Pages 306-307, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




OSCAR C. BRETT—One of the most prominent business men of Allen County is Oscar C. Brett, of Humboldt. From a modest beginning he has built one of the largest and most prosperous mercantile businesses in the county. Twelve years ago he purchased a small stock of goods in Humboldt. In order to do this he was compelled to borrow $200. To the building up of this business he gave his entire time and the most patient industry. Gradually he saw his little business grow. Soon he was able to repay the borrowed money and add materially to the small stock. As his trade grew the stock grew. Soon he was able to occupy a larger store than the one in which he began business. A few years more found one store room too small for the needs of the establishment and an adjoining room was added. Today both rooms are filled with goods and his trade has reached proportions seldom attained in the smaller towns. His success has been largely due to industry, but to this he has added a ripe judgment and correct business methods.

Mr. Brett was born in Macon County, Illinois, April 29, 1863. His father was born in Virginia in 1822 and came to Illinois when but a child. Settling on a farm he followed that business the rest of his life. He was married to Miss Martha Cox and to them were born seven children, of whom James, Oscar, Grant, Otto, Julia and Grace still survive. The subject of this sketch was able to secure little schooling but the little he had was well learned. Until he was twenty-one years old he worked on the farm with his father. Coming to Humboldt he entered the large store of S. A. Brown & Co., where he worked for a year and a half. When the company


burned out and discontinued business he went to Kansas City where he secured a place in the Boston Dry Goods Co.'s store and there he remained a year. City life was not to his taste and he moved back to Humboldt and engaged in farming. A single year sufficed in this business and he again moved into town and established himself in a small Racket business on the north side of the square. From this small beginning he has grown into his present immense establishment. While living in Kansas City Mr. Brett was married to Miss Jennie McKnight, a resident of Humboldt. One child, a girl, Hazel, eight years old, was the result of this union.

Mr. Brett has always taken an active interest in politics and has contributed much toward the election of Republican candidates. Never an office seeker he has filled many positions under the city government of Humboldt and has been identified with every effort to aid the town and country. He is a member of the Masons, M. W. of A. and has filled different offices in each lodge.

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