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Biography of Frank Geoffroy

Frank Geoffroy, who is a successful commission and grain merchant at Abilene, is a native of Kansas, and he and his people have been identified with this state since early pioneer days. Kansas was a territory and was known throughout the country as”bleeding Kansas” when his father and grandparents came and located as pioneers in Franklin County in 1855. His father, Ernest Geoffroy, was born near Metz, France, September 7, 1841, and was brought to America in 1849. The grandparents lived on a farm in Iowa for a few years, but in 1855 came out to Kansas and began their pioneer work in Franklin County. They were among the very first settlers there and the people of that district, as elsewhere, were divided in partisanship over the slavery question. At the age of sixteen Ernest Geoffroy left home and engaged as a driver of an ox team for a government contractor hauling supplies across the plains of Western Kansas to the United States military post in Colorado. That was in the years before the Civil war. The western country was then filled with hostile Indians, and there were also many other dangers and hazards of a life on the prairie. When the Civil war came on Ernest Geoffroy tendered his services to the Union cause, but was rejected on account of his age. For more than half a century he had been a practical farmer, fourteen years of which period were spent in Canadian County, Oklahoma. He was identified with the early establishment of white men’s civilization in old Oklahoma. He now owned and operates a farm adjoining Abilene...

Biography of David Franklin Shirk

David Franklin Shirk, a prominent Kansas educator and a worker in behalf of child welfare, had been a resident of this state thirty years. Born at Shannon, Carroll County, Illinois, July 10, 1859, he was reared and educated in his native state, and as a young man began teaching school in Illinois. In 1886 he came to Abilene, Dickinson County, Kansas, and followed educational work in this state actively for twenty-four years. In 1906 Mr. Shirk was graduated from Friends University at Wichita. Much distinction attaches to his work as a school man. He assisted in organizing the first county high school in Kansas at Chapman, Dickinson County. He also organized the first high school Y. M. C. A. in the world. He was elected and served for four years as superintendent of public instruction of Dickinson County. For five years he was superintendent of the schools at Cottonwood Falls in Chase County, was superintendent at Newton, Kansas, six years, and for two years at Great Bend in Barton County. In 1906 and again in 1910 he made student tours of Europe, and on the second trip took his wife and his two children as a part of their education. Since 1910 Topeka had been his home, and, at the death of the distinguished Dr. O. S. Morrow, he was appointed his successor as superintendent of the Kansas State Ohildren’s Home Society. In 1916 he was elected president of the National Children’s Home Society. Mr. Shirk comes of a very prominent family, one in which ministers, teachers, and men and women of the highest moral character have predominated. His...

Biography of George F. Zerzan, M. D.

George F. Zerzan, M. D. With his home and practice at Holyrood since 1905, Doctor Zerzan is a man of conspicuous success not only in his profession but by the rapidity with which he had accumalated important business interests. Doctor Zerzan is not yet forty and it would seem that his substantial achiovements to date predieate a splendid success as the form of his life’s activities. Doctor Zerzan was born at Schuyler, Nebraska, August 23, 1878. He is of Bohemian parentage and ancestry. His grandfather, Joseph Zerzan, was born in Bohemia in 1818, served his time in the Bohemian army, was a tailor by trade, and in 1851 brought his family to America and settled at Cedar Rapids, Lows, where he continued to follow his trade until his death in 1888. His son, Joseph Zerzan, father of Doctor Zerzan, was born in Bohemis, Austria, in 1849, and was three years of age when his parents brought him to America. He grew up and married at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, moved from there to Omaha and later to Schuyler, Nebraska, and in that town was a hardware merehant and afterwards in the real estate and insurance business. He died at Schuyler in 1915. He gave much time to the two great fraternal orders, the Modern Woodmen of America and Ancient Order of United Workmen. He traveled as an organizer for these fraternities quite extensively, and established the Bohemian Branch of the Modern Woodmen of America. He was actively affiliated with these fraternities and also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and C. S. P. S. He and...

Biography of William Hasselmann

William Hasselmann is an expert florist. He learned the business in all its details and all its phases in Germany, and had had experience in some of the greatest flower growing centers in the world. Some years ago he located at Independence, Kansas, and is now proprietor of the leading greenhouses of that city and his business had grown so rapidly that it is constantly demanding more room and greater facillties for the better handling of a custom that now extends far beyond the borders of his home city. His full name is William Dietrich Hasselmann. He was born at Harpstedt, Germany, August 22, 1881. His older brother, Henry, is now serving in the German Imperial Army in the great European war, and had previous to that conducted the father’s business, was also a dealer and shipper in hogs and handled insurance Mr. Hasselmann’s sister, Johanna, is the wife of Julius Behrens, a newspaper reporter at Bremerhaven, Germany. The younger brother, John, was killed in the early part of the war while in front of Verdun at the age of twenty-six. The father of these children, John Hasselmann, was born neer Harpstedt, Germany, in 1845, and is still living there. He is a retail merebant and hotel proprietor. He spent three years, from 1870 to 1873, in the German army and was in the Franco-Prussian war. He married Katrine Siemen, who was born in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1845. William Hasselmann was well educated, and he also had a fluent command of the English language. He attended the public schools in his native town and also a private agricultural college,...

Biographical Sketch of F. C. Hoyt

F. C. Hoyt. As a banker in Oklahoma and Southern Kansas F. C. Hoyt is widely known and his financial ability united with his conservative judgment has placed him in the front rank of bankers in the two states. He is now a resident of Wichita and president of the Union State Bank of that city. Though born in Keokuk County, Iowa, in 1873, Mr. Hoyt was brought by his parents in 1876 to Portis, Osborne County, Kansas, and thus grew up to imbibe the spirit and atmosphere of Kansas life. His education came partly from public schools and partly from Stockton College, and as a youth he learned the printer’s trade. As a journeyman printer he worked in a number of cities throughout the country and had the usual interesting experiences of one who follows that trade. He was among the early settlers of Oklahoma Territory, and for one year conducted a weekly paper at Taloga in Dewey County. In the same county in 1898 he engaged in the drug business at Seiling, and gave four years to that enterprise. It was at Seiling that he first entered banking, establishing the First National Bank, of which he became president, and he is still at head of that institution, which, however, is only one of the various banks with which his name is identified. In 1902 he organized the First Bank of Cestos, Oklahoma, and was its active manager twelve years. He organized the Bank of Vici at Vici, Oklahoma, of which he is now president, and he is also president of the Exchange State Bank of Burns, Kansas,...

Biography of Lucetta S. Carter, Mrs.

Mrs. Lucetta S. Carter. Political struggle, public life and social leadership have brought the names of many women in the last quarter of a century into the limelight in the country, but it is not so frequently that the name of one becomes a household word in her state, through the activities and results of a quiet business career. Such a name is Lucetta S. Carter, philanthropist, through whose generous benefactions Wichita had benefited through the Children’s Home, the First Unitarian Church and Fairmount College. To this womanly duty of enriching others, she brought no inherited fortune; on the other hand, her gifts have been made from the returns of a business directed by her own energy and good judgment. Lucetta S. Carter was born at Enosburg, Vermont, July 11, 1828, and is a daughter of David and Ruth Stevens (Wilson) Fassett. The paternal ancestors of Mrs. Carter went from Scotland to Ireland in the sixteenth century. The real name of her great-great-grandfather was Patrick Macfairson. He changed his name to Fassett on account of some land grant. It was this ancestor who emigrated to America from Rock Fassett Castle, Ireland, in 1700. He located at Hardwick, Massachusetts, but prior to the opening of the Revolutionary war the family had removed to Bennington, Vermont. His son, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Carter, was an officer in the Revolutionary war, and is recorded as Capt. John Fassett. The grandfather of Mrs. Carter was doubtless a man of vigor and determination. In 1800, when he decided to remove with his family to Enosburg, Vermont, he was not deterred on account of it...

Biographical Sketch of Robert C. Foulston

Robert C. Foulston, while one of the younger members of the Wichita bar, has made a name for himself by the able manner in which he has handled some important cases, and he has also been retained in the interests of the city government in a number of important trials. A native of Kansas, born at Leoti, Robert C. Foulson started life with a sound physical training and environment, and with a liberal education. In 1908 he graduated from the high school at Moline, Kansas, then entered the liberal arts department of the Kansas State University, and soon transferred his studies to the law department, where he graduated June 7, 1911, with the degree LL. B. Since September, 1911, Mr. Foulston has been in practice at Wichita. In December, 1915, he formed a partnership with William E. Pepperell, a son of W. H. L. Pepperell, the internal revenue collector for this district. The firm is now Foulston & Pepperell. From April 7, 1913, to April 7, 1915, Mr. Foulston served as city prosecutor. In March, 1915, he married Juanita W. Taylor. Mrs. Foulston is the daughter of Dr. O. J. Taylor, who for many years was in active practice as a physician at Wichita, having located in that city in the early...

Biography of Charles S. Denison

Charles S. Denison. The ordinary, every-day man, engrossed in the business avocation which brings his daily bread, is representative of the nation’s citizenship. This is the normal type, and his life begins and ends, perhaps, with nothing more distinctive than is the ripple on the face of the stream when the pebble is thrown into the water. It is the unusual type that commands attention and it is his influence exerted on his community, and the record of his life, that is valuable and interesting as a matter of biography. In the professions, and especially in the law, the opportunities for usefulness and personal advancement depend almost entirely upon this unusually gifted individual, and here natural endowment is as essential as is thorough preparation. The bar of Crawford County is a representative body of Kansas and as such has its full quota of brilliant men, included among whom may be mentioned Charles S. Denison, why by inheritance, education, predilection and thorough training, is fitted to take his place among the leading members of his calling. Charles S. Denison, who has been practicing at the bar of Pittsburg since 1909, was born at the Osage Mission, Saint Paul, Kansas, August 28, 1878, and is of Scotch and German descent, the Denisons having come from Scotland to Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, David Denison, was born in the Keystons State, where he was a millwright, and later in life also followed that vocation in Illinois, where his death occurred at Sterling, in 1887. The father of Charles S. Denison, J. L. Denison, was born in 1837, in Westmoreland...

Biography of J. M. Massey

J. M. Massey. One of the live and prosperous communities of Southeastern Kansas which is offering unsurpassed opportunities for the development of men and large business interests is the growing City of Chanute. In this locality may be found many of the raw materials, or they can be easily obtained through railroad shipments. Here is an immense local market, and here are the men, solid, reliable and aggressive, ready and willing to push ahead to the ultimate end whatever enterprise they connect themselves with. Once an individual establishes himself in the line for which he is best fitted, if he possess business sense and acumen, it is certain that success of one or another kind will reward his efforts. One of the men of Chanute who had admirably proven his own worth and increased his value as a citizen by developing large interests, is J. M. Massey, junior member of the large clothing firm of Garvin & Massey, and vice president of the First National Bank. He had been a resident of Chanute since 1896 and during this time had steadily risen to a place of prominence through a recognition and ready grasp of the opportunities which have presented themselves. Mr. Massey was born at Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May 25, 1843, and is a son of Dr. A. B. and Ann R. (McMeen) Massey, and a member of a family which, originating in England, came to America and located in Maryland during the days of Lord Baltimore. His great-grandfather was Aquilla Massey, a planter and slaveholder of Maryland, and that name was also borne by his grandfather,...

Biography of Ernest F. Day, M. D.

Ernest F. Day, M. D. The work of Doctor Day as a physician and surgeon had met with cordial appreciation and patronage since he came to Arkansas City over fifteen years ago. He is in every way a most competent and thorough professional man, and in recent years had extended his opportunities for service by his management, in association with Doctor McKay, of the Mercy Hospital there. Doctor Day is a native of Indiana but had spent practically all his life in Kansas. He was born at Rensselaer in Jasper County, Indiana, October 20, 1876. He is of very old American stock. It is said that the first of the family to come to America was a silk merchant from England, who located at Jamestown, Virginia, when that was a struggling colony early in the seventeenth century. Doctor Day’s grandfather, Wilber Day, was born in North Carolina in 1819, grew up and married in his native state, and in the early days came to the Northwest and was associated with the great frontiersman, Simon Kenton, in fighting with the Indians. He became a pioneer settler in Jasper County, Indiana, and was a farmer there until his death in 1895. One of his sons, Louis, was a soldier in an Indiana regiment during the Civil war and was killed at Lookout Mountain. Wilber Day married Margaret Sands, who was born in North Carolina and died at Rensselaer, Indiana. Five of their children are still living: William, a retired resident of Rensselaer, Indiana; Amanda, who lives at Kingman, Kansas, widow of Edom Antrim, who was a ranchman; John Day, father of...
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