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Roscoe Powers Conkling is Born

Today in Masonic History Roscoe Powers Conkling is born in 1889.

Roscoe Powers Conkling was an American politician.

Conkling was born on May 3rd, 1889 in Carrollton, Missouri. He attended local schools before attending the University of Missouri where he graduated in 1912 with a law degree. After graduation he started a law practice in Kansas City, Missouri

Conkling served during World War I in the Field Artillery. After the war he returned to private practice. In 1924 he moved his practice to St. Joseph, Missouri. There he became the prosecuting attorney for Jackson County. He was also the special commissioner of the Missouri Supreme Court. From 1926 to 1930 he served as a member of the State Bar Examiners. He was also president of the Buchanan County Bar Association.

Conkling was appointed to the Missouri State Supreme Court on January 1st, 1947 under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, more commonly known as the Missouri Plan or the merit plan. The Missouri Plan is a strategy used by some states in the United States and some countries to appoint justices to courts. The way the plan works is a non-partisan commission compiles a list of candidates. This is presented to the Governor or other appropriate head of state. The Governor, in the case of Missouri, has 60 days to appoint someone from the list, if they do not, the commission appoints them. When someone is appointed to a court, after serving at least one year, they come up for "retention election" in the next regular election. If they are elected, they remain in the position for the duration of the term. In Conkling's case he was successful in his election and was set to serve a twelve year term.

Conkling passed away on October 28th, 1954 just after completing a period where he was the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. Conkling passed away from a heart attack.

Conkling was a member of Zeredatha Lodge No. 189 in St. Joseph, Missouri. It is reported he was also a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction and a member of Moila Shrine Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.