Biography of Hon. James Ralph Anspaugh

Hon. James Ralph Anspaugh, as cashier of the Gridley State Bank, had been a factor in business affairs in that section of Kansas for a number of years. His recent capable service as a member of the State Senate from the Fifteenth Senatorial District had made his name known and appreciated over the state at large. The Fifteenth District which he represents comprises Coffey and Franklin counties.

Senator Anspaugh is a native Kansan. He was born in a sod house that stood on his father’s claim in Russell County, Kansas, September 19, 1883. He is a son of John W. and Eliza Jane (Leffler) Anspaugh. His grandfather, James Anspaugh, was born in Pennsylvania. John W. Anspaugh, who was born in Williams County, Ohio, in 1847, spent his active life as a farmer. Coming to Kansas in 1880, he bought land in Russell County, farmed there until 1884, and then removed to Coffey County and bought a place four miles northeast of Gridley. He died there in the full vigor of his years July 26, 1885. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married in 1879, his wife being also a native of Williams County, Ohio, born in 1854. Three sons were born to them, Senator Anspaugh being the second in age. The oldest, Theodore Garfield, born February 4, 1881, is also a banker, now located at Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Theodore married in 1905 Myrtle Wood, a native of Coffey County, Kansas, and they have two children, Pauline and Orville. Frank, the youngest child, was born December 3, 1884, and died May 4, 1885.

Senator Anspaugh grew up without the advantage and stimulus of a father’s direction and training. He was reared on his father’s farm in Coffey County, attended public schools, and gained his higher education largely through his own efforts. For two years he taught in the country, took a course in a business college at Chillicothe, Missouri, taught two more years in Coffey County, and then for two years worked his way while attending the normal school at Chillicothe, Missouri, where he graduated with the highest average ever made in that school by any pupil.

Mr. Anspaugh in 1906 entered the Peoples National Bank at Burlington, Kansas, as bookkeeper, and the four years spent there gave him a thorough insight into bank management. He was then elected cashier of the Gridley State Bank at Gridley and had since been the active and responsible head of that institution.

In the way of public service Mr. Anspaugh was mayor of Gridley in 1911-12. In 1916 he was elected on the republican ticket as state senator, and though one of the youngest members of the session of 1917 distinguished himself by his very able work and was one of the recognized orators of the Senate. He gained some very important committee assignments, being chairman of the fees, salaries and mileage committees and member of the committees on drainage, agriculture, cities of the second class, railroads, claims and accounts, and education.

A member of the same class with which he graduated from the Chillicothe Normal was Miss Clara Maude Roy. She was born at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, August 15, 1883, a daughter of David William and Irene (Boice) Roy, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Iowa. After graduating at Chillicothe Miss Roy taught school six years and then on October 7, 1908, at Macon, Missouri, they were happily married. Senator Anspaugh and wife have three young sons: Roy Calvin, born April 27, 1910; Rex Harold, born January 27, 1912; and Robert Douglas, born June 18, 1914.



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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