John Powers.A publication of this nature exercises its most important function when it takes cognizance of the life and labors of those citizens who have risen to prominence and prosperity through their own well-directed efforts and who have been of material value in furthering the advancement and development of the commonwealth. As a representative citizen of Marion county, of which he has been a resident since 1889, and in whose commercial, civic and social affairs he has been actively identified, Mr. Powers merits distinctive recognition in this publication. John Powers was born in Bilston, Staffordshire, England, on April 8, 1855, a son of Michael and Julia (Adams) Powers. His parents were natives of Ireland, who removed to Bilston, England, shortly after their marriage. His father was an iron worker and employed in the blast furnaces at that place. In 1865 he brought his family to America and located in Eminence township, Logan county, Illinois. Here he became a successful farmer and a citizen of influence. His death occurred in 1886 and that of his wife in 1895.
John Powers, the subject of this sketch, received his early education in the schools of his native city and later attended the schools of Logan county, Illinois. His first employment was in the steel mills in England. On his father's farm in Illinois he was taught farming. He was industrious, frugal and ambitious, and early manhood found him the owner of a good farm, purchased from his earnings. He became recognized as one of the successful men of his section, one who combined a thorough knowledge of farming with business acumen of a high order and attracted the attention of Messrs. Koehule & Trapp, the general agents of William Scully, the owner of large tracts of lands in various sections of America. In 1889 he was offered and accepted the management of Scully lands in Kansas, situated in Marion, Butler and Dickinson counties, and in September of that year he came to the city of Marion, where he has since resided. In the management of the large interests intrusted to his care Mr. Powers has proven himself a man of great executive ability, a diplomat of no mean order and one whose honesty and integrity has never been questioned. The extremely cordial relations existing between him and the tenants on the Scully lands attest the fairness of his treatment of them and their individual successes are in a great measure due to his thorough knowledge of agriculture and his unremitting assistance in their education in advanced farming methods. He is the owner of over 1,000 acres of fertile farm lands in Kansas, which is operated under his personal supervision and has other important holdings. He is a director in the State Bank of Commerce of Marion. Mr. Powers has attained to the Knight Templar degree in Masonry and is a member of Newton Commandery, No. 9. He was elected, in 1911, most excellent grand Royal Arch Captain of the Grand Chapter of Kansas. Essentially a business man he has neither time nor inclination for political office, although he has served five years as a member of the Marion city council and one term as a member of the board of education. He is a Republican. In 1908 Governor Hoch appointed Mr. Powers a member of a committee of three to accompany him to Washington to attend the meeting of the governors of all the states called by President Roosevelt to discuss the conservation of natural resources. He was selected by Governor Hoch because of the study and investigation he had made and the knowledge he had acquired on this subject, especially as it referred to Kansas. He accepted and took part in the proceedings. He has continued to make this subject a matter of careful study and was appointed, in 1911, by Governor Stubbs a member of the Kansas State Conservation Commission and he was elected chairman of the agricultural committee of that body. He attended the National Conservation Congress at Kansas City, in 1911, and took part in the deliberations of that body.
Mr. Powers married, on Aug. 3, 1879, Miss Florence M. Quisenberry, born Jan. 9, 1861, a daughter of Washington Quisenberry, a native of Kentucky. To them have been born seven children: Marie E., born Dec. 12, 1880, and who married on June 29, 1902, Harry G. Laubhan, born Dec. 12, 1876, who is associated with Mr. Powers in the management of the Scully lands. Mr. and Mrs. Laubhan are the parents of three children: Maurice Alden, born May 24, 1903; Marjorie, born April 20, 1905, and Ralph Powers, born Sept. 20, 1906. Ralph Emerson Powers, the only son of the subject, was born Dec. 14, 1882, and is associated with his father in business. He married, on Aug. 26, 1904, Miss Mabel Moir, the daughter of M. W. Moir of Eldorado, Iowa, one of the prominent and influential men of his county. They are the parents of three children: John, born April 13, 1906; Francis, born Jan. 31, 1908, and Hortense, born Nov. 3, 1910. Elizabeth Powers, the third child, was born Dec. 24, 1884, and is the wife of Lyle L. Dickey, a druggist of Newton, Kan. They have no children. Winifred, the fourth child, was born Oct. 17, 1887, and lives with her parents. Dora, was born Dec. 5, 1890, and Florence Mildred, July 10, 1898, and both reside at home. An infant child died on the day of its birth, March 22, 1903. Mrs. Powers is a woman of broad intelligence, a true helpmeet of her husband and during the early years of his struggle for a competence was the fountain from which he drew inspiration and courage. She is one of Marion county's most popular and best known matrons, whose hospitalities and many charities have endeared her to her many friends. Mr. Powers is a high type of the conservative, unassuming American, diligent in his various duties and commercial affairs and conscientious in all things. His success in life has been such as should fill in a great measure the cup of his ambition and his position today is the result of his own well directed efforts. His methods have been clean, capable and honest and he has always been a leader, as well as a teacher, in the things which he has undertaken.Pages 1422-1424 from volume III, part 2 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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