Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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also captain of the B. T. Babbitt steamboat in the harbor of New York. At
the age of twenty-two years he gave up boating and w^ent on the road as a
commercial traveler, and in 1885 he came to Kansas City and accepted a
position as traveling salesman. For a number of years he was engaged in
the notion and wholesale dry-goods business in the capacity of traveling
salesman in Kansas, his headquarters being Kansas City.

In 1001 he organized the E. P. Dresser Soap Company and afterward
pstablished the Purity Manufacturing Company, which business he sold out
in orrlor to enter the business in which he is now engaged. He is the founder
of this l)usinpss. organotherapy, of which he has every reason to be proud
since it has proved a boon to sufTerin"; humanity. He has instituted a
method of treatment whereby relief has been secured to hundreds of those
seeminfrly mentally deficient, through the use of animal gland extracts, de-
rived from the glands of youno;. healthy sheep. Hi.s has been a wonderful
discovery, scarcely paralleled in fifty years of medical practice, and today


Mr. Van Vleck is considered the largest extensive manufacturer in his spe-
cial line in the world. Others who have followed his example are now his

Mr. Van Vleck was married in New^ York city to IVIiss Mary Rourke, a
daughter of John and Mary Rourke, of the eastern metropolis. They have
five living children, three sons and two daughters, Jessie, Charley, Lee, Mary
and Gertrude. Charley married Reba Saylors, of Excelsior Springs, Mis-
souri, on the 1st of January, 1907. Lee and Mary are now being educated
in Oberlin, Ohio.

In his political views Mr. Van Meek is a democrat and supports the
party at the polls, but has never sought nor desired office. Socially he is a
Master ^Nlason, and has taken all of the degrees in Palestine Commandery,
K. T. He likewise belongs to Humboldt Lodge, K. P., of Kansas City.


Isaac W. Dumm, president of the Reliance Investment Company, con-
ducting a general investment business in stocks, bonds, etc., was born at
Fairfield, Iowa, January 9, 1876. His father, John W. Dumm, a merchant
and furniture manufacturer, is now deceased. His grandfather, John Dumm,
was an old Virginia planter, while the great-grandfather came to America
from Scotland prior to the Revolutionary war and settled in the Old Do-
minion. The mother of Isaac W. Dumm was, prior to her marriage, Martha
Clarke, a daughter of Robert Clarke, a refugee from Ireland, who settled at
Philadelphia and afterward removed to Delaware county, Ohio, as one of
the early pioneers of that district. Mrs. Dumm is still living.

In the public schools of Iowa and Kansas Isaac W. Dumm ma.stered the
elementary and more advanced branches that usually constitute the curricu-
lum of the public school. He also spent two years in Drake University at
Baker, Kansas, and completed his education in the Wesleyan University at
Delaware, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1896 with the degree of
Bachelor of Arts. The following year he took post-graduate work and the
Master of Arts degree Avas conferred upon him.

For a long period Mr. Dumm was connected with journalism. While
in college he was editor of two college papers and this awakened his interest
in a journalistic career. Following his graduation he went to Coffeyville,
Kansas, where he was married on the 1st of June, 1898, and then removed
to Boston, Massachusetts, where he served in various positions on a news-
paper of that city for more than a year. In 1899 he arrived in Kansas City
and became identified with newspaper work on the local staff of the Kansas
City Times. Later he was transferred to the business office of that paper
and soon became advertising manager, occupying that position until 1902.
He then resigned and became connected with the Kansas City AVorld, first
as advertising manager and subsequently as business manager. He was
holding the position of assistant general manager when he resigned in 1904,


preparatory to establi:^hiiig tlu' I. W. Duiinii Publishing Company. He
conducted the business until it was merged into the Kansas City Post News-
paper Comj^any on the 1st of January, 190(5, when he severed his connection

Opportunities are always open to the ambitious, energetic man and Mr.
Dumm organized the Reliance Investment Company, of which he is presi-
dent and in which connection he is conducting a general investment business,
handling stocks, bonds and other debentures. At the present time he is
closely connected with an international concession given by the Nicaraguan
government to a company composed of wealthy and influential New York
men, this company having been conceded complete control of all privileges
in the United States.

On the 1st of June, 1898, Mr. Dumm was married to ^liss Zulu Zaun
Caudry, of Coft'eyville, Kansas, and they have two children : Mrginia, nine
years of age; and Dorothy, seven years old. The parents are members of
the Methodist church and Mr. Dumm is connected with the Phi Kappa Psi
and Theta Nu Epsilon, two college fraternities. He has taken the degrees
of York and Scottish Rite Masonry, being a member of the commandery,
the consistory and the shrine. He also belongs to the Kansas City Athletic
Club and the Commercial Club. A young man not yet in his prime, he has
attained an enviable position in the business w^orld, where his opinions are
reckoned with as a strong force and where his activity is recognized as a
power tow^ard the acquirement of success.


Throughout his entire life John Halcro has worked upon the principle
that whatever i< worth doing at all is worth doing well, and upon this he
has built up the splendid reputation which he bears as a representative of
the industrial interests of Kansas City. Here as a stone contractor and builder
he has erected many fiiu' structures which are always substantial in charac-
ter. Time and iiialcrial arc never sacrificed to results, and he has constantly
worked toward an ideal business standard in the personnel of his workmen,
ill llie iiiatei'ial used, and in tbe character of his service to the publie. He
therefore bears an unlanii-hed reputation a< one who in his labor is trust-
wort])y, while the integrity of his woi'd is never (piestioned.

Mr. Halcro is a native of the ()rkney Island- of Scotland, born ^hiy
31, 1859. Ilis parents were .J()sej)h and .les-ie (.hihn>ton) Halcro. both of
whom wei'c natives of the land of hill- and heather. 'I'hc father, now de-
ceased, was a .-tonema.-on by trade, and in his early manhood went to Can-
ada with the Hudson Bay Company, in th(> em])loy of which he remained
for five years. He then returned to Scotland, where he lived uj* to the time
of his death. His mother afterward removed to Sussex, England, where she
now resides with a daughter.


John Halcro was reared on the Orkney Islands, where the opportuni-
ties of acquiring a common-school education were afforded him. As he ap-
proached manhood and considered the different avenues of business life
open to him, he apprenticed himself to the stonemason's trade, entering upon
the work at the age of fourteen years. He completed his term of indenture
and then continued at his trade in the employe of others. In 1880 he came
to the United States, settling in Chicago, where, however, he remained for
only a few months. In the fall of the same year he arrived in Kansas
City, where he was employed for a short time as a journeyman, and then
engaged in contracting and building on his own account. He is regarded
as one of the most skillful stonemasons of Kansas City, and many of the
building contractors here toda}^ served their apprenticeship under him, and
if any technical part of the work comes up for discussion he is called upon
to settle the matter, his opinion being recognized as an authority on the dis-
puted point. During the twenty-six years in which he has been connected
with contracting and building here, he has erected many of the finest stone
residences of the city, including his own home at No. 4601 Summitt street,
which was built in unique style of architecture after the plan of an old
Scotch castle, and is one of the attractive features of the architectural adorn-
k- ment of Kansas City. Mr. Halcro superintended the construction of the
stone work at Swope Park for the city park board, and this is a monument
to his skill.

Mr. Halcro was married in 1885 to Miss Ann Donaldson, of the Ork-
ney Islands, returning to his native country for his bride, who had been a
schoolmate of his in their childhood days. They have become the parents
of five children: Thomas D., who is a brickmason of Kansas City; Joseph,
now deceased; Charles A. and Arthur R., who are stonemasons of Kansas
City ; and Harry.

Mr. Halcro is a republican in politics and keeps well informed on the
questions and issues of the day, but the honors and emoluments of public
office have no attraction for him. He is a member of the Scottish Clans of
Kansas City and also a member of the Tigers. His interests, however, have
largely concentrated upon his business affairs, and those who know him rec-
ognize the fact that nothing can make him swerve from the course of busi-
ness honor and reliability which he has marked out for himself.


Colonel Scott was born September 3, 1849, in Port Hope, Canada, his
parents being James M. and Rebecca (McComb) Scott. His early boyhood
was spent in McHenry county, Illinois, and his education was secured in
the district schools there. In February, 1865, although but fifteen years
of age, he enlisted as a private in Company B, One Hundred and Fifty-third
Illinois Volunteers, his father being a member of the same company. He
was one of the youngest soldiers who carried a gun in the Civil war.


In 1868 Colonel Scott came west, and one year later settled in Kansas
City and engaged in the real-estate business, and probably handled more
properties during the boom of 1884-1886 than any other dealer. In his
career in the realty market he laid out and platted twenty-three additions to
the city. He was very successful as a promoter, and financed many large
enterprises, and at one time had offices in London, England; New York city,
St. LouLS and Kansas City, with branches in Denison, Texas; Leavenworth
and Fort Scott, Kansas. The city of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, is largely
indebted to him for it< present thriving condition.

His military title of colonel was derived from his connection with the
state militia He recruited and helped organize the organization known as
the "Scott Rifles," Avhich was named in his honor and was composed of vet-
erans of the Union army of the Civil war. He was captain of this com-
pany, and was afterward made lieutenant colonel of the Third Regiment of
the Missouri National Guard. He was a member of the Elks and Knights
of Pythias. In 1898 he was appointed postmaster of Kansas City by Presi-
dent McKinley, and served as such for a period of four years. He was one
of the public-spirited men in Kansas City, and always was connected
with any movement for the betterment of the city. An optimist by nature,
he always saw the cheerful side of any proposition, and his advice was sought
by many persons before investing in properties.

Tn 1874 Colonel Scott was married to Mary J. Lombard, of Cook county,
Illinois, and four children were born of the marriage, all of whom are novr
living, namely: S. F. Scott, Jr., Myrtle, Pearl and Florence. His wife is also
still living, but Colonel Scott died at his home, 2315 Wal)ash avenue. No-
vember 10, 1905.


A proiiiinciit New York fiuaiicicr has said. "If you do not win success,
do not attrilmte it to enviromnent or the condition- with which you are
surrounded but lay the blame where it lies — in yourself. If you would win
success you must pay the price." Edwin Ruthven Crutcher now a leading
real-estate ojjcrator of Kansas City has paid the price of succe.«s in inde-
fatigal)le energy close apjdication and .stalwart ])urpos(\

He was l)orn August 29, 185o, near Na-hville, TL-nnes-ru. a son of
William Henry and Mary Trevelyan Crutcher. His father was a whole-
sale merchant of Louisville, Kentucky, and died in 1S64. The ancestral
hi.story (tf the family is traced back (bi-ougli many generations, the progen-
itor of the family in America coming from Wales in l')75 and settling
in Virginia, whence representatives of the name removed to Kentucky in
1708. Members of the family were conspicuous in affairs of the times,
the name figuring ])rominently in connection with the military and official
records of the South. In tlie maternal line Mr. rrutclu^r is connected with
the Mayo, Tabb. Trevelyan and Raber families, all ])rotninenl in the social



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life and political history of Mrginia. One of his ancestors, Colonel Wil-
liam Mayo, laid out the city of Richmond, Virginia, and in connection
with Colonel William Byrd located the boundary line between that colony
and North Carolina. Edward Baber, also a maternal ancestor, was sent by
the English king in 1654 to take entire charge of affairs in Jamaica after
the surrender of that island to England by Spain. His father was among
the charter members of the Virginia Company, under whose auspices all
dealings with the American colonies were managed.

Edwin R. Crutcher wa.- but eleven year<^ of age at the time of his
father's death. He remained in Louisville until he was graduated from
the high school at the age of sixteen, when he entered upon his business
career as a civil engineer. He was assistant sewer engineer at Louisville
at the age of seventeen and from that time forward his life has been one of
intense and well chrected activity. At twenty-two years of age he engaged
in corn milling and in the grain business and within five years became the
largest corn goods manufacturer in the country, largely supplying the
ern and foreign trade. His business developed along suljstantial lines mitil
it had assumed extensive proportions. In the year 1887 he came to the
west and for a few days remained in Kan.><as City, after which he accepted
the cashiership of the Bank of Columbus, Kansas. Later he wa.s cashier
of the Chattanooga Savings Bank for a year and in October, 1891, returned
to Kansas City. During the two succeeding years he was secretarv and
vice president for the Lombard Investment Company and in September of
the latter year he organized the real-estate, insurance and loan firm now
known as Crutcher & Sons, and is now at the head of this important
concern. The firm is prominently known as repCvSentatives of real-estate
interests in the city, Mr. Crutcher having long operated in this field of activ-
ity. He has thoroughly informed himself concerning property values, both
improved and unimproved, and has negotiated many important realty
transfers — in fact is regarded as authority upon the subject of real-estate
value and irivestment and has a large clientage.

In 1875 Edwin R. Crutcher married Miss Laura Loving, a daughter
of Judge William A^. Loving, a prominent jurist and legislator of Kentucky.
The Loving family is of English lineage and ancestors of the name crossed
the Atlantic in 1636, settling in Virginia. Thomas Loving, one of the direct
ancestors, was a member of the house of burgesses from 1644 until l')59
and was surveyor general of the colony of ^"irg•inia. ]\Irs. Crutcher is also
a descendant of Sir Thomas Lunsford. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Crutcher have
been l)orn : Edwin Ruthven, Jr., Loving Trevelyan and Wallace Mayo.

Mr. Crutcher is prominent in various societies, clubs and fraternal rela-
tions. He belongs to Albert Pike Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and hiis taken the
degrees of the Scottish Rite up to and incluchng the fourteenth degree. He
is a member of the Sons of the Revolution and of the Society of Colonial
Wars, of the Kansas City Commercial Club, the Board of Fire Underwriters,
the Kansas City Real E.state Exchange, of w^hich he is now president. He is
also a member of the Kansas City Club, Mid-Day Club, and the Benevolent &
Protective Order of Elks. His political allegiance is unswen'ingly given the


democracy and he hold:? nieiiiber.<hip in the Presbyterian church. He is
widely recognized as one of the influential and representative men of this
part of the state, of progressive spirit, enjoying the esteem and confidence
of business and social associates.


Henry J. Brunner, the president of the H. J. Brunner Hardware Com-
pany, was born October 4, 184(3, at Landau-on-the-Rhine in southern Bavaria.
His parents, George J. and Katherine (Clemence) Brunner, were both na-
tives of that place. They came to America when their son Henry was six
years of age and located at New Orleans. The father afterward engaged
in shoemaking at Cincinnati, Ohio, to which city he removed soon after com-
ing to America, while later he lived in Hamilton county, Ohio, where for many
years he engaged in farming. He afterward conducted a shoe store and thus
in a life of activity and enterprise provided for his family. In 1860, at the
death of the mother, however, the family was broken up and Henry J.
Brunner entered the employ of his brother, who was engaged in the shoe
business in Georgetown, Ohio. He was the youngest of the following family:
Eva. the wife of Matt Gopfert, of White Oak, Ohio ; Henrj^, living in George-
town, Ohio ; Michael, who is in the shoe business at Georgetown ; Christina,
the wife of Andrew Dresch, of Schurtown, Ohio; and Henry J., of this re-
view. Of the family only four are now living.

As stated, Henry J. Brunner started in business life at Georgetown,
Ohio, in the employ of his brother, and during the early part of the Civil
w'ar went to Cincinnati by ship to enlist. He had a sister living in the city
at that time. Being too small he was rejected and while there was persuaded
to learn the brass foundry and finishing trade. He began at a salary of two
dollars per week and paid a dollar and seventy-five cents of that for board.
After six months he was given two dollars and a half per week, while his board
was two dollars. He received a raise of fifty cents every six months and after
two and a half years was getting five dollars per week in the line of his trade.
In the meantime he had also found employment for the evenings in a beer
garden where he received from fifty cents to one dollar per night. When
he a.sked for a raise he was discharged and having overdrawn his account
two dollars ho returned and paid the amount. It was a little thing but it
indicates w^hat has always been one of the characteristics of Mr. Bnmner —
the ]irr)iiip1iicss witli which he has met every obligation and discharged every
duty ill life. That those things which sometimes seem unfortunate prove
blessings in disguise was indicated in the case of Mr. Bmnnor at that time,
for the loss of one position prompted him to start out in pursuit of other
employment and he .secured a situation with William Kirkup at two dollars
per day. When he had worked in that way for seven months he was given
a better job on the Fox lathe and afterward entered the brass foundry of


Miles Greenwood, where he was paid sixteen dollars and a half per week,
remaining there for four months.

Mr. Brunner then decided to move in order to learn more of his trade
and at nineteen years of age went to Pittsburg. This was in 1864. In that
city he at once secured a situation in a brass foundry, where during his
fourth months' service he was paid sixteen dollars and a half per week.
He next went to Philadelphia, where he spent two weeks in the employ of
Cornelius & Baker, chandelier manufacturers, and was afterward with Bel-
field & Son in the brass foundry for nine months. With a friend, Joseph
Dewis, he went to New York city and secured employment with Nelson &
Jewett, proprietors of a new brass foundry, at a salary of three dollars per
day. He continued there for nine months, at the end of which time his
friend, being out of work, Mr. Brunner, through sympathy for him, returned
with him to Cincinnati, by way of Philadelphia. In the meantime he had
improved his opportunities for educational progress in New York city, spend-
ing his evenings at Cooper Institute in the study of mechanical drawing.
Following his return to Cincinnati he again secured employment with Wil-
liam Kirkup & Sons, with whom he continued for four months. In the
meantime he had saved four hundred and fifty dollars and feeling the need
of further education as an essential in a successful business career, he went
to Georgetown, Ohio, where he attended school for nine months. On his
return to Cincinnati, he engaged with William Powell & Company, brass
founders, and remained with that house for eight years.

While in Cincinnati, on the 4th of May, 1869, at the age of twenty-two
and a half years, Mr. Brunner was married to Miss Mary Elizabeth Dickman,
whose parents had died of cholera in Petersburg, Indiana, in the epidemic
of 1849, after which she was reared and educated at Vincennes Orphan
Asylum. Seven children, four sons and three daughters, have been born
unto Mr. and Mrs. Brunner; Catherine, who died in infancy; Loretta, the
wife of Edward Hohenchild, who is engaged in the grocery and meat busi-
ness in Kansas City; Arthur, who is vice president of the H. J. Brunner
Hardware Company of Kansas City; Francis H., who is with the National
Perforating Company as a traveling salesman; Clara, who died in infancy;
Ida May, the wife of William H. Phillips, who is secretary and treasurer of
the Artie Ice Company, of Wichita, Kansas;. and Francis X., who is secre-
tary of the H. J. Brunner Hardware Company and married a daughter of
Drury Underwood of Kansas City. There are also four grandsons and one

A thoughtful perusal of the foregoing business record of Mr. Brunner
indicates that he was making substantial advancement in his business career,
becoming an expert workman, so that he was enabled to command high
wages. During six years' work in Cincinnati he saved twenty-five hundred
dollars and at the same time had invested three thousand dollars in a home.
Concluding that he would like to engage in business on his own account he
borrowed sixteen hundred dollars and came to the west, going first to St.
Louis. He was not pleased with the location, however, and in June, 1876,
removed to Kansas City, where an old-time friend. August Witte, was then


proprietor of a brass foundry and machine shop. Seeing no opening here,
Mr. Brunner returned to St. Louis, where he met a friend who changed his
opinion about Kansas City and he again came. Here he established a re-
pair shop at No. 903 Main street, paying eighteen dollars per month rent,
while on McGee street he rented a house for seven dollars per month. Going
to Cincinnati he secured tools and also gathered considerable information
regarding the repair business and with an investment of one hundred and
seventeen dollars started out in business life in Kansas City. He also brought
his family and furniture to this place and for some time faced hardships
and almost insurmouutal)le trials in gaining a start here. His first job was
fitting a key, for which he received only ten cents.

He had given up a position which was paying him twenty-five dollars
per week in Cincinnati and his business in Kansas City brought in only
seven dollars and a half the first week. His wife, however, encouraged him
to persevere and after six months he was making twelve dollars per week.
In six months his bank account of eight hundred dollars was used u]) but
his business was established and he had built up a good trade in key fitting
and in installing electrical bells and buzzers. In this way he outfitted the
Union Depot, the Blossom House, the Metropolitan Hotel and the Lindel
Hotel with bells. In 1884 he had a stock of four thousand dollars and re-
moving to the Hall building at No. 820 Walnut street, he added builders'
hardware and hardware specialties. In 1890 the business was incorjjorated
for twenty-five thousand dollars and his stock of merchandise was valued to
that extent. His next removal was to 910-12 Walnut street, where he re-
mained until April 1, 1907, and in the meantime his business had grown

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 36 of 65)