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Charles Daniel Ise, a prominent lawyer and now county attorney of Montgomery County, had an individual record worthy of mention in this history of Kansas, and also represents a family which have many claims to distinction, some of them gained in this state, and others back in the Germen fatherland where the ancestors for generations were of the nobility.
In Germany the name was spelled Eisenmenger. The family seat for generations had been in the Kingdom of Wnerternberg, and they had been members of the noble classes in that kingdom from the fourteenth century. One of the family was hero of the book known as “The Man of the Iron Hand.” The grandfather of the Independence attorney was Christopher Eisenmenger, who, in the decade of the ’40s, was considered the richest citizen of the Kingdom of Wuertemberg, owning controlling interests in every brick and tile manufacturing establishment in that country. He participated in all the wars of Germany in his time, and it is said that his father was slain in the battle of Waterloo. Christopher Eisenmenger was a very progressive man and advocated and to some degree brought about reform far in advance of his time. Partly for this and also for religious reasons he fell into the disfavor of the ruling house of Hohenzollern, and all his property was confiscated and he was left practically bankrupt when Henry Ise, father of Charles D., was sixteen years of age. Christopher Eisenmenger had seven children, one of whom died in Germany. After the family became bankrupt, three of them came to America: Henry; John, who was a Baptist minister and died at Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1915 at the age of eighty-two; and Kate, who now resided at State Center, Iowa, the widow of Chris Reamenschneider, who was a farmer. Three other of the children of Christopher Eisenmenger went to Australia.
Henry Ise, as he spelled the name after coming to America, was born at Sindegren, Wurttemburg, Germany, in 1841. After the disaster which overtook the family in Germany he cast about for means to improve his condition, and at the age of eighteen emigrated to America. For a time he lived at Springfield, Illinois, and there in 1861, at the age of twenty, he enlisted in Company A of the Tenth Illinois Infantry, and served his adopted country throughout the war. He was in the battle of Chickamauga, where he had an arm broken. Although wounded at one time and sick at other times he never spent a day in the hospital. He was with Shcrman in all the battles up to Atlanta and from there on the march to the sea. After the war Henry Ise moved to State Center, Iowa, worked as a farm hand, and then moved to Osborne County, Kansas, where he became a pioneer homesteader, and was there before the Town of Downs was established. For ten years he filled the office of postmaster at New Arcadia in Osborne County. In a business way he exemplified many of the excellent traits of his father, and the homestead of 160 acres he increased largely, and his widow now owned three quarter sections in Osborne County. He was a leader in community and religions affairs, was a member of the German Evangelical Church, and for many years superintendent of its Sunday school. Henry Ise married Rosa Hang, who was born near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1856, and now resided at Lawrence, Kansas. A brief record of their large family of children is one that reflects credit upon the parents and also upon the State of Kansas, where most of them were born and reared. Alma, the oldest, is a graduate of the Kansas State Normal, spent some time abroad as a student in Heidelberg University, and is now the wife of Fred Lindley, an attorney at San Diego, California. Edward, the oldest son, is a contractor and builder at Buhl, Idaho. Dollie is the wife of Griff Chitty, in the grain business at Bigelow, Kansas; the fourth in the family is Charles Daniel; Walter, who graduated LL. B. from Kansas University Law School and LL. M. from Yale University, is now connected with the legal department of the land burean at Washington, District of Columbia; Hulda, who holds the degrees A. B. and A. M. from Kansas University, and the degree of Ph. D. from Cornell University, is now dean of women at the state university at Pocatella, Idaho. John, who holds the degrees Bachelor of Music, A. B., A. M. and LL. B. from the Kansas State University and Ph. D. from Harvard University, now had the chair of sociology at the Kansas State University at Lawrence, Kansas. Stella, who graduated Bachelor of Science from the Manhattan College, is the wife of Lieut. Felix Gygax, who had charge of the latest and largest United States sunmarine, G-4. Mary, who graduated A. B. from the State University of Lawrence, is the wife of Merle Holmes, a ciyil engineer at Marceline, Missouri. Herman is in the clothing business at Greeley, Colorado. Frank, the eleventh child, and the youngest of the family, lives with his mother at Lawrence, and had recently graduated A. B. from the Kansas State University. So far as known there is no family in the State of Kansas that can present a greater aggregate of degrees from higher educational institntions than the Ises. Many would say that this is a case of “blood will tell,” but there have of course been other qualities than inheritance in this exceptional record.
Charles Daniel Ise was born at Downs, Osborne County, Kansas, March 7, 1880. Like the older members of the family he experienced the hardships and privations of the early pioneer life on the plains of Kansas. He attended the common schools in Osborne County, finishing the common schools in 1895, graduated from the Downs High School in 1898, was graduated from the Kansas State Normal at Emporia in 1900, receiving a life teacher’s certiflcate, and in 1905 received the degree A. B. from the Kansas State University. In 1908 he graduated A. M. and LL. B. from the law department of the state university. He was prominent not only as a student, but in athletics and college affairs. He was fullback on the Kansas University football team three years, and while at Emporia played fullback on the football team and catcher on the baseball team. He is a member of the national college Aeacia fraternity.
Mr. Ise was admitted to the bar before the Supreme Court of Kansas in 1908. In the meantime he had spent a number of years in successful work as an educator. He was principal of ward schools at Downs in 1900-01, but following the death of his father, which occurred at Downs, November 23, 1900, he spent most of the year 1901-02 in looking after the estate. The school year 1902-03 he was principal of the high school of Osborne, was principal of the Holton High School in 1905-06, and principal of the Coffeyville High School in 1908-09.
Mr. Ise began the practice of law in the spring of 1909 in the office of Charles Welch at Coffeyville. A year later he formed a partnership with Ben Jones, and continued in practice at Coffeyville until 1913. In the meantime, having been elected county attorney of Montgomery County, he moved to Independence, and was re-elected in the fall of 1914, beginning his second term of two years in January, 1915. When only twenty-one years of age Mr. Ise was called to his first post of public responsibility as a member of the school board of District No. 37 in Osborne County. He is a republican, and for a number of years had exercised an important influence on public affairs. He is a stockholder in the John Carle Oil & Gas Company. Mr. Ise still owned his residence at Coffeyville, which city is his legal place of residence, but he also owned a residence in Independence at 517 South Second Street. He is a member of the County and State Bar associations, belongs to the Presbyterian Church, and is affiliated with Camp No. 665, Modern Woodmen of America, of Coffeyville; Keystone Lodge No. 102, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, at Coffeyville, and Coffeyville Lodge No. 775, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. At Topeks, in 1910, Mr. Ise married Miss Belle Stagg, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Stagg, who reside at 801 Topeka Avenue in Topeka, Mr. Stagg being an expert accountant. Mrs. Ise is of an old American family and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, being entitled to the distinction of three bars, two of them coming through the Bodwells on her mother’s side and one on her father’s side. Her ancestor, John Bodwell, was at one time governor of Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Ise have two children: Betty, born August 24, 1911, and Thomas, born March 25, 1914.