Location: Joplin Missouri

Biographical Sketch of Charles L. McMasters

Charles L. McMasters, dealer in grain, coal and seeds, and a popular young man of Tuscola, was born on a farm three miles northwest of Tuscola, in Tuscola township, March 26, 1867, and is a son of S. L. and Hannah ( Maris) Maris)McMasters, who were natives of Parke County, Indiana. In 1869 his father sold, his farm and removed to Sand Springs, Kansas, where he followed farming and stock raising until his death in Mary, 1870, after which his mother, with three children, two sons and one daughter-Charles being the younger-removed to Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas, where she resided until the spring of 1877, thence moving to Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, where she died October 3, of the same year. In March, 1878, Charles, being only in his eleventh year, returned to Tuscola to live with his uncle, James Davis. Here he went to school until February, 1886, when he became a clerk for Davis & Finney, in the grain business, and remained their bookkeeper and confidential clerk up to 1888, when Mr. Davis died. The firm was then succeeded by Finney & McMasters, which business continued up to 1891, when Mr. McMasters bought the interest of his partner and since then has been alone. He is now in the midst of what promises to be a most successful business career. He buys and sells about two hundred...

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Slave Narrative of Aunt Adeline

“I was born a slave about 1848, in Hickmon County, Tennessee,” said Aunt Adeline who lives as care taker in a house at 101 Rock Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas, which is owned by the Blakely-Hudgens estate. Aunt Adeline has been a slave and a servant in five generations of the Parks family. Her mother, Liza, with a group of five Negroes, was sold into slavery to John P.A. Parks, in Tennessee, about 1840. “When my mother’s master come to Arkansas about 1849, looking for a country residence, he bought what was known as the old Kidd place on the Old Wire Road, which was one of the Stage Coach stops. I was about one year old when we came. We had a big house and many times passengers would stay several days and wait for the next stage to come by. It was then that I earned my first money. I must have been about six or seven years old. One of Mr. Parks’ daughters was about one and a half years older than I was. We had a play house back of the fireplace chimney. We didn’t have many toys; maybe a doll made of a corn cob, with a dress made from scraps and a head made from a roll of scraps. We were playing church. Miss Fannie was the preacher and I was the audience. We were...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas Rogers

(See Grant and Downing)-Thomas Lewis, son of Thomas Lewis and Nancy C. (Martin) Rogers, was born near Pawhuska, September 2, 1885. He was educated in that city. He married in 1917 at Joplin, Missouri, Bessie Barrett. He is the father of Thomas Lewis, born July 28, 1911; and Nancy Rogers, born April 24, 1914. Mr. Rogers is a member of the Christian church, and a merchant at...

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Biography of Andrew Calvin Sewell

Andrew Calvin Sewell, a younger brother of J. B. Sewell, was born in Overton County, Tennessee, May 30, 1856. He was fifteen when the family came across the country in a prairie schooner to Montgomery County, Kansas, and in the meantime had attended public schools in Tennessee. While living on the farm southwest of Independence he continued his education in the district schools and in the fall of 1876 became a teacher. Preparatory to beginning his work as a teacher he had attended a private school conducted by Professor Morrison of Radical City. In his home district, Harrisonville, he taught a term, then attended the Normal Institute at Independence, and in the fall of 1877 took up his work in the Peebler District. The following spring he returned to the Harrisonville District and taught a term of three months, and then for three years was principal of schools at Elk City. After that he was again in the Harrisonville District, afterwards was principal for a year at Elk City, and then entered the mercantile business at Elk City. In 1898 he moved to Joplin, Missouri, where he was connected with merchandising and also as a prospector and miner for about two years. In 1901, after coming back to Elk City, he secured leases for about 17,000 acres of land in behalf of the Elk City Gas and Oil Company....

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Biography of Alfred H. Purdy

ALFRED H. PURDY. Among the enterprising and successful produce merchants of Billings, Missouri, Alfred H. Purdy holds a prominent position. He has been in business in this city since 1880, has developed a permanent patronage, and his house is one of the creditable monuments to the business circles of this place. He came originally from south Illinois, born December 28, 1857, to the union of Henry I. and Mary (Varnum) Purdy. Our subject passed his boyhood and youth in his native county, and in addition to a common-school education attended college at Carbondale, where he was thoroughly educated. For a short time he clerked in Carbondale, but later came to Missouri, and clerked in a store in Joplin for a number of years. In 1880 he came to Billings, leased the mill, and was engaged in the milling business from that time until 1884, under the firm name of Purdy & Goesling. After that he and his brother, C. E. Purdy, embarked in the grocery business, which they followed for about six years, when our subject bought out his partner. Later he sold this, and still later branched out in the produce business with L. M.Wolfe, now the vice-president of Billings Mercantile Company. In 1890 Mr. Purdy and George M. Scott bought out Mr. John Seide, mercantile store, also the store of C. E. Purdy, consolidated the business, and...

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Biography of David Wolff

DAVID WOLFF. In the whole range of commercial enterprise no interest is of more importance than that representing the sale of groceries. This fact is recognized and appreciated by all thoughtful and intelligent persons. In this connection we take pleasure in calling attention to a house which, though only established since 1883, has already proved itself to be indispensable to the locality. David Wolff is a native of the Buckeye State, born in Ross County January 2, 1852, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth Wolff, both of whom died in Ohio. This worthy couple were the parents of seven children, only two besides our subject now living: Charles A., who is still in Ohio, and Fredrick, who is in Kalamazoo, Mich. One son, William, who died in 1883, was a soldier in the Civil War as was also Charles and Fredrick. John, another son, died after reaching mature years, and the remainder of the children, daughters, died young. The Wolff family settled in Ohio at an early date and the father of our subject was a merchant there. He was a native of Germany and came to this country when young. David Wolff attained his growth in his native State and was about nine years of age when his father died. He received his scholastic training in his native town and when twenty-one years of age started...

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Biography of Julius Weiss

Julius Weiss. Recently the Topeka Daily Capital had an illustration on one of its pages showing a banquet table surrounded by a group of some of the best known and most prominent veteran business men of Topeka. Underneath was a text explaining the occasion. A part of this reads as follows: “Fifty years at the old stand, forty-seven years at the same number and still an active business man. That is something of a distinction. March 1, 1866, Julius Weiss, a young captain of calvary who had served all through the Civil war in an Illinois regiment, opened a grocery store on Kansas Avenue. Wednesday evening, March 1, just fifty years to the day, a group of Mr. Weiss’ friends gathered at his home, 421 Tyler, to celebrate the anniversary with him. Everybody there felt it was a great event, and it was. “A likeness of Mr. Weiss taken fifty years ago, with bushy hair and long moustache, so fashionable in the early ’60s, judging by all Civil war photographs, was shown on the place cards. It didn’t look much like the kindly man with closely cropped gray VanDyke and high forehead who sat smiling at the head of the table. It was a unique dinner party and a jolly one. Several of Mr. Weiss’ fifty-year customers were there. Nowadays we call them patrons. In the group were pre-staters,...

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Biography of William S. Norton

William S. Norton. Whatever their environment, men of true ability have the power to raise themselves above circumstances, and apparently handicaps and difficulties act only as a spur to increase effort and accomplishment. There are few Kansas whose careers better illustrate the truth of this assertion than that of William S. Norton, who is known so well in Cherokee County as a financier and business man. Mr. Norton could review by personal recollections practically every phase of life in Southwestern Missouri and Southeastern Kansas during the last half century. He was a Union soldier during the war and the keynote to his success can probably be found in the fact that he has been ever ready to meet danger and difficulty and has always been unusually resourceful in every exigency of a long life. As to his ancestry it can be stated that the Nortons were English people and were pioneers to the State of Ohio, where they settled before the War of 1812. Their first point of settlement on coming to America was North Carolina. Mr. William S. Norton was born in Edgar County, Illinois, July 26, 1844. His father was Amos Norton, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, where he was born in 1826. After spending the first nineteen years of his life in the vicinity of Mount Vernon, he moved to Edgar County, Illinois, where he...

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Biography of Samuel Aaron Kenoyer

Samuel Aaron Kenoyer, a prominent real estate operator of Miami, has won a substantial, measure of success through the capable management of his business affairs and has also aided materially in improving and developing his city, being recognized as a most progressive and public-spirited citizen. He was born in Kentland, Newton county, Indiana, September 30, 1873, of the marriage of James and Nancy Jane Kenoyer, the former also born in that county, while the latter was likewise a native of the Hoosier state. For a time the father engaged in farming and he afterward turned his attention to the carpenter’s trade, which he followed at Marshall and Kentland, Indiana. He is an honored veteran of the Civil war, enlisting from Newton county in the Fifty-first Indiana Volunteer Infantry and serving throughout the entire period of hostilities, after which he was stationed for a time in Texas. Upon receiving his discharge he returned to Indiana, where he resumed his farming operations. He is still living at the age of eighty years, but the mother passed away in 1919. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, actively interested in its affairs, and is affiliated with the Methodist church, of which his wife was also a member. He is a republican in his political views and a stanch supporter of the principles and candidates of the party. Samuel...

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Biography of Oliver W. Sparks

Oliver W. Sparks. In a greater degree than is true of most towns the City of Galena is the result of the enterprise of a comparatively small group of men. Oliver W. Sparks came along and discovered zinc and lead on the Schermerhorn farm. That marked the opening chapter in the industrial history of one of the most progressive mining towns of Southeastern Kansas. After his first strike Mr. Sparks opened up other mineral deposits on the Maston land, later on the Bunco farm, and now for many years he had been continuously operating in that vicinity. Today he is the largest mine operator in the Galena district, and there is no question that Galena had become a city largely as a result of his and a few other men’s operations and the results that have grown from his enterprise. Both he and his father were among the pioneers in this mining district. His father, the late Samuel Sparks, who died at Galena, in 1907, came to the Stanley diggings in Cherokee County in 1877. Oliver W. Sparks was at that time seventeen years of age and he gained his first experience in Cherokee County with his father. In 1879 father and son went to Leadville, Colorado, remaining there three years, but then returned to Galens, where Samuel Sparks continued his business as a zinc and lead miner until...

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Biography of John Thomas Sims

John Thomas Sims, who many years ago secured prestige as one of the most forcible lawyers of the Kansas City, Kansas, bar and is now serving as judge of the Probate Court of Wyandotte County has had his share of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. His early life was one of hard and continuous work, often ill repaid, and again and again overtaken with calamity or disaster. He tried farming in the early days of Kansas, and various other occupations, and again and again when prosperity seemed to smile upon him he was put back at the beginning by drought or some other of the numerous calamities which are so familiar in Kansas history. Judge Sims was born at Robinson, Crawford County, Illinois, December 31, 1864. He was one of eleven children, four of whom are still living, and is the only one in Kansas. His parents were Thomas Jefferson and Arminta McComas (Elledge) Sims. His father was born in Virginia, was a blacksmith and wagon-maker by trade, and for a number of years followed merchant milling, having a mill on the banks of the Wabash River on the Illinois side. He lived in Illinois until his death about 1877. Judge Sims’ mother was born in Kentucky in 1828 and died at Robinson, Illinois, in 1884. The father was a democrat until the war, and then joined...

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Biography of Roy L. Fruit

Roy L. Fruit, one of the progressive newspaper men of the state, is publisher and proprietor of the Sedan Times-Star, one of the oldest republican journals in the southeastern quarter of the state. The Times-Star inherits the history of half a dozen or more papers which have had their share in the newspaper history of Chautauqua County. The Chautauqua Journal was founded at Sedan in 1875 by H. B. Kelley and R. S. Turner. It was consolidated with the Sedan Times in 1885. The Cedarvale Times, founded in 1878, was removed to Sedan the same year and the name changed to the Chautauqua County Times with P. H. Albright editor and publisher. Another change of name occurred in 1901 after which it was the Sedan Times, with A. D. Dunn as publisher. As already stated it was consolidated in 1885 with the Chautauqua Journal under the name Sedan Times-Journal and with R. G. Ward editor and publisher. The Cedarvale Star was founded in 1884 by I. D. McKeehan and was consolidated with the Times-Journal at Sedan in 1894 and the name of the consolidated paper became the Weekly Times-Star. Adrian Reynolds and F. G. Kenesson were editors and publishers. Freeman’s Lance, founded in Pern in 1891 by W. A. Tanksley, was moved to Sedan in 1892, was known as the Sedan Lance, and A. S. Koonce was its editor...

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Biography of Carl F. Mayer

In the sudden demise of Carl F. Mayer, which occurred at Joplin, Missouri, on the 19th of September, 1921, when he was fifty years of age, Miami lost one of its most progressive, public-spirited and highly respected citizens and the government a trusted official whose entire active life had been spent in its service. The place which he left vacant will be a difficult one to fill, for broad experience had given him a comprehensive understanding of Indian affairs, and the service which he rendered was one of great value to the nation. He was born at Leavenworth, Kansas, August 7, 1871, and was a son of Henry and Emma (Roehrig) Mayer, the former born at Kirkheim in the province of Teck, Germany, while the latter was a native of Minersville, Pennsylvania. When a youth of fifteen years the father came alone to the United States, making his way to Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where he followed the barber’s trade. He then joined the regular army and in 1859 went overland to California with his regiment, which built Fort Humboldt in that state during the pioneer epoch in its development. Following the outbreak of the Civil war Henry Mayer returned to the east by way of Cape Horn and participated in several important engagements during that conflict. At the close of the war he received his discharge from the service and...

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Biography of Carl E. Kayser

Carl E. Kayser, son of Carl F. and Lillian P. (Eble) Kayser, was born May 20, 1889, in Newark, New Jersey. His father was born in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany, and his mother was born in the state of New Jersey. His father came to the United States at the age of eighteen years and has been in the teaching profession ever since, being now professor of Germanic languages in Hunter College, New York city. Carl E. Kayser attended the public schools in Newark, New Jersey, and in New York City, and from 1905 to 1909 he attended Columbia University in New York city, from which he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Immediately after his graduation he entered the employ of the American Metal Company, Limited, and, after a thorough apprenticeship in their offices in New York, St. Louis, Denver and Joplin, came to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1912, in the interest of this company. Here, after three months, he became President and general manager of an American Metal Company, Ltd., subsidiary, the Smelter Gas Company. This company supplies gas to the zinc smelting plants of the Bartlesville Zinc Company, the National Zinc Company and the Lanyon-Starr Company. After 1914 he became actively connected with the administration of the plants of the Bartlesville Zinc Company at Bartlesville and elsewhere. In 1915 Mr. Kayser was married...

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Biography of Samuel W. Dunlavy, M. D.

Samuel W. Dunlavy, M. D. Of the sons of the Hawkeye State who have gained professional eminence and success in Kansas, Dr. Samuel W. Dunlavy, of Cherryvale, is a representative of the medical fraternity. Coming to this city in 1908, he had built up an important and extensive practice, and through the display of a constantly-increasing ability had won the confidence of the public and the esteem of his fellow practitioners. Doctor Dunlavy is a worthy son of a distinguished father and was born at Stiles, Iowa, August 31, 1873, his parents being Dr. James and Letitia (Von Natison) Dunlavy. The family of which he is a member came from Ireland and settled during colonial days in one of the New England States, removing thence to Indiana and finally to Iowa. Dr. James Dunlavy was born in 1843, at Bloomfield, Iowa, and was there reared and educated, his medical studies being pursued in the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in Company B, Third Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, with which he participated in many hotly-contested battles. Mr. Dunlavy, it is said, was the only private during the war to have the honor of capturing an officer wearing stripes. In open battle, at Mine Creek, Kansas, he captured the Confederate General Marmaduke, who afterwards became governor of Missouri. For this feat he was...

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