This is a collection of short biographical sketches submitted by individuals with a link to the Researcher. You are invited to send appropriate sketches of early Atchison County residents for inclusion on this page


Atchison County Kansas Bio Sketches 


Alva Clapp, president of the retail hardware company which bears his name, has been engaged in business on Commercial Street in Atchison since May 1907. At that time he purchased the retail store of a local wholesale firm and has made a pronounced success of the venture. It is one of the most attractive and well-stocked stores of the city and is well patronized. Mr. Clapp is popular with his patrons and the citizens of Atchison generally. He takes an active part in city affairs and is especially interested in the public school system. Having been a teacher before he became a merchant, he has never lost interest in the schools and is now the president of the Atchison city board of education.

Mr. Clapp was born August 23, 1868 at Carthage, MO. He is a son of Isaac and Susan B. (ECKLER) Clapp, native of North Carolina to Danville, IL when a young man, and married in his adopted state. His parents were slave owners in the southland and he himself owned slaves, but having a pronounced distaste for the institution of slavery he disposed of his human chattels and moved to the North. After a residence of some years in Illinois, he located in Carthage, MO and owned a farm in Jasper County which he cultivated. In 1875 he removed to Cherryvale, KS and invested in a tract of land near that city. Here he resided until his death in October 1913.

Alva Clapp received his education in the schools of Cherryvale, KS and began teaching school when a very young man. He taught two terms in a district school and served for two years as high school principal. He had a liking for business and obtained his first experience in the retail hardware trade in a store at Conway Springs, KS, from 1891 to 1900, or a period of ten years. He then traveled for two years in the interest of a local wholesale hardware company and was then employed for five years in the various departments of the local concern. In 1907 he organized the Alva Clapp Hardware Company and purchased the retail department of the BLISH, MIZE & SILLIAMAN Company of Atchison. Mr. Clapp has given evidence of a pronounced aptitude for business affairs, and faithfully attends to the numerous details which require the individual attention of the proprietor of a thriving concern, such as is in his charge.

He was married in September of 1896 to Beatrice Kathrine De HAVEN, of Wichita, KS. They had one child Harold De Haven who died at the age of one and one-half years. Mr. Clapp refers to Mrs. Clapp as his partner in the business and his best and most competent assistant. Mrs. Clapp is not only a good wife and socially active in the city, but she takes a just pride in assisting her husband in making a success of his business. Mr. Clapp is politically allied with the Republican Party and has served for fourteen years as a member of the school board. During his period of service as a member of the board the school system of Atchison has made its greatest advance, and the high school has achieved considerable prestige. New buildings have been erected to accommodate the growing needs of the school systems and others are in course of erection. All of these improvements have received the hearty support of Mr. Clapp and he enjoys the respect and esteem of his brother members to such an extend that when the presidency of the board became vacant he was elected to the position. He was also recently elected treasurer of the Commercial Club of Atchison, another city boosting organization in which he is a prominent figure. Mr. Clapp is affiliated with the Modern Woodman and the Elks lodges.

Taken from:

History of Atchison County, Kansas

by Sheffield Ingalls - 1916

Submitted by:

Clemi Higley Blackburn, July 2001

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Last updated 7/18/2001

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