Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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ling them and bringing them into a unity productive of the highest results.
He met with lai'ge success as a lumber merchant and also through his in-
vestments, which were judiciously made. Although he disclaimed any par-
ticular prominence, his fellow townsmen recognized his worth and appreci-
ated his ability and his spirit of general helpfulness in connection with the
upbuilding and progress of the city. He assisted materially in making Kan-
sas City what it is today. He strongly advocated the plan of parks and
boulevards and favored other movements which have been productive of
excellent results here. Although quiet and unassuming in manner, he
w^as a most companionable gentleman, broad-minded and liberal in his views,
recognizing good in all and manifesting at all times a spirit of helpfulness
toward his fellowmen and the citv of his abode.



JAMES BUCHANAN BELL, M.D.

Dr. James Buchanan Bell, who in early life prepared for the practice
of medicine and continued therein to some extent because of his humani-
tarian principles, was later also associated with banking interests and be-
came one of the leading business men and capitalists of Kansas City, where
he took up his abode in 1873. A native of Lexington, Rockbridge county,
Virginia, he was born August 24, 1820, his parents being Victor and Ann
(Hendron) Bell, who w^ere natives of Ireland, whence they came to America
in 1828, settling in Monroe county, Missouri, where the father died the fol-
lowing year. The mother afterward made her home in Chillicothe, Mis-
souri, until her demise in 1863.

Dr. Bell was carefully reared by his mother and began his education
in the common schools of Linn county, Missouri. He was also employed at
farm labor, thus aiding in the support of the family, and at the same time
continued his studies as opportunity offered. While he was still a boy his
mother removed with the family to Linn county, Missouri, where he con-
tinued his education as a public-school student, and subsequently he began
teaching in the schools there, being thus employed for a short time. He
was likewise engaged in trading in Linn county until 1846, but in the mean-
time he determined to devote his time and energies to professional service,
and in 1842 commenced the study of medicine under the direction of Dr.
Relph, one of the first physicians of Linneus, Linn county, Missouri. Dur-
ing the winter of 1845-46 he went to St. Louis, w^here he attended medical
lectures, and later pursued a second course in the winter of 1849-50. He
located for practice in Mercer county, Missouri, and when he opened his
office there had not a dollar, but he had been a thorough and discriminating
student, and he possessed moreover strong purpose and laudable ambition,
which constitute an excellent foundation upon which to rear the superstruc-
ture of success. From the beginning his practice increased steadily and



226 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

rapidly, and during the twelve year.-; of his residence there he aceumulated
twenty-five thousand dollars.

Dr. Bell continued to practice in Mercer county until 1860, when he
removed to Chillicothe, and there established a general mercantile store in
partnership with James Leeper under the firm name of Bell & Leeper. He
continued his professional work to some extent, but the demands of his
commercial interests forced him to retire in part from medical practice. In
1864 he purchased Mr. Leeper's interest in the business and conducted the
store alone until 1866, when he admitted P. Moore to a partnership and
thus carried on general merchandising in Chillicothe until 1867. He then
sought a new field of labor, organizing the Chillicothe Savings Association,
which became a substantial and largely patronized bank. He was chosen
president, with Greenup Bird as cashier, and continued in the banking busi-
ness at Chillicothe until 1873, when he disposed of his interests there and
came to Kansas City. His former success led him into larger undertakings,
bringing into action his administrative ability and powers of organization.

On coming to Kansas City, Dr. Bell at once purchased a controlling
interest in the Kansas City Savings Association, which is now the National
Bank of Commerce, and throughout his remaining days wa^ a prominent
representative of banking interests here. Although he practically lived re-
tired during the last twenty years of his life, he was yet finacially inter-
ested in the banks and derived therefrom a gratifying annual income. He
never retired altogether from the practice of medicine, but from humani-
tarian principles continued to labor for the alleviation of human suffering
to a greater or less extent.

About the time that Dr. Bell entered upon the practice of medicine he
was married, in Mercer county, Missouri, in 1850, to Miss Harriet Ballew,
a native of Tazewell county, Virginia, and a daughter of AVilliam and
Sarah (Oney) Ballew, both of whom were natives of Virginia, whence they
removed to Mercer county, Mis.souri, at an early day, continuing there to
reside until they were called to their final rest, the father devoting his time
and energies to farming. Dr. and Mrs. Bell became the parents of four
children. Pocahontas is the widow of Joseph A. Cooper, who was engaged
in the wholesale shoe business in Kansas City, and afterward became the first
president of the Citizens National Bank here, continuing iu the banking
business throughout the remainder of his life, his death here occurring in
1883. Mrs. Cooper resides here with her mother and sister and has a fine home
in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends the summer months. Her
only child, Virgil Cooper, is married and resides at Colorado Springs, where
he is engaged in the storage warehouse business. Rebecca B. Bell, the sec-
ond daughter, is the widow of George Hall Lapsley, who was a native of
Alabama, and spent a few years in Philadelphia, after which he came to
Kansas City, where he entered into partnership with his brother-in-law. Mr.
Cooper, in the wholesale shoe business. They remained together until Mr.
Cooper entered the field of banking, after which Mr. Lapsley continued in
the shoe business alone throughout his remaining days, his death occur-
ring in 1895. Mrs. Lap.«;ley now resides willi lici- mother, and sb" has one



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 227

son, James Bell Lapsley, who is engaged in the lumber business in Coffey-
ville, Kansas. A^ictor B. Bell, who married Nancy J. Lockridge, was the
president of the Long-Bell Lumber Company of Kansas City, the largest
lumber firm here, and remained at the head of the biLsiness until his death,
which occurred in June, 1905. His widow still resides here, making her
home at the corner of Thirty-seventh and McGee streets. Mary Scott, the
youngest of the family, died in childhood in 1871. The son and the two
sons-in-law of Mrs. Bell were very prominent and prosperous business men,
occupying a leading position in commercial and financial circles of the city.
The two daughters reside with their mother and are well known socially.
Mrs. Lapsley, greatly interested in relics, has in her possession a bullet and
also a spear from a flag which was used in the battle when Grant captured
Eichmond. She likewise possesses other interesting relics. Mrs. Bell is now
seventy-seven years of age, but is a remarkably well preserved woman, who
presides graciously .over her extensive and beautiful home at No. 2543 Troost
avenue, where she is living with her daughters.

The death of Dr. Bell occurred July 13, 1904, his remains being in-
terred in Elmwood cemetery. He had been ill for about ten months. In
politics he was a republican, stalwart in support of the party, and while
residing in Chillicothe served as mayor of that city for two years. He like-
wise acted as county treasurer of Livingston county for two terms, and for
several years was treasurer of the Chillicothe & Brunswick Railroad Com-
pany. During the last forty years of his life he affiliated with the Masonic
fraternity, and was one of its most exemplary representatives. His interest
centered in his family, and he always spent his evenings at home. He greatly
enjoyed reading and study, and carried his investigations far and wide into
the realms of knowledge. His business enterprise and ability and his judi-
cious investments brought him the success that numbered him among the
bankers and capitalists of Kansas City, while many of the acquaintances of
his earlier days remember him for valued professional sendee. His life was
honorable, his actions manly and sincere, and his worth as an indivdual and
citizen was widely acknow'ledged.



COLONEL WILLIAAI CHARLES GLASS.

Colonel William Charles Glass, now deceased, w^as numbered among
the veterans of the Civil war and from the ranks rose to the position of com-
mander of his regiment, thus gaining the title by which he was uniformly
known. A native of Ireland, he was born in County Donegal in 1837 and
was a son of AVilliam and Esther (Cassady) Glass, the former a farmer by
occupation. One daughter of the family, Mrs. Elizabeth Doherty, still re-
sides on the old homestead.

Colonel Glass was a poor boy. He had but limited opportunities, his
educational advantages being confined to a short attendance at a public
school. His elder brother. James Glass, came to the United States about



228 HISTORY OF KA^'SAS CITY

1849, .-ettling at Sedalia, Missouri, where he at first conducted a grocery
store, while later he engaged in the wholesale liquor business. Seeing the
opportunities for advancement in business life in the new world, he sent
for his brother William to join him in the United States and about 1851,
when fourteen years of age, Colonel Glass arrived in America. He crossed
the Atlantic to New York. His brother, James Glass, was for a time fire-
man in Chicago, belonging to the Fire Zouaves. Eventually Colonel Glas^
drifted to Bushnell, Illinois, and the money which he had managed to save
from his earnings in the intervening years enabled him to embark in mer-
chandising, which business he conducted successfully for some time.

In the meantime, however, two important chapters had been added to
his life hi.^tory — the first hi.s .service in the Civil war; the second hi- mar-
riage. In 1861 he offered his services to his adopted country as a defender
of the Union cause, enlisting as a private in the Seventeenth Illinois A^olun-
teer Infantry. The history of that regiment is the record of his military
career. He was always found at his post of duty, whether on the long
marches, the firing line or the picket line, and his fidelity and meritorious
conduct won him promotion through the various ranks until he became
colonel of his regiment. He served under General McClelland, participated
in many of the hotly contested battles of the war and was wounded at Vicks-
burg. He did not leave the front, however, but continued with his regiment
until the close of the war and his own valor and great fearlessness inspired
the men who served under him. With a most creditable military record he
returned to his home, wearing the insignia of the colonel's rank.

The following year Colonel Glass was married in Peoria, Illinois, to Miss
Ellen Carr, of that city, a daughter of .James Carr. who was from the south.
Unto them were born two children : William J., whose birth occurred iu
Kansas City in 1880 ; and Helen, at home.

Oil coming to Kansas City Colonel Glass established a wholesale liquor
house. His business prospered and he extended its scope from time to time,
enlarging his plant to meet the growing demands of the trade. As his suc-
cess increased he made judicious investment in property and acquired nuich
real-estate. For several years prior to his demise his entire time and atten-
tion were given to the suj^ervision of his real-estate interests, from which he
derived a gratifying annual income, M-hile his holdings enabled him to leave
his family in very comfortable financial circumstances.

Colonel Glass was particularly fond of travel, spent much time in the
soutli ;iii<l llic >(Milli\vc>l Mild ;il-() iii;i(lc tri|i.- to l^uro])e. visitina, {\\v iii;iii>'
points of modern, historic and scenic interest in the old world and gaining
that broad culture and knowledge which only travel can bring. A com-
municant of the Roman Catholic churcli. lie served as one of the official com-
mittee of St. Aloysiiis. Hi- |i<ilitic;il nllcgiaiicc w;i~ uivcii to tlic (h'liiocracy
but aside from any political connection he did active and effective work for
the interests of his adopted city. He was a member of the first park board
and assisted in planning the boulevard system, which is one of the most at-
tractive features of the city. JJo always gave his support to every movement
for municipal advancement and hi- labors were far-reaching and beneficial.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 229

111 the circle of his .-social acquaintances he was found to be a genial, courteous
and entertaining companion, while in the home he was devoted to the wel-
fare of his wife and children, finding his greatest happiness in administering
to their comfort and welfare.



JOHN F. BELLEMERE.

John F. Bellemere, deceased, was in Kansas City for but a brief period
but the family are w-ell known here and his wife w^as the builder of the
Bellemere block at the southwest corner of Twelfth and Cherry streets. She
w^as a resident of Kansas City from 1878 until her death in 1908 and her
daughter, Mrs. Clark, is still living here.

Mr. Bellemere was born in Hamilton near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
March 23, 1823, and was descended from a noted French family. His father
Avas a native of France and was one of the Napoleon Ijodyguards until he
came to America. He engaged in the real-estate bu-siness in Hamilton, Penn-
.sylvania, and also in and near Philadelphia, handling much property in that
part of the state. His w^ife w^as born near Philadelphia and both spent their
last days in Hamilton, Pennsylvania.

John F. Bellemere acquired his education in the public schools of his
native town and entered business life as a draughtsman for the Philadelphia
& Reading Railroad Company there, continuing in that business until the
close of the war in 1865. He afterward learned the trade of a master
mechanic in Philadelphia, and subsequently accepted a position as master
mechanic at Reading, Pennsylvania, for the Eastern Pennsylvania Railroad
Company, which is now a part of the Philadelphia & Reading .system.
Throughout his remaining days he w^as thus connected with the business in-
terests of Reading, was faithful to every responsibility that devolved upon him
and had the entire confidence of the corporation which he represented.

While residing in Reading, Mr. Bellemere was married to Miss Sarah
A. Horft', a native of that place, born December 8, 1826. Her parents spent
their early lives in Gettysburg, where the father was a brick-mason and sub-
sequently he removed to Reading, where he continued in the same line of
business until his death, both he and his wife passing away there. Unto Mr.
and Mi's. Bellemere five children Avere born: Mary E., who is now the widow
of Henry J. Conrad and resides in San Francisco, California; William Francis,
a tobacco merchant of Reading, Pennsylvania; John Henry, who is engaged
in the photo supply business at Salt Lake City, Utah; George Lafayette, a
retired grocery merchat, living in Kansas City; and Ida V., the wife of J.
Stewart Clark, also a resident of Kansas City. Mr. Clark is a traveling sales-
man for the James S. Kirk Company of Chicago and unto him and his wife
have been born a son and daughter: Dr. Harold B. Clark and Mildred Adell
Clark. The son has recently graduated from Hahnemann Medical College
and will enter upon the active practice of his profession in Kansas City. The
daughter is at home with her parents.



230 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

While Mr. Bellemere was busily engaged as a master mechanic in Read-
ing, his wife, who had relatives living in Kansas City, came here in 1878,
accompanied by her daughter and the same year began investing in property
here. She built the Bellemere block at the corner of Twelfth and Cherry
streets and it is still one of the substantial structures of the city. In 1880
Mr. Bellemere came to Kansas City but he and his wife intended to return
to Reading. However, he was taken ill here and died on the 29th of January,
1881. He was a prominent Mason and held the highest offices in the Knight
Templar commandery of Reading, while his wife was connected with the
Eastern Star lodge there. In his political views Mr. Bellemere was a deiun-
erat and while he did not seek nor desire ofhce, was always interested in
progressive cititenship. He held membership in. the Lutheran church and
was a man of many excellent traits of character, respected by all who knew
him for his business ability and enterprise and for his many sterling traits.
His daughter, Mrs. Clark, is a member of the English Lutheran church of
Kansas City.

Mrs. Bellemere maintained her residence at No. 521 East Twelfth street—
a part of the Bellemere block — until 1900, when she sold that property and
made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Clark at No. 17 Spring street. She was
identified with Kansas City's interests for thirty years and therefore saw much
of its growth and development. Here she gained many warm friends, being
widely known. She traveled far on life's journey, having passed the eighty-
first milestone at the time of her death and received the respect which ever
crowns a well spent life.



HON. DANIEL S. TWITCHELL.

Hon. Daniel S. Twitchell, known a.- *"one of the most public spiril'.Ml
citizens of Kansas City," and a.s an attorney w^hose prominence made him
the peer of the ablest members of the bar here, was connected with profes-
sional and public interests in the city and state through many years. He
became a pioneer of the metropolis of western Missouri, arriving hero in
1865. His birth occurred near Ann Ai'bor in Scio township, Washtenaw
county, Michigan, April 11, 1834, his parents being Jonas and Refine
(Weckes) Twitchell. The father was a native of Vermont and in 1832
removed to Washtenaw county, Michigan, where he located on a. farm in
what was called the Vermont settlement. There he engaged in general ag-
ricultural pursuits until his later life, wlien ho removed to Minnesota and
made his homo with his son. Dr. H. W. ''lAvitoholl. ITis death there occurred
in 18cS0, wlion he had reached the ago of eighty-two years. His wife, who
died in Michigan, was of Quaker faith. She was born in Philadol]>hia and
became noted as a poetess and historian of licr day. Hor autliorship includes
such works as Weeke.s' Poems, Lectui-o.~ to Young Men, the Life of William
Ponn and other notable literary iM'oduotions.

In the family were three sons and two daughters, of whom Daniel S.
Twitolioll was the youngo.-t. 1n hi- earlv bovhond lie attended a country




D. S. TWITCHELL.



PUBUC UBKARY

ASTOR, LENOX



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 233

school about a mile from his father's farm, pursuing his studies during the
winter seasons, while in the summer months he assisted in the labors of the
fields. Reared in a cultured home, he had the advantage of good books and
his evening hours were usually devoted to reading and study. On leaving
home to provide for his own support, he worked upon neighboring farms,
receiving a salary of twelve dollars per month. By the time he finished a
course in the country schools he had saved up sixty-five dollars and with this
money went to Oberlin, Ohio, where he used his little capital in paying the
expenses of a college course in Oberlin College. He had to supplement his
savings, however, by earnings at night work. Four years were passed as a
student in that institution, after which he returned to Washtenaw county,
Michigan, and began the study of law. He then entered the law office of
Hiram J. Beakes of Ann Arbor, w^ho directed his reading for a few years,
and in 1858 he successfully passed the examination which secured his ad-
mission to the bar. He then opened an office in Ann Arbor, Avhere he prac-
ticed for a year, at the end of which time, being desirous of gaining still
broader and more accurate knowledge of legal principles, he matriculated
in the law department of the University of Michigan in 1860, becoming a
member of the first law class of that now famous school. He was graduated
with high honors in 1831 and almost immediately afterward he enlisted
for service in the Civil war, raising a company for active duty at the front.
He was commissioned captain, but on account of the illnes.s of his wife was
compelled to resign. He ever remained, however, a faithful advocate of the
Union cause, doing what he could to advance its interests at home and
afterward doing duty in the department of the provost marshal. Prior to
becoming a student, or in 1859, he had been elected city recorder of Ann
Arbor and in 1860 was elected circuit court commissioner for AVashtenaw
county, while later he became prosecuting attorney. He filled all of those
offices in capable manner and at the same time attended to the duties of a
growing law practice. In 1865, however, having become dissatisfied with
that country, he decided to establish his home in the west and removed
to Kansas City, where he opened a law office.

In the meantime Mr. Twitchell had been married in Jackson, Michi-
gan, to Miss Delia Scott, who died in Kansas City in 1867. They were the
parents of two children, Ralph E. and Wirt Beecher. The elder son attended
the University of Kansas at Lawrence, afterward returned to Ann Arbor and
was graduated in the law department of the State University there. He is now
a very prominent attorney of Las Vegas, New Mexico, being considered the
best trial lawyer of that territory. He married MLss Olivia Collins of St.
Joseph, Missouri, who died in New Mexico, leaving one child, Waldo, eigh-
teen years of age. Wirt Beecher, now residing in Kelvin, Arizona, is a
mining expert and owner of various copper properties in that territory. He
frequently visits in Kansas City with his stepmother, the present Mrs.
Twitchell, who faithfully took the part of an own mother to her stepchil-
dren. On the 13th of April, 1869, in Kansas City, Mr. Twitchell was again
married, his second union being with Ml«s Mary Benjamin, a native of
Lexington, Kentucky, and a daughter of Mrs. Emeline Boullt, a native of



234 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

the state of New York, who in 1859 came to Kansas City and died at the
home of her daughter, Mrs. Twitchcll, in 1900.

Mr. Twitch ell had been a resident of Kansas City for only a compara-
tively brief period before he had built uj) a large law practice which made
constant demands upon his time and attention throughout his remaining
days. He had in an eminent degree that rare ability of saying in a con-
vincing way the right thing at the right time. With a thorough and com-
prehensive knowledge of the fundamental principle, - of law, he combined a
familiarity with statutory law and a sober, clear judgment. He soon took
high rank as a most able and successful lawyer. He was modest and retir-
ing, adhering to the old views of professional ethics, which discountenance
all manner of advertising and self-adulation. He was, however, strong in
argument, clear in his reasonings and logical in his deductions and his prac-
tice became of a most important character, connecting him with the leading
litigation heard in the courts.

In politics Mr. Twitchell was a stalwart republican, with firm faith
in the principles of the party as most conducive to good government. He
recognized it as a duty as well as privilege of the American citizen to uphold
his political principles at the polls and to labor for their adoption along
legitimate lines. He was therefore known as an active worker in republican
ranks and was frequently called to public office. In 1869 he was elected
citv attorney and counselor and in 1881, 1882 and 1883 was likewise elected
city counselor. In 1876 he was chosen a delegate to the republican national
convention at Cincinnati and was made assistant secretary of that body. In
the years 1872, 1876 and 1890 he was the nominee of his party for congress
in what was known as the fifth congressional district of Missouri and in 1874
he was its nominee for attorney general. He always polled a large vote l)ut
it is a well known fact that this is a democratic stronghold.

In his social relations Mr. Twitchell was connected witli the Ma.sons,
the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Elks, being identified with



Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 22 of 65)