Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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the local lodges of these different organizations in Kansas City. He was
one of the founders of the Early Settlers Historical Society here, \rhich now
has a large membership and its establishment upon a safe basis and its sub-
sequent growth were due in no small degree to his labors. When death
came to him. March 31, 1901, nearly all of Kansas City pioneers now liv-
ing attended the funeral services, also nearlv evcrv member of the Kansas
City bar and of {\\v Knights of Pythias lodge with which he was affiliated.
He was regarded as a peer of the ablest attorneys of Missouri and the regard
in which he was held because of his strong personal characteristic- was no
less pronounced than was his professional prominence. Following his de-
mise the Kansas City Bar Association held a meeting in honor of his mem-
ory, at which speeches were made by J. A'. (\ Karnes, W. C. Scarritt and C.
W. Clarke, while C. S. Palmer, president of the association, presided. In
his opening remarks. President Palmer said: "The late Colonel Twitchell
was one of the innsl public spirited men of our couiinuiiity. He was always
ready to do something for the welfare of the city.'' The committee named to
draw up resolutions clo.'^ed its report with the following: "He i- dead, but


his memory will be long cherished by those who have struggled with him
in laying the foundations of this young and growing city. Our great pro-
fession is elevated and dignified by men of his high character. We com-
mend his spirit to the God who gave it, with the comforting reflection that
he lived not in vain."

Mrs. Twitchell is a member of the Grace Episcopal church, in the work
of which she takes much interest and Mr. Twitchell was a frequent attend-
ant at the church services. She owns a nice home at 3104 Perry avenue,
where she resided with her husband for several years prior to his demise.
She is prominent socially here and possesses more than ordinary ability as a
writer and along literary lines. Among the most genial of men, of strong
intellectuality, of firm purpose and of high ideals, Mr. Twitchell was hon-
ored wherever known and most of all where best known.


Judge John C. Tarsney, lawyer, lawmaker and jurist, was born in
Medina, Michigan, November 7, 1845. His parents, Timothy and Mary
(Murray) Tarsney, were natives of Ireland and in early manhood and
womanhood came to the United States, becoming residents of Rochester, New
York, where they were married. Subsequently they removed to Toledo,
Ohio, and afterward to Medina, Michigan. The father devoted almost his
entire life to general agricultural pursuits and died in Sacramento, California,
where he had gone for the benefit of his health in 1859. His wife passed
away in 1883.

Judge Tarsney was reared in Hillsdale, Michigan, to which place his
parents removed when he was only about fifteen months old. The public
schools of that city afforded him his educational privileges and in 1882,
when a youth of seventeen years, he espoused the Union cause and joined the
boys in blue of Company E, Fourth Michigan Infantry. It was on the 28th
of August that he joined the army and, remaining with his command until
the close of the war, being mustered out on the 5th of June, 1865, his service
at the front covering nearly three years. But a boy when he entered the
army, the experiences through which he passed were such as awakened the
elements of manhood and he came from the south with a knowledge of the
world and its experiences far beyond that of young men of similar years
whose early manhood is passed within the shelter of home. He had partici-
pated in many sangTiinary engagements, including the battles of ^Vntietam,
Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At Gettysburg, on the 2d of July,
1863, he was wounded and taken prisoner and was sent to Belle Isle, while
later he was incarcerated at Andersonville and Millen and afterward at
Savannah. He was released as a prisoner of war November 21, 1864, after
seventeen months spent in southern prison pens. When again at liberty he
rejoined his regiment and participated in the campaign of 1865, beginning
with Hatchers Run. He was present at the battle of Five Forks and at tbe


evacuation uf Petersburg and also witnessed the surrender of General Lee at

Following his discharge Judge Tarsney returned to Michigan and con-
tinued his education as a high school student at Hudson, where he was
graduated with the class of 18(57. Determining upon a professional career,
he entered the law department of the University of Michigan and was
graduated with the class of 1869. He then located for practice in Hudson,
Michigan, where he remained until 1872, when he came to Kansas City, re-
maining an active and i3rominent member of the bar here until 1888. In
1874 he wa8 chosen city attorney and filled the position for two years. From
J 875 until 1888 he was attorney for the street railway companies of Kansas
City and in the last mentioned year was elected to congress from his district
and was returned to the office in 1890, 1892 and 1894. Thus for four con-
secutive terms he represented his district in the council chambers of the
nation, where he was not without influence in molding congressional opin-
ions and actions. In 1896 he was appointed by Grover Cleveland associate
justice of the supreme court of Oklahoma territory and served upon the
bench until March, 1899. Returning in that year to Kansas City, he resumed
the practice of law, in which he has since been engaged and is recognized
as one of the learned and able lawyers of western Missouri, capably hand-
ling litigated interests before the courts and rendering valuable service as
counsel. He has also been identified with the coal industry of the city and
owns coal properties in Adair county, this state.

On the 10th of May, 1871, Judge Tarsney was married to Miss ^lary
Behan, of Adrian, oNlichigan, and unto them were born five children, but all
are now deceased. Judge and Mrs. Tarsney maintain their home at the
Coates House and Mi-s. Tarsney, very prominent in benevolent work, is the
executive head of the Perry Memorial Orphan Boys' Home, is actively con-
nected with the A.ssociated Charities of Kansas City and with various other
charitable and civic orders promoting the interests of the poor and advanc-
ing the intellectual and moral development of the community. Judge and
Mrs. Tarsney are commimicants of the Catholic church and his political
allegiance has been iniswervingly given to the democracy, which vccoLinizes
in him one of its distinguished leaders in Missouri.


A. J. Higlcy, of Kansas City, in his rciil-cstate bu.siness is largely linnd-
ling wcsti'i-n land- and few real-estate men have better knowledge^ of prop-
erty values m the wot than docs he. Mr. Higley was born in Puthnid,
Ohio, October 1, 1851. His father, Julius B. Higley, was born November
9, 1822, on the same farm on which occurred the birth of his son.

His fatlier was Cyrus Higley and his grandfather Brewster Higley, the
first settler in that section of Ohio, to which locality he removed from Rut-
land, Vermont, and the town and township were named by him in memory


of his former place of residence. When he took up his abode in Ohio the
nearest store was at Marietta and there he went for his merchandise and mail.
He had much to do with the early development and settlement of that sec-
tion of Meigs county, aiding in laying broad and deep the foundation upon
which has been built the later progress and prosperity of the locality. He
and his wife had made the journey from New England on horseback and
when they dismounted for the last time on reaching their destination Mrs.
Higley hitched the horse to a small mulberry sapling and camped on what
is now the site of the cemetery. The sapling in the course of years grew
to an immense tree, died and was cut down. There was later a marble slab
inserted into the stump of the tree, on which was inscribed an account of the
use to which she had put the tree as a hitching post in that early day. Both
Brew.-ter Higley and his son Cyrus were buried in that cemetery. Julius B.
Higley, h(»wever, left the old home in Ohio and caiiie west with his family
in 1866, purchasing a half section of land five miles southeast of Lee's Summit,
in Jackson county, Missouri. The farm is now owned by a man of the name
of Smart. It continued to be the residence of Julius Higley until 1882, when
he removed to Reno county, Kansas, where he made his home until his
death, passing away in Sterling, that state, on the 6th of July, 1905, when
in his eighty-third year. During his early manhood he was a warm and
close friend of Colonel Van Horn, who was then conducting a newspaper
at Pomeroy, Ohio, and this friendship continued throughout life.

Julius Higley was married to Miss Maria L. Puqua, daughter of John
Fuqua, a native of France who came to this country as a young man and
located in Greenup county, Kentucky, where he became the possessor of ex-
tensive landed interests and prior to the war was the owner of two hundred
slaves, who were employed in the cultivation and improvement of his plan-

A. J. Higley, whose name introduces this review, spent the first fifteen
years of his life in the state of his nativity and then accompanied his parents
on their removal to Missouri. He was educated in the public schools of
Ohio, and Missouri and also attended college at Beloit, Wisconsin. Leaving
the home farm in 1878 he went to Hutchinson, Kansas, where he took up
the study of law in the office of Houk & Brown, the junior partner of the
firm being for several years judge of the court of the ninth judicial district
and later a member of congress. After thorough preliminary reading Mr.
Higley was admitted to the bar and engaged in practice, conducting a real-
estate and loan business in connection with his law work. He wa^ identified
with those interests in Hutchinson for seventeen years and in 1895 came to
Kansas City, since which time he has given his attention to real-estate deal-
ing, buying and selling western lands, in which he is very successful. He
has negotiated many important realty transfers and is largely familiar with
the property that is upon the market and its possible diminution or apprecia-
tion in value, so that he has been enabled to make judicious purchases and
profitable sales.

Mr. Higley was married on the 6th of September, 1876, to Miss Emma
E. Howe, of Kewanee, Illinois, a daughter of Colonel J. H. Howe, who com-


maiided a brigade during the Civil war and was later commir-sioned a
brigadier general. He was closely associated with General Grant during the
period of hostilities and when the hero of Appomattox was occupying the
White House, Colonel Howe was appointed by him to the position of chief
justice of Wyoming. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Higley has been blessed
with four children : Florence E., now the wife of George E. Kimball, of
Rochester, Ncav York; Clyde S., who is associated with his father in business;
John, who is connected with the Belt Line Lumber Company, of Kansas City;
and Helen L., w'ho is attending high school.

Mr. Higley has never taken an active part in political affairs, preferring
to concentrate his undivided attention upon his business interests, which,
capably conducted, have brought him signal success.


James Mickleborough Greenw^ood, author, educator and lecturer, was
born November 15, 1837, in Sangamon county, Illinois, his parents being
Edmund and Jeanette (Foster) Greenwood. The ancestral history is traced
back to William Greenwood, who in 1635 emigrated from England, his na-
tive country, to Virginia. The maternal grandfather, Peyton Foster, was
descended from a Huguenot family that migrated to South Carolina at an
early day. His wife was connected with the Daniel and Mickleborough fami-
lies of Virginia, and thus back of Mr. Greenwood of this review there is an
ancestry honorable and distinguished.

In 1824 the paternal grandfather settled upon a farm in Sangamon
county, Illinois, and not far distant was the boyhood home of James ]\I. Green-
wood, who at the age of eight years began attending school, while his leisure
hours from tlie time that he could read were devoted to such books as he
could procure in the neighborhood. In 1852 his father removed with the
family to Adair county, Missouri, settling near the present site of Brashear,
where he died in 1902. In his youth James M. Greenwood divided his time
between the duties of the farm, the acquirement of an education, and the
enjoyment which he derived from hunting. His educational privileges, how-
ever, were meager for the nearest school was seven miles from his home, so
that on rainy days and in the evenings he pursued his lessons at his own
fireside. Text-books were scarce but the death of a scholarly man of the
neighborhood resulted in the sale of a number of volumes which Mr. Green-
wood purchased witb ni()n(\v he had made selling a two year old steer. These
books included a Latin grammar, Virgil, first and second book in Spanish,
an algebra, a geometry, a book on surveying. Butler's analogy, and Olm-
stead's philosophy, and Mr. Greenwood set to work to master the contents.
Without a teacher he gained a comprehensive knowledge of mathematics,
philosophy and a fair knowledge of Spanish and Latin. He displayed nat-
ural aptitude in his studies and with great desire for education he eagerly
embraced every opportunity foi- adding to his learning, and throughout his


' -.'ORK
PUl.„. . .iBRARY



entire life has been a close and discriminating student, being now widely
recognized as a man of broad and scholarly attainments. When he was six-
teen years of age, however, he had but six terms' schooling and between
that and the age of twenty he attended school but twenty-five days. In 1857
he entered the Methodist Seminary at Canton, Missouri, where he made a
record without parallel in its history. He w^ould have completed a four years'
course in ten months had he not been obliged to discontinue his studies on
account of impaired health. However, the course was practically completed,
as ho passed examinations in twenty different branches. He read law under
the direction of his tw^o uncles. Rev. George W. Foster and Colonel J. D.
Foster, from 1858 until 1861, and when the war broke out he gave his law
books to his brother and went into service. A part of his time during thig
period was also given to farm work.

On the 1st of November, 1859, Mr. Greenwood was married to Mis?
Amanda McDaniel, a teacher in Kirkville, whose ambitions and talents were
similar to his own. From 1862 until 1864 Mr. Greenwood served in the Mis-
souri State Militia.

His active connection with the teacher's profession began when he was
seventeen years of age, successfully teaching a school in Adair county, Mis-
souri. At a later date he was urged to apply for a vacant school at Lima,
Illinois, but it was against his principles to ask for the position. He was
then induced by the school directors to visit the town, and when one in-
quired concerning his politics he received the answ^er, "It is none of your
business. If you want politics taught in your school you must look for an-
other teacher, for I am too good a patriot to be a partisan and too good a
Christian to be a sectarian." He was engaged on condition of his obtaining
a certificate from the county superintendent. The commissioner wrote ques-
tions upon the blackboard, giving him three hours in which to answer. He
asked for an immediate oral examination, answered all the questions and
received a first grade certificate — the first one issued in the county. In 1864
Mr. Greenwood returned to Adair county, Missouri, where he taught a win-
ter school in 1864-65, which was interrupted by smallpox, and afterward
worked in offices of circuit clerk and county clerk. In the fall of 1865, he
taught at Lima, Illinois, and the following year he taught a winter term in
Knox county, Missouri. During all these years his spare time was devoted
to mathematical studies, history, philosophy and reading international law.
In 1867 he became the teacher of mathematics, natural philosophy and
logic in a private normal school opened by Dr. Joseph Baldwin at Kirkville,
Missouri, where he continued for seven years, becoming recognized through-
out the state as a superior mathematician. During this time his wife acted
as principal of the model training department. Early in 1861 Mr. Green-
wood, Mr. AV. P. Nason and Rev. D. M. Kniter organized the first teacher's
institute in northwestern Missouri, at Kirksville, and actvely participated in
its work. He and his wife without solicitation on their part were called to
Mount Pleasant College at Huntsville, Missouri, in 1870, Mr. Greenwood as
teacher of mathematics, logic, rhetoric and reading, and his wife as teacher
of botany, history and primary Avork. After six months they resigned that


Mr. Greenwood might accept the chair of mathematics in Kirksville Nor-
mal, which had become a state school. He had been offered the presidency
of the institution, but declined, .stating that Dr. Baldwin had established the
school and it would be injustice to him. In .June, 1874, J. V. C. Karnes,
treasurer of the board of education of Kansas City, wrote to ]Mr. Greenwood,
asking him to apply for the po.-;ition of superintendent of the schools here.
He refused to make application, but said he would accept if elected, and
he w-as chosen for the position over sixteen applicants. Kansas City's popu-
lation then numbered twenty-eight thousand and the schools had just be-
come Avell established. However, there were still many obstacles and dis-
cordant elements, while limited means proved a stumbling block. Mr.
Greenwood succeeded in restoring harmony and created a public sentiment
favorable for the necessary financial support. He organized a teacher's insti-
tute, introduced improved methods of management, discipline and class reci-
tations, and, in fact, so improved the schools that in the second year there was
a gain of two hundred and fifty-five in daily average attendance, while at
the close of the school year of 1877-78, the Kansas City schools were recog-
nized as the best in the west. To his efforts Avas due the systematic organ-
ization of laboratory science and literary studies in the high school, which
Avas the first in the west to introduce these systems now in vogue in nearly all
institutions of similar grade. His entire disregard of local interests in hir-
ing teachers and the so-called claims of home teachers was also an element
in his success in his Avork in the schools, for he considered only the capability
of those Avho sought the positions and Avithout discrimination recommended
teacliers according to their Avorth. His own zeal and interest in the AA'ork
became the inspiration of others, and Kansas City schools made progress
unequaled up to tliat time in the history of education here.

Professor CrreenAvood is also Avell knoAvn as an author, his Avritings be-
ing largely confined to Avorks upon education and kindred topics. In ]8S4
he was appointed to revise Ray's Higher Arithmetic; in 1887 he Avrotc
Principles of Education Practically Applied; published by the Appletons; in
1888 prepared a hi-torical sketch of Missouri for Butler's Advanced Geog-
raphy; in 1890 wrote A Complete Manual on Teaching Arithmetic, Algebra
and Geometry and published by Maynard, ^Merrill & Company; and in asso-
ciation Avith Dr. Arteimis Martin wrote A History of American Arithmetics
and a Biograpliical Sketch of the Authors, AA^hich Avas issued a- a govern-
ment publication. F(»r years he has l)ccn a i-cviser of standard mathemati-
cal works. In 1005, Avith Mr. (i. !>. Longaii and Mr. .1. IT. Macklcy. lie pre-
pared an elementary and aNo a coiniiion school arithmetic, published in New
York. His annnal rcpoil- and of cdncational literature, of Avhich he
is the author, have received commendation from highest authorities. He
bfi.= been a frequent contributor to leading magazines, reviews and educa-
tional journals. IIi> writings have covoitmI a wide scope and have shown
broad research, ad\anc((l tiiou^lit. and original ideas.

In 1895 Professoi- (ircenwood made a tour of Europe with a company
of distinguished nun. including Dr. William T. Harris. United States com-
missioner of education, tlic ])urpose of the trip being to observe the progress


of education in .-^ome of the principal European countries. They visited
many of the leading schools, colleges and universities abroad and gained
many valuable ideas concerning educational methods in vogue in European
centers of learning. Through his efforts the official map of 1897, issued by
the commissioner of the land office and showing the original Louisiana Pur-
chase, was corrected.

As a lecturer, as well as educator and author. Professor Greenw^ood is
known throughout the country, and his addresses have been styled as elo-
quent, logical and original. He is indeed a fluent and forcible speaker, his
thoughts being presented at times with a terse and decisive logic, according
to the subject, while on other occasions he has shown himself master of the
art of rhetoric. Since 1870 he has delivered more than one thousand lectures
throughout the country, and at all times he has stimulated the thought of
his auditors, bringing to them new ideas which have resulted in a breadth of
vision concerning many important themes. In 1876 he was president of the
Missouri State Teachers' Association and was again its president in 1906,
an honor conferred on no other educator of the state. In 1887 he was elected
a life director of the National Educational Association, and from 1890 until
1895 was its treasurer and in 1898 its president and he is now a member of
its Board of Trustees. In the same year the University of Missouri conferred
upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, having received the degree of Mas-
ter of Arts in 1873. It was largely through his efforts that Dr. William T.
Harris was chosen commissioner of education by President Harrison, to
whom Mr. Harris was politically opposed.

Deprived in youth of the advantages which many enjoy, Dr. (Treen-
wood made for himself the opportunities which he otherwise lacked and has
steadily progressed along lines of intellectual attainment. Early in his ca-
reer he made it his purpose and aim to master thoroughly every subject to
which he gave his attention, and as he has continued his study and research
this has given him a breadth of view and clear understanding manifest in
his forceful discussion of many subjects which have claimed public attention.
The peer and friend of many of the ablest educators and government men of
the country, his labors for educational advancement and his contributions to
technical and general literature and entitle him to be known as one of the
benefactors of the twentieth centurv.


Verdi I. Banta, manager of the Heim Brewery, has spent almost his
entire life in Kansas City, for his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel W. Banta,
removed here when the son was but three months old, his birth having oc-
curred in Lafayette, Indiana, June 7. 1865. The father was a native of
Lockport, New York, born in 1835, and acquired his education in the coun-
try schools. He was reared as a farm boy, spending his youth in the home


of his lalliLT, Peter Banta, a native of New York city, who, leaving the
metropolis, became identified with agricultural interests in the interior of
the state.

Daniel W. Banta left Lockport when a young man and made his way
to Michigan, where he worked at the painter's trade. He afterward removed
to St. Louis and eventually came to Kansas City, arriving here in 1858. It
was a frontier town at that time and all to the west stretched an unde-
veloped, unsettled region, for only a few white men had penetrated into
that section of the country, which was largely in possession of the red race.
Mr. Banta traded with the Indians for years. Another element in his life
record worthy of note is the fact that he was the organizer of the first band
of Kansas City, known as Banta's Band, its meetings being held in the base-
ment of the old Long building at the corner of Fifth and Main streets. He

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 23 of 65)