Biography of Joseph H. Kibbey
Arizona Biographies





JOSEPH H. KIBBEY, who has held the highest positions of trust and honor in the state, all of which he filled not only creditably but with distinction, has been a resident of Arizona for many years. He was born in Centerville, Indiana, March 4, 1853; he is the son of John F. and Caroline E. Kibbey, and was reared and educated in his native state. He was admitted to the bar in 1875 and continued the practice of his profession there until 1888, when he came to Arizona and located in Florence. Finely educated, possessing power of deep concentration and the will to do, and coming of a line of men noted in law, Judge Kibbey has come to have an immense law practice and a name and reputation which reach far beyond the borders of the state. In his native state his paternal grandfather was a judge for many years, and his father was also a judge for twenty five years. In 1889 he was appointed by President Harrison, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and while on the bench handed down what has become known as the "Kibbey Decision," which refers to the use of water in ditches and laterals, and was regarded so highly that it has been copied in all the standard law books bearing on the subject. It has been said that u hile on the bench, he had fewer reversals than any other Arizona Judge. In 1893 Judge Kibbey moved to Phoenix, where he has since resided. In 1902 he was elected by a good majority to the Council of the 22nd Legislature, and though he was but leader of the minority, he succeeded in doing much towards shaping the legislation. He has also served twice as Chairman of the Territorial Central Committee. In 1904 he was appointed Attorney General of Arizona, and held this position until 1905, when he was appointed Governor of the Territory. Judge Kibbey is a man who has merited the commendation of the people in every phase of his career, but in no way has he won more thorough or deserved appreciation than through his service in behalf of the people of the Salt River Valley in aiding them to secure the Tonto Reservoir and drafting the Article of Incorporation of the Water Users' Association, which brought such good results that it did more than all his other work to bring him to popular favor. He was married January 10, 1877, to Miss Nora Burbank. Mrs. Kibbey is known socially as a woman of talent and a charming entertainer.

From:
Who's Who in Arizona
Vol 1
Compiled and Published by Jo Conners
Press of The Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona 1913


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