Riverview Cemetery

Leedy Jr., Caleb Abnew

Caleb A. Leedy Jr. was born to Charles A. and Laura Gray Leedy on May 20, 1895, in Benton, MO. He studied law at St. Joseph Law School, and became a court reporter for the Fifth Circuit Court. In 1918 and 1919, Leedy Jr. served in the military, and was an official reporter at the Peace Conference in Versailles and Paris. He saw the creation of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War.

Leedy Jr. moved to Kansas City in 1925 to practice law with his father. In 1933, Governor Guy Park, also from Kansas City, appointed Leedy Jr. to the Missouri Supreme Court. He presided on the bench for thirty-two years, earning the record of longest term any judge has ever held on the Supreme Court. He served as chief justice three times, 1940-1941, 1948-1949, and 1955-1956. Leedy Jr.’s lengthy stay on the Supreme Court, which lasted from 1933 to 1964, was most likely helped by his ally, the Kansas City political boss Thomas Pendergast.

Leedy Jr. had a well-known political rivalry with a judge from Princeton, Missouri, Laurance Hyde. In 1934, when Supreme Court judges were voted into office by popular election, Leedy Jr. defeated Hyde. However, the men are buried next to each other in Riverview Cemetery!

He married Agnes Hudson on February 25, 1920, and the couple had one son, William Hudson Leedy.