Biography of Edwin E. Sapp

Edwin E. Sapp. There has been a Sapp connected with the bar of Cherokee County almost since the City of Galena was founded. Coming to that town in January, 1884, after having worked and studied earnestly to prepare himself for the bar, earning his own living in the meantime, Edwin E. Sapp in a comparatively brief time had won the approbation and favor of a considerable clientage.

In the years that have followed hardly a member of the Cherokee County Bar has been shown greater honors and has been accorded a larger and more profitable share in the civil practice of the courts. As long as his private interests would permit, his fellow citizens kept him employed in some phase of public life. He served as city attorney of Galena twelve years, was probate judge of Cherokee County two terms, judge of the Court of Common Pleas one term, and for another term sat on the district bench as judge.

In later years his business interests have become paramount to his professional. Judge Sapp is president of the Giant Mining and Royalties Company, a director in the George L. McCullagh Lead and Zinc Company, a director in the Lockport Lead & Zinc Company, director in the Scarlet Kid Mining Company, and the Pioneer Lead & Zinc Company. He has acquired some large property interests. His law offices are in the Sapp Building at Galena and he owns his home at 705 Galena Avenue, four other dwelling houses in Galena, two farms aggregating 200 acres in Cherokee County, and owns some mineral lands in the same county.

Judge Sapp is descended from some very fine families. His paternal ancestry came originally from Holland and located in Virginia in colonial times. He was born after both his grandfathers died. His paternal grandfather George Sapp was born in Ohio and died in Knox County of that state. The maternal line is one of special interest. His maternal grandfather was Peter Pierferry, who was born at the old artillery training ground and fortress of Le Fere. At one time the town and its environs were part of the feudal possessions of the Ferry family. Thus it was that Peter Pierferry became the hereditary colonel of the Le Fere Regiment. He was a graduate of the St. Croix Military College and the Berna Military College, and a fellow student in these colleges with him was the young Corsican, Napoleon Bonaparte. It is a matter of particular interest that Napoleon after his graduation became a sub-lieutenant under Col. Peter Pierferry in the Le Fere Regiment. In fact these two men were in a number of campaigns together. After Napoleon reached the pinnacle of his career and became emperor, Colonel Pierferry, being a Royalist in sympathy, abandoned his cause and securing a passport from Napoleon came to America and settled on Belle Isle in Lake Erie. That was in 1811. In 1812 he removed to Sandusky, Ohio, on account of Indian troubles. He was a member of the Ohio State Militia during the War of 1812. From Ohio he removed to Fort Raisin, near Monroe, Michigan, and was variously honored there, serving several terms as county treasurer.

Judge Sapp’s father was Reason Sapp, who was born near the site of Kenyon College in Knox County, Ohio, in 1816. He was reared there, and subsequently became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a member of the old Ohio Conference when its jurisdiction extended over Michigan. After his marriage in Monroe, Michigan, he spent most of his time in the service of the Michigan Conference, and died at Grand Rapids in 1873. He was a republican and a Mason. The maiden name of his wife was Margaret Pierferry, who was born at Sandusky, Ohio, in 1821, and died at Galena, Kansas, in 1897. Their children were: Perry, who became a farmer and died at Ionia, Michigan, in 1881; Dexter T., who served for three years in the Seventh Michigan Cavalry during the Civil war and is now an attorney practicing at Gunnison, Colorado; William F., a veteran attorney of Galena, Kansas, mentioned elsewhere; Judge Edwin C.; Charles, a manufacturer of automobiles at Jackson, Michigan; John, an attorney at Gunnison, Colorado.

Judge Edwin E. Sapp was born in the home of his parents at Jackson, Michigan, July 12, 1858. He attended public school at Grand Rapids, but at the age of thirteen became dependent upon his own resources. His father died about that time and he had to hew out his own career. Many lines of work contributed to his support, and he worked as a gardener, at the printing trade, and finally secured by his own efforts the opportunity and means to study law. He carried on his law studies in the offices of one of the oldest and best known law firms in Chicago at the time, Dexter, Herrick & Allen. The two younger members of that firm died recently, and were among the foremost lawyers of Chicago.

Judge Sapp was admitted to the bar in 1883, and in January of the following year came to Galena. In politics he is a democrat, is a member of the Cherokee County and American Bar associations, belongs to the Community Club of Galena and to Lodge No. 677 of the Elks.

In 1885 at Galena he married Miss Mary E. Aldrich, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Aldrich of Catskill, New York. Both her parents are now deceased. Her father was for many years in the livery business. Judge and Mrs. Sapp have three children: Dexter is a graduate of the law department of the Missouri State University and is now practicing at Galena. Vira graduated from the State Manual Training Normal School at Pittsburg, Kansas, and Christian College at Columbia, Missouri, and is still at home. Thomas is a graduate of the Kansas School of Mines and is a mine operator, with home at Galena.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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