Biography of Isaac E., Lambert, Sr.

Isaac E. Lambert, Sr., whose tragic death in the burning of the Copeland Hotel at Topeka in 1908 is generally recalled, was in his time one of the most prominent attorneys of Kansas and stood in the forefront of his profession and also as a public leader. His son, Isaac E. Lambert, Jr., is also a lawyer, a resident of Emporia, and is now serving as chief clerk of the Kansas House of Representatives.

At the time of his death Isaac E. Lambert, Sr., was fifty-five years of age and in the prime of his powers. He was born in Knoxville, Illinois, in 1853, spent his early youth there, and graduated LL. B. from the Northwestern University Law School at Chicago. He began practice in Peoria, Illinois, where for a time he was in the office of the noted Robert Ingersoll. Coming to Kansas in 1875 he located in Emporia and soon had acquired a reputation and successful general practice. He was especially noted as a criminal lawyer, though for many years his practice was corporation work. The Santa Fe Railroad Company employed him as its attorney with jurisdiction over twenty-two counties from Lyon County to the western limits of the state. He was also attorney for the National Hereford Association and for a number of other associations and corporations.

He served at one time as United States district attorney of Kansas, and was postmaster of Emporia during Benjamin Harrison’s administration. As a republican he was prominent both in county and state politics and was a delegate to the national convention that nominated William McKinley. He belonged to the Methodist Church and to Emporia Lodge No. 633, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Aside from his profession his favorite interest was the raising of blooded cattle and horses. He owned some extensive ranch properties, and his name was familiar to horsemen’s circles as the owner of Baron Wilkes, one of the famous trotting horses of his time.

Mr. Lambert married Hattie Barnes, who was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, 1856. They were married at Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mrs. Lambert died at Emporia in 1907. Her seven children were: Eddie and William, both of whom died in infancy; Boyd, who accidentally shot himself at the age of fourteen; Hattie, who died in infancy; Caroline, wife of J. B. Root, an insurance man at Emporia; Isaac E., Jr.; Calvin, now a senior in the University of California at Berkeley. A short time before his death Isaac E. Lambert, Sr., married Miss Milson Cutler, who was a first cousin of his first wife. She now resided in Berkeley, California.

Isaac E. Lambert, Jr., was born in Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas, April 12, 1890, and though only twenty-six years of age had acquired considerable prestige for his name and ability. He graduated from the Emporia High School in 1908 and took his LL. B. degree from the University of Kansas Law School in 1912. Following this came one year of postgraduate work in the University of Chicago, and since his admittance to the bar in 1913 he had handled a general practice at Emporla, with offices in the Whitley Building.

Since reaching his majority he had been interested in republican politics, and is gaining valuable experience as chief clerk of the House of Representatives. He is a member of the Episcopal Church and is affiliated with Emporia Lodge No. 12, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Emporia Lodge No. 633, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Emporia Lodge of the Knights of Pythias; Emporia Tent No. 749 of the Knights of the Maccabees; Emporia Tent No. 20, Woodmen of the World; and Emporia Tent No. 615, Modern Woodmen of America. He also belongs to the college fraternity Phi Delta Theta. In his profession he is serving as attorney for the Emporia Retailers’ Association and also for the State Retailers’ Association. He is an active member of the Lyon County Bar Association. On April 17, 1915, Mr. Lambert was married at Junction City, Kansas, to Miss Sarah Roark, daughter of W. S. Roark, who is a prominent attorney with offices both in Junction City and Topeka.



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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