John Pedroja. One of the most reliable and progressive of the younger members of the Crawford County bar, who stands high in professional ability as a man of broad business and financial judgment, is John Pedroja, who since 1911 has been engaged in practice at Mulberry. He has also served the public well and conscientiously in the offices of city clerk and city attorney during the past four years, and is a citizen who has done much to advance the interests of his community.
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Mr. Pedroja was born at Gnosca, Switzerland, November 27, 1880, and is a son of Charles and Augelina (Rochi) Pedroja, natives of the same place. Charles Pedroja was born in 1855, and was reared and educated in his native place, where he learned the trade of painter and served two years in the regular army of Switzerland. In 1888 he brought his family to the United States and located at once in Greenwood County, Kansas, where for a number of years he was engaged in farming and raising stock. In 1914, in order that his children might receive better school advantages, he located at Lawrence, where he now lives in retirement. Mr. Pedroja has been an industrious and thirty workman all his life, and is now in comfortable circumstances. He is a democrat in politics and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Mrs. Pedroja, who also survives, was born in 1857. Their children are as follows: John; Charles, Jr., who resides at Hill City, Kansas, and is proprietor of a drug store; Severence, also a druggist, with a pharmacy at Hamilton, Kansas; Clinton, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of Hamilton; Frank, who is a druggist at Wakecney, Kansas; James, of Mulberry, assistant of his brother John; Edward, who is a junior at Kansas University, Lawrence; and Mary, who is in the sophomore class at that institution.
John Pedroja received his primary education in the public schools of Greenwood County, Kansas, and pursued his preparatory course at the Southern Kansas Academy, at Eureka, from which he was graduated in 1898, when he was but eighteen years of age. He next entered Kansas University, where he completed the sophomore year, and next went to Chicago, where he became a law student at De Paul University and graduated in 1907 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He began practice at Plainville, Kansas, in 1909, and in 1911 went to Pittsburg, where he formed a partnership with Mr. Smith, under the firm style of Smith & Pedroja, which combination has since continued with offices both at Pittsburg and Mulberry, Mr. Pedroja being the representative of the firm at Mulberry. He has personally represented a number of large interests in important litigation during the last few years and is now an active and successful practitioner. One year after his arrival at Mulberry, he was elected city clerk and city attorney, and these offices he has continued to fill to the present time, giving excellent satisfaction to the citizens of this thriving Crawford County community. Mr. Pedroja’s practice has covered a wide range. He has an excellent record in general departments of the law, but his constructive ability, as shown by the various organizations with which he has been connected, has won for him a still higher place in the esteem and confidence of his clients. He is secretary and treasurer of the Mulberry Coal Company, the McGowan Manufacturing Company, the Scammon Coal Company and the Mulberry Building and Loan Association, and a director in all these enterprises. In addition to his own modern home, located on Perry Street, he owns several other residences at Mulberry. Fraternally, he is connected with Pittsburg Lodge, No. 187, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Fort Scott Consistory, No. 6, thirty-second degree; and Mirsah Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Pittsburg, and with Mulberry Lodge, No. 417, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In connection with his profession, he belongs to the Crawford County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, and, as one of the live, energetic men who are doing things for their community, holds membership in the Mulberry Boosters’ Club. He votes the republican ticket.
Mr. Pedroja was married in January, 1915, to Miss Allie Kurtz; of Mulberry, Kansas, daughter of Philip and Theresa (Schillings) Kurtz, who are now residents of Mulberry, Mr. Kurtz being a retired farmer who carried on successful operations for many years in Cherokee County.