Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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that usually occupied by the profession concerning the treatment of the
insane. He instituted new methods, the value of which were proven in his
active work, and became widely recognized by the medical fraternity as one
of its most eminent and honored representatives. The ancestral history of
the family records that several brothers of the name were residents of Eng-
land. One went to Germany and erected a home on a hill, or knob, and he
became known as Knapp, for knob, on account of the place of hi^ residence.
He was the founder of the branch of the family from which Dr. Knapp is
descended. The first representative of this branch to locate in America
established a home in New England at a verv^ early day. Dr. Nathan Knapp,
father of Abraham H. Knapp, and a native of Massachusetts, was a graduate
of a medical college and settled at Saugerties, New York, where he practiced
for several years and there spent his last days. Both he and his wife were
earnest Christian people, holding membership in the Presbyterian church.

Dr. Abraham H. Knapp, the only son in a family of ten children, was
born in the state of New York in August, 1829, and began his education there
in the local schools. Determining to become a member of the medical frater-
nity, he began preparation for the profession as a student in a medical college
of New York city and entered upon active practice at Gilboa, New York, in
connection w^th Dr. Fanning. Subsequently, he pursued post-graduate work in
Chicago, and at all times was an earnest and discriminating student of his
profession, who did all in his power to further its interests and promote his
own efficiency. He was married in Gilboa, New York, in 1851, to Miss Clara
L. Jackson, of that place, and took his bride to Coxsackie, New York, a town


on the Hudson, where he had located nearly a year prior to his marriage-
Six children of the family were born during their residence there, and when
they had attained age sufHcient to enable them to become students Dr. Knapp
removed to Poughkeepsie in order to educate his children, continuing a resi-
dent of that center of learning for five years.

His next removal took him to Ottawa, Kansas, where he continued in
active practice for three years, when his professional ability won recognition
in an appointment to the superintendency of the Osawatomie Asylum, a state
institution. The following years marked the greatest epoch in his life work.
His system of management of the insane attracted wide attention. He brought
to bear the most humane principles and practices in the control of the insti-
tution and accomplished wonderful results through kindness. He stood for
progress in everything bearing upon his work and was instrumental in secur-
ing the erection of new, planned with a view to convenience, light-
ins; and sanitation. The grounds were attractivelv laid out until the asvlum
became a most beautiful place, designed in its beauty and harmonious color-
ing to bring that quality of rest and mental ease so necessary to those suffering
from nervous and mental disorders. For nearly twenty years Dr. Knapp
filled the position of superintendent, and his labors were most successful,
viewed from either a humanitarian or a professional standpoint. He studied
closely everything bearing upon the subject of the treatment of mental dis-
eases, and his own broad experience brought him much valuable knowledge,
while his efforts in behalf of the unfortunate under his care were attended with
notable results in cures effected.

Of a most benevolent and kindly spirit, Dr. Knapp was always en-
couraged in his work by his wife, whose kindly and charitable disposition
are attested by all who know her. Mrs. Knapp was born in Gilboa, New York,
October 8, 1829. Her father, Allen H. Jackson, was a graduate of West
Point, but did not enter the regular army on account of ill health. Locating
in Gilboa, he there turned his attention to merchandising and was married
there to Miss Diana Paige, of New York, a daughter of the Rev. Winslow
Paige, a Presbyterian minister, who married Clara Keys, a niece of General
Keys, who won fame in the war of 1776. The Rev. Paige was a descendant
of Governor Winslow, of Massachusetts. Mr. Jackson, never a vigorous man,
died in Gilboa in 1836 when about forty years of age, his wife surviving him
for many years. Their daughter, Mrs. Knapp, was educated in Mrs. Emma
Willard's Seminary at Troy, New York, a noted young ladies' school of that
day and still one of the excellent educational institutions of the cast.

Unto Dr. and Mrs. Knapp were born two sons and three daughters. Dr.
Louis Knapj), a graduate of I he Louisville (Ky.) Medical College, was
assistant surgeon in the United States army and died at Ost, Kansas. He
was married three times, and by his last marriage had a daughter, Clara, who
is now the wife of V. Tnicman, of Springfield, Missouri, and has one child,
Jackson. Dora Mumford is living with her mother in Kansas City. An-
toinette, usually known as Nettie, is the wife of P. H. Gehr, and resides at
Mountain Home, Arkansas. She has three children by a former marriage,
Thomas. Enniss and TIallie. Frank, an electrician of Citv. married


Ida Beeler and has two sons, George and Frank. Clara is the wife of Dr. Cx.
P. True, of Aurora, Missouri, and they have two sons, Frank and Harry.

Dr. Knapp was devoted to the welfare and happiness of his wife and
children and was altogether a most kind lovable man, whose many good
qualities won him the esteem of all who knew him. He stood very high in the
different communities in which he resided and was known and honored
throughout this state. He lived a Christian life and possessed a nature that
recognized the divine power, yet did not affiliate with any church. In politics
he was a lifelong republican and during the war served as an examining
surgeon in the state of New York. When death claimed him the profession
lost a valued and prominent member his friends one who was ever faithful
and loyal to their interests and his family a most devoted husband and

Mrs. Knapp still survives her husband, and following his demise removed
to Kansas City in 1893. Although now nearly seventy-nine years of age she
possesses w^onderful sight and marked artistic talent, doing excellent work in
oil, portraiture and scenes; also illustrations for periodicals. The years rest
very lightly upon her, her appearance and activity indicating that she is a
lady of much younger age. She keeps in close touch with the interests of the
day and association with her means expansion and elevation.


Richard Saunders, who departed this life on the 17h of July, 1904, was
for many years prominently connected with the banking business of Missouri,
but after coming to Kansas City he practically lived retired. Such was his
approachableness and his popularity that he was widely known to his exten-
sive circle of friends as Dick Saunders. He was born in Madison county, Ken-
tucky, March 21, 1835, a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Saunders, who were like-
wise natives of that county, where they resided until the 24th of July, 1843,
when they removed to Buchanan county, Missouri. The father purchased a
farm at Big Spring, near the city of St. Joseph, and was there engaged in
carrying on general agricultural pursuits throughout his remaining days.
His wife also died there.

Richard Saunders acquired his early education in the common schools
of Buchanan county and then went to Philndelphia, where he completed his
education by study in Duff's Commercial College. Following his return to
St. Joseph, Missouri, he became the landlord of the Saunders House and
engaged in the hotel business for sixteen years. He afterward went to Mary-
ville, Missouri, where he and his brother John and his cousin, George S.
Baker, formed a partnership and established a banking house under the firm
style of Baker, Saunders & Company, which is still in existence under the
name of the Maryville National Bank. For a number of years Richard
Saunders continued in the banking business at that place and met w^ith success
in his undertakings. He removed to Kansas City in 1881. Here he largely


lived retired, although he was engaged to some extent in real-estate operations
and in loaning money. Throughout his business career he manifested keen
discernment, strong purpose and unfaltering reliability, and his labors, care-
fully and intelligently directed, brought to him gratifying prosperity.

Mr. Saunders Avas married in Maryville, Missouri, to Miss Lida C. West,
a daughter of John and Martha West. Her father was a farmer throughout
his entire life and died in Ohio, after which Mrs. West removed to Maryville.
Missouri, and made her home with Mr. and Mrs. Saunders until she passed
away there. Mr. and Mrs. Saunders became the parents of a son and daugh-
ter: Edward W., who died at the age of two years; and Helen.

In 1903 the health of Mr. Saunders became impaired and with the hope
that the change would prove beneficial he went to California, where he spent
one year with a professional nurse. He then returned to Kansas City but
almost immediately grew much worse and passed away at his home here
July 17, 1904. He was never an office seeker, although he kept well informed
on the political questions and issues of the day. In early life he was a demo-
crat but later voted the republican ticket. He assisted in organizing the
first Odd Fellows lodge in Maryville, of which he was a member but never
joined the lodge in Kansas City. Both he and his wife were members of
the Christian church here, interested in its work and generous in its support.
Mr. Saunders was a personal friend of many of the leading financiers of
Kansas City and also of the moneyed men of St. Joseph and Maryville. His
associates respected him and gave him warm personal friendship, while his
cordiality and geniality are evidenced in the fact that he was usually ad-
dressed by his first name or its shortened appellation of Dick. He was devoted
to his family and his friends and by all who knew him his death was deeply
mourned. Mrs. Saunders is prominent socially in the city. She owns a
large and beautiful residence at No. 3126 Troost avenue, where she and her
daughter now reside.


James Hurt, deceased, waiS a retired capitalist and one of the best known
residents of Kansas City, where he made liis home from 1870 until his death
in 1884. He was born in Ahnint Sterling, Kentucky, May 10, 1828, his
parents being Joshua and Elizal^eth Hurt. The father's birth occurred in
Tennessee, October 10, 1782, and the mother wa=; born December 20. 1802.
Losing his father when only four years of age, James Hurt was reared by
his mother in liis native town and acquired a good education in his youth.
In early manhood he engaged in teaching in Mount Sterling for a brief
period, after which he became a trader and thus laid the foundation for his
later success. While still residing in Kentucky he engaged extensively in
dealing in horses and mules and likewise was connected with the grain
trade, carrying on business with over increasing success for many years or
until his removal to the west. His brother. Willinn) P. Hurt, was then con-





nec'ted with the Columbia female college, knoAvn as Christian College, and
this fact influenced our subject to locate there.

From Columbia, Mr. Hurt removed to Kansas City, where he was mar-
ried to Miss Julia G. Howard, a native of Kentucky and a daughter of John
Leland and Cordelia (Lincoln) Howard, the latter being a distant relative
of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lloward was also born in Kentucky and in his
boyhood was a schoolmate of Tom E. Manshall and Colonel W. A. Doni-
phan and others who gained divStinction in later life. In his youth he was
provided wdth liberal educational advantages and became a well read man, al-
ways keeping abreast with the times. Studying law, he engaged in the practice
of that profession in Louisiana for twelve years after his graduation, and then
returned to Kentucky, where he became interested in farming and stock-
raising, making a specialty of fine blooded hoi-ses. He was the owner of
some of the finest stock of that period. At an early day he removed to Clay
county, Missouri, taking with him forty head of hoi-ses, which was the first
stable of fine stock established in this state. After the death of Mr. Hurt,
he came to Kansas City and spent his remaining years with his daughter,
dying here in 1893, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. He was a man
of fine personality and a general favorite with all who knew him, which
was evidenced by the fact of his being elected justice of the peace in Clay
county on the young men's ticket when seventy-five years of age. He was
the associate and personal friend of many of the prominent men of the

Three children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Hurt, two sons and a
daughter, but the daughter is the only one now living. The sons were both
professional men of Kansas City and their death was a distinct loss to west-
ern Missouri. They were provided with excellent educational advantages,
one being a graduate of Harvard. Holden H., who died recently, was an
attorney of Kansas City and resided wnth his mother until his demise. James
C, who passed aw^ay in 1906, was a graduate chemist and w-as living with
his mother at the time of his demise. Both w^ere Greek letter men, being
members of the Kappa Alpha fraternity. The daughter, Julia Fay, is the
wife of John Benoist Carton, a resident of St. Louis, and has one daughter,
Julia Fay.

The first year of his residence in Kansas City Mr. Hurt erected a large
wholesale house and a hotel, which materially promoted the upbuilding of
the town, then containing only thirty thousand inhabitants. Several years
later he embarked in the wholesale shoe business as a member of the firm of
Cooper, Hurt & Company, but after a brief period he disposed of his interest
in the store, becoming largely interested in cattle and real estate. Prosperity
attended his efforts and as an enterprising and progressive citizen he did
much toward the upbuilding of the city. He was a member of the Kansas
Citv Building & Loan Association and was evervwhere known as a man
of unwavering honesty and genuine worth. At the time of his death he
was a retired capitalist.

Mr. Hurt never held any public offices but preferred to concentrate his
energies upon' his private interests, although his friends several times urged


him to become a candidate for the state legislature. He was a devoted and
faithful member of the Christian church, to which Mrs. Hurt still belongs,
and he took an active and helpful interest in the various departments of
church work, serving as one of its deacons from the time of the building of
the church until his demise. Mrs. Hurt was appointed a member of the
State Board of Charities by Governor Dockery and faithfully served in that
position for three years, when she resigned. She is a member of the Im-
provement Club, the Young Women's Christian Association, the Woman's
Board of Foreign Missions and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals, and with willing hands she ministers to the wants of many.


Character and ability will come to the front anywhere. It is only the
real value of a life in its relations to others that causes the memory of an
individual to be perpetuated. It may be through the establishment of ex-
tensive business interests that the individual assists his fellowmen, or it may
be in less tangible ways of influence or in support of plans and measures for
the public good. He lives most who lives not for himself alone, a fact which
found verification in the life record of Stephen E. Rumble, one of Kansas
City's most respected and honored business men and residents from 1883 up
to the time of his death. His birth occurred in Ohio, August 18, 1860. His
father, David Rumble, was also a native of that state, where for many years
he resided on a farm, afterward removing to La Belle, Missouri, where he
earned on general agricultural pursuits throughout his remaining days, both
he and his wife passing away there.

Stephen E. Rumble obtained his education in the best public schools in
his native county in Ohio and when a young man went with an uncle to
Natchez, Mississippi, where they were engaged in business together for four
years. On the expiration of that period Mr. Rumble came to Kansas City in
1883 and for a few years devoted his time and energies to different lines of
business. He then abandoned all other interests to assist in the organization
and promotion of the Kansas City Life Insurance Company, of which he
became secretary and one of the leading stockholders. Throughout his re-
maining days he continued in active connection witli the company in that
ofTico and contributed in large measure to its success. Whatever he under-
took he carried fonvard to completion. He was a man of strong purpose and
resolute will, carefully shaping conditions to his own ends, yet never adopt-
ing a business principle or sanctioning a business action that was not strictly
fair and honorable.

Mr. Rumble was married twice. He first wedded Miss Tillie Zaumsil,
who died in Kansas City, after which he was married here to Miss Leila
Summers, a native of Clay county. Missouri, and a daughter of Sidney and
Elizabeth fRussell) Summers. Her father was a native of Kentucky and
when fifteen years of age became a resident of Clay county, Missouri. Fol-


lowing his marriage, which occurred there, he purchased a farm which was
a part of the old Russell homestead, the Russell family having been pioneers
of that county. Mr. Summers engaged in general farming in Clay county
for thirty-three years and there remained until his death in 1899. Since
then Mrs. Summers has made her home in Kansas City.

Mr. Rumble always took a very active interest in politics and was
a stanch republican. Socially he was a member of the Masonic fraternity
and he likewise held membership with the Commercial Club, of which he
was a prominent representative. He held membership in the Independence
Boulevard Christian church, of which his wife and Mrs. Summers are also
members. He joined this church on its organization and from the beginning
until his death held office therein, while in its work he took a very active and
helpful part, giving of his time, talent and means to further the cause of
the church in its various activities. Since his death the splendid new house
of worship has been erected and one of the windows was especially designed
as a memorial to Mr. Rumble.

He was accorded a position of prominence in business circles, in the
Commercial Club, and in his church. He exercised his talents for the
furtherance of all of these and in commercial and financial circles was re-
spected for the success he accomplished, while in municipal life he was hon-
ored for his loyalty to the city. To his friends he was ever faithful but his
best traits of character were reserved for his own fireside, the ties of home
being to him a sacred Mrs. Rumble and her mother own a beautiful
home which they erected at No. 2919 Campbell street, in addition to which
they have the Summers' farm and estate in Clay county, Missouri. Mrs.
Rumble also received a goodly inheritance from her husband, leaving her
in an independent financial position. She cherishes, however, much more
the untarnished name which he left behind him, showing that his life in
every relation was actuated by high and manly principles.


Charles T. Kornbrodt, of the Kornbrodt Kornice Kompany of Kansas
City, has here resided since 1885 and since 1898 has been engaged in business
on his own account. As the name indicates, he is a native of Germany,
his birth having occurred in the city of Schmalkalden, December 10, 1860.
His father, Casper Friedrich Kornbrodt, was also engaged in the cornice and
sheet-metal business in Germany and was there married to Miss Christine
Margaret Werner. Both parents died when their son Charles was but nine
years of age. An elder son of the family, then eighteen years of age, carried
on the business, while the two daughters of the household looked after the
home duties and in this way the family kept together.

At the time of his father's demise Charles T. Kornbrodt began working
in the shop with his brother and thus early acquainted himself with the
sheet-iron business. He was at work at the bench with tools when most boys


are at play or in school and he early learned the value of industry, economy
and careful management as factors in acquiring success in business life. He
became thoroughly acquainted with sheet-iron work in every particular and
was considered quite an expert in that line at the age of fourteen years — a
time when most boys are just entering upon an apprenticeship to acquaint
themselves with a business which they desire to make a life calling. He was
not wholly deprived of educational privileges, however, but had the opportunity
of attending school each day till his fourteenth year, working in the shop
in the early mornings and in the evenings. He came to the United States
at the age of nineteen, landing at Baltimore, whence he made his way to
Dexter, Michigan. His financial resources were extremely limited, he having
just enough money to take him through to Dexter, where lived a friend
whom he had known in Germany and who had located there about two months

Mr. Kornbrodt immediately secured work at his trade at a salary of a
dollar per day. In the fall he went upon a farm, where he worked through
the winter for his board because the shops were closed down. He afterward
hired to a farmer for w^ages but when he had remained in that service for a
few months he suffered a sunstroke while in the hayfield. Upon his recovery
he went to Detroit, Michigan, where he resumed work at his trade, continu-
ing in that line until 1885, his wages being from nine to twelve dollars per
week. When his employer wished to reduce his wages twenty-five per cent
he left Detroit and what seemed then an adversity proved a blessing in dis-
guise for, forced to strike out for himself, he made his way to Kansas City
and entered upon what has proven a prosperous business career here. He was
first employed as foreman by E. Stoeltzing, acting in that capacity in most
able and acceptable manner for thirteen years. During that time he carefully
saved his earnings until in 1898 he felt justified in engaging in business on
his own account on Grand avenue. There he remained for a few years, while
later he was located at Sixth and Broadway.

In 1907 he purchased the site that he now occupies and erected the
present building, twenty-eight by one hundred and fifty-seven and a half
feet. He has had many large contracts in the city, doing the sheet metal,
cornice and other work for the Jones Dry Goods Company, for the Montgom-
ery Ward building, for many of the large flat buildings, including the Wil-
liams flats at Twenty-ninth and Troost and Thirty-fifth and Troost, also at
Forty-third and Warwick. He also had the contract for work in his line on
the Moore school building, the Wellington Hotel at Wellington, Kansas, and
the Normal school at Warrensburg, Missouri, together with the pipe work
on the new car shops of the Kansas City Southern Railroad at Pittsburg,
Kansas. His business for 1907 amounted to thirty-five thousand dollars,
which wa.s ten thousand dollars in excess of that of 1906. Since starting
out on hii5 own account his patronage has steadily increased and he is now
at the head of a paying business concern. He began work in Kansas City
at a salary of thirteen dollars per week but was constantly advanced until he
was receiving twenty dollars, being recognized as an expert in sheet-metal
work. The Kornbrodt Kornice Kompany does work in metal cornice, sky-


lights, metal ceilings, tin roofing, slate roofing, furnaces and everything in
the line of sheet-metal work, and the business has now reached a profitable

On the 6th of January, 1887, Mr. Kornbrodt was married to Miss Mary
C. Stansch, of Kansas City, a daughter of the late AugTist Stansch. They
have two children, Frieda, aged thirteen years; and Rosa, aged eleven. The

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 33 of 65)