Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

William M. Glenn

WILLIAM M. GLENN. One of the invariable teachings of history is that the men who have been the real builders of American communities are those blessed with the permanent qualities of perseverance and faithfulness. Those who do their share in the molding of institutions or persons about them take their clue from the steady, patient, tireless operations of nature. When such traits run through entire families their members prove to be the kind of pioneers most useful and valuable to the developing life of the West; and the Glenns have always been of that type.

Hon. William M. Glenn, the pioneer lawyer of Tribune and of Greeley County and former senator of the Thirty-eighth Kansas district, doubtless inherits much of his substantial character from his father, the late John Black Glenn. The father was a native of Gallia County, Ohio, born April 14, 1828. At the age of twenty-four he moved to Bloomfield, Iowa, where he was identified with the drug business and with banking. He had joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he was to become so prominent, in 1849, soon after having reached his majority, and continued to be affiliated with it until his death sixty-two years thereafter. Shortly after he moved to Iowa, in 1852, he became a member of the Grand Lodge and was its treasurer for eighteen years; also represented Iowa in the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the United States from 1866 to 1872.

Shortly after the Rebekah degree had been authorized by the body named, in 1852, John B. Glenn took the degree, and in 1868, when the Grand Lodge authorized the institution of Rebekah lodges, he presented a petition for the formation of one at Bloomheld. Bloomfield Lodge No. 1 was instituted November 1, 1868, with Mr. Glenn as its first noble grand, and that was the first body of the kind to be organized in the world. From that time until his death he was active and prominent in all the Rebekah lodges, as well as the other Odd Fellow bodies of a local, state or national character. In 1877 he moved to Harper, Kansas, and was one of the founders of the town. He erected the first house on its site, was county surveyor for a number of years, and could always be depended upon for firm support to any enterprise or institution of real worth. His death occurred at Harper on May 22, 1911, at the age of eighty-three years.

John B. Glenn had married Lois A. Wilson, a daughter of Samuel Wilson, a Kentuckian by birth and then a resident of Hancock County, Illinois. Mrs. Glenn died at Bloomfield in 1867, leaving a daughter and two sons, the former, now Mrs. Mary Madara, of Tribune, Kansas; William M., of this biography; and Samuel E., who died at Wichita, Kansas, the father of John M., an electrical engineer of Chicago.

William M. Glenn was born at Bloomfield, Iowa, on the 31st of December, 1860, and was therefore seventeen years of age when he accompanied his parents to Harper, Kansas. At that time he had acquired a thorough education in the Bloomfield public schools and at the Southern Iowa Normal School, besides having served an apprenticeship at the printing trade. But as his strongest tendency was toward the law, soon after coming to Harper, he commenced to study under the direction of I. P. Campbell of that place. In 1885 he was admitted to practice before Judge George D. Orner, of the Harper district, but two years afterward moved to Greeley County and became one of the builders of Tribune. He appeared upon the scene as the secretary of the Town Company, which owned the site, laid out the village and virtually controlled its affairs. Although young in years, Mr. Glenn handled local matters with such maturity of judgment as to obtain prompt recognition and solid standing. Among other affairs which brought him much credit was the handling of Tribune's county seat fight with Horace; for, although he accomplished his purpose, he did so without engendering the usual animosities which accompany such contests.

Mr. Glenn was the first permanent lawyer to locate in the county and has been the witness of numerous changes. He has never deviated from the path which he set out to follow, except to give a portion of his time to political and public matters of local and state moment, which he considered in the light of his duty as an American citizen. He has long been recognized as one of the leaders of the Western Kansas bar, and is probably the oldest local attorney representing the interests of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Mr. Glenn has served for twenty-two years as city treasurer of Tribune; was the owner and editor of the Greeley County Tribune from 1898 to 1914, and has been long identified with the First State Bank, of which he was one of the organizers and was promoted to the presidency in January, 1917.

Mr. Glenn has been a leading republican of the state for the past thirty-five years. In 1892 he was elected to the legislature from Greeley County, and during his first term was a member of the famous Douglas House. He was present when the republican speakers smashed in the door of the assembly chamber and took their places in the House, despite populist opposition as directed by General Artz and C. C. Clemens. He was chairman of the committee on local judiciary, and participated actively in the legislative proceedings. In 1894 he returned to the House of Representatives and sat in a republican body presided over by Charles E. Lobdell. In 1908 he was elected state senator, from the Thirty-eighth district, comprising eighteen counties. Mr. Glenn was chairman of the committee which devised the bill on legislative apportionment, and was the author of the Senate measure reapportioning the state into representative districts. Five counties in his district were thereby given separate representation in the House of Representatives. He also served on the judiciary committee, the committee of ways and means, and the committees on state affairs and education. Largely instrumental in securing the passage of the bill abolishing permits for "drugstore liquor," he may be credited with the honor of being a leader in the final steps which have made prohibition absolute in the State of Kansas. He is also the author of the prevailing state law regulating weights and measures.