Biography of J. T. B. Gephart
J. T. B. Gephart is president of the Citizens State Bank of City Falls, Jefferson County. Mr. Gephart had been prominently associated with banking in that old town of Kansas for over thirty-four years. The present Citizens State Bank is the logical successor of the old Hicks, Gephart & Company, which was instituted as a private banking house in 1871 by Mr. S. C. Gephart and W. C. Hicks. On the death of Mr. Hicks in 1878 he was succeeded by W. F. Hicks, and the death of S. C. Gephart in 1882 brought his son J. T. B. Oephart into his place. Then in 1888, on the death of W. F. Hicks, Mr. Gephart bought the other interests but continued the bank as a private institution under the name Hicks, Gephart & Company.
Then in 1897 the Citizens State Bank was organized and acquired the old firm of Hicks, Gephart & Company. At the present time the offleers are J. T. B. Gephart, president, and Charles T. Gephart, cashier. The banking house is situsted on Broadway and Sycamore streets.
While for many years Mr. Gephart had given his almost undivided time and attention to banking, he is known to the older citizens as a very skillful physician and surgeon, and though no longer in practice he can properly be referred to as the pioneer doctor of Valley Falls, since all the men in the pzofession today came to this community long after he had begun his work.
Mr. Gephart was born in Allegany County, Maryland, July 29, 1848. His paternal ancestors originally came out of Germany and settled in Frederick County, Maryland, about the time of the Revolntionary war. His father, S. C. Gephart, a noteworthy figure in pioneer times in Jefferson County, was born in Maryland in 1823. He grew up and married in his native state and acquired the trade of carpenter. It was in 1857, four years before Kansas became a state, that he located at Valley Falls. As a carpenter be assisted in the building of that town. His interests soon took on a wider and more important scope. He was long prominent in civic affairs, served as register of deeds and treasurer of the county, and was also treasurer of the school board of Valley Falls. In 1871 he entered banking, as above noted, with Mr. Hicks and continued a member of the firm until his death October 23, 1882. He was a Democrat and a member of the Masonic fraternity. The maiden name of his wife was Eliza C. Beall, who was born in Maryland in 1832 and died at Valley Falls, Kansas, January 28, 1886. Of their children the president of the local bank is the oldest. Marshall became an attorney at Oskaloosa, Kansas, and died in 1910. Robert is now living retired at Leavenworth. Ida is the wife of Frank C. Goudy, one of Colorado’s best known lawyers practieing at Denver. Mary, who died at Monte Vista, Colorado, was the wife of John C. Bushinger, who is still engaged in business as a merchant at Monte Vista, Susan N. Married A. H. Webster, connected with an irrigation company at Monte Vista, Colorado.
J. T. B. Gephart was about nine years of age when the family moved to the unsettled wilderness of Jefferson County, Kansas. He grew up there, and besides an education in the local schools he attended Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, two years, and in 1870 graduated from Rush Medical College at Chicago with the degree M. D. Before beginning practice he served as an interne in the Cook County Hospital at Chicago eighteen months and then returned to Valley Falls to take up his work as a physician. He soon became the favorite physician of a largo clientage in Jefferson County, but in 1882 he became interested in banking with his father and soon found that business absorbing all his time and since 1888 he had confined his work entirely to the management of the bank of which he is now president:
Doctor Gephart is a democrat in politics, and for the past twenty-five years had served as a member of the school board. He is past master of Valley Falls Lodge No. 21, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, is past noble grand of Valley Falls Lodge No. 86, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, also belongs to Valley Falls Lodge No. 42 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and was formerly a member in good standing of the Jefferson County and the State Medical societies. Besides his residence on Elm Street he owned a farm of 200 acres west of Valley Falls.
Mr. Gephart married in 1876, in Jackson County, Kansas, Miss Clara S. Tutt, daughter of Edwin E. and Elizabeth (Myers) Tutt, both now deceased. Her father came to Jackson County, Kansas, in 1868, and was a farmer there. Doctor and Mrs. Gephart have five children: Eleanor M., who gradnated A. B. from the University of kansas, is the wife of W. D. Ross, now state superintendent of public instruction with offices at Topeka. Curtis H. is a graduate of his father’s alma mater, Rush Medical College of Chicago, and previously graduated Bachelor of Science from Washburn College at Topeka, and is engaged in a successful practice at Kenosha, Wisconsin. Charles T. had already been named as the cashier of the Citizens State Bank of Valley Falls; Elmer B. is in the United States railway mail service with a run between Omaha and Kansas City. Mildred, who lives with her parents, graduated A. B. from Washburn College.