Peter Shiras, vice-president of the People's National Bank of Ottawa, Kan., is one of the ablest and best known bankers of the state. He came to Kansas, in 1872, locating at Ottawa, where he has since resided. For nearly forty years he has been connected with the People's National Bank. On coming to Ottawa he became a stockholder in this bank and its vice-president, in which relation to the bank he has rendered an active and invaluable service in building up the institution, which has been guided in safest channels and has become one of the strongest banks of Kansas, having a capital stock of $50,000 and a surplus and earnings of $50,000. Mr. Shiras has been continuously and actively connected with the bank since his coming to Ottawa. Perhaps no other banker has been connected with any one bank in Kansas as long as Mr. Shiras has been connected with the People's National Bank of Ottawa. There is not a bank or banker now in Kansas City, Mo., that was there when Mr. Shiras entered the People's National Bank Before coming to Ottawa Mr. Shiras was engaged in the banking business at Manchester, Ohio, as a member of the banking firm of John Ellison & Company, with which firm he became connected Jan. 1, 1866, just after the close of the Civil war, in which Mr. Shiras served as a sergeant for three years in the Army of the West, enlisting at the beginning of the war in the Fourth Ohio cavalry. Mr. Shiras rendered true and valiant service in the defense of the Union. He has for years been active in the Grand Army of the Republic.
Mr. Shiras was born in 1843 at Center Furnace, Ohio, but was reared and educated principally at Cincinnati, Ohio. He is of Scotch ancestry. The first representatives of the Shiras family in America came from Scotland, settling in New Jersey, removing thence to Pittsburgh, Pa., where was born William M. Shiras, Sr., the father of Peter Shiras, the subject of this review. From Pittsburgh William M. Shiras, Sr., removed at an early date with his father-in-law, James Rodgers, to Lawrence county, Ohio, and engaged in the manufacture of iron at Center Furnace, erecting and operating one of the first charcoal furnaces in Ohio. William M. Shiras, Sr., subsequently removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was engaged in the wholesale grocery business with Henry Hanna until his death in 1862. In 1836 he married Elizabeth Rodgers, a daughter of James Rodgers. She was born at Hanging Rock, Ohio. Unto the marriage four children were born, one of whom was Peter Shiras, whose name introduces this personal sketch.
In 1867 Peter Shiras and Rachel Ellison were united in marriage. They are the parents of five children and have thirteen grandchildren. Their children are as follows: Edna, the oldest, is the wife of Frank G. Blair, a resident of Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he is a coal mine operator, and who is a son of the late esteemed A. M. Blair, for years president of the First National Bank of Ottawa; Fred M. Shiras, the second child and oldest son, is the competent cashier of the People's National Bank, married Addie Cummins of Akron, Ohio; Eleanor, the second daughter, is the wife of Ralph A. Harris, editor of the "Ottawa Daily Herald," and the son of John P. Harris, the president of the People's National Bank; Marie, the third daughter, is the wife of Dr. Alston Fitts of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Oliver Shiras the youngest son, is president of the International Electric Fixture & Contracting Company of St. Louis, Mo.
Mr. Shiras is a Republican in politics and is a supporter of the progressive wing or faction of the party. He is also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and as a citizen he is highly esteemed. He has contributed of his means, time and influence to the progress and growth of Ottawa. He is a heavy stockholder in the People's National Batik, owns valuable farm lands, and also considerable property, in the city of Ottawa. He is respected for his strict regard for honesty and fair dealing in business transactions, and as a citizen he is honored by all who know him.Pages 1076-1078 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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