Carrie Westlake Whitney.

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

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and the contracts awarded him were of an important character.

In 1896 Mr. Dunn became associated with the park board of Kansas
City as engineer to take the topography of Swope Park, and on the 20th
of May, 1904, was made superintendent of the city parks which position he
has since filled to the entire satisfaction of the board and the public. He
has been connected with the park system since the actual park improvement
began and has been largely instrumental in bringing the parks to their
preseftt state of development and beauty. He was the fir.-t in charge of all
the engineering for the improvements and later had general supervision of all
the parks, including the constructive work and the direction of the men. ]\Ir.
Dunn has high ideals which he works out along practical lines that have
produced tangible and effective results, making the park system of Kansas
City one of which its residents have every reason to be proud.

On the 31st of May, 188(3, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Dunn and
Miss Nellie Stone, of Basehor, Kansas. They have two daughters, Elta M.
and Norma I. Mr. Dunn is a Master Mason and is also identified with other
fraternal organizations, including the Woodmen and the Royal Arcanum.
In the latter he is a past regent. He is also a member of the American Asso-
ciation of Park Superintendents. He and his wife hold membership in the
Westport Avenue Presbyterian church and are interested in all that pertains
to the material, intellectual and moral progress of the city.



CHARLES 0. PROCTOR.

Charles 0. Proctor, who has been a resident of Kansas City from his
boyhood days and for a mimber of years a representative of extensive farm-
ing interests of the west, is now^ giving his attention largely to the develop-
ment of property interests. He was born in Athens, Tennessee, July 25, 1861.
His father, Charles Alfred Proctor, who became a resident of Kansas City in
1869, was born in Charlestown, Massachussetts, March 15, 1822. His parents
were Jacob and Lucrctia (Tufts) Proctor, the former a tanner, and later a
farmer, while his well directed business affairs eventually made him a capi-
talist. He was descended from old New England ancestry, his forefathers
having come to this covnitry in 1638 and settled at Littleton. ^Massachusetts,
where the old homestead is still in possession of the family. They were of
English lineage and a coat of arms was granted tlu'iii in 1460. Charles A.
I*i-(i<'t(ir hud fdur great-grand uncles in the revolutionary war and extended
mention is made (if the family in historical docnnu'iits of Littleton, Massa-
chusetts and New England.

Charles A. Pi'octor com])lct('d his education as a student in the medical
department of Harvard College at Caml)ridg(\ Massachussetts, with the class
of 1846. He was by nature and tcm])eranient (]uiet and of litei'ary tastes and
tendencies. It was natural therefore that he .-hould enter ujion a jirofessional



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 79

career, and after his graduation from Harvard he engaged in the practice
of medicine at Stowe, Massachussetis. In that calling he met with success
and proved himself ably qualified to cope with the intricate problems that
continually confront the physician, but for some reason he became averse
to the use of medicine, giving up the practice to take up the study of assaying.
In 1852 he went to Ducktown, Tennessee, in the interests of Messrs. Condit
& Thurber, of New^ York city. He made many trips to the south for that
firm and also for Mr. Wetmore, of Newport, Rhode Island, and was in the
south at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war. As a refugee he made
his way through Hood's army and proceeded to the north. Following the
close of hostilities, however, he returned to the south in 1866 as superinten-
dent of the Tennci^see Coal & Railroad Company. In 18'o7 he went to
Marion, Indiana, where he built a large factory for the manufacture of hubs,
spokes and fellies. After conducting it for a time, however, he sold out and
on the 1st of May, 1869, arrived in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mr. Proctor located in that section of the city now known as Westport.
He did not engage actively in business afi'airs but having brought with him
to the west considerable capital, he loaned his money on farm lands mostly
in Kansas. Purchasing twenty acres of land at Westport he there erected a
home and because of an interest .in the work and because of the fact that
indolence and idleness were utterly foreign to his nature he engaged there in
horticultural pursuits, raising fruit largely as pastime.

While living in this locality Mr. Proctor served as a member of the
Westport school board from 1872 until 1876. He was a republican in his
political faith, but his various trips to the south gave him a wider view and
a more liberal judgment of that section of the country than was held by
most men of his time. In 1884 he returned east to New Hampshire and lived
amid the beautiful mountains of that district at Jaffrey until his death, which
occurred on the 29th of July, 1892. On the 19th of December, 1854, Mr.
Proctor had been married at Athens, Tennessee, to Miss Sarah Ann Mastin,
a native of that state. They were the parents of eight children : Alia Anna,
the wife of Ivan M. Marty, a resident of Petaluma, California; Martha Wil-
liams, the wife of Louis K. Scotford, of Chicago, Illinois; Charles Ormand,
who is the immediate subject of this review; Julia Mastin, the wife of Peter
Cook, who makes her home in Rio Vista, California ; John Jacob, who wedded
Eva Rowl and lives in Kansas City; Lucretia Tufts, the wife of Erskin B.
McNear, of San Francisco, California; George Lawrence, who Ls located in
Rio Vista, that state; and Grace Darling, the wife of Robert M. Hall, a resi-
dent of Chicago, Illinois. The wife and mother departed this life in 1882,
while Mr. Proctor survived her for ten years. He is yet remembered by man^
of the early residents of Kansas City and Jackson county, where he was well
known as a capitalist and business man, who possessed many admirable social
qualities and his spirit of progressive citizenship was manifest in many ways.

Charles 0. Proctor in the days of his infancy was carried in his father';<>
arms a distance of three hundred miles to get him out of his native state
and away from the scene of conflict incident to the Civil war. He came to
Kansas City in his boyhood days and was educated in its public schools.



80 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

«

When sixteen years of age he went ont njion the phiins where he herded cat-
tle. In 1890 he purchased six hundred and forty acres of land in Johnson
county, Kansas, where he made his home until a few years ago, his time and
energies being given to the supervision of his agricultural interests. He has
now sold live hundred and sixty acres of his land to the Strang Rairoad line
for two hundred dollars |)er acre and they have made an addition of this to
be known as Overland Park, a suburb of the city. ^Ir. Proctor is now inter-
ested in laying out a snl)url:) and in in)j)roving it and i- thus associated in the
material development of the west. In 1900 he erected hi^ present home at
No. 4343 Jefferson street on land formerly owned by his father and it has
since been his place of residence. He has also built many dwellings in this
vicinity and also sold a tract of land to the Corbin Realty Company, which
has now been improved under the name of Corbin Park.

^Ir. Proctor was married at Westport, October 1, 1888, to Miss Florence
Grul)er, of Marion, Kansas. They have one child, Martha. Mr. Proctor has
long been known here, his connection with the city covering a period of about
forty years, for although he has not resided here continuously the family
have always been interested in property here and Mr. Proctor has made fre-
quent trips to Kansas City while residing elsewhere. Pie has many friends
here who have known him from his bovhood davs and the fact that he eniovs
their warm regard is indicative of an upright, honorable life.



JOHN F. EATON.



John F. Eaton is a leading representative of insurance interests in Kan-
sas Citv, but while he has attained distinction in business circulars bv reason
of his success, he is equally well known in Missouri as a prominent Mason
and as a leader in coimnunity affairs, having been associated with many
movements for the exploitation of Kansas City's advantages and the jyroino-
tiou of its welfare. One of Missouri's native sons, he was born in St. Louis
in 1850. His father, .lolui Eaton, was a native of England and when a
young man came to America, being engaged in a general contracting busi-
ness in St. Louis for some time and afterward in (^uincy, Illinois, where he
died in 1867. His wife, Mary Frances Eaton, died in Kansas City, April
20, 1906, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years.

John F. Eaton is the second in a family of five children but only two are
living, his l)rother, Walter Y. Eaton, being also r. resident of Kansas City.
In rai'ly ])oyhood John V. Eaton accompanied his parents on their removal
to Qnincy. Illinois, and pni-.<ned his edneation in the j)u])lic schools of that
city. He enteri'd hn^ine - life as a traveling salesman I'oi' a crockery and
glassware house, with which he conliinied for a ye.u". P\ivorable reports
of Kan-a< T'ity and its iios.-^ihi lilies led him to de.>ire lo beeome a I'csident
lii're ;nid acting npim this course which liis judgnuMit sanctioned, in July,
1881. he became identified with its bn-iness interests thi-ongh tlie establish-
ment of a wholesale ar(l retail crockery and gla - ware Im-ine-.- as jnnior ))art-



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 81

ner of the firm of Erwin & Eaton at No. 612 Delaware street. The enterprise
proved a profitable undertaking. After fifteen years in mercantile lines Mr.
Eaton sold his interest in the business and turned his attention to insurance,
purchasing a half interest in the firm of Baird & Company. The firm name
was later changed to Baird, Eaton & Fulton, with offices in the Junction
building. They represent five of the important insurance companies and the
business of the firm is now very extensive. The senior partner died July 14,
1903, and Mr. Eaton then had entire charge, displaying excellent executive
ability in systematizing and controlling the varied interests of the company,
until October, 1903, when he sold out to Edwin Fulton.

Mr. Eaton, moreover, occupies a position of distinction in connection
with many of the popular fraternal and social interests of Kansas City. He
became a charter member of the Commercial Club, has been one of its active
workers and in 1896-97 served as a director. He is now a member of its
state and national legislative comittee. He also belongs to the Country Club
and to the Modern Woodmen of America, while in his Masonic connections
he has become known as one of the honored and prominent representatives
of Mansonry in the state, having served as grand commander of the Grand
Commandery of Knight Templars of Mis.souri. He is also past eminent com-
mander of Oriental Commandery, No. 35, K. T., is a Scottish Rite Mason
and has been honored with the thirty-third degree. He was president of the
Kansas City Karnival Krewe for the three years — 1898, 1899 and 1900, and
instituted and carried through various successful celebrations. He is a mem-
ber of the upper house of the city council at the present time, having been
one of only two democrats elected to that office two years ago. He is also in-
terested in the moral development of the community, having served as ves-
tryman and treasurer of Grace Episcopal churcli, of which he is a commu-
nicant.

In 1883 Mr. Eaton was married to Miss Flora MacMillan, of Blooming-
ton, Illinois, and theirs is an attractive home at No. 3123 Woodland avenue,
erected by Mr. Eaton about ten years ago. His interest in Kansas City is
one of contagious enthusiasm which finds tangible evidence in his practical
and untiring efforts for the city's welfare and upbuilding.



W. E. RYDER.



AV. E. Ryder, vice president and general manager of the Midland As-
bestos Manufacturing Company, was born in Ohio in 1867 and acquired
his education W'hile spending his boyhood days in his native city. Going to
Chicago in early manhood, he became connected with the asbestos manu-
facturing business about fifteen years ago, being associated with different
firms in that city and gaining a broad general knowledge of the business in
its various departments as he worked his way upward from one position to
another. As his promotions brought him a broader outlook and more
thorough understanding of the trade he became ambitious to engage in



82 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

business on his own account and saw the realization of this hope when in
1900 he came to Kansas City and organized the Midhmd Asbestos Manu-
facturing Company, of which he has since been vice president and mana-
ger. His fellow officers in this concern are F. W. Fratt, president; John C.
Miller, secretary; and C. W. Long, treasurer. The company leased a build-
ing at the corner of Third and Highland streets, where they have a floor
space of fifty-two thousand five hundred feet and employ about one hun-
dred people. They manufacture asbestos materials for all building pur-
poses, insulating materials, pipe coverings, boiler coverings, etc. Their out-
put is placed upon the market through agencies and they also employ travel-
ing salesmen, sending their product from one end of the land to the other.

This enterprise is now one of the important productive industries of
the city and Mr. Ryder has devoted his entire time and attention thereto,
his previous practical experience being of essential value to him in the con-
duct of the enterprise, while his executive force and administrative ability
are also strong elements in its success. The plant is equipped with steam
power and all the latest improved machinery and they have installed their
own lighting plant. They also buy lumber and manufacture their
own shipping cases and the factory is entirely modern in every particular.
The business has been carefully systematized, so that there is no waste of
time, labor or materials and yet it has ever been the object of the house to
reach an ideal standard in business, in the personnel of the factory and
offices, in the character of the service rendered and in the quality of the
materials sent out.

Mr. Ryder was married in Defiance, Ohio, in 1894, to Miss Alice D.
D'oitrick. a native of the Buckeye state. They now have three children:
Willard, George and Richard. While a comparitively recent addition to
the business circles of Kansas City, Mr. Ryder is a man who at once makes
his presence felt, not because of any ostentation on his part but because he
possesses the strength of character and the energy that enables him to do
things and do them well. He has preferred to confine his attention to his
business affairs rather than to any active connection with public interests
and yet his influence is always given on the side of progress in municipal or
civic life.



NEHEMIAH HOLMES.

There are in every community a few people who note the trend of
events and the signs of the times indicating what the future has in store
for the locality and who labor to meet the conditions thai will arise; they
profit by their foresight and the city is bciunted by their enterprise. Such
a. man had Kan-^jas City in Xchemiah Holnics. He was born in New York
in January. 1826, a son of Nehcmiah and Clara (D-an) Holmes, whose fam-
ily of eight children numbered three sons and five daughters. He was the
seventh in order of l)irth. His father was for manv vears a merchant of




NEHEMfyVir HOLMES.



PUB



■K



^1^ '^Br'ARY






HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY 85

New York city but afterward retired to a large farm in Westchester county,
New York.

Nehemiah Holmes acquired a good business education and also took up
engineering work. Leaving school at the age of eighteen years, he afterward
went to Aberdeen, Mississippi, where his brother and a partner, Mr. Kendall,
were conducting a large general mercantile establishment. Mr. Holmes be-
came associated with them and was soon made sole manager, for he dis-
played marked business capacity and enterprise. At the age of twenty years
he was admitted to a partnership in the business and continued in active
connection therewith until 1856, when after a most successful career he
closed out the business and came to Kansas City, where he remained until
his death on the 26th of April. 1873.

Coming to Kansas City with considerable capital, Mr. Holmes invested
largely in real-estate and identified himself with the interests and policy
of the new city, working for its upbuilding along the substantial lines that
are employed in building modern cities, utilizing every opportunity for pro-
moting the substantial growth which finds manifestation in extensive busi-
ness concerns and in those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and
civic pride. He was one of the best known and most highly respected of
the early settlers here and the growth, upbuilding and prosperity of Kansas
City was largely due to his energy and efforts. In 1868 he projected
the Kansas City & Westport horse railroad and also the Jackson county road
to the state line. At the time of his death he was the chief stockholder and
manager of this system of street car lines and has been called the father of
the street railroads of Kansas City. He was at the time of his death and
had been for many years president of the Mechanics'' Bank and was also en-
gaged in the insurance business. Mr. Holmes' death was recognized as a
public calamity, for none who knew aught of the history of the city failed
to feel what an important part he had taken in formulating its policy and
advancing its growth. He was perhaps a man of too decided views to be
popular and yet he enjoyed to the fullest extent the respect, confidence and
good will of those with whom he was associated.

In 1858 occurred the marriage of Nehemiah Holmes and Miss Mary
Rector Flowerree, a daughter of Colonel Daniel and Nancy (Rector) Flow-
erree. Four children were born of this union : Clarence, Walton H., Fred-
ericka and Conway F. He belonged to the Odd Fellows society and in 1858,
two years after his removal from Aberdeen, Mississippi, he was presented by
that lodge with a solid gold jewel of large size, together with regalia. He
had been grand worthy master of the lodge and had done much for its up-
building and development. In politics he was an old-line whig until the dis-
solution of the party and afterward became a democrat. He never forgot a
kindness or a friend and at all times held friendship inviolable, while as a
business man he enjoyed the fullest confidence of the public at large and
was recognized as an important factor in financial circles. While his busi-
ness interests were of extensive proportions and made heavy demands upon
his time and energies, he was nevertheless the promoter of many public enter-
prises for the upbuilding of the city, his interest in its welfar? being shown



86 HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY

in many tangible ways. His philanthropy, too, was one of his strongly
marked characteristics, and as few do, he lived up to his ideas concerning the
responsibility of riches.



ROBERT J. MASON.



Robert J. Mason was one of those men whose forceful character, clear
vision and keen discernment resulted in a thorough understanding of a
business situation, while his energy enabled him to carry forward to success-
ful completion whatever he undertook. ISIoreover, he was deeply interested
in the welfare of the city and manifested his interest by tangible aid in many
movements for the public good. At the time of his death he was well
known in business circles as a member of the Christie Grain & Stock Com-
pany, having been a resident of Kansas City from 1887.

Mr. Mason was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, Aug-ust 11, 1856, his
parents being Samuel R. and Jane (Smith) Mason, the latter a sister of the
Rev. Joseph T. Smith, who was one of the most prominent ministers of Bal-
timore, Maryland, in which city his death occurred. Both Mr. and Mrs.
Samuel R. Mason are yet living and each has attained the age of eighty
years. They reside in Mercer, Pennsylvania, where the father has been a
very prominent attorney for many years and is still engaged in active prac-
tice. He is the Nestor of the Mercer bar and the valued and honored president
of the Bar Association there. His history recording a life of activity con-
tinued to the present time should serve as a source of inspiration and encour-
agement to all with whom he comes in contact. He has held some very
prominent offices in the city and county and is honored as one whose life
has at all times been worthy the highest respect and confidence of his fellow-
men.

Robert J. Mason acquired his early education in the public schools of
Mercer, Pennsylvania, after which he took up the study of law in his father's
office, and later at Yale University and Lafayette College, completing his
law studies through his collegiate work. He then went to the west and settled
in Arizona, where for several years he engaged in mining silver, after which
he returned to his old home in Mercer, Pennsylvania, where he was admitted
to the bar and entered upon the practice of law in association with his father.
He was so engaged until 1887, when he removed to Kansas City and here
entered upon the practice of law in connection with Hayden Young, a very
prominent attorney of this city. After a short time, however, Mr. Mason
withdrew from active connection with the bar and" entered upon a partner-
ship with C. C. Christie, his brother-in-law, and with others formed the Christie
Grain & Stock Company, with offices at No. 707-714 Postal Telegraph build-
ing, this being one of the largest grain and stock firms of Kansas City and Mr.
Christie still remains as its president. Mr. Mason continued in business
throughout hi.- roiiiiuning days nnd contributed to the rapid growth, devel-



HISTORY OF KANSAS CITY . 87

opment and financial success which attended the enterprise. He was also
engaged in the real-estate business.

In 1885 Mr. Mason was married in Mercer, Pennsylvania, to Miss
Josephine L. Hoge, a native of New York, and a daughter of David and
Lucy (Griffin) Hoge. The paternal grandfather, who also bore the name
of David Hoge, was one of the pioneers and leading landowners and a rep-
resentative of a prominent old family of Ohio. Her father resided in Ohio
for many years and during an early epoch in the history of Iowa settled
in Davenport. He controlled a line of steamboats, operating on the Missis-
sippi river, throughout his remaining chn's and both he and his wife spent
the residue of their lives in Davenport. Two of his brothers were prominent
and well known men : Judge Joseph P. Hoge, who died while serving on the
supreme bench of California; and William Hoge, who was president of the
Wabash Railroad Company at the time of his death. The Hoge family is
well known throughout the United States and has been especially prominent
in the east.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Mason was born one son, Robert Hoge Mason, who
is r&siding in Kansas City with his mother. In the early part of 1901 ]\Ir.
Mason became ill and returned to Arizona for his health. He died tliere sud-
denly on the 16th of May, 1901. He was always much interested in the
upbuilding and im^jrovement of Kansas City, but was never an ofhce seeker
although a stanch republican in politics. He was a good story teller and
possessing a kindly, affable manner, he made many friends. Both he and
his wife were members of the Second Presbyterian church and loyal to
its teachings and its principles. His sterling characteristics were ever such
as to win for Mr. Mason the confidence and good will of those with whom
he came in contact, while his business methods placed him among the sub-
stantial residents of Kansas City. Mrs. Mason and her son now reside with
her brother, Mr. Christie, in a beautiful residence at the northeast corner
of Forty-seventh street and Rock Hill road, and in leading social circles she
is well known.



GEORGE E. W^OLLASTON.

George E. Wollaston, who was a w^ell known contractor and builder of
Kansas City, where many evidences of his skill and handiwork are seen in
substantial structures here, became a resident of the city in 1883. He w^as a
native of Stanton, Delaware, born November 10, 1842. The Wollaston family
was originally of Welsh lineage and the first representatives of the family in



Online LibraryCarrie Westlake WhitneyKansas City, Missouri; its history and its people 1808-1908 (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 65)