About the ECBA
Annual dues for members of the Ellis County Bar Association are $55.00. Members of the Bar Association need not live in Ellis County or the 23rd Judicial District.
A membership includes the benefit of a reduction in the cost of attending the Association's annual CLE, regularly scheduled on a Friday and Saturday morning of early May.
Monthly meetings of the Association are held on the first Monday of each month at 12:00 noon. We meet during the lunch hour at Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co., 117 E. 11th St., Hays, Kansas.
Wendy Rohleder-Sook, Asst. Professor/Director of Pre-Law Studies, FHSU, Hays
Ashley Comeau, Of Counsel, Jeter Turner Sook Baxter LLP, Hays
Immediate Past President
Colton Eikenberry, Law Office of Colton D. Eikenberry, Hays
The legal profession has a long history in western Kansas and Ellis County, in particular. Many attorneys, judges and interested friends of the Bar have contributed through the years to maintaining the Bar's rich history, including the late, Honorable Thomas L. Toepfer.
In addition to years in private practice in Hays, Judge Toepfer served as a judge of the 23rd Judicial District (including Ellis, Gove, Rooks and Trego Counties). He wrote the following:
"Lawyers made their first appearances in Ellis County in 1867, during the birth of Hays City. The documents in this website include a short history of the early Ellis County Bar members and short biographies of many lawyers, now deceased, who practiced law in Ellis County from those beginning days in frontier Hays to the present. Most of the biographies of the early lawyers were compiled and written by Mary Rowland, wife of former Ellis County Probate Judge Don Rowland, during her time as a history teacher at Hays High School in the late 1960's. As one of her students, I had the honor of writing several of the biographies. The information in these articles was derived from various sources, including interviews of a number of people who shared their recollections of these deceased members of the bar. In recent times, the Court has conducted special memorial hearings for newly departed bar members in which colleagues, family, or friends eulogize the bar member "on the record", which are preserved by transcripts filed in specially assigned cases."
Judge Toepfer collaborated with James L. Forsythe to publish an article entitled "Volga German Attorneys in and from Ellis County," which can be viewed here. And, Mary Rowland's "Bar History" can be viewed here.
Named for, and initially awarded posthumously to, Willis K. Musick, the Ellis County Bar Association established a professionalism award to honor past and present members of the Bar that have, by their conduct, honesty, integrity, and courtesy, best exemplified, represented, and encouraged other lawyers to follow the highest standards of the legal profession.
Recipients of the Willis K. Musick Professionalism Award:
Willis K. Musick
Richard D. Coffelt
Joseph W. Jeter
The Ellis County Bar has worked hard through the years to memorialize its members through special, memorial hearings. Past eulogies and hearings "on the record" have been held for the following departed colleagues:
Robert F. Glassman
Hon. Thomas L. Toepfer
Richard D. Coffelt
Gregory J. Herrman
Donald L. Martin
Hon. Steven P. Flood
Henry E. Herrman
Gene F. Anderson
Norbert R. Dreiling
Norman W. Jeter
Willis K. Musick
Fredolin F. Wasinger
Hon. Benedict Patrick Cruise