Location: Independence Kansas

Biography of William Hasselmann

William Hasselmann is an expert florist. He learned the business in all its details and all its phases in Germany, and had had experience in some of the greatest flower growing centers in the world. Some years ago he located at Independence, Kansas, and is now proprietor of the leading greenhouses of that city and his business had grown so rapidly that it is constantly demanding more room and greater facillties for the better handling of a custom that now extends far beyond the borders of his home city. His full name is William Dietrich Hasselmann. He was born at Harpstedt, Germany, August 22, 1881. His older brother, Henry, is now serving in the German Imperial Army in the great European war, and had previous to that conducted the father’s business, was also a dealer and shipper in hogs and handled insurance Mr. Hasselmann’s sister, Johanna, is the wife of Julius Behrens, a newspaper reporter at Bremerhaven, Germany. The younger brother, John, was killed in the early part of the war while in front of Verdun at the age of twenty-six. The father of these children, John Hasselmann, was born neer Harpstedt, Germany, in 1845, and is still living there. He is a retail merebant and hotel proprietor. He spent three years, from 1870 to 1873, in the German army and was in the Franco-Prussian war. He married Katrine...

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Biography of James G. Adam

James G. Adam has performed and is performing a most important work as secretary of the Independence Commercial Association. He is himself a man of wide experience in business affairs, and had the progressivenass, energy and enterprise which are unusual qualiflecations for his present position. The Commercial Association is an organization of local citizens whose principal object is to promote the growth and solid welfare of the city. The club is now in a flourishing condition with 210 names on its membership roll. Mr. Adam as secretary was primarily instrumental in securing for Independence the National Sash and Door Company, who took over the old glass plant of the city. They still conduct the glass plant for glasing the glass doors and windows, but the operation of the glass works is confined, as is usual with glass plants during the colder part of the year from October to May. The company gets its wood supplies from the North and West in car lots. This is one of the best industrial plants of Independence, employing 250 men the year around. Mr. Adams was also the Commercial Club’s leader in persuading the Prairie Oil and Gas Company to establish its principal headquarters at Independence. This company had recently completed the second largest office building in the state, and most of the executive officers of the company have bought property and have...

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Biography of Owen A. Thompson

Owen A. Thompson of Independence represents one of the pioneer families of Kansas and had had an eventful career in nearly all parts of the world. Beturning to his native state a few years ago, he exercised his original mind in inventing a machins now extensively used in all the oil districts of the country, and had since applied himself to the management of the manufacturing plant known as the Safety Pulling Machine Company at Independence, of which he is secretary and treasurer. His grandfather, James A. Thompson, was descended from Scotch ancestors who came from Ayr, Scotland, to New Jersey about 1774. The original ancestor came over as a British soldier but his sympathies were all with the colonists, who soon afterwards engaged in the struggle for independence. James A. Thompson was born in 1831 at Morristown, New Jersey, and came out to Kansas in 1869, taking up a homestead and following farming until his death at Liberty, Kansas, in 1890. It was at Liberty, Kansas, that Owen A. Thompson was born July 27, 1885. His father was Ransom G. Thompson and he was born near Elgin, Illinois, in 1864. He had spent his active career as a farmer and stock man and in 1888 left Kansas and moved to Cook, Nebraska, where he was among the early settlers. He is still living there. He is a member...

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Biography of E. Clate Fair

E. Clate Fair. As a young man of seventeen years Mr. Fair accompanied his parents on their removal from Ohio to Kansas, in 1884, and here he had been closely and successfully concerned with the retail drug business during the long intervening period of more than thirty years. In 1904 he opened his present handsomely appointed and well equipped drug store at 211 North Pennsylvania Avenue in the thriving little City of Independence, the judicial center of Montgomery County, and his establishment is one of the leading prescription pharmacies in the county, with a substantial and representative patronage. He had not been imbued with ambition for political preferment of any kind, but is a supporter of the cause of the republican party and had identified himself fully and loyally with the civic and business interests of Independence. The genealogy of the Fair family traces back to sterling English origin, and the first representatives in America settled in Pennsylvania’ prior to the war of the revolution. E. Clate Fair was born at Millersburg, Holmes County, Ohio, on the 27th of March, 1867, and is a son of Elfjah Weaver Fair and Rachel (Shunk) Fair, the former of whom was born at Farmerstown, Holmes County, Ohio, in 1838, and the latter of whom was born at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1838. The father died at Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas, on the...

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Biography of Charles Daniel Ise

Charles Daniel Ise, a prominent lawyer and now county attorney of Montgomery County, had an individual record worthy of mention in this history of Kansas, and also represents a family which have many claims to distinction, some of them gained in this state, and others back in the Germen fatherland where the ancestors for generations were of the nobility. In Germany the name was spelled Eisenmenger. The family seat for generations had been in the Kingdom of Wnerternberg, and they had been members of the noble classes in that kingdom from the fourteenth century. One of the family was hero of the book known as “The Man of the Iron Hand.” The grandfather of the Independence attorney was Christopher Eisenmenger, who, in the decade of the ’40s, was considered the richest citizen of the Kingdom of Wuertemberg, owning controlling interests in every brick and tile manufacturing establishment in that country. He participated in all the wars of Germany in his time, and it is said that his father was slain in the battle of Waterloo. Christopher Eisenmenger was a very progressive man and advocated and to some degree brought about reform far in advance of his time. Partly for this and also for religious reasons he fell into the disfavor of the ruling house of Hohenzollern, and all his property was confiscated and he was left practically bankrupt when...

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Biography of Chester Stevens

Chester Stevens, representing a pioneer family in Montgomery County, had been an active factor in local affairs and in the legal profession for the past ten years. He is now serving as county auditor, and also enjoys some influential and profitable connections as a lawyer with offices in Independence. Some of his ancestors fought in the American Revolution, and the Stevens family came from England and settled in New York in colonial times. His grandfather, Chauncey Stevens, was born in New York, and went as a pioneer to the State of Indiana, where he followed farming until his death. Chester Stevens was born in Montgomery County, Kansas, September 15, 1882. His father, R. E. Stevens, came to Montgomery County, Kansas, in 1870. At that time the Town of Independence had hardly been started, and he was closely associated with much of the early life of this then frontier county. For about twelve years he engaged in the freighting business, before railroads were built, from Montgomery County to Fort Scott and Sedan. He spent his last years on a farm near Elk City, and his farm of eighty acres is still owned by his widow. He was born in the State of Indiana not far from Hamilton, Ohio, grew up in Indiana, but was married across the line in Ohio. He died at Elk City, Kansas, April 10, 1885. He...

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Biography of John Rose

John Rose, who for several years had been numbered among the leading oil producers in Montgomery County fields, and resided at Independence, is a thoroughly practical as well as successful man, as his career indicates. When only thirteen he started out for himself, and had since hewed his way through difficulties, through poverty, to a successful position in the world. He was born February 26, 1861, near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is of Scotch parentage. His father, James Rose, was born in Scotland in 1822, was reared and learned the trade of stone mason in his native country, and about 1860 emigrated to Canada. In 1862 he moved his family to Ottawa County, Michigan, and became one of the early farmers there. At that time there were only five white families in the entire township where he settled. He spent the rest of his days actively engaged in farming and died in Ottawa County, Michigan, in 1876. After coming to the United States he was a republican voter, was a member of the Congregational Church and a man of very excellent character. He married Jane Daveney, who was boxn in Scotland in 1832, and who died in Michigan in 1890. They had a large family of children, John Rose being the eighth and youngest. Mention of the others is as follows: William, a farmer at Big Rapids, Michigan; Agnes;...

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Biography of Thurman Hill

Thurman Hill, who is serving as county attorney, has identified himself with the community of Independence and Montgomery County as a rising young lawyer and as a public spirited citizen whose influence has already been displayed effectively as a campaign manager and through association with various public and business enterprises. His family has been identified with Kansas for more than forty years. His grandparents, John and Mary Hill, came from England to New York State about 1850. His grandfather, John Hill, was born in 1825, was a ship contractor, but in 1874 moved to Kansas and took up a homestead and followed farming the rest of his active career. He died in Independence in 1901. George Hill, father of the young attorney at Independence, has long been one of the respected and esteemed citizens of Montgomery County and is the head of a fine family. He was born in New York State in 1854, and was reared partly in Louisiana, but came to Kansas when a young man. That was in 1874, and his operations as a farmer and in various business and public capacities have been largely centered around Independence, where he still resides, owning an attractive residence at 903 West Myrtle Street. He owns land in Oklahoma, and has built up a large business in real estate at Independence. As a democrat he has participated in public...

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Biography of Roy Pitts

Roy Pitts is chief of the fire department at Independence. During his two years in that office he has developed the service to a high point of efficiency, partly by organization and partly by the introduction of modern apparatus, so that Independence today can boast of as perfect an equipment for fighting fire as any city of its size in Kansas. When Mr. Pitts took charge of the department the apparatus consisted of a chief’s car and a horse-drawn hose wagon. Since then he has taken the lead in giving the city a better apparatus. The city now has three motor propelled cars, one pump and hose car and the other a hose car, and both of these engines were designed by Chief Pitts. The first was built by the South Bend Motor Car Works at South Bend, Indiana. It is in itself a complete engine for prompt and efficient fire fighting. It carries 1,200 feet of hose, besides ladders, deluge, searchlight and all necessary tools, and can pump 750 gallons a minute. The other hose car, also designed by Mr. Pitts, was built by himself and the other firemen of the city on a Buick chassis. It carries an equipment of 1,000 feet of hose, ladders, chemicals, pyreenes, searchlight, etc. The chief’s car, which was built by the Anderson Fire Coupling and Supply Company of Kansas City, Kansas,...

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Biography of Frank F. Fletcher

Frank F. Fletcher is the only architect practicing the profession exclusively at Independence. He has a long and successful record as a builder and was active as a contractor until an unfortunate injury obliged him to desist. He has since followed the profession of architect and has built up a very large clientele. He was born in Louisiana, Missouri, September 19, 1870. His maternal grandfather was William Kling, who was born in Holland in 1800 and was a horticulturist. On coming to America he settled in Louisiana, Missouri, in 1818. Peter R. Fletcher, father of Frank F., was born in Hull, England, in 1827. As a young man he served two years in the British army. When about twenty years of age he came to the United States and located at Louisiana, Missouri. As a building contractor he erected courthouses and other public buildings in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. It was while engaged in the building of a courthouse at Denton, Texas, that he was killed in a railroad accident. He died at Dallas, Texas, in 1874. He was a republican, a Mason, and a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Peter R. Fletcher married Margaret Kling, who was born at Louisiana, Missouri, in 1835, and died there in 1870. Her children were: William, who is a contractor and builder at Corpus Christi, Texas; Annie, wife of...

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Biography of William P. Bowen

William P. Bowen. For thirty years or more the name Bowen has been extensively associated with milling industries in Southern Kansas. William P. Bowen owns the only flour and feed milling enterprise at Independence, and this was established by himself and his father a great many years ago in connection with several other mills of the same kind located in other parts of the state. Mr. Bowen is not only a business man but a citizen well known throughout Montgomery County. He has filled the post of mayor of his home city, and has done much to advance community welfare. He is descended from Welsh ancestors. Three brothers of the name came from Wales to the United States prior to the Revolutionary war. The one from whom he is descended located in Ohio after that war, and the other two located, according to the best information, in Virginia, and one in New York State. William P. Bowen was born at Ottumwa, Iowa, August 31, 1855. His father was the late George W. Bowen, who died at Independence, Kansas, in 1912. He was born in Ohio in 1829, was reared largely in Indiana, and became an early settler at Ottumwa, Iowa, where he married the mother of William P. Bowen. While still a resident of Ottumwa he made his first business undertaking in Kansas in 1869, establishing a mill at...

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Biography of R. W. Lewis

R. W. Lewis is now serving his second term as sheriff of Montgomery County. He is a native of Montgomery County, and for many years has had a reputation as a man who does things in a large and efficient way. That is true of his official career as also of his business record. Mr. Lewis has some extensive interests as a merchant in Independence, owns a large amount of property, and is one of the leading oil producers in that section of the state. He is an American to the core, and represents a family that came from England to Virginia prior to the Revolution. His grandfather spent his life in Virginia as a planter. R. W. Lewis was born in Montgomery County, Kansas, January 1, 1875. His father is E. T. Lewis, who was born in Virginia in 1844, and is now living practically retired on a small farm a mile north of Independence. He is a veteran of the Confederate army, having enlisted from his native state in 1862 and serving until the close of the war. He was in the Shenandoah Valley campaign and also in many of the battles around Richmond with Lee’s army. He was twice wounded, and once taken a prisoner, but managed to make his escape. After the war he came West, lived in Jasper County, Missouri, for several years, and...

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Biographical Sketch of Marvin Frederick Truby

Marvin Frederick Truby is one of the younger men who are supplying their enterprise in the fields of oil production at Independence. Independence is his native birthplace, where he was born February 19, 1891. He attended the public schools there and the Montgomery County High School, and completed the sophomore year in the Kansas State University. Leaving college in 1910, he has since been in the oil business and has producing wells both in Kansas and in Oklahoma. He resides at 217 North Second Street. Mr. Truby is a member of the Episcopal Church and politically is an independent democrat. Fraternally he is a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Greek letter fraternity, and of Independent Lodge, No. 780, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is also a member of the Independence Country Club. His parents are Marvin L. and Minnie M. (Bishop) Truby, who live in their attractive home at 217 North Second Street in Independence. The senior Mr. Truby is an oil and gas producer and is a member of several companies operating in the Kansas and Oklahoma fields. He also conducts a jewelry establishment at 106 North Penn...

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Biography of Camden L. Bloom

C. L. Bloom. One of the most picturesque careers in the mid-continent oil and gas fields has been that of Camden L. Bloom of Independence. By an unusual capacity for hard labor and by a foresight seasoned by long and active experience he made one large fortune, which was swept away in the panic of 1907. With a few dollars realized by mortgaging his home, he made a new start, and today his operations and holdings would constitute another modest fortune at least. His life began in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, March 14, 1868. His people, the Blooms, came from Germany to Pennsylvania about the time of the Revolution. His father was A. W. Bloom, who was long and prominently known in Kansas and died at Independence August 24, 1909. He was born in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, in 1837, and in that state he followed farming, though his chief business for a number of years centered in the rafting of extensive quantities of hemlock and white pine down the Susquehanna River. In 1877 he moved his family to Fulton County, Indiana, and three years later to Bollinger County, Missouri. In 1884 he made his next step toward the West, settling in Linn County, Kansas, and thereafter confining his attention entirely to farming. From Linn County he moved to Miami County, Kansas, and from there to Independence, where he lived retired...

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Biography of Herschel C. Porterfield

Herschel C. Porterfield. Thirty-five years in the oil fields and thirty years as a contractor and producer constitute the record of this veteran of an industry which has brought Kansas untold wealth. Like hundreds of men of this class, he has found Independence as the most satisfactory city for residence and business headquarters. In another respect he is typical of perhaps a majority of the oil men of the country–his native state is Pennsylvania. Born in Butler County, August 10, 1856, he was one of several brothers to become identified with the oil industry in one way or another. Up to the age of eighteen he lived at home and attended the public schools of his native county. Then after six years more spent assisting in the work of his father’s farm, he began regular employment as a worker in the oil district, first in Butler, then in Venango County, afterwards in Cattaraugus County, New York, Washington County and Toledo, Ohio, and from the East came to Kansas on April 1, 1903. He spent a time in Chanute, then went to Peru, but since 1904 has had his home and headquarters in Independence. It was in Venango County, Pennsylvania, in 1886, that Mr. Porterfield did his first contracting. He bought a string of tools, and since then has worn out many sets and is now interested in five strings,...

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