Col. Perry M. Hoisington, of Newton, is one of the big men of Kansas today. For over a quarter of a century he had been closely identified with the state military organization, at first with the old Kansas Militia and now with the Kansas National Guard. At the head of his fine regiment, the Second, he gave some good service on the Texas border in 1916 and is now ready for the call to duty in France.
His business career had been equally successful and progressive. Colonel Hoisington is president of the First National Bank of Newton and had been identified with the Railroad Building, Loan and Savings Association of Newton throughout the twenty years of its very prosperous existence.
Colonel Hoisington was born in St. Joseph County, Michigan, October 13, 1858. He is of old English stock, his ancestors having come out of Southern England and settled at Bridgeport, Connecticut, about fifty years before the opening of the Revolutionary war. His great-great-grandfather, James Hoisington, served as a soldier in the Revolution and doubtless some of his martial spirit was inherited by Colonel Hoisington.
Frederick A. Hoisington, father of Colonel Hoisington, was born at Woodstock, Vermont, in 1830, a son of Aaron A. Hoisington, who was born at the same Village of Vermont in 1801. In 1835 Aaron A. Hoisington took his family to the wilderness of Southern Michigan and located in St. Joseph County. He was a farmer and also a brick manufacturer. Though sixty years of age at the time, he enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil war in the Eleventh Michigan Infantry and was with his regiment in all its campaigns and battles. He fought at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain and many other engagements. The death of this honored veteran occurred at Flowerfield, Michigan, in 1879. He married Nancy Nason, who was born in Vermont in 1802 and died at Flowerfield, Michigan, in 1883. They had a family of six sons and four daughters. The oldest son was Frederick A. and the youngest, Edward A., the only one still living, is in the publishing business at Detroit, Michigan. The other four sons all served in the Civil war and made creditable records. Norman E. was in the Thirteenth Michigan Infantry, afterwards was a brick manufacturer and died at Three Rivers, Michigan. John, also in the Thirteenth Michigan Infantry, was a farmer and died at Marcellus in that state. Lucian, who died at Marcellus, was in the Eleventh Michigan Infantry with his father, and the youngest of the four brothers, Wallace was in the same regiment and died while still in the army.
Frederick A. Hoisington did not follow the example of his brothers and become a soldier for the reason that he was partially crippled in one arm. He grew up and married in St. Joseph County, Michigan, and followed the business of farming and brick manufacturing. He was an active republican, filled various township offices, and was a very strong and devout Methodist. He died at Three Rivers, Michigan, in 1907. His wife was Rachel French, who was born in Cattaraugus County, New York, in 1833 and is now living at Three Rivers at the venerable age of eighty-four. She was the mother of seven children. The oldest, Veloria, died at the age of five years. The second in age is Colonel Hoisington of Newton. Alma C. lives at Newton, wife of George H. Walker, a traveling salesman. Myra died at Newton, Kansas, unmarried, at the age of thirty-three. Herbert H. was accidentally killed on the railroad at Three Rivers at the age of twenty years. The two youngest of the family, Jessie and Grace, are still at home with their mother at Three Rivers.
Perry M. Hoisington secured his education in the public schools of Three Rivers. When seventeen years of age he became self supporting, farmed for a time and also took over his father’s business. In the winter seasons he taught school. For two years he traveled on the road as a salesman.
Colonel Hoisington came to Kansas in the fall of 1881, spending the following winter at Clay Center, and in the spring of 1882 went back to Michigan. In the fall of 1884 he took up his home at Newton, where he engaged in the transfer business and also gradually developed a yard for the sale of coal and building material. For a number of years he had the entire transfer business of the town. In 1889 Colonel Hoisington followed the exodus to Oklahoma, participating in the opening of that territory and at Guthrie engaged in the transfer business. While at Guthrie he was given the contract to construct the first waterworks plant, a temporary plant that served until a permanent one could be built. He was also in the coal business at Guthrie, and secured a number of lots in that city which he later sold at a good profit.
After his Oklahoma experience Colonel Hoisington returned to Harvey County and in the fall of 1891 was elected county treasurer and by re-election in 1893 filled that office four years.
About the time he left the county office Colonel Hoisington became connected with the old Railroad Loan and Savings Company, now the Railroad Building, Loan and Savings Association. He became its secretary and general manager in 1897, and had steadily promoted and witnessed the great growth and development of this institution for the past twenty years. The company had now completed twenty-two years of successful business, having been organized in June, 1896. At the close of the year 1897 the assets of the company were less than $30,000, while on August 1, 1917, the books showed net assets of $2,559,806.20. This is without doubt one of the largest building and loan associations in the State of Kansas, and its prosperity is reflected in the fact that the year 1916 witnessed the largest single accretion to the total resources of any year since the company was established. The company’s business is by no means confined to Newton or Harvey County, and agencies or branches are maintained in a score or more of Kansas towns and villages.
The officers and directors of the association are: W. R. Monroe, president; D. C. Conway, vice president; P. M. Hoisington, secretary and manager; J. R. Trouslot, treasurer; and C. B. Dickson, director.
While Colonel Hoisington’s big work in business affairs had doubtless been his long association with the above company, it should not be forgotten that he is president of the oldest bank of Harvey County. This is the First National Bank, which was established at Newton in 1880. It had a capital stock of $50,000, surplus of $25,000, is a member of the Federal Reserve System, and its total resources in the summer of 1917 aggregated more than $700,000. The officers are: P. M. Hoisington, president; S. M. Brown, vice president; D. McGowan, Jr., cashier; and J. O. Getz, assistant cashier.
Colonel Hoisington had long been interested in Kansas farm life, and he personally owned 840 acres in Harvey County besides 460 acres in Butler County. His town home at Newton is at 112 East Seventh Street.
Because of his prominence in Kansas military affairs more than a word should be said concerning his record. While a young man back in Three Rivers, Michigan, he joined the Michigan State Guard and served as private, corporal and sergeant of Company D of his home town during the period from January 12, 1875, to November 26, 1881. On August 8, 1890, he enlisted in Company D of the Second Infantry, Kansas National Guards. He was promoted to first lieutenant September 21, 1890, promoted to captain March 4, 1892, to major September 18, 1894, and became colonel of the Second Kansas on August 15, 1895. He had been at the head of this gallant regiment for the past twenty-two years, and retained that position when the regiment was really nationalized and made a part of the effective national army. As already noted, he was with the regiment on the Texas border for several months during 1916 and since the 5th of August, 1917, had been under orders awaiting the call to France.
Colonel Hoisington during the many years of his residence at Newton had served on the city council and several terms on the school board. He is an active republican, is a Presbyterian, and had served as elder and treasurer of his home church for the past twenty years. Among other distinctions his name is prominently associated with Masonry in the State of Kansas. He is past master of Newton Lodge No. 142, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and in 1900 was grand master of the state. In Newton Chapter No. 27, Royal Arch Masons, he had filled the office of high priest and had been grand high priest of the state. In Cryptic Masonry he is affiliated with Ellsworth Council No. 9, Royal and Select Masters, and is a past thrice illustrious grand master of Kansas. He is past eminent commander of Newton Commandery No. 9, Knights Templar, and in the Knights Templar had also served as state grand commander. For many years he had been a member and chairman of committees in the Grand Commandery, and especially the committee on drill and ceremonies, which prepared a book on this subject, the book having been accepted as an authority not only in Kansas but in other states. Since 1893 Colonel Hoisington had been a member of the Masonic Home Board, had been chairman of the executive committee on the board many years, and for the past five years had been its treasurer. In the Scottish Rite he is a member of Wichita Consistory No. 2 and also belongs to the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine at Topeka. Colonel Hoisington is a member of Newton Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America.
In March, 1885, at Howell, Michigan, Colonel Hoisington married Miss Kate Gregory, daughter of Edward B. and Lucinda (Ward) Gregory. Both her parents are deceased. Her father for many years was a bookkeeper in a mercantile house at Howell. Colonel Hoisington is deservedly proud of his family of children. His oldest child, Helen, is now the wife of Harry W. Hart, a leading young attorney at Newton. Gregory inherited his father’s tastes for military life, holds the rank of captain in the United States army and is employed as an instructor in the West Point Military Academy. Stanley M., whose death occurred in Topeka October 12, 1917, was a resident of that city and a law clerk to Judge Henry F. Mason. Elizabeth is the wife of R. A. Clymer, editor of the Olathe Register. The youngest child, Margaret, is still at home and a member of the junior class of the high school.