A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


Morris Cliggitt has for some years been noted among the legal fraternity of Crawfort county as one of the capable men in the profession, and his success has been deserved. His talents in this line were recognized while he was still a law student, and during the past twenty years he has fought on many a legal battlefield, and with many victories to his credit. He has also been prominent in the political affairs of the county and state, and here likewise his learning and judgment have given him power as a debater and wielder of political forces. Pittsburg has in him a staunch and public-spirited citizen, and has never lacked his interest in matters pertaining to the general welfare and progress of the city.

Mr. Cliggitt was born in Oswego, Kendall county, Illinois, in 1854, being a son of Morris and Julia (Russell) Cliggitt, both of whom were born in Ireland, and on coming to the United States located on a farm in Kendall county, where they made their home till death.

Mr. Cliggitt was reared on the farm, and in the interims of farm labor attended the district schools, and later the academy in Oswego. He spent three years in Northwestern College at Naperville, Illinois, and during a part of that time and for some years following taught school in that section of Illinois. He took his law course in the Union College of Law at Chicago, graduating in the class of 1883. He took the highest honors, and carried off the prizes during both his junior and senior year. The afterward famous William J. Bryan was a member of the same class. From June, 1883, to March, 1884, Mr. Cligitt practiced with his brother John at Mason City, Iowa, and then went to Hastings, Nebraska, where after a short period in the law he was chosen assistant cashier of the Exchange National Bank of that place, and continued in that position until January, 1887. He was then engaged for some time in the conduct of a bank in Culbertson, in western Nebraska, but finally returned to his legal practice and remained in that town until January, 1890, at which time he came to Pittsburg, Kansas. During his life in Nebraska he took a prominent part in politics, as a member of the Democratic party, and was conspicuous for his stand against free silver and the fiat money advocates.

Mr. Cliggitt began practice in Pittsburg in partnership with Ed Van Gundy, a prominent and well known attorney of the city, but at whose death in September, 1894, the partnership ended and Mr. Cliggitt has since practiced alone. For several years he has been attorney for the National Bank of Pittsburg, and the smelter industries and coal companies which represent the largest corporate interests in southeastern Kansas.

After coming to Pittsburg Mr. Cliggitt continued to take interest in broader politics, and gave especial consideration to the financial problems of those years. He wrote some papers in favor of sound money that attracted wide-spread interest, and indicated the thorough study he had made of the subject, expressing original views in a convincing way. In December, 1893, he was appointed, under the Cleveland administration, assistant United States district attorney for Kansas, and to discharge the duties of that office removed to Topeka, but in the following July resigned and returned to Pittsburg. He held the office of city attorney of Pittsburg for four years, and was among the national Democratic electors from Kansas in 1896. He is now president of the Pittsburg Library Board.

Mr. Cliggit was married in Nebraska in 1891 to Miss Celia Grier.