Charles N. Converse, vice-president of the First National Bank of Ottawa, Kan., was born in Clinton, Ill., June 22, 1863. He is the son of Henry E. and Clara (Weaver) Converse, the former of whom was born in Woburn, Mass., Jan. 8, 1836, and was a railroad engineer. He was a conductor on the Chicago & Alton railroad during the Civil war, and for a short time after that he engaged in farming but soon returned to railroad service and was thus employed until his retirement, followed by his death at Burlington, Kan., Jan. 8, 1909. He was the son of John Converse, born Feb. 14, 1813, whose father was also named John. The original ancestors of their family in America came from France. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Solomon Weaver, who emigrated from Germany while very young and settled near Clinton, Ill., where he engaged in farming and where he died in 1883.
Charles N. Converse was afforded the advantages of the common and high schools at Clinton, Ill., and also attended the University of Illinois at Champaign. After completing his course at the university he entered the employ of the Dewitt County National Bank at Clinton, but later came to Kansas, where he has since been identified with banking institutions in different parts of the state. For two and a half years he was identified with the McPherson Bank at McPherson, but at the expiration of the period noted he severed his connection with the bank and took up farming in order to regain his lost health. He took up the third claim in Stevens county and laid out the town of Hugoton, now the county seat of that county. He built the first house in the town, hauling the lumber for its construction sixty-five miles. After one year in Stevens county he sold his claim and came to Waverly, where he organized the Bank of Waverly, and then went to Burlington and organized the Farmers' National Bank of that city. He owns one-third of the stock, and is vice-president of the First National Bank of Ottawa, the oldest bank in the city, having been organized Sept. 23, 1870, and now holding its third charter. Besides the interests mentioned he has extensive lumber and realty interests in Oklahoma, and is a member of the board of directors of the Osage Fire Insurance Company.
On May 14, 1884, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Converse and Miss Fannie Pickrell, daughter of William O. Pickrell, a native of Kentucky, who removed to Kansas in 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Converse have two daughters, Clara L. and Helen R. Clara was graduated from the University of Kansas, in June, 1910, and in 1911 expects to become a missionary in a foreign land. Helen is attending school.
Mr. Converse is a member of the Kansas State Historical Society, and under Governor Bailey was appointed regent of the University of Kansas. His fraternal affiliations are with the Masonic order, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the United Commercial Travelers, the Knights of Pythias, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has attained the Thirty-second degree and the Knights Templar degree in Masonry and has filled all the offices in the Blue lodge. Mr. Converse is a Republican in his political views. He and his family are consistent and devoted members of the Presbyterian church.Pages 1058-1059 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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