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John Mahlan Moore has long been prominently identified with financial affairs in Kansas, was one of the leading bankers of Wichita and assisted in the organization of many banks in that section of the state and remained a resident of Wichita until a few years ago when he was translated to a higher sphere of banking in the metropolis of the Misspuri Valley at Kansas City. Mr. Moore is now vice president of the Southwest National Bank of Commerce of Kansas City, Missouri.
His successful career in banking affairs in the Middle West is not due to a wealthy or influential environment as a boy. Like many of the eminent business men of America he was born on a farm. His birth occurred in Shelby County, Kentucky, October 31, 1859. He was the second in a family of eight children. His parents were Thomas H. and Mary Elizabeth (Weekley) Moore, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, their ancestors having come into that state from Virginia. John M. Moore had a country training and only the advantages of the common schools and for two years an academic course. At the age of seventeen he left the farm to become clerk in a store. He remained with one firm at Shelbyville for ten years, part of the time as bookkeeper. There he laid the foundation of his business experience.
Finally a farm loan company felt such confidence in his ability as to employ him to go to Kansas and represent them. As their representative he located in Wichita and for five years had the supervision of his company’s loans on farm property. He was at Wichita during a period of years marked by many rapid and dramatic if not tragic reversals of prosperity, and he knew that section of Kansas at its low tide and its high tide.
In 1892 he was elected cashier of the Fourth National Bank of Wichita. When he took that position the Fourth National had deposits of about $28,000. It was a successful bank in a way, and reflected at the time the low average of material prosperity in that part of Kansas. Mr. Moore remained its cashier until 1908. He had the pleasure of witnessing the remarkable growth and expansion of the surrounding country, the development of Wichita as a great industrial center, and he assisted in the corresponding growth and development of the Fourth National Bank. When he left the institution its deposits aggregated $3,000,000. It is now one of the most substantial financial institutions in Kansas.
In 1908 Mr. Moore was elected cashier and vice president of the Southwest National Bank of Kansas City, Missouri. He was one of the Charter members and organizers of this bank. In 1912 its resources were merged with those of the Southwest National Bank of Commerce, and since then Mr. Moore had been first vice president of the larger institution.
Among the other banks in which Mr. Moore had had a part in organization or management are the following: Benton State Bank, State Bank of Goddard, Valley Center State Bank, Garden Plains State Bank, Pechi State Bank, Furley State Bank, Murdock State Bank, Bank of Peck, Florence State Bank, and he still retains interests in some of these institutions. Mr. Moore also owned a Texas ranch of several thousands of acres.
He had long been identified with Masonry, is a life member of the Scottish Rite Consistory and the Mystic Shrine and a life member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He had held the office of treasurer in the various Masonic bodies and was one of the organizers and was treasurer and director of the Wichita Perpetual Building and Loan Association. While living in Wichita he belonged to the First Baptist Church, was one of its active members, and gave his liberal support and encouragement to every social, religious and public movement in that city. Politically he is a democrat, but had never held any office.
Mr. Moore was married July 3, 1893, to Mrs. Eva (Chenault) Stinson. Her first husband was J. L. Stinson, a prominent business man at Wichita. By that marriage Mrs. Moore had two children, Harry and Douglas.