Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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member of General Forrest's escort at the time of the surrender and was pa-
roled with that gallant southern leader at Gainesville, Alabama, Mav 10,

Mr. Pearson returned to Tennessee penniless and, as he expresses it, "held
the same financial position for several years afterward." He then went to
Indiana and for eight years engaged in clerking in a dry good; stove at
Mitchell. He afterward conducted a cloak and suit business on Sixth avenue
in New York for a year coming thence to Kansas City, where he opened his
millinery establishment in April, 1883. In the meantime he had improved
every opportunity for gaining a thorough knowledge of business methods
and came to the middle west well equipped for the work which he undertook.
For twenty-four years he Avas located on Main street between Tenth and
Eleventh streets. There are only three firms between Ninth and Twelfth
on Main street that were here twenty-four years ago, the Pearson millinery
house being one of these. His stock at the beginning was valued at fourteen
hundred and fifty dollars. It was purchased on a credit basis and he em-
ployed but one clerk. He possessed, however, what is even better than capi-
tal, — strong purpose, laudable ambition and unwearied industry, and that
these qualities have attained for him a prominent place in business circles
is shown in the development of his house which now occupies a four story
building, while employment is furnished to forty people in the winter sea-
son. The growth of the business is due to no esoteric phase in his history.
On the contrary he has followed methods which receive the sanction of the
business Avorld and the purchasing public, his prosperity being due to the
fact that he has studied the desires of the people, has ever carried a thoroughly
modern stock and has sought only a legitimate profit in sales. Moreover, one
of the important, interesting and also somewhat unique feature of his busi-
ness has been his advertisements, given to the public under the title, Pearson's
Pointers. To this end he has employed almost every subject of current inter-
est or of general knowledge in bringing his establishment to the attention
of the puljlic and the novel methods which he has followed have awakened
wide interest. There are indeed few readers of the Kansas City papers who
do not peruse Pearson's Pointers. As a type of his method of advertising we
quote the following, which appeared at the time Lew Dockstader was enter-
taining the theatre-going public at the Grand Opera House:

"The main feature of Lew^ Dockstader's aggregation
Is Lew himself in Avonderful Roosevelt impersonation.


He shows him up, from trivial things to highest aspiration,

Romping with Quinton, Archie, Theodore and Kermit as recreation;

Stopping the carnage of foreign war by friendly arbitration.

Cleaning up the packing-houses from jungle-book agitation,

Giving the country pure food to eat instead of adulteration ;

And pure liquors for 'snake bite' instead of blend abomination ;

Stopped the railroads rebating big shippers, and other discrimination ;

Showing the trusts they can't break the law in his administration ;

Letting the captains of high finance know square deal determination ;

No more watered stock unloading on the innocent by misrepresentation ;

Going to make the Missouri river a main thoroughfare for transpor-
tation ;

Commodore Logan Jones' fleet of boats a wonder to this generation.

Lew shows Mr. Roosevelt hunting big game clear off the reservation;

Making trusts, magnates and law-breakers anxious for reconciliation.

In fact, Lew shows a strenuous life for head of nation ;

But he don't show half his greatness or the people's appreciation;

The people of both parties believe in Roosevelt, honesty, application;

While the wrongdoers, displeased, hold him in execration.

A. A. Pearson believes ladies should have a fair deal in decoration;

Pearson's trimmed hats lead to happiness beyond expectation.

Try them at 1006 Main street, assembled in multitudinous congre-

There is no matter in the daily papers or any other medium in Avhich he
may advertise more eagerly read than his advertisements. If these appear
in an ordinary periodical they consist of a short, spicy talk or poem on some
local or national topic of general interest, treating it with a masterful logic
and a comprehensive grasp of the situation; if written for some special oc-
casion the ''pointer" is always extremely suitable to that occasion. His is the
leading retail millinery house in Kansas City and has the highest class pat-
ronage. He is a member of the Kansas City Ad Club and could not be other
than a popular member. No matter what methods Mr. Pearson has followed,
the results are evident and Kansas City has reason to be proud of the exten-
sive establishment which he has developed and which proves an important
factor in the trade interests of the city.

In May, 1869, Archibald A. Pearson was married to Miss Anna Stillson,
a daughte/ of Dr. Joseph Stillson, of Bedford, Indiana. They have three
children, a married daughter and two sons. The younger is attending the
Salina Military School and the elder is studying law in the University of
Kansas, at Lawrence. The daughter is the wife of L. H. Stark, connected
with the Natural Gas Company of Kansas City.

Mr. Pearson is an enthusiastic Mason. He served his lodge for three
years as master in Indiana, is a Royal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar, a
Shriner and has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He also
belongs to the Kansas City Commercial Club and other local organizations.
In politics he is independent, yet frequently supports the democratic party.


He is now a colonel as chief of the staff to •General Ford of the Third Bri-
gade, Third Division Forrest Cavalry, and as such has attended the National
Reunion of the United Confederates at Richmond, Virginia, in 1907. He
is an unusuall}^ entertaining speaker and at various meetings, social and bus-
iness organizations which he attends he seldom escapes being called upon to
address the audience. He is especially apt in short and after dinner speeches
and his talks are always governed by the four principles that have made
him famous as a writer of advertisements: wit, brevity, deep logic and appro-
priateness to the occasion. He is a generous, courteous, social and genial
man, never too busy to entertain a friend or caller and his salient characteris-
tics have made him very popular.


Jacob L. Walker, deceased, was a man of industry, whose business life
was characterized by perseverance, energy, determination and probity. From
1885 until his death he was proprietor of Walker's Laundry, which is still
carried on under the old name. His birth occurred in Indianapolis, In-
diana, June 17, 1849, his parents being Jacob S. and Mary A. Walker,
both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, whence they removed to
Indianapolis at an early day. There the father engaged in the lumber
business for many years, after which he retired from active life and enjoyed
a well earned rest up to the time that he was called to his final home, His
w-idow then left Indianapolis and w^nt to the w^est, residing with two of
her sons in Helena, Montana, until she was called to her final rest.

Jacob L. AValker in early boyhood became a pupil in the public schools
and afterward continued his education in the University of Indianapolis.
While living with his parents in that city toward the close of the war. when
he Avas only fifteen years of age, he enlisted for one year's service as a
drummer boy in Company B, Eleventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He
continued at the front until the expiration of his year's term and waa
honorably discharged at the close of the war. After putting aside his text-
books he .-tarted in business on his own account, opening a store in his
native city, where he dealt in stoves and mantels, carrying a large stock
r.nd conducting a very successful and prosperous business. He continued
in tbal line until his removal to Kansas City in 1885.

In i\\v meantime Mr. Walker was married in Harrisburg. Pennsyl-
vania, to Miss Keziah R. Rutherford, a native of Pennsylvania, whose par-
ents always resided near Harrisburg, where their la-t days were passed.
Three cliildrcn were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Walker, all yet residing with
tlicir motlior. Horace R., ]\Iary and Florence. The son is now secretary-
treasurer and manager of the Walker Laundry Company, with laundry
ard main oflice located at No. 1120 and 1122 Oak .street.

AVhen Mr. Walker came to Kansas City in 1885 he purclmsed a
launrlrv at the corner of Sixth strcY-t and Broadwav. known as the old Phil-


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udelpliia laundry and carried oji the business there for several years or until
he built the present Walker laundry on Oak street. At the new location he
soon built U13 a large business and this is now perhaps the most extensive
laundry in Kansas City. The ^ion Horace is secretary, treasurer and man-
ager and has still further developed the business, to which he gives his per-
sonal attention, employing now over one hundred hands in the laundry,
while he owns: fifteen wagons which are kept daily at work in collecting
and delivering. Four branch laundries have also been established, one at
No. 103 East Twelfth street, another at No. 10 East Eighth street, a third
at No. 506 Broadway and a fourth at 35 Central avenue in Kansas City,

In politics Mr. Walker took little active interest and never sought nop
desired office but always voted the republican ticket. He was a member
of George H. Thomas Post, No. 8, G. A. R., in which he held official posi-
tion, and in the Masonic fraternity he attained to the thirty-second degree
of the Scottish Rite. He also held member.ship in the Fifth Presbyterian
church at the corner of Twelfth street and Brooklyn avenue, of which his
widow is also a member, and his life w^as in consistent harmony with his pro-
fession. About 1901 his health began to fail and he then turned his business
over to his son, while he spent the succeeding five years in travel, hoping to
be benefited thereby. His health, however, gradually grew worse and he
passed away January 17, 1906. His friends, and they were many, mourned
his loss, while his family suffered an irreparable blow in the loss of a de-
voted husband and father, who did everything in his power to promote the
welfare and enhance the happiness of his wife and children.


John P. Tillhof, of the firm of Tillhof & Campbell, real estate, rentals
and insurance, is one to whom success in life has come as the result of dili-
gence, perseverance and the use to which he has put his native talents. He
was born in Austria, Hungary, September 12, 1860, and when nine years
of age was brought to this country by his parents, who settled in Kansas City,
Missouri, where he acquired his education in the public schools and in Spal-
ding's Business College. His initial step in the business life was taken as
a clerk in a grocery store, where he remained for several years. Later he
engaged in the real-estate business, and since 1889 the firm has been Tillhof
& Campbell. They conduct a general real-estate and insurance business and
have gained a large clientage, handi^ing considerable property and negotiating
many important realty transfers. They are members of the Real Estate Ex-
change and are regarded as prominent factors in the department of business
activity to which they are devoting their time and energies.

In 1884 Mr. Tillhof was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Wald, a native
of Canada. He has resided continuously in Kansas City since 1869 and has
witnessed, therefore, much of its growth and development. It was in the


year of his arrival that Hannibal bridge was opened and the people were
having a gala time — an event which formed an everlasting impression upon
his youthful mind, constituting an incident that he has never forgotten. He
has from early boyhood been interested in the welfare and development of
the city and has cooperated in many movements that have been of tangible
benefit. In April, 1906, he was elected to the upper house of the general
council for four years and has done effective service in behalf of public pro-
gress, acting now as chairman of the sidewalk committee and also of the gas


David S. Gordon, deceased, became a resident of Kansas City in 1874
and from that time until his death, more than three decades later, was en-
gaged in the merchandise brokerage business. * He was born in Todd county,
Kentucky, August 16, 1836, and was a son of George Washington and Mary
M. Gordon, the father a farmer of the Blue Grass state. David S. Gordon,
educated in the schools of the county seat of his native county, afterward at-
tended college. He came from Kentucky to Kansas City in 1874 and here
embarked in a merchandise brokerage business, handling tea, coffee, sugar
and later salt for the Louisiana mines. He sold goods in this and surrounding
territory, being first located at the corner of Missouri avenue and Fifth street
for some time. Subsequently he erected a building at No. 930 Mulberry
street, which he occupied until his death. The growth of his business justi-
fied the erection of the building and he continued as a successful broker in
merchandise until called to his final rest on the 18th of January, 1906. He
was, moreover, very active in helping to build up the business enterprises of
Kansas City and rejoiced in its growth as it developed from a city of compara-
tively small proportions to its present size, with all its ramifying interests
reaching out in various lines of trade to all parts of the world.

In 1859 Mr. Gordon was married to Miss Mary H. Hollingsworth. a
native of Kentucky and a daughter of Samuel Gordon and Susan Hollings-
worth. Both the Hollingsworth and the Gordon families came to Missouri
in 1853, settling in Clay county but at the time of the war being in favor of
the policy of the south they had to return to Kentucky. Unto Mr. and Mrs.
Gordon were born the following children, of whom four are living: Eva, the
wife of E. N. Legg; Mrs. Blanche Ramsey: Mr.-. Stella Ramsey; and David.
Gideon and Ilallie. the wife of A. L. Buchanan, are deceased.

Mr. Gordon voted with the democracy but while he kept w^ell informed
on the questions and issues of the day agd w^as always able to support his
principles by intelligent argument he never sought nor desired office, prefer-
ing to concentrate his attention and energies upon his business affairs, which,
carfully conducted, brought him a gratifying measure of success, as the years
passed by. It also gained for him a reputation for unassailable commercial
integrity and throughout the thirty-one years of his association with business
interests in Kan.-as City lie onjoyod to the full extent the confidence of his


colleagues and the respect of his contemporaries. Those who knew him in
social relations found him a pleasant genial man who held friendship invio-
lable and his best traits of character were ever reserved for his own fireside
and family.


Thomas J. Mulligan, now deceased, became a resident of Jackson county,
Missouri, in 1881, and was well known as a large farmer and stock-raiser at
Lees Summit, where he carefully conducted his business affairs with such
sound judgment and enterprise that prosperity attended his labors in a grati-
fying measure. His birth occurred in Monroe county, Illinois, on the 16th
of May, 1839. His parents were Patrick and Agnes (Tomlinson) Mulligan,
natives of Ireland and England respectively. The father came to the United
States in 1829 when only a boy and settled first in Cincinnati, Ohio, where
he engaged in merchandising for several years. He afterward removed to
Monroe county, Illinois, where he carried on general farming and likewise
conducted a store. He resided on his farm there for many years, after which
he took up his abode in the town of Belleville, St. Clair county, where he
spent his remaining days in honorable and well merited rest. Both he and
his wife died there.

Thomas J. Mulligan acquired his education in the schools of Belleville,
Ilinois, and in St. Louis, Missouri. Liberal educational advantages were af-
forded him, and he made good use of his opportunities in thus preparing
for life's practical and responsible duties. After putting aside his text-books
he began farming in St. Clair county, Illinois, and followed that pursuit for
several years, carefully managing the work of the fields from the time of
early spring planting until crops were harvested in the late autumn.

While residing there Mr. Mulligan was married to Miss Mary A. Carroll,
a native of Madison county, Illinois, born November 25, 1843. She is a
daughter of Patrick and Mary (Gilmore) Carroll, both of whom were natives
of Ireland. Her father came to the United States in 1837 and settled in Madison
county, Illinois, where he secured land and carried on general agricultural
pursuits until his death, becoming one of the wealthy and valued farmers
of that locality. His widow also died there. After his marriage Mr. Mul-
ligan carried on general farming in St. Clair county until 1881, when he re-
moved to Jackson county, Missouri, where he purchased a large farm at
Lees Summit. With characteristic energy he began its further development
and improvement, bringing the fields under a high state of cultivation and
also engaging extensively in raising fine stock. His time and energies were
thus occupied until his life's labors were ended in death. He passed away
March 16, 1887, his family mourning the loss of a devoted husband and
father, his acquaintances a faithful friend and his community a devoted

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan were born nine children, five of whom are
yet living, namely: Agnes, who is with her mother; Edward, who' wedded


Louella Irvin, and resides on a part of the old home farm at Lees Summit;
James A., who wedded Edna Seigfried, and is also on the home farm in Lees
Summit; Ulmar J., who is in Kansa.s City with his mother; and Richard J.,
who is also on the home farm. Those deceased are Mary, Thomas, Mary-
Gertrude and Eugene.

Mr. ^Mulligan gave his political allegiance to the democratic party, and
held a number of local offices, the duties of which he discharged with prompt-
ness and fidelity. He was a member of the Catholic church at Lees Sum-
mit and his widow and daughter and son are now members of St. Vincent's
in Kansas City. Although in his business career Mr. Mulligan did not find
all the days equally bright, he possessed an adaptability to circumstances
that proved a strong element in his progress. He possessed the ability to
plan and to perform, carrying forward to successful completion what-
ever he undertook. On the ITtli of July, 1898, the residence of the family
was destroyed by fire, but he did not allow this to discourage him, and at
once set to work to erect a new home. He realized the value of persistent
labor, and his work, intelligently directed, enabled him to leave to his family
a handsome competence. He was Avell known in Kansas City and throughout
the county, but continued to make his home upon his farm until his demise.
Mrs. Mulligan resided upon the farm until November, 190-4, when she re-
moved to Kansas City, purchasing property at No. 3232 Vine street, where
she and her two children now reside. She still owns the large farm at Lees
Summit, where her three sons are living, carrying on general agricultural
pursuits there. This is a well improved property, indicating in its excellent
appearance the care and supervision of the sons who are managing it.


The name of Brown has figured for almost a quarter of a century in
business circles of Kansas City in connection with the hat trade and the enter-
prise of which William J. Brown, Jr., is now the head, includes a manufac-
turing, a wholesale and a retail department, all of which are proving profit-
able sources of income to a business that has now reached extensive pro-

He was born in Kansas City, August 7, 1887, a son of William J. Brown,
Sr. The public schools afforded him his educational privileges and, passing
through successive grades, he was graduated from the manual training high
school in 1905. Lie then pursued post-graduate work in the Central high
school. Early in life he desired to enter the field of electrical engineering,
for which he .still continues to study, but the death of his father necessitated
his changing his plans that he might take charge of the hat business which
his father had previously established. In March, 1906, he assumed the man-
agement of this enterprise, in which he had been more or less active for
several years. Previous to this time the business had been confined to the
manufacture of hats and sale to the wholesale trade, but on the 14th of March,


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1908, he branched out into the retail line as well, esta'blishing a store in the
Scarritt Arcade, where is sold nothing but goods of their own manufacture.
They make hats to order on short notice and theirs is the only establishment
of the kind in Kansas City which has this special feature. The business was
incorporated in September, 1906, with a capital of eighteen thousand dollars,
and it is practically the only hat manufacturing concern of the city. The
trade of the house has steadily increased since its establishment in 1885 and
the enterprise is well known from Canada to Mexico and enjoys a large
{)atronage throughout the entire southwest. Through the progressive and
energetic spirit of its new proprietor the business has made rapid strides in
the past two years and promises to become as representative in the retail line
as it has been for many years in the manufacturing and wholesale. The
officers of the company are Mrs. Isabella Brown, president and treasurer;
and "William J. Brown, Jr., secretary and general manager.

Mr. Brown is a member of the Phantom Club, the Kansas City Athletic
Club, and the Paddle and Camp Club, in which he is very enthusiastic. He is
a lover of canoeing and devotes most of his leisure to that sport in the sum-
mer. In Kansas City, however, he is recognized as a most wdde-aw^ake, alert
and determined young business man with excellent outlook and with that
ready power of discrimination which enables him to realize that which is
essential and to promote it, and to discard all that is non-essential in the
conduct and improvement of his business interests.


Charles M. Ferree for forty years past has resided in Kansas City. His
residence on Lin wood boulevard and Olive street is a very substantial home.
He is a pioneer in the Linwood district and has seen the city come to him
and grow up around him, since he established his home there some years

Mr. Ferree was born in Ohio near Cincinnati. He settled in Kansas City
in 1867 and has taken an active and prominent part in the building of the
city. He is a man as well known as any other in the city, and none have
a better record for high character and standing, socially and in business
circles. Few men in America can trace their ancestry through the pages of
authentic history in France and America back to the fourteenth century as
can the subject of this sketch. A brief sketch of this family is here taken
from ''The History of the Huguenots of America," by Stapleton, chapter

'"The Ferree family are of the nobility of France and were originally
seated at Forchamps, in Lower Normandy. The founder of the family was
Robert Ferree, who in 1265 was confirmed to an extensive estate. M. Ferry,
a great statesman and president of France, was of this family." (See Nobil-
ity of Normandy, Vol. II, p. 357.)


During the dark and troubled periud of the revocation of the Edict
of Nantes, 1685, there lived a family named Ferree at Nimes, France. The
parents, Daniel and Marie Ferree, were married in 1669. The fruit of this
union were six children : Daniel, John, Phillip, Catherine, Mary and Jane.
The Ferrees were stanch and fearless in their adherence to the Reformed

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 49 of 65)