Biography of Paul Phillip MacCaskill
Paul Phillip MacCaskill. One of the younger members of the Kansas bar, in active practice at Parsons, Paul MacCaskill has already had a wide range of experience in his profession and in public affairs. While studying law and since he spent a good deal of time in the service of public men, at Topeks and elsewhere, and in 1915 was secretary to Hon. Baille P. Waggener, the Atchison County representative in the State Senate.
He is of a fine strain of Scotch ancestry. The name MacCaskill, or MacAskill, is of Norse origin, meaning Anses Kettle, or sacrificial vessel to the gods. The MacCaskills were a sept of the powerful MacLeod clan who prior to 1715 owned the Isle of Skye and other holdings in the Hebrides as well as on the mainland. The MacCaskills lived on the Isle of Skye, and Mr. MacCaskill’s great-great-grandfather Malcolm MacCaskill came to this country in 1811 and located in a Scotch settlement at Fayetteville, North Carolina. He followed planting through his career. The grandfather, Allen A. MacCaskill, was born at Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1828 and died there in 1904. His active career was spent chiefly as a planter and prior to the war he owned a number of slaves. He was also a man of deep scholarship, was a Presbyterian minister, and was well versed in the Gaelic languages and was an instructor of them. During the war between the states he was a chaplain in the Confederate army and was present with General Lee at Appomatox. This scholarly old southerner married a Miss Jackson, a relative of Gen. Stonewall Jackson.
It was in Fayetteville, North Carolina, that Paul MacCaskill was born July 7, 1890. His father is Walter Scott MacCaskill, who now resides at Parsons, Kansas. His father was born at Fayetteville in 1866, grew up and married there, and followed farming until 1891, when he became a fireman with the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, running out of Savannah, Illinois. In 1897 he was promoted to engineer with the same road, and in 1904 came to Parsons, and has since been one of the efficient and trusted engineers of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. He owns his residence at 318 North Twenty-third Street in Parsons. He is a democrat of the old school and attends the Methodist Episcopal Church. Walter S. MacCaskill married for his first wife Mary Virginia Gurly, who was born at Goldsboro, North Carolina, and died in 1897. Her only child is Paul MacCaskill. For his second wife W. S. MacCaskill married Ida Overholtser of Perry, Iowa. Her children were: Caryl, who was born October 1, 1899, and is a member of the junior class in the Parsons High School; Frank O., who was born in 1904, and is in the public schools; and Alice, born in August, 1907.
Paul MacCaskill received his education in several different localities. His mother died at Perry, Iowa, and he attended school there for a time. For two years he lived in the home of his uncle J. B. Moll, who was general roadmaster of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul with headquarters at Chicago. From Chicago he returned to Perry, Iowa, then went to Marion, Iowa, and attended school in all these places. In 1904 his father brought him to Parsons and he left the high school of that city in 1907. During the two years from 1907 to 1909 he was engaged in farming in Whiteside County, Illinois, and then spent a year on a plantation at his birthplace in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Returning to Parsons he spent part of the year 1910 in the Parsons Business College, and then entered the law office of W. S. Hyatt. The school year 1911-12 was spent in the law school of the Kansas University. In the fall of 1912 Mr. MacCaskill took an active part in assisting the campaign of Hon. George W. Hodges. During the legislative session of 1911 he was committee clerk for James Orr. In 1913 he was clerk to Senator I. M. Hinds in the Senate. At the close of that session he was appointed private secretary to A. E. Helm, commerce counsel of the Public Utilities Commission.
Taking the bar examination in January, 1913, and being admitted to the bar, he resigned his place as private secretary in July of that year, and has since been in active practice at Parsons. As a democratic candidate he made the race for county attorney, and though Labette County is nominally republican his defeat was accomplished by a very narrow margin. Mr. MacCaskill has his offices in the First National Bank Building and resides at 1416 Appleton Avenue. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Chureh, belongs to the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity, and to Parsons Lodge No. 1 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
On September 3, 1913, at Lawrence Mr. MacCaskill married Miss Gladys Rearick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rearick. Her father is still living and is station agent for the Missouri Pacific Railway at Altoona, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. MacCaskill have one son, Paul Hyatt, born August 2, 1914.