansas City, Kansas, Business College, and also was a student in the Kansas City School of Law. He was graduated from the latter institution in 1908.
In August, 1903, the family removed to Webb City, Missouri, but Judge Herrod remained there only two years. In 1905 he returned to Kansas City and re-entered the employ of Sulzberger & Swarzschild as a hog buyer. He gave the best part of the day to the duties of this position, and spent several hours every night carrying on his studies. In June, 1908, he passed successful examination for membership in the bar.
Besides his work in the Kansas City Law School he read law with John Hale and H. E. Dean and continued in their office for several years after his admission to the bar. In May, 1911, the firm became Hale, Higgins & Herrod. In 1913 Judge Herrod began practice by himself.
He had always manifested an active interest in republican politics. He served as secretary for the Mitchell for Congress Club and of the Wyandotte County Republican Club in 1910-11. He was offered the position of private secretary to Congressman Alexander Mitchell, but declined that honor and subsequently declined an offer to become assistant city attorney. His former partner Judge Higgins had served as city attorney. Judge Herrod had the distinction of having been the first local lawyer to accept a woman on the jury, and he never fails to mention in that connection that he lost his case.
On November 25, 1914, he married Miss Sylvia M. Heider of Kansas City, Missouri. Her father, W. P. Heider, is a building contractor, a large land owner in Kansas City, Missouri, and formerly owned the farm that is now subdivided as Roanoke District around Thirty-ninth and State Line streets.
Judge Herrod is affiliated with the Loyal Order of Moose, having served four years as state deputy supreme dictator. He is a member of the Sons and Daughters of Justice, the Kansas Fraternal Citizens, of the Commercial Club and the Union Club and had served as chairman of the entertainment committee and is now on the legislative committee of the Commercial Club. He and his wife are active in the Episcopal Church. Mrs. Herrod was a delegate to the St. Louis Conference of the Daughters of the King in 1916.