Kansas History and Heritage Project-Anderson County Biographies

Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894

HON. WILLIAM SPRIGGS, a prominent citizen of Anderson County, and one of the most influential residents of Lincoln Township, was born in Floyd County, Ky., October 11, 1825. He was a child of two years when, in 1827, he was taken by his father, John Spriggs, to Jennings County, Ind. There he grew to manhood upon his father's farm, remaining with his parents until he readied his majority. In 1846 Mr. Spriggs embarked in farming pursuits and continued thus engaged for two years. He then entered the law office of the late D. C. Rich, at Vernon, Ind., and under the preceptorship of that gentleman pursued his legal studies for one year. Later, purchasing a small farm in Jennings County, he located upon the place and entered upon the task of improving and cultivating the land. After having spent two years in that way, he abandoned the occupation of a farmer and embarked in the practice of law at Vernon, remaining at that place until the spring of 1857.

At that time Mr. Spriggs, accompanied by his family, came to Anderson County and bought land near the town of Scipio. While he followed agriculture, he at the same time gained a lucrative practice in law in the neighboring town. Six years later he traded his farm for a section of land in Monroe Township, to the cultivation of which he devoted his attention exclusively for fifteen years. In the spring of 1858 he was elected to the State Constitutional Convention, and afterward was elected to the Territorial Legislature, where he served for one term. In the fall of 1859 he was chosen State Senator and served in that capacity during two sessions of the Senate.

It was felt by his fellow-citizens that a merited honor had been conferred upon Mr. Spriggs when, in the fall of 1862, he was elected State Treasurer. His services in that office were so satisfactory to the people, and proved to so large a degree his wisdom and executive ability, that in the fall of 1864 he was re-elected for a second term. Early in the spring of 1867, Gov. S. J. Crawford appointed him District Judge and he served in that position for one year, at the expiration of which time he retired from public life and again followed the peaceful and profitable vocation of farming, also raising great numbers of stock. In 1881 he was employed by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company as claim agent, and acted in that line for eleven years without the loss of a day until November 1, 1892.

Since the date last mentioned Mr. Spriggs has continued farming and stock-raising on his fine place, which is situated on section 2, Lincoln Township. His landed possessions aggregate four hundred and ten broad acres, embellished by a complete line of farm buildings, including a commodious barn, and the entire surroundings show the care and attention of the owner. Our subject was married to Miss Margaret Ray, of Jennings County, Ind., August 2, 1847, and the result of their union has been the birth of eight children, namely: Euphame, the wife of George Ridgeway; Newton, who married Mary Shaughnessey; Sarah, now Mrs. William Frankenberger; Mary, the wife of Robert Hogue; John, who married Melinda Lewis; Carrie, the wife of W. T. Hopkins; Nathaniel, and Clay.

The Judge has been a prominent man as well as a valuable citizen of Anderson County, and he is well informed on all the leading questions of the day. He takes an active part in educational affairs, is liberal in his religious views and has always aimed to lead a strictly moral life.

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