Pages 497-499, 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.




CHAUNCEY H. DeCLUTE.—To know how to make money, to know how to spend money, and to know how to make and keep friends,those are rare gifts, and the man who possesses all of them cannot make a failure of this life. It is because he possesses these gifts that the name of C. H. DeClute always appears in any list of the successful business men of Iola.

Chauncey Hovver DeClute was born in Monroe county, New York, in


the year 1839. When twelve years of age the family removed to Coldwater, Michigan, where the boy attended the city schools until he reached the age of nineteen when he left the school room to take a place as clerk in a clothing store.

In July, 1864, he enlisted as a private in Company C, Twenty-eighth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. After serving in the ranks for six months he was promoted to First Lieutenant and transferred to another Company of the regiment, of which he was put in command,—its captain being absent on detached service,—and which he continued to command during the remaining eighteen months of his service.

After being mustered out in June, 1866, after two years of hard and gallant service under the flag of his country, Lieutenant DeClute returned to Coldwater and resumed his place behind the counter, where he remained until 1879, when he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, W. W. Anderson, and together they came to Iola, Kansas, and engaged in the clothing business.

Up to that time most of the stores in the then small village of Iola, had carried stocks of "general merchandise," a little of everything, and the old settlers will remember well what a shaking of heads there was when it was announced that the new firm was going to run an exclusive clothing store, and how general were the prophesies of failure. But the new firm didn't fail. It started out at first in a small way, with a limited stock in a small building about the middle of the block facing the square between Madison avenue and West street. But by and by the stock grew larger and it was only a few years until it was announced that the new firm had bought the most prominent corner in town and would put up a brick and stone building. So it came to pass that the prophesies of failure ceased and the clothing house of Anderson & DeClute became known all over the enterprises of Iola. And while the senior member of the firm,—whose death in 1892 was deeply deplored,—was personally popular and well liked, it was generally recognised that the long experience and the shrewd business sense of the junior partner were the largest factors in achieving what has certainly been most gratifying success.

After the death of Mr. Anderson and of his wife, which occurred in 1899, Mr. DeClute bought the interest of their heirs and has since been sole proprietor of the business. It has continued to grow, and has increased to such an extent that it has been found necessary to build a two-story addition to accommodate the large stock made necessary by the enlarged demands of the trade.

It often happens that business success is achieved at the sacrifice of personal popularity, but in the present instance this bad rule has fortunately not held good. There are plenty of good reasons for this, but the principal one, doubtless, is the fact that Mr. DeClute is one of the most public spirited of all our citizens. The money he has made here he has spent here—in putting up a fine business block, in building for his family a handsome and commodious home, and in extending his business. He is


always prompt and liberal in subscribing to any fund that may be needed for some public purpose, or in taking stock in any enterprise that is started to benefit the town, or in giving time and toil to help make a success of any public entertainment. He is intensely loyal to the town and amply deserves the success he has won and the esteem in which he is held.

Mr. DeClute was married at Coldwater, Michigan, in 1861, to Miss Jeannette Davis, and the son, George, that was born to them, after serving with gallantry as a volunteer in the First Illinois through the Cuban campaign in the war with Spain, is now assisting his father in the conduct of his business. Mrs. Jeannette Davis DeClute died in 1877, and in 1879 Mr. DeClute was married to Miss Mary Anderson, who, with their daughter, Louise, constitute the family which adorns one of the happiest as well as one of the prettiest homes in Iola.

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