Jesse W. Lewis, cashier of the First National Bank of Sedan, Kan., has worked his way up from a country boy in Ohio to his present responsible position through the qualities of industry, persistence, and integrity, and today ranks as one of Chautauqua county's most prominent and substantial citizens. Born in Guernsey county, Ohio, Aug. 1859, a son of Robert and Mary (Douglass) Lewis, natives of Ohio, the former born in 1834 and the latter in 1840. Both parents are still living and reside in the state of their nativity. The father, whose whole career was devoted to agricultural pursuits, is now retired. He has always been a Republican in political views and, during the Civil war, served as a member of the Ohio state militia. Jesse Lewis, the grandfather of Jesse W., was a Virginian by birth and removed to Ohio 1833. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Lewis was Albert Douglass, a native of Maryland who came to Ohio in an early day and died in that state.
Jesse W. Lewis was reared in Ohio and supplemented his common school education by a course in the high school at Barnesville, Ohio. He began his independent career as a farmer and also was interested in raising small fruits. In 1883 he came to Kansas, where he began to clerk in a general store, and continued in their employ for some time. Later he was made deputy register of deeds, in which capacity he served one year. In 1892 he became identified with the First National Bank, of Sedan, as a bookkeeper, and continued in that position until 1896, when he was elected assistant cashier. His energy, close application, proficiency, and devotion to the interests of the bank won further recognition, in January, 1909, when he was made cashier of the bank, a position he has continued to fill to the present time. The First National Bank, organized in 1874, is the oldest and largest bank in Chautauqua county. It is capitalized at $75,000, has a surplus of $25,000, and undivided profits of $25,000, and its deposits average $300,000. This is one of the strong banks of southern Kansas, and Mr. Lewis is further interested in it, as a stockholder and as a director. Besides his banking interests he also owns stock in oil and gas lands of that section of the state.
In 1890 Mr. Lewis married Miss Rachel C. Comer, a daughter of Samuel Corner. Mr. Comer was a native of Iowa and came to Kansas in the pioneer days of this state. He was assistant government agent for the Osage Indian tribes for some time, and died at Elk City, Kan. To Mr. and Mrs. Lewis four children have been bornJessie and Bret C., both high school graduates, and Kent and Dale, who are students in the schools. Mrs. Lewis is a member of the Presbyterian church.
Fraternally, Mr. Lewis is a Mason. He belongs to the Knights Templars commandery at Independence and is also a Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, his membership in the last two branches of the order being held at Wichita. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which he is a past master workman, and has been receiver of his lodge for a number of years.Pages 380-381 from volume III, part 1 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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