Chanute Daily Tribune, Friday, Nov. 28, 1919




Came Wednesday Evening,

After an Illness of About

a Week





Pioneer in Kansas, He Had Been

In Business Here Close to

Quarter Century


Also Served Community, as Member

of Board of Education

and Library Board.


  J. M. Massey, for more than sixty years a resident of Kansas and a Chanute business man for a quarter of a century, died at his home, 101 South Kansas avenue, at 9:45 o’clock Wednesday evening.  Death was caused by cerebral hemorrhage after a brief illness.  Mr. Massey had suffered however, for some time from digestive ailments, and his final illness followed a recurrence of these attacks.  He was taken sick about a week ago, and since then had been confined to his home failing to improve and being confined to his bed the two days preceding his death.

  Late Wednesday afternoon, however, he seemed to be much better, but shortly after 7 o’clock that evening he was stricken by cerebral hemorrhage which caused him to relapse in unconsciousness and resulted fatally in less than three hours.

  It was realized as soon as the hemorrhage occurred, that his condition was critical and the physician, recommended the sending of word to his younger son, Mark Massey in Washington D. C.  Shortly after midnight the family received word from Mark that he had started for home.  He was expected to arrive here this afternoon.

  The funeral services will be held at the home, Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock.  They will be conducted by the Masons.

He Knew John Brown.

  Mr. Massey had not only long been identified with the city of Chanute, but his association, with Kansas went back to the days of Old John Brown of Osawatomie, whom as a lad in his teens he frequently saw.  In fact many of the letters written by John Brown when he was making his fight to keep slavery from “Bleeding Kansas” were written at a desk in the Massey home.

  Mr. Massey was 76 years old, having been born in Lock Haven, Clinton county, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1843.  He was the son of Dr. A. B. Massey and thru him the descendent of an English family which settled in the colony of Maryland when it was founded by Lord Baltimore.

When Brown Came to Stay.

  The father came to Kansas in 1857, when J. M. Massey was 14 years old.  After a short stay in Kansas City he went to Paola, but spent only two months at the latter place, then moving on the Trading Post, Linn county, just south of Miami county where John Brown had his headquarters.  J. M. Massey knew John Brown and all the latter’s sons with the exception of Frederick, who was killed in a battle on Pottawatomie Creek.

  At one time after the battle of Osawatomie, John Brown and a band of eight or ten men came to the trading post, while Dr. Massey was away in the East, the only man at the Massey place being the clerk.  Brown and his men put their horses inside the stockade fence surrounding the post and made themselves at home.

  “We have come to stay awhile” Mr. Brown told Mrs. Massey.  “I have been sent by the Lord to this country in the interests of liberty,” and he and his band stayed until the clerk had ridden to Fort Scott and returned with George A. Crawford, who persuaded the band to move on.

A Soldier for the Union.

  J. M. Massey assisted his father in the trading post until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he went to Leavenworth and joined the hospital service later enlisting in the Seventh Regiment of the Missouri Volunteer Infantry, with which he fought for nine months being in the battles of Hickman’s Mills, Wesport, Independence and Mine Creek during Price’s Raid.

  Following the military service he went from Leavenworth to Benton, Mon., and then spent five years in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, later engaging in the wholesaling business at Leavenworth and Chicago and in Michigan.

Many Activities Here.

  Returning to Kansas in 1874 he located in Wichita, remaining there a year.  Later he went to Sedgwick, Kas., where he was in business for a number of years as a merchant.  January 1, 1896, he came to Chanute and entered business in association with C. P. Garvin as proprietors of the Regulator Clothing Store, being thus engaged until this month, when he and Mr. Garvin disposed of their interests.

  Mr. Massey was also identified with other business interests of the city, being a vice-president of the First National Bank.  He served the community well as a member of the board of education and the board of directors of the public library, being president of the library board.

Wife and Two Sons.

  He was married in Sedgwick, Kas., in 1878, his wife being formerly Miss Alice Fuller, who survives him.  They were parents of two sons, A. B. Massey, of this city and Mark F. Massey, who holds a position in the Government employ in the Army and Navy Building at Washington, D. C.

  Mr. Massey was a Mason and belonged to the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic, being a past commander of the Conway Springs, Kas. G. A. R. Post.  He also was a member of the Loyal Legion, composed of commissioned officers who saw service for the Union in the Civil War.

  Besides his wife and two sons he is survived by his only sister, Mrs. Anna McCormick of Leavenworth, Kansas.


Massey, John M., Biography

Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918

J. M. Massey

J. M. MASSEY. One of the live and prosperous communities of Southeastern Kansas which is offering unsurpassed opportunities for the development of men and large business interests is the growing City of Chanute. In this locality may be found many of the raw materials, or they can be easily obtained through railroad shipments. Here is an immense local market, and here are the men, solid, reliable and aggressive, ready and willing to push ahead to the ultimate end whatever enterprise they connect themselves with. Once an individual establishes himself in the line for which he is best fitted, if he possess business sense and acumen, it is certain that success of one or another kind will reward his efforts. One of the men of Chanute who has admirably proven his own worth and increased his value as a citizen by developing large interests, is J. M. Massey, junior member of the large clothing firm of Garvin & Massey, and vice president of the First National Bank. He has been a resident of Chanute since 1896 and during this time has steadily risen to a place of prominence through a recognition and ready grasp of the opportunities which have presented themselves.

Mr. Massey was born at Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, May 25, 1843, and is a son of Dr. A. B. and Ann R. (McMeen) Massey, and a member of a family which, originating in England, came to America and located in Maryland during the days of Lord Baltimore. His great-grandfather was Aquilla Massey, a planter and slaveholder of Maryland, and that name was also borne by his grandfather, who was born in Maryland in 1741. The latter was a farmer, owned a large plantation and many slaves, and attained a great age, being past his ninety-ninth birthday when he died at Darlington, Maryland, in 1851.

A. B. Massey was born in 1808 at Darlington, Hartford County, Maryland, received his education at Annapolis, and became a physician and surgeon. He was reared in his native place, but as a young man went to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, where he was married, and where he practiced until the year 1857, when he came to Kansas. After a short stay at Kansas City, he went to Paola, but spent only two months at the latter place, then moving on to Trading Post, Linn County. There he opened a store and continued as a physician and merchant until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he became surgeon of the Second Kansas Infantry. He was with his command at Wilson Creek, with Gen. R. B. Mitchell in Tennessee, and in numerous engagements, and the rigors of the war probably were more than his constitution could stand, for in the fall of 1865 he passed away at Leavenworth, Kansas. Doctor Massey came of peaceful Quaker stock, which had never believed in war, but he was ready to assist his country when his services were needed. He was a republican in politics. Mrs. Massey was born in 1822, in Pennsylvania, and died at Leavenworth, Kansas, in March, 1909. There were two children in the family: J. M.; and Annie, who is a resident of Leavenworth, Kansas, and widow of Dr. J. McCormick, who was for fifty years engaged in the practice of medicine at that place.

J. M. Massey received his education in the public schools of Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, and academy at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 1857 he came to Kansas, and after a short stay moved on from Kansas City to Trading Post, Linn County, where he arrived in the spring of 1858. There he assisted his father in the store until the outbreak of the Civil war, at which time he moved to Leavenworth and joined the hospital service, later enlisting in the Seventh Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, with which he fought for nine months, being in the battles of Hickman's Mills, Westport, Independence and Mine Creek, during Price's raid. Following his military service, he went from Leavenworth to Benton, Montana, and following this spent five years in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, later engaging in the wholesale merchandise business at Leavenworth and Chicago and in Michigan. Returning to Kansas in 1876, he located at Wichita, where for one year he was employed in the New York Store, conducted by Kohn Brothers. Later he went to Sedgwick, Kansas, where for a number of years he conducted a business of his own as a merchant, and January 1, 1896, came to Chanute and entered business in association with Mr. Garvin, whose partner's interest he purchased. They have since continued in business as clothing dealers, under the firm style of Garvin & Massey, with an establishment at No. 3 East Main Street, one of the substantial business houses of Chanute, with a large and constantly growing patronage. Mr. Massey enjoys an excellent reputation in business circles of Chanute and is vice president of the First National Bank and a stockholder therein. He possesses the qualities so necessary to success in commercial circles, shrewdness, acumen, foresight, aggressiveness and modern progressiveness, and the fact that his integrity has never been questioned is an asset to his business the worth of which cannot be properly estimated. He is the owner of his residence at No. 101 South Kansas Avenue, and other real estate at Chanute, and is interested in several farms in Neosho County. Politically a republican, Mr. Massey's only public service has been as a member of the school board. He is fraternally affiliated with Cedar Lodge No. 103, A. F. & A. M., and also belongs to Chanute Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, is past commander of the Grand Army Post at Conway Springs, Kansas, and is a member of the Loyal Legion.

Mr. Massey was married in 1878, at Sedgwick, Kansas, to Miss Alice Fuller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Fuller, both of whom are now deceased. Mr. Fuller was a carriage manufacturer of Potsdam, New York, and later came to Kansas. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Massey: Aquilla B., who is a resident of Fresno, California; and Mark F., who holds a position in the Government employ in the Army and Navy Building, at Washington, D. C.