John William Dale has been one of the constructive factors in Sedgwick County. He was one of the founders of the Town of Andale, and has been identified with the little City of Clearwater from almost the beginning of its growth. In business affairs his interests extend to different lines. He was a landowner in the early days, still has interests as a landowner, and is head of the principal banking establishment of Clearwater.
An Illinois man by birth, he was born in DeKalb County of that state December 21, 1847. His father, Frank Dale, was born at Hull, England, in 1812, and was married in Daleville, Pennsylvania, to Marie Webster. She was also born in England.
Frank Dale came to America, and after living a short time in Northeastern Pennsylvania went to Michigan, and after two years there came west to Illinois, locating in DeKalb County in the year following the Black Hawk war, in the early ’30s. Frank Dale was a farmer, a merchant, grain dealer, and otherwise a man of more than ordinary importance in that section of Illinois. After a long and honorable career he died at DeKalb in 1886. He and his wife had eight children, four sons and four daughters, a brief record of whom is as follows: Mrs. Clara Metcalf of Isabella, Oklahoma; Mrs. Caroline Bacon of Sandwich, Illinois; Mrs. Mary Watson, a wealthy resident of Mount Hope, Kansas; Mrs. Sue E. Beckwith, who died in Wichita in 1915; Arthur H., a retired farmer at Leland, Illinois; John W.; Frank, a prominent attorney at Guthrie, Oklahoma, and during territorial days in that state was chief justice under the Cleveland administration; and D. M. Dale, who has gained prominence in the law, being a member of the Wichita bar and a former judge of the district court.
During his early years spent in DeKalb County, Illinois, John W. Dale attended the local schools, graduating from the high school at Leland, and for a time was a student in a telegraph college. His first regular employment was as station agent at Leland for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. For one term he was township treasurer of Victor Township in his home county.
Mr. Dale has been a resident of Kansas since the fall of 1876. At that time he settled on a half section of land which he bought from the railroad company in the northwestern part of Sedgwick County. While there he laid the basis of his successful career. He was a farmer and stock raiser for eighteen years, but in the meantime his enterprise had branched out into other fields. In partnership with George Anderson he laid out and founded the Town of Andale, the name being formed by a combination of a portion of Mr. Anderson’s name and Mr. Dale’s name. Mr. Dale also helped vote bonds for the construction of the Wichita & Colorado Railroad Company. After the establishment of Andale he conducted a brick yard there, and subsequently erected a building which he used for a livery business.
In the spring of 1893, having disposed of his interests in Andale, he moved to a farm three miles north of Clearwater, and resided there six years. In June, 1899, he helped organize the State Bank of Clearwater, and was then elected to his present office, cashier, a post he has faithfully held for more than sixteen years. He is now, and has been for a number of years, principal owner of the bank’s stock. Clearwater was only in its infancy when he took a hand in its development, and his influence has been effective in furthering its progress. He erected and sold a number of residences, and in other ways has promoted the growth and general prosperity of the town. For six years he was city treasurer and was mayor eight years.
Mr. Dale is one of the large stockholders in the Uncle Sam Oil Company of Kansas City, Kansas, and for four years was a member of its board of directors. He is also a director in the Farmers and Bankers Life Insurance Company and the Guarantee Trust Company of Wichita.
His first wife was Helen McMurchy, a native of Scotland. She died three years after the marriage, leaving a daughter, Helen M. For his second wife Mr. Dale married Rillie Miller of Mokena, Illinois. They have a son, Frank M., who is now in the drug business in Clearwater.