Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

. (page 28 of 65)
Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 28 of 65)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Howard Vanderslice spent his boyhood days upon the western plains,
and after mastering the elementary branches of learning in the district
schools he attended the Highland University at Highland, Kansas. At the
age of nineteen he put aside his text-books and left home, going to Iowa
Point, Kansas, in 1872. There he spent nine years as telegraph operator
and depot agent, and in 1881 he formed a partnership with Milton Em-
merson of that place under the firm style of Emmerson & Vanderslice. They
engaged in purchasing grain at AVhite Cloud, Kansas, until 1890, when Mr.
Vanderslice came to Kansas City, where two years before he had established
a feed, coal and ice business. After his arrival here he extended the scope
of his activities by establishing a grain commission house and forming a
partnership with John H. Lynds under the firm style of the Vanderslice-
Lynds Mercantile Company, of which he is still president. They began
business on a small scale, but are today one of the largest grain commission
firms of the city. They also own a large ice plant at Eighteenth and Olive
streets, and in June, 1907, purchased the controlling interest in the Central
Ice Company, conducting the most extensive business in that commodity
in the city. Of the company Mr. Vanderslice has since been president.
Their annual sales of coal, ice, feed and grain reach an extensive figure and
return a gratifying profit on the capital invested. Mr. Vanderslice is also
largely interested in mining and oil properties, being a director in the Lucky
Tiger Mining Company, . whose mines are located two hundred and fifty
miles south of Douglas, Arizona, in the Montezuma district of Mexico, with
offices in Kansas City. He is likewise a stockholder in the Chanute Oil Re-
finery and the Exchange Oil Companj^ both of Chanute, Kansas, and of the
latter is treasurer. He also has various other interests, which constitute
him one of the leading and successful business men of Kansas City. In
January, 1874, Mr. Vanderslice was married to Miss Minnie E. Flinn, a
daughter of William D. Flinn. of Iowa Point, Kansas. He is a Mason and
a Shriner, holding membership in Smithton Lodge, No. 1, A. F. & A. M.,
of Highland, Kansas, the first lodge organized in that state, and of which
his father and grandfather were charter members. He also belongs to Orient
chapter, R. A. M., Oriental commandery, K. T., and Ararat Temple of the
Mystic Shrine of Kansas City. He is connected with the Commercial Club,
the American Merchants' & Manufacturers' Association and the Evanston
Golf Club, all of Kansas City. His political allegiance was formerly given
to the democracy, but he is now independent in politics. During President
Cleveland's first administration he was appointed and served as postmaster
of White Cloud, Kansas. He and his wife are prominent socially in the


community, being people of many friends.' In manner Mr. Vanderslice is
plain and unassuming and possesses a genial, social nature. He is liberal
minded and public spirited, recognizing and fulfilling his duties and obliga-
tions in community affairs and in individual relations, and while he has
prospered, the most envious cannot grudge him his success, so justly has it
been won and so worthilv used.


Edward Douglas Kirk is a member of the firm of McAnany & Kirk,
conducting a detective agency in Kansas City, in which connection they have
done excellent work in the capture of those wanted by reason of some in-
fringement of the laws of the land. He Avas born in Amboy, Illinois, De-
cember 28, 1863. His father, Owen Kirk, was a native of the north of Ire-
land, born in 1832. About 1855 he came to America, settling in Brooklyn,
New York, but after a short time removed to Amboy, Illinois, where he fol-
lowed farming until his removal to Kansas City in 1866. With his family
and about twenty-five other Illinois people and their families he made the
trip overland. Upon arriving here they camped at what is now the corner
of Twelfth and Tracy streets, finding here but a little village of small pro-
portions and with but little promise of commercial and industrial development.

Mr. Kirk bought a block of ground on Holmes between Thirteenth and
Fourteenth streets, on which he erected a house. He then engaged in teaming
and hauled all the sand used in the construction of the old St. James, Lindell,
Madison and other leading hotels of those pioneer times. He married Cathryne
McAnany, at Amboy, Illinois, a native of the north of Ireland. Her father
died when she was quite small and her mother afterward married an English
peer. Following the second marriage of her mother and when she was fifteen
years of age Mrs. Kirk ran away from home and came to America, bringing
with her Nicholas McAnany, her youngest brother. They crossed the Atlantic
with a sea captain who was an old friend of the family. A few months later
Cathryne McAnany made another trip to Ireland and returned to America
with her two other brothers, Phillip and Patrick. These children thus grew
up in America and became useful and honored citizens. Phillip McAnany
eventually went to California, where he died a few years ago after having
amassed a large fortune. Nicholas passed away a few years ago in Kansas
City, while Patrick is still living on a farm at Merriam, Kansas. After reach-
ing womanhood Cathryne McAnany gave her hand in marriage to Owen Kirk
and they now reside near Fairmount Park, where they own a fine farm.

Edward Douglas Kirk acquired his education as a pupil in the public
schools of Kansas City and in his early business career he and his brother
Phillip associated themselves with their father in the transfer business, in
which they continued for fifteen years. In 1886 Edward D. Kirk removed to
a farm near Merriam, Kansas, whereon he resided for two years and then
again came to this city. He was elected constable on the democratic ticket


ill the fall of 1891 and served for a term of two years, after which he invested
in a .-table of race horses, which he owned for four years, meeting with very
desirable success in this venture. Subsequently he purchased a half interest
in the Home Detective Agency, with which he was associated until June, 1906,
Avhen he sold his interest to his partner. Whig Keashler.

Mr. Kirk then entered the employ of the Metropolitan Street Raihvay
Company in the claim department, where he continued for a little more than
a year, when he resigned to form a partnership with Thomas P. McAnany, a
cousin, in the detective business. The firm of ^IcAnany & Kirk now have
offices elegantly fitted up in the Xew' York Life building. The senior partner
served the city as a detective for fourteen years and resigned to engage in
business for himself. He is recognized as one of the shrewdest detectives in
the country and stands high in the profession, being accounted also one of
the most respected citizens here. Mr. Kirk has also had several years' experi-
ence as a detective and has met with excellent success in that work. His life
has been of an exemplary character and his friends are many and loyal.

On the 4th of June, 1884, at Independence, Missouri, the marriage of
Mr. Kirk and Miss Mary E. Brown was celebrated by the Rev. Dr. Proctor, an
Episcoi^al rector. Her father, J. K. Brown, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was
a prominent merchant and stock raiser. Mrs. Kirk came to Kansas City in
1881 after having graduated from Warrensburg (Mo.) University and taught
for four years in the AVashington school in Kansas City. She is a member
of the First Presbyterian church here and Air. Kirk was reared in the Catholic
faith. Fraternally he is connected with the Woodmen of the World.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kirk has been born a daughter, Mary Anderson Kirk,
whose birth occurred in Kansas City, December 14, 1893, and who is now a
pupil in the public schools here. Mr. Kirk owns an acre of ground at Seventy-
fifth and Alain streets, on which he erected a substantial residence in 1906.
He also has a half interest in a farm of seven hundred acres in Aliami county,
Kansas. His political allegiance is given to the democracy. He i«; well
known in Kansas City as a man of activity and enterprise and moreover has
gained much more than local fame by reason of his detective work.


It is needless to say anything introductory of the president of the Bunt-
ing-Stone Hardware Company, of Kansas City, for few men of his years are
more widely known and none more deserves the respect and confidence which
are uniformly tendered them. A native of Galveston, Texas, born on the 19th
of October, 1873, George Herbert Bunting is a son of the Rev, Dr. Robert
Franklin Bunting, an eminent minister, soldier, editor and educator, who was
graduated from the AVashington and Jefferson College and also from Prince-
ton University. He was born in Pennsylvania of English parentage and
became one of the famous Texas Rangers, and was the first man to receive a
commission as chaplain in the Confederate army. He was also in charge of


two hospitals during the period of the war. He became very prominent in
the I'resbyterian ministry and also through his connection with educational
work, and his life was a vital force in the intellectual and moral development
of the south. For many years he edited the Southwestern Presbyterian and
was a large contributor to religious and scientific publications elsewhere in the
countr3\ He was a second cousin of General U. S. Grant and died in the
year 1891. His wife, who in maidenhood was Chrissenda Sharpe, was a
daughter of William Linton Sharpe, widely known as an iron manufacturer
and philanthropist. He was for many years a Presbyterian elder of Steuben-
ville, Ohio, and at one time was president of the Scotch-Irish Society of
America, being of Scotch-Irish lineage. His life work touched the lives and
interests of many and in all that he did he was actuated by broad humani-
tarian principles. T\vo of his sons gained distinction in the Presbyterian
ministry, the late Dr. J. Henry Sharpe, of Philadelphia, and Dr. Samuel L.
Sharpe, who died when engaged in missionary work in South America. The
mother of Mrs. Bunting was a direct descendant of the well known Mc-
Intoshes, of Scotland.

The family of Rev. Dr. Robert F. Bunting and his wife numbered five
sons and a daughter, all of whom are living, namely : William Miller, who
is associated with his brother George in business; Dr. Henry S. Bunting, a
physician, author and publisher, of Chicago; Robert F., who is engaged in
commercial pursuits at Montgomery, Alabama; Dr. Charles Clarke Bunting,
a practicing physician, of New York city; and Bella Nina, the wife of Charles
A. Shaeffer, of Kansas City.

The other member of the family, George Herbert Bunting, was educated
in the public schools of Nashville, Tennessee, to which city he accompanied
his parents on their removal when he was ten years of age, his father serving
as pastor of the First Presbyterian church there for many years. The son
also pursued a college course there and during his college days was i^rominent
in athletic and social life. He likewise edited various college publications and
is still an associate editor, being contributor to the college paper, on which
some member of his family has held a position for the past twenty years. Mr.
Bunting is likewise a member of the varsity foot ball, baseball and track
teams and for several years held the southern inter-collegiate record for half
mile and mile runs. His college days being ended, he entered n\n>n his busi-
ness career as a traveling salesman for a Chicago house, which he represented
in thirteen southern states. While in that position he chose Kansas City as
the place of his future residence and upon resigning his position as commer-
cial traveler in the spring of 1897 he took u)) liis abode here and has since
been identified with its business interests. Seven years ago he organized the
Bunting-Stone Hardware Company, of whicli he is president, witli John C.
Stone as vice president; W. M. Bunting, treasurer; and Fred W. Ahiuee. secre-
tary. They began business in a modest way, but today the establishment is
one of the largest hardware houses of the city and the trade in both the retail
and wholesale fields is very extensive. Their up-town store is at No. 804-6
Walnut street, while their wholesale house is at No. 2012-14-16-18 Baltimore
avenue, and they are represented on the road by salesmen who cover seven


states. The business has had substantial growth and is today one of the im-
portant commercial enterprises of Kansas City.

On the 30th of September, 1900, Mr. Bunting was married to Miss
Marjorie, daughter of A. H. Munger, president of the Burnham-Hanna-Mun-
ger Dry Goods Company, of Kansas City. They have three children : Albert
Munger, Barbara and George H., Jr., now in their sixth, fourth and second
years, respectively.

Mr. Bunting is a member of the University Club, the Midday Club, the
Commercial Club, the Manufacturers and Merchants Association and the
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a college fraternity, of which his father and all his
brothers are likewise members. He is also president of the Kansas City
Alumni Association. In politics he is independent and his religious faith is
that of the Presbyterian church. A lover of horses and of country life, he
Jives across the Missouri river in Clay county, where he has one hundred acres
of land under cultivation, surrounding a beautiful, modern residence, which
he erected a few years ago. While an active and successful business man, he
does not believe in the concentration of his energies upon business interests
alone, recognizing the value of rest and recreation and of divided interests.
His business prominence and personal worth alike entitle him to mention
with the representative men of Kansas City.


Ira G. Hedrick, a civil engineer, who is making a specialty of the build-
ing of bridges and viaducts, was born April 6, 1868, in West Salem, Edwards
county, Illinois, his parents being Henderson and Mary Ann (Bryan) Hed-
rick. The father, born in 1837, was a farmer by occupation, whose great-
grandfather Hedrick came from Holland and founded the family in New
York in 1755. The mother was a daughter of Gideon Bryan, of Clay county,

At the usual age Ira G. Hedrick became a pupil in the public schools
of his native town and when he had completed the course there he continued
his studies as a preparation for business life in the Arkansas State University,,
where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Civil Engineering in
1892, while in 1901 the degree of Civil Engineer was conferred upon him.
In 1898 he received the degree of Bachelor of Science and in 1899 that of
Doctor of Science in McGill University, at Montreal, Canada. In October,
1892, he put his technical knowledge to the practical test by entering business
as a civil engineer in connection with J. A. L. Waddell, at Kansas City, con-
tinuing as his assistant until 1898, when he became assistant to the chief
engineer of the Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railway. A year later he
formed a partnership with Dr. Waddell under the firm style of Waddell &
Hedrick. They did a large amount of important bridge work, including
the bridges over the Missouri river at St. Charles, Missouri ; at Jefferson City,
Missouri; and East Omaha, Nebraska: over the Miami river at Toledo, Ohio;


the Red river at Index, Texas, and at Alexandria, Louisiana; over the Frazer
river at New Westminster, Britisli Cohnnbia; over the Arkansas river and
the White river in Arkansas, and all bridges on the Vera Cruz & Pacific Rail-
road, and many large bridges for the International and Great Northern
Railwav in Texas. Thev designed and constructed the Inter-City viaduct at
Kansas City and were consulting engineers to the Boston Elevated Railroad.
Their work was of a most important character, the firm having no superior
in bridge building in the entire country. In January, 1907, they dissolved
partnership and Mr. Hedrick is now in business alone as a consulting en-
gineer. He is president of the Kansas City Viaduct and Terminal Railway

Mr. Hedrick has made continuous advancement since he took up the
study of civil engineering and is now connected with the most important
societies for the advancement of knowledge of this character, including the
American Society of Civil Engineers, the Canadian' Society of Civil En-
gineers, the Institute of Civil Engineers of London, England, and is an hon-
orary member of the Rensselaer Society of Civil Engineers. He likewise
belongs to the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education.

On the 10th of February, 1889, Ira G. Hedrick was married to Louisa
N. Luther, a daughter of Newton J. Luther, of Washington county, Arkansas,
and they have one son and two daughters. During the fifteen years of his
practice as a representative of the profession of civil engineering Ira G. Hed-
rick has advanced to a most prominent place, being recognized as the peer
of the ablest members of the profession in the United States, while his admis-
sion to foreign societies of this character indicates the regard evinced for his
technical ability in European lands.


Richard ( icntry was boni in l)onii(' county, ^lis^ouri, November 11,
1846. Ho was reared on a farm and received his early education at a log
•schoolhonsc in the conntry. In 1863 he was sent to the Kemper school for
boys at Boonville, Missouri, where he remained until the fall of 1864, when
he left school to join General Price's army, who was tlicn making his famous
raid through Missonri. He served as private and sergeant major until the
close of the Civil war. in Company A, Colonel AVilliams' Regiment, and in
General Shelby's Brigade. He was engaged in tlio battles of Sedalia, West-
port, Pleasanton and Newtonia.

On his return lionic to Colninbia. Missoni'i, in 186;"), he entered the Mis-
souri State University, from which institution he was graduated in 1868.
Having adopted civil engineering as a jjrofc.^-ion, he at once obtained a posi-
tion on the surveys of the Chillicothe & Oinaha Railroad, which were com-
menced at Omaha. In 1860 and 1870 he was with the Louisiana &. Mis-
souri River Railroad and l)nilt a division of the Callaway county brancli of
that road, now the Chicago & Alton. In 1872 and 1873 he was stationed at



^. . .IBKARY




Little Rock, Arkansas, in charge of a division of construction of the Cairo
& Fulton Railroad, now the Iron Mountain Railroad. He built the Iron
Mountain Railroad bridge over the Arkansas river at Little Rock as a part
of his division.

He was married November 11, 1873, to Susan E. Butler, a daughter of
Martin Butler, of Callaway county, Missouri, and lived in Mexico, Missouri,
and engaged in farming and banking until 1880. In 1879 and 1880 he
became interested in mining in Colorado and promoted successfully several
large mining enterprises. He sold to Senator John P. Jones, of Nevada, and
Senator Stej)hen B. Elkins and others a group of mines at Rico, Colorado,
and gentlemen organized two large companies on these properties in
the winter of 1879-80.

In 1880 he moved to Kansas City, Missouri, became interested in bank-
ing and cattle ranching in Colorado, and later in 1885 invested largely in
Kansas City real estate, most of which he sold at handsome profits before the
decline in values began in 1887. He built his present residence at 2600
Troost avenue in 1882.

In 1889 he was one of the incorporators of the Kansas City, Nevada &
Fort Smith Railroad, now the Kansas City Southern, and was its first chief
engineer and general manager and one of its largest stockholders.

In the fall of 1895 he retired from his connection with this railroad,
having sold his interests. Under his management the first three hundred
miles were built and operated, and the next two hundred miles were located
and pa,rtly constructed.

In 1899 ^Ir. Gentry engaged in the manufacture of shoes in Kansas
City, which did not prove very successful and was soon discontinued. Since
that time he has not engaged in business requiring his? personal supervision.
He is now interested in the Tombstone consolidated mines of Arizona, in the
Perigrina mines of Guanajuato, Mexico, aiid in coalmines of Indian Terri-
tory and Arkansas, and also in the manufacture of Portland cement in Kan-
sas and Iowa.

Mr. Gentry is a man of good business judgment, of very good financial
abilitv and has alwavs loved large transactions. He was reared an old-school
Presbyterian but in later life has become more liberal and inclines toward
LTnitarianism and the Higher Criticism. In politics he was a democrat from
his youth, but in 1896 he opposed Mr. Bryan and his free silver platform
and has voted for the republican candidate for president ever since and may
be called an independent in politics. He was one of the charter members
of the society of the Sons of the Revolution in Kansas City, Missouri. In
1899 he was elected president and historian of the Gentry Family Associa-
tion of the United States, at the Gentry reunion of that year. He has now
in manuscript, ready for the printer, a history and genealogy of the Gentry
Family of America.

He is a strong believer in and an 'advocate of higher education. All
of his six children entered college directly from the high schools of Kansas
City, two daughters were graduated from Vassar College and his two sons
were graduated from Yale University.


Mr. Gentry i.- a son of Richard Harrison Gentry and Mary Wvatt, bis
Avife, of Colnnibia, ^lissonri, and a grandson of Major General Richard
Gentry and Ann Hawkins, his wife, of Columbia, Missouri, who seryed in
the war of 1812 -with the Kentucky volunteers under General Harrison, and
was an ensign at the glorious victory at the battle of the Thames. In 1833
General Gentry coiiimanded the Missourians in the Black Hawk Indian war,
and in 1837 he commanded a regiment of Missouri volunteers in the Florida
war and \yas killed at the head of his regiment December 25, 1837, at the
decisive battle of Okeechobee. Gentry county, Missouri, was so named in his
honor by the state legislature. General Gentry was a son of Richard Gentry
and Jane Harris, his wUe, of Kentucky, early pioneers from Virginia
through Cumberland Gap and over the Wilderness trail. Richard Gentry
of Kentucky Avas a soldier of the Revolution and \vas present at the surrender
of Lord Cornwallis at YorktoAvn. The next ancestoi*s in the Gentry line were
David Gentry, of Albemarle county, Virginia, and his wife, Mary Estes.
His father was Nicholas Gentry, of Albemarle county, Ijorn in l'i97 in New
Kent county, Virginia, and died in 1779, a son of Nicholas Gentry, of Han-
over county, — the immigrant of 1677 — the first Gentry to settle in America.

Mr. Gentry, our subject, is also a descendant of the prominent Wyatt
family of Virginia and England through his mother, Mary Wyatt ; and
through his grandmother, Ann HaAvkins, he is a descendant of William
Hawkins, the great sea captain, the father of Admiral Sir John Hawkins.
Through his great-grandmother, Jane Harris, he is a descendant of Robert
Overton, of England, one of Oliver Cromwell's generals, and of Colonel Wil-
liam Claibourne, colonial secretary of Virginia. He is also descended from
the Peytons and Smiths of Virginia and England — two of the most prom-
inent early Virginia families — through his ancestor, Peyton Smith, of
Spottsylvania county, A^irginia, who died there in 1782. Mr. Gentry's chil-
dren are Elizabeth, Richard H., Ruth R., Mary, Helen and Martin Bntl'>r.


Many accord to the i:>ractice of medicine the highest place in the profes-
sions as being of the greatest usefulness to mankind. It is undoubtedly true
that it is less commercialized than any other calling, and the successful physi-
cian is without exception found to be a man not only of broad scholarly attain-
ments but of dec)) human sympathy, manifesting at all times a spirit of
helpfulness toward his fellowiiicii. Dr. Eugene R. Lewis, whose life work was
one of untiring activity and great usefulness, won well earned distinction as
a practitioner and also as the founder of the University Medical College. He

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 28 of 65)