Edward B. Fox, president of the First National Bank of Washington, and successful man of affairs, was born at Highland, Doniphan county, Kansas, April 2, 1863, a son of George G. and Myra (Bayless) Fox. His father was a native of the State of New York, born in Ithaca, and came to Kansas in 1857, settling in Doniphan county, where he engaged in farming. He was an active and influential factor in his section during the formative period of the State's history, was an associate and co-worker with the leading men concerned in bringing Kansas into the Union as a free State, and a leader in the political life of his county. He realized a large and substantial success in a business way, was a power in the commercial and financial circles of Northeastern Kansas, and remained in active charge of his extensive affairs until his death, which occurred in 1904.
Edward B. Fox was reared in his native county, acquired his early education in the public schools and was graduated from Highland College, at Highland, Kan., in 1884. Subsequently, he was, for one year, a student in the Chicago School of Pharmacy, and in 1885 was matriculated in Kansas University, where he completed the prescribed course in pharmacy and chemistry, and his is the distinction of having been a member of the first class enrolled in this department. Following his graduation he was employed as an assistant in the laboratory and in teaching in this branch of study, and received the degree of Pharmaceutical Doctor. While a student at Lawrence he became a member of the Phi Gama Delta fraternity. In the winter of 1886 he established a retail drug store in Washington, Kan., and remained in this line of activity until 1905, when he removed to Springfield, Mo., and with others organized the Wilburn & Fox Paint Company, of which he was elected vice-president, wholesale dealers in wall paper and paints. During his residence in the last named city he was one of the organizers of the Purity Oil Company, and was elected vice-president of this company. In 1911 he became a resident of Salina, Kan., and in July, 1912, returned to Washington, his former home, where he now resides. He still retains his business interests in Springfield, and the executive offices previously mentioned. While in the retail drug business in Washington he became a stockholder in the First National Bank of Washington, served for several years as a member of its directorate, and also as vice-president. In this capacity he gained a comprehensive knowledge of banking and finance, and on his return to the city in which he initiated his business career, he again purchased a block of stock in the bank, and on July 9, 1912, was elected president of the institution. Established with a capital stock of $50,000, it has a surplus and undivided profits (earned) of $40,000, deposits of $225,000, and has always paid satisfactory dividends to its stockholders. He is well and favorably known to the banking fraternity of the State, is considered an able and conservative executive, and his bank is the leading financial institution in the county. Since reaching his majority, he has been an ardent advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and prior to his removal to Springfield, was one of the leaders in the political life of his section. He was for four years chairman of the Washington County Central Committee, attended, as a delegate, a number of the State conventions of his party, and assisted in securing the nomination of the late William E. Stanley for governor. Local affairs have been of deep interest to him, and he has been one of the useful men of his home city. He has served as a member of the school board for six years, and for one term as mayor. He has always been an active supporter, both with time and money, of those measures which have had for their object the advancement and development of the community. Mr. Fox has attained the Knights Templar degree in Masonry, and is affiliated with Isis Temple Shrine. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and a trustee of the local organization.
On November 16, 1892, Mr. Fox was united in marriage with Miss Lila Darby, daughter of Philip Darby, of Washington, Kan. To this union have been born three children: Dana, born March 25, 1894, a student in the high school; Agnes, born September 11, 1897, and Richard, born October 11, 1898. The family have long been prominent in the social circles of the State, and the Fox residence is known for its gracious hospitality.Pages 395-396 from a supplemental volume 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 October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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