Biography of James H. Luscombe

James H. Luscombe is present county attorney of Wyandotte County. He was elected in 1916 by a majority of 1,070 on the democratic ticket. He has been practicing law at Kansas City, Kansas, for the past eighteen years and entered the law after a long service as a plaster contractor. The chief factor in his success either as a mechanic or as a lawyer has been hard work. He is noted for the zeal and efficiency with which he handles every interest entrusted to his charge, and his uprightness of character and other qualifications made him one of the strongest men on the county ticket in the last general election in Wyandotte County.

Mr. Luscombe has lived in Kansas since 1883. He was born in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, February 24, 1863. He was the oldest of nine children born to James and Sophia (Cordier) Luscombe. His father was born in England in St. David’s parish of Exeter. He was a plasterer by trade and in early youth came to America. He lived in Canada for a time and was always a lover of travel and change of scene and seldom remained long in any one place. As a journeyman he followed his trade in the States, located at St. Louis, where he married, and remained in that city from 1859 to 1863. In the latter year he came to Leavenworth, Kansas, and joined a regiment of cavalry, taking part in the battle of Westport under the command of General Pleasanton during Price’s raid. James Luscombe though he fought for the Union cause and was in every way an exemplary citizen carried out to the end his resolve to remain a subject of Great Britain. He refused to sign the muster roll while in the army for fear that action would make him automatically an American citizen. He was also a noted swimmer and he many times accepted wagers to swim the Missouri River. From Leavenworth in 1872, he went back to St. Louis, and from 1875 to 1878 lived at Springfield, Illinois, where he was employed as a plasterer on the State Capitol Building. After that he was in Salina, Kansas, for eight months, following which the family had their home in Kansas City, Missouri, for four years and in 1883 moved to Kansas City, Kansas. James Luscombe after his children had grown up indulged his fancy for travel and wandering about the country and his death occurred in Los Angeles in 1889. He and his wife were devout members of the Episcopal Church.

James H. Luscombe received his early education in the common schools of Leavenworth, St. Louis and Springfield. He did his first work in the plasterer’s trade at the age of thirteen. At that time he carried a hod during the construction of the Illinois State Capitol at Springfield. Altogether he followed his trade for twenty-three years, and at many points over the United States. When his father left home he became the head of the family, and contributed a large share of his income to their support. When he was twenty-one years of age he did contracting, and among other contracts he did the plastering work on the old Orpheum Building at Ninth and Delaware streets.

When he was a boy of thirteen and living at Springfield, Illinois, Mr. Beveridge, secretary of the Capitol Commission, and brother of Governor John Beveridge, showed much interest in the boy and desired to secure his appointment to a cadetship in the Naval Academy at Annapolis. The boy had a natural fondness for water and ships but the plan to make him a naval cadet was interfered with by his father and was never carried out. As a diversion Mr. Luscombe has made many models of battleships.

He was thirty-three years of age when he determined to take up the study of law. As a student he carried on his studies with the firm of McGrew, Watson & Watson at Kansas City, Kansas, and was admitted to the bar in April, 1897. He did not begin active practice until December, 1898, and he continued his work as a plasterer and contractor until he was firmly established as a lawyer. He has had a good general practice, and in 1908 he served as assistant county attorney under Joseph Taggart, continuing in that office until 1913. He was then appointed divorce proctor by James M. Meek.

As a democrat he has taken much interest in party politics, especially in his home county. He has held various chairs in the Knights of Pythias and is chairman of the judiciary committee of the grand lodge. He is also affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America. He and his wife are members of the Episcopal Church. Mr. Luscombe’s mother is also living in Kansas City, Kansas.

On October 9, 1888, he married Miss Anna Laverie who was born at Geneva, New York. Her parents came to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1881. Her father was a farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Luscombe have four children: Louise; now Mrs. A. E. Joy of Kansas City; J. H., Jr., who is a machinist with the Union Pacific Railway Company; Robert L. and Charles T., both in high school. It has been Mr. Luscombe’s worthy ambition to give his children much better educational advantages than he himself enjoyed as a boy, and he has succeeded in doing that and also in providing them with a happy home surrounding.



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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