Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

. (page 62 of 65)
Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 62 of 65)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

to the age of sixteen, when he entered business life in the office of Bell &
Hackney, architects of Des Moines, who designed the state capitols of Iowa
and Illinois. In 1887 he came to Kansas City with William F. Hackney,
who opened an office here and, becoming his partner, the relation was main -


tained until the death of Mr. Hackney in 1898, since which time Mr. Smith
has been alone. While the partnership existed he designed the Kansas City
public library, the Manual Training School and the Central high school and
has since been architect for the board of education and has designed all school
buildings, including the recently erected Westport high school, the most
costly school building of the city and one of the finest in the entire country.
Mr. Smith has also designed many other prominent structures in Kansas
City, including the Dwight building, one of the finest modern office build-
ings in the city, and also the new Young Men's Christian Association
building. His offices comprise a large suite in the Dwight building and he
employs a number of architects and draughtsmen of ability, who have been
especially trained for the work and prove competent assistants. Since taking
up the study of architecture as a profession Mr. Smith has made steady
progress, advancing in skill and efficiency until he is regarded as one of the
leading representatives of this line in Kansas City and the entire state, the
important work that he has done being proof of his high standing in the

On the 4th of June, 1896, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Mary E.
Bailey, a daughter of David Bailey, of Kansas City. He is interested in all
that pertains to advancement in everything bearing upon the line of his
work and is a member of the Kansas City chapter of the American Institute
of Architects and the American Society of Heating & Ventilating Engineers.
His political support is given the republican party where national issues are
involved but at municipal elections he casts an independent ballot. He at-
tends the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal church and in his relations
to the coiuiiiunity manifests' jniblic spirit and devotion to the general good.


It seems a long step from herding cattle on the plains to nunc operation
and ownership, but this distance Mr. Bruner has covered in the course of
an active life wherein labor has been directed by sound intelligence and
determination. A native of BtMuisylvauia, he was Ixirn in Montoursville,
Lycoming county, on the 12th of August, 1860, and is of (Tcrman lineage.

His great-grandparents in both the paternal and iiiatei-nal lines came
from the fatherland to the new world. His parents were John and Margaret
A. (Bastian) Bruner, of Montoursville, where the father carried on merchan-
dlsing. The somewhat limited financial resources of the family, however,
made it necessary for Roland E. Bruner to ])rovide for his own suiii)ort at
an early age. He is practically a scH'-rducatcd as well as self-made man
financially. To some extent he attended the public schools of Franklin
count}^ Kansas, to which {)laee his parents removed during his early boy-
hood, becoming identified with agricultural interests there.

When still but a youth, however, Mr. Bruner began herding cattle on
the plains at a period when the west was an open range. The outdoor life




'' D iJ re -■;:!^ATiONS|





not only gave liim passibilities for physical development but also brought to
him the chance of becoming a self-reliant young man. As a herder on the
plains he had to depend upon his own judgment as to what was best in car-
ing for the stock and he learned to quickly form his opinions, yet never with-
out that careful judgment which must always discriminate in order to determine
the true value or pos^sibilities of any situation. However, believing that
mercantile life would offer him greater opportunities, Mr. Bruner accepted
a clerkship in a country store, where he remained from 1875 until 1880. In
the latter year he became a clerk in the office of the superintendent of the
motor power and machinery of the old Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Rail-
way, and then came the chance to see something of the country as a traveling
salesman and for five years he was upon the road, traveling from the Atlantic
to the Pacific and from the lakes to the gulf. It gave him an intimate
knowledge of his country and he used his opportunities to study the re-
sources of the different sections of the country to the best advantage. His
next position was that of manager of the wholesale house of Phillips Broth-
ers in Seattle, in which capacity he continued for a year, when he became
manager and auctioneer of the Kansas City Fruit Auction and Cold Storage
Company, to which work he devoted his energies with success for three years.
Always interested in minerals, this early predilection was a step toward
the acquirement of his extensive mining properties at the present day. For
the past fifteen years he has devoted his attention largely to mining, and is
now president of the Anaconda-Arizona Mining Company, the R. E. Bru-
ner Copper Company, the Missouri Lithograph, Marble and Mining Com-
pany. He is likewise secretary of the Big Niangua Development &
Realty Company. His investments in mining properties have been judi-
ciously placed, and the control of his interests in this character show him
to be a man of remarkable ability. He understands mining not only from
its financial side, but from the scientific standpoint as well, and is the pos-
sessor of a most magnificent collection of minerals, composed of some of
the rarest kinds, including pearls, amethysts, garnets, rubies, turquoise,
opals, coral and diamond rock. This collection also contains a fine speci-
men of pitch blende, from which radium is made; a quartz crystal weigh-
ing four hundred and eighty pounds and numberless valuable specimens,
each the best of its kind. Thase are all systematically and attractively
arranged in seven large cases, and his generosity has prompted him to make
this collection public in that he permits all who are interested to visit his
museum .

On the 31st of May, 1883, Mr. Bruner was married to Miss Hannah
M. McLain, in Wellsville, Franklin county, Kansas. They have five chil-
dren: Rea M., Glen L., Carey, Roland E. and Hannah M. Mrs. Bruner, a
lady of culture and charm of manner, presides with gracious hospitality over
their attractive home, which is the center of a cultured society circle. Mr.
Bruner is widely recognized as a man of wide philanthropy and Christian
spirit, regarding fully the responsibilities of wealth and doing much service
for his fellowmen, not from a sense of duty, but from a sincere and abiding
interest in humanity. He is widely known in scientific circles as a geologist


and collector of fine specimens; and in mining circles as a most successful
business man, while in the city of his residence he is counted among those
whose labors have been effective and far-reaching in behalf of public pro-
gress, while his personal traits of character are such as win him warm friend-
ships and j)opularity.


E. J. Sanford was throughout his active business life identified with the
railroad service and at the time of his death, which occurred August 6, 1908,
was president and superintendent of the Union Depot Company at Kansas
City, in which capacity he was widely known. He was born in Canton,
St. Lawrence county, New York, June 5, 1848, and during his boyhood ac-
companied his parents on their removal to Dwight, Illinois, where his father
was engaged in farming. There Mr. Sanford was reared and educated.

At the age of thirteen years he enlisted for service in the Civil war — •
one of the youngest soldiers of the Union army. He joined Company B,
One Hundred and Twentv-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantrv, becoming
orderly to Colonel Smith, and in that capacity he served throughout the war,
being in thirty engagements, including many of the most important battles.
His business as orderly entailed the taking of dispatches to outlying posts
and was a task of extreme danger, but the boy acquitted himself with credit
in every emergency, displaying loyalty and valor equal to that of many a
veteran of twice or thrice his age. He was only sixteen when he left the
army but the experiences of warfare develop manhood as nothing else can
do, and aKhough his year,- were limited Mr. Sanford returned to his home
a man in all that goes to fit one for life's practical duties and an understand-
ing of the obligations devolving upon each individual.

At th(> age of sixteen he was made baggage master at the Chicago &
Alton Railway station in Dwight and he was ra])idly promoted in spite of
his youth. He became in succession a train haggageman, freight conductor,
passenger conductor and trainmaster. After he attained his majority he was
made division superintendent with headquartei"s at Slater, Missouri, a posi-
tion rarely field by one so young. For nine years he filled that position and
during all that time never had a train off the track. It was during this time
also that no less than twtMity men who are now presidents and high ofiicials
on railroads received their training under him. The secret of his system
was the rigid and sensible discipline he maintained, the art of which he
claimed lo have derived from hi- army experience.

His jU'omotions followed steadily in recognition of his ability and fidel-
ity and in 1887 he was made superintendent of the Kausas City division of
the Chicago ct .Mton Railroad, which position he filled continuously until
1893, when the office was discontinued. At that time he was appointed a
mom1)er of the inspection bureau, serving until 1897, when he was elected


president of the Union Depot Company and served in that capacity and a-^
superintendent up to the time of his death. One of his salient characteristics
WRS his fidelity to duty, manifest in business Hfe as well as upon the field
of battle, and his faithfulness combined with the exercise, of his native
talents, brought to him a creditable position in the business world and gained
him a fair measure of success.

At the age of twenty-one years, Mr. Sanford was united in marriage to
Miss Ginevra Swing, of Mason City, Illinois, and to them was born a daugh-
ter: Lulu Marian, now the wife of George H. Tefft, who was formerly
president of the Manufacturers & Merchants Association of Kansas City.
Mr. Sanford's mother' Mrs. Elizabeth B. (Sanford) Kinne, is still living at
tlie age of eighty-four years and makes her home at Excelsior Sprino-s

At the Union depot Mr. Sanford experienced two floods and his prompt-
ness in getting things into shape after the waters had subsided was every-
where praised. To the employes at the depot he was familiarly known as
"Pa," that term alone serving as an indication of the regard which they
felt for liim. During the years he was in charge there there was never a
dissenting voice in the board of directors when he was put up for reelection.
He was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors and for nine years
was secretary of the Railway Division Superintendents Association.

Throughout life Mr. Sanford maintained a deep interest in the military
affairs of the country and was active in the Grand Army of the Republic.
He became a charter member of Farragut-Thomas Post and took a helpful
part in its work. He had every reason to be proud of his military service,
for few of his years could boast of three years' connection with the Union
Army, and in days of peace he was as loyal to his country as when he fol-
lowed the stars and stripes on southern battlefields.


Dr. Harry Horace Sullivan has, in the practice of dentistry, displayed
the possession of those three qualities which constitute the elements of suc-
cess in the profession : a thorough underetanding of its scientific prin-
ciples, mechanical skill and sound judgment in managing the financial
interests of the business. He was born August 8, 18'68, in All)ia. Iowa, his
parents being Martin W. and Hattie (Kester) Sullivan. The father, who
was a native of Kentucky, defended the interests of the Union as a member
of the First Iowa Cavalry during the Civil war and, following the close
of hostilities, became a resident of Missouri, where he was prominent in
public affairs, serving for eight years as judge of the police court at Excelsior

In the city of his nativity H. H. Sullivan began his education, which
was continued in the schools of Kearney, Missouri. During his vacation he
learned the harness and saddler's trade in his father's .shop and for some


years after leaving school followed that busiiies,-^, but a professional career
seemed to him to ofi'er a more congenial and profitable field, and in 1886
'he took np the study of dentistry at Excelsior Springs and a year later, at
the solicitation of his preceptor, joined him in Colorado. Mr. Sullivan then
practiced in Colorado for some months, and then again became a member
of the bar at Excelsior Springs. Ill health, however, caused him to estab-
lish his home in the Ozark range and he opened an office at Hartville, Mis-
souri, but the following spring removed to Sedalia, where he entered the
oflfice of Dr. J. P. Gray, with whom he continued until 1890. Early in
that year he took charge of the ofifice of Dr. O. A. Browman, at California,
Missouri, and in August of the same year resumed his practice at Excelsior
Springs, but the following fall entered the Western Dental College at Kan-
sas City. It had recently been established, his being the eighth matricula-
tion. During his student days he defrayed his expenses by his office earn-
ings. In March, 1891, he took a position in the offi'ce of Dr. N. M. Nye,
at Topeka, Kansas, and in the fall he reentered college, winning his degree
in March, 1892. Mr. Sullivan returned to Excelsior Springs and there
opened his office. He was the fourth dentist in a town of twenty-five hun-
dred population, but such was his success that after six months his com-
petitors had withdrawn and he was without opposition there until 1895. The
following year he removed to Kansas City, where he has gained distinction
in his profession. This is an age of specialization and the most successful
are those who do not try to cover the entire territory in any profession or
line of business but concentrate their energies and efforts largely upon a
single line or two, thereby gaining the highest degree of proficiency possible
in the chosen department. Dr. Sullivan, following the tendency of the times,
has confined his attention chiefly to crown and bridge work and orthodonita,
his ambition being to retain what Nature gave to man and in substitution to
conceal his art by his art. Naturally a mechanic, among his instruments
are to be found those which have been developed as a result of his active
and mechanical ingenuity. He is now the owner of a case of instruments
which were once the property of a wealthy Philadelphia dentist, for whom
they were made, and which is unexcelled in the country. All are gold
l)andod with pearl and ivory handles and the larger pieces are ornamented
with cameos and gems. Dr. Sullivan has among h\s patrons many of the
most prominent residents of Kansas City and his practice has steadily grown
in volume and importance. He is also well known in educational lines in
connection with the profession of dentistry. In 1894 he was chosen a dem-
onstrator in the Western Dental College and the following year became as-
sistant to the chair of operative dentistry and demonstrator. In 1896 he
was chosen demonstrator in charge of the infirmary, assistant lecturer to the
chair of oixnitivc dentistry and secretary of the faculty, but the demands of
a growing practice made it necessary fni- liiin to relinquish his position as
demonstrator, although he retained his connection with the college as
lecturer. In 1899 he w^as chosen professor of crown and bridge work and
secretary of the faculty. In 1898 he assisted in the organization of the
Columbia Medical College, became a director and secretary and also pro-


feasor of oral surgery. Ill health obliged him to retire in the following
January from connections, save that he retained his chair in the
faculty. He had made constant progress in his profession, standing today
among its younger representatives of the middle west. He is a member
of the Missouri State Dental Association, of which he has been recording
secretary for several years and in 1896 and again in 1898 he was a del-
egate to the National Dentists Association. In the Western Dental College
Alumni Association he was secretary from 1893 to 1898, and in the latter
year was elected president. He belongs to the American Dental Protective
Association and is a firm believer in its principles. A valued contributor to
professional journals, he has also read before dental societies many articles
that have awakened the keenest interest in the profession.

Dr. Sullivan was married in June, 1892, to Miss Ionia Monfort, a daugh-
ter of John Q. Monfort, a prosperous merchant of Excelsior Springs. Mrs. Sul-
livan was educated in the Stephens Female College at Columbia, Missouri,
where she attained distinction in her cla.sses as a portrait artist. Both Dr.
and Mrs. Sullivan are members of the Forest Avenue Christian church and
are i»rominent sociallv in a circle of friends that is verv extensive. Dr.
Sullivan belongs to both the subordinate lodge and the uniformed rank of
the Knights of Pythias and is also a member of the dramatic order of the
Knights of Khorassan. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen and to the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and his wife is connected with the Rath-
bone Sisters and the Rebekah lodge, the ladies' auxiliaries of the Knights of
Pythias and the Odd Fellows. Dr. Sullivan has filled all the chairs in the
Odd Fellows lodge and was a delegate to the grand lodge of Missouri in 1899.
His political allegiance is given to the republican party and Avhile he has
never sought nor desired office he has always kept well informed on the ques-
tions and issues of the day. He is a public-spirited and progressive man and
this is especially manifest in his professional career, which has been marked
by steady advancement, not only on the lines that others have marked out,
but also in original ways.


O. W. Button, engaged in the real-estate, building, loan and insurance
business in Kansas City, was born in Alden, Iowa, on the 27th of Septem-
ber, 1871, a son of Joshua C. and Carrie L. (Sheppard) Button. His father
established the first bank of Akron, Iowa, and in fact was one of the first
residents and business men of that place, where he was prominently identi-
fied with the upbuilding and substantial growth of the city for many years,
both as a banker and in connection with other business affairs. He removed
to Iowa from the state of New York and found in the great and growmg
western country opportunity for the exercise of his energy and diligence—
his dominant quahties. For many years his work was an element m the
..rowth and progress of his citv and state but now he is practically living


retired. He is a stalwart republican in politics and for years was recog-
nized as a local leader in the ranks of the i)arty, his fellow townsmen call-
ing him to various city offices, the duties of which he discharged with prompt-
man of Highmore, South Dakota; William A., a newspaper man of Sioux
ness and fidelity. His family numbered four children: Albert G., a stock-
City, Iowa; and May, the wife of R. J. Haucke, of Akron, Iowa.

The second son is O. W. Button of this review. He was reared in
Akron, Iowa, where his parents removed during his infancy and in the pub-
lic and high schools of that city he continued his education until he be-
came a student in Morningside College at Sioux City, Iowa, where he pur-
sued a general collegiate course. Putting aside his text-books, he engaged in
the banking business in Akron for three years, after which he disposed of his
interests to James F. Toy, president of the First National Bank of that place.
He then entered Mr. Toy's employ, spending a portion of the time in Akron
and the remainder in Sioux Citv. He continued with Mr. Tov for about
ten years and at the time he resigned was filling the position of cashier of
the First National Bank. This was in 1899.

In that year Mr. Button came to Kansas City, where he turned his at-
tention to the real-estate and building business. He has since been ex-
tensively engaged in speculative building, erecting high class residences,
which he at once places on sale. In this manner he has converted unsightly
vacancies into prominent and beautiful residence districts and has con-
tributed in substantial measure to the adornment and to the progress of the

Mr. Button, keeping well informed on the questions and issues of the
day, as every American citizen should do, is a stalwart advocate of the repub-
lican party, while fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows. Throughout his business career he has endeavored to make all
liis acts and commercial moves the result of definite consideration and sound
judgment. There have never been any great ventures or risks, for his in-
vestments have been guided by a sound judgment and he has practiced hon-
est, slow-growing business methods, supplemented by energy and good


John Kenney Cravens, one of Kansas City's most distinguished lawyers
of an early day, was born in Ripley county, Indiana, August 14, 1838. He
was educated in the University of ^lichigan and Avhen a young man came
to Missouri, settling at Gallatin in 1800. T.ater he removed to St. Joseph
where he lived for a short time, and in .lune, 1805, came to Kansas City.
Here ho practiced law until his death, which occurred November 2, 1892. No
dreary novitiate awaited him. Aliuo-t iiiiincdiately ho secured a liberal client-
age, his broad mind, (•(•mpi-chensivo knowledge of the principles of jurispru-
dence, his careful prei)aration of his cases and his clear presentation of the
points at issue winning him distinguished success.





In 1861 Mr. Cravens was married to Miss Fannie Frame, of Gallatin,
Missouri, and unto them were born four children: James H., now a prom-
inent lawyer of Kansas City; Lanier, lieutenant of artillery in the United
States regular army; John S., a capitalist of southern California, and Frances,
the wife of P. F. Carter, a real-estate broker of Kansas City. The mother is
still living, making her home with her son James H., at the age of sixty-
seven years.

At the time of the Civil war ^Ir. Cravens became quartermaster sergeant
and brevet captain in General Thomas' army. He held membership with the
Masonic fraternity and also with the Kansas City Club. In politics he was an
independent republican, and there came to him recognition of his ability
as an attorney when he was engaged by the republican party for a judgeship
on the supreme bench, but met defeat with the remainder of the ticket. His
carefully managed business interests won him a considerable fortune, so that
he left his family in most comfortable financial circumstances. He was
particularly devoted to the welfare of Kansas City and of Jackson county,
believing firmly in the future progress and greatness of this section of the
state. He was always active and enthusiastic in support of any movement
for the public welfare, and in connection with W. R. Nelson, editor of the
Kansas City Star, he placed on foot a movement which resulted in the estab-
lishment of the present magnificent park and boulevard system. Many other
specific instances of his active and helpful cooperation in public affairs
could be given. He was a liberal contributor to the Presbyterian church, of
which his family were members, and was a profound scholar, the range of his
reading and study being most broad and liberal. He became recognized as an
influential factor in literary, scientific, social and educational circles, and
association with him meant expansion and elevation.

Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 62 of 65)