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Charles D. Lamme is president of the Morrill-Janes Bank of Hiawatha, one of the largest and most prosperous financial institutions of Northern Kansas. His is a business career that may be studied with profit by all members of the rising generation.
He was not yet twenty years of age when in January, 1880, he became connected with the Morrill-Janes Bank. At first his dutles were not classified on the regular payroll. Morning and night he did janitor work and during the day was variously employed as a messenger and in any other duties thought best by his superiors. He possessed a genius for finance, a devotion to his duties, and steadily rose in the confidence of the bank’s managers until he was made vice president. Governor Morrill, one of the founders of the bank, was for eight years in Congress and spent much of the year in Washington. The active management therefore devolved upon the other partner, Mr. Charles H. Janes. It was Mr. Janes who was the first to recognize Mr. Lamme’s capabilities, and when his health failed in 1886 he shifted most of his burden to his young assistant. Mr. Lamme had thus had the practical management of this institution for thirty years. It is a bank with a sound record. Its financial integrity had never been questioned, and it had furnished its resources as a bulwark to the steady development and improvement of Brown County.
Mr. Lamme had spent most of his life in Brown County, though he was born in Clark County, Ohio, February 4, 1860. He was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Lamme, who came to Kansas in 1870, settling on a farm six miles south of Hiawetha. Up to that time Mr. Lamme had attended the common schools of Ohio and at the age of fifteen he went back to Springfield, Ohio, and found work in a mer cantile establishment. He remained there several years, and in 1878 returned to Brown County, Kansas, and for a year was employed in the office of the county clerk of Brown County, Henry Isely. He left the county clerk’s office to become connected with the bank as above noted.
As one of the leading bankers Mr. Lamme had at the same time made himself a factor in the business and public enterprise of Brown County for many years. He was a trustse and treasurer of Hiawatha Academy until that institution was discontinued. He was appointed executor of the Charles H. Janes estate, had served as treasurer of the board of education, assisted in organizing the electric light company and is its treasurer, and was one of the organizers of the Commercial Club, which he had served as a director and treasurer. He is also a trustee of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Lamme is active in Masonry, being affiliated with Hiawatha Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Mount Horeb Chapter No. 43, Royal Arch Masons, and Hiawatha Commandery No. 13, Knights Templar, of which he had served as treasurer.
He married in November, 1881, Miss Emma Anderson, of Hiawatha. Their three children are: Ethel, Charles, Jr., and Elizabeth. The daughters graduated from the Hiawatha High School.