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Biography of Frank L. Mitchell

In taking up the personal history of Frank L. Mitchell it is unnecessary to tell to Racine and her people the place that he occupies, for his position has been established by the consensus of public opinion, and in considering his career one is led to the reflection that opportunities slip away from the sluggard, tauntingly play before the dreamer, but surrender to the individual with high purpose, undaunted courage and indefatigable determination. It is through the wise use of his opportunities that Frank L. Mitchell has reached the prominent position which he now fills. Born in Kenosha on the 4th of December, 1852, he is a son of Henry and Margaret (Mitchell) Mitchell, natives of Scotland and representatives of one of the old families of that country. Henry Mitchell’s parents, William and Elizabeth (Jackson) Mitchell, were of that Scotch type of earnest, industrious people who held to the Presbyterian faith and guided their lives according to their strong religious convictions. The father carried on an express business between Edinburgh and neighboring towns. To him and his wife were born eleven children, seven of whom reached adult age and became heads of families. Henry Mitchell was born in Fifeshire. Scotland, March 10, 1810, and early was thrown upon his own resources, for it was necessary that he aid his father in the support of a large family. His education was therefore largely acquired in night school. He possessed natural mechanical ability and early displayed much efficiency in drafting. When a youth of fifteen he entered upon a seven years’ apprenticeship to the wheelwright’s trade and at the close of...

Biography of Leo D. Kelly

Leo D. Kelly, assistant cashier of the National Bank of Commerce in St. Louis, came to Missouri from the neighboring state of Illinois, his birth having occurred at Russell, Lake county, March 12, 1886. His father, the late Timothy Kelly, was a native of Michigan and of Irish descent. He became a successful farmer and a stock raiser, following agricultural pursuits until he passed away at Russell, Illinois, in 1908, at the age of sixty-eight years. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Margaret Hoye, was born in Salem, Wisconsin, and was also of Irish lineage. She died at Russell, Illinois, in 1906, when sixty-six years of age. By her marriage she had become the mother of eight sons and six daughters, of whom thirteen are living. Leo D. Kelly, who was the youngest of the family, passed through consecutive grades in the public schools until he had completed a high school course and later attended the College of Commerce at Kenosha, Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1904. He started out in the business world as a stenographer in Chicago and afterward entered the railroad service with the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Company in Chicago, becoming private secretary to H. T. Miller, the vice president of that road, and later filling the position of secretary under W. E. Hodger, vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad Company. In 1907 Mr. Kelly came to St. Louis and accepted the position of secretary to Thomas Randolph, then president of the Commonwealth Trust Company, with whom he continued until November, 1908. He then entered the service of the Bank...

Biography of Charles L. Mitchell

Charles L. Mitchell is secretary and sales manager of Crane & Company of Topeka. As every one knows in that city and the state this is one of the largest publishing and stationery houses in Kansas. It may be said with propriety that Mr. Mitchell has deserved success because he has earned it. He was born at Kenosha, Wisconsin, February 12, 1873, a son of John C. and Sallie Ann (Connell) Mitchell. His father saw four years of active service in the Civil war and died in 1898, while the mother is still residing in Wisconsin. John C. Mitchell was a native of Scotland, being brought to America at the age of five years. The family spent five weeks on board the sailing vessel that brought them to the New World. The Mitchells took up a homestead in southwest Wisconsin, at what was then known as Southport, now Kenosha. While digging a well on this place the grandfather was asphyxiated by foul air, and this threw upon John C. Mitchell unusually heavy burdens and responsibilities in assisting to support his mother and the household. He and his sisters worked hard to prove up the homestead, and that land is still owned by members of the family. John C. Mitchell was always a hard working man and while he did his best to contribute the comforts to his family, his children were reared in comparatively humble circumstances and became inured at an early age to hard work and some privations. These were the early circumstances of Charles L. Mitchell’s career. He grew up in Kenosha, and received his education in...

Biography of Robert A. Maxwell

ROBERT A. MAXWELL THE HON. Robert A. Maxwell, superintendent of the insurance department, was born in Washington county, N. Y. , in 1838. He is a son of Alexander Maxwell, of Jackson, a prominent citizen of the town, and an intelligent and wealthy farmer. Robert was given the advantages of a liberal education by his father. After receiving a thorough instruction at the common schools in his neighborhood, he was sent to the normal school at Albany, where he finished his education at the age of eighteen. His rare qualities as an educator were unfolded while attending this excellent institution, and so he soon became principal of the union school at Greenwich, N. Y. Subsequently he taught school at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Determined to relinquish a professional career for mercantile pursuits, he removed to Chicago and engaged in the commission business – buying and selling grain and produce. For seven years he was an active member of the board of trade in that enterprising city. But too close attention to business, and climatic influences combined to impair his health; and coming east, he settled at Batavia, N. Y. Soon after his settlement in his new home he invested his ready capital in the malt business, and became a successful and public-spirited merchant, closely identifying himself with all those interests which are conducive to the welfare and prosperity of his adopted home. His influence in public affairs steadily increasing, political preferments were at length offered to him, but were repeatedly declined. The New York State Asylum for the Blind was established at Batavia, in 1867. Mr. Maxwell was appointed one of...

Biographical Sketch of Tusten, H. W.

Tusten, H. W. farmer, P. O. Russell, came here with the Northwestern Colony, in the spring of 1871. He opened the first general store and continued merchandising for six years. At the same time he opened a farm of 320 acres, and now has 200 acres of it under cultivation. He makes a specialty in the stock business, dealing largely in cattle and horses. He keeps the Membrino stock of horses. He was born in Ontario County, N. Y., in 1833, lived in his native State until 1841, and then came with his parents to Kenosha, Wis., where they lived about seven years. Thence went to Green Lake County, where they farmed for some time. He then went to Minnesota and followed various occupations for six years. He then engaged in lumbering at Fond du Lac, Wis., for four years, and in merchandising for three years. Thence he came to Kansas. He was married in 1867 to Miss Matilda de Neveu, a native of the latter city. They have four children – Herman W., Hattie D., Arthur E. and Emma. He is president of the town site, member of the City Council,...

Biography of Herbert F. Johnson

Herbert F. Johnson. manager of the firm of S. C. Johnson & Son, manufacturers of Johnson’s Prepared Wax, is a man of marked business enterprise whose initiative has led to the development of an enterprise that is not only of extensive proportions but which is the foremost concern of the kind in the world. Herbert F. Johnson is a representative of one of the old families of the city, being a son of Samuel C. Johnson, who was the founder of the firm of S. C. Johnson & Son and is still connected with the business although he has now passed the age of eighty-three years, his birth having occurred near Elyria, Ohio, in 1833. Herbert F. Johnson was born in Kenosha in 1869 and early became connected with the business established by his father, in which connection he worked his way upward as he mastered every phase of the trade. Today he is manager of the factory and is thus active in control of one of the important industrial concerns of the city. He knows the business in principle and detail and the soundness of his judgment in business affairs is manifested in the success which has attended the undertaking since he assumed control of the factory. In 1892 Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Helen Converse, of Racine. They are prominent in social circles of the city and Mr. Johnson is well known as a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is a Mason of high rank, having attained the thirty-second degree in the consistory. He is much interested in questions of...

Biography of Samuel C. Johnson

One of the most venerable business men of Racine is Samuel C. Johnson, whose career is a notable one. Few men of his years-he is now eighty-three -continue in business and his record should put to shame many a man of less resolute purpose who, grown weary of the struggle of business life, would relegate to others the burdens that he should bear. Old age, however, does not necessarily suggest weakness or want of occupation. There is an old age which grows stronger and brighter mentally and morally as the years passes on and gives out of its rich stores of wisdom and experience for the benefit of others. Such is the record of Mr. Johnson, who in his interests seems yet in his prime, although the snows of eighty-three years rest upon his head. Ohio claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred near Elyria in 1833. With his removal to Wisconsin he located in Kenosha, where he engaged in the retail book business, becoming well known in that connection in the southeastern part of the state. He dates his residence in Racine from 1880 and in the early period of his connection with the city was associated with the old Racine Hardware Company. He afterward established his present factory for the manufacture of hardwood flooring and later developed the wax, which is used as a finish for all floors. The excellence of the product soon won recognition on the market and the trade gradually grew and developed until today Johnson’s Prepared Wax is known in every market of the world, a large foreign trade being...

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