Carrie Westlake Whitney.

Kansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) online

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large circle of friends, was born at Salina, Kansas, January 13, 1872. His
father, William E. Morris, was a mechanic and a native of Missouri, whence
he removed to Salina, Kansas, as a pioneer. He took up his abode upon
a farm in Rice county in 1873 and in 1884 went to Lamed, Kansas, while
three years later he became a resident of Topeka, Kansas, and since 1892 has
made his home in California. He married Anna E. Bonham, a native of
Wisconsin, who is with him on the Pacific coast.

Ivliiiund E. Morris, accompanying his parents on their various remov-
als, ])nrsncd his education in the connnon and liigh schools of Larned and
Topeka, Kansas, and when his father went to the coast in 1892 Mr. ]\Iorris
came to Kansas City, where he has since made his home. For three years
he was bookkeeper and cashier for the Interstate Rolling Mills and left that
position to enter the Missouri National Bank, where he remained until the
institution was closed in 1896. He next entered the office of the Hodge
Electrical & Manufacturing Company as ca.shier and a.ssi.^tant manager
and there remained until 1903. For several years he had been studying law
in the evenings and his leisure hours and afterward pursued a course in the
Kansas School of Law, from which he was graduated. In 1903 he was ad-
mitted to the bar and the following year he began practice. For one year
ho was associated with Henry P. Lowenstein and since that time has been
alone. He conducts a general law practice but ^necializes in real estate and


corporation law. He has been unusually successful and at all times has man-
ifested the strong purpose and diligence which are as necessary to success
in the difficult and arduous profession of the law as in mechanical or com-
mercial pursuits. He never neglects to give a thorough preparation and in
the presentation of his cause before the court is concise and clear and cogent
in his reasoning.

On the 1st of March, 1899, Mr. Morris was married to Miss Mattie J.
Jones, a daughter of E. C. Jones, president of the State Savings Bank of
Springfield, Missouri. He is prominent in Masonry, being past worshipful
master of Temple lodge, F. & A. M. ; past high priest of Orient Chapter, R.
A. M. ; past thrice illustrious master of Shekinali Council, R. & S. M. ;
present senior warden of Oriental Commandery, K. T. ; and a member of
Ararat Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He was formerly president of the
Knife and Fork Club and has been presiding officer in numerous other or-
ganizations of Kansas City. In politics he is an earnest and zealous Repub-
lican, having been active in the ranks of the party from the age of eighteen
years, when he made campaign speeches in support of Governor Humphrey,
of Kansas. He has since delivered many campaign addresses and never
fails to impress his auditors through the clearness of his statements and the
logic of his deductions. He was elected to the lower house of the city coun-
cil April 3, 1906, and has been an ardent champion of temperance, being
considered Mayor Beardsley's right hand man in the lower house. He is
a warm admirer of the mayor and also an enthusiastic supporter of Presi-
dent Roosevelt. He belongs to the Independence Boulevard Christian
church, in which he takes an active interest. Of strong intellectual and
studious disposition, with high ideals, conscientious and honorable, he is a
credit to the profession and in social circles is a favorite by reason of a genial,
frank and social nature. He possesses in large degree that quality which
for want of a better term has been termed personal magnetism and has the
happy faculty not only of winning but of retaining friendships.


The name of Professor Joseph C. Mason is associated with the educa-
tional development of Kansas City. He became principal of the Central
school of Wyandotte in 1888 and so continued until his death. He was born
in Marlboro, New Hampshire, March 13, 1837, a son of Clark and Almira
(Towne) Mason, both of Avhom were natives of the Old Granite state. Ther^
the father engaged in farming throughout his entire life and both he and
his wife died at the old homestead. Their son. Professor Mason, was reared
upon the farm and his early education was acquired in the public schools.
In his youth he became imbued with the desire to become an attorney and
took up the study of law at home, pursuing his reading privately for a time,
while later he attended the university at Albany, Ncav York, and afterward
became a student in the law school at Petersboro, New Hampshire, where m


due course of time he acquainted himself with the branches that constituted
the curriculum there and was admitted to the bar at Concord, New Hamp-

Locating for practice at Greenville, New Hampshire, Mr. Mason contin-
ued as an active representative of the bar for a few years, after which he
came to the we,st and settled in Boonville, Missouri. There he organized
the public-school system and was superintendent of schools for five years.
From that time forward his life was given to educational work. He was asso-
ciated with the schools of different towns and also engaged in law practice
throughout the remainder of his days, although his educational work claimed
most of his time. From Boonville, Missouri, he removed to St. Louis and
was there principal of the Washington school for three years. He next went
to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where for two years he occupied the superinten-
dency of the city schools, followed by a removal to Columbus, Mississippi,
where he had charge of the Franklin Academy for two years. Subsequently,
in Carthage, Missouri, he acted as city superintendent of schools for five years,
after which he removed to Joplin, Missouri, where he remained for ten years.
During that time he was city superintendent of the schools and also engaged
in the practice of law. He came from Joplin to Kansas City in 1888 to ac-
cept the principalship of the Central school of Wyandotte and continued
there in charge until his demise.

Professor Mason was married at Greenville, New Hampshire, to Miss
Mattie J. Kingsbury, a native of Boston and a daughter of Lucius W. Kings-
bury, who spent the greater part of his life at Waltham, JNIassachussetts, and
was engaged in railroad work. For many years he was a conductor on the
Boston & Maine Railroad, and he was also conductor on the first car that
passed through the Hoosac tunnel. Both he and his wife died in Waltham.
Unto Professor and Mrs. Mason were born three children : Hortense, who
resides with her mother and is now a teacher in the Hyde Park school of
Kansas City; and Ernest C. and Paul J., who constitute the firm of ^Mason
Brothers, proprietors of a leading drug store which is situated at the southwest
corner of Thirty-first and Holmes streets. The former married Delia Knight,
iiiid r:'-i(l('s at No. 'M^lo Holmes street, while the latter married .lean Aleshire,
and resides at No. 3030 Oak street. For about a year prior to his demise,
Professor Mason was in ill health and passed away April 25, 1892, at his home
in Kansas City, Kansas, his remains being interred there. After coming here
he had invested in property both in Kansas City, Kansa.-. and Kansas City,
Missouri, his realty holdings being quite extensive, so that he was enabled to
leave his family in very comfortable circumstances.

Ill politics Mr. ^lasoii wa- a stanch republican, was active in the win'k
of the ])arty of Jo])lin, Missouri, and there served as alderman for several
year-. .In~t het'ore hi- reiiioxal to the west he, was state (•(»niiiiis,-ionci' at (Jreen-
ville, New Hampshire, for two years. Throughout his entire life he was con-
nected with the Knights of Honor, a tt'nii tyi)ical of hi- career, for in every
relation of life he was honorable, ui)i'ight and sincere, always loyal to his
professions as a rnemlior of tlie Presbyterian church, to which his wife also
belongs. Since h(_'r husband".- death Mrs. IShison has ^ol(l nnich of the proj)-


erty, together with the home in Kansas City, Kansas, and has taken up her
abode in Kansas City, Missouri, where she and her daughter now reside at
No. 3030 Oak street.


Gustaf Pearson, city comptroller, was born near Gottenburg, Sweden,
March 17, 1859. His father, Hans Pearson, was a farmer and wedded Ellen
Gabrielson. Upon the home farm Gustaf Pearson was reared and when he
had obtained his more specifically literary education in the common and high
schools he took up the study of civil engineering in a military school at Gotten-
burg. The reports which reached him concerning business opportunities in
America led him to seek a home in the new world, where he arrived on the
5th of April, 1879, settling in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. He secured employ-
ment in the coal mines of Hotsdale wdth a view to becoming a mining engineer,
and worked there for one year in various capacities, his last service being as
weighmaster. Continuing his westward journey, he went to Leadville, Col-
orado, but as mining conditions were bad there he remained for only a short
time and afterward sought employment in various mining camps of Colorado,
New Mexico, Wyoming and Idaho, working for a short time at each place.

On the 12th of October, 1880. Mr. Pearson arrived at Osage City, Kansas,
where he located, and for ten years was employed at coal mining by various
companies, becoming superintendent of a mine. When the Chicago, Mil-
Avaukee & St. Paul Railway was opened up through the coal districts of south-
ern Iowa he went to Appanoose county, where he constructed, superintended
and managed several mines, in which he is still interested. When he pro-
ceeded to that territory with a force of surveyors there was only one farm house
on the site of the present city of Mystic with its population of five thousand.
During later years, at Osage City and also at Mystic, he was dealing largely
with Kansas City and vicinity and spent much of his time here, having con-
ducted a coalyard and office here for a number of years. In 1897 he took
up his abode here and has since made it his home. For some time his interests
have been gradually drifting from the coal business to real estate as he made
investments in Kansas City and in lands in both the states of Kansas and Mis-
souri. During ^Nhiyor Reed's second administration he was a candidate for
alderman of the uj^per house but with the entire republican ticket was de-
feated. In November, 1904, he was appointed city comptroller, which posi-
tion he has since continued to fill, and in the discharge of his duties he has
been faithful, reliable and efiicient.

On the 29th of June, 1885, Mr. Pearson was married to Miss Mary Eliza-
beth Anderson, a daughter of H. 0. iVnderson, of Osage City, Kansas, who
was born in Bureau county, Illinois. They have two children, both natives
of Osage City : Ellen Josephine, now the wife of Carl Kellner, who is engaged
in the bond, insurance and real-estate business in Kansas City; and Adeline
Christine, at home.


Mr. Pearson is a Mason and an Odd Fellow. He also belongs to the
Ancient Order of United Workmen, to the Red Men, the Maccabees and the
N. N. & E., a local Swedish organization for the instruction of Swedes in the
English language and American citizenship. He is likewise a popular mem-
ber of many clubs and an interested and helpful member of the Methodist
Episcopal church. His sterling qualities render him a congenial companion
and in manner he is social yet modest and unassuming.* Since crossing the
Atlantic he has been dependent upon his own resources for his advancement
and through the utilization of his opportunities he has made a creditable name
in business, political and social circles.


Dr. George Halley, who in his practice ha.s .specialized in surgery, is
well known to the medical profession of the country through his writings
and as an educator, while in Kansas City he has gained an extensive and im-
portant practice as a recognition on the part of the public of his superior
skill and efficiency. He was born in Aurora, York county, Ontario, Canada,
September 10, 1839, his parents being George and Jane Halley. He is a de-
scendant of Sir Edmund Halley, a famous English astronomer, and in the
maternal line of James Baird, a civil engineer of Scotland. From York
county his father removed to Wellington county, Ontario, where in the midst
of the forest he developed a farm and because of the situation of the family
home upon the frontier in a most sparsely settled district. Dr. Halley had
no school advantages until he attained the age of fifteen years. His parents
gave him instruction to some extent and he had access to a small but good
library and thus he laid the foundation for the breadth of knowledge which
characterizes him at the present day. Between 1854 and 1858 he spent three
winters as a pupil in the common schools, which had then been established,
and later he entered the county grammar school, where he prepared for col-
lege. His studies were interrupted by the death of two of his brothers but
he continued his school work alone in the evenings at home and thus quali-
fied for entrance to the Victoria University at Toronto, wherein he matricu-
lated in 1865 as a medical student. In 1867 he was appointed prosector to the
chair in anatomy and in the following March went to New York city, where
he pursued a spring course at Long Island College Hospital. The succeeding
summer was passed in attending clinical instruction in various hospitals and
dispensaries, and in the autumn he reentered the Victoria University, from
which he was graduated in March, 1869, with the M.D. degree.

On account of his father's death, however, he had to return home and
manage the farming interests until 1870, when he made his way to the west
in search of a location. He decided upon Kansas Cit'y, and for thirty-eight
years has been a representative of the medical fraternity here, making, how-
ever, a specialty of surgery in his practice. In this conection he has won more
than local fame. In ]\Iay. 1874, he performed the first operation in Kansas


" K




City for ovariotomy, in which he was successful. In 1870 he was appointed
assistant demonstrator of- anatomy in the College of Physicians & Surgeons
and has almost continuously since that time been connected with educational
work along the line of the profession. In 1871 he was elected professor of
anatomy to succeed Dr. A. D. Taylor, who had been called to the chair
of surgery and on the death of Dr. Taylor in 1882 he again became his suc-
cessor, occupying the chair of surgery in the College of Physicians & Surgeons
until 1891. In 1892 he was made professor of surgery in the University
Medical College and so continues to the present time. From 1888 until 1895
he conducted a private hospital, which brought him special advantages
through its thorough equipment in the performance of surgical operation.
In 1884, in connection with Dr. A. L. Fulton, he established the Kansas
City Medical Record, the oldest local medical journal now in existence, and
was associated therewith for several years. He has been a constant contributor
to medical journals and has frequently prepared and delivered papers be-
fore medical societies upon the discussion of various points of interest to
the profession. He has continuously been a student and his wide research and
investigation have constantly broadened his knowledge, while his experience
has continually promoted his efficiency.

In 1871 Dr. Halley was married to Miss Florence Chiles, who was a mem-
ber of the Methodist church, and died in that faith in 1887, leaving one
daughter, Georgia E., now the wife of Donald Lotshaw, associate editor of
the Kansas City Star. In November, 1889, Dr. Halley was again married,
his second union being with Miss Jessie, daughter of Dr. .1. Q. Egelston, of
Olathe, Kansas. Their two children are George E. and Eleanor J.


The salient features in the life record of James W. L. Slavens, de-
ceased, were those which connected him with the bar of Kansas City as a
prominent attorney and identified him with the pioneer development of the
city. He stood for progress and advancement in municipal lines and for
one term was honored with the mayoralty. His life record began in Putnam
county, Indiana, August 3, 1838. His great-grandfather, John Slavens,
was a Scotch-Irish Protestant, who settled in Virginia in early life and
there reared a large family, his youngest son being Isaiah Slavens, who
served for five years in the Revolutionary war, valiantly defending the in-
terests of the colonists. After the war he married a Miss Stewart of ]Mary-
land and removed to Kentucky, where he engaged in farming for some
time. Three of his sons enlisted for service in the war of 1812 and Isaiah
Slavens afterward joined them, immediately volunteering and serving out
the term of his enlistment. His last days were spent in Putnam county,
Indiana, where he died at the venerable age of eighty-six years.

His son, Hiram B. Slavens, the father of our subject, was born in ]\Iont-
gomery county, Kentucky, in 1802, and acquired a good education for


those days. For several years in early manhood he taught school in his
native county and in 1827 he removed to Putnam county, Indiana, wliere
he entered land from the government and engaged in farming, making his
home upon his place which he there developed throughout his remaining
days. He was widely known as a loyal and enterprising citizen a. id u
earnest, effective friend of the cause of education. He gave active aid in
founding Asbury University of Indiana and in many other ways showed
his deep interest in the intellectual progress of the state. In 1830 he mar-
ried Sarah Holland, a daughter of William and Susanna (Grant) Holland,
of Bath county, Kentucky. Her ancestors came from England and Scot-
land in colonial days and settled in Virginia.

James W. L. Slavens was reared uj^on his father's farm and assisted
in its development until he was old enough to attend school, when he
entered the Asbury University of Indiana, pursuing a classical course,
which he completed with high honors in 1859. Following his graduation
he removed to Douglas county, Illinois, where he was married to Miss Mat-
tie McNutt, a daughter of Collin and Mary McNutt, both natives of Doug-
las county, Illinois, where Mr. McNutt was engaged in general farming until
about 1870. He then removed westward, settling in Kansas City, where he
lived retired until his death, while his wife also passed away here.

Prior to his marriage Mr. Slavens had purchased a tract of land in
Douglas county, Illinois, and after that important event in his life he
settled upon his farm to improve and develop it. He fenced the land and
there carried on general agricultural pursuits for a year, after wliich he
placed a tenant upon the property. In the meantime he gave considerable
attention to the study of law, which he prosecuted exclusively the ensuing
year and in the spring of 1861 he entered upon the practice of the profes-
sion in Tuscola, Illinois, with William McKenzie. Soon after the outbreak
of the Civil war he enlisted for service in the Seventy-third Illinois Volun-
teer Regiment and was commissioned quartermaster. Soon after going to
the front, however, he was detailed for duty in the subsistence department,
W'here he continued until the close of the war, serving the last year on the
staff of Major General George H. Thomas. He was mustered out in July,

In the fall of that year Mr. Slavens came to Jackson county and after
living for a short time in Independence, took up his abode in Kansas City
in the spring of 1866. He began the ])ractice of law with his ])rother,
Luther C. Slavens, who is a prominent attorney here and an ex-circuit judge.
For seven years he continued in active practice of his profession and then
turned his attention to the packing business, becoming one of the first l)eef
and pork packers of Kansas City, thus being a pioneer in the enterprise
which is today an important source of income of Kansas City and this por-
tion of the west. In 1867 he was elected city treasurer and served for one
year, while in the spring of 1868 he formed a partnership with E. W. Pat-
tison and William Epperson for the purpose of engaging in the beef and
pork packing Ijusine.'^s. They built a large stone house which is still standing
in AV("<t Kansas City and in the fall of that year thoy ]-)ackod forty-five Inm-


dred head of cattle, which was the beginning of the hxrge beef packing busi-
ness for which Kansas City has become celebrated. The following year Mr.
Slavens became associated in the packing business in Kansas City, Missouri,
With J. C. Ferguson and other well known men of Indianapolis and built
a. large brick packing-house, carrying on the business for ten years, during
which time they annually packed thirteen thousand beef cattle and forty
thousand hogs, sending their output to all parts of the world. He devoted
his attention to the business until his retirement, the industry constantly
growing in volume and importance and yielding a large annual revenue to
the proprietors. For a few years prior to his death- he lived retired, having
suffered a stroke of paralysis. He was also interested in real estate and
owned considerable city property.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Slavens were born eight children, of whom seven
are yet living, namely: James M., who is a traveling salesman for the Moore
Chemical & Manufacturing Company of Kansas' City, making his home
at No. 3737 Genesee street; Hiram C, who resides in New York city;
Luther C, who makes his home in Los Angeles, California; Leander P., of
Boston, Massachusetts; and a daughter who makes her home in Kansas City;
Carl C. who at one time was engaged in the drug business in Kansas City
but now makes his home in South Dakota; and Mrs. Clifford Jenkins,
whose husband is one of the most prominent merchants of Kansas City.

The death of the husband and father occurred February 10, 1905.
Kansas City had come to know and honor him because of his activity and
enterprise in business, his unquestioned loyalty to the public good and the
sterling traits which he manifested in his social relations. In politics he
was an earnest republican, taking an active, interest in the party and its
work. He was not only called to the office of city treasurer during the early
years of his residence here, but in 1877 was elected mayor of Kansas City
and for one year served as mayor of Westport, which is now a part of the
city. He was opposed to anything like misrule in municipal affairs and
stood for progress and improvement, regarding a public office as a public
trust. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and with the Good
Templars, the latter association indicating his attitude on the temperanc?
question. Both he and his wife were pioneer members of the Grand Avenue
IVIethodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they took an active part.

Mr. Slavens was a lay delegate to the general conference of the church
held in Baltimore in 1876. His position was never an equivocal one and his
influence was always found on the side of right, justice, truth and advancement.
In his public service he looked beyond the needs and interests of the mo-
ment to the exigencies and possibilities of the future and labored not for
the clav alone but for the succeeding vears as well. His earlv training as a
lawyer proved an element in his later success in other ways, for the analytical,
intuitive trend of mind which he had cultivated enabled him to readily
understand a situation and place a correct value upon his opportunities.
His business career was marked by steady progress and by the achievement
of most honorable success. He had a very wide and extensive acquaintance
among the prominent pioneer families and his memory is yet enshrined


in the hearts of all -who knew him. i\Irs. Slavens has until a recent date
resided at the old home at No. 3016 Oak street, which she still owns, to-
gether with other property which she rents. She is now residing at No.
4423 Jefferson street. She came to Kansas City wdth her husband in tlie
early years of their married life and has since made her home here, having

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 12 of 65)