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George H. Lillie

Politician. Born: 12 February 1822, Geauga County, Ohio. Married: Melinda Wilder, 9 May 1844. Died: 14 November 1883.

Born in Geauga County, Ohio, on February 12, 1822, George Lillie was educated in Trumbull County, read law and passed the bar in 1843, and started a legal practice in Warren, Trumbull County. He married Melinda Wilder on May 9, 1844, at Onego, Illinois, moved to Freeport, and then to Shullsburg, La Fayette County, Wisconsin; there the couple lived and raised their large family-seven children by the time they moved to Kansas in the fall of 1858; at least two more were born in Kansas. At the Wyandotte Convention, Lillie served on the preamble and bill of rights, judicial department, and phraseology and arrangement committees and was described as "an active working member" who brought "a clear head and good legal knowledge to his work." Lillie was elected to the territorial legislature in 1860 and served as district attorney for the Fifth District of Kansas from 1861-1863. He moved his family to Greenwood County in 1868 to farm and then to Eureka where he resumed the practice of law, was twice elected mayor, and served as a probate court judge. He suffered a debilitating stroke in 1882 and died on November 14, 1883. "Judge Lillie commenced his life-work as an earnest advocate of free state principles, at a time when it required a good degree of moral courage as well as conscientiousness to do so," eulogized the Greenwood County Republican. "He was a professor of religion, a church member and a firm believer in the bible, of which few men had a more general knowledge, or a more clear understanding."

Entry: Lillie, George H.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: June 2011

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.