Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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pearance, amiable in manner and well liked by all. A pleasant word and
smile, which are the index to his kindly nature, combined with his deference
for the opinions of others, have gained Mr. Rule a circle of friends almost
coextensive with the circle of his acquaintances.



C. LESTER HALL, M. D.

C. Lester Hall, accorded by the profession a position of marked prora-
inence as a member of the medical fraternity, has engaged in active practice
in Kansas City since September, 1890. He was born at Arrow Rock, Saline
county, Missouri, March 10, 1845, and is descended from Scotch and English
ancestry although in both lines the families have been represented in America
from an early epoch in the colonial history. The paternal grandfather.
Rev. Nathan H. Hall, of Kentucky, was a Presbyterian clergyman of Lex-
ington for a quarter of a century and afterward devoted several years to the
active work of the ministry in St. Louis. He was a man of scholarly attain-



266 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

ments and broad culture whose labors constituted a strong element in the
intellectual and moral development of the community with which he was
connected. He died at Columbia, Missouri, at the age of seventy-six years.

His son. Dr. Mathew W. Hall, wa^ engaged in the practice of jnediciiie
at Salem, Illinois, from 1837 to 1845 and then removed to Arrow Rock,
Missouri, where he continued in active practice for twelve years. His re-
n^aining days were spent upon a farm near Marshall. At the time of the
Civil war he joined the Confederate army, with which he served with the
rank of surgeon. Twice he was called to represent his district in the state
legislature and he left the impress of hi^ individuality upon the laws enaci^ed
during these sessions. In religious faith a Presbyterian, he served as one
of the elders in his church, and throughout his entire life he stood for prog-
ress, reform and improvement. He married Agnes J. Lester and in later
years their home was upon a farm near Marshall, Missouri.

Their eldest son. Dr. Hall, of this review, was named in honor of the
mother's brother, Dr. Thomas B. Lester, an eminent physician and author.
His early boyhood was passed in a manner similar to that of most farm
lads of the period and in the free outdoor life he laid the foundation for
the physical strength and vigor which have enabled him in later years to
meet the demands of a constantly increasing professional service. He at-
tended the neighborhood schools and also studied at Kempers school in
Boonville. In 1862, at the age of seventeen years, he joined the Confed-
erate forces under General Sterling Price, but because of ill health was sent
home after the engagement at Lexington. In the following December he re-
joined his command but was subsequently captured with Colonel Robertson's
forces at Milford, Missouri. He then took the oath of allegiance and re-
turned home.

Determining to make the practice of medicine his life work he studied
under the direction of his father, also pursued his reading in Boonville and
in 1864 and 1865 attended the St. Louis Medical College and in 1886 and
1867 the Jefferson ]\Icdical College, being graduated from the latter insti-
tution, March 10, 1867. During the succeding six years he was engaged in
country practice with his father, living upon the home farm, and in 1873
he removed to the city of Marshall, where he practiced for seventeen years.
Seeking a still broader field of labor he came to Kansas City in September,
1890, and has since been recognized as a prominent member of the pro-
fession here, making a specialty of the diseases of women. He is a mem-
ber of the American Medical Association, of which he was elected vice pres-
ident at New Orleans in 1902. He also belongs to the Western Surgical
and Gynecological Society and is a member of the Missouri State Medical
Society, of which he was president in 1895-6; the Kansas City Academy of
Medicine, of which he was president in 1893; and was president of the Med-
ico-Chirurgical College and professor of gynecology and abdominal surgery.
He is now president of the Kansas City Post-Graduate Medical School and
Hospital.

On the 16th of .Tunc. 1869. Dr. Hall was married to Katherine Sap-
pington, a daughter of lion. E. D. and P('nelo|)0 (Breathitt) Sappington.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 267

Her maternal grandfather was at one time governor of Kentucky. Five
children were born unto Dr. and Mrs. Hall, of whom four are now living:
the eldest, Dr. Darwin Walton Hall, a graduate of the University Medical
College of Kansas City, who has taken post-graduate work of the Polyclinic
School of New York and is a rhinologi^t and laryngologist, is practicing
with his father and is a member of the faculty of the Post-Graduate school;
Penelope is the wife of Leon Smith, president of the Smith-McCord Dry
Goods Company; C. Lester Hall, Jr., was educated in Kansas City schools
and attended the Chicago University; Catherine May Hall completes the
family.

Dr. Hall has ever been a close student of the profession and has man-
fested keen discrimination in recognizing the value of a new idea advanced
in connection with medical practice, while he readily adopts any method
or invention which he believes will prove a practical utility in his profes-
sional labors. He is also slow to discard the old and time-tried methods,
the value of which have been proven. However, in active practice he has
made substantial progress and has gained more than local distinction in his
specialty.



FRED J. BANNISTER.

The financial and commercial history of Kansas City would be very in-
complete and unsatisfactory without a personal and somewhat extended men-
tion of those whose lives are interwoven so closely with the industrial and
financial history of the city and of the southwest. When a man or select
number of men have set in motion the occult machinery of business, which
materializes into a thousand forms of practical utility or where they have
carved out a fortune or a name from the common possibilities, open for
competition to all, there is a public desire which should be gratified to see
the men, so nearly as a portrait and a word artist can paint them, and ex-
amine the elements of mind and circumstances by which such results have
been achieved.

Mr. Bannister finds an appropriate place in the history of those men of
business and enterprise, whose force of character, whose sterling integrity
and whose good sense in the management of complicated affairs and marked
success in establishing large industries and bringing to completion great
schemes of trade and profit, have contributed in an eminent degree to the
develoi^ment of the vast resources of the southwest.

Mr. Bannister was born in Watertown, New York, November 21, 1869,
a son of Charles W. and Anne (Lamasney) Bannister. The father's fam-
ily settled in Watertown. New York, in 1808. Osmond Bannister, the
grandfather, removed to the Empire state from Vermont, where his birth
had occurred in 1786. His mother was, in maidenhood, Miss Thankful
Ely, who was born in 1757, and the town of Elyria, Ohio, was subsequently
named in honor of the family to which she belonged. The mother of
Charles W. Bannister, whose maiden name was Charlotte Wilson, was born



268 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

in Vermont in 1789. In the maternal line, F. J. Bannister springs from
the old Lamasney stock of County Cork, Ireland, the American branch of
the family being established in Quebec, Canada, in 1826, and shortly after-
ward in Ogdensburg, New York. James Walsh, a cousin of Anne Lamas-
ney Bannister, Avas a major in the British Canadian army, having charge
of the Canadian Northwest District at the time of and subsequent ta the
Custer massacree and policing and patrolling the Klondike district during
the early gold discoveries in that section. The family of Mr. and Mrs.
Charles W. Bannister numbered six sons and three daughters, of whom
three sons and two daughters are yet living: J. L. Bannister, who is a coal
operator at Pittsburg, Kansas; C. O. Bannister, who since 1878 has been
engaged in merchandising in Leadville, Colorado; Mrs. Thomas McGee,
whose husband for the past fifteen years has been identified with Edward
Corrigan the turfman, and is now his secretary and general manager; and
Miss Ida Bannister, a resident of San Francisco, California.

Fred J. Bannister came west with his parents in 1877, the family home
being established at Olathe, Kansas. The father died ten years ago and
the mother is still living in Kansas City. The son pursued a common-school
education to the age of sixteen years, when he entered the employ of the
Kansas & Texas Coal Company as local agent at its semi-anthraeito mines
at Hackett, Arkansas, where he remained for four years. In 1890 he re-
signed that position to accept the prof erred position of cashier and general
bookkeeper with the Kaw Valley Paint & Lead Company of Kansas City, in
which capacity he continued until August 22, 1892, when he entered the
emj)loy of the Long-Bell Lumber Company.

This company, now one of the largest in the country in the extent of
its business and allied interests, was organized during the year 1875, the
first organization representing a capital stock of twenty-five hundred dollars,
which was principally borrowed money. The business has enjoyed a phe-
nomenal growth until today the corporation ranks among the stron^e^t and
mo.st extensive in the entire country. The parent company and its branches
includes an investment of twenty-nine million, five hundred thousand dol-
lars, all the direct growth and outcome of the little' organization which had
its beginning in 1875. The company today is acting principallj^ as an ex-
ecutive or holding company for the many allied corporations and interests
of which it owns nearly the entire stock, the executive officers being all
those of the Long-I5ell Lumber Company with headquarters at Kansas City.
These companies control an annual business amounting to fourteen billion
dollars from sales of their output and manufacture of luinbor from.' the
southern states, coal from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas, and the prod-
ucts of the western hiiiibcr mills. They employ an average of thirty-nine
hundred men and the business is being constantly broadened in its scope
and ill its possibilities.

It was into this business that Mr. Bannister entered on the 22d of Au-
gu.st, 1892, soon pa.¬ęsing on to positions of executive' control and as the
years have pa.'^sed bending his energies largely to organization, to construct-
ive efi'orts and administrative direction. I\)ssessing broad, enlightened and



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 269

liberal-minded views, faith in himself and in the want potentialities for de-
velopment inherent in the wide domain of the southwest in the specific lines
of operation of the company, his has been an active career, in which he has
accomplished important and far-reaching results. He is today an executive
ofScer, a stockholder and a director of the following corporations, all allied
interests of the Long-Bell Lumber Company, bearing the title of secretary
and treasurer: Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber Company, Lake Charles, Louis-
iana; King-Ryder Lumber Company, Bonami, Louisiana; Longville Long
Leaf Lumber Company, Longville, Louisiana; Hudson River Lumber Com-
pany, De Ridder, Louisiana; Rapids Lumber Company, Limited, Wood-
worth, Louisiana; Globe Lumber Company, Limited, Yellow Pine, Louisi-
ana; Lufkin Land & Lumber Company, Lufkin, Texas; the Long-Bell Lum-
ber Company, Kansas City, Missouri; Long-Bell Mercantile Company,
Stroud, Oklahoma; Long-Bell Naval Stores Company, De Ridder, Louisi-
ana; Long-Bell Experimental Farm & Mercantile Company, Bonami,
Louisiana; The Fidelity Coal Mining Company, Kansas City, Missouri; Fi-
delity Fuel Company, Greenwood, Arkansas; Kansas Fuel Company, Kan-
sas City, Missouri; R. A. Long Real Estate & Investment Company,
Kansas City, Missouri; Texas & Louisiana Naval Stores Company, Lake
Charles, Louisiana; Lake Charles Chemical Company, Lake Charles, Louis-
iana.

It is the plan of the Long-Bell Lumber Company that its executive
officers should be in control of different departments, Mr. Bannister's duties
being specifically those of general manager of the coal operating and sales
department, together with other duties that devolve upon him in looking
after the multiplicity of details and interests in connection with all depart-
ments. Having risen through successive stages from the position of an ac-
countant in the general office, he is in a position to know better than per-
haps any other person connected with the company the many details that
go to make up the organization and since passing on to positions of exec-
utive control he has contributed in large measure to the expansion and
material growth of the southwest through the development of the interests
of the Long-Bell Lumber Company. Mr. Bannister is also interested to
some extent in Kansas City real estate and owns a beautiful home at No.
4112 Warwick boulevard, which he built in 1903, and the residence occupied
by his mother at 4115 Walnut street.

On the 10th of March, 1888, F. J. Bannister was married at Hackett,
Arkansas, to Edith Nevius and they now have a daughter and two sons:
Louise, Edward and Fred J., aged respectively nineteen, sixteen and one
years. Mr. Bannister gives his political allegiance to the democracy and
i? a member of several secret societies, belonging also to the Manufacturers
& Merchants Association of Kansas City, to the Commercial Club of Kan-
sas City and the Hoo Hoos, a famous organization of lumberman. He is
particularly interested in high class horses and is the owner of several, in-
cluding Dixie Harkness, one of the best of the famous Missouri-bred, high
class saddlers. His summer vacations are largely spent in the Wisconsin
lakes to the detriment of the finny tribe, for he is particularly fond of ang-



270 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

ling. Such in brief is the life record of F. J. Bannister, who has attained
to an eminent position in business life. One of the prominent character-
istics of his successful career is that his vision has never been bounded by
the exigencies of the moment but has covered as well the possibilities and
opportunities of the future and this has led him into extensive undertak-
ings, bringing him into marked prominence in industrial and commercial
circles.



EDWARD CLARENCE WRIGHT.

Edward Clarence Wright, attorney at law of Kansas City, was born
October 16, 1863, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His parents, William and
Ellen (Brennan) Wright, came from England in 1847 and established
their home in New England, where the father, prominent in public affairs,
filled various official positions and took an active interest in public life.

Having completed his preliminary course in the public schools of his
native city, Edward Clarence Wright enjoyed the advantages of university
training at Harvard, where he was graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1886
and as Bachelor of Law in 1889. He won distinction in his classes, being
an honor man in several, and while pursuing his law course gave special
attention to research in land titles and constitutional law. His practice has
been maintained along the same lines. Before leaving the university he was
admitted to the bar at Suffolk, Massachusetts, and the same year he came
west to practice at Kansas City. From 1891 until 1893 he was attorney for
the Lombard Investment Company and afterward assistant receiver for the
same company until the settlement of its affairs. He was likewise made
general counselor for the Concordia Loan & Trust Company. He prac-
ticed with Hon. Edward P. Gates until the latter's election as circuit judge
of Jackson county and subsequently with Frank Hagerman until 1899. He
has since been alone in practice and his legal work has been mostly in the
line of investigation of land titles and municipal securities. He has also
been connected with many equity cases and has been employed by other
lawyers to assist in legal Avork of that character. He is general attorney for
two railroad companies and is employed locally by two other railroad com-
panies for the adjustment of all matters except injury cases and he has a
verj'- extensive practice in realty law and examines more titles than any other
lawyer in Kansas City, public opinion according him first rank as a repre-
sentative of this branch of the profession. He is an officer and a director in
twelve corporations engaged in active business in Kansas City.

In June, 1891, Mr. Wright was married to Miss Annie Glines Porter, a
daughter of Louis Chandler Porter, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, a direct
descendant of John Porter, who settled in Connecticut in 1640. Seven direct
ancestors of Mrs. Wright were soldiers of the Revolutionary war and two
of the war of 1812, and the family is one of prominence and distinction in
New England. Mr. and Mrs. Wright now have four sons. They hold mem-
bership in the Protestant Episcopal church and while in Massachusetts Mr.




EDWARD C. WRIGHT.



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: Tl LDr N Ft-: ;j N- RATION SI



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 273

Wright held various minor positions in the church. His first presidential vote
was cast for Grover Cleveland in 1884 and he allied his interests with the gold
democrats in 1896. He has little aspiration for public office, however, pre-
ferring to concentrate his time and energies upon his professional interests,
which are continually growing in extent and importance. For a number
of years he was president of the Phi Delta Phi of the southwest, and has also
been known as a writer for several years.



WILLIAM H. MONTGALL.

William H. Montgall, whose name is on the list of Kansas City's
honored dead, belonged to one of the old and most prominent pioneer fam-
ilies. Moreover he was respected in business circles as a leading banker and
real-estate dealer and his course throughout an active business life was such
as to commend him to the confidence and trust of his fellowmen.

The family settled here in 1840 and William H, Montgall was born in
the suburbs of Kansas City on the old Brush Creek farm, which was the
Montgall homestead, March 20, 1850. His parents were Rufus and Nancy
(Bryan) Montgall, both natives of Shelby county, Kentucky. The father
was born in 1817 and was educated in the public schools of his native state,
where in his boyhood and youth he also assisted in the work of his father's
farm. In 1840, the year of their marriage, he and his wife started west-
ward, the journey being made with a team of horses and wagon after the
primitive manner of travel of the time. Their objective point was Kansas
City, Missouri, but when they reached Louisiana, Missouri, Mr. Montgall
was stricken with rheumatism and they were forced to remain in that town
for several weeks. His brother-in-law, William 0. Shouse, who had come
to Jackson county some years before, learning of Mr. Montgall's sickness
went to Louisiana and assisted in bringing him to this county. Mr. Mont-
gall located in the southern part of Kaw township, which was then a wild
district, while the present site of Kansas City was covered with a dense for-
est, in which the Indians often hunted deer and other game.

The father at once began the development of a farm and the establish-
ment of a home. He cleared away the trees and transformed the land into
rich and fertile fields, making his home on the old Brush Creek farm until
1857, when he removed into a district that is now a part of the city, estab-
lishing his home at the corner of Nineteenth street and Agnes avenue.
There he continued to live until 1882, when he took up his residence at
his elegant city home at the corner of Thirteenth and Locust streets. He then
began investing quite extensively in real estate and the rise in land values,
owing to the rapid increase of population, brought to Mr. Montgall a hand-
some competence, making him a wealthy man. He was preeminently a bus-
iness man, energetic, enterprising and persevering. Above all he was strictly
honorable in everything that he did and naught was ever said against his
sterling integrity. For forty years he took a prominent part in the public



274 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

affairs of Kansas City yet had no ambition in the line of office seek-
ing and always refused to serve in positions of public trust. Diiring
the war and at the time of the border troubles he w^as at the head
of a militia company and did gallant work in protecting the homes
of this vicinity. His early political allegiance was given to the whig party
but later he became a stanch democrat. He was moreover a strictly
temperate man, never using intoxicants nor tobacco in any form and
throughout his life his influence was found on the side of justice, truth and
right. His principles were so high, his conduct so manly and his sterling
worth so manifest that no man in Kansas City had more friends than Rufus
Montgall.

There existed an ideal relation between himself and his wife, who was
a noble Christian woman. She passed away about a year prior to the death
of her husband, who then said that he had nothing more to live for. for
though his son and daughter survived, they had married and gone to their
own homes. From them, however, he received the most filial affection and
he spent the last year of his life in the home of his son William, receiving
all the loving care and attention possible. In his death, which occurred
November 14, 1888, the entire community felt that he had suffered a severe
loss, such was his personal worth and his general usefulness. He was a
pioneer to whom the county owed much of its development and progress
and his name is inseparably interwoven with its history.

William H. Montgall acquired his education in the public schools of
Kansas City and was reared at -the family home, witnessing the development
and progress of Missouri's western metropolis. When he arrived at years of
maturity he was married here to Miss Sallie E. Ford, a native of this city and
a daughter of Lewis A. and Martha (Holmes) Ford who were nativas of
Shelby county, Kentucky, and came to Jackson county at a very early day,
casting in their lot among its pioneer residents. Mr. Ford first settled at AVest-
port, a suburb, and subsequently took up his abode on Delaware street near the
Junction building. He was a carpenter by trade, became a contractor and
assisted in the erection of many of the first business blocks of the city and
also a large number of the early residences and in the course of years he
became the leading contractor of the city, continuing in active connection
with its building operations until forced to retire a few years ago on account
of ill health and the loss of his eyesight three years ago. He is now totally
blind but manifests a most happy and contented spirit, and at the age of
eighty-five makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Nannie Burrus, who re-
sides at Independence avenue. His Avife passed away several years ago.
Unto INIr. and Mrs. Montgall was born one son, Rufus Ford Montgall, a
graduato of the University of Pennsylvania and an intelligent and enter-
prising young man, who resides with his mother.

Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Montgall settled on a farm
near Blue Springs in Jackson county, not far from Kansas City, and there
he carried on general agricultural pursuits for several years but his health
failed and occasioned his removal to the city about the time of his mother's
death. He afterward devoted his energies to the management of various



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 275

business interests here. He became a stockholder in the Bank of Kansas
City and made judicious and extensive investments in real estate, owning
many line residences and valuable city property. He was a man of excellent
business and executive ability and of sound judgment, while, like his father,
his straightforward dealing was above question. He was a member of Cal-
vary Baptist church but took no active part in clubs or lodges, his interest
centering in his home, where he preferred to spend his leisure hours in the
enjoyment of the companionship of his little family and of congenial
friends. In politics he was a democrat but not an office seeker. His favor-^
ite recreation was hunting and with dog and gun he frequently went on
long hunting trips. After two weeks' illness he died March 20, 1890, his re-
mains being laid to rest by the side of his parents in the beautiful Elm-
wood cemetery. It would be difficult to name a citizen of Jackson county



Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 65)