Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

Return to table of contents | Return to Index | Return to Biography Index B

W. N. Barrows

W. N. BARROWS has been engaged for many years in the real estate business in Parsons, Kansas, where he is the leading dealer in city property.

Mr. Barrows was born near Batavia, Genesee county, New York, where he was reared and received his primary intellectual training. At an early age, he became identified with mercantile pursuits in connection with his father, William H. Barrows, at Attica, New York. In 1875 he relinquished this business and went west to Hannibal, Missouri, where he entered the auditor's office of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad. In 1878 he severed his relations with that company, and located at Parsons, Kansas, where he was employed in the office of the Osage Coal & Mining Company. With that company he remained until it was sold to the Missouri Pacific Railway Company, in 1885. He then formed a mercantile partnership with B. R. Van Meter. In addition to this, the firm dealt quite extensively in real estate. In 1890, Mr. Barrows purchased his partner's interest in both branches of the business. He sold the mercantile interest, in 1891, to N. Weil & Company, and retained the real estate department. To this and insurance matters he applied himself, and purchased large tracts of land and blocks of city property. January 1, 1899, in company with E. B. Stevens, cashier of the First National Bank, he purchased the entire interests of the original town company. The town company of Parsons was, at the outset, promoted by Col. R. S. Stevens, now deceased, and H. D. Mirick, now vice-president of the First National Bank. Although there were other stockholders, these gentlemen held a controlling interest and finally acquired all the stock. The company was formed in 1871, and the town site was laid out the same year. It comprised four sections, the extent of the present city limits. Mr. Barrows manages the business of the company, and also the real estate and insurance business of the firm of Stevens & Barrows. He has always been interested in the development of the city, and has assisted in the establishment of business enterprises tending toward that end. He was active in promoting the M. F. Smith Manufacturing Company, in 1886, established for the manufacture of hickory handles of all kinds. In 1898 he was associated with E. B. Stevens and D. H. Brannon in organizing the Parsons Novelty Company, which manufactured the Brannon Combined Meat-Block and Bowl, of which Mr. Brannon is the patentee. Mr. Barrows is treasurer of the company. Fraternally, he is a member of the A. F. & A. M.; R. A. M.; and the B. P. O. E. He is a man of excellent business qualifications, and has made friends of all with whom he has been brought into contact, both in business and social relations. Mr. Barrows was joined in matrimony, in 1870, to Kate E. Briggs, of Attica, New York, a daughter of Rufus and Caroline Briggs. They have had three children, as follows: Allan S., Mary S. and Rufus N. Allan S. is now in New York City, with the Riker Motor Vehicle Company; he married Ella Smith, of Parsons, Kansas, and they have one child, Caroline O. Mary S. is attending college in Buffalo, New York. Rufus N. is purchasing agent for the Washington, D. C., City Street Railroad Company. In religious belief, the family are members of the Episcopal church.