Robert Ernest Cullison. The senior member of the well-known law firm of Cullison, Forrest & Clifford, Robert Ernest Cullison had long been a prominent figure in many of the legal controversies of Allen County, in which his unerring judgment and ability to provide the solution of many complexities have proven his right to be numbered among the distinguished members of the bar of his part of the state. Since the beginning of his career he had practiced at Iola, where he had on several occasions been the incumbent of official positions of importance. Mr. Cullison as a lawyer, conducting cases from their earliest consultation through their preparations in his office and conflicts at the bar, to the final engrossment after the last decree of the final tribunal, is systematic, patient, vigorous and powerful, and is recognized as a most valuable associate and dangerous opponent.
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Robert E. Cullison was born October 13, 1878, at Bloomfield, Greene County, Indiana, a member of a family which came from Ireland to America during the colonial period of this country’s history, and a son of Robert M. and Eleanor J. (Stalleup) Cullison. His grandfather was born in 1811, in Ohio, and became a pioneer into Greene County, Indiana, where he passed the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits and died in 1882. He married Elizabeth Lynch, also of Irish descent, who was born in Ohio, in 1817, and died in Montgomery County, Kansas, in 1898.
Robert M. Cullison was born May 22, 1845, in Knox County, Ohio, and was a lad when taken by his parents to the southern part of Indiana, where he was reared and educated. He was married in Greene County, that state, and not long thereafter entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He filled various charges in Indiana for some years, and in 1884 came to Southeastern Kansas, where for thirty years he preached the gospel, filling many pulpits in this part of the state. He became greatly beloved among his people, for whom he labored unselfishly and untiringly, and only gave up his work when advancing years convinced him that he should give up his responsibilities and allow them to be shouldered by younger ministers. In 1914 he retired, and now is living at Iola. He is a republican. Reverend Cullison is a veteran of the great Civil war, having enlisted in 1861 in the Forty-third Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served three years. Later for seven months he fought as a private in the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He took part in all the battles participated in by his commands and was never wounded. He was captured at Mock’s Mills, Coldwater, Kansas, having been captured in the daytime and the same night escaped and marched 150 miles before he got back to his forces at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He established a splendid record for bravery and faithfulness. He married Eleanor J. Stallcup, who was born in 1848, in Greene County, Indiana, and who also survives and resided at Iola. They became the parents of five children, as follows: O. L., who is editor of the Greeley Graphic, of Greeley, Kansas; Homer E., who is a Methodist Episcopal minister, with a charge at Union, Oregon; Cora L., who is the wife of Dr. James L. Hibbard, a practicing physician and surgeon of Cherokee, Oklahoma; Robert Ernest, of this review; and Ethel H., who is the wife of John Liljegren, manager of the Robert Burns Engineering Company, of San Francisco, California.
Robert Ernest Cullison was educated in the public schools of Mound Valley and Emporia, Kansas, and in 1896 was graduated from the high school at the latter place. He then entered the College of Emporia, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1899, and in 1902 was granted the degree of Master of Arts by the same institution. In 1899 and 1900 he attended the law department of the Kansas University, was given his degree of Bachelor of Laws in the latter year, and in September commenced practice at Iola, where he had continued to the present time in the enjoyment of an ever-increasing professional business in civil and criminal law. The offices of the firm of Cullison, Forrest & Clifford are located in the McCall Building.
Mr. Cullison is a republican. He served as police judge for four years, or two terms, was city attorney for a like period, and was one of the most vigilant officials to ever occupy these positions. Mr. Cullison belongs to the various organizations of his calling and occupies an enviable place in the esteem of his fellow practitioners. Fraternally, he belongs to Iola Lodge No. 21, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Iola Camp No. 961, Modern Woodmen of America; and Iola Camp No. 101, Woodmen of the World. He also holds membership in the Phi Delta Theta and Phi Delta Phi Greek letter fraternities, Kansas University. Mr. Cullison’s home, located at No. 518 Jackson Avenue, was remodeled by him in 1906 and is one of the attractive residences of Iola, where he is also the owner of a dwelling on South State Street.
On January 1, 1901, at Fort Collins, Colorado, Mr. Cullison was united in marriage with Miss Ethel M. Huston, daughter of the Rev. John W. and Mary (Carpenter) Huston, residents of Bishop, California, where Mr. Huston is minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Four children have come to Mr. and Mrs. Cullison, namely: Margaret, born October 24, 1901, a freshman in the Iola High School; Robert E., born December 7, 1903, attending the graded schools of Iola; Frederick H., born January 6, 1910, who is also a public school student; and Richard, born January 19, 1916.