Location: Cook County IL

Biography of Harry Jiencke

For about a quarter of a century Harry Jiencke traveled about over the State of Kansas as a salesman, building up a large acquaintance and business relationship, but for the past twelve years had been prominently identified with the oil and gas and various other industrial affairs of Independence, where he is one of the well known citizens. Of an old German family of Mecklenburg, he came to America when only a youth. He was born May 27, 1858. His father, Joachim Jiencke, was born in Mecklenburg in 1806 and died there in 1869. He was a man of more than ordinary prominence. He had extensive farming and stock raising interests, was a member of the legal profession and held a judicial office, and during his service in the regular army went through the rebellion of 1848. He was a member of the Lutheran Church. His wife, Henrietta Ahrens, was born in Germany in 1818 and died there in venerable years in 1905. To their marriage were born a large family, fifteen children, and a brief record of them is as follows: William, now deceased; Gustav, a confectioner living in Chicago; Mina, who died in infancy; Louisa, still living in Mecklenburg, Germany, the widow of Henry Demin, who was a miller; Fritz, deceased; Karl, deceased; Marie, living in Mecklenburg, the widow of Otto Beutler, who was a confectioner; Panl,...

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Biography of William A. Harris, Gen.

Gen. William A. Harris was a brave officer of the Confederacy, a pioneer railroad engineer, a successful and leading stock raiser of improved breeds and, both in state and national bodies (including the Congress of the United States), an untiring and effective promoter of agricultural interests. Born in Loudoun County, Virginia, October 29, 1841, as a boy he was educated in his native state and at Buenos Aires, Argentina, whither his father had been sent as United States minister. In June, 1859, he graduated from Columbia College, Washington, District of Columbia. Immediately afterward he went to Central America and spent six months on a ship canal survey, but returned home and entered the Virginia Military Institute in January, 1860. He was in the graduating class of 1861, but in April of that year he and his classmates entered the Confederate service. He served three years as assistant adjutant-general of Wilcox’s brigade and as ordnance officer of Gens. D. H. Hill’s and Rhodes’ divisions of the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1865 he came to Kansas and entered the employ of the Union Pacific railroad as civil engineer. The road was then completed to Lawrence, and his first work was to build the Leavenworth branch, which he completed in 1866. Mr. Harris was resident engineer of the road until it was completed to Carson in the fall of 1868, when...

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Biography of Leo D. Kelly

Leo D. Kelly, assistant cashier of the National Bank of Commerce in St. Louis, came to Missouri from the neighboring state of Illinois, his birth having occurred at Russell, Lake county, March 12, 1886. His father, the late Timothy Kelly, was a native of Michigan and of Irish descent. He became a successful farmer and a stock raiser, following agricultural pursuits until he passed away at Russell, Illinois, in 1908, at the age of sixty-eight years. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Margaret Hoye, was born in Salem, Wisconsin, and was also of Irish lineage. She died at Russell, Illinois, in 1906, when sixty-six years of age. By her marriage she had become the mother of eight sons and six daughters, of whom thirteen are living. Leo D. Kelly, who was the youngest of the family, passed through consecutive grades in the public schools until he had completed a high school course and later attended the College of Commerce at Kenosha, Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1904. He started out in the business world as a stenographer in Chicago and afterward entered the railroad service with the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Company in Chicago, becoming private secretary to H. T. Miller, the vice president of that road, and later filling the position of secretary under W. E. Hodger, vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad...

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Biography of Warren P. Elmer, M. D.

Dr. Warren P. Elmer, making a specialty of internal medicine, was born in Lodi, Ohio, October 1, 1879, a son of Warren Elmer, who was also a native of the Buckeye state and a representative of an old family of Ohio and New York. The Elmers are of English origin and the family was founded in America in 1650 by Edward Elmer, since which time representatives of the name have participated in the Colonial wars, the Revolutionary war and other military struggles, defending American Interests. Warren Elmer, Sr., was a breeder and stock raiser, who specialized in breeding and raising carriage horses and in this was very successful. He wedded Virginia White, a native of Ohio, who was descended from Vermont ancestry, and to a more remote period the ancestry is traced back to Peter White, who came over on the Mayflower and who was the father of Peregrine White, the first white child born in New England. The family was founded in Ohio during the latter part of the eighteenth century. The death of Warren Elmer occurred October 6, 1917, when he had reached the age of seventy-eight years and his wife died in November, 1918, at the age of seventy-four years. Dr. Elmer is the only survivor of a family of three children. He was educated in the public schools at Lodi, Ohio, in Stanford University of...

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Biography of John Joseph Horan

John Joseph Horan, manufacturers’ agent of St. Louis, was born in New York city, September 10, 1859. His father, Patrick Horan, who departed this life in 1890, was born in Ireland and came to America in 1840.He was an engineer, connected with the United States navy. He married Ann Flynn, also a native of the Emerald isle, their wedding being celebrated in New York. They became the parents of two sons and a daughter: John J.; Thomas H., who died in 1906; and Mary, who died at the age of fourteen years. John J. Horan is therefore the only surviving member of the family. He was educated in the grammar and high schools of New York, attending the latter for three years, and in 1873, when a youth of fourteen years, he entered the employ of the American Whip Company as a clerk. He rose to the position of manager by the time he reached the age of twenty years and continued to act in that capacity until 1885. He then resigned and went with the Woodbury Whip Company of Rochester, New York, which he represented upon the road as a traveling salesman until 1901. Again he resigned his position and engaged in business on his own account as an equal partner in the Cowles-Horan Whip Company of Westfield, Massachusetts. He became manager of the St. Louis office and...

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Biographical Sketch of Ernest Edward Reid

Ernest Edward Reid, who had inherited many of the salesmanship qualities of his honored father, and is vice president of the Fort Scott Wholesale Grocery Company, was born in Chicago, Illinois, October 8, 1865. He was educated in the public schools of Fort Scott, in the State Normal School and was still a boy when he began his business career as a utility worker in a Fort Scott book store. Three years later he found a position more to his liking in the local postoffice, and after two years there became express messenger for the Adams Express Company. For nearly thirty years Mr. Reid had concentrated all his energies and interests upon the wholesale grocery business. In 1887 he was made shipping and bill clerk for the Stadden Grocery Company. When that company retired in 1890, he and his father and Grant Hornady and A. J. McLaughlin organized the Southwestern Wholesale Grocery Company of Fort Scott. Several years later this was consolidated with the Fort Scott Wholesale Grocery Company, of which he is now vice president and had full charge of the local business as city salesman. Twenty-seven years of his life he had devoted to salesmanship, and is a past master of the art. Mr. Reid is also a director of the Western Automobile Indemnity Company of Fort Scott, is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, had...

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Biography of Elisha Wesley McComas, Hon.

While the years of his greatest activity and achievement, the period which made him a national figure, were spent in other localities, a special interest attaches to the career of Elisha W. McComas in Kansas, not only because he lived in that state for many years, but members of his family still reside there. He was born in Cabell County in Old Virginia, the second in a family of six sons. His father was a prominent man in Old Virginia, served several terms in Congress, filled a position on the local bench, and other places of honor. The early life of Governor McComas was spent in that portion of Virginia which subsequently became the war-born State of West Virginia. He was educated chiefly in Ohio and was admitted to the bar in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1841. At the outbreak of the war with Mexico he was commissioned a captain in the Eleventh Virginia Infantry and served throughout the war. He was at one time wounded and taken prisoner and received his honorable discharge July 20, 1848. After the Mexican war he took up the practice of law, and as a brilliant young Southerner naturally drifted into politics. He was elected to the Virginia Legislature, and in 1855 had the distinction of being chosen lieutenant governor of Virginia on the ticket with Governor Henry A. Wise. He resigned...

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Biography of John Conover, Col.

Of the individuals whose lives have influenced, developed, stabilised and broadened the civic and commercial resources of the State of Kansas, one of the most conspicuous was that of the late Col. John Conover. Coming to Kansas in 1857 and locating in Leavenworth, he was one of the pioneer merchants of that city. Going from Kansas at the outbreak of the war into the service of the Union army, he made a brilliant record as a soldier and officer, and that record is one of the many reasons why Kansas people should have a grateful memory of his life. Following the war there came ten years more of successful participation in the business affairs of Leavenworth, at the end of which time he identified himself with Kansas City, Missouri, and there occurred the culminating achievements of his business career, resulting in the founding and development of the Richards & Conover Hardware Company, the largest wholesale house in that line west of St. Louis. He died January 8, 1914. Before proceeding to the details of his career there should be quoted the summary of his experience which was happily phrased in the editorial columns of the Kansas City Star: “Colonel John Conover was a typical pioneer of the sort that had conquered the wilderness and made this western country great. A boy whose endowment lacked the glittering non-essentials of wealth...

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Biography of Martin Mohler, Hon.

Kansas had always been a progressive state. Its history proves that. But progressiveness is a spiritual attitude and by its very nature its material environment is constantly changing. Thus it was as possible for progressiveness to exist and flourish twenty-five or thirty years ago when Kansas was beset by mortgages, whirlwinds and sod houses, as in the present era of comfortable substance and prosperity. Hence it is possible to refer to the late Martin Mohler’s distinction as one of the most progressive secretaries of the State Board of agriculture Kansas ever had without disparaging in any sense the accomplishment of his honored son, Jacob C. Mohler, who is the present secretary of the State Board of agriculture. Martin Mohler came to Kansas in the early days in 1871, and for three terms, six years, was secretary of the board of agriculture, from January, 1888, to January, 1894. In the fourteenth biennial report of the Kansas State Board of Agricultore is found an appropriate tribute to his life and its activities, written by a man who had known him practically ever since he came to Kansas, and from that article is adopted the following sketch for publication in the Standard History of Kansas. Martin Mohler was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1830, and died at Topeka, Kansas, March 20, 1903. During his boyhood he availed himself of every...

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Biography of Elmer A. Kiel

Elmer A. Kiel, secretary and treasurer of the firm of Kiel & Danes of St. Louis, is a native of the city in which he resides, his birth having occurred here on the 13th of July, 1895. His father is the Hon. Henry W. Kiel, mayor of St. Louis, of whom extended mention is made elsewhere in this work. The son in early manhood began learning the brick contracting business with the firm of Kiel & Danes and has remained with this firm continuously since. Steadily he has advanced as he has acquainted himself with the various branches and phases of the business and on the 12th of October, 1920, he was elected to the position of secretary and treasurer. The business was established in 1868 by his grandfather, Henry F. Kiel, and J. H. Daues, the latter continuing in active connection with the business until his death which occurred in October, 1920. The firm engages in the contracting and building business, doing building work In brick, terra cotta and tile. Their patronage is most extensive and the business is one of the most important in connection with building operations in St. Louis. During the World war Elmer A. Kiel put aside all personal considerations and enlisted in the Tank Corps on the 20th of July, 1918. He was assigned to Company C, Three Hundred and Sixth Battery, and...

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Biography of John P. Thomy

John P. Thomy, president of the National Pigment & Chemical Company and prominently known in the musical as well as the business circles of St. Louis, was born in Riga, Livonia, June 10, 1880. His father, Bernard Thorny, was also a native of Livonia and became a prominent and wealthy grain dealer of Riga, which then belonged to Russia. He had large contracts for the export of grain, and when the government prohibited the exportation of grain during the year 1894, he came to the United States in order to make new contracts on this side of the Atlantic. Not long afterward, however, he became ill and passed away. He had established his home in St. Louis and had become a member of the St. Louis Merchants Exchange. Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Thomy became the parents of eight children, four of whom died in infancy, while two sons and two daughters are living. John P. Thomy, the youngest of the family, was educated in the gymnasium of his native city and his training was equivalent to a college education. The parents afforded their children every advantage that money and social position could give them. Such advancement had John P. Thomy made that at the age of fifteen years he was able to secure permission to leave the country for America and in August, 1895, he followed his father to...

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Biography of Henry Craig Morrison

Henry Craig Morrison, secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Morrison Lee Mining & Development Company, president of the Contract Waterproofing Company and also secretary of the Arkansas Mining & Mercantile Company, has won a most creditable position in business circles in St. Louis, his native city. He was born July 22, 1888, and is a son of John W. Morrison of St. Louis, whose birth occurred in Georgetown, Kentucky, and who comes of an old family of English lineage. The first representatives of the name landed at Plymouth during the early colonization of Massachusetts, and for a century the. family was represented in Kentucky before John W. Morrison became a resident of St. Louis. Here he entered prominently into the business life of the city as a member of the dry goods firm of Hargardine McKittrick & Company. He wedded Mary Elizabeth Sparks, who was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and is a daughter of Mitchell Sparks, who belonged to one of the old families of Arkansas that settled at Fort Smith prior to the Civil war. Mrs. Morrison is still a resident of St. Louis. In the schools of his native city Henry Craig Morrison pursued his education until he had completed a course in the Central high school and later he attended the Rolla School of Mines, from which he was graduated in 1913 with the...

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Biography of George W. Osburn, M. D.

GEORGE W. OSBURN, M. D. The life of the popular, successful physician is one of incessant toil, self-denial and care, yet all true followers of the “healing art” strive to attain prominence in their profession, regardless of added burdens which will rest upon their shoulders. Such a man is George W. Osburn, who was born in Gwinnett County, Ga., November 15, 1841, a son of Ectyl and Cynthia (Nelson) Osburn (see sketch of Dr. M. H. Osburn). George W. attended the common schools of Georgia, was brought up to the healthy and useful life of the farmer, and when the great Civil War came up was forced into the Confederate service, but shortly after managed to make his escape and refugeed to Ohio, making his home in Cincinnati from 1863 to 1864, when he went to Chicago, later to the city of New York, and then back again to Chicago, where he made his home until 1868. He was engaged in carpentering and helped to build many of the early houses of that city. In 1868 he became a resident of Berry County, Missouri, but two years later located at Thornfield, in Ozark County, and in 1871 on the farm where he now lives in Douglas County, ten miles south of Ava. His farm consists of 690 acres, and he has now 200 acres under cultivation, although but small...

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Biography of Ira I. Cammack

Ira I. Cammack, who has devoted the greater part of his life to educational work, has done valuable service in the capacity of superintendent of schools in Kansas City, which position he still holds. He was born at Deming, Hamilton county, Indiana, on the 16th of February, 1858, his parents being James and Edith J. Cammack, who were pioneer settlers of eastern Indiana, taking up their abode in Randolph county. They held birthright membership in the Friends church and were prominently identified therewith throughout their entire lives. The father brought the first steam sawmills to central Indiana. Joseph Pearson, the maternal grandfather of Ira I. Cammack, had the first station of underground railroad north of Cambridge City, Indiana, where Levi Coffin, the reputed president of the underground railroad, lived and operated. Ira I. Cammack obtained his elementary education in the country schools and subsequently became a student in the Union High Academy, which was conducted under the auspices of the Friends church of Westfield, Indiana, and from which he was graduated in 1879. During the following year he attended Valparaiso University. His first teaching experience was gained in the rural schools of Hamilton county, Indiana. Following the completion of his high school course he took charge of the Sugar Plain school west of Thorntown, Indiana, a combination of public and Friends school. Later he assisted as a student in...

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Biography of Charles Leavitt Holman

There are few business enterprises that so closely touch the comfort and welfare as that which has to do with the lighting of homes and business houses, and the man who is active in control of public utilities must be one of broad vision, of thorough understanding of needs and conditions and of marked enterprise that he may keep in touch with the changing times. Possessing all these requisites, Charles Leavitt Holman has steadily advanced since he became connected with the Laclede Gas Light Company of St. Louis in April, 1903. He was advanced through various positions to tile presidency on the 1st of March, 1912, and then when it became necessary to have governmeir control over fuel and light because of tile exigencies brought about by the war, Mr. Holman did effective service in this connection. He has made himself master of every phase of the business, acquainting himself with the various details of gas manufacture and distribution as well as with tile principal elements of successful control of a business of this nature. He was born at Lawrence, Kansas, July 4, 18711, and throughout his life has manifested the spirit of western enterprise and progress. His parents were James E. and Libbie I. Sherwood) HOLMAN and under the parental roof he remained while pursuing his education in tile public schools of the Sunflower state. He started out...

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