Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

. (page 58 of 65)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

David Downing, was a farmer and married a lady of English birth. Con-
tinuing his education through the public-school course, John F. Downing
matriculated in the Illinois College of Jacksonville, Illinois, from which he
W'as graduated with the chiss of 1879. He lived upon a farm until he be-
came a college student and after his graduation entered business life as an
employe in the Farmers National Bank of Virginia, Illinois, where he re-
mained for three years. Wishing to find broader scope for his industry and
energy — his dominant qualities — he came to Kansas City on the 8th of
March, 1882, and entered the institution of the Armour Brothers Banking
Company as paying teller, there serving until June, 1885. He was next en-
gaged ill the real-estate business until January 1 1889, when he organized
the New England Safe Deposit A: Trust Company and was vice president and
active manager, while A. W. Armour was nominally president. At the close
of the year 1889 Mr. Downing was chosen to the presidency and so continues,
the tm<t company l)eiiig convorted into the New England National Bank in
1898. He is likewise a director in various financial and commercial institu-
tions, among which aiv the Mclropdlitan Street Railway Company, the Mis-
souri i**: Kansas Telephone Company, tlu^ Intercity A'iaduct Company and the
Safety Savings & Loan Association, being also treasurer of the last named.
Such is the regard entertained for his business judgment and talent that
his cooperation is eagerly sought in the conduct of important business
enterprises.

In 1881 Mr. Downing was married to Miss Martha l^)latchford Collins, of
Jacksdnville. Illinois, who died in 1889. lea.ving two sons: Frank C. who
is n graduate of Yale and is now IJic Kansas City repr(ventative of Bond
& Coodwin, banker^ of Boston, New York and Chicago; and Blatchford, a
student in the Harvard Law School. In 1898 "Mr. Downing was married to
Jessie llnrnham. a danci'hter of J. K. I'urnliani. lale i (resident of the Burn-



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY (303

ham, Haiina, Munger Wholesale Dry Goods Company of Kansas City.
Their children are two daughters: Jean Biirnham and Jessie Burnham
Downing. Mr. Downing is a republican in political sentiment but an inde-
pendent voter and displays that spirit which is one of the hopeful signs of
the times — the spirit which disregards party rule and stands for principle
and for the general welfare of the majority. He holds membership with
the Kansas City Club, the University Club, the Country Club, the Commercial
Club and the First Congregational church. A man charitable in thought
and action, his influence is perhaps all the stronger because it is moral rather
than political. His time is concentrated upon his business interests and the
enjoyment of home life, his sole recreation being golf. The specific and
distinctive office of biography is not to present a man's modest opinion of
himself and his accomplishments but to leave the record which is the con-
sensus of public opinion regarding his life work. Free from ostentation
or display, Mr. Downing makes no claims to publicity for what he has ac-
complished but his fellow citizens and contemporaries in business life recog-
nize in him a weight of character, a far-seeing sagacity and a commendable
purpose that aAvaken their admiration and respect.



JULES C. ROSENBERGER.

Jules C. Rosenberger is among the leading and most successful mem-
bers of the Kansas City bar. He was born December 14, 1873, at Davenport,
Iowa, where his parents resided from the time of the outbreak of the Civil
war until they removed to Kansas City in June, 1880. Mr. Rosenberger
was then in his sixth year and Kansas City has been his home from that
time to the present. He pursued his preHminary education in the public
schools here and was graduated from the Central high school in 1891. He
pursued his legal studies in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and at
the age of nineteen years, having completed the course but finding that he
was too young to be admitted to the bar, he accepted a position as a reporter
on the Kansas City Star. He was very successful as a newspaper man and
this experience has proven of great value to him in his subsequent career

as a lawyer.

In November, 1894, he resumed his legal studies in the office of C. 0.
Tichenor, who remained his preceptor until the admission of Mr. Rosen-
hev^QV to the bar in May, 1895, since which time he has been engaged in
the^ctive practice of his^ profession. He continued his association with Mr.
Tichenor until December, 1897. when he became associated with the late
Hon. Francis M. Black, former chief justice of the supreme court of Mis-
souri, with whom he was actively associated until the latter's death in 1902.
Mr Rosenb^rger's legal career has been one of steady progress and he enjoys
an important and lucrative practice. His specialty is the law of insurance.
He i^ the re^rularlv retained counsel for a number of eastern companies and
is regarded as an'authoritv on policy forms. An address read by him at



604 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

the convention of the International Association of Underwriters, held at
Frontenac, Thousand Islands, New York, in the summer of 1903, attracted
wide attention among insurance men. His insurance connections and a
varied general practice have taxed his industry to the utmost.

Mr. Rosenberger was married March 19, 1902, in New York cit}^, to
Miss Blanche Janet Hess and has one child, a son. Mr. Rosenberger was one
of the organizers of the Knife & Fork Club and is a member of the Elm
Ridge Club and the Mid-day Club, together wdth other social organizations.
He is likewise a Scottish Rite Mason. His whole record can be said to have
been made in Kansas City, where he has lived since early boyhood, and few
are more widelv or more favorablv knowm.



CHARLES M. COE, M.D.

Dr. Charles M. Coe, one of the best known representatives of the medical
fraternity in Kansas City, where for twenty years he has conducted a sani-
tarium in connection with his extensive office practice, was born at Tipton,
Iowa, September 27, 1858. The family is of English descent, the great-
grandfather coming from England to the new world. John P. Coe, the
father w^as a native of New York and a farmer by occupation. \Mien a
young man he removed westward to low^a, casting in his lot with its early
settlers. He married Abigail Sole, of English descent, and both are now liv-
ing in Kansas City, aged respectively eighty and seventy-five years.

In the public schools of Clarence, Iowa, Dr. Coe acquired his prelimin-
ary education, which was supplemented by a four years' course in the Iowa
State College at Ames, from which he was graduated in 1881 with the Bach-
elor of Science degree. He spent one year as a student in the Chicago
Medical College and continued his preparation for his chosen profession in
the medical department of the University of Illinois, from which he was
graduated with the M.D. degree in 1883. He was then appointed, as the
result of competitive examination, to the position of house surgeon in the
Cook County Hospital at Chicago, where he remained for two years. After
practicing in Omaha for a year he came to Kansas City in 1888 and estab-
lished Dr. Coe's Sanitarium, now^ located at Tw^enty-sixth and Wyandotte
streets. This he has conducted for twenty years with excellent success and
also has a largo office practice. He makes a specialty of chronic diseases
and surgery and the correction of deformities and his surgical work has
been attended with excellent results. Ho pursued a special course in the Chi-
cago Polyclinic in the spring of 1893 and in the Chicago Homeopathic Medi-
cal College in the fall of that year, while for about ten years he was a teacher
of surgery in the Kansas City Eclectic University.

On the 28th of September, 1886, Dr. Coe w^as married to Bertha Von
Hagcn, a daughter of Julius Von Hagen, of Horicon, Wisconsin, and a
graduate of the Illinois Training School of Nurses of the class of 1885.
They have two childron. Harold and Rntli. In his political preference Dr.




DR. C. M. COE.



. i.^V/ YORK

J B.IC LIBRARY



ASTOR, LENOX
TTLDEN FOUK»ATIONS



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY • 607

Coe is a republican, but the demands of his prof&ssion have left him little
leisure for outside interests, the conscientious performance of his duties
gaining for him the high reputation -which is now accorded him.



JEREMIAH THORNTON DEW.

Jeremiah Thornton Dew. sinc3 1878 a practitioner at the Kansas City-
bar, was born in Clinton couiily, Illinois, November 5, 1847, and is descended
from Scotch-Irish ancestry, although the family was founded in America,
at an early day. His paternal grandfather. Rev. John Dew, was one of the
pioneer Methodist ministers of the west and was contemporaneous with the
famous preacher and circuit rider, Peter Cartwright, so closely associated
with the founding of the Methodist Episcopal church in the Mississippi val-
ley. Rev. Dew was educated for the ministry in his native state and came
to the west with Bishop McKendree of the Methodist clergy, in whose honor
McKendree College at Lebanon, Illinois, was named. Together these two
godly men made their way to Kentucky, then largely an undeveloped wil-
derness, and later came to Illinois. The Rev. Dew was born in Botetourt
county, Virginia, in 1780, became an active worker in the ministry in 1812
and is referred to in the works of Peter Cartwright and in Reynold's History
of Illinois. He assisted in founding McKendree College and became one of
its early presidents. This college still flourishes under the control of the
Methodist church but is now a non-sectarian institution. The Rev. Dew was
a man of advanced thought, strongly opposed i-o the institution of .-lavery,
and twenty-five or thirty years before the Civil war he took slaves to Illinois,
-u'here he gave them freedom. His death occurred in 1840.

His son, Samuel P. Dew, was born in what is now^ St. Clair county,
Illinois, and died in 1858 at the age of thkty-six years. He married Eliza
Walker, of Clinton county, Illinois, whose ancestors were early residents of
Georgia and were conspicuous in the Civil war. Many of the Walkers were
in the Methodist ministry. Mrs. Dew died February 28, 1908, aged eighty-
two years.

Jeremiah Thornton Dew was but an infant when his parents removed to
the farm in St. Clair county, Illinois, upon which he was reared, early becom-
ing familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist.
He was but sixteen years of age when in 1864 he responded to the call of
the government and became a member of Company B, One Hundred and
Forty-fifth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, his uncle, Edward C. Dew. hav-
ing command of the company as captain. He continued a.t the front until
the close of hostilities and after the war had ceased he continued his educa-
tion in a college in St. Fouis and subsequently entered McKendree College
at Lebanon, Illinois, from which he was graduated in 1874. While a student
there he was editor of the college paper, the McKendree Repository, and was
president of his class during the graduating year. In the meantime he read
law and after leaving college he entered a law office at Nashville. Illinois,



608 . HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

hut before he had completed his preparation for the bar he removed to Kan-
sas and continued his studies in the office of Martin & Case, well known at-
torneys of Topeka.

In September, 1877, he removed to Kansas City and here read law with
Tomlinson & Ross, being admitted to the bar in February, 1878. He Avas
later admitted to a partnership with his former preceptors, Colonel A. A.
Tomlinson and John A. Ross, the former now a retired lawyer and capitalist,
under the firm name of Tomlinson, Ross & Dew, which continued for many
years. A later change in partnership led to the adoption of the firm style
of Dew, Downs & Parkinson, afterward succeeded by Dew, Parkinson &
Barnes, his partners being John D. Parkinson and John H. Barnes. Mr.
Dew has continued in the practice of civil law^ and has been connected with
much important litigation tried in the courts of the district. Earnest eff^ort,
close application and the exercise of his native talents have won him prestige
as a lawyer, a fact which is highly complimentary, for no bar has numbered
more eminent and prominent men.

Mr. Dew was married in 1877 to Miss Julia E. Parkinson, a daughter
of Hon. Alfred J. Parkinson, a wealthy farmer of Madison county, Illinois,
and a former member of the state senate. She died leaving three children :
Emma E., who married Olin T. Thorp; Samuel Arthur; and Julia L. Mr.
Dew was for many years a' member and commander of Farragut Post, No.
3, G. A. R., and one of its most prominent members. He has attended many
national encampments as delegate from the department of Missouri, has been
judge advocate of that department and also assistant national inspector gen-
eral and three terms a member of its national council of administration, also
department commander of the Department of Missouri, and at present the
adjutant general of the national organization. In the line of his profession
he is connected with the Kansas City Bar Association, while fraternally he
is a Mason. He gives unsw^erving allegiance to the republican party, which
he has supported since age conferred upon him the right of franchLse, and
a. salient characteristic in his life — one that wins him uniform respect — is
found in his allegiance to any cause or principle which he believes to be right.



LEANDER J. TALBOTT.

Leander J. Talbott, who since 1868 has engaged in the real-estate busi-
ness in Kansas City, was born in Meigs county, Ohio, August 13, 1849. His
father, Joshua Talbott, was a farmer and miller, who in Ohio, the state
of their nativity, married Adeline L. Williamson. Both are now deceased.
Their family numbered eight children, three of whom survive, a brother,
James A. Talbott, being now vice-president of the First National Bank of
Butte. Montana, while a sister, Mary E., is the widow of Major S. D. Vaughan,
a prominent pioneer and real-estate man and public official of Kansas City,
who died in 1874. Mrs. Vaughan now makes her home with her brother,
Lean dor.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 609

The year 1857 witnessed the arrival of L. J. Talbott in Kansas City.
He came with his parents and pursued his education in private schools here.
Since the age of eighteen years he has been connected with real-estate in-
terests, at that time entering a real-estate ofhce as clerk and gaining therein
an intimate and accurate knowledge of the business and thus laying the
foundation for his later prosperity. In 1868 he established a real-estate office
on his own account and has since continued in this field of activity, being
most of the time alone.

On the 7th of September, 1876, Mr. Talbott was married to Miss Carrie
Madeira, a daughter of the Rev. Dr. Madeira, formerly pastor of the Central
Presbyterian church of Kansas City but now living retired. They have two
sons and one daughter: Addison M., who is engaged in the newspaper
business in Buffalo, New York; Lee J., who is a student in Cornell- Uni-
versity; and Dorothy, at home.

Mr. Talbott is a democrat in his political views and has been somewhat
prominent in the local ranks of his party which, recognizing his ability and
public spirit, has several times elected him to office. He was chosen city
auditor in 1876, 1877 and 1878 and in 1884 was elected mayor of the city.
Over his official record there falls no shadow of wrong and in fact his entire
life has been in harmony wdth upright principles and with his professions
as a member of the Presbyterian church. He has made his home in Kansas
City from early boyhood and is well known to a large majority of his fellow
townsmen.



JAMES MACKENZIE.

James Mackenzie, financial agent in Kansas City, was born in Scot'
land and since 1882 has been an American citizen. In that year he set-
tled in Texas, where he engaged in the cattle business. He made a large
acquaintance in the w^est, commanded public confidence by reason of un-
assailable integrity, and hence, on embarking in financial operations, was not
long in securing a large and very desirable clientage. In 1889 he located
in Kansas City to engage in business as a loan investment and financial
agent, and since that time has operated largely here, being one of the well
known representatives of financial interests in the city. In 1885 his brother,
William C. Mackenzie, had come from Scotland and joined him in the new
world. He had been engaged in East India trade in Scotland and would
have gone to India to acquaint himself with the business at that end of the
line, but, encouraged by James Mackenzie's success, he came to the United
States instead. The firm was then formed in 1889, under the style of J. &
W. C. Mackenzie, and still continues. Their name is an honored one on
commercial paper and their business methods have ever been such as will
bear the closest investigation. They are now financial agents of large con-
cerns and do an extensive business, representing in this way manj prominent
business men of Kansas City and elsew^here. They were among the first to
make it possible to borrow money at a low rate of interest in Kansas City,



610 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

and during the period of their operation here, covering almost two decades,
they have gained a place in the foremo.-t rank among the representatives
of finance. As businass men and as private citizens, they take an active part
in all movements for the upbuilding of Kansas City, contributing in sub-
stantial measure for the furtherance of plans and measures for the general
good.



ANTON WEBER.



Anton Weber, coming to America without capital at the age of fifteen
years, has been closely associated with the meat industry of the country since
that time and is today proprietor of the largest retail grocery and meat market
in Missouri. The steps in his orderly progression which mark his life record
are easily discernible. He has utilized each opportunity as it has come to
him, watching his chances for advancement, and in the legitimate channels
of trade has gained his present position as one of the prosperous business
men of Kansas City. He was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, July 2,
1853. His father, John Weber, was a grain merchant, who died in Hesse-
Darmstadt in 1897. He engaged extensively in shipping grain on the Rhine
and was a prominent and influential resident of his locality. His father,
William Weber, was proprietor of a meat market there. John Weber mar-
ried Miss Katherine Sanders, whose father and brothers were the most prom-
inent meat dealers and cattle buyers of the country. Mrs. Weber sundved
her husband for about three years and passed away in 1900.

Anton Weber was the fifth in order of birth in a family of eight chil-
dren, of whom three are living, his brothers being Conrad Weber, a retired
butcher of New York city ; and August Weber, a caterer of that city.

Anton Weber spent his boyhood days in Hesse and there acquired his
education in the public schools. At an early age he entered the employ of
his uncle, Nicholas Weber, in the meat and cattle business, but the oppor-
tunities of the new world attracted him and he came alone to America at
the age of fifteen years. Here he entered the butchering business in New
York city in association with his brother Conrad, who had crossed the Atlantic
in 1865. They were thus ^associated for seven years, after which Anton
Weber opened four different stores for Naus Brothers, still controlling one
of the largest meat concerns of that city. Mr. Weber managed these stores
for about six years, after which he spent two years in the employ of Freiden-
burg, a large packer, shipping pork to England.

On the expiration of that period Mr. Weber, witli his brother Conrad,
opened two shops which he managed alone, as his brother retired from busi-
ness. He was very successful in this undertaking and in 1882-.S wa< pro-
prietor of the largest retail meat markol in New York city. In 1880, how-
ever, he sold out there and came to the west. After spending a year in travel-
ing over the western country before deciding what business should claim his
attention, he became favorably impressed with the advantages and oppor-
tunities of Kansas Citv and determined to locate here. In 1891, therefore.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 611

he opened a butcher shop on Eleventh and Walnut streets and his Uisual
success attended him. In fact his trade grew so rapidly that his quarters
soon became too small and he removed to his present location in 1897. Al-
though he began operations in a limited way, he has developed the largest
retail market in the state and his name in this connection has become known
throughout the world. His business has proved an excellent income paying
investment and aside from his operations as a dealer in meat he is also inter-
ested in various other biLsiness enterprises and has likewise become the owner
of considerable Kansas City real estate. His own residence, located at No.
3335 Harrison street, was completed in 1901.

Mv. Weber was married in New York city, in 1875, to Miss Mary Tilton
and unto them were born three children, but Conrad, the eldest, died in in-
fancy. Anton, the second son, is with his father in business; and Mary is
the wife of Albert Altman, of the Altman Jewelry Company of Kansas City.
Following the death of his first wife Mr. Weber was married in Kansas City,
in June, 1890, to Miss Hattie Eprich, a native of Germany, and they had
one child, William, who died in infancy.

Mr. W^eber is much interested in racing stock and owns a stable of nine
fine racers. Fraternally he is connected with the Elks and has been one
of the most active representatives of the charitable work of the lodge. He
belongs to St. Vincent's Catholic church arid is a man of genial, social na-
ture, public spirited in his citizenship and generous to all in need of aid.



BEVERLY C. PLATT.

Beverly C. Piatt, partner of the incoi-porated firm of Piatt & Boone, con-
ducting a general real-estate, loan and investment business in Kansas City,
was born here, November 29, 1876. His father, Mortimer R. Piatt, a native
of New York, came to Kansas City forty years ago and engaged in the cattle
business but is now retired. He married Beverly Helm, a native of Kentucky.

In the public schools their son Beverly began his education, which was
afterward continued in Phillips Academy at Exeter, New Hampshire, and
in Colgate University at Hamilton, New York. Thus prepared by liberal
intellectual training for life's responsible duties, he returned to Kansas City
in 1896 and entered the First National Bank, where he remained for two
years. He then enlisted for service in the Spanish-American war as sergeant
of the Third Missouri Infantry, remaining with that command for six
months.

After being mustered out he again returned to his native city and be-
came one of the organizers of the Merchants Refrigerating Company. A year
later, however, he sold hi^ interest in that business and became a factor in
real-estate operations in partnership with C. A. McGervey under the firm
style of Piatt & McGervey. This partnership was dissolved in 1904 and Mr.
Piatt then continued alone until 1907, when the business was incorporated
under the style of Piatt & Boone. They conduct a general real-estate, loan



612 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

and investment business and have gained many patrons, hi;^ clientage con-
stantly increasing. Mr. Piatt is also a large stockholder in two of the fine
new office buildings in the business district and is secretary of the Commercial
Improvement Company, now engaged in building a large viaduct on Main
street from Twentieth to Twenty-third streets over the Belt Line tracks. He
is a young man of notable energy, determination and force of character,
who in his business career is actuated by a connnendable ambition that
brooks no obstacles which can be overcome by earnest and persistent effort
and thus ultimately reached the objective point.

On the 20th of November, 1902, Mr. Piatt was married to Miss Mary
Woolfolk, a daughter of John Woolfolk, of Clinton, Missouri. He votes
with the democracy but is not active jls a party worker and his membership
relations are with the Masons, the Kansas City Club and the Evanston Golf
Club — associations which indicate much of the character of his interests and