Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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troops proceeded south, and upon the reorganization of the regiment Mr.
Vivian was elected major and much of the time was acting colonel of the
regiment, which was known as Shank's Regiment, Shelby's Brigade. At
the close of hostilities he was discharged at Shreveport, Louisiana, in May,
1865. There he took charge of some of the horses of his comrades who had
received them' -as gifts from the government, and in this way became en-
gaged in the stock business in the, south. He remained in Louisiana for
some time and then went to St. Louis, about the 1st of December, remain-
ing there until the 10th of January following. On Christmas day he re-
turned to Kansas City, where ho began dealing in mules and horses. He
traded extensively in mtiles and liorses and also fed cattle until 1872, when
he removed to Clay county. jVIissouri, and engaged in farming.

While there residing Major Vivian was married October 10, 1872, to
Miss Lewtie Summers, who was considered to be the most beautiful woman
in Clay county. Her parents had become residents of Clay county on their
removal from Kentucky on their wedding journey. Major and Mrs. Viv-
ian continued to reside upon the farm in that county, and he carried on the
stock business extensively and succ^ssfullv until 1893, when he retired and


removed to Kansas City in order to afford his children better educational
advantages. The family numbered one son and three daughters: Ada Belie,
the wife of J. H. Beckham', jr., a resident of Roswell, New Mexico; Mary
Sheffer, at home; Virginia, also under the parental roof; and James Har-
vey, deceased. Mrs. Vivian died February 10, 1897.

Major Vivian votes with the democracy, but has never had any polit-
ical ambitions. He is a member of the Christian church and is one of the
best known pioneers of Kansas City, having first taken up his abode here
when there was but a small town of little industrial or commercial promi-
nence. He has lived to witness its development into a city of metropolitan
proportions and interasts. In his business affairs he displayed sound judg-
ment and keen discrimination, and as the result of his well directed labors
has gained a place among the men of affluence in this part of the state.


Jacob Albert Harzfeld, practicing at the bar of Kansas City as a special-
ist in commercial and real-estate law, is one of the younger representatives of
the legal profession here, yet his years seem no obstacle to his progress and
his success. He was born in Chicago, January 30, 1877. His father, Albert
Harzfeld, was a native of Bavaria, Germany, and on coming to America in
1862 settled in Chicago, where he engaged in manufacturing interests and
made his home until his death, which occurred in 1890. His wife, Avho bore
the maiden name of Carrie Stettheimer, is a native of Saxony, Germany,
came to the United States in her girlhood days and now makes her home with
her son, J. A. Harzfeld. In the family were four children, one of w^hom is
deceased. One son, Sieg Harzfeld, is proprietor of the Parisian Cloak Com-
pany of Kansas City and also has other stores in various parts of the country,
while a sister, Cornelia Harzfeld, lives with the subject of this review.

J. A. Harzfeld was the third in the family, and entering the public schools
at the usual age, he passed through consecutive grades until he had com-
pleted the high school course in Chicago. He next entered the University
of Chicago, where he continued his studies until 1895, when he left that in-
stitution to become a student in the Northwestern University Law School,
from which he was graduated in 1897 with the Bachelor of Law degree.
Immediately afterward he came to Kansas City and when he attained his ma-
jority in 1898 was admitted to the bar. For about three years he was in the
employ of a law firm and thus added broad practical experience to the knowl-
edge gained in college. Since 1901, however, he has practiced alone and
enjoys a good clientele in commercial and real-estate law. He has informed
himself broadly concerning those departments of jurisprudence and has suc-
cessfully handled considerable important litigation of that character.

Mr. Harzfeld is recognized as a leading republican, who has always taken
an active part in republican councils and has delivered many campaign ad-
dresses, yet has never sought nor desired office for himself. In April, 1907,


when the movement was started to secnre the choice of Kansas City as the
meeting phice of the national republican convention, he was made secretary
of the committee of citizens selected for the work, and although not successful
in the project, it did much in the way of advertising the energy and enter-
with the Kansas City Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association. He
prise of Kansas .City. Mr. Harzfeld in the line of lii- i)rofe.<-ii)ii i- cnnnected
also belongs to the Knife & Fork Club, to the Kansas City Athletic Club,
the Candle Light Club and the Progress Club. Furthermore he is connected
with the Jewish Synagogue and is one of the directors of the Pure ^lilk As-
sociation, a city charitable organization. He is interested in many good
works done in the name of charity and religion and moreover is interested
in those things which pertain to public progress, for his citizenship is ever
of an active and helpful character.


Strong individuality prompts the initiative and the initiative results in
leadership. That Cyrus Bardeen Sweet is a force in the business world is
acknowledged by all who know aught of his life and his acquaintance is a
wide one because his interests are varied and extensive. In a few isolated
cases it seems that fortune favors individuals in the rapid acquirement of
wealth but in the great majority of instances the progress of a man is not
made by leaps and bounds but b}^ steady progression until after nuich labor
and exertion he reaches the objective point. Such has been the career of Mr.
Sweet, who from his office in Kansas City, Missouri, is a factor in the control
of extensive ]uml)er, coal, mining, mamifacturing, mercantile and railroad
interests, being vice ]3resident and manager of the manufacturing department
and vice president and assistant general manager of all other interests of the
great business conli-ollod by the Long-Bell Lumber Company.

His life record began in \Vashl)inMi. Woodford county, Illinoi-, on the
20th of January, 186L He is descended in the paternal line from English
ancestry and early representatives of the name resided in the state of New
York, whence representatives of the family in later generations came to Illi-
nois. They settled in tlii- state diii'ing its territorial days and were among
those wlio extended the frontier and made safe the ])aths of western civilization
tliat otliers might follow. ''I'he white race disjnited with tlie Indians the do-
minion of the great I'icli district cojnprised within the borders of Illinois. They
wished t« reclaim tlie wild land for the pnri)oses of cultivation and to plant
the seeds of inipi-ovenient and develoj)ment on this hitlu^rto l)arren soil. When
the Indians had left tlie noi-thern section of the state the Sweet family removed
to that district, settlinij; in Woodford connty and the undevelo))ed condition
is indicated by the fact that Chicago, distant one Imndred and twenty-five
miles, was their neai'est niaiket. The grandfatlier liad a large family of four
sons and eight daughters who attained adnlt age and li\'ed in Woodford
county or that vicinity including Enoch Sweet, father of onr subject. Thus


from sturdy pioneer stock Mr. Sweet descended in the paternal line, while
on the distaff side he comes of German ancestr3\ His mother bore the
maiden name of Emma H. Tov. Her father removed from Pennsylvania
to Illinois in 1833, the year following the Black Hawk war, and settled in

In that town and in Chenoa, Cyrus B. Sweet acquired- his education as
opportunity offered and through the period of his boyhood he worked at
intervals in his father's store but a mercantile career had no special attraction
for him. He has much preferred an outdoor life and because of this tendency
hLs summer seasons were devoted to farm work in the neighborhood, while in
the winter months he continued his education in the public schools. His
first real step in the business world was made at the age of eighteen years,
when he became connected with the agency department of a railroad, and
after leaving that service he turned his attention to the lumber business.
Gradually since that time he has worked his w^ay upw^ard until he is one of
the most prominent representatives of the lumber trade in America.

Going west in 1884, Mr. Sweet secured a situation in a retail lumberyard
at Cherryvale, Kansas. This constituted his equipment, for at the end of a
year he became, by purchase, one of the proprietors of that yard, which was
carried on under the firm style of C. B. Sweet & Brother. From that time
forward he seems to have made steady and consecutive progress, passing on to
positions of executive control and subsequently bending his energies largely
to organization, to constructive efforts and administrative direction. Broad-
ening the scope of their activities, the firm established yards in IMissouri, Kan-
sas, Oklahoma and the Indian Territory and some of these enterprises are
still in existence. For twelve years C. B. Sweet remained in the retail lumber
business and in 1897-8 he took a noticeably forw^ard step in his business
career by going south to establish the plant of the Hudson River Lumber
Company at Hudson, Arkansas. He became vice president and general
manager. This was one of the subsidiary companies of the Long-Bell Lum-
ber Company and one of the earliest mill concerns established by that great
corporation. One after another lumber mills and yards have been estab-
lished by the Long-Bell Lumber Company until the extent of its interests
places it in the foremost rank among the big lumber concerns of the country.
In 1900 certain changes in the development of the company's business made
it desirable for Mr. Sweet to take up his residence in Kansas City and assume
the management of the manufacturing department of the company and its
allied interests. Since then his functions have enlarged with the growth of
the company and its subsidiary companies until now he is vice president of
the following corporations : Long-Bell Lumber Company, Hudson River Lum-
ber Company, King-Ryder Lumber Company, Longville Long Leaf Lumber
Company, Lufkin Land & Lumber Company, Calcasieu Long Leaf Lumber
Company, Rapides Lumber Company, Limited, Globe Lumber Company,
Limited, Alfalfa Lumber Company, Minnetonka Lumber Company, Sibley,
Lake Bisteneau & Southern Railway Company, Woodworth and Louisiana
Central Railway Company, Louisiana & Pacific Railway Company, Fidelity
Coal Mining Company, Fidelity Fuel Company, Kansas Fuel Company, Long-


Bell Mercantile Company, Long-Bell Experimental Farm & Mercantile Oom-
pany, Long-Bell Naval Stores Company, and Texas and Louisiana Naval Stores

In 1884, in Chenoa, Illinois, Mr. Sweet was married to Miss Flora N.
Bell, who died three years later. In 1891 he wedded Jennie L. Lockwood.
There was one child by the first marriage, who is now Mrs. J. D. Tennant, of
Lake Charles, Louisiana, while the three daughters and son of the second
marriage are Sibyl, Athelia, Cyra and Robert.

Mr. Sweet holds membership in the Christian church and gives his politi-
cal allegiance to the republican party. There are few men more mindful of
the obligations and responsibilities of wealth. He belongs to several fraternities
and clubs but is active in none of them because of lack of time to devote to
such outside and, to him, less essential affairs. Possessing broad, enlightened
and liberal-minded view,s, faith in himself and in the vast potentialities for
development inherent in his country's wide domain and specific needs along
the distinctive lines chosen for his life work, his has been an active career, in
which he has accomplished important and far-reaching results, contributing
in no small degree to the expansion and material growth of the southwest
and from which he himself has also derived substantial benefit.


William J. Baehr has for ten years occupied the position of cashier in
the city treasurer's office, serving in this capacity in both the republican and
democratic administrations — a fact indicative of his ability. He is also well
known in business circles, although his attention is chiefly given to his
official duties. He was born at Lexington, Missouri, August 5, 1867.

His father was a native of Eiskirchin, Germany, and a machinist in his
native land. Coming to America, he settled at Lexington, Missouri, in 1865,
and there engaged in the manufacture of cider, al.-o conducting a business as
a wholesale liquor dealer. For forty-two years he lived at Lexington and
the last three years of his life were passed in St. Louis, Missouri. In religious
faith he was a Catholic and in political views he was independent. In Lex-
ington he married Miss Caroline Mohn. who was born in Germany in 1847,
and was brought to the United States by her father, William Mohn, when
about six years of age. Her father became a wagon-maker of Lexington and
there Mrs. Baehr acquired her education in the public schools.

At the usual age William J. Baehr entered the public schools of his
native town, conipleting his education, however, as a student in St. Mary's
(Kan.) College in 1885. Having ))ut aside his text-book.-^ he followrd mer-
chandizing in Lexington for a short time and afterward accepted a position
in the postofKce there. A year later he came to Kansas City, arriving here on
the 17th of July, 1884. Not long after that he secured employment with the
Armour Brothers Banking Company and was connected therewith for thir-
teen year.-, wliilc hiter he s]-)ent one year in the Nntion;il B:nik of Commerce,



but resigned to accept his present position as cashier in the city treasurer's
office under J. Scott Harrison during the Jones' administration in 1898.
Mr. Harrison Avas a repubhcan, but political afhliation has seemed to make
no difference in Mr. Baehr's retention in the office, as he has served in five
difi'erent administrations, three republican and two democratic. No higher
testimonial could be given of his capability and fidelity to duty and he is
prominent among the political leaders of the city, whether of the democratic
or republican faith.

Aside from his official duties, Mr. Baehr has business connections, being
secretary of the Square Deal Gold Mining Company, president and trea.surer
of the Kansas City Steam & Hot Water Heating Company, and treasurer and
director of the Dominion & Gulf Railroad Company. In all of these he has
displayed an aptitude for successful management, making him a valued
factor in business circles. Fraternally he is connected with the order of
Eagles and is trustee of the local aerie. He also belongs to the camp of the
Modern Woodmen of America and also to the Woodmen of the World, and
the Elks lodge.

On the 7th of June, 1894, Mr. Baehr was married to Miss Lizzie Loeffler,
a daughter of Joseph and (Hamman) Loeffler, both of whom have been
deceased for several years. The father was a brick manufacturer and was also
engaged in the liquor business in Kansas City for several years. Of the
Grand Army of the Republic he was a very prominent member and he be-
longed also to the Masonic fraternity and the Ancient Order of Druids. His
daughter, Mrs. Baehr, was born in Kansas City and educated in St. Theresa
Convent on the corner of Twelfth and Washington streets. She was a Catho-
lic in religious belief and died in that faith March 1, 1905, leaving a daugh-
ter, Ruth, who was born December 18, 1896, and is being educated in Loretta
Academy in this city. The family home is at No. 1204 West Thirty-ninth
street. In both business and official .circles Mr. Baehr has made a creditable
record. He is a stalwart republican, interested in the pairty, yet ever placing
the general welfare before partisanship and the public good before personal
aggrandizement. As an official he is accomodating and courteous and there-
fore popular.


AVilliam Newton Collins, superintendent of the money order department
of the Kansas City postoffice and local secretary of the United States civil
service commission, was born at Missouri City, Clay county, Missouri, Janu-
ary 16, 1861. His father, John W. Collins, was a merchant and later county
assessor and county recorder of Clay county, Missouri. He died August 23,
1905, at the age of eighty-two years, passing away in Liberty, Missouri,
where he had retired ten or fifteen years before. He was a native of Ken-
tucky, his father, AVilliam Collins, having removed from Kentucky to Mis-
souri in 1823 and located on a farm two miles south of Liberty. The


great-grand] 'cirents of our subject were natives of Culpeper Courthouse, Vir-
ginia, and wt-re among the pioneers of Kentucky who located at Frankfort.
The family is of English origin. Mr. Collins' mother, who in her maiden-
hood was Lavenia Bernard, was born at Boonville, Missouri, and died in 1873.
She was of French and Irish descent and her grandfather Mayhan, a wealthy
pioneer and slave owner of Boonville, came from Ireland. Her paternal
grandfather, Isaac Bernard, was a pioneer of Boonville, whose father came
from France.

William Newton Collins began his education in the public schools and
afterward attended the William Jewell College at Liberty, Missouri, from
which he was graduated in 1884, and during his college days he won several
medals for reading and oratory. Following his graduation he became a
deputy to his father, who w^as then filling the position of county recorder, and
served in the position for a year. On the expiration of that period he came
to Kansas City in 1885 as bookkeeper for the Irwin-Allen Live Stock Com-
mission Company, with which he continued for a year. In 1886 he was ap-
pointed by Postmaster George M. Shelley to the office of superintendent of the
monej" order department. At that time this division employed five men and
the business amounted to about three million dollars per year; it now em-
ploys twenty-four men and uses six typewriters and five adding machines,
while an annual business of twenty-one millions has been reached. In ad-
dition to the growth of the main office thirty-eight substations have been
established, where money orders are bought and sold. The responsibility
of Mr. Collins' position has therefore greatly increased and his long service has
made him a valuable factor in the control of his department. During his
conduct of the money order division the thorough check system used has
been so carefully adhered to that the government has never lost a cent in the
handling of the vast amount of money which has been in his charge.

In 1890 he was appointed secretary of the local branch of civil service
commissioners. At that time the office was little more than an honorary one,
as it only involved the conduct of two examinations each year but now the
examinations are almost continual and many of them are conducted in other
cities and towns of the territory tributary to Kansas City. The office has also
developed into a bureau of information for those contemplating taking the

Mr. Collins was married at Kearney, Missouri, April 22, 1801, to Eliza-
beth, daughter of the late Steven Major, a prominent .«tockman of that place.
They have two childi-cn: "Willinin ^lajoi'. fifteen years of age, a student in the
high school; and Frank Bernard, aged thirteen, a ward school pupil.

Mr. Collins' interests, aside from his home and business, extend to the
Benton Boulevard Baptist church, in which both he and his wife are active
and earnest workers. He is serving as chairman of its board of deacons and
for the past ten years has been superintendent of the Sunday school. His
wife is also active in the allied societies of the church and one of the Sunday
school teachers. Mr. Collins is a prominent member of the Young Men's
Christian Association and recently gave a donation of five hundred dollars
toward the erection of its new building. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias,


to the Foresters, the Yeomen and the Woodmen of the World, and is a Cleve-
land democrat but in local politics is independent. A lover of fishing and
hunting, he spends his vacations in the enjoyment of those sports and in the
summer of 1907 with his family made a trip to the Maine coast. He has
never measured the interests of life by the inch rule of self but has looked
at the world from a broad standpoint, has recognized individual obligation
and has become a working force in many activities which are for the better-
ment and welfare of the city at large.


A partner in the law firm of Sebree, Conrad & Wendorfl', doing an im-
portant business in corporation law, was born in Chariton county, Mis.souri,
August 25, 1874, a son of William H. and Susan (London) Conrad, both
of whom are residents of Chariton county. The father is a native of Penn-
sylvania and of German descent. While spending his boyhood days under
the parental roof Henry S. Conrad mastered the branches of learning usually
taught in the public schools and later he spent six years in the Missouri
Valley College at Marshall, Missouri, from which he was graduated at t«he
head of his class in 1897, the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy being then
conferred upon him. He regarded this as the initial step to the acquirement
of professional knowledge and, matriculating in the legal department of the
University of Missouri, there prepared for the bar, being graduated in 1900
with the Bachelor of Law degree. While a student there he was selected
to represent the university in its debates with the University of Kansas and
the University of Wisconsin. The week following he was admitted to the
bar by the supreme court of the state at Jefferson City in June, 1900.

On the 1st of July of that year Mr. Conrad arrived in Kansas City and
began practice in the office of Karnes, New & Krauthoff, where he remained
for a year and a half. He next joined E. E. Porterfield and L. B. Sawyer
under the firm name of Porterfield, Sawyer & Conrad and following the with-
drawal of Mr. Sawyer the firm continued a.s Porterfield & Conrad until the
senior partner was appointed circuit judge of Jackson county in April, 1907.
Mr. Conrad then succeeded to the business of the firm and was alone in
practice until the following December, when he formed a partnership with
Hon. Frank P. Sebree and John D. Wendorff under the firm style of Sebree,
Conrad & Wendorff. Their practice, which is chiefly that of corporation
law, has grown so rapidly as to necessitate employing permanently two other
lawyers to assist in handling the business. They represent several railroads
and many important local corporations.

On the 3d of May, 1898, Mr. Conrad was married to Miss Minnie
Wright, a daughter of Herndon Wright, a banker of Chariton county, Mis-
souri, and they now have two sons: William Herndon and Wright, aged
eeven and two years respectively.


111 his political view.s j\Ir. Conrad is a stalwart republican and has taken
an active part in every campaign since coming here, speaking in support
of the party, its principles and its candidates. He was a candidate for the
legislature from Macon county in 1898 and though defeated, the county
being strongly democratic, he ran six hundred votes ahead of his ticket, a
fact which indicates his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in
him ])}• his fellowmen. He has rapidly gained a creditable position at the
bar and has won this through the "merit system." People do not place
their legal business in unskilled hands; it is the man of power before judge
and jury who commands public patronage. Of this class Henry S. Conrad
is an excellent type, for his present success and prominence have come to
him as the reward of earnest endeavor, fidelity to trust and recognized ability.


John Franklin Downing, president of the New England National Bank
of Kansas City, was born in Virginia, Illinois, August 24, 1854. His father,

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 57 of 65)