Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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course and later he spent three years in Yale University. His law studies
were i)ursued in the office and under the direetion of his di-tinguished



140 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

father and in 1872 lie was admitted to the bar. His first partnership was
with Judge O. M. Spencer and later the adnhssion of H. K. White to the
firm led to the adoption of the firm style of White, Spencer & Hall. Having
located for practice in St. Joseph, he Avas elected city attorney there in 1876
and in 1878 was chosen by popular suffrage to the ofhce of prosecuting attorney
of Buchanan county. From 1885 until 1889 he was judge of the Kansas City
court of appeals, and in the latter year the Master of Arts degree was conferred
upon him by Yale University in recognition of the excellent work which he
had done in the field of his chosen profession. Judge Hall has argued many
cases and lost but few. No one better knows the necessity for thorough prep-
aration and no one more industriously prepares his cases than he. His course
in the courtroom is characterized by a calmness and dignity that indicate re-
serve strength. His handling of his case is always full, comprehensive and
accurate; his analysis of the facts is clear and exhaustive; he sees without
effort the relation and dependence of the facts, and so groups them as to
enable him to throw their combined force upon the point they tend to prove.
His opinions while on the bench showed great research, industry and care and
challenged the approval of, and commended themselves to the bench and
the bar.

On the 22d of June, 1876, Judge Hall was married in Philadelphia to
Miss Isabel Fry Alrich, a daughter of William T. Alrich, of DelaAvare, whose
family came from Holland to America while this country was still one of the
colonial possessions of Great Britain. They had three children, of wdiom two
are living, Anne Richardson and Preble Hall.



GEORGE H. KAH:\IANN.

George H. Kahmann, senior member of the firm of Kallmann & Mc-
Murry, prominent contractors of Kansas City, Avas l)orn in St. Louis. Mis-
souri, September 18, 1854. His father, Christo|)her H. Kahmann, removed
soon afterward to Franklin county, Missouri, with his family, and there
engaged in llio pork-packing business for tweiily-fivc years. His memory is
yet cherished as that of one of Washington's leading citizens, Avhose business
enterprise and devotion In llic ])ublic good were the chief elements. in the city's
growth and progrCvSs. He wedded Mary Mense Uhlenbrock, Avho was born
on a sailing vessel en route to .\merica from Hanover. Germany, in 1835.
Her father, whose family name was Mense. married the heir to the estate of
T'hlenbrock, an old German domain, and according to the law of that coun-
try, assumed the name nf the estate as his surname.

George H. Kahinaini was ibe cldcsl in a family of eight children, six of
whom reached adult years, wliilc five of llic numlicr are still li\ing. Guy F.
Kahmann. llic oldest, is seciclary and Irensnrer of the PI. Tibbe & Son Manu-
facturing Company, manufacturers of the Mi.'^sonri meerschaum corn cob
pi])es at Washington. Missom'i. Joseph V. Kahmann is special agem and
adjuster for Ihe Home Insni'ance Company at Kansa- City. ^Tr^. Charles




GEORGE H. KAHMANN.



ASTOB. LENOX
•riLD):N K( ■•! S.-TTONS



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 143

I. Wynne, formerly of St. Louis, and Mrs. John B. Busch, are both residing
at the old home in AVashington, Missouri.

George H. Kallmann was educated in the parish schools of Wa^shington,
Missouri, and spent two years at Notre Dame University, after which he
entered the Washington Savings Bank as assistant cashier, which position he
held for three years. He then went to St. Louis and accepted a clerical posi-
tion in a wholesale mercantile house, but upon the death of his mother, in
1874, he returned to Washington to look after his father's interests, while his
father made a trip to Europe. In 1879 Mr. Kallmann purchased a controlling
interest in the business of the firm of H. Tibbe & Son, who had just taken
out a patent for the manufacure of corn cob pipes, after which he devoted his
attention entirely to the establishment of the business. He thus laid the
foundation of an enterprise that has since grown to vast proportions and has
in the past thirty years paid its stockholders a quarter of a million dollars
in dividends.

On the 12th of May, 1881, Mr. Kahmann was married to Miss Mary S.
Hopkins, a daughter of H. S. Hopkins, president of the H. S. Hopkins Bridge
Company, a well known bridge contracting firm of St. Louis. A year later
Mr. Kahmann became a member of that firm, thus extending the scope of his
activity.

In 1885 he placed his brother, Guy F. Kallmann, in charge of the corn
cob pipe business at Washington, and became actively engaged in bridge
work, taking charge of the construction of the substmcture of a bridge on
the Louisville Southern Railroad at Tyrone, Kentucky, near Lawrenceburg.
The Hopkins Bridge Company having secured the contract for the Winner
bridge over the Missouri river at Kansas City, Mr. Kahmann came here in
1889 to take charge of its construction, and, bringing his family with him,
has since made this city his home. Since his arrival he has been continually
engaged in general railroad and bridge contracting, making a specialty of
pneumatic work and deep and difficult foundations, for which construction
the company is equipped with one of the largest plants in the west. They
have to their credit the substructure of important bridges on nearly every rail-
way system in the west and south, among which are all the bridges on the
Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf Railroad, including the bridge at Little Rock,
Arkansas; the first bridge constructed over the Red river on the Rock Island
Railroad ; the bridge over the Alabama river near Montgomery on the Mobile
& Ohio Railroad ; the Maple Leaf bridge at Kansas City ; and the substructure
of the Sixth street viaduct over the Kaw river at Kansas City. They are
now engaged in building a bridge over the Atchafalaya river near Melville,
Louisiana, on the New Orleans branch of the Frisco system.

Mr. Kahmann has been very successful in all his enterprises, and his
name is widely and favorably known in the business world in which he has
been engaged, and is highly respected in social circles. He has large real-
estate holdings in Kansas City, and takes a lively interest in the welfare and
advancement of the city. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of
Columbus and socially with the Elm Ridge Club. In politics he is a demo-
crat, but not active, and he is a member of the Roman Catholic church.



144 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

Mr. Ivahmanii has a family of four children : Nathalie M., at home ; C.
Henry, who is with the Rudd-McQueeny Insurance Company; George H.,
who is with the Central National Bank; and Karl G., at school. Mr. Kall-
mann is a man of genial, social nature, but modest and retiring in manner.
He is, however, recognized as a public-spirited citizen, charitable in thought
and action. His personality is one which inspires respect and confidence.
He is a man of fine appearance, face and figure being indicative of his active,
well spent life, whereby he has advanced from a comparatively humble place
in the business world to one of distinction and affluence. He has made
steady progress, not by reason of any favoring circumstances or peculiarly
fortunate conditions that have surrounded him, but because he has been
watchful of the opportunities pointing to success, has utilized the chances
that have come to him, and has gained public confidence by unfaltering relia-
bility as well as most excellent workmanship. The firm of which he is now
at the head is today one of the most important in contracting circles in Kan-
sas City and the west.



JOHN C. MERINE.



John C. Merine, who was one of America's most prominent [K)rtrait
artists, became a resident of Kansas City in 1SB9 and here remained to the
time of his demise. A native of Richmond, Indiana, he was born on the
28th of September, 1821, his parents being Charles and Abbie Merine, who
were natives of Maryland. They removed to Richmond, Indiana, during an
early period in its development and in that locality the father followed agri-
cultural pursuits and passed away there at the comparatively early age of
forty-five years. His widow, long surviving him, reached the age of eighty-
seven years.

While spending his boyhood days in his parents' home, John C. ^hM'ine
attended the public schools of Richmond and early gave indication of the
artistic talent which in later years brought him fame and fortune. For (he
development of ]\i< native powers he entered the Cincinnati Art School when
eighteen years of age and studied for several years in that city, being for a
time under the instruction of Insclo AVilliatris. wlioso ])nnorama of the Bible
placed him among the celebrated ])aintcr.< of the world. Ih' was a classmate
of AVinans, Beard and Johnson, all of whom became renowned as arti-ts,
conducting studios in New York city.

On leaving Cincinnati Mr. Merine went to Louisville, Kentucky, wIicit
he opened a studio and entered u])on his life work a.- an artist. In his ]»!•()-
fessional cajiaeity lie visited all of the towns of the state and made |iaintings
of many of Kenlneky's most famous men. lie, however, maintained Iiis
headquarters at Lonisxille, where he condneted his studio for tweh'e years
and during that time painted jiortrait- of Henry Clay; Rev. Alexander-
Camjjbell, tlie foundei' of llie Chi'istian ehincli; Attorney General Harlan,
father of Jn.-tiei' Ilai'lan of the snnrenie eoui't : and ( Jeorge D. Prentice, the



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 145


distinguished editor of the Louisville Journal. The character of his work
is indicated by a statement made concerning his portrait of Clay: "It is
certainly the finest painting of this great man. One is forced to imagine
that the man and not the shadow stands before him."

Mr. Merine removed from Louisville to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he
purchased four acres of land, his purpose being to raise fruit thereon that
he might use it as a study from which to paint. Year by year his fame in-
creased until his patronage was drawn from all the territory between New
York and San Francisco, while some of his works are also seen in Europe.
While at Jacksonville he painted portraits of Governors Yates and Oglesby
of Illinois and had commissions from many other prominent people of the
country.

It was while living in Jacksonville that Mr. Merine was married to
Miss Mary A. Clampit, who was a belle of that city. She was born in Jack-
sonville and there acquired her education, being graduated from the Women's
College of that city when twenty-one years of age. Her mother died in
Jacksonville and her father. Rev. Moses Clampit, a minister of the Methodist
Episcopal church, engaged in preaching there until 1849, when he gave
up the active work of the ministry and joined the American Argonauts, who
in 1'S49 wont in search of the golden fleece to California. He invested in
property in the western states and through his speculations became quite
wealthy, but later lost considerable property. In 1857 he settled in Portland,
Oregon, where he lived retired until his death. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Merine
were born two daughters, Minnie E. and Monona. The younger daughter, who
died in 1890 at the age of nineteen years, was a very talented young lady
and a great favorite with her father and a beautiful painting which he made
of her now adorns the mother's home. Minnie E., residing with her mother,
is a fine pianist and also plays the pipe organ. She was graduated on the
completion of a course in music at the New England Conservatory, and is
very prominent in the musical as well as the social circles of Kansas City.

In 1867 Mr. Merine spent eight months in Madison, Wisconsin, and
there his brush and palette were constantly employed. Several of his por-
traiturCvS of the leading men of that state are now to be seen in the Wiscon-
sin capitol, among the most prominent being those of the judges of the su-
preme court. Chief Justice Whitan, General George B. Smith and W. S.
Penney, a noted attorney. When Mr. Merine contemplated a change of resi-
dence in 1869, many of his friends and admirers urged him to locate either
in Chicago or New York, believing that the large cities would prove a better
artistic field, but, attracted toward the rapidly developing metropolis of
western Missouri, he came to Kansas City in that year. Here not only his
previous success attended him but his patronage grew until he became one
of the best known portrait artists of the west. Forming a i^artnership with
his nephew, Mr. Williams, they opened a studio. Later Mr. Merine removed
his studio to Main street near Eighth street and his last studio was in the
Sheidley building. His patrons included not only many of the distinguished
residents of the city but also prominent men throughout the west. He
])ainted altogether twenty-five hundred portrait-; and among those which



146 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

«

adorned his studio at the time of his demise was a noteworthy one of Mrs.
Merine at the time the artist first met her. It portrays her in an old-fashioned
pink gown trimmed with lace and the coloring is particularly good. In his
paintings he was specially skillful in producing effects through shadow. He
was fond of half-tones and subdued coloring. High lights are rare in his
works and he cared far more for quiet scenes than for anything of a broader
and more resplendent style of painting. Every detail, however, was given
attention and he succeeded in portraying some remarkable likenesses in his
I)ortrait work. He always read a spiritual meaning in the clouds, which he
was fond of painting. He claimed in his portrait painting that the features,
faithfully brought out (jn canvas, should mirror the spiritual characteristics
of the man.

Mr. Merine, however, did not paint portraits alone. He made some es-
pecially noteworthy studies of fruit and some beautiful landscapes and
marines are the work of his brush. One of his best landscapes is The Return
From the Hunt, the hunters plodding wearily home through the snow, bend-
ing under the load of game on their backs, the dogs laboring at their sides.
The setting sun, l)ursting through the clouds, glints on the snowy trail. The
sky is streaked with red. A dark background of firs rises on the horizon.
The tints are mostly somber and a sense of weariness pervades the whole
scene. Mr. Merine was able to put on canvas the feelings of sadness that
come with the twilight in a way which appeals to the most careless observer.

It is not a usual thing for high artistic taste and talent to be combined
with keen business sagacity but Mr. Merine possessed both. He displayed
jirescience in his investments in property in Kansas City. Soon after his
arrival he purchased eight acres of timber land on what is now Troost avenue
in the most fashionable district of the city and built a fine residence at No.
2305 Troost avenue, which he occupied for fifteen years, though residing in
that vicinity for twenty years. He afterward removed to Hyde Park and
subsequently to a temporary home on Long Meadow avenue, where his last
days were spent. In ])olitics he was a stalwart republican and in early life
affiliated with the Masonic fraternity. Death came to him on the 'I'Ad of
August, 1896, after an illness of five weeks. He was then seventy-five years
of age. In disposition he was rather retiring but fond of society at his
own home and to his friends was most devoted. Like all who walk through
life, hovrever, on a higher plane, his circle of acquaintances was select rather
than large. Kansas City rejoiced in his honors and his success, was proud
f'f his achievements in the realm of art and to the man they paid the highest
tribute of res])ect. He was a believer in the Swedenborgian faitli and al-
waj^s a most faithful follower of high principles and ideals.

Mrs. Merine and her daughter still reside in Kansas City. Tho latter
is a member of the Christian Science church and both are very ])ri»iiiini'Ml
in cultured societv circles. Thev have recentlv removed to a beautiful lioiiic
at No. 2918 East Twenty-ninth street, the walls of which are adorned In-
many of Mr. Merine's finest canvases. Mrs. Merino has been very active in
club life in the city and president of various organizations of this character.
She and her daughter now hold membership in the New Century Clul). of



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 147

which Mrs. Merine has been president for fourteen years. Several times she
has been a delegate to the general federation of women's clubs. Interested
in all that pertains to literary and esthetic culture she is a patron of the arts
and her influence and labors have done much toward development in these
lines in Kansas City.



COLONEL J. L. ABERNATHY.

Colonel J. L. Abernathy, who in the furniture trade won a measure of
success that gained him rank among the capitalists of Kansas City, where he
took up his abode in 1870, was a native of Warren county, Ohio, born March
20, 1833. His parents always resided in Ohio and in Indiana, the father
following farming for many years in the latter state. The son was a student
in the public schools of Knightstown, Indiana, where he acquired a good edu-
cation and then began in business for himself, establishing a dry goods store
in Rushville, Indiana, where he conducted his enterprise successfully until
1855. Feeling that he would have still better opportunities in the new but
rapidly growing west, he removed to Leavenworth, Kansas, where in part-
nership with S. D. AVoods he established a furniture store in which he engaged
until after the outbreak of the Civil war.

In 1862 he enlisted in a thirty-day company, while afterward he became
captain of the Eighth Kansas Infantry, raising a company for service with
that regiment. Still later he was promoted to the colonelcy of the regiment
and continued in command until 1863, when in the battle of Chickamauga
he became very ill and because of the condition of his health resigned and
returned to his home in Leavenw^orth. He then again became an active factor
in the furniture trade, in which he continued until about 1870, when he
removed to Kansas City. His early identification with the business interests
of this city was as a w^holesale furniture dealer, while later he formed a part-
nership with Mr. Keith, and they engaged in the retail furniture business
for a short time. Mr. Keith eventually sold his interest to Mr. North, who
was associated with Colonel Abernathy in the retail furniture business for a
few years. Later the firm became Duff & Abernathy, an association that was
maintained for several years, when Colonel Abernathy disposed of his interest
to Mr. Repp and the Duff & Repp Furniture Company is still operating at
Nos. 1216-22 Main street. Throughout his commercial career Colonel Aber-
nathy maintained a reputation for undoubted integrity and for energy and
perseverance that constituted the basis of his gratifying prosperity.

In 1859 occurred the marriage of J. L. Abernathy and Miss Elizabeth
Martin, of Leavenworth, Kansas. She was born in Butler county, Ohio, not
far from the birthplace of her husband, her parents being Thomas and Eliza-
beth (Marshall) Martin, both of whom were natives of Ohio but at an early
day they took up their abode in the vicinity of Lafayette, Indiana, where Mr.
Martin engaged in the saddlery business throughout his remaining days.
Both he and his wife died there. Unto ]\Ir. and Mrs. Abernathv were born



148 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

six children: William ^Martin, who died recently leaving a widow who resides
in Kansas City and who in her maidenhood was Fannie McClelland; Walter
L., who is engaged in the fnrniture business in Kansas City and is mentioned
elsewhere in this volume; Frank, who died in early life; Harry T., who is
one of the prominent business men of Kansas City, being cashier of the First
National Bank; Omar, engaged in the furniture business in Leavenworth,
Kansas; and Cora, the wife of Dr. A. G. Hull, a prominent physician of Kan-
sas City.

Colonel Abernathy continued in the furniture business until his death,
which occurred on the 16th of December, 1902. Aside from his interest in
the furniture business he was one of the organizers of the First National Bank
of Kansas City and was made one of its stockholders from the beginning. He
also had financial interests in other business enterprises of Kansas City and
Leavenworth, being a director of the Leavenworth National Bank. He was
mayor of Leavenworth, Kansas, for tw^o terms and also took an active interest
in politic- as a stalwart supporter of the republican party. He belonged to
the Loyal Legion and the Grand Army of the Republic and maintained pleas-
ant relations Avith his old army comrades in this way. He always took great
interest in church work, both he and his wife being members of the Presby-
terian church, while Colonel Abernathy served as elder in the Second
Presbyterian church of this city. In Leavenwortli he was elder in the First
Presbyterian church and was superintendent of the Sunday school in both
places for twenty-three years. Since the demise of her husband, Mrs. Aber-
nathy ]ias become a member of the Central Presbyterian church. She makes
her home in Leavenworth, where she owns much valuable property, l)ut
spends much time with her children in Kansas City and is now with her
daughter. Mrs. Hull, at No. 3610 McGee street.



COLONEL THOIMAS II. SWOPE

If thf historian wvic to attriii]il without extensive preliminary iiicii-
tion to characterize in a single sentence the achievements of Colonel Thonia-
H. Swope, it could peihaps be be.-t dine in the \v(»rd-, ''The splendid suc-
cess of an hr)nest man in \\lio,~e life marked busiu'ess al)ility ami Innnani-
tarianism are well l)alanee(i hu'ces." It is these (joalitie- which lia\'e made
him one of th(> mo.<t respected and valued rc^sident- of Kansas City.

Born in Lincoln connty. Kentneky. on the 21st of Octolier. 1^27. he
was reared in that locality, wliere his ancestors had lived from a date prior
to the signing of tlie Declaration of Inde|)endenee. They were closely
associated with the develo))nient of the -tale and in its ]>nblie schools
Thomas H. Swope ae(|nii'ed hi- early eduealion, whieh was sup})lemented
by .«tudy in Centi'al rniver-ity, tluMi Central College, at Danville. He was
graduated there with the class of 1(S4<S and aftei-ward completed a course at
Yale University by graduation. In the sprinii. of LSoT, then a young man
of thirtv vears. he came to Kansas Citv and has since been a factor in the




THOS. H. SWOPE.



PUB;.IC LIBRARY



ASTOR, LENOX
TILDEN FO"N» TTON^'.



I—



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 151

busines.s activity which has led to the substantial growth, material improve-
jneiit and present commercial standing of Missouri's western metropolis.
Following his arrival here he began making investments in property and
his real-estate dealings soon placed him on the high road to success. While
his operations have been extensive, his path has never been strewn with
the wreck of other men's fortunes. There is no man who questions the
honesty of his methods, for throughout the entire period of his residence
here he has maintained a reputaition for unassailable business integrity. He
would sacrifice his financial interests rather than make a misstatement or
misrepresent a fact in a business deal, and his word has ever been regarded
as good as any bond solemnized by signature or seal.

Thus as the years advanced Thomas Swope acquired a handsome for-
tune, and as his financial resources increased he availed himself of the op-
portunity to use his means in the aid of his fellowmen. On the occasion
of his gift of Swope Park to the city, Senator George Graham Vest said
of him, "'I am not much of a hero worshiper, but I will take off my hat
to such a man, and in this case I am the more gratified because we were
classmates at college. We graduated together at Central College, Kentucky,
in 1848. He was a slender, delicate boy, devoted to study and exceedingly
popular. I remember hLs fainting in the recitation room when reading
an essay, and the loving solicitude of professors and students as we gathered
about him. He had a great respect for the Christian religion. It has gone
with him through life, although he has never connected himself with any
church. I know of many generous acts by him to good people, and one of



Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 14 of 65)