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

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Charles W. Maier

CHARLES W. MAIER, probably one of the best known citizens of Parsons, Kansas, and third vice-grandmaster of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, has held that important position since December 23, 1894, having been successively re-elected to that office every two years.

He was born at Lincoln, Logan county, Illinois, in 1862, and is a son of Adam and Johanna (Crean) Maier, both residents of Kansas City, Missouri. Adam Maier was born in 1838, was reared in Germany, and came to America when a young man. He was a farmer during the active period of his life.

In November, 1866, the family removed to Kansas, and located in Allen county, where Charles W. Maier went to school as soon as he was old enough, but continued only a few years. His first work here was on a farm, and at the age of fourteen years he commenced the butcher's business, taking another man's place in a shop at Iola, Kansas. There he worked until 1875, when he quit his trade and farmed till 1882. He came to Parsons, Kansas, about April 1, 1882, and entered the employ of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company. He worked in the car department, and helped in repairing, picking up wrecks, etc.

July 25, 1883, Mr. Maier entered the locomotive department of the company as a helper and wiper. September 6, 1883, he was promoted to be a fireman, first worked for Engineer Glenn Ewing, in the yards. He next worked for Engineer Jake Reilly, on the road, and later was fireman on a passenger engine, eighteen months, for Senator John Reilly, and eighteen months for Engineer George Lyons, deceased. He was promoted to be an engineer, June 16, 1889. His first work as an engineer was to run an extra for a time; he then pulled regular freight on all the divisions out of Parsons, but mainly to Muskogee, Indian Territory. Subject ran an engine until December 23, 1894, and has an enviable record during the entire time of his railroad service. Very few engineers can boast of having filled all the posts from a humble beginning to the position of engineer, without sustaining injury or loss of time.

December 26, 1894, Mr. Maier began traveling in the interests of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, having joined that order, September 6, 1884. He has faithfully served the order, having passed through the chairs. He was master of Great Western Division, No. 24, of Parsons, and, for four years, prior to 1894, was grand trustee. During the four years he held that office there came into the treasury of the order nearly $4,000,000. His careful and successful work for the good of the order made him available for advancement, and he was elevated to his present position as third vice-grand master, receiving his orders from Grand Master Sargent of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. John J. Hannahan, of Chicago, is first vice-grand master, Charles A. Wilson, of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, is second-vice grand master. These officials and Mr. Maier have 40,000 men to look after in the various lodges. They travel over the whole area of North America, and are mainly engaged in lecturing, and in organizing new lodges of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. Mr. Maier travels fully 50,000 miles per year, but makes his home at Parsons, preferring it to any other location. He is away front home about five-sixths of the time, and returns to his family, for two or three days about the first of each month. He has two brothers, John A. and George E.; employed as engineers on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway, and residing at Parsons.

Mr. Maier was married in Allen county, Kansas, to Ida A. Wise, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of John L. Wise, originally front Vermont; both parents are dead. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Maier: Frank, a clerk in Mr. Talbot's book store; Jessie (Baker), of Kansas City; Adam; George; Lawrence; Harry, aged seven years; and Ida Katherine, deceased. Mr. Maier owns a fine home at No. 1714 Clark avenue, which he built and also a farm in the edge of Neosho county. He is entirely a self-made man. He is a hard student and a great reader, covering a wide range of literature. Politics have not diverted much of his time front study and reading. He is, in the main, a Democrat, although not radically partisan. He manifests a great interest in fraternal orders, and may be found in the councils of the B. of L. F., Select Knights, A. 0. U. W., B. P. 0. E., and K. of P., all of Parsons. He favors the Catholic church in his religious convictions.