William Irvin Hammel is a young business man at Moran, and since establishing himself in that town had built up a very prosperous enterprise as a grain dealer and owned a half interest in the only elevator in that locality. He had also distinguished himself by a very progressive administration of the local city affairs in the office of mayor.
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Mr. Hammel was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, July 30, 1876, but had spent his life since early boyhood in Kansas. His people, the Hammels, came out of Germany and were Pennsylvania settlers in the colonial times. His grandfather, Samuel Hammel, was born in Ohio, moved from there to Sangamon County, Illinois, and died on his farm in that county in 1861.
C. T. Hammel, father of William I., was born in Hancock County near Findlay, Ohio, in 1853. As a child he went to Sangamon County, Illinois, grew up and married there, became a farmer, and in 1884 came to Kansas, locating on a farm seven miles north of Bronson. Subsequently he moved to the Village of Bronson, where for a number of years he was engaged in the grain and livestock business, but is now living practically retired. As a republican he had served as township trustee several terms, and at one time was a candidate for the Legislature. He is a member of the Methodist Church and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. C. T. Hammel married Sarah Moomey, who was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1856. They had two children, William I. and Ella. The latter is the wife of J. R. Hall, a hardware merchant at Century, Oklahoma.
William I. Hammel as a boy knew the rural district of Bourbon County, Kansas, attended the country schools there, and in 1894 graduated from high school. He also attended the old Fort Scott Normal School, but gave up his studies there in 1897 and returned to his father’s farm. He spent ten years as a farmer and at the same time was associated with his father in the stock business.
When Mr. Hammel came to Moran in 1907 he bought the elevator, the only institution of its kind in the town. It is conveniently located close to the tracks of the Missouri Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railways. Mr. Hammel had been a very successful dealer in grain and hay, also handles general feed supplies, and by strict and straightforward business methods had made Moran a popular trading point and market town for a large section of the surrounding agricultural community. He also had an interest in an elevator at Bayard, Kansas. Among other property he had his comfortable residence on Pine Street.
Ever since locating in Moran he had shown a consistent attitude of progressiveness in the matter of public improvements, and he was elected mayor largely by those citizens who believe in a progressive conduct of local affairs. He was first elected in 1910 for a term of two years, and was re-elected in 1912 and 1914. He entered the office April 1, 1911, and his present term expires April 1, 1917. Among other measures which have had his earnest support and leadership was the promotion of the bond issue for the establishment of a municipal water and electric light plant. He had also used the resources of the village for the improvement of streets and sidewalks, and in every way had co-operated with local citizenship in making a better town both commercially and morally.
Mr. Hammel is a republican and had served as precinct committeeman of his party. He belongs to the Kansas Grain Dealers Association and also the National Organization of Grain Dealers, and is member of the Moran Commercial Club. Fraternally he is affiliated with Marmaton Lodge No. 245, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he was master in 1916 and re-elected for 1917. He had taken eighteen degrees of the Scottish Rite in Fort Scott Consistory No. 4. He also belongs to Moran Lodge No. 459, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and had held the chair of noble grand several terms.
Mr. Hammel was married in the fall of 1897 at Bronson, Kansas, to Miss Dema Hickson, daughter of James and Kate (Clark) Hickson. Her mother now resided at Moran, and her father, who was a farmer and came to Kansas from Indiana in 1882, is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Hammel have a family of four children: Mildred, born November 13, 1900, is in the second year of the Moran High School; Marian, born May 21, 1902, is in the first year of the local high school; Catherine was born March 7, 1905; and Clark on February 3, 1909.