Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Jesse E. Elmore

JESSE E. ELMORE. From the limited opportunities of a farm to president of the Citizens Bank of McCracken measures the progress and advancement of Jesse E. Elmore as a business man. Combined with the natural qualifications for commercial affairs with which he started life has been a resolute ambition to make the best of his opportunities and his resources, and few men have succeeded so well in carrying out their early plans.

He was born on a farm near Kirksville in Adair County, Missouri, June 24, 1870. The farm was his home until he was eighteen. He attended the public schools, and he started life with neither worse or better advantages than many other boys. On leaving the farm he learned business as clerk in a hardware and implement store at Claflin, Kansas. He came out to Kansas in 1887, following his brother, M. C. Elmore, who had previously located at Claflin. The two established themselves in business when the Town of Claflin was born and almost immediately after the Missouri Pacific Railway tracks were constructed through that locality. They had the advantage of location, of priority, and they bestirred themselves to meet all the demands placed upon them, and these were the chief factors in their remarkable success. At first the store did not require all the time and attention of the two brothers, and the older brother therefore taught school, leaving the active management of the store to Jesse. The brothers started with a capital of only $600, had no experience except that previous work on a farm, and at the end of six years their hopes had been realized in such a way that each possessed a capital of $13,000 when they sold their business in Claflin.

On coming to McCracken in 1893 Jesse E. Elmore engaged in the same line of business, but under his individual name, and sold hardware and implements over the surrounding country for ten years. The same success attended him here as had in Claflin. His interests became more widely extended, and he finally sold his store, being succeeded in business by G. W. Farwell. Mr. Elmore's next active enterprise was the establishment of the Elmore Lumber Company, which is incorporated, with himself as president, O. F. Elmore, vice president and F. L. Snodgrass, secretary.

Mr. Elmore took the lead in establishing the Citizens State Bank of McCracken in 1910. He was elected as president, an office he still holds, and his other associates in the bank were: A. C. Ellenburger, J. W. Wagner, W. H. Swisher, J. C. Hopper, L. L. Darkess and J. C. Littler. The Citizens State Bank has a capital of $15,000, and out of its earnings the surplus now is equal to the capital stock.

Mr. Elmore might well have stopped with his enterprise as a banker and merchant so far as substantial success was concerned, but he has also been a factor in the agricultural development of the surrounding country. He began investing in farm lands when they were cheap and when there was little demand for them, and his money and influence have had much to do with general farm progress in this vicinity. For a number of years he raised and handled many cattle, but recently his chief dependence has been upon the wheat crop. Mr. Elmore has served as a member of the City Council of McCracken, and has promptly responded to all the calls which are made upon thrifty citizens for the support of movements and institutions which are of common benefit. He was brought up in a Methodist home, aids liberally of his means toward the support of that denomination in McCracken, but has active membership neither in church or in fraternities. His people were republicans, and he has favored the same party, his first presidential vote having been cast for Benjamin Harrison in 1892.

Mr. Elmore's grandfather, Abram Elmore, moved in the early days from Tennessee to Illinois, and spent his last years as a farmer east of Quincy. William C. Elmore, father of the McCracken banker, was born in Tennessee, was reared at Meredosia, about forty miles east of Quincy, Illinois, and on reaching maturity he engaged in farming on a tract of land in Illinois, but subsequently moved to Adair County, Missouri, where he entered a homestead and was identified with its cultivation and management until his death. William C. Elmore was one of the following children: John, Andrew, William C., Abram, Jr., Eliza, who married John Gabbert, and Mary, who died unmarried. William C. Elmore served as township trustee in Adair County. He was married in Illinois to Miss Mary Eliza Clark. Her parents came from Virginia to Illinois in the early days, and she was left an orphan when a small child. William C. Elmore died in 1890, and his wife in 1885. A brief record of their children is as follows: Thomas M., who died in Randolph County, Missouri, leaving three children; George, who died in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, leaving five children; Martha, who died in Adair County, Missouri, leaving three children by her husband, James Johnson: Henry, who died in Adair County, leaving four children; Emily, who died in Missouri, the wife of Benjamin Young, and left six children; Mack, of Hutchinson, Kansas, who has one son by his marriage to Hattie Dunson; Terry E., who lives in Adair County and has a family of five children by his marriage to Allie Begole; Chase F., who is associated with his brother Jesse in business at McCracken, and has two children by his marriage to Mary Kellogg; Jesse E., who is next in age; Clarence, who died in Adair County, Missouri, leaving one son by his marriage to Miss Corbin.

Mr. J. E. Elmore was married in Adair County, Missouri, in April, 1882, to Miss Nettie Anderson, who was born in 1871. Her parents were John and Ratora (Wamsley) Anderson. Her father was born and reared in Shelby County, Missouri, and served as a Union soldier during the war. Besides Mrs. Elmore he had four children: Miss Loa Anderson; Kate, who is married; Mrs. Sophia Clarkson, wife of Elmer Clarkson, of Greeley, Colorado; and Mrs. Maude Boon, wife of William Boon. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Elmore comprise two children. The son Ralph, who completed his education in the Hutchinson Business College, is proprietor of the Elmore Lumber Company and is a soldier in Ambulance Company 239, Tenth Division in Camp Funston. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmore is Ruby, wife of Glen E. Ryan, and has a son, Glenn Elmore Ryan. Mr. Ryan is in France, a member of Company D, Fifty-Sixth Infantry, Seventh Division.