A Partnership Agreement from Territorial Kansas, 0421 KSBJ, 90 J. Kan. Bar Assn 2, 46 (2011)

AuthorBy M.H. Hoeflich and Sydney Buckley
Position90 J. Kan. Bar Assn 2, 46 (2021)

A Partnership Agreement from Territorial Kansas

No. 90 J. Kan. Bar Assn 2, 46 (2021)

Kansas Bar Journal

April, 2021

Law Practice History

By M.H. Hoeflich1 and Sydney Buckley [2]

University of Kansas School of Law


Not a great deal of attention has been paid to the history of the Kansas Bar during the territorial period.3 Yet there were a substantial number of lawyers who established law practices in Kansas Territory, especially in Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Lecompton. The earliest generation of Kansas lawyers came to the territory from all over the United States. Many came from eastern states like New York and Massachusetts. Lawyers from Ohio were also here in large numbers. But the most notable, if not the largest number of lawyers, who established law practices in Kansas Territory were from Missouri.4 Not all came for the purpose of voting to turn Kansas into a slave state. Many came simply to take advantage of the economic opportunities available to those with some knowledge of the law and some capital, either their own or of clients back East. Many of the lawyers who came to Kansas Territory came to Leavenworth and of these a good number had established law practices in Weston, Missouri. Just like today’s Kansas City practices with offices on both sides of the state line, territorial lawyers gained advantage by having both an Office in Weston—then a major river city—and Leavenworth, just a few miles across the Missouri River.

One of the lawyers who began as a Weston, Missouri practitioner and who became a leader not only of the Leavenworth Bar, but also a founder of the City of Leavenworth and an active Kansas politician, was Henry Miles Moore. Moore is rarely remembered today, and when he is, he is remembered as the author of the 1906 Early History of Leavenworth City and County.5 In fact, during his life Moore was an almost larger than life figure whose biography earned four full columns in the 1899 Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas, and Franklin Counties.6 Indeed, much of our present knowledge of the early history of the Kansas Bar is derived from Moore’s 1906 work since it contains a ninety-eight page appendix devoted to “Incidents Pertaining to the Early Members of the Leavenworth Bar” which includes biographies of every lawyer who was admitted to the Kansas Bar at Leavenworth in 1855 and signed the roll of admission to the Bar at that time.7

Although Moore does not devote a great deal of space in his appendix to himself, his career as a lawyer, politician, and businessman was quite outstanding. Moore was born in Brockport, New York on September 2, 1826.8 He graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1835 and studied in law offices in Clarkson and Rochester, New York. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1848, but went first South to Louisiana and then West the following year and settled in Weston, Missouri.9 In Weston he opened a law Office and also worked for the Weston Reporter. In 1851, Moore entered into a law partnership with O. Diefendorf, a successful lawyer in Weston who was elected as clerk of the Weston Court of Common Pleas in August 1855.[10] Moore was very much an opportunist in his law practice, his investments, and his politics.11 When he moved to Weston, Moore was a member of the pro-slavery forces. Within a few years, when he had determined to move to the newly established city of Leavenworth in Kansas, Moore shifed his allegiance to the free state cause. Moore was one of the original stockholders in the Leavenworth Township Association. By September of 1855 Moore had decided to make Leavenworth his permanent home and place of business.12 From that date forward Moore became one of the leaders of the Leavenworth and Kansas Bar. He was elected Attorney-General of the State of Kansas by election of the delegates to the Topeka Constitutional Convention in 185713 and served as a Judge Advocate in the Union Army. Later in life he served in a number of political and municipal roles in Leavenworth and died in 1909 full of honors and beloved by his neighbors.

In this brief article we wish to focus on one aspect of Moore’s early legal career: the partnership he formed with Teodore A. Hurd in April 1859.14 By this time Moore’s partnership with O. Diefendorf had dissolved and Moore was rapidly becoming one of the leaders of the Leavenworth (and, therefore, the Kansas) Bar. Fortunately, Moore donated all of his personal and professional papers to...

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