Harry W. Bouck. The proprietor and editor of the Crawford County Enterprise, at Girard, Kansas, is a worthy representative of the younger journalistic element of Crawford County. To a very considerable extent, it is this element in any community, especially outside of the larger cities, which infuses spirit and zest into the activities of the place. It is this element whose entrance upon the arena of active life dates not farther back than a decade and a half of years which monopolizes most of the vigor, zeal and pushing energy which keeps the nerves of the newspaper world ramifying through all the lesser towns of the country strung to the full tension of strenuous endeavor. A pronounced type of the class of tireless workers thus described, Mr. Bouck has been identified with the newspaper business since his thirteenth year, and, in spite of his youth, his experience has been broad and his training comprehensive.
Harry W. Bouck was born at Greeley, Anderson County, Kansas, May 10, 1892, and is a son of William and Zua (Wilcox) Bouck. The family originated either in Germany or Holland, and it is probable that the great-great-grandfather of Harry W. Bouck was the original emigrant to New York. His great-grandfather was Aaron Bouck, a carpenter and builder of the Empire state, who died at Albany, in 1879. Christopher Bouck, the grandfather of Harry W., was born in 1842, in Broome County, New York, and was there educated, reared and married. In 1861, he was among the first to answer President Lincoln’s call for volunteers, and, enlisting in a New York regiment, went to the front in time to take part in the disastrous defeat of the Union army at Bull Run. Later he fought all through the Civil war, participating in many important engagements, and on one occasion being captured by the enemy and confined in the notorious Libby Prison. At the close of the war, with an excellent military record, he returned to Albany, where he operated a grain elevator until 1873, in that year making his way to the West and settling in Iowa. In the following year he moved on to Greeley, Kansas, where he built the only grist mill ever operated at that place, but after two years sold out his interests and engaged in the threshing machine and sawmill business, which he followed until his retirement. His death occurred at Greeley in 1903. Mr. Bouck was a good man of business and a citizen who had the esteem and respect of those with whom he came into contact. He was a “greenbacker” in politics and was fraternally identified with the Knights of Pythias. In New York he was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Engle, who was born in 1846, and still survives him at Greeley, and they became the parents of three children: William; Jessie, who became the wife of the late W. A. Savage, from whom William Bouck learned the jewelry business; and Grace, who married J. R. Brady, and resides at Greeley.
William Bouck was born November 16, 1867, at Albany, New York, and was still a lad when the family moved to Iowa. A few months later, in 1874, they came to Kansas, and at Greeley the youth received his educational training. He learned the jeweler’s trade there and followed it successfully until 1908, when he came to Girard and established himself in business. He has built up a good patronage here and is known as one of the city’s most substantial merchants. In politics he maintains an independent stand. Mr. Bouck is an active member of the Commercial Club, and is very prominent in fraternal circles, having been for eleven years a member of Coronado Lodge No. 163, Knights of Pythias, in which he has held all the important offices, having been a representative to the Grand Lodge of the state four times, and now being past chancellor commander. Mr. Bouck married Miss Zua Wilcox, who was born in 1867, at Ashtabula, Ohio, a daughter of the late John Wilcox, who was for many years a river pilot. Mrs. Bouck died in a hospital at Kansas City, Missouri, in 1903, and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Greeley. Of the four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bouck, Harry W. is the only survivor, the other three having died young.
Harry W. Bouck was educated in the graded schools of Greeley and the high school at Girard, and from the age of thirteen years has been identified with newspaper work. He served his apprenticeship on the Lawrence World and the Topeka Capitol, and has followed his trade of printer at Platte City, Missouri, Garnett, Kansas, and at other places. In 1912 he secured a one-half interest in the Alma Signal, at Alma, Kansas, and continued with that paper until January 1, 1915, when he returned to Girard and bought a one-half interest in the Crawford County Enterprise, later becoming sole owner of the plant and paper by purchase. This newspaper, which was brought from Hepler, Kansas, in 1913, is a weekly republican organ, the county seat paper, and circulates in Crawford and the surrounding counties. Its well-equipped plant, in which modern machinery has been installed, is located on South Ozark Street, near the Square. The Enterprise, as conducted by Mr. Bouck, is one of the helpful influences in promoting Girard’s welfare and progress. Its columns are always open to matters which affect the city and the county and it supports unreservedly those things which make for better citizenship, higher morality and an elevation of educational standards. While a supporter of the republican party, it endeavors to give to its readers an unbiased view of the questions of the day. Its editorials are timely and concise, and its local matter interesting and reliable. Connected with the plant is a job printing establishment capable of turning out first-class work.
Mr. Bouck is widely known in journalistic circles, being a member of the Kansas State Editorial Association and secretary of the Crawford County Editorial Association. He served one term as president of the local typographical union and is a member of the International Typographical Union. Mr. Bouck is also vice president of the Girard Commercial Club and a member of the publicity committee. He is unmarried. Politically, his support is given to the republican party, and his fraternal connection is with Coronado Lodge No. 163, Knights of Pythias.