Michael Crose Plank, a general contractor of Topeka, Kan., is a native of the Blue Grass State, where his birth occurred on Jan. 19, 1872. In 1880, when a boy of eight years, he accompanied his parents, Andrew and Melissa Plank, to Osage county, Kansas, where they located on a farm and resided until 1883, when they decided to return to Kentucky. In 1886 Andrew Plank once more brought his family to the Sunflower State and located on a farm in Greenwood township, Franklin county, where the parents have ever since resided. Michael C. Plank spent his boyhood and youth on the farm and received his education in the district schools. His early tasks were varied. In Kentucky it fell to his lot to "worm" the tobacco, and in Kansas much of his youth was spent in the saddle herding cattle. While yet in his teens he began to learn the carpenter's trade and mastered it under a competent foreman. At the age of twenty-one, or in 1893, he located in Topeka, where he followed his trade of contractor and builder in that city and at other points until 1900. In that year he began general contracting, in which he has been attended by success from the start. Some of the most important buildings erected by Mr. Plank are the girls' dormitory and academy for the colored industrial school; a $50,000 high school building at McPherson, Kan.; a $12,000 bank building at Osage City, Kan.; a $15,000 high school building at Lebanon, Kan.; the $20,000 Shepard House at Burlingame, Kan.; three business buildings on Kansas avenue, Topeka, including that of the Topeka State Bank; another business building on East Sixth avenue, Topeka; and a number of fine residences in Topeka and other points in Kansas, among the Topeka residences being those of A. W. Bronson, the A. E. Hurd flats on West Twelfth avenue, and that of Morton Albaugh at 1329 Harrison street.
On Nov. 12, 1901, Mr. Plank was united in marriage with Miss Margarette O. Harris, a native of Iowa and the daughter of John O. and Mary (Spurgeon) Harris, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana. Mrs. Plank was reared and educated in Iowa until seventeen years of age, when she came to Topeka with her parents, who now reside in that city. Mr. and Mrs. Plank have two sonsMaurice D. and Harold E. Politically Mr. Plank is a Republican and supports that party's men and issues in national affairs, but locally he supports the best man for the position. He is prominently affiliated with the Masonic order, being a member of Siloam Lodge, No. 225, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of Abdallah Temple, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and a member of Commandery No. 5, Knights Templars. He and his family are members of the Seabrook Congregational Church of Topeka.Pages 433-434 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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