Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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Plymouth. His possession.^ entitled him to classification with the wealthy
men of his day. .Vnolhei- meinliei' of tlie family SiM'ved with distinction a*
inavoi- of Bo-ton.



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HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 57

Charles D. Parker was born at Garden Plain, Illinois, July 12, 1853,
and received his early education in the public schools of Whiteside county,
where he was reared to agricultural life, early becoming familiar with the
duties and labors of the farm. He afterward engaged in the raising of fine
stock and in buying and selling live stock, grain and other farm com-
modities until December, 1887, when, believing he might secure better ad-
vantages in the business world of the west, he removed to Kansas City.
Time has proven the wisdom of his judgment and his operations in this
section have been crowned with success — an indication of his ability, fore-
sight and capable management. He immediately engaged in the real-estate
and loan busine,ss, locating his offices in the new Nelson building, remaining
there about one year, when he removed to the American Bank building, be-
ing its first tenant. He removed from this location in 1893 to the Massa-
chusetts building, remaining there until the completion of the new building
for the fir-t National Bank in February, 1903, where he is now conducting
an extensive real-estate, loan and fire insurance business, having added the
last department in 1893. He is associated with his brother, Herbert Parker,
under the firm style of C. D. Parker & Company, and they rank with the
most prominent representatives in this field of business in Kansas City. A
man of resourceful ability, C. D. Parker has not confined his efforts alone
to one line, as his counsel and unabating energy are considered valuable
assets in Kansas City's business circles. He is now the president and a large
stockholder of the United States Water & Steam Supply Company, a steam
fitting and plumbing supply house.

On the 6th of January. 1876. Charles D. Parker was united in marriage
to Miss Amanda Sutherland, of Fulton, Illinois. Of this union there was
born one son. Carl Sutherland Parker, who married Susan Amsden, of Abi-
lene, Kansas, and they have one son and two daughters: Charles David
Parker, Elizabeth and Marv.

Mr. Parker is preeminently a man of affairs and one who has wielded
a wide influence. He has had no desire or aspiration for political honors,
although his opinions are of weight in political circles. The only position
of that character which he has ever held was while serving as a member of
the board of supervisors of Whiteside county, Illinois, having the distinction
of being the youngest member ever chosen for that position, his age being
twenty-three. He was also a member of the board of education and presi-
dent of the Agricultural Society of that county. His public-spirited interest
in Kansas City has found tangible proofs in his efforts for many movements
for the general good; he has contributed his time, money and influence to
the public progress and the city's growth and substantial development. He
has served as president of the Real Estate Exchange and inaugurated many
important movements which were of benefit to that association. He has
also been president of the Implement, Vehicle & Hardware Club, also
president of the Commercial Club — organizations which have for their ob-
ject the betterment of trade condition? and business life in Kansas City. He
is also a member of the Kansas City Athletic Club, the Evanston Golf Club,
Middav Club and has served on the board of director- of the Provident As-



58 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

sociation for over twelve years. His fraternal relations include various
branches of jMasonry, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scot-
tish Rite, while he is also connected with the Oriental conimandery, K. P.,
and with the great Ararat Temple of the ]\Iystic Shrine. He belongs to the
Sons of the American Revolution and the .Vrchaeological Society.

His broad humanitarianism has been indicted by his active coopera-
tion in various benevolent interests. He has been one of the trustees of the
Gillis Orphans Home, known as the Children's Home and the old Couples
Home at Twenty-second and Tracy streets, and is now treasurer of their
endownment fund. He was one of the building committee that took charge
of the construction of the edifice for INIrs. S. B. Armour, who contributed
forty-two thousand dollars, the whole cost of the building as it now stands.
These are charitable institutions and Mr. Parker has devoted much of his
time to the work and care of the unfortunate in both institutions. Recog-
nizing indiA'idual responsibility in man's relation to his fellowman, *he-= has
performed every duty with a sense of conscientious obligation" aiid his well
spent and honorable life commands the respect of all who know him.



WILLIAM DAVIS FOSTER, :\LL).

Dr. William Davis Foster, dean of the Homeopathic Medical College and
one of the most distinguished homeopathic practitioners west of the Mis-
sissippi, was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, September 7, 1841.

His father, Joseph Foster, was a native of Vermont and a member of
Captain Thomas Waterman's Company and Colonel Dixon's Regiment of Ver-
mont Volunteers in the AVar of 1812. He is moreover, a descendant of some
of the best pioneer families of Essex and Middlesex counties in Massachu-
setts. In nearly every generation of the line there have been physicians
and the family has ever. been noted for the patriotism and progressive spirit
of its members and for their success as business men. In 1830 Joseph Foster
married Elizabeth Kummler, a descendant of a Swiss family etablished in
Pennsylvania during colonial days. In 1837 they canic westward to Iowa,
settling in Van l^urcii county, which at that time contained l^ut three white
families. The father was a college graduate and a profound scholar, who had
mastered several languages. Pie was a classmate of '"Pliaddeus Stevens, a noted
statesman in the middle of the nineteenth century. 'IMiivmghout his entire
life Joseph Foster was looked upon as the leader in all important enterprises
and for many years served as county judge. He died November 11, 1855,
and was long survived by his widow, who passed awa^' in Marion county,
Missouri, at the very remarkable age of ninety-four years.

In the family of six sons Dr. Foster, the youngest, i.'^ now the only sur-
vivoi'. He was educated in tlie public schools of his native town and when
sixteen years of age took up the study of medicine in Jacksonville, Illinois,
with Di". David Prince, a dLstinguished surgeon, as liis ])receptor. His
father's earlv death r)1)lio(^(l him (o make bi.~ own wav in (he world and his



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 59

studies were often interrupted by the necessity of procuring further means
but with undaunted energy and perseverance he made the best possible use
of his opportunities and in 1860 matriculated in the medical department of
the University of Pennsylvania, to supplement his earlier reading by collegiate
training. He left the school the following year, however, to enlist in the
Seventh Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, and in that command
served under Surgeon Ellery P. Smith. Following the battle of Lone Jack,
in August, 1862, he assisted in establishing the hospital at Lexington, and
after the battle of Prairie Grove was similarly engaged at Fayetteville,
Arkansas. In 1863 he was commissioned surgeon of his regiment and held
that rank until the close of the war. He was present at the capture of Little
Rock and was actively engaged in hospital service there, and at various times
was a member of the boards of operating surgeons and also examined those
claiming exemjDtion from military service on account of disability.

AVhen the war was over Dr. Foster, who had acquired through medical
experience, knowledge far in excess of that obtained through college training,
located" for practice at Hannibal, Missouri, and entered into partnership with
Dr. George R. Birch. Not long afterward he began to investigate the sub-
ject of homeopathy, and, becoming convinced of its superiority, he adopted
that method of practice and in 1869 was graduated from the Homeopathic
Medical College at St. Louis, ^]\lissouri. He then resumed practice at Han-
nibal and was very successful as a representative of this school of medicine.
He has made steady progress in his professional work, gaining a wide reputa-
tion that is by no means local. In 1873 he assisted in organizing the Mis-
souri ^''alley ^Medical Association at Quincy, Illinois, the first homeopathic
body in the state outside of St. Louis. The following year at the special re-
quest of the faculty he delivered a short course of lectures on Diseases of the
Thorax before the Homeopathic Medical College at St. Louis.

In 1881 Dr. Foster became a resident of Kansas City. He has long been
recognized as one of the best surgeons in the state and one of the strongest
exponents of homeopathy in the United States. Investigation and research have
continually broadened his knowledge and promoted his efficiency, and he
has been a leader in those lines of thought and experience which have made
the practice of homeopathy of such great benefit to the race. For the first
five years of its existence he was associate editor of the ^ledical Arena, the
only homeopathic journal in the Missouri valley. In 1889 he was called to
fill the chair as professor of surgery in the Homeopathic INIedical College,
and in 1894 was elected dean of the faculty. The growth of this school was
largely due to his influence, and his zeal and devotion to the profession have
inspired his students to put forth their best efforts in a preparation for this
practice. He is now senior member of the American Institute of Homeop-
athy, with which he became associated in 1867. He also belongs to the Mis-
souri Institute of Homeopathy, the Kansas State Medical Society and the
International Association of Railway Surgeons, being entitled to membership
in the last mentioned by reason of the fact that he was chief surgeon of the
Kansas City, Osceola & Southern Railway. In 1886 he was sent as a dele-
gate to the International Homeopathic Medical Congress at Basel, Switzer-



60 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

land. He is often called to various parts of the middle west to perfonii diffi-
cult operations and has thus come to be known in the country as one of the
eminent surgeons of his day. The medical profession has reason to treasure
his record with gratitude and respect.

In 1878 Dr. Foster was married to ]\Irs. Christie K. Farwell, of Yonkers,
New York. He is a member of various charitable and fraternal organizations,
including the Loyal Legion and the Masonic fraternity. He is sympathetic,
kindly and companionable and in his life has embraced many opportunities
to assist his fellowmen. He is justly entitled to prominence as a practitioner
and an educator, yet wears his honors with becoming modesty.



GEORGE W. SEDGEWICK.

In pioneer times George W. Sedgewick. now deceased, became a resident
of Kansa- City and was a representative of a proioiiirnt family here, while
ill l)usiiie-s life he made a record that was coiiiniendiiWlc. aripiiring success
liv honorable methods that neither sought nor dfiiianded disguise. Lie ar-
rived here in 1867 and from that time forward was t )nnec-led with several
lines of business.

The family from which he was descended' was of Scotch-English origin,
well known and prominent in the east at an early day, the ancestry being
traced back to General Sedgewick. The father, Captain Theock)re Sedgewick,
was reared in Caanan. Connecticut, whence he removed to Lee, Massachussetts.
He was there residing and during the early part of the nineteenth century
and after the nullirtak of the second war with England in 1812. he enlisted
as a captain of artillery, serving throughout the period of hostilities. His
discharge papers arc now in possession of Mrs. George AV. Sedgewick. After
the war he returned to Canaan, Connecticut, where he and his wife spent
their remaining days.

(leorge \\\ Scdgcwidx. of this review, wa- rniite young at the time of his
parents' death, lie w;i- lioi-n in Lee, Mas.-adni-sctts. August 15, 1823, and
after being left an (»r|»lian went to live with an uncle in Ilarrisburg, Penn-
sylvania, where he attended the public schools and acquired a good English
education. After he had put aside his text-books he accepted a position as
train dispatcher in Harrisburg for the old Pennsylvania Central Railroad
Company, occupying that position for a few years, after which he went to
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, being promoted to the position of station agent
for the same company. He continued in Pittsburg for several years and
was then made agent on the same road at Indiana, Pennsylvania, where he
continued until his removal westward to Kansas City in 1867.

Here Mi-. Sedgewick liecanie agent for the Kansas Pacific Railroad Con.
jiany, now the T'nion I'acilie. and a- the .-uperintendeiit was not rr,<idiiig
here at tliat time he al~(» attended to the latter position and aete(l as agent
and .superintendent until 1883. In that year, forming a j)artner-hip with
Edward Philli])s. under the linn name of Sedgewick t^ Phillips, he began




GEORGE W. SEDGEWICK.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 63

dealing in tie.-^. with offices at the corner of Ninth .^treet and Broadway.
Tliey took contracts from the railroad companies to furnish ties, which they
purchased throughout the country. Mr. Sedgewick continued in that bus-
iness for many years and was very successful, securing large contracts and
making extensive sales. He was also . engaged in the real-estate busi-
ness. When he arrived in Kansas City he purchased twenty acres
of land then at the outskirts of the town but now in the best residence
portion of the city. Later he subdivided this and sold off most of it
in town lots, and his Avidow yet owns a considerable part of it and thus has
valuable property. Mr. Sedgewick was regarded as a man of resourceful
business ability and his enterprise and industry were manifest also in banking
circles, he becoming a stockholder in the Security Savings Bank of this city.
In all his undertakings he was persistent, persevering and diligent and his
labors brought him a gratifying measure of prosperity.

Mr. Sedgewick was twice married ere his removal to the west. He first
wedded ]\Iiss Margaret Bell, who died in Indiana, Pennsylvania. There were
several children born to that union but only two are now living: Frank F.,
who resides in Olatlie, Kansas; and Lee M., of Kansas City, a prominent
business man, now president of the Sedgewick Tie Company. Having lost
his first wife Mr. Sedgewick was married in Indiana, Pennsylvania, in 1871,
to Mi.ss Nannie J. Fiock, a native of that place, her parents having eben
pioneers there. Her father purchased land from the government near Indi-
ana in a very early day and eventually became a large landowner, also en-
gaging in the stock business in that locality for many years. The capable
management of his business interests brought him a gratifying prosperity
and both he and his wife spent their remaining days in that locality. By the
second marriage of Mr. Sedgewick there were no children but Mrs. Sedgewick.
reared seven children, all of whom are now married and living in different
parts of the country.

Mr. Sedgewick was a very stanch republican, believing the principles
of the party most conducive to good government, yet he never sought nor de-
sired official preferment as a reward for party fealty. He held membership
with the ^lasonic fraternity and with the Second Presbyterian church, to
which his widow yet belongs. He was a wealthy and w^ell known business
man, respected as much for the integrity and straightforwardness of his busi-
ness methods as well as for the gratifying success he achieved.

Mrs. Sedgewick owns a commodious and fine residence at the southeast
corner of Virginia street and Armour boulevard, which has been the family
home for the past twenty years. She also has two blocks on Armour boulevard
and building lots on Virginia street and the Paseo. Her realty also embraces
several fine residences elsewhere in the city, from Avhich she derives a good
rental. In her home she has a very fine library and beautiful paintings and
other works of art, which indicate a refined and cultured taste. She also has
many interesting relics of pioneer days in Kansas City. On another page of
this work will be found a view of the old Gillis House, one of the first hotels
in the city, and in her home Mrs. Sedgewick has one of the old dining room
tables, also a hat table, a dining room bell and several of the old dining



64 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

room chairs from that hotel. Forty years have come and gone since she
became a resident of Kansas City and throughout this period she has been
prominent in social circles, numbering among hor friends the best residents
of Jackson county.



JUSTIN A. RUNYAN.

By virtue of his position as secretary of the Manufacturers and Merchants
Association, and by reason of a deep, personal interest in the city and its
welfare, Justin A. Runyan has become a prominent and forceful factor in
the development and upbuilding of the city along various lines. While hold-
ing to high ideals, his labors are intensely practical and with keen intuition
he recognizes the possibilities of the means at hand and the opportunities for
successful cooperation of forces in the attainment of desired results.

The life record of Mr. Runyan began in Independence, Missouri, on the
10th of May, 1863. On the 3d of September, following, his father, with the
family left for Columbia, Boone county, Missouri, having been banished from
Jackson county under Ewing's order, No. 11. Justin A. Runyan is one of
twelve children, being the tenth child born to Aaron Ogden and Mary
(Clifford) Runyan. Early in life he displayed a taste for literature and an
aptitude for newspaper work, and to satisfy his desires in that direction he
entered the publishing office of the Missouri Statesman, at Columbia, Mis-
souri, where he became a practical printer and pressman and at the same time
studied journalism under Colonel William F. Switzler, then editor of the
Statesman.

Realizing the value of education and intellectual training, he afterward
attended the Missouri University at Columbia for three years and was thus
better equipped for the duties of the position of associate editor and business
manager of the Missouri Statesman upon his appointment by Colonel Switzler,
who had received appointment from President Cleveland to the position of
chief of the bureau of statistics in the treasury department at Washington,
D. C. Mr. Runyan thus served until December, 1887, when he resigned to
accept an appointment at Washington in connection with the federal con-
gress. While thus engaged he also represented the syndicate of newspapers
as a special correspondent, and like other young men who came to the capital
he took advantage of the opportunity to attend the law department of the
Georgetown University and in course of time was graduated therefrom. In
1891 he was transferred to the war department, where he superintended the
publishing of the "Records of the Rebellion of 1861-65. "•

On the 1st of September, 1897, Mr. Runyan resigned nis position in
the war department and returned to Missouri, and in doing so broke the
axiom ''few die and none resign." His next step was the purchase of the
Sentinel at Clarksville, Pike county, Missouri, which paper he published suc-
cessfullv for some vcars. In July, 1899, ho went to St. I.ouis, where he re-



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 65

sumed his labors in the newspaper field but in February, 1901, came to Kan-
sas City as solicitor for the R. G. Dun mercantile agency. Mr. Runyan thus
continued until July, 1905, when he resigned to accept the secretaryship of
the Manufacturers and Merchants Association. Since that time he has been
closely allied with the development of the manufacturing and commercial in-
terests of Kansas City and has also actively participated in every movement
toward the civic, educational and religious improvement of the entire people.
Always deeply interested in education, he is the champion of every practical
and commendable movement for the advancement and education of voung
people and as secretary of the Jackson County Chapter of the Alumni and
Ex-Students Association he still keeps in touch with the work of the Missouri
State University at Columbia. Another matter of deep interest to Mr. Run-
yan is the development of the waterways and his study of the question has
led to the comprehensive and accurate understanding of the nation's pos-
sibilities in this direction and the value to the country of a developed waterway
system. He was one of the organizers of the Missouri River Valley Improve-
ment Association and has been a delegate to and an active participant in every
deep waterway convention held in the United States since the organization
was affected.

On the 23d of October, 1889, at Clarksville, Pike county, Mi.-s<ouri, was
celebrated the marriage ceremony of Mr. Runyan and Miss Nellie Stuart
Kissinger. They now have one daughter, Lillie Stuart Runyan, who is a
student in the Central high school. Mr. Runyan is well known in Masonic
circles, being past master of Acacia Lodge, No. 18, A. F. & A. M., also a
member of Columbia Chapter, No. 1, R. A. M., and Washington Commandery,
No. 1, K. T., all of Washington, D. C. He likewise affiliates with the Mithras
Lodge of Perfection, No. 1, A. A. S. R. His ancestral history makes possible
his membership with the Sons of the Revolution and he is now serving on
the board of managers of the Jackson county chapter.

For many years he has been an active and effective worker in the church
and in its various activities. He joined the Garfield Memorial church at
Washington, D. C, November 23, 1890, and was baptized the same night
by the Rev. F. D. Powder, who was known as Garfield's pastor. In April,
1891, he and his wife, in association with sixty-five others as charter mem-
bers, organized the Ninth Street Christian church of Washington, Mr. Runyan
being elected one of the elders. He and his wife purchased, catalogued and
conducted the library at the Sunday school of the Ninth Street Christian
church until the 1st of October of the same year, on which day he was elected
superintendent of the Sunday school, serving continuously and acceptably
in that position until he resigned in 1897, to return to Missouri. When he
assumed the duties of superintendent there w^ere eighty-seven scholars in the
Sunday school and at the time he resigned there was an average attendance
of six hundred and ninety-five, with an enrollment of eight hundred and
forty-seven. This Sunday school, for the years 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and
up to the time he resigned the superintendency, was the banner Sunday school
of the Christian church brotherhood for the District of Columbia, Maryland
and Delaware.



66 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

Mr. Runyan gives the greater credit for the success of the Sunday school
to the secretary, Mr. George W. Pratt, and the strong corps of teachers, of
which Mrs. Runyan was one. On locating in Clarksville, Missouri, he was
at once elected superintendent of the Sunday school of the Christian church
there, and was also elected superintendent of the First Christian church Sunday
school of St. Louis, Missouri, while living in that city. He has been an active
worker in the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor from its organ-
ization and when he came to Kansas City he and his wife joined the Inde-
pendence Boulevard Christian church and for one year he was president of
the local Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor of that church. He
has never been active in club life, preferring to devote his time aside from
his business duties to his home, to his church and to the enjoyment of the
cordial relation that exists between him and many friends. He is possessed
of untiring energy and is an optimist, who believes that the world is growing
better and is always helping on the work toward this end. It is said of Mr.
Runyan that he is always ready to do something for some one else. As sec-
retary of the Manufacturers and Merchants Association he takes special pride



Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 6 of 65)