Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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was a representative of a family di-linguished for .^crvice in this ])rofession.
His father, his wife and both her parents, together with several other repre-
sentatives of their respective families, were all representatives of the medical
fraternity. Dr. Lewis arrived in Kansas City in Alay, 1874, being at that
time but twenty-one years of age.


He was a native of Randolph county, Missouri, born June 7, 1853, and
a son of Dr. Richard K. and Emma Duke (Wight) Lewis, the latter a native
of Shelbyville, Kentucky, and the former of Glasgow, ^lissouri. The father
was a graduate physician at the age of twenty-two and became a very able
and prominent surgeon, joracticing the greater part of his life in Randolph
county, Missouri. He died in Fayette, this state, both he and his wife passing
away when their son Eugene was but six years of age.

Liberal educational jDrivileges were afforded Dr. Eugene R. Lewis, who,
after attending the public schools of his native county, became a student in
Pritchard College, in Glasgow^, Missouri. He afterward AA^ent to Fayette, this
state, where he attended the Central Medical College, being graduated there-
from with the class of 1872. He w^as graduated from the Jefferson Melical
College in ]March, 1874, and came direct to Kansas City, where he opened an
office and began practice, nor was he long in demonstrating his ability to cope
with the intricate problems which continually confront the physician and
surgeon. Gradually his practice grew until it assumed very extensive pro-
portions and was also of a most important character.

In 1880 Dr. Lewis was married in Montgomery county, Missouri, to Miss
Nannie Pitman, a daughter of Dr. H. "W. and Betty Mary (Smith) Pitman,
the latter a native of A'irginia and the former of Missouri. Pier father en-
gaged in the practice of medicine in Montgomerj' county during the greater
part of his life and there he passed away at the age of seventy-five years. His
wife Avas the first woman to take a degree in the School of Pharmacy in Phila-
delphia. She is now seventy-six years of age and makes her home wdth Mrs.
Lewis, being a very bright and active Avoman, AA'hose faculties are practically
unimpaired. Her daughter Nannie Avas a student in Lindenw^ood College, at
St. Charles, Missouri, from Avhich she Avas graduated. She Avon the jNIaster
of Arts degree, and desiring to acquaint herself Avith the medical science she
attended the Women's Medical College in Kansas City and was graduated in
the class of 1898. She opened an office in the Bank of Commerce. Three
children were born unto them, but the eldest, Mary Duke, died in infancy.
Richard P. and Eugene R. are living with their mother and are now students
in the University Medical College, Avith the intention of becoming active mem-
bers of the profession, which has claimed so many representatives in both the
paternal and maternal ancestral lines. Dr. LcAAds Avas one of the founders of
this uniA'ersity and also of the hospital here, filling the office of steward for a
time. He paid for the charter and Avas manager for four years. At the time
of his death he was president of the Women's Medical College and Mrs. Lewis
was dean of the same. His pronounced ability, his broad learning and his
fitness for leadership aatII qualified him for the position of prominence that
AA^as accorded him as a medical educator and also a^ a practitioner. For tAvelve
years he Avas treasurer of the International Association of Railway Surgeons
and one of the founders of the same. He Avas likcAvise secretary of the Ameri-
can Health Association at the time its meeting was held in Kansas City in
1890 — a most successful convention, due largely to the efforts of Dr. Lewis,
Avho Avas a member of all the prominent medical societies of the city and for
three years was city physician.


Dr. Lewies gave his political allegiance to the democracy and was ap-
pointed coroner, but his interest in politics was that of a public-spirited citizen
and not an office seeker. He attained high rank in Masonry, becoming
identified with the consistory and the commandery, and h^ wa^ also n, c^om-
ber of the Knights of Pythias lodge. He held membership in the Washing-,
ton Street Methodist Episcopal church and died in that faith June 8, 1901,
at the age of forty-eight years. Although his life span covered less than a
half century, he accomplished much that has left an indelible impress upon
the life of the city in various phases that led to improvement. He was one
of the vanguard in the onward march of progress that has characterized the
medical profession in recent years and as founder of the Medical University
and as president of the Women's College the influence of his service is im-


Dr. Charles W. Pyle, who, with an exclusive office practice, makes a
specialty of nervous and chronic diseases, was born in Lee county, Iowa, Feb-
ruary 27, 1864. His father, Dr. Edward C. Pyle, a native of Pennsylvania,
removed to Iowa in 1854, locating at Keokuk, where he engaged in the prac-
tice of medicine. After leaving Pennsylvania, however, he took up his abode
in Richmond, Indiana, where he remained until removing to Keokuk about
1854. He married Addie Wickersham, a native of Pennsylvania, who arrived
in Iowa in 1851, prior to her marriage. She is a representative of an old
family of York, Pennsylvania, whence she came to the middle west with lu'r
father, Thomas Wickersham, who with his two sons opened a foundry, which
he conducted up to the time of his death in 1882. The death of Dr. EdAvard
C. Pyle occurred at Farmington, Iowa, in 1888, and his widow, still surviving
him, now makes her home with her son, Charles W.

In the public schools of Centerville, Iowa, Dr. C. W. Pyle pui*sued his
education until he completed the high-school course with the class of 1880.
He also spent four years in the state university at Iowa City, from which he
was graduated in March, 1884, with the M. D. degree. He then located in
Van Buren county, Iowa, where he practiced for several years, after which
he spent a year in travel and in post-graduate study. In 1888 he arrived in
Missouri, locating at Rich Hill, whence in 1896 hv removed to Kansas City.
Since that time he has been engaged in special office i)ractice, devoting his
attention largely to nervous and chronic diseases. In 190?) ho became inter-
ested in the promotion of the Keysall Chemical Company, assuming its man-
agement, and now controls the ])usiness in coniuH'tion with cnrrving on his
]irofessional work. The business of the chemical company is exclusively a
physicians' specialty line and the trade has now extended over the entire

Dr. Pyle was married in \Varrens])urg, Missouri. .June 28, 1905, to Miss
Katlici'inc Brown, a daughter of Judge John \\\ Brown, who had been a
resident of Warrensl)urg since 1865. Dr. Pyle has for eighteen years been an


Odd Fellow and has filled all the chairs in both the subordinate lodge and the
encampment. He holds one of the first certificates of membership to the
Modern Woodmen in Missouri and has also held all of the offices in that
order. He is well known in those organizations, w^here he has gained many


Among those who have contributed to Kansas City's business develop-
ment is numbered James Hewson, now deceased. Arriving here in 1869, he
was identified with its commercial, manufacturing and financial interests —
a prominent representative of that type of American citizens who, while ad-
vancing individual prosperity also promote the public good. The success
which attended him through many j^ears of active relation with business
affairs enabled him in his later years to live retired. He was a native of
Canada, born near Toronto, February 26, 1841, his parents always remaining
residents of that country. Having attended the public schools of his native
city, he afterward pursued a college course, w^hich he completed by gradua-
tion and was thus well qualified by liberal education for life's practical and
responsible duties.

While still a resident of Toronto Mr. Hew^son was married to Miss
Eleanor A. Austin, also a native of Canada, born near Toronto, where her
parents always resided. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hewson were born four children,
all yet living: Eleanor, now the wife of Edward L. Foutch, vice president
and treasurer of the B. R. Electric & Telei)hone Manufacturing Company of
this city, their home being with her mother, Mrs. Hewson ; Sarah, the wife of
W. T. Vaughn, of Clinton, Iowa; Myrtle, the wife of Ralph Parker, secretary
and treasurer of the People's Supply Company, their home being at No. 204
Garfield street; and Lotta, who resides with her mother.

Mr. and Mrs. Hewson made their home in Toronto until they crossed the
border to the United States to enjoy the business opportunities of the new
world, Avith its livelier competition and advancement more quickly secured.
Establishing their home in Kansas City, Mr. Hewson entered business circles
as a dry goods merchant at the corner of Eighth and Main streets, where he
conducted his store for about a year. He then sold out and erected a large
building at the corner of Third and Main streets, where he began the manu-
facture of baking powder and various kinds of flavoring extracts. That enter-
prise proved profitable and he continued therein for about ten years. He
afterward erected what will always be known as the Hewson building, a large
office structure, at Nos. 1016 and 1018 Walnut street. In this building he
conducted an insurance business with, excellent success until about 1900, when
he gave up all active business enterprises, his time being devoted merely to the
supervision of his invested interests. He thus through the last five years of
his life practically lived retired, his former activity, energy and w^ell-directed
laljor having made him one of the prosperous residents of the city. His la~t
illness was of only three days' duration and his death occurred in the South


Side Hospilal, September 20, 1905, his remains being interred in Forest
Hill cemetery.

In politic. - Mr. Hew.-on \va- a .stalwart r;^'pulilican. lliorouulily in sympa-
thy with the principles and p;)licy of the party, yet never an office seeker.
Both he and his wife were members of the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcoj)al
church, in the work of which he took a most active and helpful part. He
was one of its most prominent representatives, held all of the church offices
and was a most liberal contributor to its support and to the various societies
connected with the church. His life in its various phases was most honorable.
No trust reposed in him was betrayed in the slightest degree, and he performed
every duty with a sense of conscientious obligation. Those who knew him'
in a business way admired and respected him and those Avho came wdthin the
closer circle of his acquaintance gave him their warm friendship and utmost
regard. He left to his family not only a handsome estate but also the price-
less heritage of an untarnished name, and his memory is yet enshrined in
the hearts of those who knew him. Mrs. Hew^son and her daughters are
prominent in the social circles of Kansas City. They reside at No. 2700 Inde-
pendence boulevard, where Mrs. Hewson owns a commodious and beautiful


AViUard W . Hyatt, now deceased, wa.s numbered among the prominent
residents of Kansas City, wlu're he was engaged in merchandising and in
the real-c-tate lousiness. His birth occurred upon a farm in Otsego county.
New York. His father. Fitch Hyatt, was a leading resident of that locality,
whence he removed to Cambridge Springs, Crawford county, Pennsylvania,
where he lived retired until his death. His w^ife bore the maiden name of
Electa AVeaver and by her marriage became the mother of five children:
Smith, who was married, died in Texas shortly after his remo\;il to that
state. Christiana E., became the wife of Alva Adams and died in Kirks-
\\\\e, Mis-ouri. Willard W. and Willis W. wore twins and the latter, who
married Olive Ingalls, died in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. Susan
became the wife of .John Sherwood, of Erie, Pennsylvania, and is the only
one now living.

A\'illin(l W. n\att aecjuii'ed his education in the country schools of his
native town. He worked np<»n the home fai'in nntil twenty-one years of age
and foi- soiiieliiiie aftei- engaged in various business enterprises. Associated
with liis twin brother, he owned and conducted a sawmill and later carried
on a tannery. He afterward went to Erie, Peini.sylvania, where for ,i time
he was emiiloyed by a car niannfactnrer. His next step in the bnsiness
world wa- nia<le a- a general niereliant near Oil City, Pennsylvania, in asso-
ciation will) hi- brother. Smith Hyatt, and his brother-in-law. Charles P.
Allen. 'Vhv\ .<ueeessfully conducted their store for several years and then
sold out, after which all three viwno west to Mi.ssouri, settling in Warrens-
burg, where they again e-tabli-hed and eondneted a store. This partnership


^^' ■ '■ • •'/ YORK



was disriolved about 1877, in which year ^Ir. Hyatt came to Kansa.^ City,
where for a time he followed different pursuits. Eventually he engaged in
the iirocerv business with a JNlr. Holmaii in a store at 212 East Ninth street
but after a brief period he sold out to his partner. He then turned his at-
tention to the real-estate busineSvS and was very successful in buying and
selling property and also as a speculative builder, erecting many houses,
which he [)ut upon the market. He displayed keen insight in determining
the value and possible appreciation of property and his investments were so
wisely made that his labors proved of the utmost benefit in the attainment
of success.

Mr. Hyatt made his first home in Kansas City at No. 1222 Washington
street and later lived over his store at No. 312 East Ninth street. He then
[)urchased the home where his last days were passed at No. 1112 Bales avenue,
buying this from the Bales estate. He was married near Phoenix, New York,
July 27, 1835, to Miss Theresa Allen, who was born in Oswego county. New
York, and who grew to womanhood there. Her parents were Hiram and
Eliza (Perren) Allen. By a previous marriage to Miss Clara Glass, which
occurred in AVisconsin, Mr. Hyatt had one daughter, Tillie, who became the
wife of Chester Snyder and died in Kansas City, leaving a daughter, Tillie,
now the wife of D. L. .James, of this city.

The death of Mr. Hvatt occurred in .Tune, 1904. He was a member
of Bales Avenue Baptist church and took an active and helpful part in its
work. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity and in politics was a life-
long republican who, though he never sought nor desired office, always kept
well informed on the questions and issues of tlie day and was thus able to
support his position by intelligent argument. He had a wide and favorable
acquaintance here and his life showed forth those traits of honorable, upright
manhood which won for him uniform confidence and trust'.


Leo N. Leslie has for some years been one of the foremost builders and
owners of handsome residences and fine business property in Kansas City.
In fact, he has contributed in large measure to the substantial improvement
of the city along architectural lines, being among the first to introduce the
modern apartment house, W'hile in the construction of splendid business
blocks and beautiful homes his work is scarcely paralleled. He was born at
Saxonville, Massachusetts, January 25, 1856. His father, Thomas L. Leslie,
was a native of Scotland and in early life was a soldier in the English army.
In 1838 he came to America and for many years engaged in merchandizing
at Saxonville. He married Eliza Soden, a represeentative of an old New
England family, and in 1883 he passed away, while the mother of our subject
is also deceased.

When about twelve years of age, Leo N. Leslie left school to assist his
father in the conduct of his mercantile business and was associated therewith


until 1872, when lie went to Boston, where he obtained an humble position
in the mercantile establishment of Mitchell, Greene & Stevens. There he
worked his way upward, acquiring a practical knowledge of the business.
In 1874 he left that emplo}^ to accept a position as traveling salesman for
Morse, Shepard & Company, of Boston, continuing with that house for four
years. In October, 1879, he came to Kansas City and a few months later en-
gaged in the dry goods business under the firm name of L. N. Leslie & Com-
pany at No. 726 North Main street. In 1882 the firm name was changed
to Leslie & Edwards, D. R. Edwards having acquired an interest in the busi-
ness. In 1886 the firm sold out to W. T. ]\Iatthews.

In the meantime Mr. Leslie had done his initial work as a speculative
builder, having invested some of his surplus funds in Kansas City real estate,
which returned to him handsome margins. In ^March, 1887, he organized
the Suffolk Investment Company, capitalized for fifty thousand dollars, and
became its president. In less than a year the comj)any had acquired a surplus
of one hundred and fifty-seven thousand dollars. To ^Mr. Leslie was entrusted
the general management of the business and the success Avas due entirely to
his untiring efforts and judicious management. The company owned and
opened up the beautiful Eden Park, a residence addition to the city of Inde-
pendence, Missouri. Mr. Leslie has been one of the foremost builders of
beautiful homes and fine modern business properties in Kansas City. There
stand as monuments to his enterprise, commercial integrity and business
ability the Idaho, Oregon, Saxon, xVberdeen, Grand View, Summit, Windsor
and Elenor apartment houses, the last mentioned being eight stories in heiglit ;
also the large building occupied by the Adams Express Company on Balti-
more avenue between Tenth and Eleventh streets, together with four other
large properties on the avenue. The majority of the stnictures erected by
Mr. Leslie have been on the west side of the city. In all lie has ])uih and
owned one Innidred and thirty-four i)roperties, sixty-five of which Avere large
apartment buildings, since coming to Kansas City. Of all of the buildings
which he has erected none have been constructed on contract, but by day
laboi' and under his personal supervision and careful direction. He lias
owned twenty-two fiats on Locust street, ten ])roi)crties on "Sliun street, and
four on Thirtieth street east of Main. At the present time he has twenty-four
income j)roperties. lie lives at No. 4057 Warwick boulevard, where he has
one of the handsomest homes in thai fashionable residence district.

In all hi- building operations Mr. Leslie has brought to bear the most
progressive methods and introduced the most modei'n iiM]»i'o\('niciits. Owint;
to hi,- -upcrior knowledge of the builders' art, the Shulx-rts arranged with
him to construct their handsome theatre, "The Sam S. Shubert," on Tenth
street, between Baltimore aveinie and Wyandotte street. This magnificent
playhouse was built in 1006 and ojiened to the public in October of that
year. It was constructed in a mai'velously short time. ])eing in fact a record
breaker. As late as the 14th of .\ugust the .-teel structural work had not
been c(»iiii)leted and it was feared, not only by the i)ublic l)ut those interested
in the construction and management of the house, that it could not possibly
be completed in time for the designated opening night. Mr. Leslie said,


however, that it would be, and with a strong determination he set about to
make good his word. He scarcely took time to eat or sleep and during the
last few weeks kept a large force of mechanics working day and night. Not
only that, but he contributed from his private funds to make good his promise
and to furnish a building even superior to that expected or even asked for by
the promoters of the enterprise. Mr. Leslie manifested great pride in provid-
ing Kansas City with the finest playhouse in the west, and this luiildinti; today
stands a monument to his successful efforts. Upon the opening night the
house was entirely finished and Mr. Leslie had the pleasure of realizing that
he had fully carried out his promise. He has been personally complimented
by eminent actors and theatrical managers from all parts of the country upon
his successful undertaking. Since erecting the Shubert theatre he has erected
a handsome four-story steel and brick building for the United States &
Mexican Trust Company on ground at the corner of Tenth street and Balti-
more avenue, adjacent to the theatre. Mr. Leslie owns the ground and leased
it to the Trust Company for a period of ninety-nine years at a good rental.

On the 31st of May, 1883, Mr. Leslie was united in marriage to Miss
Mary E. Leonard, of West Liberty, Logan county, Ohio, a daughter of Dr.
Benjamin B. Leonard, a prominent physician of that locality and at one
time president of the Ohio State Medical Society. Mrs. Leslie was educated
at Stanton, A'irginia. The only child of this marriage is Kate L. Leslie, who
was born in Kansas City and supplemented her early education acquired in
the schools here by study in Columbia College.

To those acquainted with the life history of Leo N. Leslie it would seem
trite to say that he has risen from an humble position to rank with the promi-
nent and prosperous men of his day, yet it is but just to say, in a history that
will descend to future generations that his record has ever been such as any
man would be proud to possess. Starting in life in an humble clerkship he
has steadily risen and at all times has commanded the respect of his business
associates and the admiration of his contemporaries. He has never made an
engagement that he has not filled nor incurred obligations that he has not
met. Kansas City owes much of her substantial improvement and present
attractiveness from an architectural standpoint to his labors and success and
the most envious cannot grudge him his success, for it is the logical reward of
capable management and honorable effort.


Without any special advantages or opportunities in early life Robert Peet
made steady progress in the business world until he gained a prominent place
among the most successful men of the entire west. A native of England, he
was born in Cambridgeshire, August 24, 1843. His parents likew^ise resided
in that country, both the father and mother passing aAvay there, the death of
the former occurring during the early childhood of their son Robert.


Robert Peet received but limited educational privileges, attending only
the public schools in his native town, and he put aside his text-books at a
comparatively early age. About 1861 he and his brother William sailed for
America, landing in New York city, whence they went direct to Cleveland,
Ohio. There they had an uncle living, who was engaged in tlie soap manu-
facturing business, and the nephews began work there in the soap factory.
After a few years, however, ^^'illia^l withdrew from active connection with
the business and worked at the carpenter's trade, but Robert Peet continued
as a soap manufacturer.

He remained in Cleveland until 1872, when he and his brother William
came to Kansas City, where they at once established a soap factory. Their
first place of business was a small plant on McGee street, but their trade soon
increased and they removed to a larger factory at the corner of Main street
and the Levee, where they conducted business for several years. Their busi-
ness constantly developed so that after a time they were again forced to seek
enlarged quarters and they erected a very commodious factory in Armour-
dale at the corner of Adams and Osage streets. Here Robert Peet looked
after the manufacturing part of the business, while his brother William
attended to the office. They conducted the enterprise, which constantly grew
in volume and importance, until a large force of workmen was employed and
all kinds of soap manufactured. The business is still being conducted and
the product is now in use all over the world. Today the factor}' is the largest
of the kind in the entire west. The firm is now, and has always been, known
by the name of the Peet Brothers Manufacturing Company and the present

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 29 of 65)