Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

. (page 31 of 65)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Woodmen of the AVorld, the Fraternal Aid and the Modern Brotherhood of
America. He owns a beautiful home, which he and his family occupy, at
No. 2029 Prospect avenue. His salient characteristics are those of leadership,
and he is regarded as an influential man, who has always cast the weight of
his influence for the public good and in support of those beneficent and
helpful principles on which the different fraternal organizations are based.



JOHN CALVIN McCOY.

. A life history should ever be the record of continuous progress, for talents
grow by use and powers develop through activity. This statement finds veri-
fication in the life of John Calvin McCoy, now deceased, who for twenty years
was a commission merchant at the stock yards of Kansas City and for many
years was president of the Stock Yards Exchange. He was likewise engaged
in the grain business here for a number of years and belonged to one of the
pioneer families of Kansas City, so that throughout his life he was
closely associated with its interests and its upbuilding.

His ])irth occurred here on the 8th of March, 1853, his parents being
John Calvin and Elizabeth (Woodson) McCoy, the former a native of Yin-
cennes, Indiana, and the latter of Kentucky. When Kansas City had scarcely
emerged from villagehood the father took up his abode here and was a sur-
veyor of the early days, surveying both the old town of Kansas City and West-
port. Employed in his professional capacity by the United States govern-
ment he fixed the old boundarv line at Fort Leavenworth and also surveved
and fixed the boundary lines of the Cherokee and Creek lands in the Indian
territory. Lie afterward purchased a farm in Kansas and carried on general
agricultural pursuits there for several years, after which he returned to
Kansas City, where he lived retired at his old home at No. 711 Olive street,
enjoying well caniccl rest aftci' many years of indefatigable toil and unflag-
ging perseverance. Both lie and bis wife died ;it the old home, where two
of their daughters, Miss McCoy and Mrs. Ilolloway, now reside.

John Calvin McCoy i)ursned hi,< early education in the public and pri-
vate school.-^ of Kansas City and at the age of seventeen years matriculated in
the Westminster College at Fulton. Missouri, where he remained as a studen^
for three years. Beturning home on the expiration of that period he entered
business life as a farmer in Jackson county. Tie was thus engaged
in farm labor for several years, after wliich lie l)egan work in the citv




J. C. McCOY.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY :>10

as a bookkeeper for the grain lirm of ^'aiiglin A: Company, acting as their
head bookkeej>er for eight yeai-s. Resigning liis jx^ition. he start eii in
business on his own account as a grain merchant in partnership with Captain
N. P. Simonds. of Beloit. Kansas, under the tirm style of Sinionds. McCov Oc
Ctnnpany. They continued in the grain trade for several years and in that
period Mr. McCoy also became a live-stock dealer. In this line he entered
into partnership with his brother and the tirm name eventually became the
Rogers ».V: McCoy Live Stock Connnission Company, the brother selling his
intei-est and ivmoving to a farm in John^on county. Kansas, where he has
since made his home.

Withdrawing from the grain trade. Joh'.i C. McCoy concentrated b.is
energies upon the development and conduct of his live-stock business at the
stock yards here. The firm afterward became McCoy Brothers it Bass and
in a few yeai^ became the J. C. McCoy Commission Company, business being
conducted under that style throughout the remainder of J. C. McCoy "s con-
nection therewith. lie remained in the live-stock business throughout his
remaining days and passed away December 11. lOOo. after an illness of sev-
eral months. On the 20th of August. 1S87. he became a member of the
Stock Yards Exchange and was one of its most active representatives, serving
as its president in 1894-9 and 1898-9. lie frequeiuly i-epresented the ex-
change in the national association and often attended the specal meeting-s
of the exchange at Washington. D. C. He was widely recognized as one
of the leading live-stock men of Kansas City, in a district which is one of the
prominent centers for this department of business in the country.

On the loth of February. 1887. was celebrated the marriage of Mr.
McCoy and Miss Florida Mason, a daughter of Luther and Martha Mason,
both natives of Kentucky, whence they came to .Jackson county. Missoiu'i.
at an early day. settling near Blue Sprinag upon a farm, which is still known
locally as the Luther Mason farm. Theiv the father engaged in general
agricultural pursuits tnitil 1882. when he moved with his family to Kansas
City, where he lived retiivd throughout his remaining days, pa-sing away
here in 1890. His wife died many yeai"s before when they were living on
the old homestead. Three children were born luuo Mr. and Mrs. McC\v:
John Calvin, who resides at home and is a civil engineer for the Missouri,
Kansas it Texas Railway Company: ^lary Agnes and Matt ^Lison. who are
also with their mother.

In his political views Mr. Mason was a democrat but without aspiration
for otfice. In early life he became identified with the Knights of Pythicts
and both he and his wife were members of the Central Presbyterian church.
His social associations were always those of culture and refinement and he
was actuated throughoiu his life by high and manly principles. Li business
circles he was known for his thorough reliability and connnercial integrity
as well as for the marked enterprise that enabled him to work his way -stead-
ily upward until he became one of the mi>?t prominent and successful live-
stock merchants of Kansas City. In July. 1890. he built the comfortable re.s-
idenc-e at No. 919 Park avenue where Mrs. McCoy and her children reside,
enjo>-ing the comforts of life provided by the husband and father.



320 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

Perhaps no better testimonial of the life and eharacter of Mr. McCoy
can be given than the resolutions which were passed by the directors of the
Kansas City Live Stock Exchange December 12, 1905, and which reads as
follows: ''The familiar form and presence of our friend Jilin C. LleCoy
is henceforth withdrawn from the accustomed walk and our daily companion-
ship. The announcement of the fact brings innnediately to the appre-
hension a deeper sense of our loss than we took time to realize amidst the
hurry and distraction of these pursuits which we too often allow to usurp
the place of better things. John McCoy had a fuller knowledge of the his-
tory and legislation of the Exchange than any other member, and no one
gave so much of his time and energies to the promotion of those measures
which he considered would best insure progress, harmony and equality of
right and privileges to the individual members of the body. His executive
ability was exceedingly fine and he went carefully through the minutest detail
and form, sparing no labor to complete everything that passed through his
hands. Once convinced, he held steadfastly to conclusions Init always with
winning kindness. He possessed the rare faculty of keeping in subjection
personal feeling, and however arduous in. the advocacy of measures there
was no expression of temper or harshness of judgment. If he opposed your
views you always respected his sincerity and admired his ability. And if
in accord with him, you generally elected to leave the laljor with him.
Among other Exchanges and in the national body he held a de-ervedly high
place and was always heard with marked attention. John McCoy was a suc-
cess. Within his sphere he was faithful and constant to duty, and departing,
leaves to his family and friends tlie heritage of a good name — 'rather to be
chosen than great riches.' We ought to make more over the nuMiiory of .■<ncli
friends. It is not good to repress the natural tribute of our hearts and we
ought to be freer in yielding to the generous impulse to give honest expression
to honorable and honoring sentiments. Also let u< accciit the lesson it im-
presses, of courtesy and appreciation of each other, with a common purjiose
of extending to a higher standard of excellence in our every day life. We
bear ])rofound sympathy to the bereaved family of our friend and sincerely
share with them the sorrow of their ]iarting. invoking the highest ('ons!)latinn.
the healing that comes through Divine conii)assi()n.

"F. W. RoBixsox, President.
R. P. Wooniu'RY, Secretary.
The Kansas City Live Stock Kxchnnge.''



JAMES McCORD NAVE.

There liave been few residents who have exerted ns -trong and beneficial
an inlUience on tlie jinblic life of Kansas City as did .bnnes McCord Nave,
now deceased. He wa-; a representative of a ])ioneei- family here, and
throngliout the greater ])arl of his life was engaged in llie wholesale grocery
business, being connected with one of the largest connnercial enterprises of



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 321

the Missouri valley. It was not alone the extent and importance of his
business interests, however, that gained him rank with the foremost citizens
here. He was a student of the questions affecting the public welfare in
many ways, and stood ever for progress, reform and improvement. His
labors, too, were of a most practical character, and while he worked ever
toward the ideal, he had the ability to utilize the means nt hand in his
progress toward better conditions.

Mr. Nave was born in Savannah, Missouri, November 22, 1844. His
paternal grandparents, Henry and Mary (Brooks) Nave, removed from
Tennessee to Missouri in 1815 and settled in Saline county. Henry Nave
had just previously served his country as a soldier of the war of 1812. He
lived to see the country engage in two other sanguinary conflicts, and died
in Missouri in 1883 at the very advanced age of ninety-six years.

The parents of James McCord Nave were Abram and Lucy (McCord)
Nave, natives of Cocke county, Tennessee, and of Virginia respectively.
Brought to Missouri at a very early age, Abram Nave acquired his education
in one of the old-time log schoolhouses of Saline county, this state. For
many years he figured prominently in business circles, engaging in general
merchandising in Savannah, Missouri, in 1841. The enterprise proved
profitable, and in 1846 he and his brother-inlaw, James McCord, opened an-
other store in Oregon, Holt county, Missouri. From 1850 until 1857 Mr.
Nave was engaged in buying and shipping cattle, mules and other live-
stock. Locating at St. Joseph, Missouri, the firm of Nave, McCord & Com-
pany began business and so continued under that firm style until 1880,
when the business was incorporated as the Nave & McCord Mercantile Com-
pany, then the largest of the kind on the jSIissouri river. A successful be-
ginning enabled them to extend the field of their operations, and in 1860
they opened branch houses at Kansas City, Missouri, and at Omaha, Ne-
braska. In 1872 Mr. Nave removed to St. Louis, where he established the
wholesale grocery house of Nave & Goddard, which he conducted with profit
for many years. He was also connected with other business enterprises,
becoming a member of the firm of McCord, Braydon & Company, at Pueblo,
Colorado, a stockholder in the Henry Krug Packing Company of St. Joseph,
Missouri, and a member of the Nave-McCord Cattle Company, which owned
vast herds and over one hundred and twenty-five thousand acres of ranch
land in Texas. In 1883 Abram Nave left St. Louis and returned to St
Joseph, Missouri, where his remaining days w^ere passed in honorable retire-
ment from labor, his death there occurring June 23, 1898. He had long
survived his wife, who died in Savannah, Missouri, November 9, 1853. Mr.
Nave was widely recognized as one of the leading business men of the state,
whose efforts were directed along well defined lines of labor, and were char-
acterized by recognition and utilization of opportunity. He did not fear
that laborious attention to business so essential to sucess, and, moreover, he
had the power of combining and coordinating forces so that large results
were achieved.

James McCord Nave, when a youth of twelve years, became- a student
in the Masonic College at Lexington, Missouri, but only attended there for



322 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

a year, being obliged to discontinue his studies on account of trouble with
his eyes. Upon recovery he became a student in the ^Missouri State Uni-
versity and afterward in Bethany College in West A'irginia, then under the
presidency of its founder, Rev. Alexander Campbell, the promoter of the
Christian church. Upon completing his education he entered the wholesale
grocery house of Nave, McCord & Company at St. Joseph, Missouri, the
active managers thereof being his father and uncle, from whonx he received
his first lessons in a calling in which he himself became distinguished, their
best traits being reflected in his own life and subsequent business career.
After a year in St. Joseph he was sent to Omaha to take charge of the whole-
sale house owmed by the firm in that city, where he continued until 1867,
when he was admitted to a partnership in the business. He then came to
Kansas City to take charge of the wholesale house at this place, the business
here being conducted under the name of McCord, Nave & Company. James
M. Nave was a partner in and manager of the business here until it was
closed out in 1895, after w^hich he lived a retired life. During this long
period the business, which was carried on by the same partners in St. Joseph,
St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City, was one of the most extensive transacted
by any mercantile firm in the country. In the control of the house here
James McCord Nave enjoyed the highest possible reputation for business
discernment, sagacious methods and spotless integrity. The growth of the
business at this place was commensurate with the growth of the city, and, in
fact, was established here at about the beginning of the development of
Kansas City. The growth and prosperity of every community depends upon
its commercial interests, and the wholesale grocery house of which he was the
head contributed in no small degree to the city's progress, drawing to it a large
trade. He was notably prompt, energetic and reliable and would tolerate the
employment of no business methods that could not bear close scrutiny.

Mr. Nave usually gave his political allegiance to the democracy, although
at local elections he sometimes cast an independent ballot. He believed in
placing the general good before partisanship and the public welfare before
personal aggrandizement, and his relation to Kansas City was at all times
that of a public-spirited man, deeply and sincerely interested in her welfare.
In 1874 he took an earnest stand in advocacy of a new city charter, and as
chairman of the committee of thirteen who reported that instrument, his
influence was potent in formulating measures which averted imminent numic-
ipal bankruptcy and preserved the city from lawlessness. While this subject
was under consideration he was often called upon to address public gatherings.
He frequently spoke to the Board of Trade, and his far-sighted, incisive
utterances ever commanded deep attention and awakened thoughtful consid-
eration. He was prominent in drafting a bill of ])ankru])tcy which became a
law. He figured prominently in those organizations formed to promote trade
interests. I^o was the first president of the Western Grocers' Association
and acted in that capacity for several years. He was also a member of the
Commercial Club, and several times was solicited to become its president,
but always refused to do so, although he took much interest in the club and



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 323

labored for the promotion of those measures for which it stood. He was also
a charter member of the Kansas City Club.

On the 7th of November, 1867, Mr. Nave was married, at Alton, Illinois,
to Miss Annie M. English. There were tAvo children by this marriage, James
Revel and Ada May, both still with their mother. The son was born in
Kansas City, December 24, 1873, and began his education in the public schools
here, after which he attended the military school at Peekskill-on-the-Hudson,
followed by study in the Andover (Mass.) Preparatory School and in the
Williams College at Williamstown, Massachusetts. When the plant of the
Eagle Manufacturing Company was removed from Davenport, Iowa, to Kan-
sas City and the company incorporated under the laws of Missouri in 1896,
he acquired an interest in the business and was made assistant secretary. The
following year he was advanced to the position of treasurer and continued as
the same for several years. Methodical in the conduct of business interests,
he is one of the most unassuming, yet one of the most capable and progressive
young business men of Kansas City, contributing much to its reputation for
enterprise and activity. He is connected with the University and Commer-
cial Clubs, and of both organizations he is a popular member.

During the last ten years of his life Mr. Nave lived retired save for the
supervision which he gave to his personal interests, which included properties
derived from or connected with the large mercantile interests which com-
manded his attention during his more active life. In 1905 he became ill and
went to Philadelphia for treatment, accompanied by his son, but he became
worse there and died in that city June 21, 1905. The death of such a man
is a distinct loss to any community. While his business interests were large,
gaining him success, they were also of a character that contributed to general
prosperity. He found time, too, to cooperate in measures for the public good,
and he exerted a widely felt influence in behalf of improvement, holding to
high ideals of citizenship as well as of commercial honor and individual in-
tegrity. The old Nave homestead on West Tenth street is known by every
pioneer of Kansas City, it being the family residence for a long period, or
until a few years ago, when an elegant new home was erected at 4300 McGee
street. There Mrs. Nave and her children now reside, and the family are not
only wealthy, but are numbered among the most prominent in social circles.



SAMUEL F. SCOTT, JR.

Samuel F. Scott, filling the position of city gas inspector in Kansas
City, is a veteran of the Spanish- American war and is now serving as com-
mander of the organization of United Spanish War Veterans of the Depart-
ment of Missouri. He is a son of the late Colonel Samuel F. Scott, former
postmaster of Kansas City and one of the soldiers of the Civil war, whose
sketch appears elsewhere in this volume.

Samuel F. Scott, Jr., was the eldest child and only son of the family.
His birth occurred in Kansas City, August 6, 1877, and he was educated



324 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

in the public schools and also in military schools of Missouri and New York.
He likewise pursued a course in bookkeeping at the Spalding Business Col-
lege in Kansas City and subsequently filled the position of clerk in the post-
office. Later he was secretary of the board of health and in April, 190G,
was appointed to his present position of city gas inspector. It will thus be
seen that throughout the entire period of his business career he has been
connected with the public service and that he is capable, efficient and loyal
is never a matter of question. In the discharge of his duties he systematizes
his work and is prompt and accurate, thas winning high encomiums from
those to whom he is responsible in the discharge of his duties.

At the time of the Spanish-American war Mr. Scott offered his services
to the government, enlisting on the 14th of May, 1898, as a quartermaster
sergeant of the Third Missouri Volunteers. He served through the war and
is popular among those who also defended American interests in that con-
flict, being honored by his comrades in Missonri by election as department
commander of the United Sj^anish War Veterans. He possesses a social
genial nature and has an extensive circle of warm friends, numbering many
who have known him from his boyhood to the present time.



CHURCHILL J. WHITE.

In a history of Kansas City's banking interests it is not only compat-
ible but imperative that mention should be made of Churchill J. White, for
he was one of the pioneer business men of this character here, arriving in
April, 1865, from which time he was continuously associated with banking
interests luitil his retirement as a wealthy man many years later. Many
who were associated with him in his life's activities speak of him in terms of
praise because of his unfaltering fidelity to high busines> principles and
commercial ethics. He was a native of Woodford county, Kentucky, born
June 7, 1825. His father, William White, always resided in Woodford
county, spending his last days there, his death, however, occurring Avhen
his son Churchill was quite young. The mother with her children subse-
quently removed to Clay county, Missouri, and, purchasing a farm near the
town of Tviberty, the county seat, she there reared her family and made her
home until she was called to her final rest.

Churchill J. White acquired his education in the public schools of Ken-
tucky and Missouri. He continued his residence at Liberty until 1865, wlien
he arrived in Kansas City and became cashier of the Kansas City Savings
Association, at which time there were but four stockholders in the institu-
tion. He continued as casliier there for several years and his enterprise
contributed in suhstantial measure to the growth of the husiness. He next
became connected with the Bank of Commerce and remained one of its stock-
holders and as cashier until 1805. when he was chosen to the presidencv of
the Citizens National Bank, remaining at the head of that institution for
two years. He next became interested in the Metropolitan National Bank





^^^»^lgll- n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^l




^^^^^^n






^^^B)




^^^^B^^^^^^^^^H




K jm


^^^^^^H


^^^^p


^l^^l


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


^^^U



CHURCHILL J. WHITE.



j " . ' "uRK

rUii.L^ UBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX
TILDCN FO'JNgATIONSi



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 327

and was a stockholder therein until because of ill health he gave up all bus-
iness cares and retired. He was thoroughly conversant with the banking
business in principle and detail and in business circles bore an unsullied repu-
tation.

Mr. White was married in Liberty, Missouri, in 1847, to Miss America
Adkins, a daughter of Robert Adkins, who was a farmer by occupation, and
to them were born three children. Of the two who reached years of matur-
ity, Sallie B. married John Sydner and died in 1894. She had three chil-
dren, only one of whom i-i now" living, namely: Churchill. Churchill A.
White, son of our subject, married Miss Elizabeth Gentry, of Independence,
Missouri, a daughter of Overton H. and Elizabeth (Henley) Gentry. They
were both natives of Kentucky and came to Jackson county at an early day,
purchasing a farm near Independence, where Mr. Gentry carried on general
agricultural pursuits for about twenty years. He was also prominent in
political circles, exercising much influence in that direction. He died in
December, 1907, and is still survived by his widow, who yet resides in Inde-
pendence. Unto Churchill A. White and wife has been born one child,
Beryl, now seven years of age. He is engaged in the lumber business in
Liberty, Missouri, and also has business interests in Kansas City. He re-
sides a part of the time in the latter place, living at his grandfather's old
home on Independence avenue.

During the Civil war, Churchill J. White sensed for a time as a lieu-:
tenant in the Eighty-second Regiment Missouri Volunteers, and was after-
ward transferred to the Fourth Regiment as adjutant and captain, serving
with that rank at Chillicothe and Liberty. On the 4th of August, 1864, he
resigned his commission and returned home. Following his retirement from
business he traveled extensively for the benefit of his health but died on the
19th of July, 1907. During the early period of his residence in Kansas
City he was elected to represent his ward in the city council and ser\'ed in
the municipal legislative body for many years, exercising his official prerog-
atives in support of much that w^as beneficial and progres.'^ive in the com-
munity. His political views were in harmony with the principles of the
democracy and he gave to the party stanch support at the polls. Fraternally
he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.