Location: Neosho County KS

Biography of Joel Moore O’Brien

Joel Moore O’Brien is proprietor of the largest department store in Allen County. The present business is the outgrowth of many years of successful experience and gradual development beginning with a single stock of groceries. Mr. O’Brien had proved himself a merchant of unusual sagacity and had been one of the principal factors in recent years in the development and progress of his home city. The O’Brien family had long been identified with the development of this section of Kansas. Mr. O’Brien’s grandfather Daniel Cornelius O’Brien was one of the Kansas pioneers. He was born in Ohio and in 1857 came to Kansas, homesteading 160 acres in Allen County, and keeping his home on the farm until his death in 1872. He died the same year J. M. O’Brien was born. The latter was born at Humboldt November 10, 1872. The old O’Brien farm on which Grandfather O’Brien lived and died is located three miles north of Humboldt. Daniel C. O’Brien owned the first store ever established in Humboldt. His son, William C. O’Brien, was one of the first mayors of the town, assisted in organizing the municipality, and also conducted the first grist mill and sawmill in this section of the state. Daniel C. O’Brien was first a whig and later a republican. Isaac N. O’Brien, father of the Humboldt merchant, was born in Pike County, Ohio, in...

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Biography of George W. Pens

George W. Pens. The oil fields of Kansas have attracted to them men of experience who have made this industry the study and the business of their lives. It is through the expert work and knowledge of these men that the industry had been developed to its present proportions. No mere tyros could have brought about the present great production; it needed the activities of experienced, trained oil producers to develop and regulate this great industry, which is proving to be one of the state’s greatest assets. Perhaps Indiana had contributed as many of these men as any other state, and from the Hoosier commonwealth had come George W. Pens, who is known as one of the leading oil contractors of Chanute. Mr. Pens was born in the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 22, 1873, a son of E. C. Pens. His father was born in Germany in 1828, and as a young man came to the United States, locating at Fort Wayne. There he secured employment as a machinist in the railroad shops, where he worked for five years, and in 1878 came to Kansas as a pioneer farmer, locating in the vicinity of Humboldt. He continued to be engaged as an agriculturist during the remainder of his life, and passed away at the city named in 1901. Mr. Pens saw nine years of service in the...

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Biography of Ario C. Mendenhall

Ario C. Mendenhall. While the Mendenhall name had been well and honorably known in Kansas for more than a quarter of a century, it is to Pennsylvania that the biographer must turn for the family’s earlier history. It had been established that three brothers of that name came to the American colonies from England at the same time that William Penn headed his party of colonists, and that one of these remained with the great Quaker colonist and peacemaker, and that one crossed the line into Ohio while the third was lost in the far west. The Mendenhalls that Kansas had known descended from the Pennsylvania settler and are yet numerous in the old Keystone State. A worthy representative of this family and bearer of its honorable name, is Ario C. Mendenhall, who, for the past eighteen years had been prominent in the business life of Chanute, Kansas. He was born at Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, December 18, 1870. His parents were Lorenzo Don and Sarah Jane (Lemon) Mendenhall. Lorenzo Dow Mendenhall was born in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1827, a son of Eli Mendenball, who spent his entire life in Columbia County, dying in 1888, at the age of eighty-four years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Davis, died in 1874 in her native state, at the age of seventy-nine years. They had four...

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Biography of Joseph L. Morrison, Hon.

Hon. Joseph L. Morrison. Few men are more prominent or more widely known in the northern part of Neosho County than is Hon. Joseph L. Morrison, mayor of the City of Chanute, who had been an important factor in business affairs and whose success in his undertaking had been so marked that his methods are of interest to the commercial world. He is energetic, prompt and notably reliable, and tireless energy, keen perception, honesty of purpose, and a genius for devising and executing the right thing at the right time are his chief characteristics. As the chief executive of Chanute he is giving the people a clean, progressive and business-like administration. Mr. Morrison was born on a farm in Stark County, Illinois, July 11, 1867, and is a son of Jacob and Phoebe (Johnson) Morrison. The family originated in Scotland, and it is thought that Mr. Morrison’s grandfather, Andrew Morrison, born in 1789, who died in Greene County, Ohio, in 1869, was the first American settler. He was a pioneer into Ohio and passed his long and useful life there engaged in agricultural pursuits. Jacob Morrison, the father of Joseph L., was born on the homestead place in Greene County, Ohio, February 8, 1833, received an ordinary public school education, and as a youth learned the trade of stone mason, which he followed in connection with farming all his...

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Biography of William Manfred Barbee

William Manfred Barbee. Among the city offices of Chanute, one that had important bearing upon the welfare of the city and its institutions and the duties of which, in their handling, call for more than ordinary ability, is that of commissioner of public utilities. The present incumbent of this office, William Manfred Barbee, had won the confidence of the public through the able and expeditious manner in which he had handled the business of his department and the energy he had displayed in discharging the responsibilities of public service. He is a native son of Neosho County, and was born October 23, 1864, his parents being Sion and Mary Elizabeth (Easley) Barbee. The Barbee family is of French extraction and its early members in America Colonial settlers of Virginia. From that state the family branched out to Tennessee, where, in 1805, was born the grandfather of William M. Barbee, Joseph Barbee. He was reared on a farm in Wilson County, and there engaged in farming until he was forty years of age, at which time he went to Jefferson County, Illinois, and continued in agricultural pursuits until the time of his death, in 1881. Sion Barbee was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, in 1837, and was eight years of age when taken to Illinois by his parents. There he received his education and was reared to manhood on the...

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Biography of William H. Smith

William H. Smith. It is almost a half century that had crept around on the world’s clock since William H. Smith, one of Chanute’s substantial and respected citizens, came to Kansas, locating in Neosho County, where at present he is held in high esteem with the Old Settlers’ Association, of which he is president. With interest he had watched this section develop and had assisted very materially, ever lending his influence to law and order, encouraging the investment of capital, and setting an industrious example that might very profitably be emulated. William H. Smith was born January 25, 1846, in Warren County, Ohio. His parents were Samuel M. and Phebe (Wharton) Smith. The early records of the Smith family show that in colonial times there were pioneering members who dared the dangers of the deep and crossed the Atlantic Ocean from England to America, finding harbor in New Jersey, and from these descended Abram C. Smith, who was the grandfather of William H. Smith of Chanute, Kansas. He was born in New Jersey in 1781, was a quiet, peaceful farmer who removed with his family to Warren County, Ohio, in 1835 and died there in 1867. The family were Quakers. Samuel M. Smith, father of William H., was born near Camden, New Jersey, in 1817, and died at the latter’s home at Chanute, in February, 1902. He came to...

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Biography of J. M. Massey

J. M. Massey. One of the live and prosperous communities of Southeastern Kansas which is offering unsurpassed opportunities for the development of men and large business interests is the growing City of Chanute. In this locality may be found many of the raw materials, or they can be easily obtained through railroad shipments. Here is an immense local market, and here are the men, solid, reliable and aggressive, ready and willing to push ahead to the ultimate end whatever enterprise they connect themselves with. Once an individual establishes himself in the line for which he is best fitted, if he possess business sense and acumen, it is certain that success of one or another kind will reward his efforts. One of the men of Chanute who had admirably proven his own worth and increased his value as a citizen by developing large interests, is J. M. Massey, junior member of the large clothing firm of Garvin & Massey, and vice president of the First National Bank. He had been a resident of Chanute since 1896 and during this time had steadily risen to a place of prominence through a recognition and ready grasp of the opportunities which have presented themselves. Mr. Massey was born at Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May 25, 1843, and is a son of Dr. A. B. and Ann R. (McMeen) Massey, and a member...

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Biography of Mathew Alouisis Munding

Mathew Alouisis Munding, proprietor of the business at Muskogee conducted under the name of the New State Flour & Feed Company, a wholesale concern, belongs to that class of enterprising men whose activity and determination are salient elements in the up building of the community in which they reside. Muskogee owes not a little other commercial development to the efforts of Mr. Munding, who came to this state from Kansas, his birth having occurred in St. Paul, Kansas, July 30, 1881. He is a son of M. A. and Anna (Duling) Munding. The father engaged in the flour and feed business and thus in early youth Mathew A. Mending became familiar to a greater or less degree with the line of activity with which he is now identified. He was educated by the Jesuit Fathers at St. Paul, Kansas, end when his textbooks were put aside concentrated his efforts and attention upon the flour mill and the sawmill business and also did threshing. In 1907 he came to Muskogee and here organized the New State Flour & Feed Company, which was formed in the year in which Oklahoma was admitted to the Union. He is sole owner of the business and his building extends from Broadway to Okmulgee Street and along the line of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. He does a jobbing business and ships in carload...

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Biography of Seth J. Bailey

Seth J. Bailey. The gratifying success which had crowned the efforts of Seth J. Bailey, of Chanute, clearly and emphatically evidence the business skill, perseverance and enterprise of this individual, who had been engaged in business here since the fall of 1900. This is a utilitarian age, one in which advancement and progress come through activity in the industrial and commercial interests of life. There is nothing to which America owes her pre-eminence among the nations of the earth so much as to her inventions, and each year sees additions to the list which bear marked impress upon the world of trade. It is not as an inventor, but as a manufacturer of inventions that Mr. Bailey is known. He had the foresight to see the possibilities of a certain appliance and the courage to back his judgment, and the result had been the building up of one of Chanute’s prominent and substantial business concerns, the Sunshine Mantle Company, manufacturers of incandescent gas mantles. Mr. Bailey is a native son of Kansas, born in the City of Topeka, May 2, 1868, his parents being Dr. M. and Lanra A. (Jarboe) Bailey. The family is of English origin, and was founded in Pennsylvania prior to the War of the Revolution. William Bailey, the grandfather of Seth J. Bailey, was born in either Pennsylvania or Ohio; at least it is known...

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Biography of Louis L. Marcell

Louis L. Marcell. The discovery of oil and gas and its development in Neosho and the surrounding counties had not only added to the wealth and prosperity of this section of the state but had also brought forward a new type of business man: the oil producer and refiner. Today one of the leading representatives of the oil industry in the Mid-Continent field is Louis L. Marcell of Chanute, Kansas, who became interested when the business was in its infancy and had been a factor in making it one of the largest industries of the state. Mr. Marcell was born in Highland, Doniphan County, Kansas. He is the son of Charles Louis and Mattie J. Birchfield Marcell. Though a Kansan by birth, his family had its origin in France. It was from the Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland, that Peter Marcell, the first American ancestor and the great grandfather of Louis L. Marcell came to this country settling in New York City. His son Charles M. Marcell removed from New York to Frankfort, Kentucky, coming to Kansas in 1857 and settling on a farm in Doniphan County. Charles L. Marcell was then ten years of age. At sixteen years of age he enlisted with the National Guards of Kansas toward the close of the Civil war. Mr. Marcell still owned the farm settled by his father. Charles L. Marcell is...

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Biography of John Francis Hughs

John Francis Hughs. During the past five years Prof. John Francis Hughs had been superintendent of the city schools of Chanute, and in this time had gained a strong and lasting place in the confidence of the people of the community. His interest in his work had been deep, sincere and unabating, and the splendid school system of the city at the present time may be largely accredited to his efforts. His labors have been progressive and practical in character and have proved of the greatest benefit to Chanute. Professor Hughs was born at Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, August 16, 1881, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Hopkin) Hughs, natives of South Wales, England. His father was born in 1838 and received an ordinary education in his native land, where, as a young man he engaged in farming in a small way. He was married in his native land and there continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits for some years, but did not advance as rapidly as he desired and felt that his fortunes might be bettered in America. He accordingly came to this country in 1873, and after a brief stop at Paola, Kansas, located among the pioneers of Bourbon County, where he had a homestead in the vicinity of Fort Scott. There Mr. Hughs passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring...

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Biography of Raymond F. Dutch

Raymond F. Dutch. Since September, 1903, the Chanute Business College had occupied a recognized position of importance among the institutions of commercial education in Southeastern Kansas, and each year had seen its scope broadening and its usefulness increasing. It is accomplishing good work in the training of young men and women to take their place in the business world, and many of its former pupils have already attained places of prominence in business circles. The present manager and proprietor of this institution is Raymond F. Dutch, who had had broad and varied experience both as an educator and in business life, and since becoming the head of the college he had added a number of departments designed to cover a broader field and to more thoroughly equip the students for competition in business and industrial circles. Mr. Dutch is a native son of Kansas and a product of the farm, having been born on his father’s farm in Wilson County, January 13, 1886, a son of A. F. and Sekunda (Ellison) Dutch. His grandfather, Peter Dutch, was born in Germany, in 1827, and was a young man when he came to the United States to better his fortunes, first settling near Kalamazoo, Michigan, and in 1879 locating in Kansas. He was a shoemaker by trade and followed that vocation for many years, but finally invested his capital in a...

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Biography of Lloyd Minot Collins

Lloyd Minot Collins. While the superintendent of schools of Longton, Kansas, Lloyd Minot Collins, had but recently entered upon the duties of his office, he had already created a favorable impression upon the people of the community, and during the short period of his regime had demonstrated the possession of those qualities which make the successful educator and the abilities that combine for capable executive handling of affairs. Mr. Collins had been a teacher all through his active career, and is energetic and progressive in his methods and thoroughly grounded in the elementals that are necessary for the proper moulding of the plastic mind of youth. Born at Bronson, Bourbon County, Kansas, January 20, 1893, Lloyd Minot Collins is a son of L. E. and Mercy (Love) Collins. He is of Irish descent, and the first American ancestor settled in New York in colonial times, and from that state the great-grandfather of Lloyd M. Collins migrated as a pioneer to Michigan. Oliver Collins was born in Michigan and grew up amid pioneer surroundings, the country being wild and undeveloped, much game abounding, and the conditions of life still in their most primitive form. Like his father, he was a sturdy, energetic and hardworking man, with the capacity for constant labor characteristic of his race, and in his career was able to accumulate a competency satisfying for his simple wants....

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Biography of Amos S. Lapham

Amos S. Lapham. There are but few members of the bar of Southeastern Kansas who have exceeded the record of Amos S. Lapham, of Chanute, for length and continuity of service, for devotion to the best ethics of the profession and for connection with important litigation. His standing is that of one of the foremost members of the bar of this part of the state. Judge Lapham was born on a farm in Champaign County, Ohio, April 6, 1845, and is a son of Oziel and Mahala (Steere) Lapham, and belongs to one of America’s old and honored families. John Lapham, the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Judge Lapham, was born in 1635, in Devonshire, England, and came to America prior to 1673, for on April 6, of that year, he was married at Providence, Rhode Island, to Mary, the daughter of William Mann. He lived at Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, and Dartmouth, Massachusetts. In the same year he was a freeman and deputy to the general assembly, and in 1675 was constable. He owned several hundred acres of land in the vicinity of Providence, but in 1676, at the outbreak of King Philip’s war, removed to Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He was a large landholder for his day, and at the time of his death, in 1710, his estate, of which his wife Mary and son John were executors, was found to...

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Biography of Elmer Eugene Kelley

E. E. Kelley during his thirty years of residence in Kansas had played a varied and honorable part in affairs, as an educator, farmer, and, in more recent years, as editor and publisher. He is now head of the Toronto Republican and a former president of the Kansas State Editorial Association. Taken in connection with what he had accomplished himself in life, Mr. Kelley may take a reasonable degree of pride in his American ancestry. The Kelley family goes back to Ireland. While the population of America was still straggling along the Atlantic coast in thirteen colonies, James Kelley emigrated from Ireland and settled in Virginia. His ardent sympathies with the cause of the country led him to take part in the Revolutionary war, and he served as an officer of a Virginia regiment. William Kelley, a son of this revolutionary officer, was born at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, in 1775. He, too, took a part in one of our nation’s wars, and having in the meantime moved from Virginia to Ohio he served in Company A of the First Ohio Militia during the War of 1812. He was with the troops under General Hull at Detroit, when that stronghold was surrendered to the British forces. He afterwards followed farming in Ohio, and moved from that state to Warren County, Indiana, where he died in 1863. William Kelley married Susan...

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