Malte P. Sanborn.It is conceded by the student of biography, that to a very great extent, conspicuous personal successes have been attained in the commercial, industrial and financial world by men who have started without capital, without assistance on the part of relatives or friends, and by sheer ability, pluck, energy and ambition, have risen to position of prominence and usefulness in the town, State and Nation. If honored with public office, such men have, with few exceptions, served with credit and distinction; on the other hand, a careful review of the development of any town, county, or State, will show that those who have been of the greatest potential force in its growth and the betterment of its civic, social and religious life, have been men who began with hopeful hearts, willing hands, and a determination to succeed as their sole capital; whose early experiences gave them broad sympathy, knowledge of the well springs from which emerge the streams of human motive and action, and who have striven without thought of self for the good of the community. The development of the towns, cities and counties of the commonwealth of Kansas has been accomplished, to a very large per cent. by citizens of this type, among whom is numbered he whose name initiates this article. He has large and varied capitalistic interests, and is one of the distinctively representative men of Dickinson county. Progressive and energetic in the management of these varied affairs, loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, he holds a secure position in the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, and has contributed in large measure to the advancement of the city of Chapman, his place of residence since 1880.
Malte P. Sanborn is a native of Sweden, and was born on March 26, 1857. He was reared in his native land, acquired a good common school education, and was apprenticed to the carpenter's trade. Brim full of energy, filled with ambition to do something worth while and to attain not only a competence, but position and influence, he chose the United States as the country in which to find opportunity for advancement. He left his native land in 1880, and on April 15 of that year arrived in Chapman, Dickinson county, Kansas, his cash capital totaling $7.50. Unable to speak the language of the country, he failed to secure employment at his trade, and was forced to accept labor as a farm hand until he gained a working knowledge of the English tongue. In six months he had overcome this obstacle, receiving meanwhile a wage of $13 per month, and secured employment as a cooper, remaining employed in this industry until 1882, when he initiated his first commercial undertaking, through establishing himself as a building contractor. He succeeded in building up a most profitable business in this line, gained a reputation for integrity and fair dealing, and proved the possession of those qualifications which make for success in the business world. In 1898 he entered the retail lumber business, buying an established yard in Chapman, and has conducted it with profit. This enterprise is conceded to be, by those versed in the lumber industry, one of the best managed yards in Central Kansas, the buildings are models of their kind and equipped with modern labor saving devices for the satisfactory conduct of the business. In 1908 he purchased the plant and equipment of the Dickinson County Electric Light & Power Company, owning the lighting franchise for the city of Chapman. In the operation of this plant, an important public utility, his management has been highly satisfactory to the citizens of his home town. He has been generous in expenditure for improvements and extensions, the service has been greatly improved and is today unexcelled in any city of its population in the State. He is the owner of valuable farm property near Chapman, is a director in the Chapman State Bank, and has extensive holdings in the stock of several corporations in other sections of the State. Mr. Sanborn has also been interested directly and indirectly with many other business enterprises of his home city. Perhaps no one of its citizens has had more to do with the development and building up of Chapman than he. In truth, he has been one of the foremost in every movement which had for its object the city's progress, thrift and substantial growth. He has served as a member of the city council for fifteen years, and is considered by his colleagues to be one of the most useful and active of the members therein. He has attained the Scottish Rite degree in Masonry and is affiliated with Isis Temple Shrine of Salina. He is also a member of Salina Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and of the Knights of Pythias.
September 19, 1886, he married Miss Mary Phipps, a daughter of J. H. Phipps, a farmer of Dickinson county. She was born April 9, 1865, in Ohio, and died May 25, 1893, leaving two children: John P. Sanborn, born June 4, 1888, a graduate of the Dickinson County High School, who married on September 12, 1912, Miss Grace Wolifer, and is now a resident of Towner, Colo., and Paul P. Sanborn, born May 16, 1893, who was graduated from the Dickinson County High School, and is now a law student in Washburn College at Topeka. On March 25, 1896, Mr. Sanborn married for his second wife, Miss Anna M. Phelps, of Sasketts Harbor, N. Y., born December 28, 1861. To this union three children have been born: Austin P., born April 16, 1898; Theodore A., born September 19, 1900; and Elizabeth M., born March 18, 1904. The family have long been prominent in the social circles of their home county, attend the Evangelic Lutheran church, of which Mr. Sanborn is an active and influential member, and the family residence is known for its gracious hospitality.
Mr. Sanborn is in all respects a high type of the conservative, unassuming man of affairs, diligent in his duties and conscientious in all things. He has realized a large and substantial success in the business world, has within the limits of his activity been one of the most useful citizens of his section of the State, enjoys a well earned popularity and the esteem which comes from honorable living.Pages 371-373 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.
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