Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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he at once turned his attention to general agricultural pursuits, continuing
in active connection with the farming interests of Jackson county until his
death, which occurred in 1880 when he was eighty years of age. His study of
the political issues and questions in this country led him to ally his interests
with the democratic party, and he always remained one- of its supporters,
but never sought nor desired office as a reward for party fealty. His religious
faith was indicated by his membership in the Catholic church. He married
Bridget Horrigan, also a native of County Cork, Ireland, who died about
1891. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom four are now living:
Mrs. Mary Ryan ; Mrs. Catherine Hurley ; John, a resident of Leavenworth,
Kansas, who served in Van Horn's regiment in the Civil war; and Con, of
this review. Jeremiah and Daniel, who formerly served as county collector
here, are now deceased.

Brought to America when but a year old, Con Murphy remained in Vir-
ginia until nine years of age, and then became a resident of Kansas City,
where for more than a half century he has now made his home. He started
in business life as a clerk in a clothing store, and he devoted three years to
learning the saddlery trade, but never followed that pursuit. On giving up
his position as clerk in the store he became deputy county collector under his
brother Daniel, and served in that capacity for four years. His capability
and fidelity in office led to his selection for further official honors, and he
was chosen by a popular vote to the position of county marshal, in which
he also served for four years. He next resumed clerking in a store, but after-
ward under President Cleveland's administration was superintendent of car-
riers in the Kansas City postoffice. On retiring from that position he engaged
in the dry-goods business with Schelley on Delaware street for several years,
and sub.-iequently became inspector of detectives. On again leaving the pub-
lic service he engaged in the livery business at No. 555 Grand street, while
later he bought out the livery stable of Baker Brothers at No. 1309 Walnut
street, where he is now located. Here he has a well equipped establishment,
having a large line of fine carriages and receives a liberal patronage. He alsQ
erected a residence at the corner of Eleventh and Cherry streets, but now
resides at No. 3102 East Twenty-third street.

Mr. Murphy was married in Indiana, in 1882, to Miss Mary A. Sheibley,
a native of Jackson county, Missouri. Her father, Henry Sheibley, was a
school teacher here at an early day, but afterward returned to Indiana,
although he later again became a resident of Kansas City. He married Susan
Keashler, and their family included Mi's. Murphy, who by her marriage has
become the mother of ten children: Con, Jr., Ellen, Charles H., Mary A.,
John, Daniel, Cornelia, Annie C, Leonilla and Jo.^eph. The family circle yet
ri'iiiain.- iiiihrdkcii, and all are yet imder the parental roof.

Mr. Murplix- has alway.- given his ])olitical support to the democratic
party, and is active in its ranks. He belongs to the Woodmen of the World,
and lias served as councilor of Camp Xo. -42-1. and in all the other offices. He


is likewise connected with the Knights of Cohimbus and the Catholic
Knights of Amercia, and is a member of the Catholic church, to the support
of which he has contributed generously, aiding in the erection of a large
majority of the Catholic churches of Kansas City. Whatever success he has
achieved in business is attributable to his own efforts, for from an early age
he has been dependent upon his own resources. He now owns a good livery
establishment, and is conducting a prosperous business in this line.


Lauren W. McCollum, who at the time of his death was a stockholder
and secretary of the W. S. Dickey Clay Company, became a resident of Kan-
sas City in 1888 and although his business interests afterward took him to
various sections of the country he still regarded this as his place of residence.
His birth occurred in Buffalo, New^ York, July 22, 1853. His father, Otis
McCollum, was also a native of the Empire state and engaged in the news-
paper business in Buffalo. In the schools of that city the son pursued his
education and was also identified with journalistic interests until his removal
to the west.

About the year 1880 he became a resident of Des Moines, Iowa, and
assisted C. C. Gilbert in erecting his large storage factory there. He remained
in Des Moines until 1888, when he removed to Kansas City and became
connected with the old sewer pipe company. When it was afterward merged
into the W. S. Dickey Clay Company, he became one of its stockholders
and secretary of the latter and was associated therewith until his demise. In
that capacity he assisted materially in the upbuilding of the plant and the
enterprise and traveled all over the country looking after the interests of
the business. He also visited the Orient in connection w^ith this business just
prior to his demise. He was taken ill while looking after the branch factory
at Macomb, Illinois, where he died May 19, 1906. He had a very large busi-
ness acquaintance and wherever he went impressed people with his capacity
for business control and his aptitude in successful management. He was
very thorough in all that he undertook and when he became connected with
the pottery interests he made it his object to thoroughly acquaint himself
with the business in principle and detail. He was thus enabled to converse
intelligently upon the subject and to present the interests of the company in
the best possible light. His persistency of purpose was one of his strong
characteristics and at all times he worked with a recognition of the fact that
"there is no excellence without labor."

Mr. McCollum was married in Des Moines, Iowa, November 8, 1882, to
Miss Nellie M. Leach, of Chicago, and unto them was born a daughter, Kate,
who is now the wife of William E. Merrill. Mrs. McCollum's father is E. C.
Leach, one of the oldest business men of Chicago, to which city he removed
when eighteen years of age and there engaged in the distilling business. He
still makes his home in that city and has a wide acquaintance there among


its leading business men. He is a native of Vermont, while his wife, who
bore the maiden name of Kate H. Carter, is a native of Canada.

Mr. McCollum's po^iition on political questions was never an equivocal
one. He gave stalwart support to the republican party, not because of any
desire on his part for political preferment but because he had firm faith in
its principles in connection with the jDromotion of the country's welfare. He
greatly desired the success of the j)arty and as a delegate attended its last
national convention held in Chicago. He was accorded a prominent place
in business circles in Kansas City and for many years was an active member
of the Commercial Club. He also belonged to the Manufacturers Club, the
Knife and Fork Club, the Missouri Republican Club, the Ivanhoe Lodge of
Masons and the Episcopal church — associations which indicated much of the
character of his interests and ideals. In his attitude everywhere he mani-
fested the true spirit of altruism and although aggressive in every sense of
the word he always avoided even the semblance of that popular tendency, so
detrimental to the common welfare of humanity, namely the sacrifice of
friendship or i)riiicipl(' for the promulgation of .selfish interests.


Nathan Scarritt, minister and benefactor, was born at Edwardsville,
Illinois, April 14, 1821, son of Nathan and Latty (Allds) Scarritt. He was
of Scotch and Irish descent. His father (b. 1788, d. 1847), a native of
Connecticut, was a farmer by occupation; hi.s mother (b. 1793, d. 1875) was
a native of New Hampshire. His parents were married at Lyman, New
Hampshire, in 1812, and Nathan was the seventh child and sixth son of a
family of twelve children, of whom ten were sons. In 1820 his parents
emigrated liy wagon from New Hampshire to Illinois, locating at Ed-
ward-^ville, and then on a farm near Alton — their latter location becoming
known as Scarritt's Prairie, now the seat of the Monticello Female Seminary.
Natlian worked on the home farm until he was sixteen years of age, when he
entered McKendree College, at Lebanon, Illinois, beginning in the prepar-
atory department. His father was able to aid him but little and he obtained
his education almost entirely through his own effort, paying part of liis first
yearV tuition l»y clearing the brush and timber from the college campus,
which work he did after study hours and by moonlight. With two com-
panions he lived in a log hut, near which he fenced and cultivated a garden.
hi.~ meal- often consisting of potatoes of hi.s own raising, with occasionally
bread and mejil : ;nid dnring that time hi.s cxpeii.^e- were frecpiently les.s than
fifty cents a week.

His -Indies wei-e iiileriiipled l)y tlie illne.<s of his fallier and he returned
home to manauv the farm, Imt when his father liad sutliciently recovered he
returned to college at the urgent solicitation of the faenlty. who offered him
Itoard and tuition on credit. In 1842 he was graduate(l from ^h-Kendree


' "ORK



College as valedictorian, by appointment of the faculty, receiving the degree
of B. A. He soon afterwards engaged in teaching at Waterloo, Illinois, and
out of the savings of two years paid his indebtedness to his college. In April,
1845, he removed to Fayette, Missouri, where he joined his brother-in-law,
William T. Lucky, in the establishment of a high school. The opening of
that institution, however, was inauspicious, for out of six pupils at the begin-
ning, one was taken ill and four ran away, leaving only two pupils at the
close of the first week. But success of the undertaking was subsequently
attained and out of Howard High School, as it was known, grew Central
College for males and Howard Female College. Later, upon urgent solicita-
tion, Dr. Scarritt acted as provisional president of Central College for one
year, during which he established the institution upon a firm basis. From
1848 until 1851 he taught the Indian Manual Labor School in the Shawnee
country, Indian Territory ; during the ensuing year served as principal of the
high school at Westport, having been the leading spirit in the building of
that institution ; and from 1864 to 1885 taught school in Kansas City, Mis-

From boyhood Dr. Scarritt had been impressed with the conviction that
he was destined for the ministry, and, upon reaching a suitable age, was
called to the duties of a class leader, his deep sincerity and fervency in prayer
and exhortation winning the admiration of ministers whom he met. In
1846 he was licensed to preach and later in that year was received on trial
into the Missouri conference, and appointed to the Howard High School
where he was then teaching, meanwhile also ministering to neighborhoods in
the vicinity. Upon the division of the Methodist church he affiliated wnth
the Methodist Episcopal church, south. .While teaching among the Indians
(1848-51) he frequently assisted the missionaries, and, being appointed mis-
sionary to the Shawnees, Delawares and Wyandottes in 1851, he preached to
each of these tribes through interpreters, his labors proving eminently useful.
Meanwhile he also performed ministerial duty at Lexington, filling a vacancy.
In the latter part of 1852 he was appointed to Westport and Kansas City, and
the following year located in the latter place, becoming pastor of the Fifth
Street church. In January, 1855, he was appointed presiding elder of the
Kickapoo district of the Kansas Mission conference, which body he repre-
sented in the general conference of 1858; in 1858-9 served in the Shawnee
Eeserve, and during the ensuing two years was presiding elder of the Lecomp-
ton district.

In 1861 Dr. Scarritt's ministerial labors were suspended on account of
the unsettled conditions incident to the Civil war. After peace was restored,
however, he engaged in itinerant sei-vice for one year and was superannuated
on account of physical disability but declined the aid due him from the
Conference fund. In 1876 he was located in Kansas City, where his labors
were conspicuously useful in the pastorate, in turn, of the old Fifth Street,
the Walnut Street, the Lydia Avenue, the Campbell Street and the Melrose
churches. He was a delegate in several sessions of the general conference,
during two of which he served on the committee of revisals, and was as-
signed to a similar position at the session of 1890.


Dr. Scarritt/s residence' in Kansas City led to his accumulation of a
large fortune and afforded liim opportunity to aid materially in the devel-
opment of that city and to formulate and execute various philanthropic de-
signs. In 1862 he bought forty acres of land near the city and subsequent
purchases increased his holdings to two hundred and twenty acres situated on
Scarritt's Point, his first home there being a log cabin of his own building. Hfe
was early associated with Governor Ross of Delaware in the ownership of a tract
of land in the heart of Kansas City, a block of which was intended to be con-
veyed in fee to the city upon condition that a courthouse or school be built
thereon, but the city failed to make use of the opportunity. He was also a
pioneer builder on ]\Iain and Walnut Streets, where he erected many of the
most substantial and useful structures. Among his benefactions were five
thousand dollars to the Scarritt Collegiate Institute at Neosho; five thousand
dollars to the Central Female College at Lexington ; and thirty thousand dol-
lare to ]\Ielrose church, Kansas City, which latter edifice was erected on a lot
where for two years he previously maintained a tent for religious meetings.
His benefactions were not restricted to the objects favored by his own de-
nomination, for scarcely a church in Kansas City was unaided by him. His
desire to establish a Bible and Training School was on the eve of accomplish-
ment, when his death occurred, but his children faithfully carried out his
wishes regarding the project, by a gift of the site and twenty-five thoasand

In llicology Dt. Scarritt proclaimed himself an Arminian of the Wes-
leyan Methodist type. In politics he was originally a whig and afterwards
a conservative democrat. He was opj)Osed to slavery, and while he sympa-
thized with the southern people regarded secession as a grave error. "\ATiile
in Kansas City he took no part in the border troubles, never attending a
l»olitical meeting or casting a partisan vote. He was a member of a company
of Kansas City Home Guards during the Rebellion and stood guard over
property Imt engaged in no forays or other movements.

His services as a clergyman and educator were of great value. As a teacher
he won upon his pupils as much through his kindly personal interest and
sympathy as through his power of imparting knowledge. By deep study and
close observation lie -(orcd his mind with ample matci'ial for every emergency,
and his sermons were models of instruction and logical exposition. Sincere
earnestness aided his effort with an unaffected vigor of oratory which com-
pelled attention, and enabled him to impress the individual hearer with the
conviction lliat he Avas listening to a personal message and appeal. His be-
nevolence- wci'c free and liberal and directed in a sympathetic and orderly
way. in.-ui'ing pcrpetuaiion of the gift and increasing advantages from it in
after years.

He received llie degree of M.A. from the University of Missouri in
1<S.)7 and thai of D.D. from his alma inatcr in 1870.

He married at Kansas City, Missouri, April 29, 1850, Martha M.. daugh-
ter of William Chick, one of the founders of Kansas City. Mrs. Scarritt died
July 29, 1878, leaving nine children, of whom six are living; Annie E., wife
of Bishop E. R. Hendrix (q. v.) of Kansas City; Edward L. Nathan, Jr., and


William C, all rasideiits of Kansas City, Missouri; Charles W., of Kansas
City. Missouri, a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, south; and
Martha M., the wife of Elliott H. Jones, of Kansas City.

Dr. Scarritt married a second time, October 6, 1875, Mrs. Ruth E. Scar-
ritt, daughter of Rev. CyriLs Barker, a missionary in India, where she was born.

He died in Kansas City, Missouri, May 22, 1890.


Peyton C. Smith, of Kansas City, was born in Clermont county, Ohio,
March 11, 1832. The days of his boyhood and youth passed without event
of special importance. His father was John P. Smith, a descendant of John
Pie Smith, and was born in New Jersey, whence he removed to Ohio when
about twenty-five years of age. There he followed farming for many years,
being closely and actively associated with agricultural interests in Clermont
county until a few years prior to his death. He came to Jackson county to
visit his son Peyton C. and here passed aw^ay in 1875 at the age of eighty-
four years. His wife bore the maiden name of Naomi Higbee and they be-
came the parents of nine children, of whom Peyton C. and two sisters are
now" living.

Peyton C. Smith was about twenty-eight years of age when he offered
his services to the government as one of the defenders of the Union cause in
the Civil war. He enli-^ted as a member of Company G, One Hundred and
Nineteenth Illinois Regiment, and was elected captain. His meritorious serv-
ice on the field of battle later won him promotion and he served as major
when discharged. At Rutherford, Tennessee, he was taken prisoner but was
afterward paroled and later served for nine months as court marshal at St.
Louis under General Schofield in 1863. He w^as present at the time Price made
his raid in Missouri and assisted in burying the dead there. Serving until
the close of the war, his military record w^as characterized by all that dis-
tinguishes the brave and loyal soldier who never falters in the performance
of any duty that devolves upon him as he labors to protect his country's in-
terests. He was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois, having enlisted from
Adams county, Illinois, where he had previously spent eleven years.

Mr. Smith became a resident of Jackson county, Missouri, in 1866, in
which year he purchased one hundred and forty acres of land in Washington
township, while his wife owned an adjoining tract of forty acres. His farm
had been brought under the plow but there were no improvements upon it
and with characteristic energy he began to make it a model farm property,
erecting there a fine residence from lumber which he hauled from the west
bottoms. His fields were brought under a high state of cultivation and he
carried on agricultural pursuits in accord with the most progressive, modern
methods, adding to his place all the equipments and accessories found upon
a model farm of the present day. He there kept high grades of stock and
made a specialty of raising fine hogs. Previous to his removal to Jackson


county he had engaged in merchandising but the adaptabiUty and spirit of
business enterprise which he has ahvays displayed enabled him tcr readily adapt
himself to the interests and labors of the farm and to acquire thereby a hand-
some competence. During the years of his residence in western Missouri he
has seen Kansas City develop from a small village to a beautiful city, thor-
oughly American in its interests and plans of upbuilding. At one time in
his early days here he hauled a load of potatoes to the city and something of
the size of the town may be indicated by the fact that there were too many
for the population at one time and the market was glutted, so that he had
hard work to dispose of the load. He continued to reside upon his farm until
about nine years ago, when he took up his abode in Kansas City, where he
has since made his home, while his sons give supervision to the farm of two
hundred and twenty-five acres, which the father still owns.

In 1858 occurred the marriage of Peyton C. Smith and Miss Naomi J.
Killam, of Adams county, Illinois. They became the parents of six chil-
dren: Ernest E., at home; Mrs. Almina Campbell, of Hickman Mills, Mis-
souri; Elbert E., at home; Mrs. Frances Bryant who is living with her par-
ents; Harold A., of Kansas City; and Clifford B., who was graduated from
Columbia University in the class of 1908.

Always a stalwart republican from the organization of the party and
ever inflexible in support of its principles, Mr. Smith in the early days of
Ills residence here Avas one of only three republicans in his district. The
cause of education has ever found in him a stalwart champion and an effective
friend who has labored untiringly for the interests of public instruction here,
believing in maintaining a high standard in connection with the public
schools. The trend of his life has ever been forward and though he has
passed the age when many cease to care particularly about the things that
are going on around them, in spirit and interests he seems yet in his prime
and gives out of the rich stores of his wisdom and experience for the benefit
of those with whom he comes in contact. Such a life is an inspiration to both
the young and the aged.


Carlyle has said that "biography i.s the most interesting as well <i.s the
most profitable of all reading." Its purpose ivS not to give exprassion to man's
modest estimate of himself nor to any fulsome j^raise of partial friends but
to arrive at his true position in the comnumity through the consensus of
public opinion. An analyzation of the life record of David Thomas Beals
brings forth various reasons why the president of the Union National Bank
of Kansas City is accounted one of its most prominent and honored resi-
dents. He belongs to that of American men whose paths are not strewn
with the wreck of other men's fortunes ])ut who through keen sagacity have
recognized opportunities and by their improvement and the close and unre-






mitting attention so necessary in business life haA^e attained success through
methods that neither seek nor require disguise.

Mr. Beals was born in North Abington, Massachusetts, March 8, 1832.
His father, Thomas Beals, also a native of the Bay state, was a manu-
facturer of boots and shoes until his retirement from active business life a
few years prior to his demise, which occurred in 1861. The mother, Mrs.
Ruth Faxon Beals, also a native of Massachusetts, died in May, 1875, at
the age of seventy-five years. David T. Beals was the youngest of their fam-
ily of three children, two sons and a daughter, the others being Ephraim
and Tryphosa. The sister became the wife of Ellridge Gurney, who was
at one time a partner of Mr. Beals. The home atmosphere was one of strict
observance of the. Sabbath and of close adherence to rigid church rules and
yet the lessons of integrity and industry there learned left an indelible im-
press upon the life of David T. BeaLs. He acquired his education in the
public schools of North Abington and in the New Hampshire Academy,
where he remained as a student for one year. He made his entrance into
business life in his fifteenth year, being employed by a Boston dry goods
merchant at a salary of fifty dollars a year, but his efficient and faithful
service won recognition in an increase of salary to three hundred and fifty
dollars for the year. At the end of the eighteen months, however, he began
learning the shoe trade at Abington, serving a two years' apprenticeship in
the shoe manufacturing business. The offer of assistance from a capitalist
enabled Mr. Beals to engage in business on his own account and he success-
full}^ conducted the enterprise until the widespread financial panic of 1857.
Disaster then threatened but his ready employment of certain opportunities
enabled him to tide over the situation and when he had settled up his aft'airs
he found that he had a capital of sixteen hundred dollars remaining.

Believing that the west offered better opportunities, in the fall of 1859
Mr. Beals went to St. .Joseph, Missouri, where irjf connection with his brother-
in-law, Ellridge Gurney, he established a boot and shoe business. From

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 3 of 65)