Biography of Charles R. Lewis
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In his native county it had been given Charles Royal Lewis to achieve a position of prominence and influence as a representative of a line of business enterprise that had most important bearing upon both civic and material progress. At Independence, the judicial center of Montgomery County, he is actively and successfully engaged in the real estate business, and his operations include the handling of both city and farm property and the effecting of real-estate exchanges, besides which he had developed a substantial realty insurance business and is serving as notary public, his offices being at 108 1/2 East Main Street, and his residence at 739 West Sycamore Strect.
One of the pioneer farms of Montgomery County, Kansas, flgures as the place of nativity of Mr. Lewis, who was here born on the 26th of June, 1876, a son of David W. and Esther (Lampman) Lewis, his parents being now residents of Cedar County, Missouri, where they make their home on their fine farm near Eldorado Springs.
David W. Lewis was born in the State of Illinois, on the 12th of June, 1852, his parents having been pioneers of that state, where his father was a prosperous farmer, as gauged by the standards of the locality and period, and where he continued to reside until his death. He was a scion of a sterling Scotch family that found its first American representatives in Massachusetts, in the early colonial period of our national history. David W. Lewis was a lad of twelve years when he accompanied his widowed mother to Kansas, in 1864, and they became pioneer settlers in Montgomery County, where he was reared to maturity and where he experienced his full sbare of the hardships and vicissitudes that fell to the lot of the pioneers. With the passing years definite success attended his efforts as an agriculturist, and he became one of the representative farmers and influential citizens of the county, his mother having here remained until her death, at a venerable age. Mr. Lewis continued his active association with agricultural industry in Montgomery County until 1904, when he removed to his present well improved farm near Eldorado Springs, Missouri. He assisted in the breaking of many acres of the virgin prairie soil in Montgomery County, and in this work became an adept in the management of four and six yokes of oxen in a team. He is a stalwart in the camp of the republican party, served in various township offices in Montgomery County, and he and his wife are active and zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Lewis, whose maiden name was Esther Lampman, was born in Indiana in 1856, and of the children the subject of this review is the eldest; William died at the age of fourteen years; Anna May is the wife of Roy Wint, city street commissioner of Independence, Kansas; Ernest, who was graduated in the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan and thereafter was for four years an efficient and popular teacher in that institution, but he now gives virtually his entire time and attention to the management of fine orchards owned by him in Missouri and Montana; Frederick, the youngest of the children, is a member of the class of 1918 in the Kansas State Agricultural College.
Charles R. Lewis gained his first practical experience in connection with the work of the home farm, and in the meanwhile he attended the district schools of Montgomery County until he had attained to the age of fourteen years, when he entered the high school at Baldwin, Douglas County, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1897. As the sequel of an attack of measles he suffered so severe an affliction of his eyes that he was unable to pursue a higher academle course, and under these conditions he turned his attention to learning the trade of candy manufacturing at Baldwin. He became an expert in the making of fine hand-made confectionery and continued his association with this line of emterprise at Baldwin for three years and three months. He then returned to his native county and resumed his active alliance with the basic industry of agriculture, with which he here continued his identification until 1909. In that year he removed to Independence, the county seat, where he had since been engaged in the real estate business as one of the leading exponents of this line of enterprise in his native county. In addition to handling city and farm properties owned by others he personally holds equity in several residential properties in Independence and also in a small farm in Montgomery County.
Though he had manifested no aspiration for public office of any kind, Mr. Lewis is found aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the republican party and is emphatically liberal and progressive as a citizen and business man. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in their home city and he is affiliated with the local organizations of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Antl-Horse Thief Association.
At the home of the bride’s parents, four miles west of Independence, was solemnized, on the 6th of April, 1904, the marriage of Mr. Lewis to Miss Edna Van Ausdal, daughter of J. T. and Ella Van Ausdal, her father still remaining on this homestead farm and the mother being deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have two children; Thelma Pauline was born May 1, 1905, and Alice May, August 3, 1910.