Kansas Supreme Court
Chief Justice Jay S. Parker

Justice parker Image
Chief Justice Jay S. Parker

Chief Justice Parker was born July 1, 1895, in the town of Morland, Graham County Kansas. He was the son of Dr. Ivan B. and Mary L. Parker. His father was a pioneer, horse an buggy, doctor in Northwest Kansas.

Justice Parker attended grade school in Morland and graduated from the Hill City High School in 1913. He graduated from the University of Kansas Law School in 1918 and established his first law office in Hill City. While attending the University, Justice Parker met Virginia Grace Shafer, a coed from Butler, Missouri, and they were married in 1915.

Justice Parker was elected County Attorney of Graham County in 1922 and reelected for six successive terms. During those years he established an extensive law practice which took him to most of the counties in Northwest Kansas.

In 1925 he accepted a position as Assistant Attorney General and was elected to the office of Attorney General of the State of Kansas in 1938 and reelected in 1940. His record as Attorney General received much favorable comment and he gained a reputation throughout the state as a dedicated public official.

During his tenure as Attorney General the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was created by the legislature and put under his supervision. Under his direction the Bureau's record for efficiency and integrity was soon established.

Justice Parker was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas in 1942 and took his place on the bench January 11, 1943. He was an Associate Justice until January 1957 when, by virtue of his seniority, he became Chief Justice and held that position until his retirement.

The full life of Justice Parker included much more than his distinguished public service. Early in his career he was one of the organizers of the Hill City Rotary Club and became its first president. In his work with Rotary he became aware of the phlight of the cripple children, due to lack of public attention, a matter which held his interest throughout life. His concern prompted him to become one of the sponsors of the bill which became the kansas Crippled  Children's Law.

For many years he served on the Board of Directors of the Mount Hope Cemetery. He was a member of the Methodist Church, Elks Lodge, Delta Upsilon Fraternity, The American and Kansas Bar Association, and was active in many other civic and professional organizations.

In announcing his retirement, Justice Parker, with characteristic humility, expressed his deep gratitude to the people of Kansas for affording him the privilege of serving as Justice of this court for more than twenty-three years. When interviewed by the press on his retirement he stated "I like everything about Kansas, especially the people and the weather."

Soon after his retirement Justice Parker's health began to fail and he departed this life on April 28,  1969, at the age of seventy-three.

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