Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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the Southland Lumber Company and the Southern Lumber Company, well
known yellow-pine enterprises of Arkansas and Louisiana, and has various
other interests of minor importance. He is the vice president of the Velie
Motor Vehicle Company, recently organized for manufacturing motor
vehicles in Moline, Illinois. He has invested to some extent in Kansas City
real estate and owns one of the most beautiful residences in the city, which
i^ located at No. 4500 Warwdck Boulevard and which he erected two years
ago. His manufacturing interests are so diversified that three corps of trav-
eling salesmen are employed to sell his product- covering the territory of
Kansas, Western Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and
the panhandle of Texas, and there is no man better known throughout the
entire southwest than Stephen H. Velie.

Notwithstanding the immense volume of business to which he has given
his personal attention and direction, Mr. Velie has been very active in public
and social affairs. He has always taken a great interest in the welfare of
the city and has served as director of the Commercial Club. He has been
president of the Kansas City Club, the Country Club and Elm Ridge Club,
the ^lissouri Hunt Club and the Polo Club. He is at present a director in
the Country Club, which has recently absorbed the Hunt and Polo Club,
in whose sports he has been particularly active, having served as ma>ter of
the hounds while for the past five years he has been captain of the polo
team. He is an ardent and enthusiastic hunter and has successfully hunted
all the big game of the United States and Canada. In politics a stanch
republican, he takes only a general interest in political affairs.

On the 10th of .Tuly. 18(S4, Mr. Velie w^as married to Miss Emma
Ainsw'orth, a daughter of C. R. Ainsworth, a prominent lumberman of
Moline. Illinois. Mrs. Velie is a Daughter of the Revolution and prominent
in the highest .*ocial circles of Kansas City. They have one son, Tom A.,
secretary and a.s^istant manager of the Velie Saddlery Company. He was
born July 'fi, 1<S85, and was married July 10, 1906, to Cordelia Coombs, a
daughter of .Joseph Coombs, of Linneus, Missouri. They have one son, Craig
C. Velie, born April 27, 1907.

A tall, well-proportioned and finely developed man. with a face denoting
firmness, determination and the ability to succeed in any undertaking.



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 625

Stephen H. Velie seems fitted by nature for the position of leadership to
which he has attained in the business world. He is a man of well balanced
mind, even temper and conservative habits, who possesses courage to venture
where favoring opportunity is presented even though he must take the initial
step in this direction, and his judgment and even-paced energy generally
carry him forward to the goal of success. He is preeminently a man of
business, one of large capacities and powers, inspiring confidence in others
by his sound judgment and his utilization of the facilities and opportunities
which oflFer. Those who meet him on a social plane recognize in him a genial,
courteous gentleman who has due regard for the social amenities of life.



EDAVARD LYNCH MATHIAS, M. D.

Dr. Edward Lynch Mathias, physician and surgeon of Kansas City and
chief probation officer of the juvenile court, was born at Westminster, Carroll
county, Maryland, January 9, 1880, a son of Dr. John Swope and Mary Louise
(Lynch) Mathias, the father still a practicing physician of Westminster. The
Mathias family is of German lineage, although the American branch of the
family was founded in this country about 1650, a settlement being made in
Pennsylvania, whence a removal was later made to Maryland. In the latter
state the great-grandfather, the grandfather and the father of Dr. E. L. Ma-
thias successively and successfully practiced medicine. The mother of Dr.
Mathias of this review is a representative of an old Maryland family of Irish
origin and her father, Edward Lynch, a wholesale implement dealer and lum-
berman, was prominent in the business circles of his state.

Dr. E. L. Mathias, having mastered the elementary branches of learning
in the public schools, pursued a preparatory course in the Western Maryland
College at Westminster and in 1900 entered the University of Maryland, from
which he was graduated in 1903 with the degree of M. D. He is of the fourth
generation of his family to graduate from that college, his father, Dr. John
Swope Mathias, having been an alumnus of 1878, his grandfather, Dr. William
R. Mathias, of 1856, and his great-grandfather. Dr. John Swope Mathias, in
1813. The representative of the profession in each succeeding generation has
attained more than local distinction in his chosen calling and the record is
one which reflects credit upon the institution in which they received their
specific training.

Dr. Edward L. Mathias came to Kansas City in July, 1903, a month after
his graduation, and entered upon general practice here. In January, 1905,
he was appointed to the position of deputy probation officer by Judge McCune
of the juvenile court and in August, 1906, was made chief probation officer.
The juvenile court and its tributary institutions, established by Judge McCune
several years ago, have done much for the redemption of wayward children and
the betterment of conditions of the children of the poorer classes, but never
has this work aroused the interest and support of the people as in the past
year and this fact is due no doubt in a great measure to the energies of Dr.



626 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

Mathias, who has become so devoted to this work that he has put aside his
professional duties save as his knowledge and practice may be of service to
him in this connection. AVhen Dr. Mathias became engaged in the work
three years ago it employed only two men and handled only a few children
in the county jail. Today there are seven paid officers and six voluntary
officers and in the past year they handled sixteen hundred and sixty-one chil-
dren under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. During the past year Dt.
Mathias has assisted in forming the following affiliated organizations: The
Boys' Hotel, of which he is secretary; the Baby Home, to care for neglected
babies and those held by the juvenile court; The Juvenile Relief Association
for the care of children not coming under the jurisdiction of the Provident
Association ; and The Juvenile Improvement Club, to foster all movements
for the betterment and amusement of children, of which Mr. McCune is presi-
dent. Mayor Beardsly vice president, Arthur Jelly treasurer and Dr. Mathias
secretary. He is likewise secretary of the auxiliary board of the Post-Graduate
Hospital.

His membership relations extend to the Kappa Sigma of the University
of Maryland and the Knife & Fork Club of Kansas City. He is non-partisan
and non-sectarian — the former because of his dislike for any position attained
or held through any other consideration than that of personal merit and the
latter because of his belief that sect or creed has no place in such a work as
that in which he is engaged. Of a warmly sympathetic nature, of conscien-
tious purpose and high ideals, his broad humanitarianism makes him deeply
interested in the work to which he is now devoting his life and which is bear-
ing rich fruits in the lives of the little ones who, not properly shielded by
home influence or environment from the temptations of life, make appeal to
the sympathies and assistance of every . individual who recognizes man's obli-
gations to his fellowmen.



EDWARD H. KIENZLE.

Edward H. Kienzle, secretary of and Kansas City manager for the Amer-
ican Sash & Door Company, was born at Muscatine, Iowa, March 28, 1866.
His father, George Kienzle, came from Germany about 1850 and located in
Muscatine, Iowa, where he married Malvina Huttig, also a native of Germany.
He engaged in the retail lumber business until a few years ago, when he re-
tired and now makes his home in Kansas City.

Edward H. Kienzle mastered the branches of learning taught in the pub-
lic schools of Muscatine and central Iowa and later pursued a course in a bus-
iness college, being thus qualified for the practical and responsible duties which
come with entrance into business life. At the age of twenty years he removed
to Kansas City, where he entered the employ of the AVestern Sash & Door Com-
pany, having charge of the office for four years. On the expiration of that
period he embarked in tlie retail hmiber bu.-iness, in which he engaged for a
year, after which he entered the employ of the Roach & Musser Manufacturing



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 627

Company, of which five years later he became manager. In 1903 Mr. Musser
withdrew and the business was reorganized under the firm style of Roach &
Kienzle, Mr. Kienzle becoming vice president and general manager, as Mr.
Roach, the president, resides in Muscatine, Iowa. In 1905 they consolidated
with the Huttig & Moss Manufacturing Company of St. Joseph, Missouri,
merging into one concern as the American Sash & Door Company, of which
Mr. Kienzle is secretary and the Kansas City manager. This firm now oper-
ates two large plants, one at Kansas City and the other at St. Joseph, Missouri,
with general offices at Kansas City. The business is capitalized at a million
dollars. Their Kansas City plant is the most complete of any of the kind in
the United States, covering three acres and being supplied with the latest im-
proved machinery. It is located at Sixteenth and Bellefontaine streets, on
one of the main boulevards of the city, and in the rear are the Belt Line tracks,
with which they are connected by eight hundred feet of switch tracks. Two
hundred men are employed at this plant, while the St. Joseph plant is nearly
as large, furnishing employment to one hundred and fifty workmen. They
carry on an extensive business as manufacturers of sash and doors and general
mill work, also large manufacturers of bank, office and store fixtures, mantels,
etc. They employ fifteen traveling salesmen, w^ho cover all the western states
and their output is sent into various parts of the country. Mr. Kienzle has
devoted his energies untiringlj'' to the upbuilding of the business and its suc-
cess is attributable in no small measure to his efforts.

In June, 1888, occurred the marriage of Mr. Kienzle and Miss Gertrude
Baird, a daughter of Dr. T. C. Baird, of Kansas City. They have one daugh-
ter, Constance, eighteen years of age, who is now attending Miss Church's pri-
vate school in Boston. Mrs. Kienzle is very prominent in Christian Science
circles and for the past two years has been a reader at the Second Church of
Christ, Scientist, at Thirty-first street and Troost avenue and has been elected
for a three years' term. This church is the finest in the city and was built
by an organization started by her mother, Mrs. Baird, who has been a leader
in the Christian Science church here for twenty-five years.

Mr. Kienzle is a member of the Manufacturers & Merchants Associa-
tion and his standing in business circles is well indicated by the fact that he
was elected to its vice presidency in 1906. He is a lover of horses and very
fond of manly, athletic, outdoor sports. He owns a fine home at No. 3614
Madison avenue in Roanoke, one of the best residence districts of the city.



THOMAS J. SEEHORN,

Thomas J. Seehorn, who is serving as circuit judge by appointment of
Governor Folk, his term extending to the 1st of January, 1909, was born
April 19, 1863, at Fall Creek, Illinois. His parents, Alfred and Martha E.
Seehorn, were farming people of that locality and the son, continuing his
education after completing the public-school course, became a student in the



628 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

literary and law departments of Chaddock College at Quincy, Illinois, and
graduated as a law student with the class of 1886.

The following year he located for practice in Kansas City and for twen-
ty-one years has been a member of the Jackson county bar. He has always
prepared his cases with great care and his ability in this direction, combined
with his well known loyalty in citizenship, led to his election as public
administrator in 1892. He filled the otfice with credit for four years and
received public endorsement by reelection in 1896. On retiring from the
office he resumed the practice of law, in which he continued successfully until
appointed to the bench by Governor Folk to succeed the late Hon. William
B. Teasdale. His legal learning, his analytical mind, the readiness with
which he grasps the points in an argument all combine to make him one
of the most capable jurists that has sat upon this bench and the profession
acknowledges him the peer of its leading members.

On the 20th of March, 1904, Judge Seehorn was married to Maggie E.
Barber. In politics he is a democrat and is well known in fraternal organi-
zations, being a past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias lodge,
No. 1, and also a Mason and an Elk.



EDWIN CLEiMENT MESERA^EY.

Edwin Clement Meservey, city counselor of Kansas City, was born March
4, 1861, in Hallowell, Kennebec county, Maine. His parents were Thomas
J. and Mary H. (Brooks) Meservey. The family name was originally spelled
Messervey. The ancestry can be traced back to Gregoire Messervey, of Anne-
ville, St. ^Martin Parish, Island of Jersey, who flourished in 1495. The
founder of the family in the new world was Clement Messervey, who emi-
grated to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1673, and from him descended
Thomas J. Meservey, who was born at Hallowell, Maine, in 1835. The
mother of our subject was born at York, Maine, in 1837, and was a lineal
descendant of Thomas Brooks, who settled in Concord, New Hampshire, in
the seventeenth century. Both families were represented in the Revolutionary
War by valiant defenders of the colonial cause. Mr. Meservey is a member of
the Kansas City cha|)tcr of the Sons of the Revolution.

Edwin Clement Meservey supplemented liis curly education by study in
the Hallowell Classical and Scientific Institute, wherein he prepared for
college, and in 1877 he matriculated in the University of Kansas, being grad-
uated in 1882 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He was a student in the
St. Louis Law School from 1883 nn.til 1885, and the degree of Bachelor of
Law was conferred upon him in llio latter year. He spent the year of 1882-83
in survey work in Sharp and Fulton counties in .\rkansas for the Kansas
City, Springfield & Memphis Railroad Company, then extending its line from
Springfield, Missouri, to Memphis, Tennessee. In .lune, 1883, he returned
to Lawrence, Kansas, and for several months was city editor of the Lawrence
Journal, a position fof wbicli he was qualified by previous newspaper experi-




EDWIN C. MESERVEY.



I III I »W "l

THE NEW YOKK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX
TILDEN FOUK NATIONS



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 631

ence while attending the university. While a student in the St. Louis Law
School he had a desk in the office of the Hon. Nathan Frank, and his theo-
retical training added some practical experience connected with the work of
the courts.

Following his graduation Mr. Meservey came to Kansas City and entered
the employ of Lathrop & Smith, attorneys, with whom he continued until
January 1, 1900, when he organized the firm of Meservey, Pierce & German,
his partners being Arba F. Pierce and Charles W. German. In July, 1907,
the firm was changed to Meservey & German, Mr. Pierce retiring. In April,
1905, Mr. Meservey was appointed city counselor by Mayor J. H. Neff, and he
was reappointed by Mayor Henry M. Beardsley in April, 1907. During his
practice he has conducted important litigation in the federal and state courts
with marked success, winning well earned fame and distinction. He has
much natural ability, but is, withal, a hard student and he is never contented
until he has mastered every detail of his case. He believes in the maxim,
"There is no excellence without labor," and follows it closely. He is never
surprised by some of the unexpected discoveries by an opposing lawyer, for
in his mind he weighs every point and fortifies himself as well for defense
as for attack. Mr. Meservey is not an orator to the extent of swaying juries
by his eloquence ; he convinces by his concise statements of law" and force
rather than by word painting, and so high is the respect for his legal ability
and integrity that his assertions in the court are seldom questioned seriously.

On the 18th of August, 1891, Edwin C. Meservey was married to Bessie
H. Harris, of Independence, Missouri. Their three children are Francis H.,
Edwin C. and Mary Bess. The family attend the Independence Avenue
Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Meservey is a member of no secret orders
save the college fraternities, the Phi Kappa Psi of the Kansas University
and the Phi Delta Phi of the St. Louis Law School. HLs political allegiance is
unswervingly given to the republican party, and as such he was appointed
city counselor, which position he is. filling at the present time.



WILLIAM E. MINOR, M. D.

Many accord the practice of medicine the highest place in professional
ranks and all acknowledge the worth of the calling and yield tribute of respect
and honor to him who is capable in this field of labor and who holds to a
high standard of professional ethics. Dr. Minor is well known as an able and
honored physician of Kansas City. He is one of Missouri's native sons, his
birth having occurred in Chillicothe, June 8, 1865. His parents were Preston
H. and Lydia A. Minor, and the father engaged in farming and breeding of
fine stock. He was born and reared in Kentucky and became one of the pio-
neers of Missouri. He was descended from English ancestry, the family hav-
ing been founded in Virginia at an early day by representatives of the name
who came from England. John B. Alinor of this family was for many years
a professor in the University of A^irginia and others of the family were valiant



632 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

soldiers of the American army in the Revolutionary war. The mother of Dr.
Minor was a native of Missouri. Her father was for many years a merchant
at Chillicothe and in 1865 removed to Cahfornia, figuring prominently in po-
litical circles in that state.

Dr. Minor pursued his early education in the public schools of Chillicothe
and was reared upon the farm w^here he remained to the age of seventeen
years. Thinking to find other pursuits more congenial than the work of the
fields, he determined to engage in the practice of medicine and utilized the svmi-
mer vacations for study, under the direction of the family physician. On the
completion of his literary education, he matriculated in a medical college,
studying at different times in Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago and New York.
He was graduated in 1889, and practiced for a short time in St. Louis, after
which he removed to Kansas City where he has since made his home. That
the public has confidence in his professional skill and ability, is indicated by
the liberal practice accorded him. He is very careful in diagnosing a case
and his judgment is seldom if ever at fault in predicting the outcome of dis-
ease in any specific instance. Moreover, he performs his duties with a sense
of conscientious obligation and is meeting with gratifying success in his chosen
field of labor. Dr. Minor was married in Kansas City in 1888, to Miss Laura
B. Thornton, whose father was a physician of the city, practicing in partner-
ship with Dr. Minor until he retired from the active work of the profession in
1898. The marriage was blessed with one child, Marie Alicia.

Dr. Minor is well known in Masonic circles. He has attained the Knight
Templar degree of the Y^ork Rite, has also taken the degree of the Scottish Rite
and is a member of the Mystic Shrine. He belongs to the subordinate lodge
and encampment of the Odd Fellows society and has long been connected with
both the Masons and the Odd Fellows. He is likewise a member of several
commercial bodies and social clubs and from the age of seventeen years has
been a devoted member of the Christian church. Without any special ad-
vantages at the outset of his career, he has directed his efforts along lines de-
manding strong intellectuality, close application and the faithful performance
of daily duty, and has made a most creditable record in his field of activity.



ROBERT M. MAXWELL.

Robert M. Maxwell, president of the Maxwell-McClure-Fitts Dry Goods
Company, conducting an extensive wholesale business, their trade extend-
ing broadly over the west and south, belongs to that class of men who con-
stitute the real strength of the nation — men who without any special
advantages at the ouiset of their careers gain for themselves success and an
honored name, promoting the interests of the public while advancing indi-
vidual prosperity and at all times upholding the legal, political and moral
status of their respective communities,

Mr. Maxwell is a native of Richmond. Indiana, born July 29. 1865, his
parents being John M. and Ann Elizabeth (Moore) Maxwell, of Scotch and



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY* 633

Irish descent respectively. They became residents of Kansas City and the
father, who during his business life followed farming, was living retired at
the time of his death, which occurred May 17, 1908, when he was eighty-two
years of age.

Having acquired a good public-school education in his native city,
Robert M. Maxwell entered upon his business career as an employe in the
jobbing house of Adam H. Bartel & Company, of Richmond, in 1881, there
remaining until 1889. Removing westward to Hutchinson, Kansas, he en-
gaged in the jobbing business on his own account and in 1890 was joined by
E. L. McClure in organizing the Maxwell, McClure Notion Company. A
year later they removed to Wichita, Kansas, where they remained until 1896
and then came to Kansas City, continuing in the same business for several
years. In January, 1904, J. C. Fitts became a member of the firm and in
1908 they reorganized and incorj^orated as the Maxwell-McClure-Fitts Dry
Goods Company, enlarging and adding a full line of dry goods. The busi-
ness has grown rapidly and along substantial lines and they now have a
large corps of salesmen, covering the west and southwest. They are recog-
nized as one of the leading firms in their line in Kansas City and the com-
pany is Avell officered, with Mr. Maxwell as president, Mr. McClure as secre-
tary and Mr. Fitts as vice president.

On the 14th of August, 1889, Mr. Maxwell was united in marriage to
Miss Ola Jenkins, a daughter of Isaac Jenkins, of Centerville, Indiana, and
they have two children, Frances and Jeanette, aged respectively fifteen and
thirteen years. Mr. Maxwell is a director in the Commercial Club and a
trustee of the First Presbyterian church. His influence is always given on
the side of progress, improvement, justice and integrity and he gives his
friendship not in recognition of the aristocracy of birth but of the aristocracy
of worth.



OMAR E. ROBINSON.

Omar E. Robinson, a practitioner at the Kansas City bar and one of
Missouri's native sons, was born in Memphis, Scotland county, Missouri, on
the 17th of December, 1869. His father, George W. Robinson, was a native
of West Virginia and a colonel of cavalry under General "Stonewall"
Jackson in the Civil war. Following the cessation of hostilities he became
a resident of Memphis, Missouri, and in 1870 removed to Appleton City,
Missouri, where he engaged in business as a dealer in cattle until a few
years ago, when he retired. He is a direct descendant of General Howe,
commander of the British forces in the American Revolution. His wife was
Cornelia Beckwith, a daughter of Dr. E. M. Beckwith, of New York.

Following the removal of his parents from Memphis to Appleton City,
Omar E. Robinson pursued his education in the public schools of the latter
and also in the Appleton City Academy. His preparation for the legal pro-
fession was made as a student in the law department of the Missouri State
University, from which he was graduated with the Bachelor of Law degree



634 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

in 1892. He was also in the military department of the university. Follow-
ing his graduation he was immediately admitted to the bar and was elected
city attorney of Appleton City, in which he rendered capable service until
1894, when he was chosen prosecuting attorney for St. Clair county, his
fidelity being manifest in liLs reelection in 1896. Seeking broader scope