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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Hon. Alston W. Dana, presiding judge of the Third Judicial District and formerly the junior member of the well-known law firm of Bergen & Dana, is one of the prominent and representative men of Topeka. Judge Dana was born at Mount Holly, Vermont, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Chilson) Dana.

The parents of Judge Dana were natives of Vermont. The father was a farmer in the environs of Mount Holly, a man able to afford his family of eight children only the advantages of the common schools. Five of his children still survive.

The future Kansas judge obtained his early education in the common schools of his native locality and then entered Goddard Seminary, at Barre, Vermont, where he prepared for college, and was graduated at Tufts College, Boston, Massachusetts, in 1884, with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He then became principal of Goddard Seminary where he had previously spent four years, and remained there from 1884 until 1887, when he came to Topeka. Here he read law in the office of Waters & Chase and was admitted to the bar in 1889. For several years he was a member of the law firm of Tillotson & Dana, and later formed a law partnership with Judge Abram Bergen, which continued until January, 1905, when he took his seat as presiding judge of the Third Judicial District, to which he was elected in November, 1904. This elevation to the bench is considered, by Judge Dana’s many friends, as a just recognition of his high abilities.

In 1895 Judge Dana was united in marriage with Kate J. Whiting, who is a daughter of Chauncy C. Whiting, a prominent pioneer of Topeka, and one of the city’s capitalists, at one time president of two banks and formerly sheriff of Shawnee County and United States marshal. Judge and Mrs. Dana have two children,—Grace and Marion. They are members and liberal supporters of the Presbyterian Church.

Politically Judge Dana has always been identified with the Republican party and has taken a prominent part in its deliberations. On many occasions he has been a delegate to both State and congressional conventions. Fraternally Judge Dana is a 32nd degree Mason and is also a member of the Elks.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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