Kendall  Moss  Hord

          Eminent as a lawyer and jurist, and holding worthy prestige as a citizen, Hon. Kendall Moss Hord  stands out clear and distinct in the history of Shelby county and few men of his calling in the state can boast of as long and distinguished a career of professional service.  Achieving success in the courts at a period when most young men are entering upon the formative period of their lives, wearing the judicial ermine with becoming dignity and bringing to every case submitted to him clearness of perception and ready power of analysis characteristic of the master of jurisprudence, his name and deeds for nearly half a century have been closely allied with the legal institutions, public movements and political interests of the state, in such a way as to gain for him honorable recognition among the notable men of his day and generation.
          Judge Hord is a lineal descendant of  Thomas Hord, who was born in Essex county, Virginia, where, according to the records of said county, he purchased in November, 1736, a large tract of land.  Little is known of this ancestor beyond the fact of his having become a man of influence in the above county, and taken an active interest in the settlement of the country and the development of its resources.  He died in Virginia in 1766, and left several children who subsequently migrated to other parts, their descendants in due time locating in various central and western states.
          Hon. Francis T. Hord, the subject's father, was born in the old Dominion state, but left there many years ago, moving with his family to Mason county, Kentucky, where he received his education and grew to maturity.  In early life he studied law and after his admission to the bar rose rapidly in his profession and within a comparatively brief period became one of the leaders of his profession in Mason county.  When the county seat was moved from Washington to Marysville, he changed his residence to the latter place where he continued to practice his profession during the remainder of a long and eventful life, achieving distinguished success the meanwhile and attaining an influential position among the lawyers of the state, long noted for the high order of its legal talent.  In addition to the general practice he served with signal ability on the bench of the circuit, and was also an influential factor in state politics for many years, and at one time represented his senatorial district in the Legislature.
          Elizabeth Moss, who became the wife of  Francis T. Hord, was also a native of Virginia, and a woman of strong character and many sterling attributes.  The children of this estimable couple, seven sons and two daughters were as follows:  Oscar B., a prominent member of the Indiana Bar, and for years associated with Hon. Thomas A. HendricksWilliam T., a surgeon in the United States Navy;  George M., a commission merchant, of Chicago;  Francis T., a lawyer of Columbus, Indiana, and long the leader of the bar of that city;  Elias R., a resident of Chicago, where he carries on a large commission business;  Kendall M., of this review;  Harry C., a physician and surgeon, who died in early manhood;  Mary G. married  John R. Clark, and lives in Maysville, Kentucky, being at this time in her eighty-third year;  Josephine, also a resident of Maysville, is the wife of  James B. Noyes.
          Judge Hord was born in Maysville, Kentucky, October 20, 1840, and spent his early life in his native town.  After a preliminary mental training in the elementary schools, he entered Maysville Seminary, from which he was graduated in due time, this being the same institution of learing[sic] in which President U. S. Grant finished his education.  For some time following his graduation Mr. Hord taught school and while thus engaged read law under the direction of his father, making substantial progress in his studies and laying broad and deep the foundation for his future usefulness.  In the spring of 1862 after a satisfactory examination before two Judges, he was admitted to the bar and at once began the practice of his profession at Flemingsburg, Kentucky, but the Civil war being in progress, and not caring to take part in the conflict, he finally decided to look elsewhere for a more favorable opening.  Accordingly he disposed of his business at Flemingsburg and coming to Indianapolis entered the office of Hendricks & Hord, with the object in view of familiarizing himself with Indiana practice.  After one year in the capital city he located at Shelbyville, where his ability soon won recognition among the rising young attorneys of the local bar.
          The year following his removal to this city, Judge Hord was elected Prosecuting Attorney of the Common Pleas Court, and after serving two years in that capacity was further honored by being elected Prosecuting Attorney of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, which position he held for the same length of time.  In 1872 he was again elected to the same position and after discharging the duties of the same with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the public for a period of four years, was called to the higher and more responsible position of Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit, comprising the counties of Shelby and Johnson.  Judge Hord brought to the bench a mind well disciplined by intellectual and professional training, his previous experience in all phases of the law, peculiarly fitting him for the exacting duties of the position.  Such were the wisdom and clearness of his decisions that but few of them were set aside by the Supreme Court.  After occupying the bench two terms, twelve years, Judge Hord resumed the active practice of law as senior member of the firm of Hord & Adams, ad has so continued ever since, being in point of continuous service the oldest member of the Shelbyville bar, and one of the most eminent men of his profession in the central part of the state.  His first partner was  John L. Montgomery, after whose death in 1870, he practiced with  Alonzo Blair  for six years, and in 1888 became associated with  E. K. Adams, his present partner.
          As a lawyer Judge Hord exhibits a keenness of perception, a firmness of grasp upon legal propositions and a power analysis possessed by few.  From the time of engaging in the practice at Shelbyville in November, 1862, he has maintained his office at the northeast corner of the public square and for nearly a half century has prosecuted his profession with energy and success.
          Judge Hord was married August 20, 1867, to  Emily McFarland, who was born in Springfield, Ohio, on the 26th of May, 1847, being a daughter of  John B.  and Betsy McFarland, the father for many years a business man of Shelbyville.  Judge and Mrs. Hord have one son, Luther J., born May 10, 1869.  He was educated in the Indiana University, and at Purdue, graduating from the departments of pharmacy and chemistry, and for some years conducted a very successful drug business in Oklahoma.  Disposing of his interest in the West he returned to his native city, where he is now manager of the Hord Sanitorium, his father being a partner in the enterprise.
          Judge Hord is a representative Democrat of the Jeffersonian school, and enjoys the distinction of having never been defeated for any office to which he aspired.  His oratorical abilities are in great demand during the progress of campaigns, and he is popular as a speaker at banquets, decoration days and other public functions.  He is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons, Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, to which he has belonged for many years; also the Improved Order of Red Men, in which he has served as great sachem of the state, besides representing the order in the Great Council of the United States.  The Judge has been successful financially as well as professionally and during his long and active practice has placed himself in independent circumstances; his residence at No. 85 West Washington street is one of the finest and most attractive in the city.
History of Shelby County Indiana,  by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A.  Assisted by well known local talent.  Illustrated
Contributed by Melinda Moore Weaver
Picture from Boetcker's Picturesque Shelbyville


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             Hon. Kendall Moss Hord. That every man will follow his own inclinations the best and do it so easily that he hardly seems to put forth an effort, is proof that great excellence and superiority usually are the results of natural endowments, which will always excel mere education and culture. The present Circuit Judge of Shelby County, to those who know him, demonstrates the truth of this assertion. In him the voice of nature .comes ringing down through the past, lavishing upon him many of her choicest gifts, and marking him with the brio-ht star of genius. The family originally came from Sweden, settling in Virginia at an early day, where  Elias Hord, the grandfather of Kendall M., was born, grew up and married, afterward moving to Mason County, Ky., where he spent the latter part of his life.  The father of Kendall M., viz.:  Francis T. Hord, was born in Mason County, Ky., where he grew to manhood and married  Elizabeth S. Moss,  a native of the " Old Dominion," who had come to Kentucky with her parents in early girlhood; nine children were born of that marriage, Kendall M. being the seventh in the family, and the sixth son.  He was born in Maysville, Ky., Oct. 20, 1840, and his youth was passed in his native county.  His father entered the law profession in Washington, Mason County, but upon the removal of the county seat to Maysville, he located in that city, where he continued practice until his death.  He was a lawyer of extraordinary natural ability, and one of the leaders of the Kentucky bar.  His sons have inherited his talents and love for the legal profession, three of whom are leading lawyers of Indiana, and the balance have become prominent in their respective callings.  The subject of this sketch, in early youth, exhibited more than ordinary ability, and when but nineteen years of age, graduated from the Maysville Seminary. In 1859, he began the study of law in his father's office, teaching school in the winter season, but still continuing his legal studies.  In the spring of 1862, he underwent an examination before two Judges of the Circuit Court of Kentucky, and was admitted to the bar.  He immediately located in practice at Flemingsburg, Ky., where he remained until the fall of 1863, when he came to Indianapolis, and entered the office of  Hendricks & Hord,  for the purpose of becoming familiar with the code practice in Indiana, but more especially to await an opportunity of selecting a town in which to locate.  In the early winter of 1863, he located at Shelbyville, and the following year was elected District Prosecutor of the Common Pleas Court, holding the position two years.  In 1866, he was elected on the Democratic ticket Prosecuting Attorney of the Circuit Court, which he held two years, during which time he began to be recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the Shelby County bar.  He was married August 20, 1S67, to  Miss Emily McFarland,  to whom has been born one son:  Luther J.  Mrs. Hord was born in Springfield, Ohio, and is the daughter of  John and  Betsey McFarland, who settled in Shelbyville about 1855, where they resided until death.  In 1872, Mr. Hord was again elected as Prosecuting Attorney of the Circuit Court, and in 1876, he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court, which position he now occupies.  In his practice as a lawyer, and in his experience as a judge, he has exhibited a keenness of perception, a firmness of grasp upon legal propositions, and a power of analysis which are given only to the natural jurist.  As a practitioner, his abundant theoretical resources never failed to advance the interests of his client; and in his discussions of law to the court, or of fact to the jury, he was ever practical, logical and lucid; and with his personal magnetism, fluency, scope of language and perfect voice, he secured the attention of his auditor and always made deep impressions.  He combines within himself rare qualities of mental and physical strength, an indefatigable will, keen judgment and quick observation.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Brant & Fuller, 1887, "Shelbyville Sketches,"  page 496-97.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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