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

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of firearms for the government during the period of the Civil war, at New
Haven, Connecticut.

Stephen N. DAvight spent his boyhood and received his education in
New Haven. His father moved to Michigan, and he began his business
career in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but study of the business situation of the
country in various sections, led him to believe that the west offered splendid
opportunities, and accordingly, he made his way in 1874 to Kansas. His
first location was at Independence, that state, where he engaged in the bank-
ing business. He continued in that business until about ten years before
his death. He was connected with several banks in Kansas, also organized
and was cashier of the American National Bank at Fort Smith, Arkansas,
but not liking the climate, sold his interest and went to Lcadville, Colo-
rado, where he organized the American National Bank and was its presi-
dent. After selling his banking interests, he engaged in mining for a time,
then went to California, where he stayed more than a year, but it seemed
too far away from all friends and relatives, so he returned to Kansas and
became identified with the development of the mining resource? at Galena,
also bought the water works, which he enlarged and improved in every way.
He closed out his minor interests before moving to Kansas City, but owned
and operated the water works up to the time of his death, after which they
were sold by his widow. One of the elements of his exceedingly successful
career was the quickness with which he noted an opportunity that others
passed heedlessly by, when he saw a chance for profitable investment or
for the establishment of an enterprise that promised success. Forming




S. N. DWIGHT.



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HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 185

his plans readily he was determined in their execution and carried forward
to successful completion whatever he undertook. In his mental review of
the west, he noted the bright outlook before Kansas City, and showed his
faith in its future by the purchase of considerable property. Time dem-
onstrated his wisdom in this regard and increased the value of his realty
holdings. The erection of the handsome office structure, known as the
Dwight building, at the corner of Tenth and Baltimore avenue, is an evi-
dence of his foresight and faith in Kansas City's future greatness. This
magnificent building was the pioneer of its kind and added an important
step to Kansas City's realty growth that can only be estimated by a review
of the improved property conditions of that immediate locality. The suc-
cess of this undertaking added a stimulus to Kansas City real-estate inter-
ests, at a time when most needed, and stands as a monument to his enter-
prise and judgment. The property is now owned by Mrs. Dwight. Mr.
Dwight also purchased other realty here and felt that it was a thoroughly
safe investment and one which would bring good returns..

Mr. Dwight was married in Independence, Kansas, to Miss Rodella G.
Arter, daughter of Dr. Anthony H. Arter, who went to Kansas in 1869 from
Rock Island, Illinois. He was a skillful physician, but gave up the practice
of medicine some years ago and turned his attention to mining and specula-
tion. He retired a few^ years ago and is now living in Kansas City, Missouri.
Mr, Dwight was a man of domestic tastes, finding his greatest happiness at
his own fireside, and a most congenial companionship existed between him-
self and wife.

His political allegiance was given to the republican party, and fra-
ternally, he was connected Avith the Masons and Knights of Pythias. He
died in 1904 and thus was terminated a life of great activity and useful-
ness. He belonged to that class of representative American men who,
while promoting individual prosperity, also contributed to the general wel-
fare. His face indicated that character, balance, harmony and sound judg-
ment were among his natural traits. Any one seeing him would know
that he was a dependable man in any relation and any emergency. Quiet-
ude of deportment, easy dignity, and a frankness and cordiality of address
were among his noticeable characteristics. He was ever ready to meet any
obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of conscious
personal ability, right conception of things and an habitual regard for what
was best in the exercise of human activities.



BRUNO L. SULZBACHER, M. D.

There is no profession in which distinction and success depend more
largely upon individual merit and ability than in the practice of medicine
and surgery. In many business interests real skill and worth must be proven
by the test of time but the physician is judged by what he accomplishes day
by day and the consensus of public opinion is formed as the result of his



186 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

daily labor. Dr. Sulzbacher, judged by this standard, which is applied to
every follower of the calling, is accorded prominence and honor as a repre-
sentative of the medical fraternity and yet he is still comparatively a young
man.

His father, the Hon. Louis Sulzbacher, is judge of the United States
federal court in the Indian Territory. He was born in Bavaria, Germany,
and came to America when eighteen years of age, working his way by de-
grees across the country until he reached Kansas City. The Santa Fe Rail-
road had not been built at that time and he started with an ox-team of pro-
visions, following the Santa Fe trail, which was the one important highway
leading into that section of the country. He proceeded to Santa Fe and
afterward to Las Vegas, where he decided to establish a law office and en-
gage in practice as an attorney. But the business in that new and then
largely undeveloped district did not prove sufficicMitly remunerative and he
was obliged to resort to hunting and trapping as a source of support. With
the advent of the raih\)ad, however, the country became settled and business
increased and it was not long before he was appointed attorney for the
Santa Fe Railroad. A man of sterling qualities, he has been recognized by
three presidents: first in the appointment of President U. S. Grant, who
named him United States commissioner; next by the late President William
McKinley, who appointed him to the post of justice of the supreme court
of Porto Rico; and later by President Roosevelt to his present position. It
was the desire of President Roosevelt that Judge Sulzbacher should continue
in the office in Porto Rico but his longing for his home compelled the pres-
ident to accede to his request to relieve him from office there and he was
transferred by the department of justice and appointed to his present posi-
tion.

Dr. Sulzbacher is a native of Las Vegas, New Mexico. His preliminary
education was acquired in a Presbyterian mission school there and later he
obtained a thorough educational training in the Jesuit College. In 1887
he became a student in Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a year later
he entered Rugby Academy in Philadelphia, from which he was graduated
ni due course of time. In the meanwhile, his parents having removed to
Kansas City, he returned to the west and pursvied a preparatory medical
course in the state university of Lawrence, Kansas. He further continued
his preparation in the University Medical College of Kansas City, from
which institution he was graduated in 1895, receiving the second prize in
his class. For a year he practiced in Kansas City and by appointment filled
the position of assistant demonstrator of anatomy in the college.

Desiring to attain further proficiency, knowledge and experience, Dr.
Sulzbacher resolved to go abroad for further study and in 1896 made his
way to Germany. He pursued regular and post-graduate work in the uni-
versities of Berlin, Gottingen and Vienna and thus with greatly enlarged
powers, owing to his investigation and researches, he returned to Kansas
City, resuming his practice. During the years 1898-99 he occupied the chair
of demonstrator of pathology in the University Medical College and the
following year was professor of histology. In 190,'^ he received the appoint-



HISTORY or KANSAS CITY 187

merit of chief of staff of the German hospital and in 1905 was local surgeon
for the Frisco Railroad. During the latter part of that year he again went
abroad, where he remained for a year for further study and while there was
appointed assistant to Professor Landau in his private hospital for diseases
of women in Berlin. In the more direct line of his profession he is a mem-
ber of the Western Surgical & Gynecological Association, the Aesculapian
Society, the Medical Association of New Mexico and the Mississippi Val-
ley Medical -Vssociation.

Dr. Sulzbacher has been assistant surgeon of Battery B of the National
Guard of Kansas City and is a thirty-second degree Mason and a noble of
the Mystic Shrine. He is also an Elk and became one of the charter
members of the Kansas City Athletic Club. He also belongs to the Elm
Ridge Club, to the Knife and Fork Club and the Music and Art Club, now
the art institute. He appreciates all that is being done for intellectual and
esthetic culture and broadened his own knowledge of music, painting and
sculpture in the art centers of the old world. While a man of broad
scientific attainments in professional lines, he is yet alive to the interests of
the world and its development and progress along other lines.



GEORGE S. BATTELL.

In the business circles of Kansas City the name of George S. Battell was
honored as one whose enterprise and commendable success entitled him to
recognition. He was a partner in the Zahner & Battell Manufacturing Com-
pany, manufacturers of metal specialties and stoves. They also conducted
a retail hardware business and the various departments were sources of grati-
fying revenue. Mr. Battell dated his residence in Kansas City from 1872. His
birth occurred in Mendon, Adams county, Illinois, October 15, 1856, his par-
ents being Richard and Hannah (Schieffelin) Battell, both of whom were
natives of New York city. Removing westward in 1845, they settled in Men-
don, Illinois, and about that time Richard Battell became interested in the
plow manufacturing business in Quincy, Illinois, but made his home in Men-
don. He was thus identified with industrial interests throughout his remain-
ing days and his death occurred in Mendon in 187i3. His widow continued to
reside at the old home there until she, too, passed away, in 1907, at the age
of eightv-seven vears.

When a little lad of six summers, George S. Battell became a pupil in
the public schools of his native town and gradually mastered the branches of
learning that constitute the public school curriculum. When a young man
he began work in a metal shop of Mendon and w^as thus engaged until 18V 2,
becoming familiar with the business in principle and detail. When he came
to Kansas City he w^as only about seventeen years of age and he afterward
attended a college here, thus completing his education. Subsequently he ac-
cepted a position in the metal shop of Wise & Zahner, remaining in that
employ for a year. This was his equipment but he soon passed on to positions



188 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

of executive control, subsequently bending his energies largely to organiza-
tion, to constructive efforts and administrative direction. He had been with
the firm for a year when Mr. AVise withdrew and Mr. Battell succeeded him
as partner of Mr. Zahner. He brought all of his energies to bear upon the
development of the business, which was organized under the name of the
Zahner & Battell Manufacturing Company and which is still carried on under
the name of the Zahner Manufacturing Company. The plant was located
on the Southwest boulevard and the partners through their united efforts de-
veloped one of the largest enterprises of the city in the manufacture of stoves
and metal work of all kinds. The excellence of their products insured a
ready sale and the business enjoyed substantial growth annually. Mr. Battell
was also interested in the retail hardware store conducted by the firm at No.
940 Main street, where a large business was carried on. He, however, con-
centrated his energies more specifically upon the control of the office interests
at the factory on Southwest boulevard.

In 1889 Mr. Battell was married in Kansas City to Miss Mary L. Meily,
who was here born and is a daughter of John E. and Rebecca Meily, both
natives of Freeport, Illinois, and pioneer residents of Kansas City, arriving
here in 1858. The father purchased property at the northeast corner of
Sixteenth and Washington streets, where he built several houses. He was a
carpenter by trade and for the last twenty-six years of his life was employed
by the Fort Scott & Gulf Railway Company at Kansas City in the line of
his chosen pursuit. In 1906 he sustained an injury which caused his death
in July of that year. Mrs. Meily still owns the family homestead at No. 442
West Sixteenth street but now resides with her daughter, Mrs. Battell. Coming
to Kansas City at an early day, the Meily family were prominent among the
pioneer residents here and the members of the family are well known. Mrs.
Meily has another daughter, Mrs. James C. Rieger, the wife of a prominent
attorney of Kansas City.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Battell was born one son, Schieffelin Meily Battell,
who is now attending the manual high school and resides with his mother.
The husband and father died March 1, 1902. He was a devoted member of
the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, to which Mrs. Battell also
belongs, while Mrs. Meily is a member of the Summit Avenue Methodist
Episcopal church. Mr. Battell likewise held membership with the Retail
Merchants' Association and was interested in all that pertained to the city's
development and commercial upbuilding. Socially he was a charter member
of Modern AVoodmen Camp, No. 2002. His political allegiance was given the
republican party. Interested in old family relics, he had had in his possession
a book for many years — an old volume of poetry and paintings that was writ-
ten up and painted by his uncle and is at least a hundred years old. It is
now in the possession of Mrs. Battell.

Mr. Battell never sought to figure in public life but in his various asso-
ciations he was a just and considerate employer, a faithful friend and a de-
voted husband and father. It is not from the few conspicuous deeds of life
tliat the blcs.sings chiefly come which make the world sweeter, better and hap-
pier, but from the countless lonely ministrations of the everydays, the little



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 189

faithfulnesses that fill long years. It was these things that endeared Mr.
Battell to his family and his friends. A year prior to his death he built a
nice residence at No. 1315 Prospect avenue, where Mrs. Battell and her son
and her mother now reside. Two years after her husband's demise she sold
her interest in the business to Mr. Zahner and has her capital well invested.
Her entire life has been passed in Kansas City and she is thus largely familiar
with the history of its development and upbuilding.



AUGUSTUS L. CHOUTEAU.

Augustus L. Chouteau is well remembered by many residents of Kan-
sas City although he was never actively engaged in business here. He had
acquired a goodly fortune ere he took up his abode here and his last days
were spent in the enjoyment of well earned ease. He belonged to a prom-
inent old French family which was established in America at an early day.
His birth occurred in St. Louis in 1814. Both his father and mother were
of French ancestry and became residents of St. Louis in pioneer times, re-
maining there until called to the home beyond.

Augustus L. Chouteau acquired an excellent education in the Jesuit
College of St. Louis and while a young man he entered the employ of his
uncle, Pierre Chouteau, who was engaged in the fur business in St. Louis
under the name of the Missouri Fur Company and who sent his nephew
west to buy furs. Augustus Chouteau therefore spent nine years in the
Rocky mountains buying and trading in furs among the Indians and be-
coming familiar with the various phases of frontier life, gaining as well an
intimate knowledge of the methods employed by the red men in their bus-
iness transactions. At length he returned to St. Louis and began business on
his own account, dealing in fancy groceries for a few years. He then re-
moved to Alton, Illinois, which was then a small town, and began buying
and improving property. At one time he owned nearly all of that city. He
would purchase lots and transform unsightly vacancies into fine residence
districts, becoming well known as a speculative builder. His excellent judg-
ment in matters of real-estate investment brought him splendid success and
he continued in the general real-estate business of Alton for over thirty
years, realizing most gratifying profit upon his purchases and sales of prop-
erty. As time passed he advanced from affluence to wealth and as a capital-
ist removed to Chicago, where he resided for two years, coming thence to
Kansas City in 1878. He embarked in no active business enterprise here,
deriving his income from his valuable investments and enjoying during his
remaining days a well earned retirement from business cares.

Mr. Chouteau was married in Alton, Illinois, to Miss Elizabeth H.
Bnnier. a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Dodge) Bruner. The mother was
a native of Salem, Massachusetts. The father was born in Kentucky and
the town of Brunersville was named in honor of his father. Jacob Bruner
removed from the Blue Grass state to Edwardsville, Illinois, where for sev-



190 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

eral years he engaged in the hat manufacturing business and then took up
his abode in Alton among its early settlers, for the town had but recently
been established. He was made the first postmaster at Alton and was other-
wise identified with its early development and upbuilding. He was after-
ward appointed warden of the state penitentiary at Alton and filled that
position for four years. On his retirement he engaged in the dry goods bus-
iness and continued in that line throughout his remaining days. Both he
and his wife passed away in Alton.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Chouteau were born, eleven children, seven of whom,
are yet living, namely: Amidee B., who now resides iii*San Francisco, Cal-
ifornia; Mrs. Julia M. Legg, of Kansas City, Kansas; Augustus L., who is
now engaged in the cigar business at No. 118 West Eighth street in Kansas
City; Clara C, the wife of Dr. Thomas J. Beattie, one of the most prom-
inent physicians of Kansas City; Mrs. Louise Breeder, of Kansas City;
Blanche E., who resides with her mother; and Lillian C, the wife of Fred
C. Merry, of the Merry Optical Company, of Kansas City, Those deceased
are Mrs. Mary Piatt, Mrs. Lilly Shoemaker, William B. and Eva. The last
two died in childhood.

The death of the husband and father occurred December 1, 1887, after
which his remains were taken to Alton, Illinois, for interment. He was a
communicant of the Catholic church, to which Mrs. Chouteau yet belongs.
His business career was notably exceptional in its success. He possessed
remarkable sagacity and enterprise and was seldom, if ever, at error in mat-
ters of business judgment, especially concerning real-estate investment. He
won splendid success and was thus enabled to leave his family in very com-
fortable financial circumstances. Since losing her husband ]\Irs. Chouteau
has made her home with her children in Kansas City and is now living
with her daughter. Mrs. Dr. Beattie, at No. 1201 Linwood boulevard.



THEODOR C. PELTZER.

Theodor C. Peltzer, for fourteen years a representative of the real-estate
and loan business in Kansas City, arrived here in company with his father,
Theodor Peltzer, Sr., from Atchison. Kansas. The father engaged in l)rick
manufacturing at the corner of Third and Wyandotte streets, where the Grand
Central depot is now located, a few years later the McClelland. Stunipf &
Peltzer Brick Manufacturing Company was organized with Theodor Peltzer
as president and they successfully carried on the enterprise for about twenty
years. The rapid growth of the city provided an excellent market for the
manufactured product and as the years passed the company developed one
of the most extensive productive industries of this character in Kansas City.
This firm manufactured building and other kinds of brick and the extent
of its business made Mr. Peltzer. in the course of years, one of the men of
affluence here. About ten years ago he retired from active business, spend-
ing his remaining days in the enjoyment of a well earned and richly merited




THEODORE PELTZER, SR.



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PUBLIC .IBlaARY

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HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 193

rest. The only business interests which claimed his attention were in the
line of real-estate investment and loans. He passed away November 27, 1900,
and thus Kansas City lost a citizen whose value and worth had long been
recognized and who in business circles enjoyed the full confidence of his
colleagues and the admiration of his contemporaries. He was a native of
Germany, while his wife, who bore the maiden name of Gertrude Merwick,
was born in Holland. Their family numbered four children: William P.,
Herman J., Mrs. Mary Kurt and Theodor C, all residents of Kansas City.

Theodor C. Peltzer, whose name introduces this review, is a native of
AVinthrop, Missouri, born November 28, 1875. The removal of his family
to Kansas City during his early childhood enabled him to pursue his educa-
tion in the Linwood school here, w^hile later he attended St. Benedict's Col-
lege, from which he was graduated in the class of 1894. Immediately after-
ward he entered the field of real-estate operation in Kansas City and has since
carried on a successful real-estate and loan business. For a few years be
was also interested in doing some building but of late years has confined
his attention more largely to the loan and fire insurance business and to
his real-estate operations. He purchased the real-estate business of E. H.
Phelps & Company, W. G. Leggett and the E. P. Sexton Realty Company
and is now widely recognized as one of the prominent representatives of
this field of activity in Kansas City. He is also the owner of the old family
home at the northwest corner of Linwood and Pa.seo, which he purchased
soon after his mother's death and which he now occupies.

Mr. Peltyer was married on the 28th of June, 1904, to Miss Mattie
Couch, who was born in Olathe, Kansas, but has spent the greater part of
her ]if^ in Kansas City. Mr. Peltzer is a member of the Kansas City
Athletic Club, the Automobile Club and of the Knights of Columbus, while
his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Catholic church.
He is now a prosperous man, owing to his unwearied industry. There is
about him an atmosphere of push and determination and of energy well con-
trolled. He has placed a correct valuation upon life's contacts and' expe-
riences, has learned to make the best use of every opportunity and not a little
of his success is due to the fact of his correct reading of men and character.



FRANK B. LEWIS.



Kansas City in recent years has taken rank with the metropolitan trade
centers of the country, its commercial and industrial interests bringing it into
close connection with the outside world and promoting its prosperity and
development. Among the enterprises which are factors therein is included
the wholesale business of Frank B. Lewis, a dealer in leather findings and
shoe store supplies. He was born in Savannah, Georgia, on the 14th of
March, 1853, his parents being Robert A. and Catherine A. (Cook) Lewis.
He traces his ancestry in the maternal line back to Lieutenant Colonel Bar-
rington, who was a cousin of General Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony



194 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

of Georgia, receiving the territory within its borders as a grant from King
George III, of England, together with a large sum of money which was used
in opening the prison doors of England and thus freeing the Huguenots, who
were brought to this country to settle the new colony. The state was named
by the Colonel in honor of King George. Lieutenant Colonel Barrington was
the great grandfather of Frank B. Lewis and his daughter became the wife of
Wiliam Cook, an English barrister, who settled in Georgia, but later both
Mr. Cook and the Lieutenant Colonel Barrington returned to England, where



Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 18 of 65)