Biography of Miss Hattie Franey

Miss Hattie Franey. It is a significant tribute to the abilities of Kansas women that a law practice hardly second in point of importance and volume to that enjoyed by any member of the bar in Arkansas City is handled by Miss Hattie Franey, who had well earned a place among the prominent members of the Kansas bar. Miss Franey had exceptional acquaintance with the technical details of her profession, acquired during a long and earnest apprenticeship as a law stenographer. In breadth of mind, comprehension of the broader and larger questions of the law and affairs, she is in no respect inferior to her professional brethren.

Miss Franey is a native of Kansas and belongs to one of the old families of Arkansas City. She was born near Seneca in Nemeha County in Northern Kansas, December 1, 1869. Her father was the late Patrick H. Franey, whose name will always be recalled with respect and esteem by the people of Arkansas City. Her grandfather was John Franey, a native of County Mayo, Ireland, where he spent his life chiefly as a merchant tailor. The Franeys in earlier generations were connected with the Irish nobility. John Franey married Ellen McMannus, who also spent her life in County Mayo. They were the parents of twelve children, and those to come to the United States were: Austin, who was a Minnesota farmer and died at St. Paul; James, who also went to Minnesota, followed farming, and died at Waverly in that state, and Patrick H.

Patrick H. Franey was born in County Mayo, Ireland, May 17, 1847, and died at Arkansas City, June 12, 1915. He came to America in 1858 with his brother Austin. They became pioneers in Minnesota Territory, locating at St. Paul. Patrick H. Franey lived there only a few years when, in 1862, at the age of fifteen, he enlisted in Company A of the Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He was with that regiment during its service in the Northwest and also during nearly all of its gallant conduct and in Southern campaigns. He fought in the battle of Shiloh, in numerous other engagements, and was once wounded and incapacitated for active duty some time.

Following the war he spent a short time in Missouri and in 1869 removed to Nemeha County, Kansas. That section of the state was just being developed and as a pioneer he homesteaded the usual quarter section, but subsequently relinquished that and bought another farm in Nemeha County. In 1876 he removed to Geuda Springs, Kansas, but after a year came to Arkansas City. Here he was foreman during the building of the five-mile canal which connects the waters of the Arkansas with Walnut River, and furnishes the magnificent water power turning numberless wheels of industry. It is this canal which gives Arkansas City the name “Canal City.” Following his work in the construction of this canal Patrick H. Franey became a general contractor and built portions of a number of railroads. He was in that business until his death. He was also well known in local affairs, served as police judge and street commissioner, and was a very zealous worker in behalf of the democratic party. Patrick H. Franey was reared a Catholic.

At Oregon, Missouri, he married Miss Jennie Myers, who was born in Canada, April 18, 1850, and is still living in Arkansas City. Her father, Daniel Myers, was born in Canada in 1827, and grew up a farmer. In 1865 he removed to the United States, locating at Des Moines, Iowa, from there went to Missouri and in 1869 settled in Nemeha County, Kansas. Daniel Myers was also a homesteader in Northern Kansas, but in 1870 removed to Cowley County, Kansas, where he continued farming until his death in 1873. He was of German descent, his father having come out of Germany to Canada. Daniel Myers married Elizabeth Collins, who was born in Ireland in 1823 and died in Cowley County, Kansas, in 1899. The Myers children were: Susanna, who lives at Winchester Springs, Canada, wife of Thomas Nesbit, a farmer; Jacob, who came to Kansas with his parents and died in Missouri in 1887; Jennie, who became the wife of Patrick H. Franey; Mary, who lives at Arkansas City and for the past twenty-six years had been primary teacher in the Fourth Ward School; Daniel W., Jr., a retired farmer now living in Kansas City, Missouri; Maria, who married A. B. Woolsey, they being one of the first if not the first couple to be married in Cowley County, and after many years of residence in that county they removed to Kildare, Oklahoma, where they now have a farm; Katherine, wife of William J. Gray, who had served in the office of constable at Arkansas City for the past forty years; Wesley, a very extensive farmer in Nemeha County, Kansas; and Margaret, wife of Christopher C. Tubbe, a farmer near Arkansas City.

Miss Hattie Franey is the older of her parents’ two children. Her sister Nettie is bookkeeper for her lawyer sister. Miss Hattie Franey had lived at Arkansas City since she was about ten years of age. She attended the public schools, graduating from high school in 1892, and after completing the business course in the Southern Shorthand School at Arkansas City entered local law offices as a stenographer. She soon found her work exceedingly congenial, and was attracted not only by the routine details, but also by the principles involved. She continued as a law stenographer until 1899, and in the meantime had acquired a practical mastery of many phases of the law business which caused her judgment and service to be sought often in preference to regularly licensed attorneys. In 1909 she became a partner with C. T. Atkinson, an old and prominent attorney, and after three years opened an office of her own in 1912. Miss Franey was regularly admitted to the Kansas bar in 1914, though in point of qualifications and in service rendered it might well be considered that she had been engaged in the legal profession for many years. She now had all the practice that her time and energies are equal to and handles both civil and criminal cases. Being an old resident of Arkansas City, the confidence reposed in her by the people generally is unlimited.

Miss Franey had her offices in the Crescent Building at the corner of Washington Avenue and South Summit Street. She had served as a member of the Arkansas City School Board, and in politics is a democrat.


Biography, Women,

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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