Forrest M. Hartley’s talents made him foremost in the activities of college life while he was a student in Baker University. For a number of years he was actively identified with Kansas journalism and then returned to Baldwin City where he is now one of the leading merchants.
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Mr. Hartley was born at Indianola in Vermillion County, Illinois, July 26, 1874. He is one of the three children of George S. and Caroline (Vayhinger) Hartley. George S. Hartley, now a resident of Arkansas City, had for many years been a conspicuous figure in the political, banking and civic life of this state.
Mr. Forrest M. Hartley had lived a very active life. He began his education in the public schools of his native locality. His parents lived for some five years in Illinois, removing then to Fowler, Indiana, where he received his early education, and he also passed part of his youth in Oklahoma. The father was Indian agent at the Osage Agency at Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and that was the family home for about eleven years.
In the fall of 1889 Forrest Hartley entered the Baker University at Baldwin, and remained a student two years. From there he went to Wentworth Military Academy at Lexington, Missouri, was a member of its student body one year, and while there founded and became editor of the Wentworth Military Academy Trumpeter. That college paper is still published. While at Wentworth he also won a scholarship in Washington and Lee University at Lexington, Virginia, which school he attended one year. However, his higher education was completed in Baker University at Baldwin, to which he returned in the fall of 1894, and remained there until graduating in 1895 with the degree Bachelor of Philosophy. During the last year at Baker he was editor of the Beacon, the official college paper.
Some special talents for journalism undoubtedly operated in his selection for the post of editor of these college papers, and on leaving Baker University he became a full fledged newspaper man. A month after graduating he bought the Arkansas Valley Democrat at Arkansas City. That paper was conducted under his editorial and business management for nearly ten years. At the same time he operated the Geuda Springs Herald for about two years, and for a short time the Dexter Eye. Mr. Hartley became interested in the Kansas City Truth and the Farm Folks, published at Kansas City, Missouri. Removing to that city he made it his home for some two years.
In 1906 Mr. Hartley left newspaper work and founded the Winona State Bank at Winona, Kansas, but a year later sold his holdings and in 1907 came to Baldwin, which had become his permanent residence. In Baldwin he became a member of the Ives-Hartley Lumber Company, of which since the death of Mr. Ives in 1913 he had been owner and manager.
Mr. Hartley is a democrat in politics. At Baldwin he had served as a member of the city council, was president of the body and for three years was mayor. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Masonic fraternity.
On August 19, 1897, he married Miss Mary S. Ives, daughter of the late Charles P. Ives, whose career is sketched on other pages. Mr. and Mrs. Hartley have two children: Hugh Philip and Genevieve.