Biography of Mrs. George Thacher Guernsey
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Her character, her intellectual attainments, her philanthropy and her prominent association with large movements make Mrs. George T. Guernsey of Independence one of the great women of Kansas. She had lived in Independence since 1879, and was first known in that city as a teacher in the high school. Her husband is one of the most successful and prominent bankers of Kansas, and the possession of ample means had enabled her to satisfy her cultivated tastes in the way of books, travel, art and literature, and her energy had impelled her to a position of leadership in the larger woman’s movements.
In 1915 Mrs. Guernsey was candidate for the high office of president general of the national society Daughters of the American Revolution. That candidacy places her in a favorable position for election to that distinguished honor in 1917. Her name had thus become prominently known outside of her home state, and much had been written and said concerning this brilliant Kansas woman.
The state recording secretary, Daughters of the American Revolution, of Kansas, thus writes: “Mrs. George Thacher Guernsey of Independence had been chosen by many of the most thoughtful and earnest women of the Society as their candidate for the high office of President General, and in her they feel that the organization will have a leader of high efficiency.
“Mrs. Guernsey as state regent of Kansas, had been a member of the National Board of management for nine years and had been a faithful attendant at its meetings. Well versed in the work of the National Society, her knowledge will be of great value should she be elected to the office of President General, as she is well aware of the needs of the organization; and her practical, finely trained mind and splendid business ability will enable her to guide the financial affairs capably and to the best advantage. She is a good preciding officer, being fair minded and able to avoid personal preference. She will present a subject carefully and consider a question from all sides before giving decision, which is one of the most vital necessities in the duties of a president general. Her experience as chief officer of her state had been wide, and she passed successfully every test for capability during her nine years of service. She is emphatically a woman of deeds rather than words, and she had the happy faculty of keeping right at the matter in hand until it is settled. She is thorough in all her methods and will serve the cause into which she enters with absolute faith and honest endeavor. Personal feeling does not enter into the subject at all when it concerns the interests of any work she undertakes, for she is sufficiently broad minded to seek for the best and to listen to the opinions of all others who share the common interest.
“Mrs. Guernsey is a firm believer in upholding the constitution of the National Society–that Constitution, the work of far seeing minds, which formed the laws of the organization with a view to sustaining its power, … In regarding the Constitution as the will of the Congress and strictly adhering to its dictates, Mrs. Guernsey with the majority of the members, feels that all questions may be decided definitely and satisfactorily.”
As the matter of the present article will have a reading by many people not connected with the Daughters of the American Revolution, it will be appropriate to refer somewhat in detail to Mrs. Guernsey’s ancestry. Her maiden name was Sarah Elizabeth Mitchell. She is a daughter of Daniel P. Mitchell and Ann Eliza Baker, his wife, reference to whom is made on other pages of this publication. Daniel P. Mitchell was the son of George Mitchell and Mary McCann, his wife.