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Dues / Meetings

Annual dues for members of the Ellis County Bar Association are $50.00.  Members of the Bar Association need not live in Ellis County or the 23rd Judicial District.  

A membership includes the benefit of a $50.00 reduction in the cost of attending the Association's annual CLE, regularly scheduled on the first Friday and Saturday morning of May.

Monthly meetings of the Association are held on the first Monday of each month at Noon.  We meet during the lunch hour at Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co., 117 E. 11th, Hays, Kansas.

History

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, and the documents he refers to can be found below:

"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 found here.  And, Mary Rowland's "Bar History" can be found here.

Awards

Named for, and initially awarded posthumously to, Willis K. Musick, the Ellis County Bar Association has established a professionalism award to honor past and present members of the Bar that have, by his or her conduct, honesty, integrity, and courtesy, best exemplified, represented, and encouraged other lawyers to follow the highest standards of the legal profession.

Past recipients of the Willis K. Musick Professionalism Award:

Willis K. Musick 

Richard D. Coffelt

Memorials

The Ellis County Bar has worked hard through the years to memorialize its members through special, memorial hearings.  Past eulogies and hearings provided "on the record" for our departed colleagues can be found here:

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