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Biography of Vernon H. Branch

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Vernon H. Branch of Wichita has had a successful career as a banker in Kansas covering a period of more than thirty-five years. In that time he has been officially identified with a number of important banks in different parts of the state, but is now concentrating all his efforts along the line of investment banking, and is one of the reliable investment bankers of Kansas.

He came to Kansas when a youth. His birth occurred at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 3, 1863, but when he was two years of age his parents removed to Orwell, Vermont, his father’s childhood home. In that part of New England he spent his early childhood and youth until he was eighteen, and acquired a substantial common school training.

In December, 1881, Mr. Branch arrived at Concordia, Kansas, and became bookkeeper for the Cloud County Bank. Two years later he became its cashier, but resigned in 1886 to become secretary of the Security Investment Company at Cawker City in Mitchell County. From there moving to Beloit in the spring of 1900, he was a hardware merchant of Beloit a year, and then became a stockholder, director and cashier of the First National Bank of Beloit.

Since the summer of 1903 Mr. Branch has been a resident of Wichita. Acquiring stock in the National Bank of Wichita, he was made its vice president and a director, and when that bank and the Fourth National Bank were consolidated in 1908, he continued as a stockholder and director and also as cashier in the Fourth National. In the spring of 1911, Mr. Branch, having sold his interests in the Fourth National, resigned the post of cashier and opened offices as an investment banker on the ground floor of the Beacon Building. During the panic of 1907 he served as secretary of the Wichita Clearing House Association and as a member and secretary of the Clearing House Committee.

On October 20, 1885, Mr. Branch married Luella Brown of Concordia, Kansas, daughter of Judge Daniel L. Brown. Mrs. Branch is very active in club affairs at Wichita, being secretary of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs. Her heart and hand have always been liberally extended in charitable and philanthropic work, and her home is one of the centers of cultured influence in Wichita. There is one daughter, Hazel E., now one of the most highly educated young women of the state., She holds her Master’s degree from the Kansas State University, where she specialized in entomology, and now has entire charge of the curriculum at Bethany College in Topeka.

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