Biography of Hon. William Frederick Sapp

Hon. William Frederick Sapp. It is said that the present democratic national committeeman from Kansas when he came to the state in 1879 arrived on foot. He was young then, and not above such strenuous exercise when the purpose involved was search of location for the beginning of his professional career. He soon afterward obtained admission to the bar before the District Court at Columbus, and as a lawyer and citizen has been identified with Galena almost as long as that town has been on the map.

The courage and independence that brought him to Kansas and took him through the difficulties of the early lawyer have brought Mr. Sapp far along the road to prominence and success. He is undoubtedly one of the strongest figures in the democratic party of the state. In 1892 he was a delegate at large to the democratic national convention in Chicago, was democratic candidate in his district for Congress in 1894, and is now in his third successive term as national committeeman from Kansas. His first term ended in 1912, his second in 1916, and at the recent national convention he was again chosen to represent the Sunflower State and this term holds over until the next general campaign in 1920. In 1914 Mr. Sapp was democratic candidate for the United States Senate.

He was born at Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 30, 1856, a son of Rezin, a Methodist minister, and Margaret E. (Peyre-Ferry) Sapp. He is a brother of Judge Edward E. Sapp and the ancestry of the family is told in Judge Sapp’s sketch on other pages.

Mr. Sapp received his education in the public schools of Grand Rapids, Coldwater and Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from high school about 1875, and studied law in a Grand Rapids Law Office. For the past thirty-five years he has been in practice at Galena and is now member of the firm of Sapp & Wilson, his offices being at the corner of Sixth and Main streets in the Sapp Building, which is owned by him. He has served as city attorney of Galena, was a member of its school board in the early days, and has many important property interests in and around the city. He owns a residence at the corner of Thirteenth and Main streets, another at Twenty-second and Main streets, has business property with a frontage of 250 feet on Main Street, and has 500 acres of farm and mineral lands in Cherokee County. He is a stockholder in a number of banks and is president and owner of the Battlefield Mining Company and president of the Empire Mining Company.

Governor John Leedy appointed him recruiting officer during the Spanish-American war. Mr. Sapp is a member of the Cherokee County and State Bar associations, of the Community Club at Galena, for thirty-six years has been affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, of which he is past chancellor commander, is past exalted ruler of Lodge No. 677 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and belongs to Galena Lodge No. 195 Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

October 29, 1885, at Quincy, Illinois, he married Miss Mary E. Wood, daughter of Daniel and Mary (Abernethy) Wood. Her mother is now deceased and her father is a retired farmer and land owner living at Quincy. Her grandfather Daniel Wood was at one time governor of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Sapp have four children. Peyre-Ferry Sapp is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia, and has the degrees A. B. and LL. B. from Harvard University, and is now a successful attorney at Kansas City, Missouri. Marienne is a graduate of the Kansas State University with the degree A. B. and is at home. Helen Margaret at home, has also attended the University of Kansas. William, who attended the State School of Mines at Golden, California, and the Kansas School of Mines at Weir City, is practicing his profession as a mining engineer.

Ferry, Peyre, Sapp,


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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