Biography of Albert Mebus
Albert Mebus. It demands a large measure of business discernment to enter an old field, already well occupied, and to be able within a few years to harvest success and not only that but to stand second foremost with all competitors. It was in 1909 that Albert Mebus, who is now the second largest insurance handler in Kansas City, Kansas, went into business for himself and his rapid progress in the insurance line, proves great business capacity and keen foresight. Not only, however, in his private affairs has Mr. Mebus manfully responded to business opportunities, but publicly as a progressive citizen, he has demonstrated his system and efficiency and is one of the most prominent advocates of the good roads movement, so important in the further development of Kansas as well as the nation.
Albert Mebus was born in the Village of Aubrey, in Johnson County, Kansas, July 27, 1876, and is a son of John F. and Christina (Anderson) Mebus. The father was born in the City of Copenhagen, Denmark, and came to the United States in 1866 and the mother was born in Sweden and came to America in 1871. John F. Mebus went first to the lumber camps in Michigan and worked at logging until 1871, when, remembering an old acquaintance who had located in Johnson County, Kansas, he decided to seek him out and perhaps in the new state he might find better working opportunities than he could in Michigan. He found his countryman, who was a shoemaker, and was welcomed and given work in his shop and later was admitted to partnership. Mr. Mebus was industrious and frugal and the time came when he had enough capital to buy his partner’s interest and he continued his own shoe store at Aubrey until 1883, when he moved to Kansas City. There he expanded into a large shoe dealer and as he was a man of excellent business judgment, he amassed an ample fortune before retiring in 1894. As opportunity had offered he had invested in farm lands which he then sold and bought real estate in Kansas City. He educated his two sons so that they were prepared for a business life and in every way was a good father and an admirable citizen. He married Christina Anderson and they had two children: Albert and Alfred G., the latter of whom lost his life in 1916, while serving as fire captain in a disastrous fire at Kansas City.
Albert Mebus attended school regularly until he was sixteen years of age and then went into business and for two years was proprietor of a grocery store. Although he was successful in this enterprise, he found the responsibilities too heavy for his years and finally sold his stock. About this time he became a member of the Kansas City fire department and continued so connected for eight years, during the closing three being captain of Engine House No. 5. In 1902 he went with the firm of Merrian, Ellis & Benton, real estate and insurance men, as all-around man and rent collector, and won the confidence of the firm through his energy and business integrity and remained in that office for seven years, during this time gaining an insight into this line of business that prepared him for an enterprise of a similar character on his own account. This he entered into in 1909 as junior partner in the firm of Morrison and Mebus, owning a half interest, which continued for two years as a general insurance business. Since then Mr. Mebus has been alone and has so widened his field that he is rated as the second largest insurance dealer in this city.
Not only has Mr. Mebus developed his private business solidly and carefully, but he has identified himself with measures of great public usefulness, notably the good roads movement. All public improvements are the outcome of intelligent and concerted effort on the part of progressive citizens. These movements must have leaders. In 1910 Mr. Mebus was one of the organizers of the Kansas State Automobile Association, of which he was vice president for a number of years. As a good roads enthusiast, he is vice president of the Kaw Valley Improved Road Association, and vice president of the King of Trails Association. He also was one of the organizers of the Kansas State Good Roads Association and was one of the prime movers in its activities. Mr. Mebus was one of the reorganizers and a director of the Minn Avenue State Bank, and is a stockholder in many other local concerns.
On October 14, 1896, Mr. Mebus was married to Miss Carrie Maulding, who was born at Kansas City and is a daughter of M. M. Maulding, who is a farmer and gardener, and they have three children, aged respectively fourteen, twelve and seven years: Dorothy, Thelma and Albert, Jr. Mr. Mebus plans to give his children every possible educational advantage. The family belongs to the Lutheran Church.
Mr. Mebus is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, belonging to Abdallah Shrine. At the present time he is exalted ruler of Kansas City Lodge No. 440, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.