March 19, 1907



Prominent in Early Enterprises of the City,
Espcially in Railways--Had
Been Ill About Four Years.
Wallace Pratt, Prominent Kansas City Railway Attorney

Wallace Pratt, for 38 years one of Kansas City's prominent attorneys, died yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock at his residence, 213 West Armour boulevard. A stroke of paralysis four years ago and a relapse last December brought on a weakened condition, and for three weeks Mr. Pratt had been confined to his bed. For a week his life has been despaired of. Until the last two days, however, he conversed occasionally and recognized friends. Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock at Grace Episcopal church.

Mr. Pratt was one of the most prominent railway lawyers in Missouri and for many yars was legal adviser of some of the railroads entering Kansas City. It was principally through the efforts of George H. Nettleton, at one time president of the old Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis railway, and Mr. Pratt, general attorney for the road, that that line reached the proportions it did before being taken over by the Frisco. At the death of Mr. Nettleton, Mr. Pratt was appointed to the presidency of the road, but declined it, stating that he would rather remain as the road's legal counselor. He was general attorney for the St. Louis & San Francisco road, and for many years the firm of Pratt, Dana & Black, with which he was last associated,was employed to look after the legal affairs of the Union Depot Company. Mr. Pratt was at one time general atorney for the Metropolitan Street Railway Company. During the last two years, however, he had not been actively engaged in the practice of law.

The age of Mr. Pratt was 76 years. He came to Kansas City in 1869, and associated himself with W. S. Rockwell and Watson J. Ferry in the law firm of Pratt, Watson & Ferry. In 1872, Mr. Rockwell withdrew, the other partners continuing as Pratt & Ferry. In 1875, Judge Jefferson Brumback was admitted to the firm, which then became Pratt, Brumback & Ferry. Within two years Judge Brumback retired, and was succeeded by George W. McCrary, ex-secretary of war and a former United States circuit judge. Frank Hagerman became a member of the firm in 1887, and in 1890 Mr. McCrary died, the remaining partners continuing their association until 1890. Later Mr. Pratt associated himself with I. P. Dana and James Black, and the firm devoted its practice almost exclusively to corporation law.

Mr. Pratt was instrumental in forwarding various enterprises important to the commercial development of Kansas City, among them the Union Transit Company, now the Kansas City Belt Railway Company, of which he was a director, and for which he was counsel up to the time of his retirement.

He was born in Georgia, Vt., and later moved to Canton, N. Y., with his parents, where he received his early education. When he was 14 years old he entered Union college, and was graduated four years later. He at once entered the study of law under the tutelage of Henry J. Knowles, at Potsdam, N. Y. In 1852 he went to Chicago, where he was admitted to the bar, and a year later went to Milwaukee.

He was married in 1855 to Miss Adeline A. Russell, of Canton, N. Y. In 1874 his wife died, and ten years later he married Mrs. Caroline Dudley, of Buffalo, who died shortly before her husband's stroke of paralysis.

Mr. Pratt leaves four children, Mrs. Hermann Brumback and Wallace Pratt, Jr., of Kansas City, and Mrs. Elwood H. Alcott, of Pasadena, Cal., and Wesley R. Pratt, of Buffalo.