Aldamar P. Elder, of Ottawa, has achieved success in the commercial world and no less distinction as a legislator. Mr. Elder was born in Kenduskeag, Me., April 17, 1854. He is the only son of Hon. Peter Percival Elder, former lieutenant-governor of Kansas (see sketch).
Aldamar P. Elder was only four years of age when his parents came to Kansas. He grew to manhood in this state and has always resided within its borders. He obtained a common school education in the public schools of Baldwin and Ottawa, and from 1871 to 1873 was a student in the University of Kansas. By a special act of the Kansas legislature he was given the rights of majority at the age of nineteen, and in January, 1874, he and A. V. Cobb formed a partnership in the grocery business at Ottawa. Two years later Mr. Elder purchased the established stove and hardware business of S. D. Smith, at Ottawa, and from that time to the present has been engaged in this form of business. The business steadily grew and, in 1907, was incorporated under the style and name of the Elder Mercantile Company, of which Mr. Elder is the president. He is also president of the Ottawa Foundry Company, a director in the First National Bank, president of the Rohrbaugh Theater Company, and is interested in other business enterprises. He has always manifested a commendable public spirit. He is progressive, a fact well demonstated by his active interest in all movements tending toward the public good. No matter what has been the nature of any cause, if it promised good to the public welfare, Mr. Elder has been a generous contributor thereto of his time, means and influence. He was the largest contributor to the King Road drag fund, in 1908, and has been an active member of the Ottawa Commercial Club since its organization, having served as its vice-president. He is a trustee of the United Commercial Travelers' organization and is otherwise prominently connected in business, social, and fraternal relations. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. For more than twenty-five years he has been a member of the Ottawa fire department, of which he was chief for over ten years. For two years he was president of the Kansas State Firemen's Association. He also served on the association's committee on legislation and proposed the bill which became a law of the state, and which levies a tax of two per cent. on gross premiums for fire insurance charged by fire insurance companies, on business done in cities where organized fire departments are maintained, the tax to become a fund for the relief of injured firemen, injured while on duty as firemen, or their families, in case of death from such injury.
For years Mr. Elder has been a close student of political economy. He has well defined ideas as to the solution of economic problems, and has given forceful utterance to his views, which, together with his strict regard for honesty in business transactions and his general and generous interest in the public weal, has won for him a desirable popularity among his fellow men, with whom he has come in contact or formed an acquaintancea fact that is well illustrated in his election to the legislature as representative from Franklin county, in 1910, as the Democratic candidate, notwithstanding that the county is normally Republican politically. He served with distinction in the house during the session of the legislature following his election. He was chairman of the committee on telegraphs and telephones, and also as a member of the ways and means committee, and of the committee on fees and salaries, and cities of the second class. His record in the legislature met the most sanguine hopes of his many friends and proved the wisdom of his election. Mr. Elder has never shirked duty in business, to friend, or to the public. He is deservedly popular and is one of the most popular citizens of Franklin county, where he has spent his life, and in whose interest he has always taken foremost steps toward promoting her progress and development.
In 1876, in Ottawa, Mr. Elder was united in marriage with Miss Clara M., a daughter of William H. Maxwell, a prominent lawyer from Jonesboro, Tenn., who, after residing and practicing law in Ottawa, removed to Paola, Kan., where he died. Mrs. Elder, now deceased, was born in Jonesboro, Tenn. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Elder were born three childrenRaymond E., Pierre Penney, Jr., and Clara D. Raymond E. Elder, now a traveling salesman, served in the Spanish-American war as a corporal. He enlisted in May, 1898, in Company K, Twentieth Kansas infantry, and served until honorably discharged, at San Francisco, in October of the same year. Pierre Penney Elder, Jr., is secretary of the Elder Mercantile Company. Clara D. Elder is a teacher in the Ottawa city schools.Pages 1346-1347 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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