Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm. Scanned from a copy held by the State Library of Kansas.
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E.J. Messall has made a good record for himself as a public official. During the turbulent joint movements the mayor of a city does not have altogether smooth sailing. He is expected by many to do the whole thing, condemned by some if he does, and by another element if he doesn't. Mr. Messall is courteous, accommodating, intelligent, far seeing and strictly conscientious in the discharge of his official duties, and has not been a disappointment to the people of Concordia, who elected him.

Mr. Messall is a native of Prussia, Germany, born in 1857. He is a son of Gotlieb and Karoline (Siegelhagel) Messall, of Prussia. His father died in 1855, on the farm in his native country, where he had spent his lifetime. His mother came to America in 1871, and settled in Marysville, Marshall county, Kansas, where she died in 1892. Mr. Messall is one of seven children, four sons and three daughters, all of whom are residents of this state, except one brother who lives in Wisconsin. Mr. Messall's brothers were in the Franco-Prussian war.

In 1871 Mr. Messall and his youngest sister accompanied their mother to Kansas. He received his education in the high school of Prussia and the district schools of Marshall county, Kansas. He was employed on a farm until seventeen years of age and then entered a flouring mill. In the latter part of his service there he operated the elevator that was in connection with the mill, bought grain, etc.

In 1883 he established the Concordia Bottling Works, manufacturing all kinds of soft drinks, which has been an excellent source of revenue to him. He has a brisk trade in this line during the summer months, having a large wholesale trade. He ships goods to all parts of the state. He is also a wholesale dealer of cigars. In 1888-9 he was associated with Parker & Company in a cigar factory under the firm name of Messall, Parker & Co. He afterward assumed full control of the concern and did an extensive business.

Mr. Messall was married in 1879 to Lena Stettnisch, a young German woman who came with her parents to America in 1866 and settled in Marshall county, Kansas. She is a daughter of Carl Stettnisch, a farmer. To Mr. and Mrs. Messall four children have been born. Their only son, Louis, died at the age of fourteen years. Their three daughters, Bertha, Mollie and Bessie, are intelligent and talented young ladies. The eldest daughter, Bertha, after a course in the Concordia high school entered the Agricultural College of Manhattan, and in 1900 entered upon a business course in the Great Western Business College of Concordia.

Until recent years Mr. Messall affiliated with the Democrats, but transferred his convictions to the Republican party. He has been identified with the city's affairs almost continuously since his residence in Concordia, as a member of the school board and one of the city councilmen. In April, 1901, he was elected to his present office after a hard fight, by a majority of one hundred and ninety-four, the largest ever given a candidate for that office in Concordia. Mr. Messall owns a handsome residence property with a spacious lawn of five lots, on the corner of Washington and Seventh streets. His factory is in the rear of this property. The family are regular attendants' and members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Messall is one of the trustees of the church.