Biography of Fred Harvey Quincy
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Fred Harvey Quincy. Success in any line of occupation, in any avenue of business, is not a matter of spontaneity, but represents the result of the application of definite subjective forces and the controlling of objective agencies in such a way as to achieve desired ends. Senator Quincy has realized a large and substantial success in the business world, has been given important public office, in which he has served with honor and distinction, and his career has well exemplified the truth of the foregoing statements. He occupies a prominent place in the financial circles of Kansas, is the controlling force in one of its most important banking enterprises, and is one of the distinctively representative men of the state. Progressive and energetic in the management of his various business interests, loyal and public spirited as a citizen, he holds a secure position in the confidence and esteem of the community and has contributed in large measure to the advancement of the City of Salina, in whose still greater commercial and civic prestige he is a firm believer. He is president of the Planters’ State Bank of Salina, president of the Salina Chamber of Commerce, and has been twice elected to the state senate from the Thirty-first District, composed of Saline and Ottawa counties.
Fred Harvey Quincy is a native of Wisconsin and was born in Lancaster, Grant County, December 10, 1857, a son of Benjamin E. and Mary E. (Stone) Quincy, natives of Vermont. His ancestors, paternal and maternal, were among the early settlers of America and numbered among them are men who achieved distinction in the frontier life of those early days, the French and Indian war, the war of the Revolution, and the commercial era which followed, and they have filled many positions of usefulness in the town, state and nation. Underhill, Vermont, was founded by members of the Quincy family during the war for independence and here was born Samuel Quincy, the grandfather of Fred H., and who was a soldier in the War of 1812.
Fred Harvey Quincy secured his early educational discipline in the public schools of Grant County, Wisconsin, and Saline County, Kansas, having removed with his parents to the latter state in 1873. Subsequently he completed a course in the State Normal at Platteville, Wisconsin, and was graduated in Bailey’s Business College, Dubuque, Iowa, in 1876. The succeeding five years he employed in farming, the winter months, however, finding him clerking in Salina. In 1882 he became a grain buyer and established a profitable business in this line. During 1889-90 he served as sheriff of Saline County, having been elected by a flattering majority in 1889. He was the active factor in the promotion and organization of the Salina Cement Plaster Company in 1893, was elected secretary of the company on its incorporation, and later became president and manager. Mills were built in Dickinson and Clay counties, Kansas, and in Hardeman County, Texas. The output of the mills, “Agatite Cement Plaster,” became the standard of quality and the business was a success. In 1902 the company was merged with the American Cement Plaster Company of Lawrence, Kansas. In 1900 Senator Quincy organized the Planters’ State Bank of Salina and was elected president of the institution, and this chief executive office he has since retained. Organized with a capital of $50,000, its business has been of sound and continuous growth. It has at the present writing (1917) a capital of $100,000, and an earned surplus and profits of $50,000, deposits of $1,000,000, and has paid to its stockholders since commencing business dividends exceeding 100 per cent. In the organization, development and administration of the business of the institution Senator Quincy has been the dominant executive and to his progressiveness, energy and resourcefulness is due the strength and high reputation of the organization. He is known in banking circles as an able and discriminating financier and as one who has brought the administrative policy of his bank up to the point of highest efficiency. He is also financially interested in several important commercial enterprises in Salina and has wielded a specially potent influence during the past ten years in the industrial and civic affairs of the city.
To the citizens of the state at large Senator Quincy is best known through his service as a member of the upper house of the Legislature, of which for several years he has been one of the recognized leaders. A lifelong republican, he has been an active force in Saline County since 1889, when he was elected sheriff. In 1904 he was the party’s nominee for state senator from the Thirty-first District, comprising Saline and Ottawa counties, and was elected by a handsome majority, being elected for a second term in 1908. As a member of this body he has been industrious, capable, honest and patriotic. It is probable his most important service to the state has been in connection with financial legislation, for which his experience as a banker eminently qualifies him. He drew, without collaboration, and introduced in the session of 1907 a bill to guarantee the depositors of banks against loss. This was the first measure, based upon mutual insurance, permitting voluntary entry of the banks to its benefits, and providing for assessments based upon the past experience of banking loss, ever presented to a legislature in a measure of this nature. The bill, failing to receive attention of this session, was made the object of the special session called by Governor Hoch in 1908, in which it was defeated. The guaranty of bank deposits was made a political issue in the campaign of 1908 and both parties incorporated it in their platforms. In the session of 1909 the bill became a law and has since been declared constitutional by the United States Supreme Court. During the special session of 1908 Senator Quincy drew and was largely instrumental in having passed Senate Bill No. 33, which provides that all state, municipal, county and township bonds and coupons be payable in Topeka, the state treasurer being the authorized fiscal agent of the state. Previously these payments were made in New York City and various banks and officials derived a profit. Under the present arrangement the saving to the state exceeds $15,000 per annum. In 1906 Senator Quincy was one of a committee of five which included W. R. Stubbs, James Troutman, Arthur Capper and R. N. Allen, which planned the organization of the “Square Deal Republican Club.” This organization secured from candidates and members of the Legislature an expression of their attitude on the anti-pass, two-cent fare, primary election, and assessment of railway property measures then before the people. These several measures were enacted into law during the sessions of 1907-08-09. Senator Quincy was also one of a committee of three appointed by the railway committee of the Senate to draft a bill providing for a public utilities commission, the bill as drawn by them passing in the session of 1911. On becoming a member of the Senate Mr. Quincy was made chairman of the committee on second class cities, which position he has since retained. His committee memberships were: banks and banking, railway, claims and accounts, and taxation. His work in support of the two-cent fare, anti-pass, wheat and corn, maximum freight rates, primary election, and general railway bills was of material assistance in securing their passage. He was also a potential force in securing the enactment of the present tax law. He introduced in the Senate, had charge of, and secured the passage through that body of the so-called “Blue-Sky Law,” one of the most important bills ever enacted into law, and which is effecting a saving of millions of dollars to the investors of capital. He is a firm believer in the principle of true representative government and his record of service is one that the district which elected him can contemplate with pride and satisfaction. Senator Quincy has attained the Knights Templar and Scottish Rite degrees in Masonry, is affiliated with Isis Temple Shrine at Salina, and is treasurer of that body as well as of the local Scottish Rite bodies and Salina Commandery. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the United Commercial Travelers, and a director of the Salina Young Men’s Christian Association. His religious faith is expressed by membership in the Methodist Church, and he has served as a trustee of the Kansas Wesleyan University. On February 6, 1883, Senator Quincy married Miss Fannie, daughter of John Sprague, a native of West Virginia who was a Union soldier in the Civil war and died in service. Senator and Mrs. Quincy are the parents of two daughters: Lula Sprague, the elder, graduated at Ferry Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois, in 1906, as the honor member of her class. She is the wife of Fred I. Walker, assistant cashier of the Planters’ State Bank. Nina, the second child, was also graduated at Ferry Hall, receiving first honors, with the class of 1907. Mrs. Quincy is a woman of broad culture and refinement. Senator Quincy is in all respects a high type of the conservative, unassuming American, diligent in his public duties and commercial affairs and conscientious in all things.