Edwin Parker Sample – 1997 Inductee

One of the noted attorneys in Osborne County history was Edwin Parker Sample. While some sources list him as having been born in 1878 in Downs, Kansas, this is incorrect, as the city of Downs did not come into existence until 1879.  Edwin Sample was born in April 1875 in Pennsylvania.  At the age of twelve he moved with his parents, J. C. and Ella Sample, to Downs, where his father became a prominent furniture dealer and undertaker. Edwin attended the local schools and was a member of the first graduating class of Downs High School in 1895.  He then attended Washburn College at Topeka, Kansas, and the University Kansas at Lawrence, where he graduated from law school in 1899. He immediately returned to Osborne County and commenced the practice of law in Osborne, Kansas.  Edwin was at once nominated for Osborne County Attorney and defeated the incumbent, taking office in 1901.  He served one two-year term before being defeated himself.  It was not until 1909 that he was elected once more to the position, and served two full terms until he stepped down in 1912 and formed a law partnership with J. R. Reed of Smith Center, Kansas.

Edwin Sample was a noted speaker and in the days of his teens he was a great high school debater.  As county attorney his eloquence was largely responsible for sending two accused murderers to the state penitentiary.  Later the firm of Reed and Sample succeeded in clearing Will Ward, who lived north of Alton, of the charge of murdering his brother Enoch.  As practically an unknown lawyer he was selected one year as one of the principal speakers at the annual Kansas Day club banquet.  He electrified the audience with his eloquence and his reputation as a speaker was made.  He was an extremely popular man who possessed a very sunny disposition and was given to much laughter and always looking at the brighter side of life.  He was initiated into the mysteries of the Masonic rites in 1904 and was a member of Saqui Lodge in Osborne until 1928.  In 1907 Edwin was elected mayor of Osborne and served a successful two-year term.  His popularity was so that he was listed in the book Men of Kansas in 1905.

On June 21, 1905, Edwin married Florence Morton in Osborne.  A daughter, Kathryn, was born to this union.  In 1908 Florence Sample died and on December 28, 1911, Edwin married for the second time, to Augusta Flintom at Lawrence, Kansas.  With her he had two more daughters, Edwina and Betty Lou.

In 1913 Edwin and his law partner Reed moved their law practice to San Diego, California, much to the sorrow of his friends back in Kansas, where he was one of the best known citizens of Osborne County and Northern Kansas.  His popularity with everybody continued at his new home in San Diego.  Ed was elected to two terms in the California State Senate in 1919-1926 and in 1936 he was a candidate for U. S. Congress on the Republican ticket.  His law practice was extensive and he became one of the best known attorneys and citizens in Southern California.  Edwin died from a sudden heart attack in his home in San Diego on August 27, 1939, and was buried there in the Cypress View Mausoleum.

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