Biography of George P. Nieman
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George P. Neiman. A career of singular interest and one that had been characterized by marked achievement is that of George P. Neiman, executive head of the Bank of Whitewater, an extensive farmer and stockman, and a citizen who had contributed in many ways to the growth of Butler County, and particularly to the thriving community of Whitewater, which he promoted and which is situated upon a portion of his original homestead, on which he filed in 1869. Mr. Neiman is a native of Pennsylvania, born at New Berlin, Union County, January 24, 1842, and a son of Isaac and Eliza (Swartz) Neiman.
The Neiman family was founded in America previous to the war of the American Revolution, and the first of the family of whom authentic information had been obtained was Carl Neiman, the great-grandfather of George P., who was a resident of Berks County, Pennsylvania. His son, Peter Neiman, was a farmer and miller near Boyertown, and the latter’s son, Isaac Neiman, was born in Berks County, in 1813. Isaae Neiman learned the trade of harness maker in his youth, and in 1854 removed to Iowa, settling near Tipton, Cedar County, where he engaged in farming until his death, September 17, 1862.
George P. Neiman received his education in the schools of Tipton, Iowa, and in his youth became a eountry school teacher, in addition to which duties he assisted his father on the home farm. In 1864 he went overland to California and spent some three years in seeking his fortune in the goldfields of that state, then returning by way of the Isthmus of Panama and engaging in farming in Eastern Iowa. In 1869, with his brother Isaac H., he came to Kansas, the latter locating on a homestead in Harvey County, in which locality he was the first actual settler. George P. Neiman located on the Whitewater River, in Butler County., and was one of the first settlers of that district. As a farmer and stock raiser he became one of the successful men of his section, and as the years have passed had added from time to time to his holdings until he now, with his brother, controls some 7,000 acres of the choicest land to be found in Southern Kansas.
In 1887, on the completion of the Rock Island Railway, the Golden Belt Land Company located a number of townsltes along this line. Mr. Neiman sold to them a portion of his original homestead, on which was platted the Town of Whitewater, he retaining an undivided one-half interest. When the company disorganized a few years later he became the sole owner of the townsite and organized the Whitewater Townsite Company, of which he was made president. A visit to the hustling town of which he is the founder is convincing proof of his townpromoting ability, for Whitewater is now known to the traveling public as one of the best trading points, population considered, in the state. In 1891 Mr. Neiman organized the Bauk of Whitewater and was elected cashier. The history of this institution is the history of Mr. Neiman’s identification with the banking life of Kansas. Established in 1891, with a capital of $6,000, its business had been of sound and continuous growth. Its preaent capital is $30,000, it has an undivided surplus of $30,000 and deposits of $300,000, and it had always paid satisfactory dividends to its owners. It is the second oldest bank in Butler County. In the organization, development and administration of this institution Mr. Neiman had been the dominant executive and to his progressiveness, energy and resourcefulness are due the strength and high reputation of the house. he is known to the banking fraternity as an able and discriminating financier, and one who had brought the administrative policy of his bank up to the highest point of efficiency. Essentially a business man, he had had little time or inclination for public office, although he never neglects in the least his civic duties and obligations. A democrat, he had taken an active and intluential part in the councils of his party, and in adilition to having served as a member of the Butler County and Kansas State Central Committees on a number of occasions, he was honored with election as alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention held at Denver, in 1908 and also to the Democratic National Convention held in St. Louis in 1916. He was appointed a member of the board of county commissioners in 1880, and was elected a member of that body in 1884, and without solicitation on his part was the democratic condidate for state treasurer in 1916.
Mr. Neiman had never married, and now makes his home with a sister, Mary M., who is the wife of James D. Joseph, also an official of the Bank of Whitewater. The following brothers of Mr. Neiman reside at Whitewater: Isaac H., president of the Bank of Whitewater and a wealthy farmer and stockman; Arthur L., a farmer; Charles A., a retired farmer; Samuel R., also a retircd agriculturist; and Jerome D., the owner of an extensive hardware businesa and president of the Whitewster Lumber Company. A sister, Sarah A., married the late E. B. Brainard, founder of the town of Brainard, Butler County. She died October 24, 1902. leaving three sons: William P., George F. and Howard, all of whom reside in the county and are engaged in farming.
To do full justice to the many achievements of Mr. Neiman’s career would be to transcend the limits of an article of this nature, but in even touching upon the more salient points some object lessons may be presented, some incentives formed, and a tribute thus given. As a man among men, bearing his due share in connection with practical aotivities and responsibilities in a work-a-day world, he had been suceessful above all, and had gained a deep knowledge of the best things of life and a clear appreciation of its dominating inflnences and its possibilities. He is ever ready to impart to his fellow-men the fruits of his investigation, contemplation and matured wisdom. As the controlling force of one of the best known banks of Butler County and as the father of the thriving town of Whitewater, he occupies a conspicuous place among the reprcsentative men of Southeastern Kansas.