James Cuthbert of Topeka, Kan., one of the best known contractors of the capital city, is a native of Nairnshire, Scotland, where he was born July 14, 1849. He is the son of James and Jane (Bowie) Cuthbert, both of whom were natives of Scotland, where they spent their entire lives, the former's death occurring in 1897 and the latter's in 1910, in her ninetieth year. They were the parents of seven children, three sons and four daughters, of whom James Cuthbert of this review was third in order of birth. He was reared and educated in his native land, and at the age of seventeen was apprenticed to learn the stone cutter's trade, at which he worked as an apprentice four years, or until twenty-one years of age, when he came to Canada. He was employed at his trade at Peterborough, Canada, and at Cincinnati, Ohio, until 1873, when he went to St. Louis and was engaged in the construction of the United States post office building there until 1876. At the expiration of that period he returned to Scotland for an extended visit of eight months. He then returned to Graniteville, Iron county, Missouri, where he was united in marriage to Miss Catharine C. Fitzpatrick, born in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1856, the daughter of William and Caroline (Carty) Fitzpatrick, the former of whom was a native of Virginia. William Fitzpatrick was the son of Thomas Fitzpatrick, a native of the North of Ireland who had immigrated to America and settled in Virginia, whence he removed to Washington county, Missouri, in 1820, and there entered a tract of wild land on which homestead William Fitzpatrick was reared. The Cuthbert family still have in their possession the original land warrant issued by the government to Thomas Fitzpatrick and bearing the signature of President Andrew Jackson. To Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert have been born six sons and five daughters, as follows: Mary J., born in 1878; Jessie May, born in 1880; Katie Belle, born in 1882; William F., born in 1883; Mabel F., born in 1885; James R., born in 1887; John A., born in 1889; George M., born in 1891; Charles D., born in 1894; and Elsie D., born in 1896. Robert, born in 1898, died in infancy.
In 1879 Mr. Cuthbert came to Topeka, Kan., where he was employed on the state capitol building as a journeyman stone cutter. He began contracting for constructive work in 1881, and in 1883 he formed a partnership with Smith, Sargent & Company, general contractors, which partnership continued until 1887, during which time they erected the Emporia College building and the government building in Topeka. The firm then became Cuthbert & Sargent and so continued until March 1, 1910, when the partnership was dissolved and the firm became Cuthbert & Sons. This firm does general contracting, but makes a specialty of stone construction, and in July, 1911, completed the courthouse at Lyons, Kan. The firm of Cuthbert & Sargent constructed the courthouse, jail, and the Spooner library building at Lawrence, and also built the courthouse at Beloit, Kan., and the Episcopal Cathedral at Salina, Kan. Cuthbert & Sons have a $30,000 contract for state normal buildings at Hays, Kan. Each of Mr. Cuthbert's sons has mastered a trade. William F. and George M. are carpenters; James R. is a stone mason; John R. is a bricklayer; and Charles D. is an architect; hence, when Cuthbert & Sons take a contract, whether it be brick, stone, wood, or combined materials, each of the sons is qualified to take charge of his special line of the work. The equipment of Cuthbert & Sons, consisting of a stone sawmill, pneumatic tools, etc., is thoroughly modern in every respect. Mr. Cuthbert is Republican in his political adherency, and is one of the valued members of the Topeka Board of Education, being chairman of the buildings and grounds committee. Both he and his wife are Scotch Presbyterians and their family are all members of the First Presbyterian church of Topeka, of which Mr. Cuthbert has been a trustee for over twenty years. He is prominently affiliated with the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar and a member of Abdallah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Cuthbert's long residence in the city, his honorable business career, together with the active interest he has taken in the public, church and social life of the city, make him one of its most valued citizens.Pages 1357-1359 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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