Walter B. (Walter Barlow) Stevens.

Centennial history of Missouri (the center state) one hundred years in the Union, 1820-1921 online

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of the Emmanuel Episcopal church of Webster Groves and belongs to the Algcmquin Golf
Club* Sunset Hill Country Club, Ohio Society of St. Louis, Chamber of Commerce,
Automobile Club, City Club, Zoological Society of St. Louis, American Veterans of
Foreign Service and the American Legion. He has been a lifelong republican, but
never an oflftce seeker. His membership relations indicate the nature and breadth
of his interests. For twenty-one years Mr. Cook has been a citizen of St. Louis, highly
esteemed in business circles, and in every relation of life he has measured up to
advanced standards, proving himself one hundred per cent American in every
particular.



HERMAN A. HANSER, M. D.



Dr. Herman A. Hanser, a St. Louis surgeon who has practiced continuously in this
city since 1898, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, September 22, 1877. His. father, the
late Rev. C. J. Otto Hanser, D. D., was a native ot Bavaria and came to America in 1848,
being forced to leave his native country on account of his politi<£al activity in opposition
to monarchial rule. He was a highly educated man, a graduate of one of the 'leading
German universities and until he took up the study of theology had quite an adven-
turous life, being obliged to leave Bavaria because of his activities against the crown.
He managed to get out of the country to England and there secured a position as a sea-
man <m a sailing vessel. He sailed the seas for four voyages, finally landing in New York,
where he obtained a position as an accountant with a leading wholesale tobacco firm.
It was his desire, however, to enter the ministry and his talents well qualified him for
a professional career of that character, and moreover, inherited tendency as well as
natural predilection led him in that direction, for through more than two hundred years
members of the family had been connected with the work of the ministry. Rev. Mr.
Hanser accordingly came to St. Louis, Missouri, and in due course of time was gradu-
ated with high honors from the Concordia Theological Seminary. He was then assigned
to a pastorate in Boston, Massachusetts, where he labored in the church for seven years
and on the expiration of that period accepted a pastorate at Fort Wayne, Indiana, where
he continued for an equal time. While thus engaged he was also a director in the Con-
cordia Lutheran College of Fort Wayne and in educational work he thereafter continued
to the time of his death. He rebioved from Fort Wayne to St. Louis to become pastor
of Trinity Lutheran church at Eighth and Lafayette avenue, this being the first church
ct the denomination established in thp city. He continued as pastor for thirty-three
years, greatly loved by his own people and honored and esteemed by those of other
denominations. He passed away in 1910, at the age of seventy-eight years, leaving a
memory that is enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him and which is a blessed
benediction to thoflie with whom he was associated. He married Margaret De Pros, a na-
tive of France, bom on the German-French border, of French parentage. She came to
America in 1861 with her parents, who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, and there in her
mother's home she became the bride of the Rev. C. J. Otto Hanser. To them were bom
three children, two sons and a daughter, the eldest being Dr. Hanser, of this review.
The second son. Rev. Arthur Hanser, D. D., is now a minister of Brooklyn, New York.
The daughter, Johanna, is the wife of the Rev. Otto Ungemach, D. D., of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania.



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464 CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSOURI

Dr. Hanser was educated in the Lutheran parochial schools of St Louis and in
Walther College of this city, after which he continued his studies in Concordia College
at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having chosen the field of medicine as a life work he then
entered the Missouri Medical College of St. Louis and won his M. D. degree in 1898.
After graduation he served as extern of the Washingtcm University Hospital and
was also assistant gjmecologist and instructor in gynecology in the Washington Univer-
sity until 1914. He likewise served as surgeon in the Lutheran Hospital for some time
after his graduation. He has always enjoyed an extensive private practice and his
surgical work has heen of an important character. He has membership relations with
the St. Louis, Missouri State and American Medical Associations.

On the 24th of October, 1900. in St. Louis, Dr. Hanser was married to Miss Ida J.
Gruen of this city, a daughter of Jacob and Sophie (Somers) Gruen, who were of Ger-
man lineage, although the family has long been represented in St. Louis. The Somers
family came from Rock Island, Illinois, where they had resided for many years. Dr. and
Mrs. Hanser have become parents of a daughter, Helen, born August 13, 1905.

Politically Dr. Hanser is a republican. He belongs to the University Club and is a
member of the Trinity Lutheran church. During the World war he was connected with
the Medical Corps at Fort Riley and at Camp Sherman, being associated with the field
hospital before being transferred as a regimental surgeon to the Three Hundred and
Seventy-ninth Infantry of the Ninety-fifth Division, stationed at Camp Sherman. He
was cc»nmissioned a captain and honorably discharged December 18, 1918. Dr. Hanser
greatly enjoys travel and when possible indulges his taste in this direction. He is a
man of scholarly taste and attainment who has ever realized the fact that the keenest
pleasure comes from intellectual stimulus and who has always used his talents wisely
and well.



WILLIAM L. NELSON, M. D.

Dr. William L. Nelson, a physician with office and residence at No. 1483 Union
boulevard in St. Louis, was born in Montgomery county, Missouri, July 12, 1879.
His fa^er, William Nelson, was of American birth, but his father came from Ireland
to the new world. The former took up the occupation of farming in southeastern
Missouri, where he owned three hundred acres, constituting a valuable farm to which
he added many modem improvements. He married Ursula Gibbens, who was also
born in the new world and was a niece of Brigadier General Gibbens of Civil war
fame, serving with the Union army. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson was
celebrated in Rising Sun, Indiana, and both have passed away, the death of the father
occurring in 1891, when he was fifty-three years of age, while the mother departed
this life in December, 1890. They were parents of eight children, five sons and three
daughters, of whom William L. is the fifth in order of birth. Of this family Maude,
Minnie, Carl and Frank are deceased, while Ada is the wife of Oscar Hagan of Selma,
California. Walter is an automobile salesman and assistant sales manager for the
Dorris Motor Car Company of St. Loui^ and married Kate Finnell of this city. Hugh
is a locomotive engineer who married Laura Haverkamp, also residing in St. Louis.

William L; Nelson, after acquiring a grammar and high school educaticHi in
Walker, Missouri, continued his studies at Lamar College of Lamar, Missouri, where
he rcfhiained for a year. In 1897 he came to St. Louis and here entered the Missouri
Medical College with the purpose of qualifying for a professional career. He was
graduated in 1901 with the M. D. degree, having in the meantime specialized largely
in his studies in preparation for neurological* practice. He served as resident phy-
sician at the St. Louis City Hospital in 1901-02 and in 1902-03 was engaged in private
practice. Through the succeeding nine years he was connected with the Washington
University Medical School in the department of nervous and mental diseases as
assistant and later became clinical assistant and physician to the out-patient depart-
ment. From 1912 until the 23d of September, 1913, he spent a part of his time as
instructor on. nervous and mental diseases in Washington University and was also
assistant on embryology. In November, 1914, he became a member of the consulting
staff of the St. Louis City Hospital on neurology and observation, which position he
has held to the present time, save for a brief period in 1917 when he was on a leave
of absence. From September until November, 1917, he pursued a course in the



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DR. WILLIAM L. NELSON



Vol. VI— 30



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CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSOURI 467

Student Medical Officers Training School at Fort Riley, Kansas* and from Decem-
ber, 1917, until March, 1918, was a member of Field Hospital, No. 18, at Fort Riley,
Kansas, with the rank of first lieutenant In April of the latter year he was made
commanding officer of Field Hospital, No. 18, at Fort Riley and was prcMnoted to the
rank of captain. From July until September, 1918, he was personnel adjutant in the
Field Hospital section at Fort Riley and from October, 1918, until February, 1919,
was camp personnel adjutant of the camp at Fort Riley, after which he reoeiyed his
discharge from the service. He counted it no sacrifice to put aside his professicmal
and educational work to aid his country, feeling this to be his first duty, and to
the call of duty he has eyer made quick response. At all times he has thoroughly
acquainted himself with the results of modern research and investigation along med-
ical and surgical lines and is a member of the St Louis Medical Society, the Missouri
State Medical Association and the American Medical Association and the Washington
University Alumni Society.

In St Louis, on the 5th of December, 1900, was celebrated the marriage of Dr.
Nelson and Miss Maurice O. Jones, a daughter of Frank Bl and Lurilda (Mitchell)
Jones, representatives of old southern families. Dr. and Mrs. Nelson reside at No.
1483 Union boulevard in St. Louis. In politics his course is that of an independent
democrat, for while he is a believer in many of the principles of the party, he does
not consider himself bound by party ties if his personal judgment dictates another
course. His time and attention since his graduation from th^ Missouri Medical Col-
lege has been given largely to his profession and in the field of medical education
he has won a prominent name and place for himself.



EDMOND KOBLN.



Edmond Koeln, revenue collector for the city of St. Louis, where he was bom
September 10, 1866, is a son of the late Peter Koeln, a native of Germany, who came
to America with his parents in 1840, when but seven years of age, the family making
their way direct to St Louis, where he was reared and educated and resided until his
death, passing away June 6, 1896, when sixty-one years of age. He was a sawyer by
trade and he was a Civil war veteran, espousing the cause of his adopted country at the
time of hostilities between the north and the south. He married Blizabeth Bollinger,
a native of Ctermany, who came to the new world when eighteen years of age, making
the trip alone in 1857. They were married in -St Louis and Mrs. Koeln still survives,
being hale and' hearty at the age of eighty-three years. She became the mother d
thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters, of whom ten are living.

Edmond Koeln, the fifth child of the family, was educated in the public schools
of St Louis to the age of sixteen years, when he entered the employ of his father
to learn the trade of a sawyer. He afterward secured a position in the steel mills and
was thus employed to the age ol twenty-eight years, when he became an active factor
in the public life of the city. He first represented the republican party in city organ-
izaticm work, and in 1899 he was elected a member of the St Louis house ot delegates,
where he served for two years. During the same period he was also engaged in the
hotel, restaurant and bar business, which he conducted successfully until 1907. He
then entered the motion picture business, in which he engaged until March, 1920. In
1909 he was elected to his present office, that of revenue collector, in which he has
now served for four consecutive terms, being elected each time by a large majority.
He is also a trustee of the Orand Central Amusement Company, of the Orand Central
Fitan Company and the Maritona Amusement Company and thus has important and
profitable business interests outside of office.

On the 4th of August, 1896, Mr. Koeln was married in St Louis, Missouri, to Miss
Annie Jodd, a native of St. Louis and a daughter of Michael and Frances (Becherer)
Jodd, both of whom have passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Koein have become the parents
of four children, Frances, Qeraldine, Margaret and Edmond, who are with their parents
in a pleasant home at No. 3624 Loughborough avenue.

In politics Mr. Koeln has always been a republican, very active in party ranks.
Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Elks
and the Loyal Order of Moose, and he also has membership with the Liederkrans,
the Missouri Athletic Association, the Riverview Club, the Western Rowing Club, the



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468 CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSOURI

Century Boat Club and various other social organizations, including in all tweAtj-
seven different clubs. He is yery popular by reason of a pleasing personality, a genuine
regard for the rights and opinions of others and an unfeigned cordiality.



JUDGE JOHN W. McELHINNEY.

For the fourth term Judge John W. McElhinney has been called to the bench
of the thirteenth circuit court of Missouri, having entered upon the duties of this
position in 1901. His course has at all times reflected credit and honor upon the
state that has honored him and he is today numbered among the ablest of Missouri's
jurists, for his decisions have at all times been strictly fair and impartial, and more-
over have been the expression of a comprehensive knowledge of the principles at
jurisprudence, combined with ability to apply accurately his principles to the points
in litigation.

Judge McElhinney was born February 4, 1851, on the Mason road in Bonhomme
township, between Manchester and Creve Coeur, his parents being Alexander and
Martha J. (Hibler) McElhinney. It was about the year 1845 that his father removed
to St. Louis county, Missouri, from Butler county, Pennsylvania, and here took up
the profession of school teaching and also followed carpentering at an early day.
Later, however, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits and subsequently
prepared for the bar. devoting his time and attention to law practice in St. Louis
and adjoining counties from 1860 until his demise, which occurred July 3, 1895. For
almost two years he had survived his wife, who spent her entire life in St. Louis
county and who passed away in December, 1893.

The youthful experiences of Judge McElhinney were those of the farm bred boy.
It was four miles from the old hmnestead to the nearest town and his youthful days
were largely passed in attendance at the district school and in the work of the fields.
He found great enjoyment in reading and when leisure permitted spent his time in
reading, thus constantly broadening his knowledge and laying the foundation for suc-
cess in later life. Moreover, he was ambitious to acquire knowledge and when about
fourteen years of age began preparing for a classical college education by studying
under the direction of his father. For a time he was a pupil in the public schools of
the county and city of St. Louis and then entered Wyman's City University, an academy
for bo3rs in St. Louis, remaining in attendance there in 186€'7. He was afterward
under the instruction of a private tutor at* Amherst, Massachusetts, and then spent
four years as a student in Amherst College, completing the classical bourse by grad-
uation in 1872. For two years thereafter he followed the profession of teaching,
spending the second year as a teacher in a private academy at Washington. Missouri.
He then entered upon preparation for the bar and for two years attended the St.
Louis Law School and the law department of Washington University, from which
he was graduated in 1876. It was his purpose to make the profession of teaching his
life work, but dissatisfied with the methods of school management he studied law and
since 1874 the legal profession has claimed his time and energy. He took high rank
in both college and law school and following his graduation entered at once upon
active practice and from the beginning of his professional career has made steady
progress. In this connection a contemporary biographer has said: "He took high
rank in both college and law school and following his graduation entered at once upon
active practice, in which no dreary novitiate awaited him, for his preparaticm was
thorough and his native talents seemed to qualify him for the work. He possesses
an analytical mind and has looked with unbiased judgment upon not only the questions
that have come before him in his judicial capacity but also upon the cases with which
he has been connected as a trial lawyer. He continued in the active work of the courts
as advocate and counselor until January, 1901, when he went upon the circuit bench,
whereon he is now serving for the fourth term. He was first a candidate for public
office when nominated for the position of prosecuting attorney of St. Louis county in
1878, when he was defeated by thirty votes. He remained a worker in the party but
sought no office for many years and was legal adviser to five successive sheriffs of the
county, covering a period of twenty years. In 1900 his name was placed on the ticket
as a candidate for judge of the circuit court of the thirteenth district, then including
St. Louis. Franklin, Gasconade and Osage counties. He was again elected in 1904 and



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JUDGE JOHN W. McELHINNEY



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CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSOURI 471

1910, when the circuit included only St. Louis county." Further Judicial service came
to Judge McElhinney in 1916, when he was elected for a fourth term as judge of the
circuit court. Again we quote from a former biographer, who has said: "He has
always been a republican in principle and in party association but not inclined to
merely partisan controversy or to any factionalism. He has ever lifted the Judicial
ermine above the mire of party politics and in his record on the bench has shown
that there is little or none of that variable and disturbing element which oftentimes
in a measure thwarts Justice. He is exceptionally free from personal prejudice or
bias. His is, in a marked d^ree, a judicial mind, capable of an impartial view of
both sides of a question and of arriving at a Just conclusion.''

The name of Judge McElhinney has also figured prominently in connection with
financial interests. He became a director of the St. Louis County Bank in 1892, and
three years later was elected to the presidency, in which position he served for a
number of years and is still a member of the board of directors, although not an
officer.

At Palmyra, Missouri, in 1887, Judge McElhinney was united in marriage to Miss
Mary E. Suter, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Suter, of an old and highly re-
spected family of that community. They have reared a family who are indeed a
credit to their name, their daughter, Lucy May, having gradtiated from Mary Insti-
tute of St. Louis and pursued a special college course at Washington University ;
Rovert W., a graduate of Smith Academy, became a student in Washington Univer-
sity, from which he was graduated on the completion of a classical course in 1913.
He remained as a law student and won his LL. B. degree in 1916. He then located
for practice in Clayton and at the present time is assistant to the prosecuting attor-
ney of the county. Herbert W., who was graduated from Westminster College at
Fulton, Missouri, in 1912, later became a student in the engineering department of Wash-
ington University, from which he was graduated with the M. E. degree in 1915.
At present he is superintendent of a manufacturing plant in Madison City, Illinois.

Judge McElhinney belongs to the Amherst Alumni Association of St. Louis and
the Washington University Association and has membership with the Missouri State
Bar Association. It would be almost tautological in this connection to enter into
any series of statements showing Judge McElhinney to be a man of marked capa-
bility in his profession, for this has been scattered forth between the lines of this
review. Elected for the fourth term to the circuit court bench no higher testimo-
nial of his capability and fidelity could be given. The soundness of his decisions
and the clearness of his opinions, fank him with the leading representatives of the
bench and bar of Missouri and so honored is his name in professional connections
that no history of the state would be complete without reference to him.



HON. aRANVILLE HOGAN.



When the city boy crosses swords with the country lad in the struggle for ascend-
ency, the odds are against him. There is something in the daily habits of the farm
bred boy — ^the early rising, the necessity to make each blow tell — which develops in
him a sturdiness and determinaticMi that count as most forceful factors in the world's
work when coupled with persistency and laudable ambition. This statement finds veri-
fication in the life record of Hon. Granville Hogan, Judge of the circuit court of St.
Louis, who was bom October 20, 1878, at MJerrimac, Kentucky, a son of the late Thomas
Hogan, who was likewise born in the Blue Grass state and belonged to one of its old
families that was founded in Virginia about two hundred and fifty years ago. The
family is of Irish lineage and representatives of the name participated in the Revolu-
tionary war. With the western emigration the Hogan family became connected with
the pioneer development, of Kentucky, where Thomas Hogan was afterward a successful
farmer and stock raiser and also engaged in the tobacco business. He passed away
at Merrimac, Kentucky, February 8, 1896. He had been a stanch republican in politics
and was very active in supporting the party in his state. He married Lydia Rhodes, a
native of Merrimac, Kentucky, whose people had also settled in the state in pioneer
times, coming from Pennsylvania and Virginia, the Rhodes family being of English
descent Mrs. Hogan is still living, making her home at Merrimac, where she reared
her family of three sons and a daughter, all yet living.



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472 CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSOURI

Judge Hogan was the second in order of birth. He was educated in the public
^schools of his native city and also through 8elf-Btu4y» whereby he qualified for academic
training and entered the Valparaiso University at Valparaiso, Indiana. He was there
graduated with the LL. B. degree as a member of the class of 1902, but l<mg before
he had qualified for the practice of law he was earning his own livelihood. At the time
of his father's death, which occurred when the son was eighteen years of age, Granville
Hogan started out to provide for his own support He entered the lumber business
and was engaged at manual labor, not only providing for life's necessities but also thus
securing the means for his education. On the completion of his law course he removed
to Wilburton in the Indian Territory and there became principal of the public schocds,
occupying that position for two years. But looking ahead, he saw the vast oppor-
tunities for practice in a city and, resigning his school position, removed to St Louis,
where he took up his abode in May, 1904. Here he entered upon the private practice
of law, in which he has continued most successfully. Advancement at the bar is
proverbially slow and yet within a comparatively short time Mr. Hogan had won
recognition as a lawyer of ability and power, well versed in the principles of Juris-
prudence and correct in his application of such principles to the points in litigation.
During 1912 he became a member of the firm of Hogan & Blodgett He served as assistant
circuit attorney under S. B. Jones and Vas elected Judge of the city courts in 1915,
filling that position for a period of four years. Xn November, 1918, he was called to
higher Judicial position in his election as Judge of the circuit court for a six years' term.

The important events of life often hinge upon seemingly trivial circumstances. It
occurred yiat in the course of his practice Mr. Hogan often had occasion to call at
the oifice of Mayor Kiel, and one day on entering the mayor's room he was surprised
to find him chatting with a most attractive young lady. He hastily started to withdraw,



Online LibraryWalter B. (Walter Barlow) StevensCentennial history of Missouri (the center state) one hundred years in the Union, 1820-1921 → online text (page 47 of 64)