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Koger, Mary Williams

Attorney. Born: July 1895, Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas. Died: May 14, 1991, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas.

Mary Hope Williams Koger was born in July of 1895 to parents Ira F. and Martha E Williams in Beloit, Mitchell County, where she grew up and attended both elementary and high school.  After becoming a legal secretary for time, she decided to become a lawyer. She graduated from Washburn University in 1922, becoming the first woman lawyer to practice in Topeka, Kansas.

Her first case was for a Topeka police officer  named Ollie L. Koger. She later married him in 1924.

She was assistant attorney at Bankers Mortgage Company and classification analyst to the 832nd Army Air Force supply depot during World War II. She brought cases before both the district courts and the Kansas Supreme Court.

Over the years she was involved in many organizations; she served as president of the Kansas Woman Lawyers Association, matron of Beulah Chapter No. 34 of the Order of the Eastern Star, chairman of the Forum on National Security, council member of the Women’s National Republican Club, Inc., and was involved in the Sunflower Girls State for many years as a counselor and director of courses.  She was heavily involved in the American Legion Auxiliary; she joined local Capital Unit #1 in 1924, and held the offices of state president for the Kansas department in 1948-1949, served as national vice president from 1954-1954, and national president from 1962-1963, making her the first Kansan to hold the position. She was also chairman of the national Child Welfare Committee. She was named Kansan of the Year by Native Sons and Daughters in 1963.

She made numerous presentations during her lifetime. These speaking engagements took her to not only all 50 states but, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

She died May 14, 1991, in Topeka.

Entry: Koger, Mary Williams

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2016

Date Modified: July 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.