Fernando Wood Gaunt, banker, capitalist, and a leading representative of the commercial and industrial interests of Alton, has not only developed the business interests of Osborne county, but of Smith and Phillips counties as well. Mr. Gaunt represents the type of men who are playing an important part in the development of this great State, for today the conquests are not of arms, but of business, of commercial prosperity and the consequent improvements in all walks of life. The conqueror of today is the man who successfully establishes, controls and operates extensive commercial interests, and Mr. Gaunt has become an important factor in the business life of north central Kansas. He was born on a farm in Mercer county, Illinois, December 15, 1863, the son of Jonathan and Emily Damp Gaunt. The father was born in Sheffield, England, February 14, 1839, being descended from Lord Gaunt, of England. Jonathan Gaunt came to the United States in 1849 and located in Mercer county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming, living very quietly. Mr. Gaunt is a member of the Masonic order. There were eight children in the family, five of whom are living: Cicero B., now in business at Wichita, Kan.; Lorenzo D., a lumber and grain merchant at Cushing, Okla.; Eliza, the wife of Bert Vannatti, a farmer in Rock Island county, Illinois; Albert, a farmer of Mercer county, Illinois, and Fernando W., who was educated in the public schools of Mercer county and at the International Business College, of Davenport, Iowa, where he graduated in 1885.
After a short time at home Mr. Gaunt came to Kansas, locating in Warwick, where he was engaged as a bookkeeper in a grain office. A year later he left Warwick for Alton to become the manager of an elevator, and three years later bought an interest in the firm, which became known as F. W. Gaunt & Company, of Alton. In 1905 the firm was incorporated under the name of the F. W. Gaunt Grain Company, with elevators in Alton, Kirwin and Claudell. Mr. Gaunt is the dominating factor in the concern, which he has practically built up himself. As early as 1893 Mr. Gaunt began to branch out and in that year organized the F. W. Gaunt Lumber Company, of Alton, of which he is the secretary, treasurer and manager. In April, 1906, he organized the Gaunt Implement Company, of Kirwin, Kan., which he still owns and manages. From first locating in this State, Mr. Gaunt has been interested in all improvements for his community and was interested in the first and only telephone system established in Alton, December 6, 1900. Mr. Gaunt has believed in the future of Kansas land and is the owner of several well improved farms in Osborne county. On April 2, 1912, Mr. Gaunt became the president of the First State Bank of Alton, in which he had been interested for several years. In this banking business Mr. Gaunt is carrying on the same conservative policy which he applied to his business, and today has the confidence, not only of the community in which he lives, but of the surrounding country. He is popular, personally, has a host of friends and supporters, who believe in his word as in his bond. Politically, Mr. Gaunt is a Democrat, but has never sought public office, other than as mayor of Alton, an office which he has filled with merit ten years. He is a member of the Masonic order, and today owns one of the modern homes of Alton, Osborne county. On November 9, 1890, Mr. Gaunt married Stella E., the daughter of Jacob Q. and Caroline M. Job Franks. Mrs. Gaunt was born at Shreve, Ohio, March 22, 1871, and accompanied her parents when they came to Kansas, in 1881. Mr. Franks was a farmer and stockman, who died in Sulphur, Iowa, in 1901, where his widow still resides. There are four charming girls in the Gaunt family: Marvel, born August 11, 1891, now the wife of Frank R. Williams; Marjorie, born January 24, 1902, and Marie and Madge, twins, born February 16, 1908.Pages 47-48 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.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project