Rush Elmore – Territorial Judge

Kansas Territory

Kansas Territory

Rush Elmore was one of the first Associate Justices of Kansas Territory.

Elmore was born in Autauga County, Alabama on February 27, 1819. He was educated at the University of Alabama, before studying law and being admitted to the bar at Montgomery, where he began his practice. In a short time, he had established a lucrative business, but upon the breaking out of the Mexican-American War, he raised a company in Montgomery, was elected captain, and served to the close of the war.

Afterward, Captain Elmore formed a partnership with his brother, John A. Elmore, and William L. Yancey. He was also made brigadier-general of the Alabama Militia and held the office until appointed Associate Justice of the Kansas Territorial Court in the fall of 1854. After serving about a year he was removed, at the same time Governor Andrew Reeder and Judge Johnston were removed, but in the spring of 1857, was reappointed by President Buchanan and continued on the bench until the establishment of the state government in February 1861. In addition to his judicial duties, Judge Elmore was one of the delegates to the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, where he made a fight to have the Constitution submitted to the people.

When Kansas was admitted as a state, he moved to Topeka, where he formed a partnership with John Martin and continued in the practice of law until his death, which occurred on August 14, 1864.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated October 2021.

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