William A. Neiswanger, who, for twenty-two years, has been prominently identified with the business life of Topeka, principally as a real estate dealer, is a member of the present well known real estate firm of Wilson & Neiswanger. He is a native of Pennsylvania, born in the city of Mechanicsburg, March 23, 1858, a son of David Neiswanger and his wife, whose maiden name was Nancy J. Westfall. David Neiswanger was a native of Mechanicsburg, born Sept. 3, 1825, a descendant of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry; he died March 3, 1909, in Topeka, at the home of his son, William A. The mother, Nancy (Westfall) Neiswanger, was born in 1833, and died March 8, 1905, at Osborne, Kan., where her burial took place. Both parents were devout and consistent members of the German Baptist church, and they were the parents of five sons and one daughter: Edgar M., deceased, married Elizabeth Mumma and left one daughter, Anna, wife of James Clendenning, of Wilmette, Ill.; William A. is the second in order of birth; Harry W. resides in Osborne, Kan.; Laura A. resides with her brother, William A.; John K. is a resident of Butler, Pa.; and Charles G. resides in Osborne, Kan.
William A. Neiswanger was reared in Mechanicsburg, where his father was a substantial citizen and a merchant, and was educated in the public schools of that city and at the Cumberland Valley Institute. In 1879 he came to Kansas, where for seven years he was engaged in the wool growing business, in Osborne and Russell counties; then, in 1888, he went to Topeka, where for two years he was employed in the office of the State Board of Agriculture. For the succeeding twelve years he was identified with the Investment Trust Company of America and the City Real Estate Trust Company, of Topeka. He then engaged in the real estate business on his own account, in Kansas City, Mo., where he remained two and a half years, after which he settled permanently in Topeka, where he became a member of the firm of Wilson & Neiswanger, one of the leading real estate and insurance firms of that city. This firm makes a specialty of city property in Topeka and does an extensive business in the building of homes. Mr. Neiswanger was one of the promoters of the Inspiration Mining Company, of Arizona, organized in 1903, and which later became the Inspiration Copper Company; it has been very prosperous and now ranks as the fourth largest copper mine in the United States. Mr. Neiswanger and Mr. Wilson are both stockholders in this company.
The marriage of Mr. Neiswanger took place in Osborne county, Kansas, Sept. 12, 1888, and united him to Miss Margaret L. Mohler, daughter of the late Martin Mohler. Mr. and Mrs. Neiswanger have five childrenDonald M., David (his grandfather's namesake), Laura, William A., Jr., and Mary.
Mr. Neiswanger is one of the men who is in love with his business. He is a good judge of the value of real estate, and a few years ago was appointed by the United States circuit court one of the appraisers of real estate, which aggregated more than one-half million dollars in value, belonging to a large corporation. When the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company was planning for the large extension to their shops, Mr. Neiswanger was appointed their agent to secure the necessary ground, and he purchased more than $200,000 worth of property for them. While in that work he became interested in Gordon's addition and the Broadmoor addition, building homes for the Santa Fe shopmen and others. He early became interested in College Hill, and through his efforts largely that part of the city has been improved and built up. He is a strong friend of Washburn College, and has been active in assisting it along many lines. His artistic tastes in building are demonstrated in the group of bungalows and craftsman houses, on Mulvane street and at the corner of College avenue and Huntoon street. Mr. Neiswanger is a genial gentleman, a tireless worker, and has the faculty of making friends and keeping them. He belongs to the Westminster Presbyterian Church, is a member of its board of elders, and for the past twenty years has been on its official board. He is a model citizen and stands justly high in the estimation of his business contemporaries, his friends, and his neighbors. He has always taken an active interest in matters pertaining to commercial development and civic improvement, and is an enthusiastic believer in the city of Topeka and the State of Kansas. Mr. Neiswanger is a member of the Topeka Commercial Club. He is not a club man in the social sense, however, for he finds his greatest enjoyment with his family, in their beautiful home at 1601 Mulvane street.Pages 359-360 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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